Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (September 1, 1896 - November 14, 1977) also known as Srila Prabhupada was a Gaudiya Vaishnava teacher, who came in the disciplic succession of the parampara where Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared. Srila Prabhupada's mission was to propogate the Hare Krishna Movement throughout the whole world.
Srila Prabhupada first met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, at Calcutta, India in 1922. Upon Their first meeting Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur immediately asked him, "You are an intelligent young man. Why don't you preach the message of Lord Caitanya in English?". This request was the thrust in Srila Prabhupada's life. Srila Prabhupada knew that he had found his spiritual master. In 1932 that he became Srila Bhaktisiddhanta's officially initiated disciple.
In 1936, Srila Prabhupada wrote to his spiritual master, who was then passing his last days on the planet. In the letter Srila Prabhupada asked, "Is there any particular service I can do?" Srila Bhaktisiddhanta said in his reply, "I am fully confident that you can explain in English our thoughts and arguments. ...I have every hope that you can turn yourself into a very good English preacher." Srila Prabhupada took this as his life's mission.
In 1944, Srila Prabhupada started the "Back to Godhead", an english fortnightly magazine. He single handedly edited it, typed the manuscript, checked the gallery proofs and distributed the magazine. Once begun, the magazine never stopped; it is now being continued by his disciples in the West and is published in over thirty languages.
Recognizing Srila Prabhupada's philosophical learning and devotion, the Gaudiya Vaishnava Society honored him in 1947 with the title "Bhaktivedanta". In 1950, Srila Prabhupada retired from his family life, adopting the retired order of life to devote more time to his studies and writing. Srila Prabhupada traveled to the holy city of Vrindavana, where he lived in very humble circumstances in the historic medieval temple of Radha-Damodara. There he engaged for several years in deep study and writing
He accepted the renounced order of life (sannyasa) in 1959. At Radha-Damodara, Srila Prabhupada began work on his life's masterpiece: a multivolume annotated translation of the eighteen-thousand-verse Srimad-Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana). He also wrote Easy Journey to Other Planets.
After publishing three volumes of the Bhagavatam, Srila Prabhupada came to the United States of America, in September 1965, to fulfill the mission of his spiritual master. Subsequently, His Divine Grace wrote more than sixty volumes of authoritative annotated translations and summary studies of the philosophical and religious classics of India.
When he first arrived by freighter in New York City, Srila Prabhupada was practically penniless. Only after almost a year of great difficulty did he establish the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, in July of 1966. He inspired the construction of many farm communities, temples, gurukula throughtout the world.
Srila Prabhupada's most significant contribution, however, is his books. Highly respected by the academic community for their authority, depth and clarity, they are used as standard textbooks in numerous college courses. His writings have been translated into over fifty languages. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, established in 1972 to publish the works of His Divine Grace, has thus become the world's largest publisher of books in the field of vedic culture.
Srila Prabhupada left this planet in 1977. In spite of his advanced age, Srila Prabhupada circled the globe fourteen times on lecture tours that took him to six continents. In spite of such a vigorous schedule, Srila Prabhupada continued to write prolifically. His writings constitute a veritable library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature and culture.