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Appendix 3

Srila Prabhupada - The Ambassador of The Kingdom of GOD


Srila Prabhupada appeared in this world in Calcutta in 1896 on Nandotsav day, the day following Janmashtami. In his youth in 1922, he met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, who convinced him to dedicate his life to teaching Vedic knowledge, especially in the English language. In 1944, he started single- handedly Back to Godhead, an English fortnightly magazine. Though practically penniless, his faith in the order of his spiritual master took him to New York in 1965 at the advanced age of 70. After a year of intense struggle, in July 1966, he established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) with its first center in New York. During the next eleven years, before his passing away on November 14, 1977, he undertook vigorous preaching tours that took him round the globe fourteen times. Under his guidance, he saw the society grow to over 108 centers. ISKCON continues to expand even now with over 600 centers all over the world. He taught the individual and the congregational chanting of the Holy Names of Lord Krishna as the topmost form of yoga and meditation and millions of people all over the world have adopted this mantra meditation as an integral part of their lives.


In 1968, Srila Prabhupada created New Vrindavana, an experimental Vedic community in the hills of West Virginia. In 1972 His Divine Grace introduced the Vedic system of education in the West by founding a gurukula in Dallas, Texas. Srila Prabhupada inspired the establishment of a forum of leading God conscious scientists named, the Bhaktivedanta Institute (BI). With a vision of a global East-West synthesis, Srila Prabhupada trained thousands of disciples from varying backgrounds in the Vedic way of life He established international cultural centers in Sridhama Mayapur, Vrindavana, Mumbai and other places. He also took India's festivals especially Rafh-Yatra to the West.


Srila Prabhupada's most significant contribution is his books -70 authoritative renditions of ancient Indian classics, including Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, the most widely read edition of the Bhagavad-Gita in English and a multi-volume commentated translation of the eighteen thousand verse Srimad-Bhagavatam. Sola Prabhupada will always be remembered for the selfless saintly compassion with which he gave the light of genuine spiritualism in the darkness of materialism. Thus he built a house in which the whole world can live.