Revealing History: Prabhupada - His Life, Words and Letters

Days gone by are remembered as good or bad according to our desire. Although we are not encouraging anyone to post texts in this forum, if anyone feels a need to discuss things related to their former times in a spiritual movement or to ventilate their feelings, this is the place to do it. Please maintain proper decorum and do not flame others or other organizations. Any comments or statements herein are the opinions of the poster's alone and have no connection to harimedia.net or its administrators.
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Revealing History: Prabhupada - His Life, Words and Letters

Post by harsi »

"To take you of into Eternity..."

"This amazing film is a documentary shot in 1966 by a CBS news crew on a "new swami" on the Lower East side of New York City. His name was A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and from these small beginnings he went on to found the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). It is a very historic film."

"Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare Hare... An hypnotic rhytmic chant of 16 words has replaced LSD and other drogs for some in New York's East Village. On Second Avenue and First Street is a storefront in which a Hindu Swami has set up shop. There his American disciples are learning about Krishna Consciousness..." ~ Amry Collins

Can be watched at the Google Video site: www.video.google.co.uk
___


Image » Bhajan Kutir at Radha Damodar Mandir


Image » www.hisdivinegrace.com

On this video site one can watch online all videos which show Srila Prabhupada.


Image - The Journey to America - Photos / 2
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Post by harsi »

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada teaching his disciples his understanding of spiritual truth.

Srila Prabhupada: "So past, present, future, you exist. The body changes. Is it not clear?"


Image » Watch: Video.google.co.uk / 2
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Image - Gosai.com - Prabhupada's Departure from India and Arrival in the U.S. in 1965. (more)


"God has given you the key to the hearts of everyone..." - A professionally developed and well designed photo slide show with music, showing some of the best photographs of Srila Prabhupada - Walking alone in the streets of New York City, Ratha Yatra in San Francisco, meeting with Graf Duerkheim in Germany, with his followers under the Eiffel Tower in Paris and many more.


Image - http://www.lotusimprints.com/new/blog/? ... ent_id=628 - http://www.lotusimprints.com/new/blog/

» Watch Video: Video.google.co.uk » Parispanoramique.ifrance.com » www.paris-live.com
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Post by harsi »

The Good Old Days experienced through Prabhupada's letters. I will start with the letters from August 26. 1968
-------------------------------------------

Image

ISKCON Radha Krishna Temple
3720 Park Avenue
Montreal Quebec - Canada

To - ISCKON Center
518 Frederick Street
San Francisco, Cal. 94117


My dear Jayananda, Kartikeya, Shyama dasi, Dorothy, Visnujana, Dan, Tom, Russel, Michael, Krishna devi and all my sons and daughters in San Francisco.

Please accept my blessings. I am grateful to you for your invitation to come to San Francisco as soon as possible, and equally I am also anxious to go there, but for certain unavoidable reasons, I cannot immediately go to San Francisco. One of the reasons is that I may have to go to Vancouver and I am expecting instructions in this connection at every moment. So if I go to Vancouver I shall go to San Francisco and if I do not go to Vancouver, then probably by the end of September I must go to San Francisco.

I am in due receipt of your letter, Jayananda, dated August 21, 1968, and I am glad to learn that one Indian gentleman, Sri Ranchhoubha Patel, is returning to India and upon returning they will send two 18" marble Radha Krishna Murti, and certainly when you receive those Murtis, we shall have a grand festival. In the meantime, the Murti of Murli Manchar when arrives by the end of September, I must be present and do the needful nice ceremony. When I go to San Francisco, I shall deal with these Indian ladies and gentlemen, and in the meantime, keep them alive in the activities of our temple. it may be that we may open another center in San Francisco, near this Patel community. anyway, let Murli Manchar come, then Radharani will automatically come.

Regarding the Associated Press: It is very good oportunity to push our publicity through this sympathetic press. I have got so many things to say to such press representatives and if you can see the gentleman and arrange to send a representative here in Montreal, so it will be nice opportunity to speak to them personally. You wanted to send me one certificate for the police officer, and I also confirmed this, but I have not received as yet the certificate. If possible please send it immediately.

I am so much pleased with the good reports of your Samkirtan party there, and please continue to spread our Krishna Consciousness movement in this way and you will receive the blessings of Lord Caitanya. I am very happy to hear of the so many new boys and girls taking a sincere interest in this philosophy, and I am also very eager to meet with them when I come there to San Francisco. In the meantime, please continue your very excellent work of spreading this Krishna Consciousness all over that part of the country, and try to attract more and more new boys and girls to this great movement...

Thanking you once more for your many kind letters of invitation and hoping you are well and happy.

Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
---------------------------------

Srila Prabhupada Television Interview: "What is the Movement ?"
San Francisco 1975. Watch Video: » www.youtube.com

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Post by harsi »

Image Rathayatra 1967 with Jayananda.


Image » Video: Krishnatube.com


Image- Links: Ratha Yatra in San Francisco
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Post by harsi »

Image » H. K. artifacts. » Video

» YouTube Video: Memories of Srila Prabhupada » Tribute To Srila Prabhupada / 2


Image - Srila Prabhupada in Tompkins Square Park
Video and Info: www.nycgovparks.org


Image Prabhupada: Photos / 2

Excerpts from Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami's book "Life with the Perfect Master" » www.isvara.org » (more...)
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Post by GPandit »

Wow, thanks for posting those. Looks like I'm going to be watching a few videos. The first one was interesting to say the least. I think it was part of a longer documentary where Keith Ham says something like: "the goal is for all of us to become gopis" and some other new guy tells him not to say such things. The future leaders of ISKCON talking about dropping LSD and spreading peace to NYC--now if that's not sobering, what is?

