IEEA2013

ISKCON Europe Excellence Awards in 2013

adoksaja1)      Adhoksaja Krishna dasa

Nominated in category: Book distribution

Age: 50

ISKCON Temple (name/place): Karuna Bhavan, Scotland

Number of years that he has been doing this service: 31

Date and place of his joining ISKCON movement: 1982 Caitanya College England

Description of his services in the nominated category: Practically the day he joined, Adhoksaja Krishna has been engaged in book distribution. He has developed both street and contact sankirtan while inspiring and training devotees. As a seasoned preacher, he has lead an exemplary grhasta life being continuously engaged in travelling sankirtan for many years.

Brief description of his other services since joining: He writes and performs dramas and puppet shows for festivals. As an artist he has done a great job in providing Krishna art to decorate the temple complex. He also regularly serves as a Salagrama Pujari.

What is special in his service that inspired you to nominate him for the award? Dedication to both Srila Prabhupada’s book distribution and the development of Karuna Bhavan as a Yatra highlights Adhoksaja Krishna’s devotional service. Throughout the various changes and difficulties of the Yatra he remains a loyal, dedicated servant of ISKCON. He also has a refreshing sense of humor which never seems to tire.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA2)      Damodara-priya devi dasi

Nominated in category: Outstanding pujari seva

Age: 37

ISKCON Temple (name/place): Goloka Dhama/Abentheuer, Germany

Name of the Spiritual Master: Sacinandana Swami

Number of years that she has been doing this service: 8

Description of her services in the nominated category: Damodara-priya mataji shows the unique qualities of a devotee in her service as a pujari. After serving Sri Sri Radha Madana-Mohan for several years she accepted the responsibility of head pujari. This service has given her many challenges but has shown that her heart is with Their Lordships and her spiritual master. She has recognized that by the grace of her guru she can perform the daily worship of the Lord in both difficult and less stressful times. When required adjustments are made to the worship standards, she is very concerned that such adjustments are appropriate and correct. A few years ago she attended a course at the Mayapur Academy and now shares this knowledge with others. In a nutshell, she is one of the few pujaris in the world who lives for this service.

Brief description of her other services since joining:  In general she is one of the most important devotees at Goloka Dhama. She arranges festivals, is connected to the seminars which are held, cares for the devotees and also takes the roll of mediator and mother for other devotees. In other words she is a driving force at Goloka Dhama.

What is special in her service that inspired you to nominate her for the award? Her strong determination. Doyal Govinda dasa: “We did the pujari seva together for a short time in 2008 and she has remained at Goloka Dhama steadily arranging the worship of the Lord. Because I also have experience in this seva, I admire her steadfast determination to continue the worship of the Lord with full heart and energy. My highest respects go out to her.”

Govinda_Hari_d_NVD_23)      Govinda Hari dasa

Nominated in category: Book distribution

Age: 39

ISKCON Temple (name/place): New Vraja Dhama, Hungary

Name of the Spiritual Master: Sivarama Swami

Number of years that he has been doing this service: 20

Date and place of his joining ISKCON movement: 1991

Description of his services in the nominated category:  Govinda Hari prabhu joined ISKCON Hungary in 1993. Upon joining the Budapest temple he took up the service of distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books and has steadily continued that service for the past twenty years. His book distribution results are consistently among the best in the Hungarian yatra.

Brief description of his other services since joining: On top of his full time contribution to distributing Srila Prabhupda’s books, he effectively participates in preaching to congregational Nama Hatta members who support the sankirtan mission and the presiding deities of New Vraja Dhama, Sri Sri Radha Syamasundara, through the Seva puja and Nitya seva donation programs.

What is special in his service that inspired you to nominate him for the award? Govinda Hari prabhu has been a dedicated bramacari since he joined the temple in 1993. Both in his service and ashram he is a wonderful example to the whole Hungarian yatra.

