Srila Prabhupada - The Senapati Bhakta And Ambassador Of Spiritual World
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is the founder Acharya of International Society for Krishna Consciousness, widely known as ISKCON.
|His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada|
Srila Prabhupada - The Senapati Bhakta and Ambassador of Spiritual World
Driven by the deep desire of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and following the instruction of His Spiritual Master (Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur), Srila Prabhupada established ISKCON which has played a very key role in propagating the Secret Science of Devotion globally.
Today millions of people across the world are getting the privilege of understanding the science of Krishna Consciousness, which was once hidden deep within India. Millions of such fortunate people express their gratitude to Srila Prabhupada for revealing the timeless wisdom of bhakti yoga to the entire world.
Introducing Prabhupada's Childhood and Early Life
Srila Prabhupada appeared in Tollygunge, Calcutta, on 1st September 1896 (which happened to be a very auspicious day of Nandotsava, the day just after Janmasthami) in a pious Bengali family. His parents Sriman Gaur Mohan De and Srimati Rajani De had named Him Abhay Charan De, "one who is fearless, having taken shelter at Lord Krishna's feet."
He had pursued his education from Scottish Church college. He graduated in 1920 with majors in English, Philosophy and Economics. However, in response to Mahatma Gandhi's civil disobedience movement, he rejected his diploma.
Quick Spotlight On Prabhupada's Remarkable Spiritual Journey
Srila Prabhupada was carrying the symptoms of true devotee since his childhood. Born in a pious Vaishnav family, His parents also nurtured the devotional spark in his tender heart. At the age of 5, Srila Prabhupada took out his first Rath Yatra (the divine chariot of Lord Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra Maharani). His father gifted him a beautiful deity of Srimati Radha Rani and Lord Krishna.
In the year 1922, Srila Prabhupada first met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur and was given the instruction to spread the Transcendental Message of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in English. This became the mission statement for Prabhupada's entire life.
In 1933, he was formally initiated as a disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur.
In 1944, Srila Prabhupada started the publication of a fortnightly magazine called Back To Godhead single-handedly. He was the writer, designer, publisher, editor, copy editor and distributor. He himself personally designed the logo, an effulgent figure of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the upper left corner, with the motto: "Godhead is Light, Nescience is darkness" greeting the readers.
In 1947, the Gaudiya Vaishnava Society recognized his scholarship with the title Bhaktivedanta, (bhaktivedānta) meaning "one who has realised that devotional service to the Supreme Lord is the end of all knowledge"
1950 onwards, Prabhupada took retirement from His married life (vanaprastha) moved to Vrindavan and stayed in Radha-Damodar mandir. In those days, Radha-Damodara Mandir had the maximum collection of original works by the Six Gosvamis and their followers. There he began his commentary and translation work of the Sanskrit work Srimad Bhagavatam.
In the year 1959, he took the vows of renunciation to lead a life of Vaishnava sannyasi.
Srila Prabhupada's miracle and his remarkable revolutionary move.
On 25 August 1965 Prabhupada left India, obtaining free passage on a freighter called the Jaladuta, with the aim and a hope of fulfilling his spiritual master's instruction to spread the message of Caitanya Mahaprabhu around the world.
This historical voyage was neither supported by any religious groups/organizations nor did he have anyone to welcome him in the foreign land.
Neither was his voyage very comfortable. He had to suffer seasickness and two heart attacks. In his possession were a suitcase, an umbrella, a supply of dry cereal, about eight dollars worth of Indian currency, and several boxes of books.
Completely surrendered to Krishna, he did a miracle that others could never think or do.
In July 1966 he brought the world together under one roof of "global missionary Vaishnavism", he founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness(ISKCON) in NewYork City. This was the onset of preaching and spreading the True, Authentic and Bonafide version of Vedic Knowledge As It Is. Thus Srila Prabhupada became a true Jagad Guru or Spiritual Master for the entire world, not just by title but in action
In the year 1977, at the age of 81, Srila Prabhupada departed from this material world in Vrindavan, leaving behind the treasure of Krishna Conscious knowledge and the Secret of returning Back to Godhead.
Revealing confidential secrets about Srila Prabhupada.
There were many predictions about His Appearance & establishment of ISKCON; some are listed below:
In Brahma-vaivarta Purana, while speaking with Ganga Devi, Lord Krishna made a prediction
(1) Approx. 5000 Years ago: Lord Krishna
Eating, sleeping, sex, and defense—these four principles are common to both human beings and animal
(2) 9th – 10th centuries: Nammalvar
(3) Approx. 500 Years ago: Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had declared to the whole world that He would be sending His messenger who will widespread Krishna Consciousness across the globe.
Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu very clearly indicated the advent of Srila Prabhupada in the following verses:
Chanting of the name & qualities of Krsna is the life & energy of the Vaisnavas. I will reveal these activities & rejuvenate pure devotional service unto Myself. In this way, I will destroy all the sins in Kali Yuga. So all of you, My associates, go ahead and take birth on the earthly planet before My advent and don't remain behind. Taking the sharp sword of the congregational chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra, (nama-sankirtana) I will root out & destroy the demoniac mentality in the hearts of all the conditioned souls. If some sinful people escape and giving up religious principles go to far off countries, then my Senapati Bhakta will come at that time to give them Krsna consciousness. (senapati - a military field commander, bhakta - a devotee.) Lord Caitanya will empower His own devotee to spread Krsna Consciousness around the world.
Bhaktivinoda Thakur was a great Vaisnava Acharya in Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya. He had made many remarkable predictions about the appearance of Srila Prabhupada.
His literary contribution to humanity
Srila Prabhupada had authored and published more than eighty volumes of Spiritual Literature. This was his greatest contribution to mankind. He was at his old age, had a huge pressure of establishing and managing a worldwide movement which is not just in a gross way but also ensuring the proper Vedic standards are followed in every temple. Despite this, he used to rise early every day at 2:00 AM to write these books. He took great care while translating the original texts so as to retain the exact same meanings. In his purports, he made an effort to give us a practical relevance to the verses. Due to the clear and transparent representation of the Vedic Knowledge as it is without twisting its meaning, His books carry the potency. This is why His books have been translated to over sixty languages and sold in thousands of millions. His books are acclaimed by scholars and students alike. Everyone should take advantage of this timeless literature, tightly packed with Spiritual Knowledge and Potency.
Some of the list of books by Srila Prabhupada.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
Srimad-Bhagavatam, cantos 1-10, (29 vols.)
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (17 vols.)
Teachings of Lord Caitanya
The Nectar of Devotion
Easy Journey to Other Planets
Krsna Consciousness: The Topmost Yoga System
Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead (3 vols.)
Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
Dialectical Spiritualism—A Vedic View of Western Philosophy
Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahuti
Transcendental Teachings of Prahlad Maharaja
Teachings of Queen Kunti
Krsna, the Reservoir of Pleasure
The Science of Self-Realization
The Path of Perfection
Life Comes From Life
The Perfection of Yoga
Beyond Birth and Death
On the Way to Krsna
Raja-vidya: The King of Knowledge
Elevation to Krsna Consciousness
Krsna Consciousness: The Matchless Gift
Back to Godhead magazine (founder)
Timeline of major events
1896- Srila Prabhupada appeared on this material world
1922- Met his spiritual master for the first time
1932- Received initiation
1939- Was bestowed the title "Bhaktivedanta"
1944- Started "Back to Godhead" magazine
1953- Started League of devotees in Jhansi
1956- Moved to Vrindavan
1959- Received Sanyasa Initiation
1960- Published his first book "Easy Journey to other planets"
1965- Started for America on Jaladuta
1966- Incorporated ISKCON
1967- Took his first flight to San Francisco
1967- Inspired the first Ratha Yatra in the West (in SF)
1968- Macmillan published his Bhagavad-Gita translation and commentary
1969- Established the first Radha Krishna temple in the West (Los Angeles)
1969- Established Radha-Londonishvara temple in London
1970- Established BBT - Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, which went on to become the largest publisher in the world of Vedic literature.
1971- Established the first ISKCON temple in India at Kolkata
1972- Conducted 'Bhoomi pujan' ceremony for a magnificent temple in Mayapur
1974- Published Chaitanya Charitamrita in 17 volumes
1975- He conducted grand opening of the temple in Vrindavan
1977- Disappearance from this material world
Prabhupada's historical accomplishments
Srila Prabhupada in his twelve years (1965 – 1977) made some remarkable accomplishments.
Throughout his mission, he taught the teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and introduced bhakti yoga to the entire humanity.
Between 1968 and 1977 Srila Prabhupada dictated a total of 22,000 pages of text.
He translated and wrote purports to 18,000 verses of Srimad Bhagavatam. [Reading only one verse with purport daily would take the reader 50 years to complete]
He translated and wrote the purports to the 700 verses of Bhagavad Gita. [Reading one verse with purport daily would take two years to complete.]
He translated and wrote the purports to the 17 volumes of Chaitanya Charitamrita - in total 2,170 pages or 11,555 verses. [Reading one verse with purport daily would take the reader 32 years to complete. Reading one page daily would take 6 years to complete]
Besides that, he also wrote Teachings of Lord Chaitanya, Nectar of devotion, Teachings of Lord Kapiladeva, Sri Isopanisad and many many more.
He created Back to Godhead magazine which is monthly distributed in 1 million copies.
He wrote 7000 letters to His disciples which were published in 5 volumes of books.
The Srimad Bhagavatam lectures He gave are compiled in 11 volumes of books.
His Bhagavad Gita lectures are compiled in 7 volumes of books.
His conversations have been compiled in 42 volumes of books.
He established 108 temples.
He published 147 books. Reading one book monthly would take 13 years
He traveled around the world 14 times.
He initiated 10,000 disciples from all over the world.
To know more about Srila Prabhupada
All glories to Om Visnu-pada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Astotarra-sata Sri Srimad His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada!