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HOW THE NEW SPIRITUAL AWARENESS WILL SPREAD AROUND THE WORLD
As pwiously stated, in the Brahma-vaivarta Purana, in a conversation with Ganga levi Lord Krishna describes that after 5,000 years of Kali-yuga have passed lis 'mantra upasaka, the great sage and worshiper of Krishna's holy names will appear and spread the chanting of Krishna's names (in the form of the Hare Krishna mantra) not only in India but throughout the world. Lord Krishna explains that by the chanting of His holy names the world will become spiritualized and everyone will be hari-bhaktas, engaged in the process of devotion to the Supreme. The purified devotees will visit the holy places and holy rivers of India and will purify them. They will also purify those with whom they come in contact. Thus, Sri Krishna predicted the appearance of a powerful devotee who would spread the chanting of His names worldwide. Furthermore, in the Fourth Chapter of the Antya-lila of the Caitanya Bhagavata, which is a biography of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu written by Sri Vrindavan dasa Thakura who is said to be an incarnation of Srila Vyasadeva, Lord Caitanya explains: "I have appeared on earth to propagate the congregational chanting of the holy names of God. In this way I will deliver the sinful material world. Those demons who never before accepted My authority and lordship will weep in joy by chanting My names. I will vigorously distribute devotional service, bhakti, which is sought after even by demigods, sages, and perfected beings, so that even the most abominable sinners will receive it. But those who, intoxicated with education, wealth, family background, and knowledge, criticize and offend My devotees, will be deprived of everything and will never know My true identity." Then Sri Caitanya specifically states (Antya-lila 4.126): "I declare that My name will be preached in every town and village on this earth."
Even in the Sri Caitanya Mangala, another biography of Sri Caitanya written in 1537 by Srila Locana Dasa Thakura (who was born in 1520 A.D.), Lord Caitanya foretold the coming of an empowered devotee who would take the sankirtana process everywhere: "I want to flood the whole world with the chanting of the holy names. I will personally preach and flood India with harinama sankirtana, chanting of the holy names. And My senapati bhakta (great devotee commander) will come, preach in different countries and flood the world with the chanting of Hare Krishna." This means that, though Sri Caitanya came to establish and spread the process of congregational chanting of Krishna's names in India, there would be one great devotee who would appear and spread it throughout the world.
Later, in the 1800s, Bhaktivinode Thakura predicted in his magazine, Sajjana-toshani, in an article called Nityananda Suryodoy, "Soon there will be a time when chanting of Krishna's name will be heard in England, France, Russia, Germany, and America."
In this regard, Bhaktivinode also wrote in his Sajjana-toshani in 1895 that, "Sriman Mahaprabhu did not descend with His associates to deliver a certain number of human beings in the land of India, but rather His purpose was to deliver and uplift all living beings in all countries of the world by practicing the eternal religion of all souls." In the same article, Bhaktivinode questioned, when will that day come when all greatly fortunate souls take up banners, drums, and hand cymbals and cause the ecstatic waves of harinama-kirtans [songs of the holy names of the Supreme] and the singing of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's holy name to rise in the streets of their towns and cities?
In 1896, Bhaktivinode predicted in his book, 5W Caitanya Mahaprabhu: His Life and Precepts, on page 62, "The principle oikirtana, as the future church of the world, invites all classes of men without distinction of caste, creed, or clan to the highest cultivation of the spirit. This church will extend all over the world and take the place of all sectarian churches which exclude outsiders from the precincts of their mosque, church or temple."
What all this means is that with his spiritual vision, Bhaktivinode could see how the sankirtana process would be taken in the near future to the western countries and, indeed, all over the planet. In fact, in 1875 Bhaktivinode Thakura also predicted: "A personality will soon appear to preach the teachings of Lord Caitanya and move unrestrictedly over the whole world with His message." But who could this be? Who would do it?
As an answer to these prayers and predictions, on Nandotsava, the annual festival day celebrating Krishna's birth, in the year of 1896, there appeared His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. It was Srila Prabhupada who grew up as a pure devotee of Krishna. In 1933 he was initiated by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami, the son of Bhaktivinode Thakur, who also instructed him to spread the message of devotional service to Krishna in the English-speaking countries. Srila Prabhupada came to America in 1965 with little money and without knowing anyone. With difficulty he continued to work, carrying out the instructions of his spiritual master until he established the first Krishna temple in the United States. Thereafter, he continued to distribute this spiritual knowledge and the process of singing and chanting Hare Krishna all over the world. He traveled around the world 12 times and visited every major country to take bhakti and harinama sankirtana to the western countries. He also gave thousands of lectures, wrote thousands of letters, and met with many important scholars and dignitaries. He also laid the cornerstone and made plans for the development of the Sri Caitanya Chandrodaya Mandir in Mayapur, India, which will be the largest temple and devotional community complex in Bengal. Therefore, it was Srila Prabhupada who had been predicted by the previous acharyas, and by Sri Caitanya, and even by Lord Krishna in the ancient Pur anas, as the person who would spread this new spiritual awareness. Even though Srila Prabhupada left this world in 1977, he wrote 51 volumes of books with translations in 28 languages, especially Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, so anyone can take advantage of this knowledge. He established 108 temples in most major cities around the world, and touched so many people who can also teach this philosophy that this genuine spiritual knowledge will continue to spread and be available for the next 10,000 years, throughout the length of this Golden Age in Kali-yuga.