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Prabhupāda: "Prabhu's feet" (i.e. Caitanya Mahā Prabhu)

Prabhupāda is an honorific popularised outside India by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Previously, the word was not known to non-Indic speakers. The term is used on the title page of all BBT books authored by Bhaktivedānta Swāmī, seemingly as part of his name.


  • Prabhupāda — Standard and scholarly rendition according to the International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration.
  • Prabhupada — Non-standard, non-scholarly, popular spelling, that does not take into account that the term's second "a" is a different letter in Sanskrit from the first and the third "a."
  • Prabhupad — Non-standard, non-scholarly, popular phonetic spelling which renders the final "a" silent.
  • Prabhupaada — Old-fashioned Anglicism.
  • prabhupAda — Newfangled concoction created for computer systems without diacritical support.
  • [prabhʊ'pɑdə] — Phonetic spelling according to the IPA standard.


Prabhupāda (প্রভুপাদ)[1] is composed of the words prabhu (প্রভু) and pāda (পাদ). Prabhu means "Lord," while pāda means "foot" or "feet." Prabhupāda, hence, literally translates as "Lord's Feet." Its actual meaning, in Indian context, will need to take into consideration nuances of language, culture, and belief that shall necessitate extensive linguistic elaboration for non-Indic speakers.

Similar terms[edit]


  • In the ISKCON, "Prabhupāda" has been used as an honorific exclusively for the "Founder-Ācārya" Abhaya Caranaravinda Bhaktivedānta Svāmī since 1968. From 1966 to 1968, his American disciples called him "Swamiji." In 1968 ACBS, objected to the term, and said that in India they called their guru "Prabhupāda."[2] The ISKCON has called him "Prabhupāda" ever since and has made the honorific term so popular worldwide that most non-Indians mistakenly think that "Prabhupāda" and "Swāmī Prabhupāda" are his names – although ACBS himself did not use this honorific on himself.
  • In the Science of Identity / Chaitanya Mission (an ISKCON offshoot), "Prabhupad" is used as an honorific exclusively for the founder Chris Butler. (They call the ISKCON Founder-Ācārya as "Srila Bhaktivedanta.")


  1. ^ See the Wikipedia disambiguation page on "Sripada."
  2. ^ Used as a name by Krishnapada Ghosh.
  3. ^ Used as a name by Ramapada Chowdhury.
  4. ^ Used as a name by Kalipada Singha Thakur, Kalipada Ghosh Tarai Mahavidyalaya, Kalipada Ghoshal, Kalipada Pahan.
  5. ^ Used as a name by Gangapada Basu.