Born on the 1stday of September of the year 1896, Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta SwamiPrabhupada was the initiator of the “Hare Krishna Movement” and for that, he established the International Societyfor Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). ISKCON was established duringhis trip to the United States at New York (1966). Known for his pure dedicationto Lord Krishna, he was referred to as “Messenger of Krishna”. He was born inCalcutta and was called Abhay Charan De. His mission was to spreadthe teachings of Lord Krishna.
For this mission he travelled the six continentsabout fourteen times; he was an inspirational leader, who was solelyresponsible for the establishment and progression of ISKCON into 108 temples,various societies, etc. He was also engaged in the founding of the world’slargest producer of ancient Vaishnava texts called “Bhaktivedanta BookTrust”. He was the onewho familiarized the western world to “Bhakti Yoga” and also spread theteachings of “Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.” In his lifetime, he wrote and publishedmany books. He considered that Jesus and Mohamed as the same. He believed inthe principles of the Vedic scriptures and as long as one follows them; thename of God doesn’t matter, it’s allsame. He favoured the skills and technicalknowledge of modernity and also encouraged them, but he rejected the modern valueswhich promote individualism and considered only the Vedic scriptures.Childhood and Early Life:· He was born in a Bengali Suvarna Banik familyon the next day of birth of Lord Krishna.
It was the 1st day of Septemberof the year 1896. His pet name wasNandulal. His father was called Sriman Gour Mohan De and Mother was named SrimatiRajani De. They were both devotees of Lord Vishnu.· He belonged to a prominent family, so as the tradition ofthat time, he received European style education. He was sent to Scottish ChurchCollege. He made it to English society and Sanskrit Society.
He passed out in1920, had graduated in English, Philosophy and Economics. · He was married to 11-year-old RadharaniDevi at the age of 22. · He was given the task to spread the ideals of ChaitanyaMahaprabhu in the English language by his spiritual guru BhaktisiddhantaSarasvati Thakura.· Tenyears later, he formally became a believer of Bhaktisiddhanta. In1944, he wrote, published and distributed his magazine called “Back to Godhead”.
· Lateron, he was given the title “Prabhupada.”· Hemoved to the holy city of Vrindavan inthe year 1950. There he translated many Hindu scriptures and ancient religioustexts from the Sanskrit language to otherlanguages.· Hecontinued his work and later on took vows to spread the message of Lord Krishnaall around the world. In 1965, he decided to leave India for his mission. · Hetook his texts and left. He was not a representative of India, he was solo.
To fulfilthe wishes of his heart, he completely devoted himself to Lord Krishna.· Manytimes he would say his prayers to Lord Krishna in his native Bengali Language.He considered god his companion, for any problem he faced, he called his god.Later Life:· During his trip to America, in July 1966; Prabhupada established International Society for KrishnaConsciousness (ISKCON) in New York City to fulfil his aspiration to spread “God Consciousness” to the entire world.
· ISKCON was established in New York, San Francisco and otherparts of the USA; he wanted to grow in other parts of the world. He sent hisfollowers to London, England. English Rock Band “The Beatles” George Harrisonhelped the followers to build the Radha Krishna Temple in London.· After starting the drive; Prabhupada moved back to India in1971. He promoted “Vedic Gurukul” systemof education and for that purpose, heestablished many Gurukuls in all over India. · He stayed at Vrindavan until his death in the year 1977 onthe 14th day of September; spent the last twelve years of life towrite many books.Major Works:He wrote countless books. His work on Vedic Texts is printedin many languages and is distributed all over the world.
The credit for thisgreat sacred service goes chiefly to ISKCON. His major works include translationof various Hindu Vedic scriptures into the Englishlanguage in over 60 volumes. His work is available in over 60 languages. His BhaktivedantaBook Trust that was established in 1972 is responsible for selling overhalf a billion copies of his book. Personal Life and Legacy:· He had a son with his wife before he began his religiousjourney.
His wife was 14 when she gave birth to his son.· His resting place is called Bhaktivedanta Swami’s Samadhi atVrindavan, India.· A large number of memorial shrines to Bhaktivedanta Swamiexist. Major of them were constructed by his foundation ISKCON in his reminiscence.They are located in Mayapur, Vrindavan and at the larger sized temples inAmerica.· Many books including Light of the Bh?gavata (1978),Teachings of Queen Kunt? (1978), Lifecomes from life (1978), Searchfor liberation (1981), Chantand be happy (1982) , Comingback: the science of reincarnation (1982), Dialectic spiritualism (1985), Path of perfection (1989),N?rada bhakti s?tra (1991),Mukunda-m?l?-stotra (1989), TheHare Krsna challenge (1990) were published in his honour and arebased on his ideas.· The Government of India acknowledged his endeavours andin the year 1966, they issued a commemorative stamp in his honour as a part ofPrabhupada Centennial celebrations.