Lecture by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). ISKCON is popularly known as the “Hare Krishna” movement, due to its members’ widespread practice of chanting the Hare Krishna mantra in public. Srila Prabhupada intended ISKCON to facilitate the association and education of bhakti-yoga practitioners, and his followers continue to spread that mission.

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896-1977) is widely regarded as the foremost Vedic scholar, translator, and teacher of the modern era. He is especially respected as the world’s most prominent contemporary authority on bhakti-yoga, devotional service to the Supreme Person, Krishna, as taught by the ancient Vedic writings of India. He is also the founder-acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

Srila Prabhupada, as he’s known to his followers, translated and commented on over eighty volumes of the Vedas’ most important sacred bhakti texts, including the Bhagavad-gita—a concise handbook for understanding the purpose and goal of human life—and the multi-volume Srimad-Bhagavatam—an epic biography of Krishna, Krishna’s avatars, and His many devotees throughout the history of the universe.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada, Founder-acharya of ISKCON
Śrīla Prabhupāda

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Religion Hinduism
Lineage Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya
Sect Gaudiya Vaishnavism
Other names Abhay Caranaravinda, Abhay Charan De, Prabhupada
Nationality Indian
Born Abhay Charan De
1 September 1896
Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India
Died 14 November 1977 (aged 81)
Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India
Resting place Bhaktivedanta Swami’s Samadhi, Vrindavan
Religious career
Based in Vrindavan, India
Title Founder-Acharya of ISKCON
Period in office 1966–1977
Predecessor Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
Teacher Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
Works Bhagavad-Gītā As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam
Initiation Diksa–1933, Sannyasa–1959
Post Guru, Sannyasi, Samsthapaka-Acharya
Website Official Website of ISKCONOfficial website of 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.[13][14][15] After his death in 1977, ISKCON, the society he founded based on a type of Hindu Krishnaism using the Bhagavata Purana as a central scripture, continued to grow and is respected worldwide. In February 2014, ISKCON’s news agency reported to have reached a milestone of distributing over half a billion books authored by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, since 1965.[16]
In 1959 he took a vow of renunciation (sannyasa) and started writing commentaries on Vaishnava scriptures.[8] In his later years, as a traveling 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.[3][9] As the founder of ISKCON, he “emerged as a major figure of the Western counterculture, initiating thousands of young Americans.”[10] Despite attacks from anti-cult groups, he received a favorable welcome from many religious scholars, such as J. Stillson Judah, Harvey Cox, Larry Shinn and Thomas Hopkins, who praised Bhaktivedanta Swami’s translations and defended the group against distorted media images and misinterpretations.[11] In respect to his achievements, religious leaders from other Gaudiya Vaishnava movements have also given him credit.[12]Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (Bengali: অভয়চরণারবিন্দ ভক্তিবেদান্ত স্বামী প্রভুপাদ; Abhoy Charonarobindo Bhoktibedanto Swamy Probhupad; Sanskrit: अभय चरणारविन्द भक्तिवेदान्त स्वामी प्रभुपाद, IAST: abhaya-caraṇāravinda bhakti-vedānta svāmī prabhupāda; 1 September 1896 – 14 November 1977) was a Gaudiya Vaishnava spiritual teacher (guru) and the founder preceptor (acharya) of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness[1] (ISKCON), commonly known as the “Hare Krishna Movement“.[2] His mission was to propagate Gaudiya Vaishnavism, a school of Vaishnavite Hinduism that had been taught to him by his guru, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, throughout the world.[3] Born Abhay Charan De in Calcutta, he was educated at the prestigious local Scottish Church College.[4] Before adopting the life of a pious renunciant (vanaprastha) in 1950,[5] he was married with children and owned a small pharmaceutical business.[6][7]

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