The Regional Representatives are an administrative link between the Ministry Staff and the local educational initiative. They must follow the standard of sadhana required by Srila Prabhupada for second initiated devotees. Such candidates could be nominated by the regional authorities and temple presidents or identified by MOE executive team directly. But in either case, they will work along with local leadership. MOE is looking for inspired devotees to perform this voluntary service. The primary roles expected for the first year are as follows:
- Identify the temple, projects, schools, programs in your zone.
- Connect with the temple president / in-charge per temple and establish a contact with him / her. This is needed to establish education as a focus in the yatra and also to roll out the standards time to time.
- In every temple, get connected with the devotee who heads the education agenda and have them or the temple president register each of their education projects. (NOTE: If there is no devotee identified for education, please encourage the temple president to identify one and engage them).
- Form a network amongst these educators and encourage them to share best practices / resources etc.
- Encourage them to submit report about their projects periodically (this can be half-yearly or annually to begin with).
- Encourage them to write to you all in case of any issues / concerns / feedbacks / suggestions. This is very important as often devotees don’t know who to turn to when facing problems in their projects.
- Circulate the ISKCON Education Journal and get subscription on an ongoing basis.
Our current Regional Representatives are as follows:
Tirtha Pavana Das for Russia
Lalita Sakhi Devi Dasi for China
Sridhar Pran Das for Bangladesh
Vishvambhar Das for North America (East coast)
Gopi Gita Devi Dasi for North America (West Coast)
Bali Maradana Das for North America (Central)
Giriraj Sakha Das for India (West)
Prana Nath Das for India (East)
Tarini Radha Devi Dasi for India (South)
Shri Hari Das for India (North)
Gandharva Das for Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia
Harinam Gauranga das for Colombia, Venezuela, Panamá
Mitravinda devi dasi for Brazil
Param Padam das for Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay
Devakinandana das for Russia
Profiles of some of them are given below.
ISKCON MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
North America (West Coast)
Balimardana Das joined ISKCON in 1997 in New Delhi, India, where He was the president of ISKCON Youth Forum (IYF). He migrated to USA in 2000 for his software engagement and is currently a senior manager in a largest software company, SAP America Inc in Silicon Valley. Balimardana Das has been serving in the ISKCON of Silicon Valley since 2000 in different capacity. He was initiated by H.H. Gopal Krishna Goswami in 2003 in Seattle. He is currently serving as a member of the Board of Directors at ISKCON Silicon Valley. He has recently opened a Jagannath Temple and Bhaktivedanta Mandap in NH201 of Western Odisha, formerly known as Utkal. Balimardana Das also managed the Ratha Yatra festival at San Francisco Golden Gate park with the help of the Berkeley temple president. He lives with his wife, Ananda Vrindavan Devi Dasi and 2 children, Balaram & Abhay. Both kids are raised by their mom in homeschooling environment.
Sridhar Pran Das
Sridhar Pran Das hails from the Chittagong district in Bangladesh. He joined ISKCON in 2000 inspired by the devotion and dedication of the devotees to Lord Krishna. He was initiated by H.H.Jaypataka Swami. Sridhar Pran Das received M.Sc degree in chemistry from the University of Chittagong. He served as the principal of the Bhakti Vedanta International school in ISKCON Chittagong in 2014. He received Bhakti Vaibhava degree from Bhakti Vedanta Vidyapitha, Mumbai in 2018. He currently lives in ISKCON Taraganj temple, Rangpur, Bangladesh, serving under H.H.Bhakti Priam Gadhadhar Goswami Maharaja.
Lalita Sakhi Devi Dasi
Lalita Sakhi devi dasi, comes from Beijing, China. She joined Krishna consciousness in 2013. In 2014 she took part in the Bhakti Vriksha Leader Training given by Caitanya Avatara prabhu and Rasamayi mataji from Bangalore, South India. In the same year she performed Bhakti Vriksha for the first group in Beijing. The next year she served as Bhakti Vriksha Group Leader. In 2016, Lalita Sakhi devi dasi studied Bhakti Shastri at the Vrindavan Institute for Higher Education, and currently continues to study Bhakti Vaibhava there. As her personal service, for four years she organized Chinese devotees to create numerous “hearing sastra” on-line groups, focusing on reading and hearing Srila Prabhupada’s books such as Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, etc. She took responsibility of Educational Department of ISKCON China in May 2018, and is since then organizing the Chinese devotees to establish their training system based on ISKCON educational principles.
Short Profile: Girirajsakha Das (Survival in KC) Girirajsakha das was first introduced to Krishna consciousness in 1993 by one of his senior colleagues and an ISKCON devotee on board a ship ‘M V Jala Murugan’. Unfortunately, he could not continue the association further as the devotee, Sunil Prabhu left this world soon. The momentum of his material career continued as a sailing Marine Chief Engineer on merchant ships. After 15 years, his Krishna consciousness was revived by association of another colleague on board a vessel. In 2008, he was inspired by HH Gopal Krishna Goswami during his yearly Gita Marathon lecture series in Ahmedabad. In 2011, he shifted his career from sea to shore by joining Ganpat University, Gujarat as a Professor and head of the Department of Marine Engineering. He was initiated by HH Gopal Krishna Gosvami at ISKCON Ahmedabad in 2012 & 2016. In 2019, he resigned from his full-time faculty position and instead has been working part-time in the same University. He completed his Bhakti Shastri in 2013. At ISKCON Ahmedabad, he assists HG Visvarupa Prabhu as coordinator for Bhakti Shastri Course and serves as Member Secretary of the Training and Development Committee. For the past six years, he has been regularly writing Krishna consciousness articles in Hindi in a community magazine published from Madhya Pradesh. He coordinates two Namhatta programs in Gujrat, at Gandhinagar and at Chiloda, a suburb of Gandhinagar where he lives with family. He believes his survival in Krishna consciousness is due to regular lifts and pushes of merciful vaishnavas.
