HISTORY" I consider the London Math as another room of my Nabadwip Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math"
- Srila B. R. Sridhar Maharaj
The London Branch of the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math was first established in 1983 by a group of aspiring devotees inspired by the teachings of Om Visnupad Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj.
After spending some time hearing from his lotus mouth and finding our home comfort in Nabadwip Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, we asked His Divine Grace if we could begin a London Branch of his mission. At that time we had a rented house in the Blackheath area of South London. The house was spacious and well suited for us and was owned by a good devotee friend of our Mission, Dr Vishnu Sharma, a London High Court Judge. Srila Sridhar Maharaj wrote back to us with the following reply. "My Guru Maharaj wanted me to preach in London but I was unable to do that, but still because of that, I consider London to be my own place of service. If you are able to establish a centre there in the name of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, London Chapter, I will consider this as great service to my Guru Maharaj Om Visnupad Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur."
Feeling much enthusiasm from our Guru Maharaj's encouragement we soon negotiated to buy this property from Dr. Sharma (at a very generous reduced rate) and the devotees began the work of establishing the London mission, preaching and raising funds to pay off the mortgage for the property.
It was a time of great sacrifice for the devotees of Srila Sridhar Maharaj in the UK. Srila Guru Maharaj had indicated that the Deities should have their own house and that we should endeavour to pay off the mortgage on the temple as soon as possible. The devotees took their Guru Maharaj's desire to heart and it was astonishing to see how much hardship they were prepared to undergo to fulfil the order of their Master. Married couples were living on the floors of friends houses and sleeping in the back of cold vans rather than spending money for their own homes just so the funds could be raised as quickly as possible. Day and night these devotees worked and to this day I marvel at the mood of service they had found within them. My obeisance to them again and again.
Particularly I should mention the following devotees who laboured with love to establish the first London Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math: Sriman Gaura-charan Prabhu & Srimati Tapananandini didi, Sriman Trilokanath Prabhu & Srimati Kundalata didi, Sriman Paramananda Prabhu & Srimati Krsna Priya didi, Sriman Brajabihari Prabhu & Srimati Yadunandini didi, Sriman Jai Krsna Prabhu, Sriman Krsna Prasanna Prabhu, Srimati Japa Mala didi, Srimati Guna Manjari didi, Srimati Manjuali didi, Sriman Vamsi Vadana Prabhu, Sriman Kali-yuga Pavana Prabhu, Sriman Pranashis Prabhu, Sriman Dayanidhi Prabhu and Sriman Dwarakesh Prabhu. To you all and to all those who I neglected to mention, it is my honour and privilege to have served with you in those early days and I pray for your association life after life.
Our London Math has a thriving and vibrant devotional community with a hard core of sincere devotees serving and contributing to the spiritual life of our temple.
Our resident Sannyasi is Sripad Bhakti Sampat Madhusudan Maharaj, always the friend of the Vaishnavas and very dear to Srila Govinda Maharaj.
Our visiting Sannyasi in the UK is Sripad Bhakti Swarup Tridandi Maharaj, constantly travelling throughout the UK, Europe and the World, preaching the Krishna Conception of Godhead.
Our Head Priest is Sriman Dwarakesh Prabhu, a humble and faithful servant of Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Radha Shayamasundar since their installation in 1983.
Our Temple Manager is Srimati Lavanya Mayi didi, a dynamo of service energy, faithful and sincere and always ready to give that bit extra. She is also in charge of our nearby ladies ashram.
Our Kirttan Leader is Sriman Dayanidhi Prabhu, as sweet a devotee as is the sound of his mrdanga. A founding member of the London Math.
And then there is me, Devashis das, the Secretary of the London Math, the co-ordinator and facilitator of our missionary activities in the UK, the Math-in-Charge for London and an aspiring servant of the devotees.
I cannot possibly mention everyone that serves our Math here in London and I pray they will forgive my offence of omission, but it is important to say that without the support, friendship, love and affectionate serving mood of the great devotees of the London Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math there would be no London mission. I offer my sincere and most respectful obeisance at the feet of each and every one of you. You are the life of our Math and the real heart of our community. Your devotion to Srila Govinda Maharaj and to Srila Sridhar Maharaj is what gives me hope for the future.
And what is the future of the London Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math? As our congregation of devotees continues to increase, it is more and more apparent that our beautiful Green Street Temple is far too small for our needs. The teachings of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math deserve to be preserved, presented and propagated in a grand way befitting the ideals that it represents. We heard from Srila Guru Maharaj that Srila Saraswati Thakur had a map of London on the wall of his room in Calcutta and would often scour the map determining a good location for his London Temple. This was what Srila Guru Maharaj considered as his own service to his Guru Maharaj. We pray the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna Chaitanya will see fit to grant us a New Centre to fulfil our desire to represent our Gurudev's service to the World. (Please see our New Temple Project page for more details.)