When His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada entered the port of New York City
on September 17, 1965, few Americans took notice — but he was not merely another immigrant. He was
on a mission to introduce an ancient religion, which originated in India, into mainstream America.
Before Srila Prabhupada passed away on November 14, 1977, at the age of 81, his mission proved
successful. He had founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) and saw
it grow into a worldwide confederation of more than 100 temples, ashrams and cultural centers.
Srila Prabhupada was born Abhay Charan De on September 1, 1896, to a pious Hindu family in Calcutta. As a youth growing up in British-controlled India, Abhay became involved with Mahatma Gandhi’s civil disobedience movement to secure independence for his nation. It was, however, a 1922 meeting with a prominent scholar and religious leader, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, which proved most i nfluential on Abhay’s future calling.