Srila Bhakti Alok Paramadvaiti Maharaj was born on October
12th, 1953 in the village of Osterkappeln, Germany. At
a young age he felt an attraction to India and the monastic
life. At the age of forteen he started studying the Vedas
(parallel to the study of Carl Marx and Western philosophers).
He published a book on social protest and two journals
against the injustices of this world. Still, he could not
find any true hope for the world and the mundane struggle
for environmental change. At seventeen, after analyzing
the world of exploitation, he left all social connections
to his society, parents and school, and entered the yoga
ashram of Sri Aurobindo in Germany. There he experienced
the life of impersonal indifference to the struggle of
the world. He quickly discovered, however, that this polite
form of atheism did not solve the problems of the world,
nor did it seem to make the practitioners humble or soft-hearted.
The fact that God, the supreme, merciful creator of all,
did not exist in their philosophy, the impersonal yogis
succeeded only in cultivating the pride of having none
superior to themselves.
Thus, he decided to dedicate his energy towards finding a true spiritual master.
Soon afterwards his prayers and meditations led him to Sri Krishna’s Holy
Name. He then entered the Gaudiya Vaisnava ashram as a brahmachari in the recently
inaugurated local Krishna ashram of Düsseldorf, Germany. There, he was trained
in the principles of bhakti yoga and prepared himself to become a disciple of
Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj.
In 1972 he was initiated by Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj in Paris.
His name became Alanath das. From this moment on, his life became very dynamic.
He helped his spiritual master distribute the message of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
in Europe and America. Then, in 1976, his spiritual master sent him to help the
mission in South America.
After the departure of his guru from this world, he struggled to keep the purity
of his guru’s mission. After some years, he joined other Vaisnavas in India
and started associating with various Gaudiya Maths. In 1984 he received initiation
into the renounced order of the sannyas ashram from the great acharya Srila Bhakti
Rakshak Sridhar Maharaj. Profoundly inspired by his teachers, he began initiating
disciples in order to help continue his spiritual masters service.
He started a preaching branch known as VRINDA (Vrindavan Institute for Vaisnava
Culture and Studies), which quickly spread to various countries. Today the VRINDA
mission has more then 100 centers around the world. He also founded ISEV (Superior
Institute of Vedic Studies) and SEVA (Editorial Service of Vaisnava Acharyas).
He has published many holy books and is the author of various others. He is a
lecturer in English, German, and Spanish languages. In addition, he has restored
many old temples in Vrindavan and started many temple constructions around the
world. Vaisnava ecological awareness and ecological communities have increased
strongly under his guidance.
Many lectures on krishna-katha, festivals, book publishing, and Vegetarian Restaurants
are also inspired by him. He has established country ashrams and has installed
deities of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krishna in many countries. He has
also initiated many new sannyasis and has sent them out to preach.
His home-study yoga course has spread quickly bringing thousands of students
to study the Bhakti teachings. He has pioneered the preaching on the Internet,
establishing the Vaisnava presence in several languages. Under the guidance of
his siksa guru Srila B. P. Puri Maharaj he has tried to help unite the different
Vaisnava branches from different sectors of India and other countries through
the Visva Vaisnava Raj Sabha.
To find out more visit the personal web-site of
Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti.