The Vrindavan Institute for Vaishnava Culture and Studies
VRINDA - The Vrindavan Institute for Vaishnava Culture and Studies is the loose affiliation of many individuals and some institutions who have found as their common cause to help the service of Srila B.A. Paramadvaiti, the founder of the VRINDA mission or family. He is the disciple of Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and continues his disciplic succession in this Vaishnava mission as the present Acharya. He is also a founding member of the World Vaishnava Association (Visva Vaishnava Raj Sabha). Together with members of 17 other Vaishnava branches they revived the Vaishnava unity in diversity taught by Srila Jiva Goswami (470 years ago) and many other stalwarts in this line.
About Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti
Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti 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 Vaishnava 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 Prabhupada.
In 1972 he was initiated by Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada 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 Vaishnavas 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 Vaishnava 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 Vaishnava 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. Vaishnava 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 Vaishnava presence in several languages. Under the guidance of his siksa guru Srila B. P. Puri Maharaj he has tried to help unite the different Vaishnava branches from different sectors of India and other countries through the World Vaishnava Association - Visva Vaishnava Raj Sabha.
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