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His Holiness' Biography

by Govardhandhari dasa
ISKCON Costa Rica

His Holiness Srila Guru Prasad Swami—respectfully addressed by his disciples as Srila Gurudeva or Srila Guru Maharaja—is one of the more outstanding preaching leaders of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in Latin America. His godbrothers acknowledge his spiritual leadership qualities, such as humility, compassion, and erudition to the service of Srila Prabhupada, through his impeccable path in Krsna consciousness.

He was born in the United States of America, in a wealthy family of German origin. According to calculations established by competent astrologers, his birth agrees in the Vaisnava calendar with the favorable dates of appearance of the sacred lake of Srimati Radharani—the Sri Radhakunda—in Damodara or Karttika, evident indications of his spiritual greatness.

Since his youth, he showed a deep interest in the search of spirituality—a noticeable absence in the contemporary society. Thence he became a serious and determined Krsna's devotee. After concluding the military service, he joined the first group of Krsna's devotees and pioneer preachers of Central America, based in Costa Rica.

He properly fulfilled the duties of aspiring bhakta at the temple of San José de Costa Rica, and, thanks to his natural disposition to appropriately serve the Vaisnavas, and his good habit of studying Srila Prabhupada's books, he received the admiration and esteem of all devotees.

Carefully and patiently, he developed spiritual education, and fulfilled his great dream: to travel to the holy city of Vrndavana, India, to receive initiation in the Holy Name—harinama—from his spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who gave him the spiritual name of "Guru Prasad dasa."

A few months later, he received the second initiation or brahmin. When he came back to Costa Rica, he carried out administrative services at the temple and did sankirtana in an inspiring way for other devotees.

After Srila Prabhupada's passing away, he traveled through different countries of Latin America, preaching, inaugurating temples, installing Deities, and collaborating with diverse services.

In 1982 he was awarded sannyasa initiation by His Holiness Hrdayananda das Goswami on behalf of Srila Prabhupada, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Thenceforth he is known as "His Holiness Guru Prasad Swami," and travels through different temples to expertly and genuinely preach Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's message.

At Gaura-purnima festival, celebrated in Mayapur, India, in 1987, he was appointed—due to his well-known qualities of leader—member of the GBC (Governing Body Commission), the maximum administrative organism of ISKCON; the zone where he carries out that service is Mexico, Central America, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, North of Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, and Arizona (USA).

The service rendered by His Holiness Guru Prasad Swami for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada is first-class, mercifully bestowing Krsna consciousness to many fortunate souls.

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