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, Abhay Charan was Born on September 1,1896 in Calcutta India, into a Vaishnava family. His father was a pure devotee of Lord Krishna, named Gour Mohan. Later, Abhay would be known to the world, as A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.Gour Mohan wanted his son to grow to become a pure devotee of God, "Lord Krishna".There was always devotion to Lord Krishna, which was totally proper in Vaishnava homes.
When Prabhupada was just 6 years old, he asked his father for his own deities to worship.Father provided young Prabhupada with his own pair of Radha Krishna deities.Lord Krishna reciprocated by guiding Srila Prabhupada to his spiritual master. Prabhupada first met his spiritual master in 1922.
His spiritual master's name is Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Goswami Maharaj.He came from a long line of spiritual masters, dating back to the original master, God himself, Lord Sri Krishna. The Vedic scriptures present the complete word of God, and are aimed at all people in creation, without exception. The importance of accepting a spiritual master in disciplic succession originating from Lord Krishna is stressed for all.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta impressed Prabhupada with his great knowledge, devotion, and purity. In 1947 Prabhupada started "Back To Godhead". First, it started out as a newsletter, but became a magazine. It is still printed today, and widely distributed worldwide. Wherever Prabhupada went, he would preach love of God, and the glories of Lord Krishna to all who would listen.
In 1950 Prabhupada took sannyasa (renounced order), and traveled from ashram, to ashram. He stayed in various temples, and homes of pious people, throughout India. He preached Bhagavad Gita wherever he could find an audience. His goal was to establish a powerful movement for spreading God consciousness (Krishna consciousness) worldwide.
Bhagavad Gita contains the literal word of God, and covers the essence of Vedic knowledge.In 1965 at the age of 69, Srila Prabhupada set sail for America. By the mercy of Lord Krishna, and his guru, he was determined to fullfill his spiritual master's order, to spread God (Krishna) consciousness to the west. He set forth on a mission, that only an empowered representative of the Lord could accomplish.
Armed only with a trunk of books, and faith in Lord Krishna, he came forth. In the course of this journey across the great ocean, he had two heart attacks. He prayed to Lord Krishna, and chanted his holy names, and he recovered.Arriving in New York City, he spent some time with a family in Butler Pennsylvania, but he eventually returned to New York to set up a store front temple in the bowery.
In time,news spread of this holy man from India who was having an effect, in spreading the word of God. The small temple provided a program of chanting, and discussing Bhagavad Gita. His programs consisted of Chanting the Hare Krishna "Maha mantra".The mantra was touching so many, and gave a unique way to connect with God. Srila Prabhupada touched many lives, and even inspired Beatle George Harrison to write the well known song,
"My Sweet Lord". He translated over 30 volumes of Srimad Bhagavatam, 17 volumes of Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Bhagavad Gita, and presented numerous other books. When he came to America, and saw for himself the high degree of materialistic life, he wondered, how he could have a spiritual impact. His mission later proved to be successful in ways that are still being realized.
The Vedic scriptures, repeatedly emphasize the spiritual importance of India. India has always been the center, of religious knowledge, and culture, since time immemorial. We should not think that Srila Prabhupada was a mundane leader, of a sectarian religion.Quite the contrary, the principles taught by Srila Prabhupada, were universal, far transcending the superficial, man- made, sectarianism of one group, or another.
The original word of God, Vedas, apply to, and will benefit every person. Srila Prabhupada taught, "We do not speak of Hindu gold, or Christian gold. Gold is always gold". Similarly, when we speak of Krishna consciousness, we refer to the natural, pure consciousness, lying dormant within the heart, of every living being.