Hansadutta Swami

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His Holiness

Hansadutta Das
Hans Kary

May 27, 1941
Brunswick, Germany
LineageBrahma-Madhva-Gauḍīya Sampradāya
SectGauḍīya Vaiṣṇavavāda
Monastic nameHamsaduta Svāmī
PhilosophyAchintya Bheda Abheda
Senior posting
TeacherBhaktivedānta Swāmī
Period in office1977–83
PredecessorBhaktivedānta Swāmī
InitiationGauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Dikṣa
by Bhaktivedānta Swāmī
OrdinationGauḍīya Sannyāsa, by Bhaktivedānta Swāmī
PostISKCON Sannyasin, ISKCON Guru-Ācārya, ISKCON Governing Body Commissioner

Hansadutta Swami until 1984, when he gave up sannyasa and became known simply as Hansadutta Dasa (sometimes spelled Hamsaduta, also known as Hans Kary, alias Jack London, was born in Brunswick, Germany on May 27, 1941), is one of the senior disciples of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and formerly a guru within the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (commonly known as 'the Hare Krishnas' or ISKCON).


  • Hans Kary
  • Jack London
  • Hamsaduta dāsa
  • Hamsaduta Svāmī
  • Hansadutta Swami
  • Hansadutta Das


  • His Divine Grace
  • His Holiness
  • Srila
  • Paramahamsa
  • Maharaja
  • pure devotee

Early disciple of Bhaktivedanta Swami, ISKCON "Founder-Ācārya"[edit]

Hansadutta became an initiated disciple of Bhaktivedanta Swami in March 1967.[1]

He assisted with the pioneering of the Hare Krishna movement, opening centers and preaching in Canada: Montreal and Vancouver; Europe: Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Russia; in USA: Boston, Berkeley; and in Asia: Turkey, Cairo, Afghanistan, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia.

He was one of the leaders in publication (printing and distribution) of Bhaktivedanta Swami's books, particularly in European languages, heading up the sales of books in Germany and North Europe,[2] and in 1974 was appointed by Bhaktivedanta Swami to serve as lifetime trustee of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.[3] He was also appointed as a member of ISKCON's Governing Body Commission,[4] and took turns serving as Bhaktivedanta Swami's personal secretary. In 1976 Hansadutta took up the order of sannyasa.[5]

While preaching in Sri Lanka in the year 1977, Hansadutta created a public sensation with his answer to a challenge by Dr. Abraham T. Kovoor, president of the Sri Lanka branch of the Rationalist Association, which exchange was published in the Colombo (Sri Lanka) Sunday Times.[6] Bhaktivedanta Swami approved Hamsadutta's proposal that the exchange be included in the BBT publication titled "Life Comes from Life".[7]

ISKCON Guru[edit]

In July 1977, Hansadutta was one of eleven disciples named by Bhaktivedanta Swami to act as ritvik representatives in the matter of initiating new disciples.[8] Four months after the death of Bhaktivedanta Swami on November 14, 1977, it was announced that the eleven disciples had been designated as gurus,[9] and as part of ISKCON's Zonal Acharya system, Hansadutta initiated disciples primarily within zones assigned to him, namely North America, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Philippines.

Expelled from ISKCON[edit]

In 1980, Hansadutta was arrested[10] for possession of illegal weapons. On July 8, 1983, the Governing Body Commission of ISKCON passed a resolution demoting Hansadutta from sannyasa and taking away his responsibilities in ISKCON.[11]

Ritvik representative of the Acharya[edit]

In 1993, Hansadutta published a collection of essays, letters and articles under the title Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You,[12] in which he presented arguments and evidence in support of continuation of the parampara (disciplic succession) as a "ritvik",[13] or representative, of Bhaktivedanta Swami. At this time Hansadutta redirected all his former "disciples" to regard Bhaktivedanta Swami as their spiritual master, and began to initiate new disciples on behalf of Bhaktivedanta Swami, as "ritvik representative of the Acharya".[14]

BBT courtcase[edit]

In 1997, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc. and ISKCON of California, Inc. initiated legal action against Hansadutta, seeking court declaration that Bhaktivedanta Swami's Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (California, 1972) was not a legal entity and/or Hansadutta was not a legal trustee of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.[15] On November 13, 1998, Hansadutta agreed to a stipulated court settlement that effectively terminated any claims he might have had to being a trustee of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust conditional upon receipt of an undisclosed cash settlement and license to publish the original, unrevised books of Bhaktivedanta Swami.[16]

Current Status[edit]

In 2003, Hansadutta suffered a heart attack.[17] He is living now in Cloverdale, California and continues to practice as a ritvik representative of Bhaktivedanta Swami.


