A Introductory Mix of the Last Six Months of Srila Prabhupada Being Present
On October 1st, Srila Prabhupada’s party boarded the deluxe express at Bombay. Srila Prabhupada, Tamal Krishna Gosvami, Upendra and myself went in one first-class compartment. Bali Mardan, Giriraja, Brahmananda Svami, Nayanabaram and Kuladri went in the air-conditioned chair car. It was very hot in Srila Prabhupada’s compartment. I stayed with him from 9 o’clock in the evening util 3:30 in the morning; sitting on the floor next to him. The train was very loud because we had the windows open, and we could not hear Srila Prabhupada’s soft voice very well. I had been sitting up with him for so many hours. Therefore, it was very difficult to keep my eyes trained on his mouth. His voice was so soft that I had to do this to see if he was calling for me. This was impossible! Totally impossible. And I was also very tired form making so many arrangements the day before. So, I would sit on the floor, and I laid my head on his bed. I would place my hand underneath Srila Prabhupada’s hand, and he would keep his hand on top of mine, and wherever he wanted something, he would just tap my hand.
On the second morning we arrived in Mathura at 7:30, where we were greeted by approximately 30 devotees. Srila Prabhupada was happy to be back in Våndavana and he thanked us all for bringing him back from his trip to London, and Bombay without difficulty. He said,
“Even though I am just a bag of bones, I am wondering who would have taken care of me if this disease had come before? I left home in 1954 and met my first disciple in 1965. For 11 years I was alone. Now I am completely dependent”.
I told him that we are also completely dependent on him, and He said,
“Spiritually, yes, but physically I am dependent”.
“Just like Jaganath das Babaji”. Said I.
“Yes. You have seen his picture?” Said Prabhupada.
“His disciples used to carry him”. Said I.
“In a basket”. Replied Prabhupada.
On Monday, 3rd October, Srila Prabhupada talked with Hamsadutta Svami for over an hour. Then his kaviraja from Våndavana came, and prescribed so many medicines made from grinding fresh leaves, etc. Srila Prabhupada complained that he had not slept well, and that he was spitting up mucus all night.
On Tuesday, 4th of October, Srila Prabhupada again, preached to Hamsadutta Svami again for an hour. Srila Prabhupada rested very well the whole night, and I attended him from 1:30 to 7:30 in the morning.
On Wednesday, 5th of October, I gave Srila Prabhupada an enema at 9 o’clock in the morning. He said he was feeling some relief from it. As I gave him the enema, I told him that I had read that yogi had a method of doing this, and he replied. “Yes”. Although I started my watch at 2 o’clock in the morning on Thursday, I always slept in the room next to Srila Prabhupada. Previously in Bombay he instructed me not to leave his side; throughout the night. When I entered his room, I noticed that Prabhupada had passed stool. So, I changed him right away. He remarked that the enema was a success. I told him his breath sounded very clear. And to check it, he proceeded to breathe deeply. Prabhupada said he had taken milk three times, and there was no mucus. I explained to him that it was the effect of the enema. He seemed to agree, and he rested well.
“We will all pray to Krishna”. Said Tamal.
“No. Do not pray to Krishna. Let me pass. Do you have any questions?”
“No, Srila Prabhupada, everything is as you want it”.
Srila Prabhupada nodded.
On the same morning Srila Prabhupada started asking for Tohsan Krishna.
Upendra said that Tohsan Krishna is gone, and Srila Prabhupada said,
“He was my secretary”.
“He was?” Asked Upendra.
“Yes”. Replied Prabhupada.
“He is a gåhastha?” Said Upendra.
“He was a gåhastha”. Replied Prabhupada.
“He has an Indian wife?” Said Upendra.
“No. Call for Tohsan Krishna”.
“Who? Tosani Krishna?”
“Yes. He is my secretary”.
“Oh, Tamal Krishna”.
“Yes”. Replied Prabhupada.
On the 7th of October, I again attended Srila Prabhupada from 1:30 until 7:00 o’clock in the morning. And of course, before that, I slept with him nearby. Srila Prabhupada was restless with mucus and sat up several times. The devotees had kirtana through the whole time. I massaged him for hours. By morning, Srila Prabhupada seemed to be ready to leave. He then asked for some medicine which gave us some hope. He commented that morning.
“Big, big GBC men, from all over the world coming to collect stools and urine. You are simply waiting to collect stools and urine”. And he laughed”
Kirtanananda came, and Srila Prabhupada asked about New Våndavana. Kirtanananda Svami told him about the palace. Srila Prabhupada said,
“We shall see which palace Krishna wants me to live in’.
At about 3:30 pm. Tamal observed that Srila Prabhupada was not taking any prasadam. Tamal asked Prabhupada how he could expect to live, and Srila Prabhupada said,
“Everything causes mucus”.
“You are tired of making the effort”. Said Tamal.
“Yes”. Replied Prabhupada.
He was obviously slipping away. His sentences became sometimes difficult to understand. He slept soundly through the night and I came on duty again at 1:30. It appeared to me that he was slipping deeper and deeper, back into his eternal mode of Våndavana-lila. Whenever the peacocks would cry in the night, he would moan in a very ecstatic way. I felt the atmosphere of Våndavana so intensely around us, the pictures on the walls of Krishna-lila appeared to be windows into Srila Prabhupada’s heart. Now I think he feels very little relationship with his body which he assumed for his preaching mission, just to satisfy Mahaprabhu. He seems less coherent with external affairs. He was sinking back to his eternal mood. Tamal Krishna Gosvami, Gurukåpa Svami, and others felt that any minute he will depart. In the morning Hamsadutta Svami asked about farms. Srila Prabhupada said,
“Anywhere, establish these farms. Live very simply. Grow your own food, make your own clothes. Do not waste time”. Srila Prabhupada was crying.
“Chant Hare Krishna. That is my request. I wanted this farm community. I have given you some idea. You are all intelligent. Do not bother with these machines. Do good to others; do not exploit others. Every human being has the capacity to chant Hare Krishna. Give them a chance. Make a favorable situation”.
Then He said,
“Do not take me to the hospital. That is why I came to India, for fear of hospitalization”.
Then after a little while, two of Srila Prabhupada’s god brothers came in the evening; at Srila Prabhupada’s call. They were loving, in talking to him, they were touching him and holding his hand, and they were glorifying him. It was a very beautiful atmosphere. They were speaking in Bengali. Srila Prabhupada was very satisfied, and he asked them to oversee the burial ceremony.