“By the liberal distribution of prasadam (pure plant-based food) and sankirtan (pure sound), the whole world can become peaceful and prosperous.”
At the heart of these statements are the spiritual practices and truths that are central to virtually all faith traditions: thanksgiving, offering to God the earth’s first yield, helping the poor and promoting peace and justice.
The Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, was an extraordinary person who dedicated his life to teaching the world about Krishna consciousness, ancient India’s most noble message of spiritual wisdom. Srila Prabhupada wrote more than forty volumes of translation and commentary on ancient Vedic texts, including the Bhagavad-gita. He wrote not only as a scholar, but also as a consummate practitioner; he taught not only through his writings, but also by the example of his life.
Throughout his works, Srila Prabhupada conveyed the natural meaning of the scriptures without far-fetched interpretations, offering an authentic rendition of the Vedic conclusions on such important topics as the purpose of human life, the nature of the soul, consciousness, and God. In 1965, at age 69, Srila Prabhupada sailed from India to New York to share Lord Krishna’s message on behalf of a distinguished line of masters dating back thousands of years. He brought with him nothing more than the clothes on his back, a box of books, and $7 worth of change. In the years that followed, he traveled and taught throughout the world, opened 108 temples, and established ISKCON.
Srila Prabhupada introduced the teachings of the Vedas as well as the Vedic culture of food and hospitality. In 1974, he exhorted his yoga students to liberally distribute sanctified food so that there would be no hungry people anywhere in the world. The students enthusiastically complied, and so began what was then called ISKCON Food Relief. Their first humble efforts soon blossomed into the world’s largest vegetarian food relief program. Known today as FOOD FOR LIFE (FFL), and acting as an independent, non-sectarian charitable service, the program operates in over 50 countries around the world.
Though no longer physically present among us, Srila Prabhupada lives forever in his writings and in the hearts of those whose lives he touched.