His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896-1977), founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, is a bonafide acharya in the disciplic succession of Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Parampara of spiritual masters, which is descending from Lord Krishna Himself. His whole life mission was to dedicate himself in teaching the world about Krishna consciousness, ancient India’s most noble message of spiritual wisdom. Srila Prabhupada has left us a veritable library of Vedic philosophy and culture. Highly respected by scholars for their authority, depth, and clarity, his books are used at colleges and universities around the world.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada is the Founder Acharya of International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Born in, a pious Hindu family in Calcutta 1986, as Abhay Charan, he grew up in British controlled India. In his youth he became involved with Mahatma Gandhi’s civil disobedience movement to secure independence for his nation. It was, however, a meeting in 1922, with a prominent scholar and Gaudiya leader, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, proved the most influential on Abhay’s future calling. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta had asked Abhay in their very first meeting, to spread the message of Lord Krishna in the English-speaking world. Abhay became a disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta in 1933, and resolved to carry out his mentor’s request. Abhay, later known by his honorific titles as His Divine Grace Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, spent the next 32 years preparing for his journey west.
In 1965, at the age of sixty-nine, Srila Prabhupada, as a sannyasi (renounced monk), travelled to New York City aboard a cargo ship. The journey was treacherous and he suffered two heart attacks aboard. Arriving in the United States with just seven dollars in Indian rupees and his translations of sacred Sanskrit texts, Srila Prabhupada began to share the timeless wisdom of Krishna consciousness with the western world. His message of peace and goodwill resonated with many young people, some of whom came forward to become serious students of the Krishna tradition. With the help of these students, Srila Prabhupada rented a small storefront on New York’s Lower East Side to use as a temple. On July 11, 1966, he officially registered his organization ISKCON in the state of New York, formally founding the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
In the eleven years that followed, Srila Prabhupada circled the globe 14 times on lecture tours, bringing the teachings of Lord Krishna to thousands of people on six continents. He established ISKCON centers and projects throughout the world. Under his inspiration, members of ISKCON started temples, rural communities, educational institutions, and initiated” Food For Life” program which would become the world’s largest vegetarian food relief program. In India, Srila Prabhupada opened dozens of temples, including large centers in the holy towns of Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh and Mayapur in West Bengal (International Headquarters of ISKCON).
Srila Prabhupada’s most significant contributions are his books. He authored over 70 volumes on the Krishna tradition, which are highly respected by renowned scholars for their authority, depth, fidelity to the tradition, and clarity. Several of his works are used as textbooks in numerous college courses. His writings have been translated into 87 languages. His most prominent works include: Bhagavad-gita As It Is, the 30-volume Srimad-Bhagavatam, and the 17-volume Sri Caitanya-caritamrita.
Bhagavad Gita (The song of God)
Bhagavad Gita is the conversation between a Kshatriya Prince Arjuna and his friend, the Supreme Lord Krishna, who is serving him as his charioteer, on the battle field of Kurukshetra. By assuming the position of a spiritual master Lord Krishna answers the questions put forth by Arjuna and reveals to him several divine truths about human existence in the material plane, the true nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the method of eternal progression and release from the earthly cycles of death and rebirth through the practice of Bhakti Yoga. The Bhagavad Gita is the only spiritual text that transcends all boundaries of religion and serves as a life manual for all.
The narrative in the Bhagavad-Gita concerns a dialogue between the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna and a mighty warrior prince named Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, about 5000 years ago. In the narrative, Lord Krishna has descended to earth to aid Arjuna in his battle against Kauravas and their army.
In the war, Lord Krishna assumes the role of Arjuna’s chariot driver and assists him in the battle and on his inquiry in the beginning of the war, reveals to Arjuna several timeless divine truths about human existence, the true nature of the Supreme Personality of God, and the method of spiritual progression to obtain release from the earthly cycles of death and rebirth through the practice of Bhakti yoga.
Bhagavad Gita teaches that achieving God consciousness and attaining the inner realization that everything is but a manifestation of the eternal energy of the Supreme Lord Krishna, and understanding that attaining His eternal service is the ultimate purpose of life, will release an individual soul from the cycles of reincarnation and death and rebirth.
The narrative begins when Arjuna gazes at the opposing army of Kauravas and sees his relatives lined up for the bloody fight; he is filled with grief and remorse that he must kill his own relatives and refuses to fight the war. In reply, Krishna reveals the truth to Arjuna and tells him that it does not matter if his relatives die in the battle today because they will eventually die anyway, and that Arjuna’s duty to execute the Supreme Lord’s will to establish righteousness( Dharma) and his own surrender unto the supreme , transcends his material attachments to his relatives.
The narrative culminates with Krishna revealing to Arjuna his Viswaroopa-Universal form which encompasses everything in existence and declaring that one who is surrendered to Him will never have to return to this world of birth and death.
The central message of the Bhagavad Gita is that the spirit soul never truly dies and that everything in material nature is in a continual cycle of death and rebirth, and that one has a duty to the process of self-realization and spiritual progression, to finally accept the supremacy of Lord Krishna and surrender unto Him, thereby escape the cycles of death and rebirth.
Bhagavad Gita As It Is
Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, is a translation and commentary of the Bhagavad Gita by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), commonly known as the Hare Krishna movement. As the world’s largest-selling edition of the Bhagavad Gita, it has been translated into 87 languages. In this edition, Srila Prabhupada conveys Lord Krishna’s profound messages as it is – without a slightest taint of adulteration for personally motivated gains..
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the world’s foremost Vedic scholar and teacher, represents an unbroken chain (disciplic succession) of fully self-realized spiritual masters named as the Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Guru Parampara. This lineage begins with Lord Krishna Himself. This edition is suitable for every reader who would like to take a plunge into the ocean of spiritual sea and wish to learn the spiritual science “as it is”.