His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada appeared in this world in 1896 in Calcutta, India. He is considered to be the foremost contemporary authority on Bhakti-Yoga as taught by the ancient Vedic writings of India. As a young college student and supporter of Gandhi, he met his spiritual master Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, who personally requested him to take up the mission of spreading the ancient Vedic spiritual culture in the western world.
In order to fulfill his spiritual master’s vision to teach Bhakti Yoga in the western world, at the age of sixty-nine, Srila Prabhupada boarded a steamship bound from India to New York City in 1965 with less than eight dollars and a trunk filled with books. He was completely dependent on his faith in Lord Krishna to make this vision a reality. Within a year he established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and in the matter of a few short years he built a worldwide movement with tens of thousands of followers and supporters.
Encyclopedia Britannica states that he “astounded the literary world” writing over 80 books on the spiritual development of mankind. They are best selling literatures worldwide on Vedic philosophy, used as university texts and highly praised by numerous scholars. “The book of Srila Prabhupada are to be treasured. No one of whatever faith or philosophical persuasion who reads these books with an open mind can fail to be both moved and impressed.” – Dr. Garry Gelade, Professor of Psychology, Oxford University.
In Detroit in early 1976 Srila Prabhupada requested his students to purchase the dilapidated Fisher Mansion. He asked them to renovate it to it’s original splendor and open it to public for tours and develop a Vedic cultural Center. After he left this world his students named the cultural center in Bhaktivedanta Swami’s loving memory.
In twelve years, despite the hardships he went through due of his old physical age, he circled the globe fourteen times, met scholars and statesmen, and inspired men and women from all walks of life to take to Krishna Consciousness. Before leaving this world on November 14, 1977 he guided society to grow into an international confederation of more than one hundred temples, schools, cultural centers and farm communities.