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A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896-1977):

Born in 1896 in Calcutta, India (as Abhay Charan De), founder of the Hare Krishna movement, or ISKCON. He first met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, in Calcultta in 1922. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, 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.

Prabhupada became Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati's student and, in 1933, his formally initiated disciple, taking the name Abhaya Charanaravinda dasa. Prabhupada finally came to New York in September 1965 after translating, and providing commentary to the Bhagavad Gita and the first three volumes of the Srimad Bhagavatam, and establishing the Back to Godhead magazine in India.

Upon his death on November 14, 1977 he had written over 70 volumes of authoritative annotated translations and summary studies of the philosophical and religious classics of India, including his life's masterpice, a multi-volume commentated translation of the 18,000-versed Srimad-Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana), begun at Radha-Damodara, in India. Spreading the message of bhakti or devotion to God over the short space of twelve years, he had also guided the Society and seen it grow to a worldwide confederation of more than one hundred ashramas, schools, temples, institutes, and farm communities.

Actually the word Prabhupada is just a title, a Sanskrit reverential address for a spiritual master(*), much like the terms Gurudeva or Vishnupada.

(*) Quick etymology: prabhupada < prabhurera-pada (prabhu lords + -pada feet) - "personage at whose feet the other Lords sit".

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