A Controversial Revolutionary
Hare Krishna devotees around the world were very happy last week when a movie about the founder of ISKCON won the coveted Feature Competition Jury Prize at the Illuminate Film Festival in Sedona. While many have heard of Krishna, not so many have heard of Srila Prabhupada, who carries the official title of Founder-Acarya of ISKCON, A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
On the website Prabhupada is described as follows: The documentary follows the true story of an unexpected, prolific, and controversial revolutionary, 70-year-old Indian Swami Srila Prabhupada, whose unflinching determination and faith ignited the worldwide Hare Krishna movement.
I love the notion of Prabhupada being a controversial revolutionary. In 1966 he arrived alone in New York after a long trip on a cargo ship from India, stepped off not knowing whether to turn left or right, and took unbelievable risks to teach the beautiful science of bhakti yoga to a world of strangers. He deeply believed that this mantra, Hare Krishna, could satisfy the natural desire for happiness that is at the core of life and living.
Prabhupada is the kind of revolutionary that shakes things up, says things that need to be said, and wakes us from the boring slumber of our comfortable material life. Of course we don’t like to admit that life is a struggle and that we are never comfortable here, but Prabhupada forces our hand. His mature spirituality, his level of self-realization, and his expertise as a writer and speaker, are unmatched. Hiis compassion, soaked in his own love for Krishna, was an open hand to all. Don’t be fools and rascals, he would chide. Unless you know who you are and where you come from, you know nothing at all. He takes us down and then points us in the right direction.
See the movie and applaud this ‘controversial revolutionary’ who has truly offered a workable solution to the problems of life - birth, death, disease and old age. Heed the call he makes for us to remember that we are spirit souls, covered by a body, and take up the task to realize, and thus fully live, from that spiritual identity.
The movie launches in NYC this weekend: harekrishnathefilm.com/screenings/