The “Last Six Months”; Was He Systematically Poisoned?
A Introductory Mix of the Last Six Months of Srila Prabhupada Being Present
Entries in Yadubara Diary.]
I spent the next two days, May 17th to 18th, in Delhi with Raj Gopal and friends. Escorts men working on a film distribution company. I was always thinking I should be in Vrindavana with Prabhupada.
May 19, 1977 (Thursday)
Finally off to Vrindavana on Taj; arrived 11:30 a. m. by Tonga at Krishna Balarama mandir. I ment with Toshana Krishna, and we first got a room in guest house. Tamal Krishna Goswami said, Pramana Swami was leaving today, and I could take his shift with Prabhupada every night from 11:3o. Also I could cook for Prabhupada on and off with Gopinath. Krishna is so kind to again fulfill my desires.
It is very warm in Vrindavana. The mandir is gorgeous; all the walls and ceiling relief work is painted in vibrant colors. The gurukula kids sing arotik and the whole atmosphere is spiritually enlivening.
Yasodanandana Swami met me at 11:45 to assist Prabhupada. He is translating, and resting on the roof over his rooms. It is very beautiful to see him sitting with a lamp on his books, translating in the night . There is darkness all around except for the temple domes illuminating in the night nearby.
I helped Prabhupada to the bathroom, then to the translating table; it is very wonderful to touch his transcendental body. He smells so nice. I feel very much a fool in his presence, but somehow or other I have been blessed with this rare service. I pray that I may become purified to give up all thoughts of personal sense gratification, and be fixed in devotional service.
Prabhupada translating a few lines and then sits for long periods.
Prabhupada asked us to pray to Krishna for his recovery.
May 20, 1977 (Friday)
Tamal Krishna Goswami said I should not cook for Prabhupada. He has another boy who is expert, and needs the engagement, and association with Srila Prabhupada. I can spend my time on the film. I will see Dr. Kapoor tonight, and get his help in gathering props– pictures old texts etc., used in film.
Gopinath told Prabhupada that I brought some mangos from Delhi for him. Prabhupada said if he got better, it was due to our care.
I massaged Prabhupada’s legs for a long time while he slept. It seems.
When I stopped, he would then wake up.
Before I took stills and movies of him translating at his table. His life and soul is his translation work. He is translating how Krishna kills Putana, 10th Canto Srimad Bhagavatam. I have never had such an experience– to massage Prabhupada’s lotus feet at midnight in Vrindavana.
One time during massage Prabhupada uttered loudly the maha mantra. He is always absorbed in meditation on the Lord . I pray, that I may be purified of all material lust by his association.
May 21, 1977 (Saturday)
Prabhupada has asked that kirtana and reading from Bhagavatam go on and has called all GBCs to Vrindavana. I was supposed to read and have kirtana in his room at 10:00 a. m. this morning. I went in and he was speaking. He said we should not worry, and to go on with our respective duties.
He was giving up all doctors, and medicines, and only take in real medicine, Srimad. It is very pleasing to the mind, to hear Bhagavatam and kirtana.
May 22, 1977 (Sunday)
I went with Prabhupada for his morning ride out towards Mathura. He noticed that I got in the front seat. I always feel like a nuisance. He spoke very quietly only acknowledging some statements by Tamal Krishna Goswami. After the ride Prabhupada wanted kirtana and reading from Bhagavatam in his room.
It seems hard to get devotees to participate. I suppose they all have engagements, but this is such a rare opportunity. I sang and read for three hours last night. Once there was need for more devotees so I went in . Pradyumna, Yasodanandana Swami, and one other boy were there. Prabhupada immediately noticed me and said,
“He sings very nicely, he should sing; he is expert. A person who is expert in other things. He is expert in photography. Now he is expert in devotional service. Have kirtana.”
I was feeling a mixture of shyness and ecstasy, being recognized by Prabhupada. He is very merciful to engage us in so many ways.
It is evident that Prabhupada is not trying to fight off his illness as he was before. He told Tamal Krishna Goswami now we can either struggle to survive, or prepare for the end. He said he would do the letter.
Tamal Krishna Goswami felt the GBC should come from all over the would. Prabhupada did not say yes but did not object. It is our business to come to the spiritual master at this time. Tamal Krishna Goswami said it was out of love that disciples want to come at this time.
Prabhupada said we will demonstrate that love if we all actually cooperate and follow his instructions after he leaves the planet. Prabhupada’s voice was very strong during this discussion. Prabhupada said his father did not eat for one month, and then he died.
Prabhupada is hardly eating. He said no one can survive this illness he has. It would only be by Krishna’s grace if he survived. His kidney is swollen, and hard, and he sometimes taps it with his finger. He is not seeing any outsiders or doctors. The real medicine he said is hearing Bhagavatam and kirtana. It is very pleasing to the ear and mind. Anyone else but Prabhupada could never stay in his sick body . Just like the materialists are forgetful of their constitutional position as spirit soul, part and parcel of Krishna and have to suffer the pains of material life , the pure devotee is also forgetful of this material body . He is constantly absorbed in thinking of the Lord and therefore is not affected by the happiness or distress of the material body.
I will go in Prabhupada’s room again today at 3:00. After singing this morning, Yasodanandana Swami read from First Canto about how the sages of Naimisaranya forest inquired from Suta Goswami. There were some very nice verses about the great devotees- how their association is more purifying than the Ganges water. Prabhupada sat and sometimes laid down on his bed. He was always listening, and often was nodding. Even though his body is broken by material standards, he heard everything, and then made a Sanskrit correction in this text. Anyone who says that a pure devotee is a adversely affected by the material energy, just like an ordinary man, is an offender.
Srila Prabhupada is eating a very plain diet, boiled vegetables, barley water, some melon, he mostly takes the juice, but he hardly eats anything.
Again I sat with Trivikrama and Pramana Swami’s to have kirtana and Bhagavatam reading with Prabhupada. Trivikrama Swami lead, and it was very nice. Prabhupada was keeping time by nodding his head ,and tapping his hand. Once he said “Hare Krishna”, which stopped the kirtana, but he said go on . After two hours Prabhupada had some buttermilk, and told Gopinath to distribute the remnants to us.
Gopinath was telling Prabhupada that we had a nice time in Rsiesha learning to cook. Prabhupada said it is a waste of time,
“’What is the use in wasting time like that.”
We were all there and there was not much to do so Prabhupada engaged us in cooking . We actually did not learn much, and became too much attached to preparing food and eating. (especially jelabis)
Soon the GBC will arrive . I will have to prepare myself mentally for this. I hope my service is not taken away; that there is no political maneuvering, and that everyone concentrates on doing what is best for Prabhupada. Tamal Krishna Goswami asked me this morning whether he should have invited all GBC. Prabhupada later said it was his duty to do so, but not the spiritual masters. Tamal Krishna Goswami wants GBCs to become purified by this experience, to chant, read, and have Prabhupada’s close association.
I massaged Prabhupada one hour forty five minutes tonight; about one hour on his back, and he seemed to enjoy it. Then his legs lightly while he slept. He is like a small child, who goes to sleep only while being rocked.