Should be fun to watch the rest of these.
What we do in life, echoes in Eternity
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Post by harsi »

Thank you Garuda Pandit for your positive response. It is for me also interesting to see how history unfolds on the Internet. Sometimes there happens some small suprises like in the case of the diary of Anantacarya which was removed from the website I was refering here recently, but I found it again on the following website.
"Some minute details of the last days of Srila Prabhupada"
http://www.utahkrishnas.com/main/page.asp?id=1312


Image

- Prabhupada with George Harrison on his property in UK (more)



Image - Wikipedia.org

- Swami Bon Maharaj reception upon his return from UK. Pictured seated at far right is A.C. De,
a Godbrother of Swami Bon Maharaj, who later became A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(more)



Image - Prabhupada's ISKCON
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Post by harsi »

Image - www.itvproductions.org


Image


Videos: Morning arotika at Srila Prabhupada's Samadhi. - His life-work...
Slideshow: 26 Images of Prabhupada's Samadhi


Image
Krishnaconsciousnessmovement.com
___

From Conversation with Srila Prabhupada, March 16, 1974, Vrindaban. India. Copied from: www.indiadivine.org

"Perfect means as you have heard from your spiritual master. We are not perfect, none of us, but if you perfectly follow the orders of the perfect, then you are perfect" - Srila Prabhupada.

"Harikesa once said to Srila Prabhupada hesitently: There is a question which I've always been afraid to ask, because I don't know if it's proper, but you being the external manifestation of Supersoul, if we are having questions, doubts, when, in your absence, if we are receiving indications, is there any possible way that someone who is so conditioned can have any understanding of proper action in your absence?

Harikesa continues: In other words, if I am in your absence and I am in great doubt, and I am praying to Supersoul to please save me somehow, if I receive some action which I must do or some course of action becomes obvious, should I trust that, considering that you're communicating with me, or...?



Image - Photos



PRABHUPADA: That depends on purity. If one has become pure, without any material desire, then that is possible. But if there is some material desire, we cannot expect direct communication.
HARIKESA: So I have much material desire.
PRABHUPADA: I do not say you or he. This is the process. This is the process.

HARIKESA: But in the meantime...
PRABHUPADA: Huh?
HARIKESA: ...until we have reached the pure state...
PRABHUPADA: In the meantime it is not possible...
HARIKESA: Not possible.
PRABHUPADA: ...directly.

HARIKESA: So we must communicate with you verbally or through letters.
PRABHUPADA: Not with spiritual master here. You cannot concoct, "Now I am getting directly." No.
HARIKESA: So the nature of the communication with the spiritual master in our state is only through...
PRABHUPADA: Spiritual master... Krishna is also spiritual master.
HARIKESA: Oh.


Image


PRABHUPADA: But Krishna sends spiritual master, His representative, as you can appreciate, externally, directly. Otherwise, Krishna is already spiritual master. He could give you instruction from the very beginning. But why He is sending His representative? What is the use?
HARIKESA: We're not able to...
PRABHUPADA: Ah, because unless we are completely purified, Krishna will, does not talk directly. Therefore you have to understand Krishna through the spiritual master.

HARIKESA: So when we are having doubts, the only possible way, no matter what the indications are, are simply follow your instructions in all circumstances.
PRABHUPADA: Yes.
HARIKESA: Right.
PRABHUPADA: Krishna wanted instruction of guru, not directly.
HARIKESA: Krishna's...
PRABHUPADA: That, that I was explaining in the morning.
HARIKESA: Yes.

PRABHUPADA: Yes. Chaitya-guru. One has to take the order of Krishna through the media, via media of spiritual master.
HARIKESA: So all of my activities, unless they are directly following your order, are more or less a concoction of my mind.
PRABHUPADA: Yes. [break] ...office, you cannot contact the proprietor directly. There are subordinate officers. Through them you have to take the proprietor's help.

PRABHUPADA: The office master is there. You have to satisfy the office master. You cannot directly approach the proprietor. If you satisfy the office master, then your promotion and other things is all right. But if you want to... I have got practical experience.
PRABHUPADA: One of my friend, he was working in office. So the proprietor was there and many other employees were there. So that my friend, he suggested something to the proprietor, and the proprietor immediately dismissed him: "Oh, this man want to suggest me.
PRABHUPADA: Dismiss immediately. Give him his pay he will require.'' In that I have got practical experience. He later on became so sorry. Now it is the process. So this is practical.

PRABHUPADA: We should not try to approach directly Krishna. That is not the right way. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says, gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasa-dasanudasah: [Chaitanya-charitamrita Madhya 13.80] "I am the servant of the servant of.'' So you have to serve your immediate master, dasa-dasanudasah, servant of the Supreme Lord. If you want to jump over the original master, that is not good. Then you will be disissed like, like my friend.


Image


HARIKESA: Associating with you is so wonderful, and yet...
PRABHUPADA: Just like here in Vrindavana, I was here, as I am sitting here. I was sitting here in this very place. That was [indistinct]. And when I was hungry I could take my food there, same place. So that is one thing. Just like there are many persons, but because my spiritual master wanted, so I, at seventy years old, when I thought, "Now I shall go," I went, to serve the order of my spiritual master. Otherwise I am sitting here in Vrindavana. I am old man, I was chanting. Therefore, because that is my first business.

HARIKESA: Were you just waiting to finish your books?
PRABHUPADA: Yes. I was just creating the situation how I shall serve my spiritual master.
HARIKESA: Oh.
PRABHUPADA: Not that I was trying to directly contact Krishna. That was not my business. This is required. If anyone wants to contact directly Krishna, that is not possible. [break]

GURU DAS: If there is a devotees who are not yet purified, if the devotee is not yet purified, why is the temple president a representative of you? If we are not at the purified stage, then why is the temple president a representative of yourself?
PRABHUPADA: To carry his order. That is purification. If you create your own atmosphere, then you become impure. If you simply carry out the order of your spiritual master, then you will be benefited. If you do your own business, that is not good.
PRABHUPADA: You can not do anything which is not ordered by your spiritual master. Of course, everyone should have sense. It is not that we are dull, stone. Unless it is moved, it cannot... You have got moving power. But the basic issue should be to carry out the orders of his spiritual master. That is your president. Otherwise you are not.

