Who is Srila Prabhupada? people often ask, and it is always a hard question to answer. For Srila Prabhupada always eclipsed conventional designations. At various times people have called him a scholar, a philosopher, a cultural ambassador, a prolific author, a religious leader, a spiritual teacher, a social critic, and a holy man. In truth, he was all these things and more. Certainly no one could ever have confused him with the modern entrepreneurial gurus who come to the West with slickly packaged, watered-down versions of Eastern spirituality (to satisfy our urge for instant well-being and exploit our well-documented spiritual naivete.) Srila Prabhupada was, rather, a true holy man (sadhu) of deep intellectual and spiritual sensitivityhe had deep concern and compassion for a society which, to such a large degree, lacks real spiritual dimension.
For the enlightenment of human society, Srila Prabhupada produced some eighty volumes of translations and summary studies of Indias great spiritual classics, and his work has seen print both in English and in many foreign languages. Also, in 1944 Srila Prabhupada single-handedly launched a magazine called Back to Godhead, which today has a monthly circulation of more than half a million copies in English alone. Nearly all the interviews, lectures, essays, and letters chosen for The Science of Self Realization first appeared in Back to Godhead.
In these pages Srila Prabhupada presents the same message that the great sage Vyasadeva recorded thousands of years ago, the message of ancient Indias vedic literatures. As we shall see, he quotes freely and often from the Bhagavad-gita, the Srimad-Bhagavatam, and other classic vedic texts. He transmits in modern English the same timeless knowledge that other great self-realized teachers have spoken for millenniaknowledge that opens up the secrets of the self within us, nature and the universe, and the Supreme Self within and without. Srila Prabhupada speaks with startling clarity and a kind of convincing, simple eloquence and proves just how relevant the science of self-realization is to our modern world and our own lives.
Among the thirty-six selections chosen for this special book, we hear Srila Prabhupadas moving poem upon his arrival in America, his exchange with a noted cardiologist on soul research, his revelations to London Broadcasting Company on reincarnation, his telling remarks to the London Times on real and false gurus, his dialogue with a German Benedictine monk on Krsna and Christ, his insights on superconsciousness and the law of karma, his conversation with a leading Russian scholar on spiritual communism, and his intimate talk with his disciples on the sham of modern science.
Read the selections in order, if you like, or start with the ones that first catch your interest. (The glossary at the back will explain unfamiliar words and names.) The Science of Self-Realization will challenge you and bring you inspiration and enlightenment.
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