What we're about

What is Bhakti-yoga?

Bhakti-yoga is the spiritual path of divine love and devotion taught in the revealed scriptures Srimad Bhagavad-Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam and Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita. The Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Seva Ashram in Santa Cruz (Soquel) and San Jose, California are a community of bhakti-yoga practitioners founded by Srila B.S. Govinda Maharaj and directed by Srila B.P. Janardan Maharaj.

What is the Seva Ashram?

Established in 1994 under the divine guidance of Swami B.S. Govinda, the Seva Ashram is nestled into the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains and serves as a pillar for spreading the message of Krishna Consciousness in the San Francisco Bay Area. Today the Seva Ashram continues to flourish under the affectionate direction of Swami B.P. Janardan

Who is Swami B.P. Janardan?

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Pavan Janardan Maharaj is the Sevaite-Acharya of the Seva Ashram.

Srila Janardan Maharaj joined the Krishna Consciousness movement in 1970 in service of Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad (Founder of ISCKON), after Srila Swami Maharaj left this world he took shelter of Srila Sridhar Maharaj and Srila Govinda Maharaj. Under Srila Govinda Maharaj’s instruction, Srila Janardan Maharaj has continued to care for and serve his divine mission.

Who is Srila Govinda Maharaj?

Srila Govinda Maharaj’s sermons have been translated into twenty-five languages and published in 250 books. On twenty-three world tours he personally spread the sublime teachings of his gurus, Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami and A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srila Govinda Maharaj traveled ten times from India to the Seva Ashram in Santa Cruz, California. He came here to share his invaluable wisdom and realizations of the essence of bhakti-yoga; and he came to personally oversee our community’s spiritual practices.

What is Harinama-sankirtan?

According to transcendental literature, the spiritual culture best suited to our modern age is the devotional practice of Hari-nam-sankirtan. Hari-nam-sankirtan is the congregational chanting of the Holy Names of the Supreme Lord Krishna. It is the primary limb of the nine-fold process of bhakti-yoga. The nine limbs are: hearing, chanting, remembering, serving, worshiping, praying, assisting, befriending, and completely surrendering to the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna.

Who is Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu?

Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was an incarnation of the Supreme Lord Krishna who demonstrated the proper behavior and mood of a devotee (a bhakti-yogi). He spectacularly propagated the chanting of the Holy Name throughout medieval India and revealed the spiritual path of ecstatic love of Godhead. He inspired a venerable lineage of pure devotional yogis called the Rupanuga sampradaya. They have preserved and elegantly systematized his teachings for the amelioration of all souls worldwide. The Rupanuga sampradaya is represented by the modern day saint Om Visnupad Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, his successor Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj, and others of his stalwart sannyasi disciples including our local leader, His Grace Srila Bhakti Pavan Janardan Maharaj.

A brief excerpt of Srila Govinda Maharaj’s teachings regarding bhakti-yoga

“The topmost position, and the actual need for our supreme transcendental benefit, is only bhakti-yoga. Without bhakti-yoga, other kinds of spiritual practice such as good works [karma-yoga] or the quest for liberation [jnana-yoga] cannot give us the proper result. So if we try to practice the nine kinds of devotional service [bhakti-yoga] under the guidance of a proper guru then we will easily receive the greatest result.

Everybody has some eagerness to know what Indian religion is. But actually religion is not for India and not for America; religion is for the jiva-soul. Jiva-souls have permanent existence which is thinking, feeling, and willing, and jiva-souls are eternal. They have the Religion of Service to Krishna, their Lord, and service to the Transcendental Plane. There we find all happiness, all ecstasy, all beauty, charm, and Divine Love. Whatever we want in this mundane world within our conditioned position-beyond that, in the Transcendental World, that Divine Love is always waiting for us, waiting to embrace us.

We are really all members of that transcendental service world, but by misfortune and misunderstanding we have been captured by illusory happiness in this mundane plane. But Krishna is very merciful and He has given us the chance to go to our own home through our Divine Masters. It is necessary to plant and cultivate what you have received from them and that is through sadhana (spiritual practice). If we follow their guide-lines by chanting the Holy Names of the Lord, reading the holy books, serving the real holy Vaisnavas (devotees of the Lord), living without making offenses, and maintaining our lives with their Prasadam (mercy), then we must return to our holy home. That is real sadhana…If we offer all our activity for the service to Krishna, then that is bhakti-yoga.”

—Srila Govinda Maharaj

To learn more about bhakti-yoga and the Krishna Consciousness philosophy please join our Meetup and check us out on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/scbhaktiyoga) & Instagram (http://www.instagram.com/scbhaktiyoga) @scbhaktiyoga & @sevaashram (http://www.facebook.com/SevaAshram)!

Upcoming events (5+)

Srimad Bhagavatam Discourse

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Seva Ashram

Vedic scholar and author Pusta Krishna Prabhu is bringing his in-depth knowledge of the Srimad Bhagavatam to the Seva Ashram every Saturday for an open discussion on the divine teachings found in the Vedic scriptures. Pusta Krishna Prabhu has been a practitioner of Bhakti Yoga for over 30 years having been instructed by such great personalities as Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad, Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Maharaj, and Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj. Join us every Saturday at 9:30am for this unique opportunity to explore this ancient text and discover what meaning the Srimad Bhagavatam has for us today. Please come early to enjoy breakfast Prasadam or stay late for noon Aroti and lunch Prasadam!

Sunday Feast at the Seva Ashram

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Seva Ashram

What to expect? We invite you to join us every Sunday at 11:30 a.m. for chanting, an enlivening discourse, and a wonderful vegetarian feast. We look forward to meeting you in person. What is the Seva Ashram? Established in 1994 under the divine guidance of Swami B.S. Govinda, the Seva Ashram is nestled into the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains and serves as a pillar for spreading the message of Krishna Consciousness in the San Francisco Bay Area. Today the Seva Ashram continues to flourish under the affectionate direction of Swami B.P. Janardan Who is Swami B.P. Janardan? His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Pavan Janardan Maharaj is the Sevaite-Acharya of the Seva Ashram. Srila Janardan Maharaj joined the Krishna Consciousness movement in 1970 in service of Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad (Founder of ISCKON), after Srila Swami Maharaj left this world he took shelter of Srila Sridhar Maharaj and Srila Govinda Maharaj. Under Srila Govinda Maharaj’s instruction, Srila Janardan Maharaj has continued to care for and serve his divine mission. Please feel free to contact us with any questions through the Meetup site or on the phone at (831)[masked] Looking forward to meeting up soon!

Rotating scripture study with Sarvabhavana Prabhu

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Seva Ashram

Please join us for evening Arati at 6:30PM followed by an in-depth study of Srila Sridhar Maharaj's and Srila Govinda Maharaj's literature. The lecture will be led by Sripad Sarvabhavana Prabhu. Who is Sarvabhavana Prabhu? "Sarvabhavana Prabhu has been an active member of the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math for over 40 years. He received initiation from Srila A.C. Bhakti Vedanta Swami Prabhupad in 1976 ; later taking shelter of Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev Goswami Maharaja and Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaja. Sarvabhavana Prabhu is well versed in the scriptures and is a very approachable person to go to for advice on the practical application of bhakti yoga or any questions you may have. He leads two evening classes per week at the Soquel Seva Ashram (Tuesdays and Thursdays), assists in the book creation and distribution of our math publications, and often leads outreach programs outside of the ashram like house programs and public events. Sarvabhavana Prabhu and his wife Diksavati Didi regularly attend the programs at the Seva ashram along with their daughters."

Sanskrit translation & discussion w/ Arun Krishna Prabhu

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Seva Ashram

Sripad Arun Krishna Prabhi is a Rocket Scientist, and CTO of a reputed company in the Silicon Valley by profession. Born in Prayag, India; he came in contact with Krishna consciousness movement in 2006 and have been associated since. He took initiation from Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev Goswami Maharaj in 2007; and has been deeply involved in service towards Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. Arun Krishna Prabhu has unique capability to present Krishna Consciousness from the lens of Theistic Science with very strong supporting facts and arguments. Currently, Sripad Arun Krishna Prabhu is doing a class every Wednesday evening at Soquel Seva Ashram.

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