HARIKESA: Sometimes we have the experience of someone in authority who is obviously not following your instructions.
PRABHUPADA: Hm?
HARIKESA: Sometimes we have the experience, someone in authority who is obviously not following your instructions.
PRABHUPADA: That you have not to judge.
HARIKESA: Ah.
PRABHUPADA: You are not to judge. You should be, you should know that this man is appointed, and he gets here by spiritual process. I must follow. You cannot judge him.
HARIKESA: Oh.


Image


PRABHUPADA: That is not your business, judging.
HARIKESA: Then we simply wait for further instructions from you and keep....
PRABHUPADA: No further instructions.
HARIKESA: Ah.
PRABHUPADA: So long he is president you must follow him. If he is wrong, that will be corrected by the spiritual master.
HARIKESA: Right.
PRABHUPADA: You cannot correct him. Otherwise obedience is the first discipline. If you do not obey the representative, authority, then there cannot be any discipline. Then everything will be topsy-turvy.

HARIKESA: You would rather have us follow the temple president...
PRABHUPADA: Huh? Yes.
HARIKESA: ...than to...
PRABHUPADA: If he is wrong, that cannot... He will come out.
HARIKESA: Ah.
PRABHUPADA: So the steps will be taken by the spiritual master. You cannot, do not try to rectify.
HARIKESA: Our advancement is the same?
PRABHUPADA: Huh?

HARIKESA: Our advancement...
PRABHUPADA: Yes.
HARIKESA: ...is going on.
PRABHUPADA: You follow, evam parampara-praptam [Bhagavad-gita 4.2], gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah [Cc. Madhya 13.80], servant of the servants of the servant of, then this is our.
GURU DAS: That's the consideration. Advancement is...

HARIKESA: I know I am making mistakes.
PRABHUPADA: Why do you preach?
HARIKESA: That's my question.
PRABHUPADA: Stop preaching.
HARIKESA: Ah.
PRABHUPADA: If you know your mistakes and you're preaching, why this nonsense preaching?
HARIKESA: Preaching must be perfect.
PRABHUPADA: Yes. Perfect means as you have heard from your spiritual master. [indistinct] We are not perfect, none of us, but if you perfectly follow the orders of the perfect, then you are perfect.


Image


PRABHUPADA: You should not think that "I have become perfect." Chaitanya Mahaprabhu also said, guru more murkha dekhi [Cc. Adi 7.71]. He presented Himself as fool number one. So we should always keep ourself as fool number one, that "I am not perfect. I am fool number one." But whatever I am doing I am carrying the orders of the perfect. That is my credit. I am not perfect. Suppose I give you ... five thousand dollars. That is not my money. I am not rich man. But the money is paid by somebody else and I deliver, that's all. That is my perfection. If I don't touch it, I do not take from five hundred dollars a paise even, and I deliver it, that is my perfection. I may not be rich man, but if I deliver this amount to you, in perfect order, that is my perfection.

HARIKESA: Sometimes, due to my conditioning, I cannot exactly understand what you are saying.
PRABHUPADA: Yes. If you cannot understand what I am saying, then you should ask repeat. Try to understand [indistinct], that "I cannot understand this, and explain." Put it to the immediate president or any Godbrother. If he still, if he cannot explain, if he feels unable, he can inquire to me. In this way.
HARIKESA: What if I don't know, I haven't understood? What if I think I have understood but I have actually not?
PRABHUPADA: There are many things like that. So you should try to understand it fully. Why should you understand it haphazardly? You must try to understand fully. [break]
HARIKESA: ...position to criticize his Godbrothers, no matter what?
PRABHUPADA: You can criticize, if you are right. You cannot criticize wrongly.


Image

Audio recordings: Prabhupada speaking and chanting.
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Post by harsi »

Image » Video: The early days in New York City

"The first Hare Krishna temple at 26 Second Avenue NY, New York. Shows the daily activities of the devotees at the temple and included an ecstatic kirtan with Prabhupada at Tompkins Square Park." "My mission is to preach the philosophy of Lord Caitanya..." ~ Prabhupada speaking there to an audience of people


Image » Prabhupada's Notice in the N.Y. temple


» Video: KrishnaTube Video: How to Distribute Srila Prabhuapda's Books Part 7
» Prabhupada Arrives in Melbourne 1974 Includes kirtan at airport plus press conference at airport.
__


Image » Iskcondk.ning.com/prasadam
Last edited by harsi on Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:13 pm, edited 20 times in total.
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Re: Revealing History: Prabhupada - His Life, Words and Letters

Post by trikaldas »

dear harshi prabhu!
if i may adress you in that way!
i think do not know you in person,i am TRIKALDAS from vienna.
i want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing the links of the above film about SRILA PRABHUPADA with us!i was mooved to many tears seeing,hearing and feeling HIM again !
ys trikaldas
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Re: Revealing History: Prabhupada - His Life, Words and Letters

Post by harsi »

Hi Trikaldas!

Or Grüss Gott how we say here in Bavaria. To say Haribol I guess is something similar. Nice to read from you here at Harimedia forum. How are you I hope you are well? According to the name I must say indeed yours is also not known to me. I knew a few persons from Austrian yatra and visited also many years ago the H.K.M's temple there in Vienna. I knew Caksu he was a frequent guest at the Nrsimhadeva temple in the Bavarian forest, I was living for many years. Ones we were distributing Prabhupada's books together for a few days around the year 1988 or so, together with me and Arjuna who lives now with his family near Munich.

I wish you all the best
yours sincerely
Harsi
___


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» Kirtan with Vaiyasaki: http://profile.myspace.com » Video (more)
» MSN Video: Ratha Yatra 2008 in New York / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 » www.kirtan.org
» Krishnatube Video: Jagannath Puri » More Videos » Multimedia Portal: http://www.iskcondesiretree.info
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Re: Revealing History: Prabhupada - His Life, Words and Letters

Post by harsi »

Lotusimprints.com

Q&As ISKCON Sutra
By Hari-sauri das, 25.4.09

"Here’s an interesting inquiry from Shyama Gopal dasa about a well-known sutra that was chanted all over ISKCON in the 1970s, when book distribution was booming and ISKCON was expanding like anything: “Prabhu, I was just reading articles on your blog site (Lotusimprints.com/blog) as one devotee referred me to your blog this morning.
“I wanted to ask you about: “Books are the basis, preaching is the essence, utility is the principle, and purity is the force.”


