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Hare Krishna Mantra
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A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
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Srila Prabhupada, Maha-bhagavata
The Hare Krishna movement has been recently brought to the Western world by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acharya of the Hare Krishna movement. In this century, Srila Prabhupada is the foremost proponent of Vaishnava philosophy, represented by the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya.
This unbroken line of disciplic succession boasts the names of great spiritual preceptors (Acharyas) such as Lord Brahma, Vyasadeva (compiler of the four Vedas , Vedanta Sutras , 18 Puranas , Upanishads , and Mahabharata ), Sri Madhvacharya, Sri Krishna Chaitanya and many others.
Srila Prabhupada appeared in this world in 1896 in Calcutta, India. He first met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, in Calcutta in the year 1922. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, a prominent religious scholar and the founder of 64 Gaudiya Maths (Vedic institutes), favoured the educated young man, and convinced him to dedicate his life to presenting the Vedic literature in English language to the people of the Western world. From his first meeting with Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Srila Prabhupada embraced those words with his heart and soul, recognising that he had met his spiritual master, although it was not until 11 years later (1933) that he was formally initiated a disciple of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati at Allahabad.
During the years of his family life, Srila Prabhupada devoted his free time to studying the Vaishnava literature and writing, and offered assistance to the devotees. He began work on an English edition of the Bhagavad-gita, but to his dismay, the manuscript went missing. When in 1950 he encountered difficulties in operating his pharmacy branches, he took it as the arrangement of God, and retired from married life. He was then 54. He travelled to Vrindaban, and devoted his time to his studies and writing. In 1959 he entered the renounced order (sannyasa), and began work on his multi-volume translation of the 18,000-verse Srimad-Bhagavatam (Bhagavat Purana), complete with elaborate purports. He also wrote and published Easy Journey to Other Planets.
In 1965, when he had published the first three volumes of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Srila Prabhupada set out to fulfil the order of his spiritual master, leaving India and travelling to the USA on board a freighter. He was 70 years old when he arrived in New York. He arrived alone, and practically penniless. Finally, after nearly a year of struggle, he met some young persons who took an interest in him and lent their assistance. This was the beginning of the Hare Krishna movement. In 1966 he established his society in New York, and over the next 11 years he guided that society and saw it grow to a world-wide community of more than 5,000 initiated disciples recruited from all around the world, 108 temples, a number of schools, institutes, restaurants and farm projects.
Srila Prabhupada’s most significant contribution is his books. Srila Prabhupada translated and wrote purports to 18,000 verses of Srimad-Bhagavatam, 700 verses of Bhagavad-gita, and 17 volumes of Chaitanya-charitamrita. He published a monthly magazine, Back to Godhead, which at one point was distributed in excess of one million copies per month. His published books number 160. Millions of copies have been distributed around the world in 28 major languages. Highly respected by academicians for their authoritativeness, depth and clarity, they are used as standard course material in numerous colleges and universities in India and the USA. In 1972, Srila Prabhupada founded The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust for publishing his works exclusively, and The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust went on to become the world’s largest publisher of books in the field of Indian religion and philosophy.
Srila Prabhupada gave lectures daily to his students and to capacity crowds at universities and festivals. He produced phonographic records. He brought about a revival of spiritualism in art by engaging the talents of his disciples to draw and paint hundreds of illustrations for his books, and to create sculptures and dioramas depicting the pastimes and features of God and His associates, as well as to produce performances in drama, dance and music.
In just 12 years, in spite of his advanced age (70-82), Srila Prabhupada circled the globe fourteen times on lecture tours that took him to six continents. In spite of such a vigorous schedule, Srila Prabhupada continued to write prolifically. His writings constitute a veritable library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature and culture.
Young and old and from countries all over the world, his students have embraced Vedic principles enthusiastically, chanting Hare Krishna in towns and villages worldwide. It is said in Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya-lila 6.279), " lohake yavat sparsi hema nahi kare, tavat sparsa-mani keha chinite na pare: One cannot understand the value of touchstone until it turns iron into gold. One should judge by action, not by promises. A maha-bhagavata (great spiritual personality) can turn a living entity from abominable material life to the Lord’s service. This is the test of a maha-bhagavata ."
