Srila Prabhunada: Man who took Eastern spiritualism into heart of Western world

Lakshmana Venkat Kuchi

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today called for a ‘spiritual renaissance’ to preserve and propagate age old values that Indian civilisation stand for – unity, peace and social harmony.

Addressing a gathering after releasing the book, “Sing, Dance and Pray – the inspirational story of Srila Prabhupada” in Delhi, the Vice President advised youngsters to take inspiration from great saints and spiritual masters like Swami Prabhupada and imbibe qualities of discipline, hard work, patience and empathy to become better human beings.

“You must always rise above narrow considerations of caste, gender, religion and region and work for bringing unity, harmony and peace in society,” he added. The book authored by Dr Hindol Sengupta is the biography of Srila Prabhupada, founder of ISKCON. Naidu described the book as a fitting tribute to Srila Prabhunada on his 125th birth anniversary.

Crediting Srila Prabhupada with popularisation of The Bhagavad Gita’s message across the world, the Vice President called him as one of the greatest ambassadors of India’s cultural heritage in the modern era. Terming spirituality our greatest strength, he said that spirituality has been the soul of our nation and the foundation of our civilisation since ancient times. Praising our ancient scriptures for their transcendental spiritual value, Naidu said that for millennia, they have been manuals directing people to lead an ideal life based on ethics and values.

“Our scripture The Bhagavad Gita provides insightful solutions to all the problems of human existence, ranging from approaches to liberation from suffering, to self-realisation and attaining moksha or salvation, to the nature and significance of dharma to the overriding importance of action, devotion and a wide array of other philosophical questions,” he added.

Calling India as the land of devotion, Shri Naidu said that bhakti runs through the veins of Indians and is the lifeline of India’s collective civilizational consciousness. Shri Naidu pointed out that many rishis, munis and acharyas in India had uplifted the masses through the non-sectarian, universal method of worship, and lauded Srila Prabhupada for preaching the message of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”.

President of ISKCON Bangalore and Chairman of Akshaya Patra Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa, Vice Chairman Sri Chanchalapathi Dasa, author of the book and historian, Dr. Hindol Sengupta, devotees from ISKCON and others were present during the launch of Sing, Dance, and Pray. It is the life story of His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), the greatest ambassador of India’s spiritual culture and heritage to the Western world.

He single-handedly took the Vedic philosophy of devotion and love towards God to the West for the first time and successfully initiated thousands of young westerners into the devotion of Lord Krishna. In 1966, at the advanced age of 70, he founded ISKCON to give human society an opportunity for a life of happiness, good health, peace of mind and all good qualities through God-consciousness.

In a short span of 12 years that followed, he established over 100 Krishna temples around the world, authored over 60 volumes of bhakti literature based on Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam, and travelled the globe 14 times to preach the ideal of Vasudaiva Kutumbakam – the oneness of the entire human society.

Expressing his gratitude to the Vice President, Madhu Pandit Dasa, President, ISKCON-Bangalore and Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, said, “I am very thankful to Shri Venkaiah Naidu Ji for releasing this important book. His support will help us to present the spiritual vision and ideals of Srila Prabhupada to a wider audience in India and abroad. I am also honoured by his kind words of encouragement for our humble service to society. We will continue our efforts to provide hope and happiness to people from all walks of life through our various spiritual and social initiatives.”

Dr Hindol Sengupta, Author of Sing, Dance and Pray, said, “Srila Prabhupada was one of the greatest figures of global Hinduism. His achievements of taking the message of Hinduism through Sri Krishna and building a truly global movement of Hindu spirituality have never been surpassed. I was delighted to write the definitive biography of Srila Prabhupada, and I am most thrilled that the Hon’ble Vice President of India is releasing this book.”

(Lakshmana Venkat Kuchi is a senior journalist tracking social, economic, and political issues and takes a keen interest in sports as well. He has worked with prominent news organisations.)

The post Srila Prabhunada: Man who took Eastern spiritualism into heart of Western world appeared first on News24-English.

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