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A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Braja Bihari Dasa: A Resolve to End Conflicts
By Suman K. Shrivastava   |  Dec 13, 2008

Ranchi, Dec. 7: He is a devotee of Lord Krishna, who played a mentor and charioteer of Arjun during one of the fiercest battles — the Mahabharata.

But, he does not lead the people into battle, instead, helps people and communities resolve conflicts before they get trapped in a cumbersome legal battle.

Meet Braja Bihari Dasa or Brian Bloch, who heads Vrindaban-based ISKCON Resolve and in charge of ISKCON-run conflict resolving centres in 103 countries.

A US citizen, Bloch, 55, embraced Hinduism in 1976 and adopted a Sanskrit name — Braja Bihari Dasa.

Dasa is here to train district judicial officials and advocates to use the mediation to resolve conflicts and tension.

The five-day programme, sponsored by the mediation and conciliation project monitoring committee of the Supreme Court, is being conducted by the judicial academy as well as the Jharkhand State Legal Services Authority. They have evolved a 40-hour training programme.

Equipped with a masters in conflict resolution from Eastern Mennonite University, Virginia, USA, Dasa has mediated scores of disputes across India.

He has also done mediation courses in countries such as China, South Africa and France.

He has taught stress management in parts of India, including Tata Steel managers in Jamshedpur and Apollo Hospital doctors in New Delhi.

Besides, he is an expert in conducting online mediation. “A lot of ISKCON devotees and non-resident Indians are our clients. Recently, I was involved in resolving the conflicts between two brothers of a celebrated business family,” he revealed.

“Spirituality helps a lot in resolving conflicts. For us, it is seva (service) and this is offered for free,” he pointed out.

“The biggest hurdle in using mediation is to bring the warring parties to the negotiating table. A lot of conflicts happen due to miscommunication and ego,” Dasa said.