Vishnujana Swami took birth on June 2, 1948, in San Jose, California. It was in 1966 that Vishnujana first came into contact with the Hare Krishnas, and by 1968 he had received initiation from Srila Prabhupada and was a full-time member of the movement. By July 20, 1970, Srila Prabhupada had awarded Vishujana the order of Sannyasa. Vishnujana was especially well known within ISKCON for his singing voice, and skill at playing instruments, such as the Mridanga. Musical recordings of Vishunjana would later be released in 1995 and are still popularly sold within ISKCON today. Recordings of his lectures and singing are included in the official MP3 archive collection of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
In 1976, during the Gaura Purnima festival in India, Vishnujana Swami disappeared. It is commonly believed that he chose to leave his body at the confluence of several sacred rivers at the Ganges. During a walk some days earlier it is believed he had heard a general statement by Prabhupada concerning the duty of a sannyasi which could have led to him taking his own life. Pictures gallery >>