Books: --

  • 1983 - The Hammer for Smashing Illusion, based on a translation of "Moha-Mudgara Stotra", more popularly known as "Bhaja Govinda" by Shankaracharya.
  • 1984 - Kirtan: Ancient Medicine for Modern Man.
  • 1985 - Fool's Paradise, ISBN 0-933593-05-8-(pbk).
  • 1985 - The Book: What the Black Sheep Said, ISBN 0-933593-03-1-(pbk).

Papers, Compilations of Essays, Letters and Discussions: The following papers by Hansadutta address controversies in ISKCON, namely the ritvik controversy, Hansadutta's own alleged excommunication from ISKCON, and the influence of Narayan Maharaja of the Gaudiya Math on ISKCON members: --

  • 1993 - Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You[18]
  • 1993 - Excommunicated, Uncommunicated, Incommunicado[19]
  • 1994 - Gopimania[20]


Hansadutta recorded and produced a number of LPs and singles featuring Hare Krishna songs while in Germany, c. 1974, including the album "KRSNA Meditation" with vocals by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, which was recorded in a makeshift studio at Schloss Rettershof near Frankfurt, Germany. Later, in 1978 he produced an LP cover "Nothing to Lose But All To Gain".[21] The LP cover "Nice but Dead" followed some time in 1981. The title seems to be a reference to the body, described[22] as "nice but dead": according to Krishna teachings, notably Bhagavad Gita As It Is,[23] only the soul is alive, while the body is at best "nice but dead". Production reportedly cost $35,000. The cover has been described as "a collection of guitar accompanied potshots at other gurus".[24] In or around 1982, Hansadutta recorded and produced the LP cover "The Vision".[25][26] The tracks are listed as:

  • A1 The Vision 4:15
  • A2 Protoplasmic Crud 3:22
  • A3 Judas Goat 3:45
  • A4 Oh Saragrati Vaisnava Soul 6:42
  • B1 You're So Wise 4:17
  • B2 Deluding Maya 3:54
  • B3 Think Before You Drink 4:40
  • B4 Srila Praphupada Is Your Name[27]

These three covers generally fall into the category of country rock, funk, and folk and were of limited release.[28]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Vedavyasa das, "A Time of Expansion", Srila Prabhupada and His Disciples in Germany, published by Mandir Media Group, 1996 ISBN 84-86883-14-8
  3. ^ "Letter to: Resolution - Vrindaban 15 September, 1974". Prabhupadaletters.com. Archived from the original on 25 August 2011. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  4. ^ "LD 1: Direction of Management, July 28, 1970". Prabhupadabooks.com. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  5. ^ Hari Sauri das, A Transcendental Diary - Vol 1, March 16, 1976
  6. ^ "Back To Godhead | Prove It! | Back To Godhead". Backtogodhead.in. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  7. ^ Letter to: Hamsaduta, London, September 10, 1977, Bhaktivedanta VedaBase Ref SL_771010_C1
  8. ^ Letter to: All GBC, All Temple Presidents, 9 July 1977, VedaBase Ref 77-07-09 or otherwise known as the Letter of July 9, 1977,
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ Problem of Violence - Hansadutta Arrested Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "GBC Resolutions '98". iskcon.org. Archived from the original on 20 October 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  12. ^ "Srila Prabhupada, His Movement & You | Inside Namhatta". Hansadutta.com. 17 June 2011. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  13. ^ Vishoka das. "Srila Prabhupada's usage of the term "ritvik"". Hansadutta.com. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  14. ^ "Srila Prabhupada, His Movement & You | Inside Namhatta". Hansadutta.com. 17 June 2011. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  15. ^ "Complaint for Declaratory Judgment Regarding Validity of Assignment and Existence of Trust", Case No BC170617, p.15," (PDF). Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles. 5 May 1977.
  16. ^ "BBT Legal Case Ends, Joint Announcement". vnn.org. Archived from the original on 8 March 2004.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  17. ^ "Heart Attack Report". krishna.org. Archived from the original on 18 January 2007.
  18. ^ "Srila Prabhupada, His Movement & You | Inside Namhatta". Bhaktivedantas.com. 17 June 2011. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  19. ^ "Hansadutta Excommunication A Myth Iskcon GBC". Harekrsna.org. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  20. ^ [3][dead link]
  21. ^ "Nothing to lose but all to gain". InkMathematics.com.
  22. ^ Hansadutta. "The Hammer - 4". Hansadutta.com. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  23. ^ "Bhagavad Gita As It Is Hardcover". Krishnastore.com. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  24. ^ "NOT WHAT KRISHNA HAD IN MIND". The New York Times. 20 November 1988.
  25. ^ "What We Do is Secret: Hansadutta Swami Vision LP Krishna Rock Part 5". Hogspeak.blogspot.com. 24 February 2007. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  26. ^ "Hansadutta Swami – The Vision". Waxidermy.com. 29 January 2006. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  27. ^ "Hansadutta Swami - The Vision (Vinyl, LP)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  28. ^ "Swami Records, LPs, Vinyl and CDs". MusicStack.com. Retrieved 29 February 2016.

External links[edit]