Biography of Srila Bishnu Maharaja
His birth and early life
Sripad Bishnu Maharaj took birth in a Vaishnava family on September 10, 1956 on the auspicious tithi of Lalita sashti, the appearance day of Sri Lalita Devi, in the village Aliabad in the Ganjam District in the state of Orissa, India. His parents gave him the name Abhimanyu. His father's name is Khali Shyama Das, and his mother's name Chandramani dd. They are Vaishnava disciples of Babaji Radhacharan das Maharaj. His early studies and interests included earning a Sanskrit degree, and spiritual arts like puja, study of puranas, sadhusanga, practice of kirtan, and devotional music. His father was a sankirtan master. During his youth he was fortunate to meet many babajis, mahantas, yogis and sadhus.
Meeting of Gurudeva, initiation and studies
Before meeting his spiritual master Om Vishnupada 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Maharaj, a disciple of Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakur, in 1978 he associated with devotees of his Gurudeva and another disciple of Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Nitya-lila pravista Nityananda Goswami Maharaj in Brahmapur, Orissa, who also belonged to Sri Krishna Caitanya Mission. In 1979 Sripad Bishnu Maharaj joined the Math and took Harinama and Diksha from Srila Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Maharaj. His brahmacari name was Ananta Krishna das brahmacari. His scriptural studies include Bhagavad Gita (which he has memorized in its entirety), Srimad Bhagavatam, including the commentary of Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakur, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Sat Sandarbha of Jiva Goswami, much of the other Goswami literature, Ramayana, Mahabharata, other Puranas, and Upanishadas.
Maharaj takes sannyasa
Maharaj took sannyasa in 1984 from His Divine Grace Nitya-lila pravista Bhakti Jivan Janardan Goswami Maharaj, a disciple of Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakura at the Puri Ashram of Sri Krishna Caitanya Mission in the presence of his Gurudeva and other Guruvargas.
Temples and functions
Maharaj was one of the original leaders of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mission temples in Digapahandi, Vrindavan, Berhampur, and Mayapur. The Dighapahandi, Berhampur and Mayapur temples are still under his attentive guidance. Maharaj is also the global coordinator and one of the original members of the World Vaishnava Association, and serves as the Vice president beginning in 2004 to the present. Maharaj is the present Acharya of the Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mission and has established the International Krishna Chaitanya Mission which, under his guidance and inspiration is preaching and opening centers in countries all over the world.
Sadhu sanga and service to Vaishnavas
Sripad Bishnu Maharaj has had the great fortune to associate with and serve many great Vaishnavas and leading Vaishnava Acharyas. He was fortunate to receive blessings and association with Nitya-lila pravista Bhakti Vigyan Nityananda Goswami Maharaj, His Divine Grace Nitya-lila pravista Bhakti Jivan Janardan Maharaj, Nitya-lila pravista Sripad Ananda Lilamaya das prabhu, His Divine Grace Nitya-lila pravista B. P. Puri Goswami Maharaj, His Divine Grace B.K. Santha Goswami Maharaj, and many other disciples and followers of Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakura like His Divine Grace Nitya-lila pravista Baman Goswami Maharaj, His Divine Grace Nitya-lila pravista Bhaktidayita Madhav Goswami Maharaj, His Divine Grace Nitya-lila pravista Bhakti Gourav Vaikhanasa Goswami Maharaj, and His Divine Grace Nitya-lila pravista Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaj. He maintains loving Vaishnava relationships with Acharyas of all other Vaishnava institutions like His Divine Grace Bhakti Ballabha Teertha Goswami Maharaj, the current President of the World Vaishnava Association. Presently he spends the majority of his time traveling and preaching in a non-sectarian, non-political mood of purely and respectfully encouraging devotees of all the many sangas that have grown up around the world by the grace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and our previous Gaudiya Acharyas.
Preaching and world travel
Bishnu Maharaj has always been an enthusiastic preacher and considers it his life’s work to preach and carefully explain pure Krishna bhakti, devotion to Sri Guru, service to Vaishnavas, and Gaudiya siddhanta for the benefit of audiences around the world so that they may be blessed to accept the shelter of spiritual life. In order to fulfill the great missionary desire of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Maharaj began his travels outside of India for the first time in 1995, journeying to Thailand. Then in 1997 he traveled with his Gurudev, Srila B. V. Puri Maharaja, to Europe, and then to America in 2001 and again in 2002. Presently he is traveling non-stop all over Asia, America, Mexico, Australia, and in Italy, Spain, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia, Germany, Hungary and England. When he is not traveling internationally he travels in India overseeing temples and, as he is fluent in many regional Indian languages, easily communicates the message of Mahaprabhu wherever he is speaking.
After the disappearance of His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad Paramhamsa Sri Srila Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Maharaja in the year 2009, Srila Bishnu Maharaja, on his gurudeva’s order, accepted the sacred service of Acharya and initiating guru of the Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mission.