Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be releasing a 125-rupees coin on Thursday to mark the 125th birth anniversary of AC Bhaktivedanta Swami, a Kolkata-born spiritual leader who founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) also known as the “Hare Krishna movement” in 1965. According to the ISKCON official website, the government will also feature a booklet on the contributions and achievements of Srila Prabhupada with each coin in a commemorative box. The composition of the coin will be 50% silver and 40% copper.
The move comes a day after the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna, Janmashtami. The Union Culture Minister, Kishan Reddy, will be present to grace the memorable occasion. ISKCON has translated the Shrimad Bhagvad Geeta and other Vedic literature in 89 languages, playing a stellar role in dissemination of Vedic literature across the world, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) noted. Prabhupada also established more than a hundred temples while writing several books. The organisation has been formed to spread the practice of Bhakti yoga, the practice of the love of God in which those involved (bhaktas) dedicate their thoughts and actions towards pleasing Krishna, whom they consider the Supreme Lord. Born in 1896, AC Bhaktivedanta Swami authored several books besides establishing temples. He graduated in chemistry from Scottish Church College in Kolkata.
He later moved to the US where he disseminated Vedic literature. Nearly 100 ashrams, gurukuls, temples, and farmhouses are believed to be established by him across many western countries. In West Virginia, US, he established New Vrindaban Temple in 1968. Swami died of a six-month-long illness in Uttar Pradesh’s Vrindavan in 1977 at the age of 82.