Shri Prakash Gossai, Founder (1953-2009)
Acharya Arun Gossai, Spiritual Leader
Guruji Shri Prakash Gossai
Prakashji was born on April 25, 1953 to Rewti and Bissoondial Gossai in Handsome Tree, Mahaica Creek, Guyana. It is there, where he spent his formative years in the company of loving family members and other deeply religious people who nurtured his passion for religion and spirituality from a tender age. These humble and austere beings provided the deep seated motivation for his religious mission through out his life. The Hindu community around the world has been the benefactor of this mission. First with the establishment of the widely popular and deeply respected Bhuvaneshwar Mandir. Prakashji acted in capacity of founder and was the major fundraising force for the Bhuvaneshwar Mandir in New York City, Florida, and Guyana. In addition, he was the personal spiritual mentor of hundreds of young Hindus around the world. Using his mellifluous musical talents and his in depth academic approach to the teaching of Spirituality. He supported hundreds of Mandirs around the world. Prakashji renounced the material trappings which many of us associate with success and secluded himself in solitude so that his considerable faculties could be fully trained on the work of educating, encouraging, and bringing excitement to Hindus accross the world for Sanatan Dharma. Prakashji was the proud father of Pratiksha and Arun, both of whom have graduated with post secondary degrees. He fulfilled his fatherly responsibilities and retired into the life of a missionary; a legend in his own lifetime. He has been the winner of numerous awards, including the Government of Guyana Medal of Service Award and an award from the Government of Ontario for his services to the Hindu Community in Canada.
Guruji Shri Prakash Gossai is regarded as one of the architects of Modern Hinduism in the Caribbean. At an early age, he recognized that in order to preserve the Hindu traditions and religion that our forefathers brought with them from India as well as to avoid stagnation and irrelevancy of social organization, an effective communication method needed to be developed. He has done much to popularize Hinduism around the world by bringing an unusual array of talents to his dedication of promoting Hindu Dharma, Philosophy, and Cultural Morality. Prakashji has been blessed with musical ability that places him on an equal footing with many of the great names of Indian Music. Prakashji comes from a family which is known in the Caribbean, U.S.A., U.K., and wherever the Indo-Caribbean Diaspora has accumulated for its musical talents. In fact, Prakashji was winner of the Mukesh Memorial Competition held in Guyana in 1981 and has spent a significant amount of time in India under the tutelage of various musical and religious gurus. A speaker whose eloquence has transfixed rapt audiences in Hindu gatherings around the world, his knowledge and incisive interpretation of Hindu religious texts like the Ramayana and the Bhagavad Gita made him a sought after officiating priest in such countries as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Caribbean, and countries in South America. In addition, like all great speakers Prakashji was blessed with a charisma and natural grace and learned to use these talents in reaching Hindu audiences of all ages and genders.
It comes as little surprise that Prakashji was a communicator par excellence as he has spent a significant section of his life as a teacher. Early in his career, he was a lecturer at the University of Guyana for a period of three years. After working at the Georgetown Hospital as a clinical scientific officer, he migrated to the United States where he spent fifteen years teaching Marine Biology and other related sciences at the high school level in New York City. As a result of being trained as a scientist, he adopted a logical approach to the communication of Hindu philosophy which was much appreciated by young Hindu professionals. This son of Guyana received his spiritual guidance from Brahma Rishi, Vishatmaa Bawraji Maharaj of the Brahma Rishi Ashram in Pinjore, Haryana, India. He dedicated his life to the propagation of the Ramayana after realizing that this Sacred Book contains the secrets of eternal happiness for all. His refined musical talents were invaluable assets to his missionary work. His humility, love and respect for all earned him a special place in the hearts of everyone who came in contact with him. Prakashji involved himself in extensive charitable work wherever he went. His contributions to the spiritual well-being of his brothers and sisters especially in the Caribbean area was immeasurable.