A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was a saint like none other.
At the age of 69, homeless, penniless and alone, he arrived in the Lower East Side of New York, in search of ‘better opportunities’ to preach his message. This was Skid row; the lowest of the low. Here he lived, worshiped, studied and taught. Every evening his new residence, the rat-ridden 94 Bowery, would fill up with buzzing acidheads, bearded bohemians, ruined alcoholics and disillusioned dropouts. Sex, music, LSD, and meditation is what made them tick. The Swami would nonchalantly step into the ‘temple’ and take his seat at the front, face-to-face with these confused souls who were looking for real love, real happiness and real spiritual experience. The Swami’s expression would exude bottomless depth, not fazed in the slightest. In short, straight, simple philosophical discourses, he communicated eternal truths with unparalleled impact. When he sang in unsophisticated tunes with a bongo drum, their heads would spin, and their hearts conquered. His tremendous devotion was irresistible, empowering his urgent message to penetrate the core of their hearts. He effortlessly smashed layers of illusion, unrelentingly speaking out in defiance of all materialistic ideology.
From these humble beginnings, Prabhupada went on to found the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), and in a few short years made “Hare Krishna” a household word. No amount of social commentary, historical analysis or academic conjecture can account for his miraculous achievements. Prabhupada’s life is tangible proof of the spiritual reality. He forever remains the strength, inspiration and guiding light. Indeed, a saint like none other.