Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura
Srila Bhakti Vedanta Swami Prabhupada
Tridandi Swami Bhakti Hridaya Vana Maharaj
Akinchan Krishnadas Babaji Maharaj
Avadhuta Ramesh Babaji Maharaj
Memories of Srila Prabhupada
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by Richard S. Brown All rights reserved.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Goswami Prabhupada
A. C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami appeared in this world in 1896 in Calcutta, India, as A.C. De. He
first met his spiritual master, His Divine Grace Srila
Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupada, in Calcutta in 1922.
Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, a prominent religious scholar and
the founder of sixty-four Gaudiya Mathas (Vedic institutes) in India,
liked this educated young man and convinced him to dedicate his life to
teaching Vedic knowledge. A.C. De became his student and, in 1933, his
formally initiated disciple.
first meeting Srila Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati requested Swamito broadcast
Vedic knowledge in English. In the years that followed, A.C. De wrote
a commentary on the Bhagavad-gita, and, in 1944, started Back to Godhead,
an English fortnightly magazine. Single-handedly, A.C. De edited it, typed
the manuscripts, checked the galley proofs, and even distributed the individual
copies. The magazine is now being continued by his disciples in the West.
In 1950 A.C.
De retired from married life, adopting the vanaprastha (retired) order
to devote more time to his studies and writing. He traveled to the holy
city of Vrndavana, where he lived in humble circumstances in the historic
temple of Radha-Damodara. There he engaged for several years in deep study
and writing. He accepted the renounced order of life (sanyasa) in 1959
and was named Bhaktivedanta Swami. At Radha-Damodara, Bhaktivedanta Swami
began work on his life's work: a multi-volume commentated translation
of the eighteen thousand verse Srimad-Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana). He
also wrote Easy Journey to Other Planets.
three volumes of the Bhagavatam, Bhaktivedanta Swami came to the United
States, in September 1965, to fulfill the order of his spiritual master.
Subsequently, Bhaktivedanta Swami wrote more than fifty volumes of authoritative
commentated translations and summary studies of the philosophical and
religious classics of India.
When he first
arrived by freighter in New York City, Bhaktivedanta Swami was practically
penniless. Only after almost a year of great difficulty did he establish
the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, in July of 1966.
Before he passed away on November 14, 1977, he had guided the Society
and seen it grow to a worldwide confederation of more than one hundred
asramas, schools, temples, institutes, and farm communities.
In 1972 Bhaktivedanta
Swami introduced the Vedic system of primary and secondary education in
the West by founding the gurukula school in Dallas, Texas. Since then
his disciples have established similar schools throughout the United States
and the rest of the world. This is still going on in spite of child molestions
and other crimes.
Swami also inspired the construction of several large international cultural
centers in India. The center at Sridhama Mayapur is the site for a planned
spiritual city, an ambitious project for which construction will extend
over many years to come. In Vrndavana are the magnificent Krsna-Balarama
Temple and International Guest house, gurukula school, and Bhaktivedanta
Swami Memorial and Museum. There is also a major cultural and educational
center in Bombay. Major centers are planned in Delhi and in a dozen other
important locations on the Indian subcontinent.
Swami's most significant contribution, however, is his books. Highly respected
by scholars for their authority, depth, and clarity, they are used as
textbooks in numerous college courses. His writings have been translated
into over fifty languages. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, established in
1972 to publish his works, has thus become the world's largest publisher
of books in the field of Indian religion and philosophy.
In just twelve
years, despite his advanced age, Bhaktivedanta Swami circled the globe
fourteen times on lecture tours that took him to six continents. Yet this
vigorous schedule did not slow his prolific literary output. His writings
constitute a veritable library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature,
In 1977 Param
Pujya Jagat Guru Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada left this material
world in holy Sri Vrindavan (India).
SENTENCE APPRECIATIONS FROM DIRECT DISCIPLES:
Goswami ACBSP 1966: "Srila Prabhupada was not an ordinary spiritual
master; he saved me.
H.H. Satsvarupa Goswami ACBSP 1966: "Srila Prabhupada gave to me,
to my whole generation, and to future generations the precious gift of
realization that God is not dead, but He lives in the spiritual world;
we are meant to live eternally with Him in bliss and full knowledge and,
as part of Prabhupada's gift, we do this by taking up bhakti-yoga,
and especially the chanting of Hare Krsna."
H.H. Tamal Krsna Goswami ACBSP 1968 : "Though I had no previous
qualification, Srila Prabhupada gave me His Divine association and instructions
which have saved me from material existence and given me the means to
perfect my human life-Krishna Consciousness, pure devotional service to
His lotus feet and the lotus feet of Sri Pancha Tattva."
