Srila Turiya Das A.

Founder of the Sri Chaitanya Vaishnava Sanga mission

Bhagavat-Acarya Sripad Turiya Das Mahasaya met disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1969, and received harinam diksa from Srila Prabhupad in May of that year. As a pioneer of Srila Prabhupad's Hawaii yatra, Sripad Turiya Das was the first devotee in the state to don the traditional brahmacari vesha and publicly distribute the transcendental literature of his spiritual master, also taking Krsna Consciousness to the outer islands of Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii. He received brahminical initiation shortly thereafter, and later, on the request of his Guru for senior disciples to marry, Srila Prahupad specically directed Sripad Turiya Das to "be an ideal householder and one of our societies leaders." Then with the assistance of his wife, Shaktimati devi dasi, he proceeded to establish Deity worship standards at ISKCON temples world-wide for the next decade.

Although rendering every needed service --from book distributor, gurukula teacher, prison preacher to fundraiser-- Sripad Turiya Das Acarya is best known for his meticulous care of Lord Krsna's Arca Vigraha. "..You are well-qualified to worship the Deity at highest standard..please increase the Deity worship and teach others to become a very good pujari like you," were the instructions given to him by Srila Prabhupad, an order which he has faithfully executed, throughout four continents, to this day. Appointed as head pujari of Sri Sri Krsna-Balaram Mandir in Vrndaban, India, Sripad Turiya Das Acarya served until the departure of Srila Prabupad from this world in 1977, at which he was present.

Inspired by the tireless preaching efforts of Srila Prabhupad --even into His last days, Sripad Turiya Das Acarya embarked on a mission to preach the glories of Bhagavat Dharma, receiving the inspiration, instruction and blessings of such Vaishnava luminaries as His Divine Grace B.R. Sridhara Dev Goswami Maharaj in Nabadwip and Srila Visvambara Goswami of Radha-Raman Mandir in Vrndaban. In 1984, on the appeal of several sincere students, and after deep meditation, Sripad Turiya Das Acarya began formally accepting disciples in an effort to serve the Chaitanya Vaishnava sampradaya and to assist in the preservation of its glorious siddhanta.

Thus, the Chaitanya Vaishnava Sanga was manifest for the purposes of offering the public the philosophical and practical teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and providing the facility and support suitable for the application of those teachings. Firmly established on the dual track of Bhagavat- and Pancaratrik-viddhis, Sripad Turiya Das Acarya's instructions emphasize the importance of systematic, regulated worship of the Lord through His Name, His Deity, His Dhama, His Bhagavat Purana and His Bhagavat Vaisnava through the processes expressly delineated by the six goswamis, which are krsnanusilanam, most pleasing to Krsna.

Sripad Turiya Das Acarya teaches for most of the year at Sri Vrndaban Gardens, a 6-acre ashram in Maui, Hawaii, over which Their LordshipsSri Sri Nitai-Gauracandra, Sri Sri Radha-Kunjabihari andSri Sri Gandharvika-Govardhandhari preside. In the early mornings, he allows his students and invited guests to watch the worship of Sri Govardhandhari, his govardhan-sila and ista-devata, Who he has daily taken care of since 1979. (On some occasions, he is known to stamp Govardhandhari's Lotus Foot-prints on the foreheads of the fortunate onlookers). His classes have included the complete works of Srila Prabhupad, Srila Guru Maharaj, and every available work of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, as well as the sandarbhas, dramas and prayers of the Six Goswamis and their spiritual descendents. Additionally, he oversees the publication of the journal, Bhagavat Siddhanta, published biannually by CVS.

Since 1995, Sripad Turiya Das Acarya has established a trust adopting the ancient Temple of Radha Syamasundar in Chaklesvara / Manasi Ganga area of Govardhan established by Syamananda Pandit as a Chaitanya Vaishnava Sanga project. Five guest rooms with attached baths and a house for our Gurudev have been built. The Temple and Deity house have been refurbished and support for Govardhana Puja and Muriya Purnima festivals (Srila Sanatan Goswmipad divine disapearance day festival) are being funded. The co-operation and blessings of the present Mahanta along with Sripad Turiya Das Mahasaya's godbrother, Tamal Krsna Babaji have facillitated this exciting program.

Prescribing a daily practice of sandhya purification and meditation as a precursor to approaching the Holy Name or the Deity, Sripad Turiya Das Acarya personally guides each student to understand the goal within the eternal means of bhakti. He leads a yearly CVS pilgrimage to Krsna's Holy Dhamas in an effort to instill within his students an attatchment for the pristine glories of the Lord's lila grounds and the spiritual stalwarts who reside there, ever-encouraging the faithful in the ways of vaisnava saranagati.

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