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A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (Bengali: অভয় চরণারবিন্দ ভক্তিবেদান্ত স্বামী প্রভুপাদ Abhoy Charonarobindo Bhoktibedanto Swamy Probhupad; Sanskrit: अभय चरणारविन्द भक्तिवेदान्त स्वामी प्रभुपाद, IAST: abhaya-caraṇāravinda bhakti-vedānta svāmī prabhupāda) (1 September 1896 – 14 November 1977) was a Gaudiya Vaishnava spiritual teacher (guru) and the Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), commonly known as the "Hare Krishna Movement". His mission was to propagate Gaudiya Vaishnavism, a school of Vaishnavite Hinduism that had been taught to him by his guru, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, throughout the world. Born Abhay Charan De in Calcutta, he was educated at the prestigious local Scottish Church College. Before adopting the life of a pious renunciant (vanaprastha) in 1950, he was married with children and owned a small pharmaceutical business. In 1959 he took a vow of renunciation (sannyasa) and started writing commentaries on Vaishnava scriptures. In his later years, as a traveling Vaishnava monk, he became an influential communicator of Gaudiya Vaishnava theology to India and specifically to the West through his leadership of ISKCON, founded in 1966. As the founder of ISKCON, he "emerged as a major figure of the Western counterculture, initiating thousands of young Americans." Despite attacks from anti-cult groups, he received a favorable welcome from many religious scholars, such as J. Stillson Judah, Harvey Cox, Larry Shinn and Thomas Hopkins, who praised Bhaktivedanta Swami's translations and defended the group against distorted media images and misinterpretations. In respect to his achievements, religious leaders from other Gaudiya Vaishnava movements have also given him credit.

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