Sri Krishna Chaitanya Swami was born in New York City, USA in 1965, the same year that ISKCON Founder Acarya, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, came to New York. His mother’s younger sister regularly heard Srila Prabhupada’s kirtans in Tompkins Square Park in 1966. He joined the Hare Krishna movement in Ireland early in 1991. Fourteen years earlier, as a music student at the Aaron Copland Music and Arts Program in New York, he first began chanting the Hare Krishna Mantra as a performer in the Broadway Musical “Hair”. His Holiness Lokanath Swami initiated Sri Krishna Chaitanya Swami later in 1993, giving him the name Ekalavya Das. Twenty-seven years later in Pandharpur, the order of sannyasa was awarded to Sri Krishna Chaitanya Swami. With this venerated title, he continues to be an inspiration for many spiritual practitioners around the world.Sri Krishna Chaitanya Swami was born in an affluent family who encouraged education, culture and the arts. While bouncing on his father’s knee, he began his fledgling piano studies at five. At six, he started guitar lessons, and at seven years, he began trumpet lessons. By the time he entered the Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1982, he had already learned sixteen different instruments and performed in music groups in venues across the USA. In 1984, he accompanied a friend to the Boston Hare Krishna Temple and became a regular visitor. In 1987, Sri Krishna Chaitanya Swami received his degree from Berklee College of Music in Recording Engineering and Production, a unique science combining acoustic engineering, electrical engineering and music. Upon graduation, he traveled to twenty-five countries as a professional musician and spiritual seeker.
This year, Sri Krishna Chaitanya Swami is celebrating 31 years as a member of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). From 1991 to 1992, he traveled on a pilgrimage on Padayatra through Holland, Belgium, France, and Spain. In 1992, during a meeting in Spain with his spiritual master, His Holiness Lokanath Swami, he was instructed to go to India. Sri Krishna Chaitanya Swami traveled with Lokanath Swami as his secretary for twelve years. In 1996, Sri Krishna Chaitanya Swami was elected as an ISKCON General Body Commission Deputy. In 2006, he was appointed as secretary of the ISKCON Kirtan Ministry. In 2023, Sri Krishna Chaitanya Swami was elected as GBC Kirtan Minister and GBC Padayatra Minister. His services include coordinating ISKCON’s Annual International World Holy Name Festival for 25 years. He is one of the founding members of the Bhaktivedanta Band and performs at Youth Festivals worldwide. He is a well-known presenter and has traveled extensively to the USA, Canada, France, England, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Guyana, Trinidad, Mauritius, South Africa, Botswana, Russia, India, amongst other countries.
At present, he is based in Pandharpur, Maharashtra, India. Alongside many other projects, he oversees the construction of a new recording studio on the ISKCON Pandharpur Campus, LOK.STUDIO, to facilitate live streaming, audio, and video productions for His Holiness Lokanath Swami and the ISKCON Kirtan Ministry.
In the holy presence of His Holiness Jayapataka Swami and Her Grace Malati Devi, early pioneers of the Krishna. Consciousness Movement, I am embraced by my old and dear friend, His Grace Nrsimha Kavacha Prabhu, ISKCON’S Deity Worship Minister, at the end of Day 1 of the GBC Meetings in Mayapur.
The most important item of staying in a holy place is associating with the holy devotees. The high point was seeing many of my dear mentors and friends for the first time in 3 years! Attended the afternoon session of the GBC meetings, which included an enlivening discussion of the development of Krishna consciousness in western countries. I moved into my quarters to stay with His Holiness Bhakti Prabhava Swami Maharaja. Lunch with His Grace Bindu Madhava Prabhu, a direct disciple of Srila Prabhupada, whom I had never met before, was also a unique treat as he shared his service history to Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON.
CC Madhya 9.194, Purport: “Spirit is not within the jurisdiction of material eyes, words or mind.”
Similarly, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.84.13) states: yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ
“A human being who identifies his body made of three elements with his self, who considers the by-products of his body to be his kinsmen, who considers the land of his birth worshipable, and who goes to a place of pilgrimage simply to take a bath rather than to meet men of transcendental knowledge there is to be considered like an ass or a cow.”
Celebrating Nityananda Appearance Day in Avataridesh* on the way to India. Last night, I reached Mumbai. Today, traveling to Mayapur.
*Avataridesh is a community in a country where the government has not yet given official permission for spiritual gatherings beyond those representing the local culture. Thus, It is most appropriate not to mention that country’s name in social media posts.
Vrndavana Prabhu and Bhakta Avatar Residence cum Ashram / ISKCON Inland Empire Preaching Centre.
My six days in San Diego were blissful. I received the opportunity to give several classes at our ISKCON temple, including a Sunday Feast Lecture on Christmas, some Srimad Bhagavatam Classes, and a Krishna Lounge interactive presentation. The excellent hospitality of the devotees there melted my heart.
After six days in San Diego, I arrived in Riverside. It’s great to be with my old and dear friends Bhakta Avatar Prabhu, Vrndavana Prabhu, and their families. Today, in celebration of New Year’s Eve, we ventured out into the downtown of Riverside and the Festival of Lights. We enjoyed Harinam Sankirtan (chanting and dancing in the shopping pedestrian street). The people that were out walking around enjoyed it too.
I wish all my friends a blissful and healthy Krishna conscious New Year.
H.H Sri Krishna Chaitanya Swami visits ISKCON Juhu.
Sunday, 24 July, 2022: ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai India: I had the good fortune to join a group of Youth in ISKCON Juhu for kirtan in the beautiful “Heaven on Earth” project of ISKCON Juhu. I love the Youth audience as they are full of life and enthusiastic. They make me feel young again!