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Bhakti Tirtha Swami Achievements




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Attending lectures at the university and reading books on different subjects, “he began feeling the futility of acquiring knowledge, which would become obsolete very soon”. After Princeton, he joined the Hare Krishna Movement and “began a career of worldwide travel, study, teaching, lecturing, and writing”. On February 16, 1973 in Los Angeles he was initiated into the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition by ISKCON’s founder A. C. Bhakti vedanta Swami Prabhupada, whereupon he was given the name Ghanashyam Dasa (meaning servant of Krishna). In the 1970s, Ghanashyam Dasa preached Gaudiya Vaishnavism in Eastern Europe by distributing religious books and working with scholars.

On March 13, 1979 during Gaura-purnima festival at New Vrindaban, he was initiated into the Vaishnava sannyasaorder of renunciation by Kirtanananda Swami and given the name Bhakti Tirtha Swami. In the same year, he became the first devotee of the Hare Krishna Movement to visit Nigeria and preach there. In 1990 he was crowned as high chief in Warri, Nigeria. Later he went on to become a senior leader and one of the most prominent preachers within ISKCON and a member of its management body known as the Governing Body Commission. He was the first person of African descent to become an initiating guru in the disciplic succession of the ancient Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya. As a religious leader, Bhakti-tirtha Swami made a friendship with celebrities and served as a spiritual consultant, specializing in international relations and conflict resolution to high-ranking members of the United Nationsand world leaders, including former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela. Ex-member of ISKCON Nori Muster, who worked for ten years as a public relations secretary and editor of ISKCON’s newspaper, the ISKCON World Review, recalls in her book.

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