Image - SB Photo


Answer: We did a lot of research about two years back but noone could find the original source of this sutra. However, it was used on the masthead of the ‘Sankirtan Newsletter‘ that Srutadeva prabhu was putting out every week in the mid-70s. Srila Prabhupada was sent copies and used to read every issue:

October 30 1976 - “When Prabhupada flew from New York to London in July, Srutadeva prabhu and his family from Baltimore accompanied our party to take up a new service in England. On Jayatirtha prabhu’s request, he has taken up the post of temple president at Bury Place. Srutadeva used to compile the weekly Sankirtana Newsletter, which, along with the official BBT monthly newsletter sent out by Ramesvara Swami, keeps the temples around the world (and Srila Prabhupada) up-to-date with temple book distribution scores. Whereas the BBT newsletter bases the temple rankings in the monthly competition on the amount of laxmi they send in to the BBT each month, Srutadeva’s Sankirtana Newsletter lists individual book distributors’ scores as well as all of the books sold by category-small, medium, large, and maha-large-in each temple per week. Since he started it in 1974, his newsletter has helped fuel the competitive book distribution spirit amongst the temples and devotees and is read and appreciated by Srila Prabhupada. Now, with his move to England, he has stopped this service and handed it on to another devotee in Los Angeles.”



Image - S.P. Letters: http://www.prabhupada1947.com


Srutadeva just wrote this to me: “It has always been my understanding that Srila Prabhupada quoted Bhaktisiddhanta and I don’t have any reason to believe otherwise. However, when you go to the Vedabase you do find this quoted numerous times in Vyasa Puja offerings and other books and essays. I think that Satsvarupa Maharaja, Ramesvara and Dravida das might know something more. Especially Satsvarupa Maharaja because he uses that quote in one of his books.”

On February 25 1977 a devotee whom I believe was Lomasarishi dasa, who was living in either Hongkong or Taiwan translated this sutra into Mandarin Chinese. It was printed on a wall hanging and he presented it to Srila Prabhupada in Mayapur. His Divine Grace was happy to receive it:

Trivikrama: He has brought you one Chinese script.
Hari-sauri: What does it say?
Devotee (3): This is Chinese character scroll. It says, “Books are the basis, preaching is the essence, utility is the principle, and purity is the force.” It was translated wholly by myself, and the characters were written by…
Prabhupada: Is that all right?
Devotee (5): I can read, but I don’t write. Ah… That’s not purity. It should be… It’s not so exact.
Prabhupada: What did he say in the trans…?
Devotee (5): It’s cleanliness rather than purity.
Bali-mardana: He has translated purity as “cleanliness,” not quite exact."

What ever the original source of it was, whether it was made up by Srila Prabhupada or it came from his Guru Maharaja or another source, Srila Prabhupada knew about it and approved it."


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Re: Revealing History: Prabhupada - His Life, Words and Letters

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Re: Revealing History: Prabhupada - His Life, Words and Letters

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Utahkrishnas.com


Image • Prabhupada Photos: Lotusimprints.com


A historical report from the diary of Anantacarya describing the circumstances around A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami's disappearance.


ImagePrabhupada Bedside Conversations 1977'_


Monday, 14. November l977. - "At about 10:15 in the morning, I am passing by the windows of Srila Prabhupada’s room and hear a loud kirtan going on in the room. Due to the strength of the kirtan I find myself thinking that now Srila Prabhupada is feeling better, but shortly later one of the devotees tells me that his condition is as critical as ever. Again at about 12:00 noon I pass the windows and the kirtan is still good and strong. Prasadam today is at 1:15 P.M., and as we are taking prasadam, a server walks into the center of the prasadam room and says, I don't know how many of you have already heard about it, but Kaviraj has said that Srila Prabhupada has only five more hours in his body. Continued...



Image » Prabhupada Videos: Krishnatube.com » Poems for Prabhupada - Photos on the Web


12 November l977

During the night, at about 1:00 A.M., I re-enter the room. Srila Prabhupada is resting. Swarup Damodara, one of His personal servants, is tending closely to Srila Prabhupada. Shortly after I arrive, Swarup Damodara is relieved by Bhavananda Maharaj who helps Srila Prabhupada turn over in bed. Bhavananda begins massaging Srila Prabhupada, and while Srila Prabhupada rests, the room is completely silent. We chant Japa under our breaths. When Bhavananda comes close to help, Srila Prabhupada asks, “Who is it?” Later on I find out that some of Srila Prabhupada’s associates have talked him out of going on the parikram, and He has agreed that we will go instead. The night is chilly. Today is Govardhan Puja, and later on in the morning the Temple will be decorated.

Kaviraj (Shastri-ji, the doctor) comes in at 8:00 A.M. He takes Srila Prabhupada’s pulse and states that the pulse is perfectly normal again.

Kaviraj says that he has seen many, many patients, but never one with a body like Srila Prabhupada’s. One day everything will seem to be in disorder, but the next day everything will be perfect again. Today there is no more high blood pressure either. Kaviraj says that he will have to go to Jaipur to get the ingredients for a special medicine. He is sure that if Srila Prabhupada will continue to take milk, take the medicine (when it becomes available), and (one other thing I couldn’t hear), then Srila Prabhupada will be well.

Kirtan starts quietly, and most of us leave the room with Shastri-ji.

