THE SWAMI WHO STARTED IT ALL

Within the final twenty years of his life Srila Prabhupada translated over sixty volumes of classic Vedic scriptures (such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam) into the English language. For their authority, depth, and clarity, his books have won praise from professors at universities like Harvard and Oxford, and his Bhagavad-Gita As It Is was published by Macmillan Publishers in 1968 and the unabridged edition in 1972, and is now available in over sixty languages around the world. Other books by Srila Prabhupada are available in over eighty different languages. Over 500 million books of his have been distributed to date.

Srila Prabhupada established The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) in 1972 to publish his works. The BBT has also published his multi-volume biography, Srila Prabhupada-Lilamrta, that, according to acclaimed scholar of religion Larry Shinn, will “certainly be one of the most complete records of the life and work of any modern religious figure”. Srila Prabhupada reminded his devotees before his passing that he would live forever in his books, and through them would remain present as a spiritual master or guru. He had instilled in his followers an understanding of the importance of writing and publishing not only with regard to his works, but also their own initiatives.

SRILA PRABHUPADA : A MULTIFACETED PERSONALITY

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    SELF REALISED

    Acting on the platform of his spiritual identity, Srila Prabhupada completely dedicated his life to serve God. He was able to produce phenomenal accomplishments and transform the consciousness of people only because he was on the highest state of self-realisation and therefore divinely empowered. Such self-realised souls in the world are very rare.

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    FEARLESS

    Srila Prabhupada was named Abhay Charan at birth, which means ‘one who is fearless having taken shelter at the feet of God’. The significance of this name was revealed in his bold mission with unflinching trust in God, despite great personal hardship. He explained that fear is due to a lack of understanding of the illusory nature of the material world.

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    BONAFIDE

    Srila Prabhupada was an authorised spiritual teacher in an unbroken succession that can be traced back to God Himself – and his appearance was predicted. Sages in this line have learned and taught the pure wisdom of God’s original instructions for millennia, and include Vyasa, the author of the sacred scriptures, and Chaitanya, the propagator of the holy names of the Lord.

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    SIMPLE

    Humble, meek, truthful and pure – in his character, in his lifestyle and in the message he taught. Srila Prabhupada lived to serve mankind and inspired others to follow ‘simple living, high thinking’, a return to an uncomplicated lifestyle. Despite the success of his movement, Srila Prabhupada always remained modest and detached and gave credit to others.

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    REVOLUTIONARY

    Srila Prabhupada created a worldwide spiritual and cultural revolution that encouraged many people to seriously take to the process of god consciousness. He started this revolution in New York, because he felt that America was where he would find intelligent young people that would be receptive to the timeless, authoritative spiritual instruction of the Vedic scriptures.

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    TEACHER

    Srila Prabhupada was not just a teacher, but also a teacher of teachers for the modern age. He translated more than 70 Vedic books into English and was honoured by many leading scholars. He taught and led by example, embodying the knowledge that he conveyed. He is recognised as ‘Prabhupada’ – one at whose feet the other masters sit.

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    COMPASSIONATE

    Srila Prabhupada had selfless concern for the welfare of all living beings. He wanted to relieve our suffering, but explained that compassion for the material body alone does not provide a lasting solution. He saw suffering as a symptom of a deeper problem: our misidentification with the temporary material body. He enlightened us about our real identity: the soul.

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    DEVOTIONAL

    Srila Prabhupada epitomised and taught bhakti yoga: pure, absolute and unconditional love of the Supreme Lord. Giving up household life and adopting the renounced order, he became a travelling monk whose affection and compassion now extended to the whole of society. He circled the globe twelve times, spreading the message of pure devotion everywhere.

A LIFETIME OF DEVOTION

1896
1918
1922
1925
1933
1935
1944
1947
1959
1965
1965
1966
1968
1970
1972
1974
1975
1977

WORLDWIDE CONTRIBUTIONS

SHRINES & MEMORIALS

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VRINDAVAN SAMADHI

Srila Prabhupada spent his final days with devotees in Vrindaban, India, absorbed in thought of Krishna. After his departure here, his body was placed in samadhi adjacent to ISKCON's Krishna-Balarama temple. The samadhi mandir is a beautifully designed, marble-clad building.

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MAYAPUR PUSHPA SAMADHI

Traditionally, a garland worn by a spiritual master is placed in the ground to dedicate a site in his honor. Srila Prabhupada’s followers built a magnificent domed samadhi on the ISKCON campus at Mayapur, West Bengal, over garlands that he was wearing when he left his body.

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PALACE OF GOLD

The New Vrindaban community, near Moundsville, West Virginia, USA, is home to Srila Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold, an ornate hilltop structure decorated with stained-glass windows, gold-leafing, intricate carving, and marble work.

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MATCHLESS GIFTS

At 26 2nd Avenue, Manhattan, New York, you’ll find the first temple Srila Prabhupada established in America and the Western world. This small storefront—the previous tenants had named it “Matchless Gifts”—became the first home of the Hare Krishna movement.

OTHER MEMORIALS

At the following temples, devotees have carefully preserved the rooms where Srila Prabhupada lived. The links, where available, will take you to the temple’s website.
ISKCON Krishna-Balarama Mandir, Vrindaban, India
ISKCON Radha-Rasabihari Mandir, Mumbai, India
ISKCON Mayapur, West Bengal, India
ISKCON Bhaktivedanta Manor, Letchmore Heath, Watford, UK
ISKCON New Dwarka Dham, Los Angeles
ISKCON Radha Govinda Mandir, New York