Srila Prabhupada, the Founder of Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), appeared on the day of Nandotsav on the place known as Toile Gandha salt in Calcutta on September 01, 1896. His mother was Rajni Devi, and his Father was Gaur Mohan De, who was a cloth merchant. He was an Indian spiritual teacher and preceptor of the “Hare Krishna Movement.” He was like a representative of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Early Life Srila Prabhupada
Srila Prabhupada was named Abhay Charan by his father, Gaur Mohan De, and his mother was Rajni Devi. He appeared on September 01, 1896, at Toile Gandha salt in Calcutta. Shortly after his birth, his father called one astrologer and whatever he told was 100% correct. He said that at the age of 70, Abhay would go across seven seas to propagate Krishna Bhakti and build 108 temples. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu himself also made the exact prediction. He had said that his Senapati would come and take this sankirtana movement to every town and village of the earth.
Shri Gaur Mohan De had taught Abhay to practice pure devotion since his childhood. He used to take Abhay to the nearby Sri Radha Govind Temple. In one of the incidences of Abhay, due to Abhay’s insistence, his father organized Jagannath Rath Yatra in his courtyard. When Abhay was eight years old, he started going to school and slowly started speaking English.
When he was 16 years old, his mother, Rajni Devi, died. Abhay’s life had many ups and downs, but his father explained that whatever God does is always for our good. God will have some plan in it, so you have faith in God and depend on Him.
At 20, Abhay took admission to the famous “Escortic Church College” in Calcutta. In college, he took education in Hindi, English, Sanskrit, along with many other subjects. At that time, Abhay was interested in participating in the freedom struggle. He was greatly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violence and Swadeshi ideas and considered him as his ideal. Seeing Abhay’s inclination towards nationalism, Mohan De was very worried as he wanted to make Abhay a pure devotee and wanted to see the prediction of that astrologer come true.
Abhay got married to Radha Rani Devi. Abhay had no particular attraction to his wife, but his father told it to be a sign of God because, in this way, he could stay away from worldly attachments.
Turning Movement Of Srila Prabhupada
In 1922, his friend introduced him to Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, whom Abhay later accepted as his Guru. He received his formal initiation in 1932 and was named Abhay Charnaravind. In 1944, he started “Back To Godhead” magazine. Slowly he continued in his Guru’s work to fulfill the orders given by his Guru. Later on, Abhay Charan became famous as The founder of Acharya of ISKCON, Abhay Charanarvind Bhakti Vedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada went to Vrindavan, where he stayed in the historical temple of Radha Damodar in very odd condition. There he devoted much of himself to his profound studies and writings. He took Sanyas in 1959. Inspired by his care and authentic teachings, millions of young men and women became pure devotees of Krishna by leaving their material attachments. Today Srila Prabhupada is such an authentic, and pure devotee in the world, whose Bhagavad Gita translated by him is famous in the whole world. Srimad Bhagavatam, which has 18000 verses written by him, reaches the masses in 80 languages worldwide.
Expending The Movement
Srila Prabhupada went to the U.S. in 1965 to follow the orders of his Guru after writing 3 Cantos of Shrimad Bhagavatam. He reached after that an arduous journey of 3 days by Jaldoot. He didn’t know where to go. Struggling with many personal and physical health issues, at the age of 70 years, he went abroad to spread the holy name even after having two major heart attacks. He remained steadfast in his decision to propagate Krishna Bhakti. He wrote in his diary – “O Krishna, I did not know what was in your mind, People who are obsessed with materialism will listen to me here or not, but I am so sure that if you have sent me here, you must have some plan in this. I am ready like a puppet to fulfil your every purpose. Make me dance the way you want me to dance.” In 1966, he established ISKCON. He propagated Krishna Bhakti worldwide and built 108 temples, as the astrologer predicted during his childhood. And he spent much of his time studying and writing scriptures. Srila Prabhupada’s most significant contribution is his books.
By adopting the pure devotional service of Krishna, there is a spread of happiness and prosperity in the lives of millions of people. Krishna Bhakti is being promoted in cities and villages through the ISKCON organization established by him. Today, because of him, there is no corner of the world where there are no devotees of Krishna, where there is no celebration of Jagannath ji’s Rath Yatra. All of you are also requested to take shelter of the great saint by taking the help of the ISKCON temple and make your life successful by taking inspiration from his life. Rarely in the world comes such a great man who works more than the power of thinking of the other person, and one of them is the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON- A.C. Bhakti Vedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.