The International Society for Krishna Consciousness was created by Srila Prabhupada, an Indian spiritual guru (ISKCON). He is also known as Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and is regarded as one of the most illustrious Vedic scholars, translators, and teachers of the contemporary age. He is recognized as the world’s most notable current authority on bhakti-yoga, having translated and commented on over 80 volumes of the Vedas’ most important sacred bhakti works, including the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. He was born into a devout Vaishnava household and had a great devotion to Lord Krishna at a young age. His devotion to the Lord was so intense that at the age of five, he organized a community Ratha-yatra festival to honor Lord Jagannatha! He was always more interested in visiting temples than in playing with other kids when he was younger. When he was 26, he met his everlasting spiritual master Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, who told him to go to the West and promote Krishna Consciousness in the English language, he realized the ultimate purpose of his life. Even though it would be several years before he could eventually travel to the West, there was no turning back once he arrived in the United States. He went on to start the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in New York City, which has grown to over 550 locations throughout the world.
Childhood and Adolescence
Abhay Charan was born in Calcutta, India, on September 1, 1896. Sriman Gour Mohan De and Srimati Rajani De, his parents, were devoted Vaishnavas (devotees of Vishnu).
At a young age, he became a devotee of Lord Krishna and enjoyed visiting temples. In fact, he was so devoted to the Lord that he would rather pray to Him than play with his pals.
He acquired a European-oriented education at the Scottish Church College. He was a good student who earned a bachelor’s degree in English, philosophy, and economics in 1920. However, as a protest against the British in response to the nascent Indian independence movement, he refused to accept his diploma.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, a great religious scholar and the founder of sixty-four Gaudiya Mathas groups, was the first person he met in 1922. (Vedic institutes). On their first meeting, Gosvami took a liking to the pious young man and requested him to propagate Vedic knowledge in the West using the English language.
In Allahabad, in 1933, Abhay Charan became the great scholar’s pupil and, a few years later, his formally initiated disciple.
Later the Years
From his home in Calcutta, he established the journal ‘Back to Godhead’ in 1944. During the early days, he published and distributed the journal on his own, with the goal of propagating Krishna’s consciousness. He was the only writer, designer, publisher, editor, copy editor, and distributor for the magazine.
He struggled for three years to establish his magazine by spreading awareness about Lord Krishna’s benevolent kindness, and he endured severe physical suffering in the process. In 1947, the Gaudiya Vaishnava Society honored his accomplishments and bestowed upon him the title of ‘Bhaktivedanta,’ which means “one who has realized that devotional service to the Supreme Lord is the ultimate of all knowledge.”
Srila Prabhupada, by this time a married man with a family, retired from marital life in 1950 at the age of 54. He took the ‘vanaprastha’ (retired) order after four years to dedicate more time to his heavenly duty.
After that, he went to the holy city of Vrindavana, where he spent years studying and writing. He lived a very simple existence and, in 1959, renounced all worldly ties and embraced the’sannyasa’ order. In the same year, he began work on what would become his magnum opus: a multivolume translation and commentary of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, an 18,000-verse epic (Bhagavata Purana).
He spent the next six years of his life immersed in Krishna bhakti. He did intense Krishna bhajana and got regular darshan of Madana Mohana, Govindaji, Gopinatha, and Radha Ramana. Sri Rupa Gosvami bestowed blessings and guidance on him during bhajana.
In 1965, he finally had the opportunity to travel to the west when he boarded a steamer destined for New York City from Calcutta. He was 69 years old at the time, but he was determined to bring Krishna consciousness to the western world.
In New York City, he formed the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), widely known as the Hare Krishna movement. The establishment of this organization ushered in one of the world’s fastest-growing spiritual movements.
From the late 1960s, he was known as Srila Prabhupada, and he went on to inspire thousands of individuals, both Westerners, and Indians, to commit their lives to Krishna awareness. He began striving to promote ISKCON’s mission to other nations once the organization had established itself in the United States.
He spent the 1970s traveling across the world, erecting over a hundred Radha-Krishna temples in all of the main cities of the Americas, Europe, Africa, India, Asia, and Australia, despite his advanced age. He also attracted a large number of followers from many countries, initiating a total of 5,000 serious disciples.
He was also a prolific writer, having written and translated a number of novels. He translated nearly sixty volumes of old Vedic scriptures into English during the last two decades of his life. His writings are well-known around the world and have been translated into other languages.
Major Projects of Prabhupada
Srila Prabhupada is well known as the founder of New York City’s International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). The society he fought to establish quickly grew into a fast-growing spiritual movement, with more than 550 locations across the world, including 60 farm communities, 50 schools, and 90 eateries.
Life and Legacy
He has a family and was married. He later gave up his family life to devote himself to the spiritual goal of promoting Krishna consciousness awareness.
At the age of 81, Srila Prabhupada passed away on November 14, 1977.
In his honor, ISKCON devotees built a number of memorial samadhis of shrines around the world.
Estimated Net Worth
The estimated net worth of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is unknown.