For more than 50 years Hansadutta das was a practicing disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, world-renowned spiritual master, and dedicated his life to helping people to realize their spiritual connection in the context of their daily lives.
In March 1967 Hansadutta became a disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Hansadutta helped to pioneer the Hare Krishna movement, opening centers in Europe: West and East Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Russia; and in USA: Boston and Berkeley (San Francisco); in Canada: Montreal and Vancouver; and in Asia: Turkey, Egypt, Afghanistan, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia.Hansadutta is known for his ecstatic kirtans. He pushed harinam sankirtan (the congregational chanting of the holy names in public) with great enthusiasm and expertise. Srila Prabhupada especially appreciated this and christened him “King of Kirtan” (Krishna Kirtan Thakur).
Hansadutta was the first to organize and personally oversee publication and mass distribution of his spiritual master’s books in English and Russian, German, French, Danish, Swedish, Arabic, Tagalo, Tamil, Singhalese, and Chinese. He was also the first to print Srila Prabhupada’s Back To Godhead magazine in four colors and in European languages. He cut and sold records of Hare Krishna kirtans, including wonderful kirtans led by Srila Prabhupada. He also traveled extensively with Srila Prabhupada in India, and on his own, leading chanting parties and giving lectures to capacity crowds and meeting with royalties and dignitaries.
On account of his dynamic preaching, Hansadutta won the approval and praise of Srila Prabhupada, his spiritual master (“You have understood the importance of my books. Without being asked, you published and distributed my books.” And “The temples may fail, the devotees may fail, but my books will live forever.”—London, September 1974). He was awarded with increased responsibility as one of Srila Prabhupada’s senior disciples, and was especially appointed as lifetime trustee of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, publisher of Srila Prabhupada’s books.
In November, 1977, Srila Prabhupada, Founder-Acharya of the Hare Krishna movement, passed away from this world, leaving his disciples to carry on his mission of expanding the Krishna consciousness movement to every town and village on the planet. He left behind written instructions designating Hansadutta as one of his deputies, “Rittvik Representative of the Acharya”, authorized to continue recruiting and initiating new disciples on behalf of Srila Prabhupada.Hansadutta gave lectures at Harvard University, McGill University, University of California at Berkeley and many other public venues. He also made TV and radio appearances, and authored a number of books: The Hammer for Smashing Illusion, Fool’s Paradise, Kirtan: Ancient Medicine for Modern Man, The Book, and Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You.
Hansadutta passed on 25 April 2020.