Lokanath Swami

Lokanath Swami was born in 1949 in Aravade, a village in Maharasthra, India. While attending college in 1971, he met the Hare Krishna devotees at ISKCON's first pandal (tent) program in Bombay.

"Srila Prabhupada spoke every evening," Lokanath Swami wrote in a Back to Godhead article. "He discussed many issues relating to Krishna consciousness and made many points. But the point that had the greatest impact on me, and which attracted me to him and his society more than anything else, was the simple point that if you serve Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, you simultaneously serve everyone and everything else. Srila Prabhupada gave the analogy of what happens when one waters a tree. Just by pouring water on the root of a tree, one automatically waters all the leaves, branches, fruits and flowers on the tree. This idea greatly appealed to me."

One of Srila Prabhupada's first Indian disciples, he received hari-nama initiation in November 1972 and sannyasa in December 1975, both in Vrindavan.

In 1976, on Srila Prabhupada's order he organized a padayatra ("walking pilgrimage") across India. The first leg traveled from Vrindavan to Mayapur, stopping in Allahabad at the 1977 Kumbha Mela, which Prabhupada attended. He later expanded this service worldwide in his role as ISKCON's Global Padayatra Minister. By 1996 (the Prabhupada Centennial year), padayatras had been held in over a hundred countries. The padayatra he started in India continues, and devotees perform them in other parts of the world as well.

Lokanath Swami served as the temple president of ISKCON New Delhi from 1978 through the mid-1980s. Then he became the regional secretary for Delhi and Maharashtra.

Known for his inspiring kirtans, Lokanath Swami has attended hundreds of ISKCON festivals worldwide. Several of his CDs and DVDs are available, including the documentary film Lost Village, which promotes the natural, rural way of life. He helped start ISKCON's Vraja Mandala parikrama in 1987 and Navadvipa Mandala parikrama in 1989. During these pilgrimages, devotees visit holy sites connect to Lord Krishna and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Lokanath Swami was appointed the Minister of Srila Prabhupada's Centennial and coordinated a global four-year campaign for the centennial celebrations in 1996. Later, he was the World Coordinator of Srila Prabhupada's 108th Appearance Anniversary.

Lokanath Swami has flown around the world many times, preaching the mission of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In addition to his international preaching tours, as a Zonal Secretary he oversees the development of several ISKCON projects in Maharashtra. Temples are currently being developed in Nagpur, Pandharpur, Solapur, Aravade, Amravati, Chamorsi. He is also the inspiration behind the Sri Sri Radha Govinda Mandir and Bhaktivedanta Vidyapeeth in Noida (Delhi) and the preaching developments in Jhansi, where Srila Prabhupada formed the League of Devotees before traveling to the West.

Lokanath Swami has written several books, including Kumbha-mela, Festivals with Srila Prabhupada, Pandharpur Mahatmya, and Sanskrit Pronunciation, as well as many articles for Back to Godhead magazine. He continues to work on other writing projects. For many years he has also conducted bhagavata kathas ("talks about God") all over the world.