His Divine Grace A.C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
was born in Calcutta, India, in 1896, where he was
raised in a loving Vaishnava family and learned to worship
Krishna from an early age. He attended Scottish Churches
college and went on to run a pharmaceutical business during
his household years. He later met his spiritual master,
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, who instructed him
to print books in English and spread the message of Krishna
consciousness, love of God, to the western world.
1944, taking the instructions of his guru to heart, Srila
Prabhupada singlehandedly started Back to Godhead magazine,
which is continued to this day by his disciples. In 1950, he
moved to Vrindavan, India, the birth place of Lord Krishna,
and devoted several years to studies and writing. It is
there that he began on a multi-volume translation with
commentary of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, along with many other
books. He accepted the renounced order of sannyasa in 1959
and not long thereafter, set out on a cargo ship to the West
to fulfill the order of his guru.
July 1966, after a year of hardships alone in a poor
neighborhood of New York City and still without a single
dedicated follower, Srila Prabhupada incorporated the
International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). On
his business card at the time he had printed "centers around
the world." Before his passing in 1977, only 11 years later,
Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON had grown to a following of some
10,000 disciples, and a worldwide confederation of 108
ashrams, schools, temples, and farm communities.
Despite his advanced age, Srila Prabhupada circled the globe
fourteen times on lecture tours, and without fail, would
rise early each morning and continue translating and
commenting on Srimad Bhagavatam and Chaitanya Charitamrita.
Prabhupada has left behind a veritable library of Vedic
philosophy and culture for our benefit. Highly respected by
scholars for their authority, depth, and clarity, his books
are used at colleges and universities around the world. The
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust publishes his works in over 50
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