Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti, Mother Earth activist
Swami B.A Paramadvaiti was born in Germany as Ulrich Harlan, son of a talented radio broadcaster and school educator, as well as a great musician, Pan Harlan. He was raised in rural West Germany growing up in the time after World War II. His father lost his Christian faith and became a material idealist who protected the environment. Young Ulrich went deep into questioning the paradox of God loving believers who had condoned or participated in countless murders of natives, women, Romans, sick people, etc. Rejecting Christianity for him was rejecting his traditions, his home, his country and the Eurocentric form of thinking. He tried socialism, anarchism, hippyism, Buddhism and Hinduism.
In Hinduism, he found people who had never kept slaves, who have never imposed their religion on anyone and people who respected other races and beliefs. A new hope came to his life. In the Yoga of Love, he obtained the strength to ask for initiation. In 1972, he became a monk of Srila Prahupada’s ashrams. After the departure of his Guru in 1977, he served in Latin America, establishing rural ashrams and a host of other projects. Observing the sufferings of the members of the movement under the new administration, he decided to work for the reform of disturbances. He studied Victor Frankl, Scott Peck, Bhaktivinod and discovered that “sectarianism is the worst enemy of truth”. From that moment on, he started to work for a united religious platform. In his own tradition, he co-started the WVA, World Vaisnava Association – Visva Vaisnava Raj Sabha of which he still serves as the General Secretary.
He went to the World Parliament of Religion in Cape Town and Barcelona and he was rather discouraged by the manipulation of the organizers in Barcelona. Voicing his objection earned him not to be invited to the Melbourne meeting in 2011. He worked with URI and the Green Pilgrimage network. He also conducted unity campaigns in India for the holy rivers and holy places. In the Kumbha Mela, he brought the World Conscious Pact Ikwashendwna to India to join with the Ganga Action Parivar. Again both, narrow-mindedness and sectarianism qualities covered the door to concerted action for a solution