Bhakti Sharan Shanta Swami departed from this world on March 26th in Lithuania. He is one of the old devotees from the previous Soviet era, when this country was ruled from Russia, and has done vast amounts of service to ISKCON.
Here are a few words of appreciation for him by his spiritual master Bhakti Chaitanya Swami:
"I first met Maharaja in 1993 in Vilnius. He was a very serious devotee, and was always concerned to develop the preaching in Lithuania.
In those days he traveled with Hari Katha and Bilvamangala prabhus, and from time to time I would go with them also, visiting different towns and Nama-hatta congregations around the country. I was always impressed with Maharaja’s dedication and determination to present Srila Prabhupada’s message to the people of the country. I was also very impressed with his austerity and determination not to become caught up in the needs of the body.
After some time that program stopped, but Maharaja continued visiting the Nama-hattas and preaching regularly.
He took sannyasa in 2004 in the summer festival. Niranjana Maharaja was very instrumental in choosing his sannyasa name, based on the idea that Shanta Maharaja would give devotion (bhakti) and shelter (sharan) to many devotees, in a very peaceful (shanta) and loving way.
Around this time the New Govardhana project started in Lithuania, and Maharaja was always the central person there, encouraging the devotees to live a simpler life as a Krishna conscious community.
Perhaps his greatest contribution to Srila Prabhupada’s movement was the organization of the Lithuanian BBT. Under his direction the BBT here has produced many books and encouraged wide scale book distribution, far outstripping the book distribution in so many other places in the world.
I feel very fortunate to have been able to spend the day with Maharaja some weeks ago, one or two days before he went into a condition of withdrawn external consciousness. It has been the mercy of Srila Prabhupada that I have been able to benefit from the association and example of this very saintly and dedicated servant of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.
Now Srimati Radharani and Lord Krishna have chosen to take him back to Them, and I am praying that he will put in a good word for me there, for when my time comes to join him in Their service."[ bhakti ] [ lithuania ] [ shanta ] [ sharan ] [ swami ] [ vilnius ]