Satsvarupa dasa Goswami is one of the first American disciples of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder-acarya of ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (better known as the Hare Krishna movement). Born in 1939 in New York City, Satsvarupa (then Steve) graduated from Brooklyn City College and served two years in the United States Navy. Upon returning stateside he became a social worker for New York City’s welfare department.
Srila Prabhupada-lilamrta tells the story of a remarkable individual and a remarkable achievement. The individual is A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada: philosopher, scholar, religious leader, saint. The achievement is the revolutionary transplantation of a timeless spiritual culture from ancient India to twentieth-century America.
This second volume begins in 1971. In the West, Srila Prabhupada had firmly established the Krishna consciousness movement, which his disciples were expanding in his absence. This volume chronicles Srila Prabhupada's triumphant return to India and his plans for constructing temples in three crucial locations: Bombay, the center of India's wealth and business; Vrindavana, the sacred village where Lord Krishna lived and sported; and Mayapur, the holy birth site of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who had inaugurated the Hare Krishna movement some five hundred years earlier.
These are vigorous years spent building a spiritual society in India and establishing centers around the world where people could contact the ancient, orthodox faith of India in their own cities. In this volume, Srila Prabhupada circles the globe repeatedly, speaking out on timely issues and defending his budding religious society against "brainwashing" charges in America and shady business practices in India.
Srila Prabhupada wanted to unite two worlds, the "lame man" of India and the "blind man" of America. "A blind man can carry a lame man," he said, "and together they can walk. Similarly, the combination of Indian spirituality and American technology can benefit the whole world." His principal means of accomplishing this feat was to publish his books – annotated translations of India's spiritual classics. Under his guidance, the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust was organized, and by 1977 it had produced and distributed more than sixty million volumes of Srila Prabhupada's writings.
A final tour of India in 1977 took Srila Prabhupada, eighty-one and in failing health, to the colossal Kumbha-mela religious festival, to Hrsikesha, and finally back to his beloved Vrindavana. The time for his passing had come, he said. As his anguished disciples flooded Vrindavana from all corners of the world, Srila Prabhupada presented them with the greatest challenge – and the greatest lesson – of their young spiritual lives.