At about 3:50 P.M. I re-enter the room. There are about 10 devotees singing a nice kirtan for Srila Prabhupada. Shortly thereafter, another devotee and I are given a chance to lead the kirtan. He is playing the harmonium, and I accompany him with a pair of karatals. We sing continuously until 7:00 P.M. During this time Srila Prabhupada asks to be seated up in bed!!! He not only sits up in bed, but also accepts a portion of choody noodles! He chews just a little bit of it, and, after he is done, Upendra carefully distributes to us that which is left on the plate. Needless to say, the devotees in the room waste no time in honoring the Maha Prasad that has come right off the plate of the pure devotee! Srila Prabhupada is always giving to us, no matter what his apparent condition.

Sunday, 13 November, 1977.

Upon entering the room at 1:00 A.M., I prostrate myself near the bed, and offer obeisances to our Spiritual Master. The room is completely silent except for two sounds: the very faint sound of Srila Prabhupada’s breath as he sleeps, and the slight rustle of Bhavananda’s beads as he chants silently. There are four of us in the room: Srila Prabhupad, Bhavananda Maharaj, Giriraj, and myself. I take the opportunity to chant silently.

Srila Prabhupada sleeps well for awhile, but then he awakens. He begins to have more trouble with his body. Bhavananda does everything that he can—-rearranging pillows, massaging, moving Srila Prabhupada, changing the blankets, but no matter what, Srila Prabhupada is still not doing well at all. Bhavananda gives the order the go wake up Upendra. Upendra is here in no time and takes care of things nicely enough that Srila Prabhupada calms down and goes back to sleep. He sleeps well from 2:00 to 3:00 A.M. Then he wakes up again. For awhile he is cold, but then the quilt which is put on is too heavy, and He asks that it be removed. He even pushes strongly against it. His left leg is in pain, and he asks to be helped to pass urine. Things go from bad to worse. He insists that all covers stay off.

We get Upendra up again, but then, in addition, we have to rush for Shastri-ji and get him up too. There are more devotees in the room now too, since many are now getting up early in order to chant some rounds before mongala aroti. In the middle of all this action, Srila Prabhupada erupts with a very loud and distinct “Hare Krishna”. At that, Bhavananda starts too chant out loud, but due to the attention that he is giving Srila Prabhupada, he stops chanting a few minutes later in order to concentrate on what he is doing for Srila Prabhupada. At that, Srila Prabhupada again erupts with “Hare Krishna!” and Bhavananda chants even louder. Five minutes later, another “Hare Krishna!” from Srila Prabhupada, and at that point Upendra turns around to us and says, “You may all chant japa out loud”. Kaviraj takes the pulse, looks over Srila Prabhupada, and then leaves. Srila Prabhupada becomes a little quieter. I leave at 4:15 A.M.

At 6:45 A.M. I re-enter the room. About 20 devotees are being led in a nice kirtan by Satswarup Maharaj. Srila Prabhupada is now worse. Now he has a cold, too. Now a cold on top of everything else. Srila Prabhupada’s sister arrives, dressed all in white, and goes to the head of the bed to see her brother. She reaches out her hand to give him a long, consoling touch.

She then proceeds to the foot of the bed, reaches under the covers, and touches his feet before she leaves. At about 8:30 A.M. I leave the room.

At about 9:00 P.M. I re-enter Srila Prabhupada’s room. There are about 15 to 20 devotees gathered around the bed including Kaviraj and another elderly gentleman friend of Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada is being massaged on one leg with looks like an oil of some kind, and a compress is being applied to the other leg. He doesn’t seem to be doing well at all. Many devotees are staying and not leaving to take rest. At about 10:30 P.M. He begins to sleep very well. He is on his left side and sleeping silently. By 11:00 P.M. there are only four disciples left in the room: Swarup Damodara, Jagadisha Prabhu, a bramacari(who is reading under a lamp in the corner), and myself. Swarup Damodara is sitting quietly in the corner keeping an eye on Gurudev; Jagadish is seated quietly against the wall; the bramacari is reading; I am chanting Hare Krishna. At this point, the only sound in the room is Anantacarya whispering the Hare Krishna Mantra.

The night is getting cold outside, and Swarup Damodara wants to stop a cold draft which is coming in on Srila Prabhupada by way of a French window near the bed; but it won’t close. So I go outside and push while Swarup Damodara pushes from the inside. Somehow or other we manage to get it closed without waking up Gurudev.

Later on, at 11:40 P.M., Srila Prabhupada awakes and asks to be rolled from his left side onto his back. Swarup Damodara helps him roll over to His back, then gives Him his medicine, and then fixes him up with the urinal. While He is being moved to his back, Srila Prabhupada’s feet become uncovered, so I go over and tuck in Gurudev’s lotus feet under the blankets.



ImageSrila Prabhupada's Disappearance From Our Material Vision



Monday, 14 November, l977. - It is now 12:15 A.M. Gurudev is still sleeping soundly. Bhavananda shows up promply at 1:00 A.M., and he takes up his vigil in the chair by the foot of the bed. At this point I take the opportunity to also go over close to the bed so that I can be closer to Srila Prabhupada while I chant the Maha Mantra very softly. For the next hour and a half I stand right there, next to Gurudev, looking at his lovely head and face. He is resting so nicely, and for that hour and a half, I can’t see anything else. I stand in one spot and meditate upon his lotus face and head. Bhavananda gets up and goes over to sit by the far wall with some other devotees who have now begun to arrive in the early morning hours. (It is now about 2:00 A.M.) So somehow or other I am alone at the bed with Gurudev as I chant softly for Him.

Little do we suspect that this will be the last night that we will be able to be with our spiritual master by his bedside.

It is now about 2:30 A.M. and, insofar as there are more devotees in the room to keep Srila Prabhupad company, I depart from the room.

All Glories to our inconceivably merciful and infinitely wonderful Spiritual Master!