HridayaCaitanyahttp://eurorgb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/HridayaCaitanya-510x680.jpg 510w, http://eurorgb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/HridayaCaitanya-300x400.jpg 300w, http://eurorgb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/HridayaCaitanya.jpg 600w" sizes="(max-width: 120px) 100vw, 120px" />4)      Hrdaya Caitanya Dasa

Nominated in category: Overall contribution

Age: 63

Name of the Spiritual Master: Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami

ISKCON Temple (name/place): Radhadesh, Belgium

Number of years that he has been doing this service: 27

Date and place of his joining ISKCON movement: 1980

Brief description of his other services since joining: Construction, Temple President, Chairman of National Council, RGB secretary for Benelux, GBC secretary for Benelux, France, Spain and Portugal

What is special in his service that inspired you to nominate him for the award?

  • undisputed TP of large community for 27 years – always unanimously re-elected
  • Chairman of ISKCON Belgium National Council
  • Euro RGB for Benelux
  • GBC secretary for Benelux, France, Spain and Portugal
  • dedication to Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON structure
  • impeccable sadhana
  • unparalleled humility
  • outstanding hard work
  • leading by example
  • executing tasks from vision to smallest detail
  • spotless personal integrity
  • synonymous with Radhadesh
  • caring husband and father
  • exemplary patience and dedication
  • expert in dealing with legal matters
  • instant swap of focus and attention
  • excellent memory
  • physical stamina

jaganatha_priya5)      Jagannatha Priya devi davi

Nominated in category: Outstanding pujari seva

Age: 42

ISKCON Temple (name/place): Karuna Bhavan, Scotland

Name of the Spiritual Master: Sivarama Swami

Number of years that she has been doing this service: 5 years

Date and place of her joining ISKCON movement: 1990 Karuna Bhavan

Description of her services in the nominated category:  Head Pujari

What is special in her service that inspired you to nominate her for the award? She is the head pujari and so much more. Being short staffed at Karuna Bhavan, she not only performs her pujari duties of ensuring all offerings, puja and aratis are being done but also makes sure the high standard of deity worship is maintained and trains devotees in various aspects of deity worship. She also personally cooks for both the deities and devotees in addition to dressing the deities. She takes care of a large number of Tulasis, arranges temple cleaning and looks after the ladies guest ashram. As the wife of sankirtan leader Adhoksaja Krishna das, she does not complain he is away on travelling sankirtan one week out of every two.  Even with her busy schedule she still finds time to regularly read and goes on book distribution whenever possible. As a fine example of constant devotion to her guru, Sivarama Swami, and the presiding deities of Karuna Bhavan, Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, she has gained tremendous respect from the devotees and her realizations are very practical.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA6)      Manjuwali devi dasi

Nominated in category: Outstanding pujari seva

Age: 41

ISKCON Temple (name/place): Krishna Valley, Hungary

Name of the Spiritual Master: Sivarama Swami

Number of years that she has been doing this service: 17

Date and place of her joining ISKCON movement: Hungary, 1991

Description of her services in the nominated category:  We could call Manjuwali devi dasi a three hundred and sixty degree pujari. She is an excellent cook and teacher of pujari services. Upon entering the temple room everyone recognizes when she has dressed Sri Sri Radha Syamasundara due to her exquisite taste in deity clothing and jewelry along with her attention to fine detail. This makes a lasting impression and is simply mind blowing. Her unique style in deity dressing makes her a one-of-a-kind pujari.  She is humble, respectful, careful, clean and very attentive. Because of all these qualities, Srila Sivarama Swami asks for her help when he dresses the deities.

Brief description of her other services since joining: She has been performing pujari service for a long time and it is her life and soul. She is willing to sacrifice everything for Radhe-Syama.

Murlidhara-das7)      Muralidhara dasa

Nominated in category: Overall ISKCON interest/Overall preaching

Age: 49

ISKCON Temple (name/place): New Jagannatha Puri / ISKCON Zurich, Switzerland

Name of the Spiritual Master: Bhakti Charu Swami

Number of years that he has been doing this service: 24

Date and place of his joining ISKCON movement: 1989 / Roch-d’Or – Farm in Switzerland

Description of his services in the nominated category:  Muralidhara Prabhu has served the Swiss Yatra in both categories of overall ISKCON Interests and overall preaching during the last 24 years.

Brief description of his other services since joining: Muralidhara Prabhu began the practice of Krishna consciousness in 1988 and joined the Switzerland farm at the end of 1989. A few months later he joined the Zurich temple and served for the next thirteen years as a dedicated book distributor on travelling sankirtana.

