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Date Program
12th April @5pm

Adivas Celebration  at 5pm at the Temple followed by Feast.

13th April @5pm

Vyas Puja Celebration

  • Kirtan
  • Homages
  • Bhoga Offerings
  • Pushpanjali
  • Gurupuja
  • Ekadashi Feast
1st May @5pm

Grain Feast everyone is invited

About Maharaj

Jayapataka Swami was born John Gordan Erdman on April 9, 1949 (the ekadasi after ramanavami) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA to John Hubert and Lorraine Erdman. He was born into opulent surroundings, his father’s father being the founder of a large paint factory, which was a multi-million dollar concern at the time of his birth. Later HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaja was glad to see that his name – Gordan John (Gour Dhan Jan) – already suggested what Srila Prabhuapda confirmed, that he and two other devotees were formerly associates of Lord Caitanya and that they had taken their birth in the west to facilitate spreading Krishna consciousness around the world.

When Jayapataka Maharaja was eleven years old, at the suggestion of his grandfather he cured himself of a skin disease by calling on the name of God. At 14, he graduated almost effortlessly in the very top of his class from St.John’s academy, a college preparatory school. He was offered full scholarships including tuition, books, fooding, lodging plus incidental expenses by several major universities around America. He accepted admission into Brown University. There, as a fresh enrollee, he was so much moved by a guest lecture on the life of Buddha that he lost all interest in his studies and began searching for a spiritual teacher. After some time of searching and austerity he concluded he would have to got o India to find his teacher.

As he was preparing to leave for India, he met the devotees of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, founder acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, doing kirtan and distributing BTGs at the park. When one devotee approached him to take a copy of the BTG, he was stunned to see the tilak on his face and experiencing some strange feelings he began to run. After running a few minutes, he stopped to contemplate on what he had seen and how he had been so much affected. It was the experience of seeing something after a long time, a re-awakening of something that had been dormant and hidden from his memory. He walked back to the park but by then the devotees were gone!

There began his search for the Hare Krishna devotees. Since ISKCON was not very well known, he could not find them for a long time. It was finally during the Ratha-yatra preparations in San Francisco that he found the location of the ISKCON center. He came to the temple where HG Jayananda prabhu was making the ratha cart for Jagannatha. HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaja was drawn into service of the Ratha by Jayananda prabhu. Later he met Srila Prabhupada who encouraged him by inviting him to take prasadam with him and making sure he got more than just generous servings.

In just two months after visiting ISKCON, HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaja decided to commit himself to the principles of ISKCON. Jayananda prabhu shaved his head and everyone was surprised to see that within two months of coming in contact with ISKCON, he had shaved up and joined in. In 1968, Gordan John took first initiation in Montreal, Canada and was given the name Jayapataka dasa brahmachari and he was very soon awarded 2nd initiation in New York.

Several years later, while discussing a difficult situation in Mayapur, Srila Prabhupada remarked upon the name ‘Jayapataka’ as follows:

Jayapataka Maharaja: You gave me the name Jayapataka. I hope that name comes true, that there will be victory. Prabhupada: It has already become so.

Jayaptaka Maharaja, (then Jayapataka dasa) began to render a number of services for ISKCON and Srila Prabhupada. The first most important was the service as the president of ISKCON Montreal. Srila Prabhupada wrote him in a letter, “For the present I think you cannot leave Montreal… Your service is much too valuable there.”

While in Montreal, His Holiness was engaged in the service of printing books and dispatching them to other ISKCON Centres around the world. In a letter dated 6th October 1968, Srila Prabhupada wrote him, “I am interested in starting the press, so if you can manage it will be very nice.” His service to the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust continued in India and continues until today as he is one of the trustees of the BBT.

Later, on the instruction of Srila Prabhupada, HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaja went to Toronto to open a center there. When Jagadish took over the Toronto center as president he wrote to Srila Prabhupada enquiring about his service and Srila Prabhupada told him to go to India on a long visa as “we have a great deal of work to do there”.

Jayapataka Maharaja’s flight to India gives already the hint of his expertise in traveling with the most mileage and least expense possible. He flew for 48 hours in what was the “cheapest flight in history” flying Montreal – London – Brussels – Bombay – Calcutta.

At Calcutta, Jayapataka Maharaja began to learn Bengali by going out to buy fruits and vegetables. Along with the other devotees, he conducted house programs, organized pandal programs, and personally went out on nagar sankirtan and book distribution though there was so much violence in the city.

Soon the devotees found a new place in Mayapur and Srila Prabhupada arrived 29th August 1970 in India. When he arrived, it was known that Srila Prabhupada had already given sannyas initiation to 9 persons in the US. Srila Prabhupada one day called Jayapataka das and asked him if he would take sannyasa and in response he said, “Yes, Prabhupada whatever you like”.

Thus on the day of the most auspicious Radhashtami in 1970, in Calcutta, Srila Prabhupada personally performed the fire yajna and Jayapataka dasa got his sannyas initiation. This 12th sannyasi disciple of Srila Prabhupada would be henceforth known as Tridandi Biksu Jayapataka Swami.

Arriving in Mayapur and eternal service to the holy Dham When ISKCON got a land in Mayapur HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaja went there on the instruction of Srila Prabhupada. When he first arrived in Mayapur, understanding that he was in the holy land, he offered his obeisances and then dipped his head into the cool Ganges mud to get the blessings, recollecting how Akrura, when he entered Vrndavana, saw the lotus footprints of Krsna in the holy mud of Vrndavana.

There were 5 other devotees with HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaja in Mayapur. As funds were short, HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaja began engaging in agriculture. He studied several books, learnt different methods and got the best crop. Local farmers were surprised and wanted to learn from him. This helped build a lasting relationship with the local people. Maharaja taught them modern techniques of agriculture and the farmers taught him Bengali. He began to give classes in Bengali where his few listeners would correct him in his language and soon he began to perfect his knowledge of the language. Jayapataka Maharaja had wanted to learn even in 1968 when he was in the West but it did not seem necessary there. His desire was fulfilled automatically when he was sent down to Bengal by Srila Prabhupada.

Life in Mayapur in the initial days was very austere and full of different types of dangers. Devotees would sleep on the floor of a grass hut. Since they were living on their own crop, they would have to eat the same vegetable for three months. Once when Srila Prabhupada was there a large cobra was found in his toilet. Prabhupada called out to Jayapataka Maharaj and he very quickly managed to save Prabhupada. Eventually, they got a three-room warehouse built by the main gate.

Jayapataka Maharaja soon began to oversee construction work in Mayapur and the artistic lotus building was built. But envious circles began to give the devotees a lot of trouble. With permission from Srila Prabhupada and the police, HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaja kept a gun for protecting ISKCON devotees and property. As a devotee who was with him at that time remarked, “He (Jayapataka Maharaj) was a great shooter”.

Jayapataka Maharaja also formed different teams of devotees called “Krishna team” “Arjuna team” etc to keep guard at night. Jayapataka Maharaja was very meticulous with all his services at Mayapur. He was very careful that not an anna was unnecessarily spent. He worked hard day and night and would most often be at least two hours late for his prasadam. Devotees who worked for him always found that when they took some matter to him, he not only solved it but also added new dimensions of expansion to it. An early devotee who worked with him remarks, “There are very few people who care from the bottom of their heart about ISKCON Mayapur. Jayapataka Maharaja’s experience, loyalty and capacity of Mayapur in-house are unparalleled.”

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