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Life of a Saint

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (vegetarian): Bringing Krishna Consciousness to the Western World, Part 2 of 2

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Several years later and nearing the age of 70, Srila Prabhupada finally had the chance to travel to the West. He set sail on a 35-day trip aboard a cargo ship from Kolkata, India, to New York City, United States. Srila Prabhupada arrived at New York City Harbor on September 17, 1965. With unwavering faith that the mission would be fulfilled, he told a local subway conductor in passing conversation: “I am not a poor man, I am rich. There are temples and books, they are existing, they are there, but time is separating us from them.”

Word spread, and Krishna consciousness became popular among the American youth searching for something more than material and mundane life. After a year in the United States, Srila Prabhupada founded The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), and the Hare Krishna movement grew. In London, England, the Hare Krishna movement also attracted the attention of George Harrison, famed musician and lead guitarist of The Beatles.

Today, there are over 500 ISKCON centers, temples, schools, farm communities, and associated vegetarian restaurants worldwide. Perhaps Srila Prabhupada’s greatest legacy is his contribution of over 80 volumes on Vedic literature and Krishna Bhakti, providing word-for-word translations, commentaries, and summaries in English. Now translated into 76 more languages, his works have been highly regarded internationally among academics for their depth and clarity. His most well-known publications include his translations of the Bhagavad Gita and Bhagavata Purana, which are used as study materials in many university courses.

Throughout all his efforts and contributions, Srila Prabhupada never took any credit. He wrote: “Personally, I am a nonentity; I have come here on the order of my spiritual Master, and He has kindly sent all you boys (and girls) to assist me. So whatever is being done, there is no credit for me, but all the credit goes to my spiritual Master, because He has arranged everything, and I am simply to abide by His order.”

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