His Holiness Bhakti Brhat Bhagavata Swami, in his quest for spiritual understanding prior to becoming a full time member of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness joined the Divine Life Society were he studied under Sri Swami Sahajananda. However due to his constant inquest into spiritual understanding Sri Swami Sahajananda told him that he was a missionary and should join the Hare Krishna Movement. He acquired a set of the Srimad Bhagavatam and several other books written by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and was deeply moved by these sublime teachings. This prompted him to become a full time member of The International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Brihat Mridanga Dasa, his former name, was awarded the renounced order of sannyasa by ISKCON guru Giriraja Swami recently, and will henceforth be known as Bhakti Brihat Bhagavata Swami. The initiation ceremony, held on December 24, 2009 at the Sri Sri Radha-Radhanath Temple of Understanding in Durban, South Africa.
1983 – Brhat-mrdanga dasa, a former school-teacher, joined ISKCON in Durban, South Africa. 1985-1988
a) Distributed over 30,000 books (mainly “Science of Self Realizations” and “Bhagavad Gitas” in South Africa.
b) Preached extensively to high school and university students in S.A .
c) Placed full sets of Srila Prabhupada’s books in over 50 libraries, colleges and universities through book sponsorships in South Africa.
d) Sankirtana Leader and Chairman of ISKCON Kwa-Zulu Natal (a province of South Africa) Congregational Council. 1989-1992 – V.-P. of Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple, ISKCON Durban. 1990 (July) to 1991(April) – Completed the First (and only) Preacher Trainer’s Course at VIHE, Vrndavana. 1991 – Founded the Bhaktivedanta College of Education and Culture(BCEC) in Durban, South Africa. a) Under his direction(and travelling internationally since 1994), BCEC has expanded to other countries: Hong Kong, Philippines, India, Kenya, Mauritius, England, Ireland, Canada, USA, Trinidad and Guyana. b) BCEC offers bridging courses like ‘Bhakti-Sadacara’, ‘Yoga Ladder’ leading up to Bhakti-sastri/Vaibhava degrees. Certification includes Bhakti-sadacara certificate, Bhakti-gita diploma and Bhakti-sastri/Vaibhava degrees. Courses are also offered for children. Since July 1991, 13,470 students have passed through Bhaktivedanta College of Education and Culture. 1997 -2000 – President of Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple, Durban S.A. 2001-2004 – Co-President of Sri Sri Krishna Balarama Mandir, ISKCON Vrndavana. 2004-2006 – Regional Secretary for Gauteng, South Africa.
Currently, H.H. Bhakti Brhat Bhagavata Swami serves as:
* Co-International Director of Bhaktivedanta College of Education & Culture (BCEC)
* Member of the GBC Ministry of Educational Development (MED)
* Member of the GBC Succession Committee
* Chairman of ISKCON Leadership Education And Development System (ISKCON LEADS), A GBC Succession Committee Initiative
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