At about 10:15 in the morning, I am passing by the windows of Srila Prabhupada’s room and hear a loud kirtan going on in the room. Due to the strength of the kirtan I find myself thinking that now Srila Prabhupada is feeling better, but shortly later one of the devotees tells me that his condition is as critical as ever. Again at about 12:00 noon I pass the windows and the kirtan is still good and strong. Prasadam today is at 1:15 P.M., and as we are taking prasadam, a server walks into the center of the prasadam room and says, “I don’t know how many of you have already heard about it, but Kaviraj has said that Srila Prabhupada has only five more hours in his body”. At that announcement I begin to gulp down the remaining prasadam on my plate and then double time to Srila Prabhupa’s room. I am afraid that the room will be so packed that I will be too late to get inside, but upon arriving, the room is about 1/3 filled with 25 to 30 devotees who are gathered close to the bed, chanting strongly. Our Spiritual Master is in what looks like a coma: He is not moving: His facial expression is like that of a trance. He is lying on his back with his head tilted back and to the side. His lips are parted, but there is no movement, and his eyelids are closed down tightly. Gurudev’s bed is a nice large bed.

It is sizeable enough that, even though Gurudev is lying in the middle of it, there is plenty of room for several devotees to sit on the bed along side of Him. Upendra, Bhavananda Maharaj, and other close disciples of Srila Prabhupada are seated on the bed. Caru das, the president of the Berkeley Temple, is seated on the floor at the foot of the bed, massaging Srila Prabhupada gently. Tears are coming down his face as he gently strokes the legs and feet of his Spiritual Master. Other devotees are crowding around all sides of the bed, getting as close as they can, and singing kirtan continuously. All Srila Prabhupada’s personal servant’s are in attendance and they have worried looks on their faces(Bhakta Caru Maharaj, Upendra das, Bhavananda Maharaj, Swarup Damodara das). The room is starting to fill up fast as the word gets around the Mandir about what Kaviraj has said. Everybody is now pouring into the room to chant for Srila Prabhupada—brahmacaris, matajis, children from the Gurukula, Sannyasis, visitors,—everybody. Hamsadutta Maharaj sits on a corner of the bed down by Srila Prabhupada’s feet, and takes over the kirtan. He leads the kirtan nicely and keeps up chanting the right prayers(Pancha Tattva Maha Mantra, Hare Krishna, Samsara Dava). He asks for a prayer book and then leads us in the complete set of Govindam Prayers. We don’t know all the words, of course, but he is singing them, and then we all join in for the refrain(Govindam Adi Purusam, Tam aham bajami—).

The room is now getting stuffy because so many devotees are packed in. We open all the doors and windows and turn on the fans. More people from outside the Mandir are now showing up. Srila Prabhupada’s sister is already here, seated on the floor next to the bed. For the many hours to follow, she almost constantly remains close to him. No matter what happens next, she will do her best to hobble along to be with Srila Prabhupada. Some of Srila Prabhupada’s elderly vaishnava friends are arriving and a bench is brought in for them to sit on. The room is jammed. Kirtan goes on without ceasing as Hamsadutta leads us through the afternoon hours. The afternoon is filled with devotees coming and going and chanting. Some of the elderly Vaishnava gentlemen later on decide to leave, but the real frail short one stays on, sitting politely on the bench and quietly chanting japa. A real Vaishnava gentleman, chanting Hare Krishna continuously. Will I ever, in this lifetime, be able to appreciate what a merciful privilege it is—to be allowed to associate with the wonderful Vaishnavas in this room?

At 5:00 P.M. Kaviraj arrives and proceeds to the bed. The devotees crowd close. In no time he has searched for Srila Prabhupada’s pulse, but then reaches for his stesthoscope. He moves it around from point to point on Srila Prabhupada’s chest and midsection, and then says something to Bhakta Cara Maharaj with a worried look. Only a handful of devotees could actually hear what Kaviraj said, but somehow or other the word is passed around–only 3 more hours, that’s all. Kaviraj asks that some of Srila Prabhupada’s books be placed nicely around his head on the pillows and some pictures of the Dieties also be placed on the pillows at the head of the bed. The books are placed nicely, and the diety pictures are now leaning against the pillows and bedstead. There are also japa beads lying near his head. So his lovely head and face are framed with some of his favorite transcendental paraphernalia. It is so beautiful to see the head of Gurudev surrounded that way.

By now it has sunk into us what is happening, and Pradyumna and others have begun preparations for the Samadhi. There is talk of palanquin, fresh saffron cloth, garlands, etc. Hamsadutta looks very worried but keeps right on going with dedication and devotion. Srila Prabhupada is now occasionally swallowing with his mouth closed. His breathing is noticeable by the slight rise and fall of the sheet which covers his frail body. He is given some kind of liquid by Bhakta Caru, but I am too far away to see exactly what it is. From 5:00 to 6:00 P.M. I am appointed guard duty and sit in the vestibule. People from the town are arriving, and I can’t tell who to let in and who to keep out. Everyone is extremely determined to see Srila Prabhupada and beg to please be let into the room for one last Darshan with him. At 6:00 P.M. I leave guard duty and re-enter the room. Now even the Matajis are crowding right up to the bed in order to be as close as possible to Srila Prabhupad. ISKCON photographers are carefully taking photographs and motion picture films. As before, may of us are crying. As for Bhavananda, his eyes are continuously filled with moisture. Upendra too. We are all pressing toward the bed to see Gurudev. Now he is motionless again.

Kaviraj walks in at about 7:50 and goes to the bed. He bends over for the pulse and we all push forward even more. I cannot see what is going on, so I stand on a chair in the back of the room, but still I cannot see Srila Prabhupad. But I can see Kaviraj, and instantly upon checking for the pulse he says something swiftly like “finished” or something to that effect.

He (or Tamal?) immediately gives the order for loud, loud chanting of the of the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra. We all erupt with the Hare Krishna Mantra with an almost hopeless frenzy. Now it really begins to sink into us what has happened. Kaviraj has said that it’s all over. Many of us start sobbing. There are devotees frantically chanting, crying, sobbing, breaking down completely. One boy goes into a crying convulsion and has to be dragged to a corner where he collapses in convulsive sobbing. Devotees are crying, sobbing, chanting, and running in every direction. Tamal orders us to leave the room. I go upstairs to cry alone. The night is filled with close and distant sobbing, women wailing, bells ringing, and even the dogs are barking and howling.

