Name of Book : Swami in a Strange Land
Author : Joshua M. Greene
Publisher : Jaico Books
Price : Rs. 499/-
Reviewer - Srivatsan V
Srivatsan is a banking and financial services professional. Books, sports and movies are his solace and detox. He is aspiring to be a writer and a knowledge entrepreneur.
~ Review ~
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, known popularly for the creation of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) is one of the foremost and most respected spiritual teachers and saint of Hinduism. ISKCON is popular for its reach among the masses both in India and overseas and with anyone without discrimination. Swami Prabhupada has been credited for trying to make people realize the importance of spirituality in their everyday lives thereby helping them in God realization through his books and speeches.
That having said, very few are aware of how Swami Prabhupada achieved, all the challenges he had overcome, the untold story of Swami Prabhupada. Born in a devout Bengali Vaishnava family, educated in Scottish Church College, blessed with a family with two kids and running a pharmaceutical business (before he adopted the life of a renunciant), Swami Prabhupada had everything in his life set – going in a way which we all in contemporary world would dream of. But then God had other plans for him.
His rendezvous with Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura in 1920s who later become his spiritual master, was the starting point which resulted in him taking renunciation in 1959 and later found the ISKCON in 1966.
In this book titled Swami in a Strange Land, the author explores how Swami Prabhupada armed with a few books, less money and with a noble intention landed in America in the mid 1960s where the counter culture movement was at its peak, the favourable as well as the lukewarm responses he received from varied groups of people and how he succeeded in spreading his message of love for God to raise God’s conscious among people from a land with an unique culture and tradition of its own. The book shows how ISKCON helped in the rise of spirituality in the Western countries which had different norms and how much a person who is guided by higher spiritual principles in life can go and achieve.
Joshua M. Greene has done an elaborate research on the reach of the Bhakti movement which originated in India and in western countries by Swami Prabhupada’s efforts. This book is an epitome to the same. The author has written the book with great details and in a simple style to convey the great work of Swami Prabhupada. The cover of the book shows Swami Prabhupada walking in the streets of America in his saintly robes. Do read it if you are a follower of Hinduism or are interested to know about the rise of Hinduism & Sanathan Dharmic principles and practices in the Western countries.