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Srila Prabhupada

A Brief Biography of
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

His Divine Grace appeared in this world in 1896 in Calcutta, India. He first met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, in Calcutta in 1922. Srila 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 life to teaching Vedic knowledge. Srila Prabhupada became his student and, in 1933, his formally initiated disciple.

At their first meeting, in 1922, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati requested Srila Prabhupada to broadcast Vedic knowledge in English. In the years that followed, Srila Prabhupada wrote a commentary on the , assisted the Gaudiya Matha in its work and, in 1944, started "Back to Godhead," an English fortnightly magazine. The magazine is now being continued by his followers.

In 1950 Srila Prabhupada retired from married life, adopting the vanaprastha (retired) order to devote more time to his studies and writing. He travelled to the holy city of Vrndavana , where he lived in humble circumstances in the historic temple of Radha-Damodara. He accepted the renounced order of life (sannyasa) in 1959. At Radha- Damodara, Srila Prabhupada began work on his life's masterpiece: a multivolume commented (Bhagavata Purana).

After publishing three volumes of the Bhagavatam, Srila Prabhupada came to the United States, in September of 1965, to fulfil the mission of his spiritual master. Subsequently, he wrote more than fifty volumes of summary studies and commented on translations of the philosophical and religious classics of India.

When Srila Prabhupada first arrived by freighter in New York City, he was practically penniless. Only after almost a year of great difficulty did he establish the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, in July of 1966. Before he passed away, on November 14, 1977, he had guided the Society and seen it grow to a worldwide confederation of more than one hundred centers, schools, temples, institutes and farm communities.

Among the farm communities Srila Prabhupada established is New Vrndavan, in West Virginia , USA. New Vrndavan is now the site, also, of a memorial built in Srila Prabhupada's honor, "Srila Prabhupada's Palace of Gold."

Srila Prabhupada inspired the construction of several large international centers in India. The center at Sridhama Mayapur is the site for a planned spiritual city. In Vrndavana are the Krishna-Balarama Temple and International Guesthouse, gurukula school, and Srila Prabhupada Memorial and Museum. There are major cultural centers and temples in Bombay, Ahmedhabad, Bangalore and New Delhi. Other centers are planned in several important locations on the Indian subcontinent.

Srila Prabhupada's most significant contribution, however, is his which are highly respected by scholars for their authority, depth and clarity.

In just twelve years, from his arrival in America in 1965 till his passing on in Vrndavana in 1977, despite his advanced age, Srila Prabhupada circled the globe fourteen times on lecture tours that took him to six continents. Notwithstanding such a vigorous schedule, Srila Prabhupada continued to write prolifically. His writings constitute a veritable , religion, literature and culture.

Srimai Radharani

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