As a student in political and social science at Michigan State University, USA, Anuttama Dasa found the university incapable to provide answers to the most important questions in life. Thus he chose to not complete his formal education. After exploring varied traditions ranging from Zen Buddhism to Methodism, he finally ended up in an ISKCON ashrama in Colorado in 1975. Although a skeptic, he vowed, after his first night at the temple, that he wouldn’t go back to things he’d found unfulfilling and would leave only if he found a better path to God. Anuttama Dasa was initiated by Srila Prabhupada in Vrindavan, India in 1976.
Anuttama Dasa began serving as leader of BBT book distribution and later he became president of the Denver temple—the same Colorado ashram he had visited in 1975. He relocated to Washington, D.C. in 1993.
Anuttama Dasa has been a member of the GBC since 2000 and his GBC assignments are all in the USA: Delaware, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. He is co-GBC in West Virginia. His vision for the future of ISKCON is that it will mature and grow to be a respected and influential culture and religion around the world.
“ISKCON and the Vaishnava tradition have great gifts to share with the world, especially in these troubled times. I have faith that as ISKCON devotees become better qualified to follow and represent Srila Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya, the great culture of Bhakti that they brought to the world will have tangible and long lasting effects.”
Besides his GBC duties, Anuttama Dasa currently serves as ISKCON’s International Director of Communications and is on the Board of the Bhaktivedanta College in Belgium. A founding member of Children of Krishna, and the Grihasta Vision Team, he is active in several interfaith initiatives in Washington, D.C., including the Religion Communicators Council. Under his direction, the communications office founded the annual Vaishnava-Christian Dialogue and Vaishnava-Muslim Dialogue as well as the North America’s Festival of Inspiration.
Anuttama Dasa is a regular contributor to ISKCON News and has authored articles for the ISKCON Communications Journal, and several interfaith publications. He is also active in several religious freedom initiatives and networks with government and NGOs in Washington to promote religious freedom around the world.
Anuttama Dasa enacts his leadership goals by teaching the following seminars in ISKCON communities worldwide: “ISKCON’s Leadership and Management,” Communications Course,” “Guru Seminar,” and the new “Disciples Course,” all of which he helped co-author with teams of senior devotees.
Anuttama Dasa and his wife, Rukmini Devi Dasi, own a business which for many years has been a principal source of revenue for the International Communications Ministry. They live in Rockville, Maryland and attend the local ISKCON temple in Potomac, Maryland.