Brief Biography

Hridayananda Das Gowami

Hridayananda das Goswami (Dr. Howard J. Resnick, Ph.D.) is one of the most respected spiritual leaders of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. In modern times, amongst the most essential tasks of the Krishna conscious spiritual masters has been to translate the Vedic scriptures of millennial India to modern languages and to distribute them profusely all over the world. Srila Acharyadeva has accepted this mission as his life and soul.

Srila Acharyadeva serving his spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada

Srila Acharyadeva appeared in this world on November 5, 1948, in Los Angeles, California. Due to his academic merits, he secured a full scholarship for the University of California, where he first saw a lecture given by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder-acharya of the Krishna Consciousness Movement. Impressed by the vast knowledge and saintliness of Srila Prabhupada, Srila Acharyadeva became a member of the Hare Krishna movement in Berkeley, and, shortly after, on the February 8, 1970, he was initiated as a disciple of Srila Prabhupada.

Since the very beginning, Srila Acharyadeva distinguished himself for his eloquence, devotion, and dedication to studying the writings of his spiritual master, through which he acquired a profound knowledge of Sanskrit. In 1972, he accepted the renounced order of life, sannyasa, to dedicate himself totally to his spiritual master’s mission: to spread the Krishna Conscious movement all over the world. In the two subsequent years he traveled widely, giving lectures and conferences in colleges and universities in the United States.

In 1974, Srila Acharyadeva was named a member of the Governing Body Commission and given the responsibility of overseeing the Krishna Consciousness Movement in Latin America. In the following three years, he established twenty-five centers of the Society and attracted thousands of Latin Americans to Krishna consciousness. In his trips throughout Latin America, he met many political authorities and religious leaders, conversing with them in fluent Portuguese and Spanish. He is also the founder of the Portuguese and Spanish Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, which have already distributed over twenty-five million books all over Latin America.

A little before departing from this world on November of 1977, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada asked Srila Acharyadeva, as well as ten other prominent disciples, to accept the role of spiritual masters and initiate disciples to give continuity to the disciplic succession starting with the Supreme Lord, Krishna. The biggest challenge in his career as spiritual leader, however, came when the leaders of ISKCON, recognizing his profound devocional erudition, entrusted him to complete  Srila Prabhupada’s monumental translation and commentary of the Srimad Bhagavatam, the most important classic of Vedic literature. For thousands of years in India, great spiritual masters presented commentaries on the Bhagavatam to explain its urgent message to the people of their times. Srila Acharyadeva is the first westerner to be entrusted with this laborious task, and his success in communicating the essence of India’s spiritual heritage to modern readers has already been noticed by scholars and religious leaders in the whole world. Having completed this important work many years ago, his  literary project has since been the adaptation into a historical novel of the famous Indian epic, the Mahabharata, which will have its first volume printed in the summer of 2001.

Srila Acharyadeva is currently residing in Los Angeles, frequently traveling all over the world to preach and oversee the work of his many disciples.