I go back downstairs about 3/4 of an hour later. No more matajis, children, or visitors are present. The devotees in the room are now the saffron clothed ones. Mostly leaders in the Hare Krishna movement. Kirtan is continuing nicely. Srila Prabhupada has already been clothed nicely in saffron, garlands of flowers are placed on him, and a lovely bouquet of Tulasi manjaris is laid across his chest. There is sandlewood pulp covering his forehead and a large tulasi leaf fixed in the middle of his forehead.

His skin has now turned pale, but one look at that powerful face and you know that whatever are the conditions, He is still the boss, still the Spiritual Master. Saffron material is now covering his form, and a saffron colored “swami” hat is covering his head. We bring in the palanquin, and he is picked up from the bed by four or five devotees and placed securely in the seat of the palanquin. Other Vrndaban Vaishnavas now come back in, led by Narayana Maharaja. They pay their heartfelt obeisances, and place flower garlands around their beloved friend. They are clearly much affected by the departure of Gurudev, and offer their most reverent obeisances to him. At this point I am crying almost all the time.

Tamal Krishna states the plan for the next couple of hours: “The palanquin will now leave for the Temple Room where Gurudev will see the Dieties and an Arotik. Then a Gurupuja, an offering of flowers by devotees, and then chanting until the samadhi is ready”. The palanquin containing Srila Prabhupada is lifted, and with strong chanting is carried out of the room. Srila Prabhupada in his palanquin is then taken around the around the outside of the Krishna-Balaram Temple 3 times. Three times around the circumference of the Temple Building with the devotees following and chanting. It is a joyous, happy kirtan. Round and round the Temple with Srila Prabhupada, and then he enters the temple as our transcendental leader to see the dieties. First the palanquin is placed in front of Gour-Nitai with the devotees singing joyously for their Gurudev. On to Krishna-Balaram: and then to Radha-Krishna. The kirtan is strong and jubilant. Then the palanquin is lifted and Srila Prabhupada is taken around the inside of the Temple, then outside, and then re-enters again and is placed before the Krishna-Balaram Dieties for continued jubilant kirtan and dancing. The devotees are singing and dancing and circumnambulating the palanquin. The devotees circle close to the palanquin and drink in the nectar of close darshan with Srila Prabhupada. We go around many times, circling closely. Now the palanquin is lifted and proceeds to the Vyasasan where both palanquin and Gurudev are placed right on and in the Vyasasan.

He is in his palanquin which is on the blue velvet asana, with lion figures on both sides.

Gurupuja begins. Omkara dasa does the arotik while Hamsadutta leads us in a rip-roaring kirtan. Really rip-roaring. After the Gurupuja, we prepare for the offering of flowers (marigolds) to Srila Prabhupada. The first devotees to offer flowers and obeisances to Srila Prabhupada are: His sister; His Vrndaban friends; Tama Krishna Maharaj; then Upendra; Pradyumna, the ISKCON swamis and Temple Presidents. Some of the Gaudiya Math (?) offer garlands of flowers and decorative spiritual paraphernalia.

We offer the marigolds by circling motions and then shower them on Srila Prabhupada. Then each devotee (after offering his flowers) prostrates himself before the Vyasasan. While this is going on, Narayana Maharaj leads us in a very, very nice kirtan. He is leading us so very, very nicely, and from his leading chant, one can appreciate how much he is devoted to Srila Prabhupada. After the men have offered flowers and obeisances, then the matajis offer. At the end, Tamal announces that the townspeople of Vrndaban have requested to please let them have darshan once more with Srila Prabhupada, so now instead of proceding directly to the samadhi, Srila Prabhupada will wait in the Vyasasana during the night and then proceed to the seven temples of Vrndaban in the morning. After the parikram of Vrndabn in the morning, He will return for samadhi. We are ordered by Tamal to stay up all night with Gurudev for continuous kirtan. Srila Prabhupada is now being fanned by camara while the kirtan goes on.

IT IS NOW 12:30 A.M., 15 NOVEMBER 1977.

Image - Gosai.com: Prabhupada's Instructions


The kirtan goes on, and the nightime is beginning to get very cold. By 1:30 A.M. the population in the temple room is beginning to thin out and there are only a few of us who are actually doing kirtan. There are about 20 to 30 devotees in the temple room, but many are chanting japa. I am beginning to get tired myself, so I quickly dash upstairs for a cold shower and then dash back to the kirtan. At about 2:00 A.M. the air has become penetratingly cold. Four or five of the younger “Indian” ISKCON devotees and myself are now clustered together up close to the Vyasasan in order to keep the kirtan going strong. Also up by the Vyasasan are two of the older dedicated “Indian” devotees who refuse to leave Srila Prabhupada even though they can hardly stay awake, and no matter how cold it gets. The little frail one sits motionless in front of the Vyasasan with only a chowda wrapped around his shoulders. Pradyumna sits with us and chants on his japa beads. He is looking quite worn out, but stays with Srila Prabhupada. The “Indian” ISKCON devotees lead the kirtan and keep it going nicely. Also, there are a few matajis in the rear of the temple room, chanting japa.

Viraha Prakash Maharaj is now standing at attention by the side of the Vyasasan steps. About 3:00 A.M. I am asked to fan Srila Prabhupada with one of the Camaras. I step up next to the palanquin at Srila Prabhupada’s right side and relish every moment of being able to whisk Srila Prabhupada. I am talking to him silently, and the tears won’t stop rolling down my face. It is just dark enough that the devotees (I hope) cannot see that I am crying.

Srila Prabhupada is so kind that even though he finally decides to leave us, he still mercifully stays with us for an extra night so that we may have one last chance to see His Divine Form, chant kirtan for him, and whisk him with the Camara. By 4:30 many of the devotees are beginning to return to the temple room. Srila Prabhupada’s sister also returns at this time and politely sits on the floor near the vyasasan. She obviously wants to sit even closer to Srila Prabhupada (on the mats up front with us) but this carpet is filled with male devotees, so she humbly sits down over to the side on the cold floor, next to one of the pillars. At this point the women come forward and offer incense to Srila Prabhupada. At 4:45 I volunteer to whisk Gurudev again, and take the left side this time. How nice it is to be able to fan Him during his last hours with us.

