Śrīla Prabhupāda-līlāmṛta (volume 1)
A Biography of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Śrīla Prabhupāda-līlāmṛta tells the story of a remarkable individual and a remarkable achievement. The individual is A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda: philosopher, scholar, religious leader, saint. The achievement is the revolutionary transplantation of a timeless spiritual culture from ancient India to twentieth-century America.
This first of two volumes begins with the story of the events leading up to Śrīla Prabhupāda’s meeting his guru, an encounter that ignited in Śrīla Prabhupāda a slow-burning flame of desire to take Kṛṣṇa consciousness to the Western world. His early life was a period of patient and transcendent determination as he prepared for a mission that would later be crowned with astounding success.
In August and September of 1965, Śrīla Prabhupāda traveled alone aboard a steamship from India to New York City, with no more than the equivalent of eight dollars in his pocket and no institutional backing, but with unshakable faith in Lord Kṛṣṇa and the instructions of his spiritual master. It is the 1960s, an era in which the children of those who fought World War II were leading a sweeping revolt against a society losing its soul to godless mass consumerism. Into this milieu Śrīla Prabhupāda brought a vision for a new kind of society, a society born of a radical transformation of human consciousness from materialism to the loftiest spiritual and ethical idealism.
By 1967 he had arrived in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, America’s counter-culture capital, where he continued his work of calling America’s youth to live up to their higher spiritual ideals and widely distributing the holy name of Kṛṣṇa.
By the end of the volume, we have seen Śrīla Prabhupāda in England (meeting the Beatles), Holland, Japan, Africa, and finally back in India, where he triumphantly returned with his “dancing white elephants” – a group of his mostly Caucasian Western followers.
The research team assembled by the author traveled throughout the world to gather thousands of hours of interviews with hundreds of people who knew Śrīla Prabhupāda; diaries and memoirs from his students; and more than seven thousand of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s letters. Then the author and his team distilled this voluminous firsthand source material into a rich composite view of Śrīla Prabhupāda, a dazzling and colorful picture of one of the most remarkable lives of our times.