H.H. Hridayananda dasa Goswami ACBSP 1970: I am eternally grateful
to Srila Prabhupada who gave me my real life, and I am endeavoring to
dedicate that life fully to his mission, for his pleasure, for he is the
pure, and most authorized representative of the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, Sri Krishna.
H.H. Sridhar Swami ACBSP 1970: "I love Srila Prabhupada because
he reached out and touched my crying heart with his love and planted the
seed of devotion to Krsna by which I am becoming very very happy in Krsna's
H.H. Kavicandra Swami ACBSP 1971: "Srila Prabhupada gave me a reason
to exist, or a purpose in life, to hear about Krsna from him and to work
to engage others, hopefully everyone, in hearing about Krsna from Srila
H.H. Harikesa Swami ACBSP : "Srila Prabhupada gave me what no other
person in my entire existence within this material world could ever give
me, connection to the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna and the easy,
sublime and certain means to return to the spiritual world."
H.H. Prahladananda Swami ACBSP : "When I met Srila Prabhupada I
met a pure devotee of God (Krsna) from the spiritual world who kindly
came to bring me and everyone else back home."
H.H. Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Swami ACBSP 1971: "I would like to
broadcast at the top of my voice that Srila Prabhupada is the embodiment
of Srila Naradamuni and Srila Vyasadeva of the 20th century who traveled
and flooded the entire world with Sri Harinama mahamantra and who gave
the immense literatures of the science and philosophy of Krishna consciousness
for freeing everyone from material bondage."
H.H. Bir Krishna Goswami ACBSP : "Srila Prabhupada gave me an eternal
mission to serve him in working for the benefit of all living entities
by preaching Krishna consciousness."
H.H. Umapati Swami ACBSP 1966: "Srila Prabhupada gave me everything
when he gave me Krsna, and he gave me still more when he gave me himself
for my spiritual master."
H.H. Bhakti Raghava Swami ACBSP 1974: " No one can compare to you
Srila Prabhupada who has saved me and countless others from the darkness
of illusion by so mercifully giving the most precious of all gifts, pure
devotional service in Krishna consciousness."
H.H. Radhanath Swami ACBSP 1973: " I offer my life and soul to
Srila Prabhupada who has offered his unlimited compassion to the fallen
souls as the supreme sacrifice for the pleasure Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu
and the previous acharyas."
H.G. Guru Dasa ACBSP 1967: "His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada, is the kindest, wisest, most determined, non-compromising,
open-minded personality I have ever come in contact with; His Divine Grace
has given us everything by bringing Krishna Consciousness everywhere;
His compassion and patience taught me invaluable spiritual lessons, and
brought You to me, my Vaishnava family."
H.G. Badrinarayana Dasa ACBSP 1970: "When I heard Srila Prabhupad
say on the Cintamini album....`The residents of Vrndaban have no desires
to fulfill...still they have variegated transcendental desires to please
their Lord in loving service'......all the pieces of my long philosophical
search fell into place; freedom from attachment, lust, karma, and re-incarnation
did not mean formlessness or void...but ever-fresh and increasingly sweet
devotional service; how can I ever repay His Divine Grace?"
H.G. Svavas Dasa ACBSP : When on a morning walk with Srila Prabhupada
I told him how I and some other sankirtana men were distributing as many
of his books as we could and had plans to distribute so many more, Srila
Prabhupada stopped and looked straight at me and said, "Just see, this
is my real devotee."
H.G. Gaura Mandala Bhumi Dasa ACBSP 1973: Srila Prabhupada
spoke this to me in a dream when I was in Secunderabad a few years ago,
Srila Prabhupada said, ''Are you ready to leave your body and come
back to Godhead with me RIGHT NOW?''
H.G. Nalini-kanta Dasa ACBSP 197: "Srila Prabhupada gave
me a loving example of how my consciousness should be fixed in God's service
and radiating kindness and compassion to other living entities, rather
than absorbed in self-achievement and gratification under the dictates
H.G. Bhakta Dasa ACBSP 1970: "We think that we have met Your Goodness
by the will of providence, just so that we may accept you as captain of
the ship for those who desire to cross the difficult ocean of Kali, which
deteriorates all the good qualities of a human being." SB 1.1.22 What
can say it better???
H.G. Tridandi Dasa ACBSP: 'Dear Srila Prabhupada I'm always praying
the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, the Origin of all knowledge, remembrance and
forgetfulness also, to please never let me forget Your divine instructions
and wonderful pastimes; so that wherever I'll be, I'll never loose Your
association, my only life and soul.'
H.G. Dravida Dasa ACBSP : "I offer millions of prostrated obeisances
to the lotus feet of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada,
who has blessed me and countless others with two priceless gifts--the
holy name of Krsna, and the means for becoming qualified to chant the
H.G. Agrahya das ACBSP 1976: At one stroke you vanquished all crooked
and blind philosophies, and by your transcendental association gave us
the opportunity to enter into the devotional service of Sri Vrindavana
Dhama. Also, a Sanskrit sloka,
adhama-gan hi rupanugayate
sa vikarotu mam daitya-cetasam
H.G. Dayananda Dasa ACBSP : "Srila Prabhupada has given me the
greatest occupation, chanting Hare Krishna, the greatest philosophy, Bhagavad-Gita,
and the greatest companions, Vaishnavas, thus I pray to satisfy his desire
to spread his movement everywhere."
H.G. Brahmananda Dasa ACBSP 1966: "Srila Prabhupada convinced me
that God lives and we can live with Him."
H.G. Nrsimhananda Dasa ACBSP : "Srila Prabhupada bestowed VAISNAVA
ASSOCIATION upon me which satsified my mind's need to engage in meaningful
activities, pacified my heart's yearning for true friendship, and facilitated
my tongue's insatiable desire for prasadam."
H.G. Drutakarma Dasa ACBSP 1976: "Srila Prabhupada, you have shown
the world and me the real definition of love, pure devotion to Krishna
(the dearmost friend of all) through pure devotion to you, which means
pure devotion to your order."
H.G. Arijit Dasa ACBSP 1971: "Thank you Prabhupada, I now know
what you meant"
H.G. Vrndapati Dasa ACBSP 1974: "Srila Prabhupada, Jagat Guru,
please allow this fool the immeasurable mercy of your disciples association."
H.G. Vidyapati Dasa ACBSP 1973: "Srila Prabhupada has shown me
that Krishna exists and there is so much love for us to dive into, but
I am so unfortunate that I am not serious enough to take advantage of
his wonderful gift."
H.G. Jitakrodha Dasa ACBSP 1974: "In a life of darkness, with no
thought or belief in God, or anything pious, Srila Prabhupada brought
the light of Godhead into my life illuminating me with spiritual truth
and giving purpose and brilliance to my life."
H.G. Yajnesah Dasa ACBSP 1976: "Shrila Prabhupada came from the
spiritual world to break the dam that stopped the great ocean of mercy
in the form of the Sankirtan movement initiated by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
from flooding this entire material world, in which we were like fish struggling
out of the water to get a drop of that nectar that we wanted since time
H.G. Kalakantha Dasa ACBSP : "I had a little desire to understand
God, and Srila Prabhupada fulfilled it more vigorously and throughly than
H.G. Naresvara Dasa ACBSP 1977: "Srila Prabhupada's magnanimity
is evinced by the fact that by his mercy an unqualified ingrate such as
myself is able to engage in devotional service to the Lord in the association
of His devotees.
H.G. Brahma-muhurta dasa ACBSP 1976: "My Dear Srila Prabhupada,
Your life is Your perfect lesson of pure devotional Love, Your Love contains
all that is wonderfull, beautiful, compassionate pure and true, O' my
Dearest Master, Father and Friend how I wish to be with You! Hare Krishna
H.G. Bhutatma Dasa ACBSP : "Prabhupada, dearmost servant of Krishna,
your preaching stems the madness by invoking Reality, your sweet voice
leads the world in the Great Chanting for Deliverance.
H.G. Vasanta Dasa ACBSP 1976: "I am eternally greatful for the
association from the pure spiritual world, our dearest master, His Divine
Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada."
H.G. Dina Sharana Dasa ACBSP: 1976: "There is a living God, a spiritual
world, I can go there, we can all go there, and he wants us to go, Back
to Godhead, all glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, who has
brought us this news."
H.G. Sankarsana dasa (ACBSP: 1971 "Dear Srila Prabhupada, You are
everything to me. Without you my life has no meaning and no purpose. Please
allow me to never for all of eternity forget that you are my eternal spiritual
father. And please bless me that I can always serve you in any way which
pleases you very much."
H.G. Malati Dasi ACBSP 1967: "Srila Prabhupada: the supreme personality
of guru-ship, loving mercy, compassion ---the beloved of his devotees--the
guru of gurus (may our hearts always reside at your lotus feet)."
Hrsikesananda das ACBSP 1967: "Iti tad bhajanad
gatavan pramadam pranamami sada prabhupada padam"