What is special in his service that inspired you to nominate him for the award? In the late 1990’s when ISKCON Zurich was in a major crisis, he stood up for both the preservation of book distribution and strongly for the preservation of the temple. In January 2003 he assumed the post of temple president and had to face many challenges under extremely difficult circumstances. Through his effort and dedication he successfully stabilized the Zurich temple. He ensured the Swiss Yatra was appointed a GBC secretary along with continuing the summer camp and more ISKCON preachers again visiting the temple. Under his leadership a new heating system was installed, the entrance hall was renovated and the top floor of the brahmacari ashrama was completely rebuilt. The largest and most challenging project was the extensive renovation of the entire roof, fully realized by our own team of devotees and friends of Krishna.

In 2005 he married and continued to serve as president until 2007. He now lives close to Zurich with his wife and two children as a member of our community. He owns his own practice working as a therapist and in this way helps bring people closer to Krishna consciousness.

We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Muralidhara Prabu for his valuable contribution. His devotion and loyalty to the Zurich temple is an inspiration for everyone. We are very happy that he continues to support our temple and share his experience with us as a board member of the National Council and the Swiss Krishna Foundation!

nimai_pandit8)      Nimai Pandit dasa

Nominated in category: Overall ISKCON interest

Age: 65

ISKCON Temple (name/place): Villa Vrindavana, Italy

Name of the Spiritual Master: Radhanath Swami

Number of years that he has been doing this service: 32

Date and place of his joining ISKCON movement: 1981 Milan

Description of his services in the nominated category:  Ever since the beginning, in his capacity as a professional accountant, Nimai Pandit prabhu has served the movement for over thirty years by managing the accounts of ISKCON Italy, BBT Italy and much more. At the same time he acts as administrative secretary in various contexts. His honesty, reliability, diligence and steady service are a shining example for all the Italian devotees. Nimai Pandit prabhu is also an excellent musician, singer and expert preacher. All the Italian devotees are thankful for his glorious service.

nitai_charanhttp://eurorgb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/nitai_charan-680x510.jpg 680w, http://eurorgb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/nitai_charan-160x120.jpg 160w, http://eurorgb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/nitai_charan-300x225.jpg 300w, http://eurorgb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/nitai_charan.jpg 744w" sizes="(max-width: 160px) 100vw, 160px" />9)      Nitaicharan dasa

Category: Overall ISKCON interest

Age: 67

ISKCON Temple Name/place: ISKCON Birmingham, UK

Name of the Spiritual Master: Jayapataka Swami

Number of years that he has been doing this service: 36

Date and place of his joining ISKCON movement: ISKCON LONDON

Description of his services in the nominated category: Nitaicharan dasa and his family began their devotional service in 1975 as life members after visiting the Bury Place temple in London. In 1976 Srila Prabhupada personally instructed him to help Iskcon, learn from his disciples and preach. After moving from London to Birmingham in 1977, Nitaicharan rented a hall and began a Sunday program with the assistance of another devotee at Cannon Hill Park. Eventually with the help of Govinda Vaisya, he found the present Iskcon building, arranged the mortgage with his building society, and bought it. He financially helped to refurbish the building, pay the mortgage and fund other expenses to run the temple.

Following a major management crisis that left the temple with large debts and unable to function, the UK management council decided to sell the building. Nitaicharan averted a disaster by promising he would take care of the temple in all respects. He was given charge to run the temple in 1999 and made significant improvements. He paid six hundred pounds every month to clear the sixty five thousand pounds of bank loans. This year all the bank loans are paid off and the temple is freehold. He refurbished the temple with double glazed windows, extended the temple room and installed deities of Jagannatha, Baladeva, Subhadra, Sudarshan and Sri Sri Gaur Nitai. A new alter from Gujarat has also been installed.  The twenty four hour kirtan in Birmingham attracts about 5000 devotees from the UK and Europe.  Rathayatra attracts about 6000 devotees and the city council declared Rathayatra as the most colorful event in Birmingham. Because he has worked cooperatively and honestly for many years to celebrate Rathayatra, the Birmingham city council has finally granted the temple status as a place of worship in Iskcon’s name this year.  We sincerely thank Nitaicharan prabhu for all of his incredible service.