Srila Prabhupada has received respect and accolades from leaders of all religious camps, both within and outside the Hindu religion. Even leading politicians and international scholars have appreciated Srila Prabhupada’s efforts and valuable contribution to human society. No other personality of group has accomplished as much in 100 years or even 500 or 1,000 years as Srila Prabhupada accomplished in the last 12 years of his physical presence. Therefore he is the Sampradaya Acharya for the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya and most worshipable spiritual personality.
Before his departure in 1977, Srila Prabhupada appointed senior disciples to continue to oversee the affairs of his international society and to recruit, initiate and train new disciples on his behalf. Hansadutta das is one of those who were deputised to represent Srila Prabhupada as Rittvik Representative of the Acharya.
Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarshayo vidhuh (Bhagavad-git a 4.2). The science of Krishna consciousness is received through this disciplic succession:
5) Madhva, 6) Padmanabha, 7) Nrihari, 8) Madhava, 9) Akshobhya, 10) Jayatirtha, 11) Jnanasindhu,
12) Dayanidhi, 13) Vidyanidhi, 14) Rajendra,
15) Jayadharma, 16) Purushottama,
17) Brahmanyatirtha, 18) Vyasatirtha,
19) Lakshmipati, 20) Madhavendra Puri, 21) Ishvara Puri, (Nityananda, Advaita), 22) Lord Chaitanya ,
23) Rupa (Svarupa, Sanatana), 24) Raghunatha, Jiva, 25) Krishnadasa, 26) Narottama, 27) Vishvanath,
28) (Baladeva) Jagannatha, 29) Bhaktivinode,
30) Gaurakishora, 31) Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati,
32) His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Audio recordings of Srila Prabhupada lectures and kirtans and video footage of Srila Prabhupada’s interviews and festivals are available in CD, MP3 and DVD formats.
Also available: the complete collection of Srila Prabhupada’s works in folio with extensive search capability on a single CD-ROM, requires Windows98, XP or later.
• Back to Godhead magazine (Founder)
• Beyond Birth and Death
• Bhagavad-gita As It Is
• Chaitanya-charitamrita (17 vols)
• Chant and Be Happy
• Civilisation and Transcendence
• Collected Lectures on Bhagavad-gita (7 vols)
• Collected Lectures on Srimad-Bhagavatam (11 vols)
• Collected Teachings of Srila Prabhupada (7 vols)
• Consciousness: The Missing Link
• Conversations with Srila Prabhupada (37 vols)
• Dialectic Spiritualism: A Vedic View of Western Philosophy
• Easy Journey to Other Planets
• Elevation to Krishna Consciousness
• In Search of the Ultimate Goal of Life
• Krishna Consciousness: The Matchless Gift
• Krishna Consciousness: The Topmost Yoga System
• Krishna, the Reservoir of Pleasure
• Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead (3 vols, originally published by Beatle star George Harrison)
• The Laws of Nature: Infallible Justice
• Life Comes from Life
• Light of the Bhagawat
• Letters from Srila Prabhupada (5 vols)
• Lord Chaitanya in Five Features
• Message of Godhead
• Mukunda-Mala-Stotra (Prayers of King Kulashekhar)
• Nectar of Devotion (Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu )
• Nectar of Instruction (Upadeshamrita )
• On the Way to Krishna
• The Perfection of Yoga
• Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
• Preaching is the Essence
• Purusha Shukta Confirmed
• Raja-vidya: The King of Knowledge
• Renunciation Through Wisdom
• Science of Self-realisation
• Second Chance
• Shikshamrita (3 vols)
• Spiritual Master and the Disciple
• Sri Ishopanishad
• Srimad-Bhagavatam, Cantos 1 — 10 (30 vols)
• Teachings of Kapila
• Teachings of Lord Chaitanya
• Teachings of Queen Kunti
• Transcendental Teachings of Prahlada Maharaja
• Understanding God Through Bhagavata-dharma