His Holiness Rtadhvaja Swami Maharaja was born and raised in a rural farming community in North Dakota, U.S.A. His first encounter with the devotees was in 1972, when some of the Radha Damodara Traveling Sankirtana Party came to his house and asked if they could take some flowers from his front yard. He gave them permission, but later on when he went outside to see what they had taken, he realized that they had taken them all! It was a few years later, in 1975, that he first came upon Srila Prabhupada’s books, started chanting, visited a temple, and became a part of the Hare Krishna movement. He received initiation from Srila Prabhupada in June 1977 in Gainesville, Florida.
While serving as the sankirtana leader and bhakta leader in Gainesville, his service attitude caught the eye of H.H. Hridayananda Maharaja, and he was asked to become Maharaja’s traveling servant and secretary. For many years he traveled with Maharaja, assisting in his preaching in South America and Florida. He accepted the renounced order of life in Mayapura on Gaura Purnima 1985.
Maharaja’s true passion has been taking care of the youth of our society. For seven years, he ran the Vaisnava Academy for Boys in Alachua, Florida. From 1990 to 2003, he traveled with groups of boys to Ratha Yatras all across the U.S., and in 2004, took a group of youth to Europe. His preaching has taken him all over the world, however, he concentrated his efforts in Texas, Europe and Asia.
For the past few years, Maharaja has been spending all of his time in the United States, traveling between Florida, Tennessee and Texas. Maharaja’s open and friendly nature not only draws the youth to him, but attracts and inspires the devotees wherever he goes. His humorous, practical, and down to earth preaching style is appreciated by all who meet him.