Brief description of his other services since joining: After becoming a life member in 1975, he helped the life membership director Partha prabhu and Kishore prabhu to make life members in London. He helped locate a building for Sri Sri Radha Londonisvara with Partha prabhu and when the Soho street building was found, he financially helped to refurbish the temple building. He also collected many donations for buying the Croome court property in Worcester. He became the first patron member at Bhaktivedanta manor and is also a sevak member there. He personally helped financially and also collected donations from the people of Birmingham to sponsor the buses for demonstrations in London during the campaign to save Bhaktivedanta Manor.

What is special in his service that inspired you to nominate him for the award? When Sivarama Swami agreed to give him charge of the temple in Birmingham, Nitaicharan asked his spiritual master Jayapataka Swami for permission. Maharaja told him that because he had never lived in the temple it would be very difficult for him to run, but since he received the blessings from Sivarama Swami, he could take charge and should move to the temple. According to his guru’s order, he has been living in the temple for more than ten years, leaving aside his nice five bedroom house where his wife lives alone.  He is completely dedicated to looking after the temple and has never returned to his former home.

raghunatha_bhattahttp://eurorgb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/raghunatha_bhatta-300x400.jpg 300w, http://eurorgb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/raghunatha_bhatta.jpg 450w" sizes="(max-width: 120px) 100vw, 120px" />10)  Raghunatha Bhatta dasa

Nominated in category: Overall ISKCON interest/Overall preaching

Age: 33

ISKCON Temple (name/place): Karuna Bhavan, Scotland

Name of the Spiritual Master: Radhanatha Swami

Number of years that he has been doing this service: 9

Date and place of his joining ISKCON movement: 2004 Karuna Bhavan Scotland

Description of his services in the nominated category:  Preaching; Book distribution, Nama Hatta programs, Kirtan Yoga. Bhakti Vrksa. Co festival organiser. Communications. Media.

What is special in hisr service that inspired you to nominate him for the award? The main service of Raghunatha Bhatta dasa is book distribution and he will often preach at Nama hatta programs after a day of street book distribution. He utilizes any extra time by cultivating congregational members and contacts from various preaching programs. He is very keen on devotee care, is humble, respectful and works hard for guru and Krishna. He gets very little personal association with his guru maharaja and even when the opportunity is there, he is happy to serve his order in separation if that is more pleasing. He is always coming up with and implementing new ideas for spreading the mission of Lord Caitanya as he constantly endeavors to cultivate Krishna consciousness in the devotees and non devotees. His enthusiasm for kirtan and preaching is both steady and contagious.

suvarna_binduhttp://eurorgb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/suvarna_bindu-160x120.jpg 160w, http://eurorgb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/suvarna_bindu-300x225.jpg 300w, http://eurorgb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/suvarna_bindu.jpg 450w" sizes="(max-width: 160px) 100vw, 160px" />11)  Suvarna Bindu dasa

Nominated in category: Overall preaching

Age: 37

ISKCON Temple (name/place): Osijek, Croatia

Name of the Spiritual Master: Bhaktivaibhava Swami

Number of years that he has been doing this service: 7

Date and place of his joining ISKCON movement: 1996

Description of his services in the nominated category (required): Suvarna bindu prabhu is an excellent cook who has prepared numerous feasts and provides spiritual inspiration for others. He is expert in playing all devotional instruments, teaches mrdanga and is a skilled bhajan leader. He is also bhakta class leader, a lover of vaishnava philosophy and has spent many hours devoted to sankirtan, harinams and management. Above all, his exemplary character is foremost.

Throughout the years he has participated and lead the preaching activities in a number of Croatian temples or centers, always building groups of committed and fixed up devotees. Wherever he has served as brahmacari leader, with patience and affection he would look for and inspire suitable candidates to join the temple. In this way he created sankirtan groups of new and enthusiastic brahmacaris. Thanks to his caring attitude, spiritual inspiration and proper guidance, some of them assumed important or leading roles in ISKCON Croatia and even outside the borders of Croatia. At the same time he has been a constant inspiration for the congregational members due to his service attitude, care, exemplary behavior and deep philosophical background. Despite his poor physical health, with full faith he is selflessly utilizing all his skills in service to Krishna and the devotees.

