A Brief about Srila Prabhupada, the inspiration behind Parikrama
A.C . Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was born on September 01, 1896 in the Tollygunge suburb of Calcutta who is a great scholar, a philosopher, a founder of Hara Krishna Movement and a religious leader. His life is dedicated to spreading the teachings of Lord Chaitanya and the Sankirtana movement to the Western world.
Srila Prabhupada met his spiritual master Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, in 1922 at Calcutta a prominent devotional scholar and the founder of sixty-four branches of Gaudiya Mathas (Vedic institutes).
He continued to do deep studying and writing in Vrindavan in 1956 where he accepted a life of a Sannyasa in 1959 and lived at Radha-Damodara . He worked on his life’s masterpiece a multivolume translation and commentary on the 18,000-verse Srimad-Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana).Besides this; he wrote a commentary on the Bhagavad-gita and in 1944 started an English fortnightly magazine.
In the years followed by, his spiritual master Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami convinced him to dedicate his life for teaching the Vedic knowledge in the Western world. In 1965, he travelled to America and across the world to spread the word on Krishna consciousness. At the age of 70, he had sailed on the Jaladuta a cargo ship from Kolkata to New York with a trunk full of Srimad Bhagavatam books translated in English.
His first activity was on Bhagavad `Gita classes in front of a store in New York City and in leading the Hare Krishna kirtan in Tompkins Square Park in Lower Manhattan. Most of the devotees were young Americans and University dropouts.
Although the Hare Krishna philosophy and tradition is a new concept in the late 1960’s abroad. Srila Prabhupada launched the Hare Krishna Movement in 1966 in New York and opened more than 60 centers worldwide. Later on, he had established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, established the first ISKCON Krishna temple in New York City in July 1966, and created a New Vrindavana a Vedic community in the hills of West Virginia.
Besides this, he launched God-centered self-sufficient farm communities based on the principles of Simple Living, High Thinking to revive the Krishna conscious tradition. Then in 1972, a Gurukula in Dallas, Texas – an educational institution set up according to the traditional Vedic model was established.
In 1968, he had blessed three young American couples and ordered to start the Hare Krishna movement to London. The Parikrama Europe Yatra was officially launched with the Darshan of Sri Radha Krishna Deities installed by Srila Prabhupada.
Apart from all these developments, the first Krishna Temple in London was established by Srila Prabhupada with the installation of Sri Radha -London-Ishvara on the 14th December 1969 which was covered in BBC and The Times of London article announced the arrival of the sankirtana movement in England with the headline "Krishna Chant Startles London".
He focused on preaching the message of the Bhagavad -Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam across the United States and Europe to bring about a spiritual awakening in the hearts of millions. He found a devotee in George Harrison a famous musician who was part of the Beatles an English rock band in Liverpool in the 60's. George Harrison and few of the devotees had gathered at the iconic Apple Records Studio to compose the world famous bhajan Govindam Adipurusam the Radha Krishna Temple album was produced in 1970
"Our movement is to awaken God consciousness in human beings.It is to understand God and to love him."
His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder of the Worldwide Hare Krishna Movement.
He has written 70 books that includes Srila Prabhupada – A Brief Life Sketch, The Jaladuta Diary of Srila Prabhupada, A Historical Time Line of major events in the life of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Prabhupada Lilamrita that is compiled from the lectures, conversations and correspondence of Srila Prabhupada. He also published many books in English mainly the commentary on Indian classics like Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagavatam and Chaitanya Charitamrita.
Some of his small books are Easy Journey to Other Planets, Message of Godhead, Teachings of Lord Chaitanya, etc. The compilations based on Srila Prabhupada’s articles, lectures and conversations are published with titles such as Science of Self Realization, Journey of Self Discovery, Quest for Enlightenment, Renunciation Through Wisdom, etc. Other interesting collections from the conversations of Srila Prabhupada are Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers, Civilization and Transcendence, Beyond Illusion and Doubt, Life Comes From Life, etc.
His books are focused in spreading knowledge of Vedic scriptures in English and the importance of self-realization to the modern world. Most of his books have changed the lives of people.
In 1970, he founded the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) the largest publisher of Vedic literature as he wanted his books to be translated in all languages and is now available in more than 80 languages.
The Gaudiya Vaisnaya Society honoured Srila Prabhupada’s philosophical learning and devotion in 1947 with the title “Bhaktivedanta.” and four years later he had adopted the vanaprastha to devote more time to his studies and writing.
He spend almost eleven years in India and travelled across the world fourteen times for promoting the teachings of Krishna bhakti to people on six continents. He also established 108 Krishna temples and introduced Ratha Yatras in cities of the world, published and distributed copies of Vedic literature and the distribution of Krishna Prasadam became famous during festivals.
Srila Prabhupada left earth on 14 November 1977 in Vrindavan, India. His life and teachings continue to inspire millions of people around the world