Although there are many types of yoga practice, the Vedic literature explains that no matter which practice you choose, success is only achieved when bhakti is present. What is bhakti-yoga, and how can you add it to your life or our current yoga practice? As bhakti is a pivotal element in any yogic or religious practice, it is known as the topmost yoga. In the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna explains bhakti-yoga to His dear friend Arjuna, and here Srila Prabhupada expands these concepts in this introductory text.
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada appeared in this world in 1896 in Calcutta, India.
He first met his spiritual master, Sarila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, in Calcutta in 1922. Bhaktisiddhanrs Sarasvati, a prominent religious scholar and the founder of sixty-four Gaudiya Mathas (Vedic institutes) in India, liked this educated young man and convinced him to dedicate his life to teaching Vedic knowledge. Sarila Prabhupada became his student and, in 1933, his formally initiated disciple.
At their first meeting Sarila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati requested Sarila Prabhupada to broadcast Vedic knowledge in English. In the years that followed, Sarila Prabhupada wrote a commentary on the Bhagauad-gitd, assisted the Gaudiya Matha in its work, and, in 1944, started Back to Godhead, an English fortnightly magazine. Single-handedly, Sarila Prabhupada edited it, typed the manuscripts, checked the proofs, and even distributed the individual copies. The magazine is now being continued by his disciples.
In 1950 Sarila Prabhupada retired from married life, adopting the vanaprastha (retired) order to devote more time to his studies and writing. He traveled to the holy city of Vrndavana, where he lived in humble circumstances in the historic temple of Radha-Damodara. There he engaged for several years in deep study and writing. He accepted the renounced order of life (sannyasa) in 1959. At Radha- Damodara, Sarila Prabhupada began work on his life's masterpiece: a multivolume commentated translation of the eighteen-thous and-verse Srimad-Bhdgauatam iBhdgauata pura1Ja). He also wrote Easy Journey to Other Planets.
After publishing three volumes of the Bhdgauatam, Sarila Prabhupada came to the United States, in September 1965, to fulfill the mission of his spiritual master. Subsequently, His Divine Grace wrote more than fifty volumes of authoritative commentated translations and summary studies of the philosophical and religious classics of India.
When he first arrived by freighter in New York City, Sarila Prabhupada was practically penniless. Only after almost a year of great difficulty did he establish the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, in July of 1966. Before he passed away on November 14, 1977, he had guided the Society and seen it grow to a worldwide confederation of more than one hundred asramas, schools, temples, institutes, and farm communities.
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. Since then his disciples have established similar schools throughout the United States and the rest of the world.
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