His Holiness Krishna Dasa Swami, a dynamic preacher and initiating spiritual master in ISKCON, passed away in the sacred land of Vrindavan, India, on July 20, 2016. His life reads like a story from the scriptures, much like his glorious departure from this world.

Born in a pious family in Punjab, India, His Holiness was trained by his grandfather in devotional practices from his very childhood. Armed with a lifetime of encouragement in serving his dear Lord and the philosophical training to understand the essence of human life, Maharaja took initiation in the Brahma sampradaya while simultaneously continuing with his academic studies.

Years later, as a householder in London, Krishna Dasa Swami’s life took a dramatic turn when he met His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. What followed was a lifetime of extraordinary service all over the world, touching the hearts of many fortunate souls who dedicated themselves to the path of bhakti.

Maharaja constantly traveled and preached Krishna çonsciousness all over the world, including India (or Bharata, as Maharaja would always properly refer to the land of his birth), England, Mauritius, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Spain, Portugal, America, South America, the West Indies, and Europe. Maharaja met and discussed Krishna consciousness and vegetarianism with world leaders, including Dr. Nelson Mandela. He also met with leaders of the Muslim community, sharing with them the teachings of Bhagavad-gita and developing affectionate interfaith relationships.

His Holiness was renowned for his fearless approach in preaching and his uncompromising attitude towards spiritual principles. Wherever he went and wherever he spoke, he would glorify Srila Prabhupada as the savior of this material world. Maharaja requested his disciples to memorize and live by the principles Srila Prabhupada taught: “Books are the basis; purity is the force; preaching is the essence; utility is the principle.”

And after a lifetime of inspirational devotional practice and service, Krishna Dasa Swami departed from this world in the same exemplary manner: completely focused on the essence of life. Although extremely ill, Maharaja asked that he be taken to Vrindavan. And just as he crossed into Vraja Mandala Bhumi, the most auspicious land of Sri Sri Radhe-Syama’s pastimes, Maharaja departed from this world to continue his eternal devotional service.

– Executive Committee of ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission