Bhakti Ananda Goswami (David M. Sherman) is a Practicing Catholic Hermit under private vows, and a Tridandi Sannyasi (Vedic monk) and Siksha (Instructing) Master in the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Lineage of Vaishnavism (Vishnu worship). He made his first Vaishnava diksha vows of ascetic religious life in 1973 as a diksha disciple of Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. After his children grew up he took the vows of vanaprastha, continuing to live a simple life in the forest of the Pacific Northwest USA. In 1992 he was given sannyas by Srila Radhanatha Swami of Mumbai, who was not at the time affiliated with ISKCON. (Therefore Bhakti Ananda Goswami is not affiliated with ISKCON.) Presently semi-retired from his devotional service as a traditional traveling sannyasi (due to the late effects of childhood polio), in recent years he has primarily confined his teaching efforts to a global internet ministry, trying to carry-on the non-sectarian Mission of Srila Prabhupada’s inter-Bhakti League of Devotees. Over the years, when he has not been able to attend academic conferences or tour giving lectures, he has written (or recorded) thousands of personal and public letters and articles for online fora, including closed academic fora and open popular online groups such as saragrahi, veda.harekrsna.cz, vediculture, salagram.net, chakra and many more. He authored 2 question-answering Columns in the Hare Krishna World Newspaper, and has given many hours of video and audio taped and live broadcast interviews. He was repeatedly invited to give Hindu High Holy Day sermons as a call-in guest on the Sunday Morning Program of the RBC 24 hour Indian American Radio Station WWW.EASY96.COM He has contributed chapters to two Books, “Embracing Earth: Catholic Approaches to Ecology” (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1994), and “Tritiya-Prakriti: People of the Third Sex: Understanding Homosexuality, Transgenderism and Intersex Conditions through Hinduism”, (XLibris Corporation, 2004).
As an intersex person and an expert on the biology of sex differentiation and sex-linked behavior in vetebral species, he is a Spokesperson for the Organization Intersex International (O.I.I.) the World’s most influential international organization of, and for, intersex people of all kinds. Recently his Letter demanding full human rights for intersex people in the USA, officially represented the OII to an important USA White House Health Conference. Afterward, for the first time ever, intersex people were acknowledged in official White House communications, and Bhakti Ananda Goswami was himself personally acknowledged with an official Holiday Greeting from the Whitehouse, the President and his family.
Bhakti Ananda Goswami is an expert on the ancient history of various Vedic and Yogic Traditions. He is the now-retired Head of Interfaith Research and Communications for the World Vaishnava Association of Vrindavan India. In 1982 he was Invited by the Sri Lankan Minister of Religion to be the Mainland USA Delegate to the 1982 Academic World Hindu Conference (WHC), which was hosted by the Governments of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu India, and which was held at the Hall of the Summit of Non-aligned Nations in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He attended the Conference while on an extended Independent Studies Field Work Course Contract with the Catholic Marylhurst College in Lake Oswego, in Oregon in the USA. There was a tremendous response to his presentation of his research papers at the World Hindu Conference, where his status was changed, by the Conference Leadership, at the request of the attending Sadhus, from that of an academic Delegate to that of a “Religious Dignitary”. He was then seated and honored with the Vaishnava, Shaivite and Shakta Acaryas for the remainder of the Conference. From there he was Invited by the Former Prime Minister of Nepal to Come to Nepal to meet the King and Queen, and to address the Executive Committee of the World Hindu Organization (W.H.O.), on the ancient relationships between “The Family of Hindu-Buddhist Sanskrity” and the Judeo-Christian Traditions. Consequently he was named to the Executive Committee of the World Hindu Organization (Kathmandu), Under the Patronage of His Majesty King Birendra of Nepal, and he was appointed to write the first draft of Nepal’s World Hindu Organization United Nations NGO Non-Nuclear and World Heritage Zone of Peace Declaration.
He was then publicly honored for his interfaith and human rights work, in Nepal and India, by W.H.O. Executive Committee Members, the venerable Doctors, Dharma-Pati Dr. Rup Lal Batra and Yugacarya Dr. Acharya Prabhakar Mishra, the Former and Acting Heads of the World Fellowship of Religions (New Delhi) and the Universal Sanatana Dharma Foundation (New Delhi and Kathmandu). Dr. Lal Batra and Dr. Mishra also formally consecrated him (in a Vedic Anointing Ceremony) to help them carry-on the ecumenical inter-Bhakti Mission of the Jhansi League of Devotees. They officially named him Honorary International Coordinating Secretary for the Universal Sanatana Dharma Foundation, and planned for him to give the keynote address at the upcoming 1983 World Fellowship of Religions Conference in New Delhi. The venerable Doctors made plans with David to revive the Satyagraha and Samata Yoga Movement of Mahatma Gandhi, with the inspiration of the non-sectarian inter-Bhakti-Yoga Mission of the Jhansi League of Devotees. But, unfortunately, due to worsening post-polio syndrome, David was unable to leave the USA again after 1982. Still, via correspondence, David (Bhakti Ananda Goswami) and his Parents, Ralph and Judy, did the preliminary work to establish a non-profit Institute in the USA to carry-on Gandhiji’s Samata Yoga and Srila Prabhupada’s Bhakti Yoga unifying non-sectarian ecumenical Mission of the Jhansi League of Devotees. With the blessings of Dr. Acharya Prabhakar Mishra and Dr. Rup Lal Batra, and their formal involvement as the Indian Board Member Officers of the USA non-profit “International Institute of Applied Theology” (IIAT), David hoped to be able to carry-on the Jhansi League of Devotees Mission, with help from the Gaudiya Vaishnava Community in America. However, no Gaudiya Vaishnava organization in the USA was interested in helping to revive the non-sectarian work of the original Jhansi League of Devotees, which was founded in Jhansi, India, by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and his first disciple, Dr. Acharya Prabhakar Mishra. So, David and his Parents were determined to carry-on their joint IIAT / Jhansi Mission in the USA without such help, if possible.
With great difficulty because of post polio syndrome, David completed his B.A. Degree in 1983, with three years of accredited graduate level interdisciplinary research, including his Independent Studies South East Asian and Indian Field Study Course Contract in History of Religion, Comparative Religion and Theology. He recieved his B.A. Degree from the (now) Marylhurst University in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Then he did two more years of accredited post graduate master’s degree interdisciplinary research in his designed major of the History of Religion, Comparative Religion and Theology, through the External Degree Master’s Program of the Goddard Graduate School of Vermont College, Norwich University, in Norwich Vermont. Although he was bedridden and respirator or oxygen dependent, due to post polio syndrome respiratory failure, he successfully completed the oral and visual presentation and defense of his Master’s Thesis, but lacked the resourses to get it published and receive his M.A. Degree.
Through the decades he has lectured extensively in the USA, for example, relative to his Marylhurst College Field Studies in 1982, he was a Marylhurst PLE Program (Course Contract) Lecturer On Religion, Human Rights and Social Justice in South East Asia and India. He was also a Portland State University Global Forum Guest Lecturer and Workshop Leader on Gandhian Ethics and Applied Theology at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. He was a co-Founder and Presenter for the academic Arcadian Institute at the Centennial World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, USA. Since his World Tour in 1982, he has been invited to deliver academic papers and to lecture at numerous academic and religious venues in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and the USA.
In 2000, with the help of Vrndavan Brannon Parker, before delivering two of his accepted research papers at the academic World Association for Vedic Studies Conference held at the Stevens Institute in New Jersey, USA, he conducted a related comparative Vaishnava, Pure Land Buddhist, Judeo-Catholic and Egyptian Sacred Art and Iconography Lecture Tour of the “Pharaohs of the Sun” Exhibit at the Los Angelus Museum of Art. For this Tour, he received special permission to use selected Jewish Minature images, from the Publisher of the most important academic text on miniature Jewish artifacts, and from the Pharaohs’ Exhibit Curator, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
David / Bhakti Ananda Goswami is still a Research Associate at J.M. Richards Laboratory, Biophysics (formerly of Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan). Relative to his bio-physics and bio-medical research work, he was formerly Assistant to the California Regional Director of the American Association of Small Research Companies, Imperial Beach, California. In his many years of work with the mentally and physically challenged, he was a long-time volunteer at the Coquille Care Center, and he was the Recreational Activities Director and Social Worker Designee of an Extended Care Hospital in California. Also in California he was certified as a California State Respite and Hospice Home-Care Program Specialist, working for the Upjohn Nursing Agency in Ventura, Ojai, and Casitas Springs, California. In Coquille he worked as the Parks and Recreation Department Programmer and Instructor, where he developed many different kinds of community service programs, and helped in the development of two city parks, which are still in use today. He is also a graduate of the Child Care Treatment and Assessment Certificate Series of Marylhurst College, and was Certified through Marylhurst for Institutional Child Care Work, by the Oregon Association of Child Care Workers. He was a Program Assistant for the Southwestern Oregon Community College TMR (“Trainable Mentally Retarded”) Young Adults Activities of Daily Living Summer Outreach Program in Coquille. He was also a P&R Department Vocational Trainer for the Coos County Court’s Minor Offender’s Vocational Program, and an Assistant to the Coquille Regional Director of the Special Olympics.
Currently, because he is still unable to travel to ‘network’ and teach, Bhakti Ananda Goswami is seeking international and USA support for his on-going efforts to establish as a permanent facility, a non-sectarian ecological-restoration project Park, Religious Retreat and Communications Center, dedicated to fostering the pure NON-SECTARIAN Bhakti Yoga Mission of the Jhansi League of Devotees, and the human rights, social justice and human services Sanatana Dharma Mission of Mahatma Gandhi’s Samata Yoga and Satyagraha Movements.
In the Ancient World, all kinds of devotees use to be united from age-to-age in various kinds of leagues, alliances or federations. These devotees did not ‘convert’ to each others’ Traditions in these Federations of ASYLA, or ‘LEAGUES of DEVOTEES’. They kept their own personal and religious-lineage autonomy, but co-operated together for everyone’s mutual encouragement, empowerment, spiritual and material benefit. This is what devotees of Our Lord and Our Holy Mother should be doing today. We should be cooperating for everyone’s mutual benefit / the common good. The Divine Empowerment for this desperately needed cooperation will be ‘poured-out’ on us, as we put-aside our religious sectarianism to appreciate, genuinely LOVE and work-with each other in the service of Our One God and Holy Mother, and all their precious children!
This is the message of Bhakti Ananda Goswami: Practically speaking, organized criminals are running the World, filling it with fear, hatred and violence, while the Devotees of the world are seeming to be more helpless and hopeless everyday. So, it is time for the devotees of the Lord everywhere to put-aside their sectarian ‘party spirit’ pride and prejudice, to form the alliances or leagues that are necessary to restore the loving and peaceable societies that every sane person wants to live in. Please therefore, I am requesting all Devotees of the Lord, to try to appreciate each other, instead of deprecating each other. Please join together and become spiritual allies against the common FOES of planetary peace, the FOES of human life, health, religious liberty and spiritual advancement! Please practise SAMATA YOGA learning to see all precious souls with Equality of Vision, and then apply the healing genius of BHAKTI YOGA, as the panacea to cure whatever is ailing us!