This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Part of a series on|
Vishnujana Swami (also Visnujana Swami; 1948–1976), born Mark Stephen D'Atillo, was a disciple of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and a sannyasi within the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (commonly known as the 'Hare Krishnas' or ISKCON). Despite his mysterious disappearance in 1976, he continues to be regarded as a saintly figure within ISKCON. His legend lives on through recordings of his celebrated singing of the Hare Krishna mantra and through his unmatched success as a preacher in the early days of the movement.
Vishnujana Swami was born as Mark Stephen Datillo on June 2, 1948, in San Jose, California to parents Maureen (1924-2017) and Joseph D'Attilo (1923-2006). At the age of seventeen, he moved to San Francisco along with his girlfriend, whom he then married. It was in 1966–1967 that Vishnujana first came into contact with the Hare Krishnas, and by 1968 he had received initiation from Srila Prabhupada and became a full-time member of the movement. On July 20, 1970, Srila Prabhupada awarded Vishnujana the order of sannyasa.
Vishnujana was especially well known within ISKCON for his singing voice, and skill at playing instruments, such as the harmonium and mridanga. Musical recordings of Vishunjana would later be released in 1995 and are popularly sold within ISKCON.
By 1973, Vishnujana Swami headed up a team of devotees traveling on a bus across the USA which became famous within ISKCON as one of its most successful preaching parties. The team was named after the deities which travelled with them in the bus, called Radha-Damodara. This bus, filled with ISKCON devotees, would travel from city to city, performing sankirtan, and distributing Srila Prabhupada's books. Vishujana Swami continued travelling with the Sankirtan Party in this way until 1976.
In 1976, during the Gaura Purnima festival in India, Vishnujana Swami disappeared. It is commonly believed that he committed suicide by drowning himself at the confluence of several sacred rivers at the Ganges. During a walk some days earlier it is believed he had heard a general statement by Prabhupada concerning the duty of a sannyasi which could have led to him taking his own life, but as Vishnujana is not recorded to have disclosed his thoughts to anyone before disappearing it is not known for certain if this was the case.
In 1999, a biography of Vishnujana Swami entitled Radha-Damodara Vilasa was published by Vaiyasaki das Adhikari.
|1995||Vishnujana Swami - Bhajans||Bhaktivedanta Book Trust|
|1995||Vishnujana Swami - Kirtans||Bhaktivedanta Book Trust|
|2005||Vishnujana Swami Vintage-Recording||SecretJeevas|
- iskcon.net memoriam Archived January 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Vishnujana Swami Bhajans & Kirtans". www.bvml.org.
- "Timeline - 1995 - BBT releases Vishnujana recordings", Vishnujana.com.
- Broo, Måns, As good as God: the guru in Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism, Åbo Akademi University Press, ISBN 951-765-132-5
- Tamal Krishna Goswami (1984), Servant of the Servant, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
- Vaiyasaki Dasa (1999), Radha-Damodara Vilasa: The Inner Life of Vishnujana Swami and Jayananda Prabhu. Volume 1 1967-1972, Srvanam-Kirtanam Press, ISBN 0-9655784-3-7
- Lokanātha Swami (2001), Festivals: Śrīla Prabhupāda at the Māyāpur-Vr̥ndāvana festivals, Padayātrā Press, ISBN 81-901132-1-6
- Bhaktisiddhartha Dasanudas (2002), Search for the Absolute Truth, Harinam Arts Press, ISBN 0-9703586-3-6
- Riddha Dāsa (1997), Destination South Africa: the birth of the Hare Krishna movement in South Africa, 1972-1975, Visnu Garuda Books, ISBN 1-901593-00-2
- Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami (1998), You Cannot Leave Boston: My Letters from Srila Prabhupada, GN Press, ISBN 0-911233-71-7
- Satsvarūpa Dāsa Gosvāmī (1981), Śrīla Prabhupāda-līlāmṛta: a biography of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Vol. 3, Only He Could Lead Them: San Francisco/India 1967, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, ISBN 0-89213-110-1
- Satsvarūpa Dāsa Gosvāmī (1982), Śrīla Prabhupāda-līlāmṛta: a biography of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Vol. 4, In Every Town and Village: Around the World 1968-1971, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, ISBN 0-89213-115-2
- Satsvarūpa Dāsa Gosvāmī (1983), Srīla Prabhupāda-līlāmṛta: a biography of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Vol. 5, Let There Be a Temple: India/Around the World 1971-1975, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, ISBN 0-89213-119-5
- Satsvarūpa Dāsa Gosvāmī (1983), Srīla Prabhupāda-līlāmṛta: a biography of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Vol. 6, Uniting Two Worlds: Around the World / Return to Vrindavana 1975-1977, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, ISBN 0-89213-106-3
- Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami (1984), Your ever well-wisher, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, ISBN 0-89213-133-0
- West Publishing Co. (1991), "Northeastern reporter. Second series", Northeastern reporter, 571
- Gauridasa Pandit Dasa (June 6, 1999), "Visnujana Swami's Birthday", Vaishnava News Network
- Vishnujana & Prabhupada Kirtan (VN024-06)