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Srila Prabhupada’s Life-Changing Journey to the West

Many of you probably already know about Srila Prabhupada. Indirectly most of you must know about him as he is the founder of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness). But what many of you may not be aware off is the journey that Srila Prabhupada took to bring this spiritual message to the West. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, fondly known as His Holiness Śrīla Prabhupada, is a spiritual master who brought Kṛṣṇa consciousness to the Western world.

Early life of Srila Prabhupada

Born in Calcutta in 1 September 1896, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (or Acarya) was a philosopher and author of over sixty-five books on Krishna consciousness and Vaishnava philosophy. He is best known for founding the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in 1966, which has more than 300 temples throughout the world offering transcendental meditation, kirtans and other programs that introduce people to a satisfying spiritual life. He left his family home and went to Shirdi to meet Śrī Nārāyaṇa Yogī. Little did he know then that he would be meeting the Supreme Person himself there. Savarkar spent most of 1909 in Shirdi. He was attracted by the guru’s extraordinary personality and by his living example of selfless service.

Religious journey of srila prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada’s journey to God was a long one, and it took him many years to reach the state of pure devotion that he came to embody.

In 1919, he met Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura at Calcutta’s Ganges riverbank and became a disciple of this saintly figure. He studied Sanskrit grammar from his guru and began to write commentaries on sacred texts such as the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam.

In 1922, Srila Prabhupada met his spiritual master, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, in Prayagraj. He was asked to spread the message of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the English language.It was then that Srila Prabhupada left his home and family and began his mission to deliver the message of Lord Chaitanya to the West. He traveled through India on foot and by train, distributing books and chanting all along the way. He then went to Calcutta where he met with a group of men interested in Hindu philosophy. This group became known as the “Six Goswamis” or “Gaudiya Math,” which later became ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness).

Books and publishing

In 1968, Srila Prabhupada began his first English translation of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. He would continue to translate many classic Vedic texts over the next few years, including Srimad Bhagavatam, Chaitanya Charitamrita and Caitanya Mangal.

In 1970, Srila Prabhupada founded a publishing company called ISKCON Communications Inc., which published all of his future books and translations. In 1979, he established the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust to protect and manage his literary legacy.

The BBT has published over 200 titles of Srila Prabhupada’s original works in over 100 languages and is currently publishing nine major English-language magazines on a monthly basis. The BBT also distributes a wide variety of books and other items through its online store, including audio recordings and DVDs.

In 1965, Srila Prabhupada went to America to spread the teachings of Lord Caitanya. In 1968, he purchased property in New York City where he established his first temple: the New York Temple.

In 1970, Srila Prabhupada went on his first trip to Europe and established ISKCON temples there as well. In 1972, he visited Sydney and Melbourne where he established ISKCON temples there as well.

 Srila Prabhupada died on November 14th, 1977, at the age of 81. He had been ill with heart disease for several years and had been on a strict diet for several months before his death.

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