Srila Prabhupada

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivendanta Swami Prabhupada

Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada  Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta  Swami Prabhupada  September 1896 – 14 November 1977) was a Gaudiya Vaishnavism spiritual teacher (guru) and the founder preceptor (acharya) of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness[1] (ISKCON), commonly known as the "Hare Krishna Movement". Adherents of the ISKCON movement view Prabhupada as a pure devotee and messenger of Krishna.

Born Abhay Charan De in Calcutta, he was educated at the Scottish Church College in Calcutta. Before adopting the life of a pious renunciant (vanaprastha) in 1950,  he was married with children and owned a small Pharmaceutical  business. In 1959 he took a vow of renunciation (sannyasa) and started writing commentaries on Vaishnava scriptures. In his later years, as a travelling Vaishnava monk, he became an influential communicator of Gaudiya Vaishnava theology to India and specifically to the West through his leadership of ISKCON, founded in 1966. As the founder of ISKCON, he "emerged as a major figure of the Western counterculture, initiating thousands of young Americans. He received criticism from anti-cult groups, as well as a favourable welcome from religious scholars such as J. Stillson Judah, Harvey CoxLarry Shinn and Thomas Hopkins, who praised Bhaktivedanta Swami's translations and defended the group against distorted media images and misinterpretations. In respect to his achievements, religious leaders from other Gaudiya Vaishnava movements have also given him credit.

220px-His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada

He has been described as a charismatic leader, in the sense used by sociologist Max Weber, as he was successful in acquiring followers in the United States, Europe, India and elsewhere.  His mission was to propagate, throughout the world, Krishna Consciousness that had been taught to him by his guru, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati  After his death in 1977, ISKCON, the society he founded based on Bhagavad-Gītā As It Is of Bhagavata Purana as a central scripture, continued to grow. In February 2014, ISKCON's news agency reported reaching a milestone of distributing over half a billion of his books since 1965. His translation and commentaries of the Bhagavad-Gītā As It Is is considered by adherents to the ISKCON movement and many Vedic scholars as one of the finest literary works of Vaishnavism translated into the English Language.

© Adi Purusa das 2017