Sri Krsna Balaram Swami

His Divine Grace Mahamandaleshwar Mahant Krsna Balaram Swami took birth in a family of Vaisnavas in Vrindavana, the most sacred place in India. He appeared in an enlightened Gauda-brahmana family descending from Kasyapa Muni (one of the seven mental sons of Brahma) and specializing in the Yajur Veda. His birthplace was in the shadow of an ancient Krsna Balaram temple in Nandagram, the principal village of Vrindavana and the place where Lord Krsna enjoyed His early childhood pastimes some five thousand years ago.

Swamiji’s dynasty is famous as Khajiri since the time of his ancestors. One of his ancestors daily blessed the king. One day, due to an overload of managerial duties the day before, the kind was absent from the palace where the blessings would take place. Understanding that the king was not going to attend the blessing ceremony that day, the pandit (Swamiji’s ancestor), not wanting to waste the religious paraphernelia and auspicious moments, left the palace. Outside the palace, he came upon an old dried up Khajura tree (date tree) on which he performed the blessing. The next day the king awoke on time and was awaiting the pandit’s arrival, when he saw the Khajura tree fresh and green with vigorous life, and he asked his servant how this had come about. The servant replied, as you did not awake yesterday for the blessing, the pandit blessed the tree instead, thereby the tree has flourished. Since this incident Swamiji’s dynasty is famous as the Khajiri Dynasty.

Krsna Balarama Swami and his four younger brothers brought great joy to their father, Sri Hare Krsna Pandeya, who was an orthodox brahmana and a renowned scholar and astrologer, as well as Spiritual Master for hundreds of people in the Vrindavana area. Having calculated Krsna Balaram Swami’s horoscope, Sri Hare Krsna Pandeya began announcing to all visiting guests: “This son will be the first in our family to preach Vedic culture in the English language.” And Krsna Balaram Swami’s mother also made a prediction, after reading his palm: “This boy will become a distinguished sannyasi (renunciant).” Both predictions have been fulfilled.

Even before he was of school age, Krsna Balaram Swami was taken throughout India by his father when he visited the most important spiritual centers and temples. In Vrindavana, Krsna Balaram Swami exhibited a spontaneous attraction for playing the mrdanga drum and karatalas (cymbals) during Krsna bhajans and kirtans. He would often accompany his father during his regular visits to famous Krsna temples and other sacred places in Vrindavana, such as seven main temples of Vrindavana. Sri Hare Krsna Pandeya did not want Krsna Balaram Swami to be influenced by the materialism in public schools, so he personally tutored him at home, giving special attention to drilling him in the memorization of Sanskrit verses from the Amara-kosa dictionary that dealt with the many schools of Indian Vedic philosophy.

When Krsna Balaram Swami turned eight, his father enrolled him in Vrindavana’s renowned Nimbarka Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya, where he learned the basic subjects in only six years and became proficient in Sanskrit grammar and literature. After transferring to an English college, Krsna Balaram Swami gained full command of the English language and completed his education in 1973.

Before leaving college he read many of Srila Prabhupada’s books, including Sri Isopanisad, The Nectar of Devotion, and Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Attracted and impressed by these books, Krsna Balaram Swami decided to join the newly-opened branch of Prabhupada’s movement in Vrndavana. While still attending college, he moved to the temporary rustic housing at the construction site of the Krsna-Balaram temple, in the peaceful Raman Reti area of Vrndavana.

In 1976 Srila Prabhupada formally accepted him as his disciple giving him the name Krsna Balaram Das. After receiving second initiation shortly thereafter, Krsna Balaram Swami began preaching Krsna consciousness throughout India, and in 1977, on Srila Prabhupada’s order, he sailed to Sri Lanka to spread the science of Krsna there. Fulfilling both his father’s prophecy and the wishes of his eternal Spiritual Master, Srila Prabhupada, Krsna Balaram Swami has continued to disseminate the teachings of Krsna throughout Asia, Europe, Canada and the United States. His exhaustive knowledge of the scriptures, combined with his spiritual purity, his “Vrindavana charm” and his flavorful yet clearly understandable English, have attracted many newcomers to Krsna consciousness. As Srila Prabhupada had desired previously, Krsna Balaram Swami has been unanimously chosen and appointed as Mahant (High Priest) in Vrindavan Dhama in 1991.

After Krsna Balarama Swami received sannyasa initiation, many scholarly devotees encouraged him to translate and write Sanskrit Vaisnava works into English. The first book: “Ekadasi, The Day of Lord Hari“, his second book: “Vaishnava Kantha Hara” and his “Srimad Bhagavad Gita, The Song of God” with Vrijavasi purports will hopefully please the community of Vaisnavas and encourage nondevotees who read it to embark on the path of pure devotional service to Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Swamiji has also given wonderful Vrijavasi Commentary on the tenth and eleventh canto’s of Srimad Bhagavatam, which will surely enlighten the readers elevating their soul to become eligible to return to their original home, the spiritual world.