Suhotra Swami

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Suhotra Swami
Religion Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Hinduism
Other names Roger Terrence Crowley
Personal
Born December 11, 1950
Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA
Died April 8, 2007(2007-04-08) (aged 56)
Mayapur, West Bengal
Religious career
Initiation Diksa–1971, Sannyasa–1982
Post Initiating Guru, Sannyasi, Member of the Governing Body Commission
Website http://www.suhotraswami.net/

Suhotra Swami or Suhotra Dasa[1] (born Roger Terrence Crowley,[1] December 11, 1950, Holyoke, Massachusetts – April 8, 2007, Mayapur, India) was a Hindu[2] Vaishnava[2] author,[2] philosopher[2] and a leading guru in the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).[3][4][5] He was ISKCON's Governing Body Commissioner (GBC),[5][6] an initiating spiritual master (diksa guru)[3] and a sannyasi[7] in ISKCON.[3][5][6] He also served as a chairman of the GBC.[5] Since joining ISKCON Suhotra Swami has spent much of his time lecturing and teaching in Europe, especially in Germany and Eastern European countries.[8] Suhotra Swami authored several books on Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy and Vedanta.[9]

Biography[edit]

Suhotra Swami was born as Roger Terrence Crowley[10] in Holyoke, Massachusetts. In his youth, he joined the Hippie movement in Detroit[10] and later the Hare Krishna movement.[10] In 1972 he became a disciple of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada,[8] receiving the name Suhotra Dasa.[8] In the 1970s he was a part of a travelling troupe of Hare Krishnas,[10] who were preaching all over the United States, performing kirtans on the streets and distributing spiritual literature.[10] In 1974 Suhotra Dasa was interviewed in Houston by a reporter of the Texas Monthly magazine,[10] who visited the local ISKCON Radha Krishna temple.[10] When asked about an Indian guru Maharaj Ji, who was visiting Houston at the time, Suhotra Dasa said that Maharaj Ji's methods were not authorized in the Bhagavad Gita, the basic Hindu spiritual text,[10]

What he's doing has nothing to do with the knowledge Krishna describes. These rascals go on for a while cheating people but gradually - just like John Lennon, he wised up to the Maharishi and wrote that song Sexy Sadie - they'll get bitter, and turn sour on this guy and his mystic bag of tricks.

In India they have organizations that our spiritual master describes as Mystic Factories. These are places where they manufacture Gods. Yoga aspirants will go to school and they learn methods of, like, how to put someone in a trance. They learn a smattering of scriptures, so they can quote whatever they want.

Guru Maharaj Ji has obviously been trained up in some hypnosis and things like that, and he's come over from India to make a lot of money off the Americans. He's dragging real spiritual life through the dirt.[10]

In 1983 Suhotra Dasa accepted the order of sannyasa.[8] In 1991 he became a member of ISKCON's Governing Body Commission (GBC).[8] For the next decade, he was a leader of ISKCON in several European countries: Norway, Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Poland,[6] Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece. In 1996 he was elected GBC Chairman. Since March 2003 he was also a member of Shastric Advisory Council (SAC), formed by GBC.

In 1991 Suhotra Swami wrote his first book Apasampradayas - Deviant Vaisnava Sects. It was about Gaudiya Vaishnava Apasampradayas that developed in between the time of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Bhaktivinoda Thakur.[7] In the book he also explained how Bhaktivinoda was preaching against them.[7] Suhotra Swami was also a contributor to the ISKCON Communications Journal.[8]

Suhotra Swami died on April 7, 2007, in Mayapur, West Bengal. Kimmo Ketola, one of the most prominent scholars in Finland in the field of comparative religion, said of him:

Suhotra Maharaja was the first ISKCON swami I interviewed for my studies and I remember our first meeting very vividly. Later I met Him several times and had many interesting conversations. They gave me a lot, I feel that ISKCON's values: vast and deep understanding with warm and genuine theistic spiritualism were united in His person. I'm left with a very positive and warm impression of Him.[11]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Suhotra Swami Apasampradāyas: Deviant Vaiṣṇava Sects. — 1st ed. — 1991.
  • Suhotra Swami Substance and Shadow: The Vedic Method of Knowledge. — 1st ed. — Zürich: Govinda-Verlag, 1996. — 351 p. — ISBN 3-906347-35-4
  • Suhotra Swami Substance and Shadow: The Vedic Method of Knowledge. — 2nd ed. — Zürich: Govinda-Verlag, 1998. — 309 p. — ISBN 3-906347-37-0
  • Suhotra Swami and Hridayananda Dasa Goswami Our Original Position: Śrīla Prabhupāda and the Vaiṣṇava Siddhānta. — 1st ed. — The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1996. — 275 p.
  • Suhotra Swami Ṣaḍ-darśanam: The Six Systems of Vedic Philosophies. — 1st ed. — Bhaktivedanta Academy, 1997. — 210 p.
  • Suhotra Swami Transcendental Personalism: Vedic Answers for the Human Situation. — 1st ed. — Zürich: Govinda-Verlag, 1998. — 172 p. — ISBN 3-906347-38-9
  • Suhotra Swami Dimension of Good and Evil: The Moral Universe and Vaiṣṇava Philosophy. — 1st ed. — Helsinki: Jani Koivuniemi, 2000. — 336 p. — ISBN 952-91-1831-7
  • Suhotra Swami Vedānta Psychology: India's Ancient Wisdom of the Mind. — 1st ed. — Bhaktivedanta Academy, 2007. — 156 p. — ISBN 952-92-1093-0
  • Suhotra Swami Gaudiya Cosmotheism // Danavir Goswami Bhu-gola Tattva: Science of the Round Earth. — BPR Publishers, 2007. — pp. 189–326. — ISBN 1-934405-03-5

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