The “Last Six Months”; Was He Systematically Poisoned?
A Introductory Mix of the Last Six Months of Srila Prabhupada Being Present
Upendra would fetch me and Prabhupada would then speak something in Bengali. Svarupa Damodar was also there at night, and Prabhupada would say something in Bengali and he also could not understand either. In the latter days, Prabhupada preferred to speak in Bengali, and I feel that it was his special mercy towards me. It was his desire that I should stay around him.
I was asked to give Prabhupada his medicines. Also Prabhupada would not take medicine from anybody else. One day I was going to the doctor, and Prabhupada was sleeping. Therefore I could not give him the medicine at the prescribed time. I had to go. I instructed Upendra to give Prabhupada the medicine, after he wakes ups. When Prabhupada woke up Upendra told Prabhupada,
“Here is the medicine. Bhakti Caru has gone to the kaviraja and he asked me to give you the medicine”.
“No, let him come back and he will give the medicine”.
Besides this instance, he never made any geographical, or color of skin discrimination. Only for his convenience. Probably, at that time, it was easier for me to communicate in Bengali. That is why he wanted that way.
When you first met him, did Prabhupada want you to translate his books in Bengali, or stay in Mayapur?
One time I asked Prabhupada where I should stay and he said,
“Wherever you like you can stay”.
For the cause of preaching, Prabhupada would give this instruction to all of us.
In Vrndavana, Prabhupada was not eating anything. For the last three months, he did not take hardly anything. He definitely wanted me to get more involved in translation work. All morning I cooked for him, and he never used to take anything. He would tell me.
“Look! You can see that I cannot take anything. I did not eat anything. Why do you take so much trouble to cook all these things?”
But I used to think.
“Well, maybe someday Prabhupada would like something and eat it”.
“You let somebody else cook, and you just do your work”.
“Prabhupada, when you get well then, I will let somebody else cook, but now let me cook for you”.
“My getting well means leaving this planet. My life in this planet is over. I am just staying here at the moment”.
I used to think that by some miracle, something would happen, and everything would become all right. I was thinking and hoping that someday Prabhupada would get out of his bed. He would take his stick, and started walking. I was always thinking in this way. That someday we would see Prabhupada do something like that. But at the same time, I feared that we will not have Prabhupada for long. It was a very mixed kind of feeling. Two sides. On one hand we would be very optimistic, and on the other, we felt so hopeless. However, Prabhupada was very much conscious to the last moment. Very, very, conscious.
One day we got a kaviraja from Calcutta to come and see Prabhupada. Prabhupada had a dream of one Ramanuja kaviraja. This kaviraja was making some medicine for him. Ayur-Vedic medicines are made with a mortar and pedestal and Prabhupada saw in his dream that the Ramanuja kaviraja was making medicines for him in a mortar and pedestal. So Prabhupada asked me to look for a Ramanuja kaviraja. We went to all the Ramanuja temples, but could not find any kaviraja. One man I found, but he seemed to be a little bogus. He did not really know what to do, but he was trying to extract a lot of money out of us. This doctor was telling us about some medicine that Prabhupada wanted. The doctor said that it would be good for him, but he was asking about 3,500 rupees for it. He was also thinking of giving Prabhupada the same medicine the other kaviraja from Vrndavana was treating Prabhupada with. Later, this kaviraja said to me that the medicine would not be good as long as Prabhupada’s liver was bad. He was trying to cure Prabhupada’s liver condition. He wanted to administer the medicine in the winter. The reason being that in the winte,r it is the best time for this strength-giving medicine. This man said that he could make it. It is called makhara-dvaja. It is ingredients are gold, pearl and various other things. Like mercuric-oxide or something. However some man in Delhi made it, and that medicine was brought from Delhi.
In the meantime, we heard about a Ramanuja kaviraja from Calcutta. He was immediately brought to Vrndavana, and when he became knowledgeable about that medicine that was obtained in Delhi, he said to stop giving it to Prabhupada immediately. He said that medicine is like poison for Prabhupada. Therefore we stopped that medicine, and the kaviraja from Calcutta started treating Prabhupada. It was sometime in October. Prabhupada seemed to be getting better also. Back and forth. Prabhupada was little better, and then again not so good. The kaviraja had to go back to Calcutta, and after that, Prabhupada’s condition worsened and the kaviraja was recalled back to Vrndavana.