On 13th August 1965, Srila Prabhupada left Calcutta aboard the steamship, the Jaladuta, for the USA. Fifty years later, on 19th September 2015, we will be commemorating this milestone at ISKCON-Calgary @ 313 – 4th Street NE with a range of festivities, between 12 noon and 4pm.
This year we will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Srila Prabhupada’s departure from India to the West to spread Krishna Consciousness.
We would like to invite everyone to come and take part in this inaugural festival, officially launching the 50th Anniversary celebrations in Calgary.
Highlights for you to consider in covering this historical event:
- His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was born in 1896 in Calcutta, India.
- He first met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, in Calcutta in 1922. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati,
- At the age of 69, with only $7.00, some books, his personal clothes, typewriter and some oats and herbs, boarded the freight liner Jaladuta.
- Suffered two heart attacks in the sea journey.
- One man with a mission to fulfill the mission of his spiritual master, arrived in Boston U.S.A on September 17th, 1965, alone with no contacts and not knowing where he will be spending his first night.
- In the mid 60’s and early 70’s, the youth were disillusioned and discontent with America’s war in Vietnam and were breaking away from the status-quo, searching for an alternative. Srila Prabhupada brought them one by one to be trained in Krishna Consciousness.
- As people come to him convinced of the Krishna Conscious philosophy, Srila Prabhupada accepts them for initiation. Not on the bases of birth, as in the rigid Hindu caste system, but on the basis of qualification and sincerity.
- It was after almost a year of great difficulty that he established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in July of 1966.
- In 1968, Srila Prabhupada created New Vrndavana, an experimental Vedic community in the hills of West Virginia. Inspired by the success of New Vrndavana, then a thriving farm community of more than one thousand acres, his students founded several similar communities in the United States and abroad.
- In 1972, His Divine Grace introduced the Vedic system of primary and secondary education in the West by founding the Gurukula School in Dallas, Texas. The school began with three children in 1972, and by the beginning of 1975 the enrollment had grown to one hundred fifty.
- Srila Prabhupada’s most significant contribution, however, is his books. Highly respected by the academic community for their authoritativeness, depth and clarity, they are used as standard textbooks in numerous college courses. His writings have been translated into eleven languages. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, established in 1972 exclusively to publish the works of His Divine Grace, has thus become the world’s largest publisher of books in the field of Indian religion and philosophy.
- In the last ten years of his life, in spite of his advanced age, Srila Prabhupada circled the globe twelve times on lecture tours that have took him to six continents. In spite of such a vigorous schedule, Srila Prabhupada continued to write prolifically. His writings constitute a veritable library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature and culture.
- Cultivated culture and spirituality across the Globe, inspiring millions of individuals to follow a Vedic way of life – “Simple living, high thinking”
- Established 108 Temples and a dozen farming communities before taking Samadhi in 1977 (giving up his body).
- ALL THIS BY ONE OLD MAN WITH $7.00, FAITH AND THE DETERMINATION TO FORFILL HIS SPRITUAL MASTERS MISSION, IN A SPAN OF 12 YEARS.
- TODAY, we have more than 550 centres, including 60 farm communities, some aiming for self-sufficiency, 50 Schools, and 90 restaurants.
- How did this one man inspire millions of people through the world? Come and see how Krishna was all along preparing, otherwise, how he could have survived, what to speak of introducing a God Conscious movement in a materialistic society.