A homage to His Holiness Swami Srila Prabhupad by Bishwa Nath Singh (as flashed on the f.b. on September 3,2010): His Holiness Swami Srila Prabhupad was born on September 1, 1896, the day after Janmastami, one of the most important Vaishnava holidays, in a humble house in the Tollygunge suburb of Calcutta, he was named Abhay Charan meaning one who is fearless, having taken shelter at Lord Krishna's feet. Since he was born on the day of Nandotsava-the celebration of Nanda, Krishna's father, a traditional festival in honor of Krishna's birth and that is why, he was also called Nandulal. His parents, Sriman Gour Mohan De and Srimati Rajani De, were devout Vaishnavas-ardent devotees of Lord Vishnu. In accordance with Bengali tradition, his mother had gone to the home of her parents for the delivery, and only a few days later Abhay returned with parents to his home at 151 Harrison Road in Calcutta, where he was brought up and educated. He received a European led education in the Scottish Church College, Calcutta. This school was well reputed among Bengalis; many Vaishnava families sent their sons there. The professors, most of whom were Europeans, were known as sober, moral men, and it is believed that the students received a good education. The college was located in north Calcutta, not far from Harrison Road where Abhay's family lived. During his years in the college, Prabhupada was a member of the English Society as well as that of the Sanskrit Society, and it has been suggested that his education provided him a foundation for his future leadership. He graduated in 1920 with majors in English, philosophy and economics However he refused to accept his diploma, being a devout follower of Gandhi at the time. His refusal to accept the diploma he had earned was in protest of the British. He also wore the homespun cotton cloth the followers of Gandhi wore in protest of British clothes.In 1922, when Prabhupada first met his spiritual master, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, he was requested to spread the message of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the English language. Later in 1932 Prabhupada became a formally initiated disciple of Bhaktisiddhanta. In 1944,from his front room at Sita Kanta Banerjee, Calcutta, Swami Prabhupada started the publication called Back to GodheadIn 1947, the Gaudiya Vaishnava Society recognised Prabhupada's scholarship with the title Bhaktivedanta. From 1950 onwards, Prabhupada lived at the medieval Radha-Damodar mandir in the holy town of Vrindavan, where he began his commentary and translation work of the Sanskrit work Bhagavata Purana. Swami Prabhupada sailed to USA in 1965. His trip to the United States was not sponsored by any religious organization, nor was he met upon arrival by a group of loyal followers. It was in July 1966, the global missionary Vaishnavism was brought to the West by Prabhupada, the soul agent, founding the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in New York City. Prabhupada spent much of the last decade of his life setting up the institution of ISKCON. Since he was the Society's leader, his personality and management were responsible for much of ISKCON's growth and the reach of his mission. Through his mission, Prabhupada followed and communicated the teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and introduced bhakti yoga to an international audience. Within Gaudiya Vaishnavism this was viewed as the fulfillment of a long time mission to introduce Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's teachings to the world. In his discussion with a historian Arnold J. Toynbee in London, Prabhupada is quoted to had said that he has started this Krishna Conscious Movement among the Indians and Americans and for the next ten thousand years it will increase It is believed that Prabhupada's most significant contribution are his books. Within the final twenty years of his life Prabhupada translated over sixty volumes of classic Vedic scriptures such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam into the English language. His Guru had advised him to spend as much money as he can easily spare on publication of his books and that he carried out all through out his life. In 1996, the Government of India recognized Prabhupada's accomplishments by issuing a commemorative stamp in his honor as a part of Prabhupada Centennial celebrations. He had passed away on November 14, 1977 in Vrindavan. After his death, ISKCON became a widely known expression of Vaishnavism on an international basis. A number of memorial samadhis or shrines to Prabhupada were constructed by the members of ISKCON in his remembrance. The largest of which are in Mayapur, Vrindavan and at the larger sized temples in America. Prabhupada's Palace of Gold was designed and constructed by devotees of the New Vrindavan community and dedicated on September 2, 1979.His Holiness Swami Prabhupad in true sense could be called as the World Teacher who showed us the path of glory,passion & wisdom and lead the universe from darkness to light. It was being told that it is only because of his untiring efforts, in remote countries of the world where the UN had not reached, Iskcon temples were constructed and Shri Krishna conciousness were propagated. Let us pay our humble obeisance to His lotus feet and seek His bliss to give us wisdom to spread ‘Global Peace and Universal Brotherhood” successfully all over the world! It is high time to pay our homage to Him and carry out His legacy successfully.
Bishwanath Singh: Let us pay our humble obeisance to the lotus feet of His Holiness Swami Srila Prabhupad and seek His bliss to give us wisdom to spread ‘Global Peace and Universal Brotherhood” successfully all over the world!