. [ [http://www.iskcon.net.au/sannyasaministry/listing List of Sannyasis in ISKCON April 2008] ISKCON Sannyasa Ministry, Retrieved on 2008-05-05]
Birth, childhood and education
John Gordan Erdman was born to John Hubert and Lorraine Erdman. At 14, he graduated in the top of his class from St. John's Academy, a college preparatory school. He was offered full scholarships including tuition, books, food, lodging plus incidental expenses by several major universities around America. He accepted admission into
Brown University. Fact|date=February 2008There, as a fresh enrollee, he was influenced 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 he concluded he would have to go to India to find his teacher.
Before leaving for India, Gordan came across some
Hare Krishnadevotees, doing kirtanand distributing 'Back To Godhead' magazine. Shortly after he visited the San Francisco ISKCONcenter, where he met Srila Prabhupada who encouraged him by inviting him to take prasadamwith him. John took first initiationin Montreal, Canadaand was given the name 'Jayapataka dasa'. Soon after he was awarded 2nd initiation in New York.
While in Montreal, Jayapataka was engaged in the service of printing books and dispatching them to other ISKCON Centers around the world. Later, on the instruction of
Srila Prabhupada, Jayapataka went to Torontoto open a center there. When Jagadish dasa took over the Toronto center as president he wrote to Srila Prabhupada enquiring about his service and was told by him to go to India.Or|date=February 2008
Preaching in India
At Calcutta, Jayapataka 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 went out on
sankirtanand book distribution.
On Radhashtami (festival for
Radharani) in 1970Fact|date=February 2008, in Calcutta, Srila Prabhupada gave Sannyasainitiation to Jayapataka dasa, awarding the title "Fact|date=February 2008|Tridandi Biksu - Prabhupada never gave this title to anyoneJayapataka Swami".
When ISKCON got a land in Mayapur, Jayapataka dasa went there on the instruction of Srila Prabhupada.
There were 5 other devotees with Jayapataka dasa in
Mayapur. Jayapataka dasa taught modern techniques of agriculture and the farmers taught him Bengali. Jayapataka dasa began to oversee construction work in Mayapur and the lotus building was built.
With the permission of Srila Prabhupada, Jayapataka dasa applied for Indian
citizenship. This meant that he could not leave the country. He utilized this time for traveling within Bengalinto the villages preaching and distributing books. Srila Prabhupada told him to distribute 10,000 'big books' and 100,000 'small books' every month. Also, Srila Prabhupada instructed Jayapataka Swami to build the congregation and this is the area that Jayapataka Swami is very much focused on nowadays. He's been travelling extensively around the world for many years with the desire to fulfill this instruction of his Spiritual Master Srila Prabhupada.
Jayapataka Swami has developed the system of Bhakti Vrksa preaching which assists namahatta preaching by enabling wider preaching and giving intensive and personal training to devotees so that everyone gets the chance to train to be a pure devotee while engaging in preaching activities.
=Mayapur Mandala Parikrama and pilgr
In March 1974, the first Gaura Purnima festival was held. Four hundred devotees from
North America, South America, England, Europe, Australia, India, and other parts of the world joined in the festival in Mayapur.
Coinsiding this event, Jayapataka Swami led groups of devotees on parikrama (
pilgrimage) to local holy places. This visit to Mayapur would constitute the first half of the devotees' Indian pilgrimage; after ten days they were scheduled to go to Vrndavana.The Navadvipa Mandala Parikrama has been continuing ever since with the number of devotees participating increasing each year in the thousands.
Jayapataka Swami also has recently introduced the 'Ganga Safari' to visit those holy places connected to Lord Caitanya which are approachable only along the river flow. Similarly he conducts a tour of holy places in India and neighbouring countries.
Uniting the Sarasvat Gaudiya family
Initially he stayed in
Gaudiya Mathafor a few months in Calcutta and Mayapur, and earned their respect. That short period of stay in the Gaudiya Math made it easier for Jayapataka Swami to relate with some of the Gaudiya Maths. Prabhupada told him to unite the Gaudiya Matha in an effort to connect the spiritual family. After endeavouring for more than five years finally the Sarasvat Gaudiya Vaisnava Association was formed with the blessings of Prabhupada and blessings of all the senior Vaisnavas like Bhakti Pramode Puri Swami and other acaryas and Jayapataka Swami is the convenor for this association.
Jayapataka Swami was one among the eleven named by Srila Prabhupada to give initiation on his behalf when he was seriously ill.After Srila Prabhupada died, Jayapataka Swami began to accept disciples as a spiritual master in the Srila Prabhupada branch of the
Food For Life
Jayapataka Swami is the world chairman for '
Food for Life' and ISKCON's Food Relief Programs. A descendant of Advaita Acharya, selected him to be in charge of the annual Santipurmass prasdam distribution program.
Life Chairman of Bhaktivedanta Swami Charity Trust
On November 5 1977, Jayapataka Swami went to Vrndavana to meet Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada told him, "I am making Bhaktivedanta Swami Charity Trust" and added, "you are the life chairman."Or|date=February 2008 At this time he also got the mandate from Prabhupada to unite the Sarasvat family, preserving the holy dham of Lord Caitanya and serving the pilgrims.
Governing Body Commission
Jayapataka Swami started as GBC secretary in 1976 in
East Indiawhich includes Bihar, Orissaand Bengal. From 1980 to 1999 he was the GBC for South-East USA, as well as South America. He is also the GBC for Ecuador, Peru, Boliviaand Chile. Jayapataka Swami serves as Co-GBC in the Far East. Jayapataka Swami is also a GBC for Assam. He is also the Minister of Congregational Preaching and Minister of Congregational DevelopmentFact|date=February 2008, the Vice-chairman of the World Hindu Federationand Convenor of the Sarasvat Family.
*'Spiritual Truths from Cyberspace'.
*'Caitanya Bhagavat'Fact|incomplete|date=February 2008
*'100 transcribed lectures'
List of ISKCON members and patrons
* [http://www.jpsoffice.com Jayapataka Swami's Website]
* [http://www.hearjps.com Jayapataka Swami Lectures and Bhajans]
* [http://youtube.com/watch?v=vp_NbI8Gdio Jayapataka Swami interview by Louis Theroux]
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