A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami (IAST: Abhaya Caraṇāravinda Bhakti-vedānta Svāmī; 1 September 1896 – 14 November 1977) was an Indian Gaudiya Vaishnava guru who founded ISKCON, commonly known as the "Hare Krishna movement". Members of ISKCON view Bhaktivedanta Swami as a representative and messenger of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.Born in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in a Suvarna Banik family, he was educated at the Scottish Church College. While working at a small pharmaceutical business, he met and became a follower of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. In 1959, after his retirement, he left his family to become a sannyasi and started writing commentaries on Vaishnava scriptures. As a travelling Vaishnava monk, he became an influential communicator of Gaudiya Vaishnavite theology across India and the Western world through his leadership of ISKCON, founded in 1966. He was well regarded by a number of American religious scholars but was criticised by anti-cult groups.He has been described by his followers as a charismatic leader, who was successful in acquiring followers in many Western countries and India. After his death in 1977, ISKCON, the society he founded based on a form of Hindu Krishna Bhakti using the Bhagavata Purana as a central scripture, continued to grow.
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