His Divine Grace Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Founder~Acharya of the Krishna Consciousness Movement

Śrīla Prabhupada’s Praṇati (prayer)   :

nāma oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya

bhū-tale śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine

“I offer my respectful obeisances   unto His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda,
who is very dear to   Lord Krishna, having taken shelter at His lotus feet. “

        nāmas te sārasvate deve   gaura-vāṇī-pracāriṇe


“Our respectful obeisances are unto   you, O spiritual master, servant of Sarasvatī Gosvāmī.

You are kindly preaching   the message of Lord Caitanyadeva and delivering the Western countries,

which are   filled with impersonalism and voidism.

About Śrīla Prabhupāda

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda was   born in 1896 in Calcutta, India. He first met his spiritual master, Śrīla   Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī, in Calcutta in 1922. Bhaktisiddhānta   Sarasvatī, a prominent devotional scholar and the founder of sixty-four branches   of Gauḍīya Maṭhas (Vedic institutes), liked this educated young man and   convinced him to dedicate his life to teaching Vedic knowledge in the Western   world. Śrīla Prabhupāda became his student, and eleven years later (1933) at   Allahabad, he became his formally initiated disciple.

        At their first meeting, in 1922, Śrīla   Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura requested Śrīla Prabhupāda to broadcast Vedic   knowledge through the English language. In the years that followed, Śrīla   Prabhupāda wrote a commentary on the Bhagavad-gītā and in 1944, without   assistance, started an English fortnightly magazine.

        Recognizing Śrīla Prabhupada’s philosophical learning   and devotion, the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Society honored him in 1947 with the title   “Bhaktivedanta.” In 1950, at the age of fifty-four, Śrīla Prabhupāda retired   from married life, and four years later he adopted the vānaprastha (retired)   order to devote more time to his studies and writing. Śrīla Prabhupāda traveled   to the holy city of Vṛndāvana, where he lived in very humble circumstances in   the historic medieval temple of rādhā-dāmodara. There he engaged for several   years in deep study and writing. He accepted the renounced order of life   (sannyāsa) in 1959. At rādhā-dāmodara, Śrīla Prabhupāda began work on his life’s   masterpiece: a multivolume translation and commentary on the 18,000-verse   śrīmad-bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa). He also wrote Easy Journey to Other   Planets.

        After publishing three volumes of Bhāgavatam, Śrīla   Prabhupāda came to the United States, in 1965, to fulfill the mission of his   spiritual master. Since that time, His Divine Grace has written over sixty   volumes of authoritative translations, commentaries and summary studies of the   philosophical and religious classics of India.

        In 1965, when he first arrived by freighter in New   York City, Śrīla Prabhupāda was practically penniless. It was after almost a   year of great difficulty that he established the International Society for   Krishna Consciousness in July of 1966. Under his careful guidance, the Society   has grew within a decade to a worldwide confederation of almost one hundred   āśramas, schools, temples, institutes and farm communities.

        In 1968, Śrīla Prabhupāda created New Vṛndāvana, an   experimental Vedic community in the hills of West Virginia. Inspired by the   success of New Vṛndāvana, then a thriving farm community of more than one   thousand acres, his students founded several similar communities in the United   States and abroad.

        In 1972, His Divine Grace introduced the Vedic system   of primary and secondary education in the West by founding the Gurukula school   in Dallas, Texas. The school began with three children in 1972, and by the   beginning of 1975 the enrollment had grown to one hundred fifty.

Śrīla Prabhupāda also inspired the construction of a   large international center at Śrīdhāma Māyāpur in West Bengal, India, which is   also the site for a planned Institute of Vedic Studies. A similar project is the   magnificent kṛṣṇa-balarāma Temple and International Guest House in Vṛndāvana,   India. These are centers where Westerners can live to gain firsthand experience   of Vedic culture.

Śrīla Prabhupada’s most significant contribution,   however, is his books. Highly respected by the academic community for their   authoritativeness, depth and clarity, they are used as standard textbooks in   numerous college courses. His writings have been translated into eleven   languages. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, established in 1972 exclusively to   publish the works of His Divine Grace, has thus become the world’s largest   publisher of books in the field of Indian religion and philosophy.

        In the last ten years of his life, in spite of his   advanced age, Śrīla Prabhupāda circled the globe twelve times on lecture tours   that have took him to six continents. In spite of such a vigorous schedule,   Śrīla Prabhupāda continued to write prolifically. His writings constitute a   veritable library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature and culture.