On Sept 20, 1945, at the exact time when the puja is being offered to Sri Anantadev on Ananta Caturdasi, a son, Ananta Prasad, was born to Raj Kumar Sacinandan Prasad Singh, in the royal family of Munger, Bihar.
The kings of Munger descend from Kasyapa Muni through King Haya Haya. Ananta Prasad Singh was brought up in this aristocratic family who were worshippers of Lord Caitanya and Radha-Krsna through Ananta Prasad?s grandfather, Raj Raghunandan Singh, (who was also given knighthood by the British at that time).
Studying in private Catholic schools, Ananta Prasad was taught to worship Jesus while his mother and grandmother daily worshipped Gauranga Mahaprabhu, Radha-Krsna. Attending the best possible schools throughout his life and living a life of luxury where nothing was lacking, Ananta Prasad received his BSC and eventually got married. In his student days he was the owner of five cars (all at the same time, and with chauffers to drive them) including a Rolls Royce with pure gold embellishments. (Obviously this gentleman was not lacking anything.)
At age 19 Ananta Prasad was married and after completing his degree, he started a business only to keep busy because he was not in need of earning any money. Despite his business, he still continued to hold on to the teachings taught by his mother and grandmother. At the same time, Ananta Prasad was not able to have sound sleep at night. His mind was agitated by figuring out how to make more money, how to spend it, and how to increase his gratification of the senses. Seeing the tranquility of his grandparents, Ananta Prasad started thinking there must be more to life than what he was doing, and from 1970 these feelings became more and more intense.
While as a child, Ananta Prasad had regularly visited Vrindavan to go to the Munger Mandir his grandfather had built. In Vrindavan, he was regularly hearing from Sadhus. These past practices started having their effect. The final push came in 1974 when Ananta Prasad?s father died. Ananta Prasad, along with his wife, went to his Guru Maharaj, Radha-Govinda das Babaji Maharaj, who had given him Hari Nam initiation in his childhood, and asked for diksha. Radha-Govinda das Babaji Maharaj gave the initation saying, "No need to change your name since it is a name of Sankarsan.
Now the time has come for you to give more service to Radha-Mohan. Radha-Mohan is your Isthadev."
Ananta Prasad and his wife, began to spend a lot of time going to Vrindavan, their five children living in the schools where they were attending. Ananta Prasad chanted 100,000 names of Krsna daily, listened to the Srimad Bhagavatam from sadhus, and rendered service to Guru and Krsna.
In 1976 Srila Radha-Govinda das Babaji told Ananta Prasad to go to see Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, explaining, "Srila Prabhupada is an expansion of Lord Nityananda who has come to fulfull the work of Lord Caitanya." Following the instruction of his Guru Maharaj, Ananta Prasad prabhu went to the Krsna Balaram Mandir asking to see Srila Prabhupada.
The guard told him that Srila Prabhupada was in an important meeting, could not be disturbed and he would have to come back at another time. Ananta Prasad again asked to see Srila Prabhupada, saying that he would not leave until he got to see Srila Prabhupada, and again he was told no. This time though, Srila Prabhupada called out in Hindi, "Who is there?" When the guard answered, "Some man from Munger Mandir has come to see you. I told him that you are busy." Srila Prabhupada ordered that Ananta Prasada be sent to him.
Walking into a room filled with sannyasis and GBCs, Ananta Prasad heard Srila Prabhupada say to his men, "So, we have spoken. Now all of you discuss and come back in one hour." With that, the men left and Ananta Prasad was there with Srila Prabhupada alone.
After some time Srila Prabhupada inquired, "Do you know Raghunandan Prasad?" Ananta Prasad answered, "Yes, he was my grandfather." Srila Prabhupada replied, "Then you are my grandson," and he hugged Ananta Prasad. Srila Prabhupada then explained their relationship and asked if Ananta Prasad was directly involved in the seva of Radha-Mohan. After answering that he was too much engaged with other activities, Srila Prabhupada chastised, "Your grandfather was doing so much and he made time to render direct service to Radha Mohan. Are you so much more busy than he?"
Not knowing what to say, Ananta Prasad began to feel very guilty hearing Srila Prabhupada's words. Srila Prabhupada continued in His chastisement explaining that Ananta Prasad had a moral responsibility to serve his Ishtadev, Radha-Mohan because he was brought up in a Vaisnava family and had consciously taken diksha initiation from his Guru Maharaj. Srila Prabhupada continued, "If you start doing service for Radha Mohan, you will have to go and preach all over the world. This will come in your life, but you will have to wait for that." Ananta Prasad was shocked by all of this.
In 1994, while sitting in the entrance of Munger Mandir, a large-bodied sannyasi of Western origin rode up on a small bicycle and said to Ananta Prasad, "I want to see your temple." After being ushered in, B.A.
Paramadvaiti Maharaj started giving suggestions how to improve on the construction of the temple. Ananta Prasad followed these instructions, then went to see Paramadvaiti Maharaj, and they developed a deep friendship. In 1995 Paramadvaiti Maharaj suggested that Ananta Prasad take sannyas and preach. By 1996, when visiting one of his sons who was living in the USA, Ananta Prasad decided that he wanted to take sannyas. He telephoned Paramadvaiti Maharaj in Miami telling him of his decision, and added, "I want to take it from you." Paramadvaiti Maharaj directed Ananta Prasad to come to Columbia saying that he would receive his sannyas initiation there.
The ticket was immediately arranged and Ananta Prasad was given sannyas when he arrived. After Bhaktivedanta Sadhu Maharaj got his sannyas, he spent the next nine months in South America preaching there, and has continued regularly going there, as well as to Europe since that time. He will begin another tour of Europe and the USA.
Submitted for the pleasure of the Vaisnava readers, I remain your servant,
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