In order to become proficient in anything complex and significant, one requires assistance. Training with a skilled practitioner speeds up advancement. The science of Bhakti yoga has been, and continues to be, transmitted via the guru, or spiritual master, in an unbroken succession of teachers as indicated in Bhagavad-gita, evam parampara praptam, imam rajarsayo vidhuh. His Divine Grace, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, a spiritual master in the disciplic line tracing its origins back to Krsna, brought the science of Bhakti Yoga to the West.
The sponsors of the Bhakti Yoga Club, themselves practitioners of the Bhakti science for over 30 years, derive their lessons from the inspiration and teachings of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, their spiritual guru.
Prabhupada appeared in Calcutta, India near the end of the nineteenth century. Shortly after finishing his college studies he met his spiritual master, and received initiation from him in 1932. His guru requested, particularly, that Prabhupada broadcast the Bhakti science to the world in the English language. Prior to his coming to America, few even knew what yoga really was, except for the most common misunderstanding that yoga was an exercise regimen.
Prabhupada had spent a lifetime practicing the principles of Bhakti yoga, studying assiduously, and writing extensively. By the time he arrived in Boston in 1965, he was a sannyasi (renounced monk), had written a commentary on Bhagavad-gita, and had begun a multi-volume English translation of the Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavat Purana). From then until he left this world in 1977, he authored more than sixty volumes of authoritative translations, commentaries, and summary studies of the yogic philosophical classics.
In the 1960s and 70s Prabhupada initiated thousands of disciples, and began a spiritual movement that grew to over one hundred ashrams, schools, temples, and institutes all over the world, changing the lives of all he touched. He truly represents the acharya (one who teaches by example), and while other gurus in America were amassing Mercedes-Benz cars, Prabhupada was living humbly with his disciples and always giving, giving, giving up to the moment he left this world.
In his writings and teachings, he demystified the spiritual experience, choosing to concisely and clearly define and elaborate on the process of self-realization, and realization of the Absolute Truth. Seeing the world’s problems as stemming from a lack of understanding spiritual principles, Prabhupada opted to bring these principles, as they are, to light in a presentation anyone could grasp.
Whereas others had come to the West to make money from giving only a partial, or veiled, presentation of the yoga science, Prabhupada explained that this yogic knowledge is everyone’s birthright, and should, therefore, be free of charge. Much of the Bhakti science had previously remained locked in ancient times in foreign languages, but Prabhupada broke open the storehouse of the yoga science, and distributed it in a rational, logical, and beneficent manner. His presentation makes clear that an understanding of the Bhakti science doesn’t require money, higher education, or knowledge of a foreign language. That is, it is for everyone, everywhere, and for all time.