“I went to your country with a mission and you all good souls were sent by Krishna to me.”
– Srila Prabhupada
One of the great souls sent by Krishna to Srila Prabhupada is His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaja, who has been serving Srila Prabhupada as a selfless worker for almost five decades.
In 1968, Gordon John Erdman took his first initiation in Montreal, Canada and was given the name Jayapataka das brahmacari and was very soon afterwards awarded second initiation in New York.
Later, on the instruction of Srila Prabhupada, Jayapataka das brahmacari went to Toronto to open a center there. Then on the order of Srila Prabhupada he left for India in 1970.
In Calcutta, Jayapataka das began to learn Bengali. Not fazed by the violence in the city, he conducted house programs, organized pandal programs, and personally went out on nagara-sankirtana and book distribution, along with the other devotees. Soon the devotees found a new place in Mayapur and Srila Prabhupada arrived on the 29th of August, 1970, in India. At this point, Srila Prabhupada had already given sannyasa initiation to nine devotees in the West. One day, Srila Prabhupada called Jayapataka das and asked him if he would take sannyasa. In response, Jayapataka das said, “Yes, Srila Prabhupada whatever you like.”
Thus on the day of the most auspicious Radhastami in 1970, in Calcutta, Srila Prabhupada personally performed the fire yajna and Jayapataka das was given sannyasa initiation. This eleventh sannyasi disciple of Srila Prabhupada would be henceforth known as Tridandi Bhiksu Jayapataka Swami.
All Glories to His Holiness Jayapataka Swami!