Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta Thakur Swamilovingly known as Prabhupada by his disciples was born on 1Septemberof1896 in Kolkata. Srila Prabhupada was businessman and a highly educated person. He met his guru Bhaktisidhanta Saraswati Maharaj, who was a prominent religious scholar liked this young educated man. He convinced him to dedicate his life to teach vedic knowledge in English. In course of time Srila Prabhupada became the world’s foremost Vedic Scholar and teacher. He represented an unbroken chain of fully self realized spiritual masters (Gurus). Srila Prabhupada was initiated into the Gaudiya vaishnava in 1933.
In 1959 he took the vow of renunciation (sannyasa) and started writing commentaries on epics like the Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita, without the slightes taint of adulteration inspired, Practical guidebooks for the spiritual and material benefit of human society. Many scholars and professors who met Srila Prabhupada and became familiar with his work continue to use his books as standard university texts, and regard him as a genuine, realized and scholarly teacher of bhakti. He is the Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Commonly known as the “Hare Krishna Movement”, Gaurannga Institute for Vedic Education (GIVE) is a result of Prabhupada teachings. HG Vrindavan Chandra Das is an ardent follower of Srila Prabhupada and following his steps in spreading the Vaishnava Philosophy as taught by Srila Prabhupada around the globe. His life’s mission was to propagate Gaudiya Vaishnavism, the highest form of Hinduism that had been taught to him by his guru, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaj, throughout the world. In his later years, as a traveling Vaishnava monk, he fulfilled his Guru’s desire and became an influential communicator of Hindu theology to India and specifically to the West. He has been described as a charismatic leader, in the sense used by sociologist Max Weber, as he was successful in acquiring followers all over the world. His books and lectures have been a source of inspiration and motivation for many who follow and practice Vaishnavism around the Globe irrespective of nationally, color caste and creed. Srila Prabhupada has become the most prominent and successful messenger of Bhakti teachings that the world has ever seen or is ever likely to see again.
After preaching for 11 years in the West, Srila Prabhupada made Hare Krishna a household world and had created 108 centers worldwide, written 51 volumes of transcendenetal literature traveled around the world eight times and initiated 5,000 disciples. It is clear that Srila Prabhupada alone fulfilled the prophecy of Lord Chaitanya. All over the world the words ‘Hare Krishna, Hare Rama’ have permeated modern cultures with an indelible mark. Just as was predicted. It was Srila Prabhupada whose faith and devotion brought about this colossal feat, this miracle. Mankind owes him an enormous debt of gratitude since his pure Movement will act as a beacon of light for thousands of years to come.
Srila Prabhupada created the world’s largest publishing house in the field of Indian religion and philosophy – (The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust-BBT). The Bhagavad Gita has been published in over 50 languages of the world and is the best-selling, most authoritative edition of this classic of the world. All his books are highly respected by the academic community. In appreciation of Srila Prabhupada’s scholarship, the university authorities of Columbia, Princeton and Yale, among others, helped support the establishment of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust in Los Angeles. The Trust launched a promotion of Srila Prabhupada’s translations and original works under the logo of the Living Library of Transcendental Knowledge. Remarkably, in the face of a worldwide economic recession, the Trust’s book and magazine sales reached nine million in 1975. He also started a scientific preaching academy (The Bhaktivedanta Institute).
In 1972, His Divine Grace introduce the Vedic system of primary and secondary education in the West by founding the Gurukula school in Dallas, Texas, Srila Prabhupada also inspired the construction of a large international center at Sridhama Mayapur in West Bengal, India, which is also the site for a planned Institute of Vedic Studies.
Wherever he travelled Srila Prabhupada was always eager to meet and discuss with scholars and academics, since he particularly wanted to influence the intelligent class of man. The full impact of Srila Prabhupada’s great work will only be seen by the future generations. At this time, no one can comprehend the full extent and far reaching effect of Srila Prabhupada’s mission on earth. He ushered in a spriritual revolution that has changed the course of world history. Srila Prabhupada was an outstanding spiritual visionary who envisioned and implemented a global East-West synthesis. With little less than forty rupees, he went alone to America and, within just eleven years, inspired thousands of Young men and women toward a meaningful, joyful life of selfless service to God and his children. Srila Prabhupada’s pioneering example, we can see that, even from a practical economic viewpoint, World can gain much if it starts globalizing its spiritual heritage. No wonder Srila Prabhupada often stated that when we strive intelligently for spiritual welfare, material automatically follows. Srila Prabhupada was empowered to spread Krsna consciousness in a practical and straight forward way, just suitable of the modern world. Without changing or compromising the teachings of Krsna consciousness even slightly, he presented its esoteric truths in a clear and intelligible manner, suitable for both the layman and the scholar.
Srila Prabhupada left this world on November 14TH 1977 in Krishna’s holy land of Vrindavan. He had been translating his books and instructing his disciples to the very last, and left in the most auspicious circumstances, surrounded by his disciples chanting the maha-mantra, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare.
He left behind a massiv legacy of teachings in the form of numerous books audio and video taped lectures and conversations, as well as a worldwide movement. He said he had given everythings necessary to go back home, back to Godhead, we just had to read his books, chant and follow his instruction. He taught that there was no difference to serving him when he was physically present, ho doing so when he was absent. He would remain spiritually present in his books and instructions:
Critics who praised Srila Prabhupada’s work
Dr. Thomas J. Hopkins Chairman dept. of religious studies
Franklin and Marshall College –“There is little question that this edition is one of the best books available on the Gita and on devotion. Prabhpada’s translation is an idle blend of literal accuracy and religious insight.
Thomas Merton (Catholic Theologian, Monk, Author) – “ The Gita can be seen as the main literary support for the great religious civilization of India, the oldest surviving culture in the world. The present translation and commentary is another manifestation of the permanent living importance of the Gita. Swami Bhaktivedanta brings to the west salutary reminder that our highly atavistic and one sided culture is faced with a crisis that may end in self destruction because it lacks the inner depth of an authentic meta physical consciousness. Without such depth, our moral and political protestations are just so much verbiage. “
- Pro. Dr. Kedar Sharma
- Swami Prabhupada
- Samin K. Sharma, MD
- Late Sh. Jagjit Singh
- Manoj Kumar
- Avinash Chander Mannan
- Gunvant B. Dave
- Haridas Kotahwala
- Pratap Singh Chouhan
- Dr. Raghunath Prasad Tiwari - Umang
- Dr. Kumar vishwas
- Dr. (Mrs) Lilly George
- Anil Goel
- Dr. Om Sharma
- Chand Bihari Ji Saboo
- Chitra Goel
- Ajey Jain
- Madan Jhawar
- Kamlesh C. Mehta
- Jodh Raj Loddha
- Dr. Renu Khator
- Mr. Kailash Jhalani
- Mohammed Rafiq Ibrahim Punjabi (Qureshi)
- Mr. Narpat Bhandari
- Mr. Sarosh Khan
- Mr. S. Abhaya Kumar
- Mr. V. Premraj Jain
- Mr. Lal K. Motwani
- Mr. Mukeshbhai Babubhai Gopani