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Srila Prabhupada

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada appeared in this world in 1896 in Calcutta , India , He first met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, in Calcutta in 1922. bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, a prominent religious scholar and the founder of sixty-four Gaudiya Mathas (Vedic institutes), liked this educated young man and convinced him to dedicate his student and, eleven years later, his formally initiated disciple.

At their first meeting, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarascvati Thakura requested Srila Prabhupada to broadcast Vekic knowledge through the English language. In the years that followed, Srila Prabhupada worte a commentary on the Bhagavad-gita, assisted the Gaudiya Matha in its work, and in 1944 started Back to Godgead, an English fortnightly magazine, now being continued by his disciples in the West in more than thirty languages.

Recognizing Srila Prabhupada's learning and devotion, the Gaudiya Vaisnava Society honored him in 1947 with the title “Bhaktivedanta.” In 1950, at the age of fifty-four, Srila Prabhupada retired from married life, adopting the vanaprastha (retired) order to devote more time to his studies and writing. Srila Prabhupada traveled to the holy city of Vrndavana , where he lived in humble circumstances in the historic medieval temple of Radha-Damodara . There be engaged for several years in deep study and writing. He accepted the renounced order of life (sannyasa) in 1959. At Radha-Damodara, Srila Prabhupada began work on his life's master Piece: a multivolume translation of and commentary on the

eithteen-thousand verse Srimad-Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana). He also wrote Easy Journey to Other Planets. After publishing three volumes of the Bagavatam, Srila Prabhupada came to the United States , in 1965, to fulfill the mission of his spiritual master. Subsequently, he wrote more than 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 , Srila Prabhupada 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. Before passing away on November 14, 1977, he guided the Society and saw it grow to a worldwide confederation of more than one hundred asramas, schools, temple, institutes and farm communities.

It was Srila Prabhupada who founded the New Vrndavana spiritual community in West Virginia and introduced to the West the Vedic Gurukula system of education.

Srila Prabhupada also inspired the construction of several large international cultural centers in India . The center at Sridhama Mayapur in West Bengal is the site for a planned spiritual city, an smbitious project for which construction will extend over the next decade. In Vrndavana , India , is the magnificent Krishna Balarama Temple and International Guesthouse. There is also a major cultural and educational center in Bombay . Other centers are planned in a dozen other important locations on the India subcontinent.

Srila Prabhupada's most significant contribution, however, is his books, depth and clarity, they serve as standard textbooks in numerous college courses. His writings have been translated into over thirty languages. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, established in 1972 to publish his works, has thus become the world's largest publisher in the fielded of India religion and philosophy.

In just twelve years, in spite of his advanced age, Srila Prabhupada circled the globe fourteen times on lecture tours that took him to six continents. In spite of such a vigorous schedule, Srila Prabhupada continued to write prolifically. His writing constitute a veritable library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature and culture.

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