Tarini Radha Devi Dasi
Tarini Radha devi was born in Chennai, India. After preliminary school education in Ernakulam, Kerala, she came back to Chennai and took her graduation in English from the reputed Stella Maris College. An internal search to strengthen her deep faith in Lord Krishna with scientific evidence, brought her to the ISKCON temple in 1988. Under the guidance of senior devotees, especially Her Grace Leela Padma devi dasi, she learnt the philosophy of Krishna consciousness and began to engage in various services. She also received training to take classes for children during the Sunday school in the temple. In the year 1991 she took formal initiation from His Holiness Jayapataka Swami. Based on his instruction, she started thinking more seriously about educating children and got a degree in education (B.Ed). She also equipped herself with computer skills for designing newsletters and marketing materials. In the year 2000, she began to conduct thematic 10-day summer camp for children by preparing her own materials. On the instruction of His Holiness Bhanu Swami maharaj, she took the Summer camp as well as the Sunday school program to more parts of the city. Under her coordination, training and support, about 50 devotees of ISKCON Chennai conduct classes for about 500 children annually in 62 parts of the city. Noting that not enough children were coming to the house programs, a drive was begun to conduct Krishna conscious programs in schools. Thus in the year 2014, classes began for students at schools with the permission of school authorities during the assembly and value education periods. As on October 2018, programs are being held in 25 schools for 10,000 children every week where they are educated on the spiritual Glory of India including Hare Krishna mantra meditation. To provide material for educating children in schools, Tarini Radha began research and planning in 2003. The result is a 9 series books called Glory of India. The third book in the series called AVATAR has been published recently. The remaining are to be published shortly. Besides this, she has contributed articles to Back to Godhead on educating children spiritually and has written several small story books for children based on the Srimad Bhagavatham. Tarini Radha and Sumithra Krishna das, who serves as the Branch president of ISKCON Chennai, were married in 1994. They have four children who have been an exceptional support in all her services to ISKCON and society and especially in the making of the Glory of India series of books.
Harinam Gauranga das
Colombia, Venezuela, Panamá
Harinam Gauranga Das was born in 1980 in Colombia, in 2009 he became a devotee and in 2013 was initiated by his spiritual master His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaj. In 2014 he moved to India to train in various devotional practices, obtaining the titles of Bhakti Sastri and Deity Worship in 2014 and 2015 respectively. In the year 2016 he stayed in Sridham Mayapur to perform personal service to his spiritual master and start his studies in Śrīmad Bhagavatam. In 2017 he received from his local authority and his Siksa Guru, HH Guru Prasad Swami Maharaj, the instruction to return his home country to preach Krishna Consciousness. He currently serves ISKCON Bogotá as Temple President and Congregation Leader along with his wife Isapriya Radha Devi Dasi.
Mitravinda devi dasi
Graduated in Theology and Religious studies at Bhaktivedanta College (Belgium). Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, joined ISKCON at the age of 19, in 2005, and since then she has been dedicated to missionary activities in the movement. She received her spiritual initiation from His Holiness Dhanvantari Swami in 2006, and in 2007 studied Bhakti Sastri course at the Hare Krishna Seminar of Philosophy and Theology (Brazil). In 2009 and 2010 she studied Bhakti Vaibhava course at Mayapur Institute, and in 2016 completed the GBC College course for zonal supervisors, in India. Since 2008 she has been a teacher at the Jaladuta Institute (Brazil), since 2014 director of the online learning department at the same Institute, and since 2017 is a member of the GBC College team for Latin America.
Param Padam das
Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay
Param padam das was initiated in ISKCON in 1988. He has been trained as a Social Psychologist, Communication Technician and Bachelor of Mediation and Conflict Resolution. He teaches Bhakti sastri, Bhakti Vaibhaba and Bhaktivedanta courses. Since 2004 he coordinates with his wife the first vaisnava virtual educational platform (www.culturadelbhakti.com) for the Spanish-speaking world, training devotees in the philosophical foundations of Vaishnavism and training and advising teachers of the ISKCON vaishnava community. He wrote the book “The 9 Yogi Experiences” where he systematically summarizes the teachings of the Bhagavad gita in modern language.
Devakinandana das grew up in a devotee family in Minsk, Belarus. From 2005 he was living in brahmachari asram. He got a bachelor’s degree in teaching English. He received first initiation in 2008 and 2nd in 2009.
In 2010 he moved to brahmachari asram in Almaty, Khazakstan. His main service was sankirtana and education programs. He got married in 2014 – in the same year he started active traveling and preaching in Russia, Khazakstan, Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan, and other parts of Europe.
He has been HG Chaitanya Chandra Charan Prabhu’s secretary since 2010.
He holds a Bhakti-sastri and Bhakti-vaibhava degree, and is a member of the Governing Council in Almaty.