By 5:00 A.M. everyone is back. As mongol arotik starts a little later, many devotees turn their backs to Srila Prabhupada in order to pay prostrated obeisances to the Dieties. Narayana Maharaj and his associates remain motionless and do not budge. In no time at all, Narayana Maharaj is laying it on the line to Gopal Krishna Das—the devotees are to stay at the Vyasasan facing Srila Prabhupada, and there is to be a simultaneous arotik for Srila Prabhupada at the Vyasasan while the arotik also goes on for the Dieties. Gopal Krishna quickly gets everything arranged nicely, and a nice arotik is held at each of the three altars plus at the Vyasasan. Narayana Maharaj leads the kirtan and winds up everything with repeated and resounding “Jaya Gurudevas”, one after another. Afterward, there also is an arotik for Tulasi Devi.

The Parikram begins at about 6:45 A.M., and the palanquin is lifted from the Vyasasan and carried to the center of the courtyard of the templeroom where we circumnambulate Srila Prabhupada with more chanting, of course. We then proceed through the front gate of the Mandir, down the road to Vrndaban, and parikram to each of the (7)? Temples of Vrndaban.

Narayana Maharaj is arranging everything nicely, leading the procession, leading the kirtan, and seeing with great attention that everything goes along perfectly for our Gurudev. Narayana Maharaj is now conducting the parikram, acting on our behalf as our very capable leader, and seeing to it that everything is conducted nicely for Srila Prabhupada. For the next 6 hours, he is indefatigable, watching everything, and continuously providing the devoted and competent leadership needed so that all the details of the parikram and samadhi are executed perfectly.

It certainly is quite an impressive procession as it moves along down the road. The procession actually consists of two parts. First, there is a large group of devotees consisting of Narayana Maharaj and most of the Sannyasis (and others, too). This group leads the procession and also leads the strong kirtan. Then there is a gap of about 20 yards to the next group which consists of the Palanquin with Srila Prabhupada, the palanquin bearers, close attendants, devotees, and others. Immediately following this group are the matajis, and then several rickshas carrying Srila Prabhupada’s Sister and some of the children from the Gurukul. There are eleven dandas gliding through the air. When one looks toward the palanquin, he usually sees Citsukananda bearing the load up front and Vishnu Tattva Das supporting the rear of the palanquin. Although they are from time to time temporarily relieved, these two boys are seen carrying the heavy palanquin for most of the procession. And it is indeed heavy. Some boys who try to carry it cannot even get the carrying bar up to their shoulder so that it can move, and, as a result, are not able to share in this mercy. For the entire procession, Bhavananda Maharaj is inseparable from Srila Prabhupada’s side.

Tamal Krishna is also there at the palanquin, taking part of this part of the procession and giving the directions and leadership to the second group of devotees. From time to time the going gets a little rough. At this, there is anxiety written all over Upendra’s face, because there isn’t much that he can do about it. Nevertheless, Srila Prabhupada and his devotees sail through the streets of Vrndaban. The streets are lined with people shouting “Hari Bol!” “Hare Krishna!” “Jai Gurudev!”. Families are coming out on the rooftops to see the procession, and the townsfolk of Vrndaban, young and old, are paying standing obeisances to Srila Prabhupada. We stop in front of each of the Temples and there are resounding “Jai Gurudev”s.

At one point on the road (not to far from the mandir) there is a young woman standing at the side of the road watching the procession go by. After the last devotee walks by, her eyes begin to get wide, and they light up with amazement and veneration. She follows the procession down the road with her eyes, and then turns and walks to the center of the road. She bends down, and with hands outstretched, palms down, she rubs her hands in a circular motion in the dust. Lifting her hands she then, again in a circular motion, smears the dust of the lotus feet of the Vaishnavas all over her cheeks. At that point, with eyes still as wide as large coins, she beams with a smile, and with that smile radiates to us that she understands that it is not everyday at 7:30 in the morning that a person gets a chance like this!!!!! A little farther down the road, another young woman, dressed in the finest of exquisite garments, steps from her house into the street ditch in order to see the palanquin go by. When she recognizes who is in the palanquin, then, regardless of the finery she is wearing, she immediately bends her knees into the gutter, brings her head and arms to the ground, and pays obeisances to Srila Prabhupada. How is it possible to keep from crying when one sees just how much Srila Prabhupada is loved and revered by everybody.

We return to the Mandir, and the samadhi begins immediately. Srila Prabhupada has a bathing ceremony, a change of garments, flower garlands, puja offering, prasadam offering, and is finally covered with salt and then sand. It is a lengthy and beautiful ceremony, and does not terminate until 1:00 P.M. in the afternoon. The temple bell is ringing continuously, and the kirtan goes on without interruption. At about 1:00 P.M. the samadhi ceremony ends, and the devotees take Prasadam.

These pages began as a diary—but somehow or other turned into something like a partial report of some of the details of the past few days.

In consequence, even though it is clear that I am certainly not competent to write about those events, I am begging the mercy of our Gurudev and the Disciplic Succession to allow me to write down as a diary this little bit of information for those devotees who were not able to be with their Spiritual Master during his last days with us. Please, Srila Prabhupada, forgive my offenses. It is only by your mercy that I can possibly do anything. You have given me so much, and I have given you so little.

namah om vishnupadaya krishna presthaya bhutale, srimate bhaktivedanta swamin iti namine
namaste saraswati deve gauravani pracarine, nirvisesa sunyavadi pascatya desatarine


Anantacarya Das,
Krishna-Balaram Mandir, Vrndaban, India,
17 November, 1977


Image » Youtube Video: Prabhupada's Dissapearance Day - Mayapur 2007
Radhagopaljiutempel.com/sriguruparampara
Last edited by harsi on Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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