Brief description of his other services since joining: Suvarna bindu prabhu has been distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books since joining ISKCON in his early twenties. Setting an example for the other devotees, he still personally goes out and distributes books even though he is physically weak. In addition to distributing books, another large contribution is his organizing and inspiring brahmacari sankirtan teams. He is also passionately involved with BBT book production in the Croatian language. He has served as a member of a preaching center in Split; a leader of sankirtan teams in Zagreb; and co-president of the temple in Osijek. Currently he is a member of the temple board in Zagreb responsible for the preaching activities in the biggest Croatian yatra. He also actively participates in activities of the Croatian NC.

What is special in his service that inspired you to nominate him for the award? His poor health condition could be seen by many people as a weakness and obstacle. However, Suvarna Bindu prabhu has used it as his strength on the path of full surrender to the lotus feet of Krishna and has become more and more determined to practice and live a Krishna conscious brahmacari life. Some of the Croatian devotees see him as the first potential sannyasa candidate from the region.

There was a big public program in Lisinski – Zagreb’s most famous music hall. Sacinandana Swami and the leading Croatian pop singer of that time (a devotee of Krishna) were the main performers. There was a need for an experienced mrdanga player so the organizers finally approached Suvarna Bindu prabhu. He was reluctant to be on stage because some of the organizers were doubtful due to the tick he has with his head. As there was no one else, he humbly surrendered and climbed on stage in a service mood wishing to satisfy Krishna’s will. After the festival, Sacinandanda Swami seriously said: “This devotee, Suvarna Bindu, he is the real jewel – you know it?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA12)  Syamajiu Devi Dasi

Nominated in category: ISKCON Festivals

Age: 39

ISKCON Temple (name/place): Krishna Valley, Hungary

Name of the Spiritual Master: Tamal Krishna Goswami

Number of years that she has been doing this service: 8

Date and place of her joining ISKCON movement: Hungary, 1996

Description of her services in the nominated category:  A festival should touch the heart of the devotees and reflect the mood of the place, the worship, the service and the deities. It should cater to the needs of the different participants and leave them with the impression that I am uplifted, my spiritual batteries are recharged and I am ready to surrender and serve. This is what she does with the festivals. Whoever comes will be happy, smiling and taken care of in a really nice way.

Brief description of her other services since joining: She performs administrative services and is a counselor with her husband, Radharadya Prabhu. From the beginning she has been helpful in setting up the administration of Krishna Valley. She is also expert in making flower decorations, especially flower garlands for Sri Sri Radha Syamasundara.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA13)  Vrindavana Candra dasa

Nominated in category: Caring for devotees

Age: 63

ISKCON Temple (name/place): New Jagannatha Puri / ISKCON Zurich, Switzerland

Name of the Spiritual Master: Sacinandana Swami

Number of years that he has been doing this service: 15

Date and place of his joining ISKCON movement: 1995 / ISKCON Zurich

Description of his services in the nominated category:  Vrndavana Candra Prabhu has been married for over forty years, has brought up three daughters and worked for forty two years as a primary school teacher. Today he is retired and spends several weeks each year in Vrndavana dhama where he absorbs himself in his bhajan. Vrndavana Candra Prabhu serves the Swiss Yatra especially in the category of devotee care.

Brief description of his other services since joining: In 1995 he came into contact with Srila Prabhupada’s books and began to practice Krishna consciousness. For fifteen years Vrndavana Candra Prabhu has spent every Sunday afternoon in the temple kitchen with his team cooking the Sunday feast. He also serves as a pujari, a teacher in the Sunday school for children, sings bhajanas and takes care of guests. Since his retirement he spends three days a week in the temple to dedicate more time for seva.

What is special in his service that inspired you to nominate him for the award? Because of his maturity and life experience he has become a father figure for many. The past four years he has served officially as a counselor and guides many temple devotees and community members on their spiritual path.

Vrndavana Candra Prabhu naturally embodies Vaishnava qualities such as humility, respect and willingness to serve. As a counselor we appreciate his sensitivity, mature perspective and practical advice. Besides all this, he has a very cheerful nature and wonderful sense of humor! We are very grateful for his enriching association and look forward to many more years of serving together!

Special thanks to Gangamantri Prabhu for editing the nominations.
Share it on social networks: