WASHINGTON, D.C. — One of the more inspirational and pioneering spiritual leaders in recent religious history, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada – the founder of the Hare Krishna movement in the West, has been recognised for his extraordinary achievements after the age of sixty.
Named as one of the top ten most amazing individuals in the world for their contributions achieved at an advanced age in fields such as religion, arts, literature, and sport, Srila Prabhupada was recognised by the business magazine Business 2 Community. He founded the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in 1966 at the age of 69. (https://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/advisor/10-people-whose-lives-began-60-025210801.html)
Prabhupada’s contributions were previously feted by Newsweek magazine in a piece titled “Amazing Late Bloomers” from November, 2010, celebrating those who reached the apex of their careers during the years when conventional wisdom says their best chances should have passed. (See below)
Srila Prabhupada was not just a spiritual leader, but a scholar and philosopher. Over a period of just twelve years, he wrote and translated over forty books, established 100 temples and farm communities, and brought the ancient teaching of Bhakti-yoga, to millions of people around the world.
Today, there are over five hundred ISKCON temples globally. Prabhupada’s writings, which have been translated into 85 languages, are studied in universities and schools worldwide.
Although his own spiritual journey began early on, he embarked on a voyage from India to America on an ocean freighter alone at the age of 69, with just $7 to his name. On the journey he endured two heart attacks, but persevered and set about his mission. By 1977, he had travelled the world fourteen times.
“The legacy of Srila Prabhupada is echoed throughout society today,” said Anuttama Dasa, International Communications Director for ISKCON.
“Prabhupada helped millions understand that there is more to life than just material gratification. With the growth of interest in vegetarianism, yoga, the environment and organic diets, never has Srila Prabhupada’s message of ‘simple living, high thinking’ been more relevant,” said Dasa.
Speaking about Srila Prabhupada, George Harrison of The Beatles said:
“Even though he was at the time seventy-nine years old, working practically all through the night, day after day, with very little sleep… Even though he was the greatest Sanskrit scholar and a saint…he always went out of his way to make me feel comfortable. I always thought of him as sort of a lovely friend…”
“Srila Prabhupada has already had an amazing effect on the world. There’s no way of measuring it. One day I just realized, ‘God, this man is amazing!’ He would sit up all night translating Sanskrit into English, putting in glossaries to make sure everyone understands it, and yet he never came off as someone above you.”
(Quoted in “Chant and be Happy”)