Wednesday, December 15, 2010


It was my last night in Vrindavan, and I wound my way through the bustling temple grounds to the rooms of Srila Prabhupad. When I entered, I felt washed with that clean scent of home; wherever Srila Prabhupad resides is where my heart finds refuge.

I chanted for awhile and was about to leave when a brahmachari came and turned on a CD of Srila Prabhupad singing the Brahma Samhita. Prabhupad's tone was so grave. The brahmachari set down an arati tray, and everyone stood up.

I decided to stay. I gazed upon Srila Prabhupad's writing murti, which captures the essence of his mood so exquisitely.

Then my eyes fell on several framed photos hung on the wall across the room. I believe they were all of Srila Prabhupad here in his house. In the photos he was singing, conversing, taking prasad...but the last photo of the series jarred me a little - it wasn't sweet, happy, or even meditative. It was actually stark and intense, and seemed out of place. It was a photo of Srila Prabhupad lying on his deathbed in this very room. He was covered in a blue blanket, his face was sunken, his eyes were closed, and two disciples were watching over him.

I crossed the room to get a closer look at the picture. I saw something close up that I had not seen from a distance.

A reference book lay open on the side table.

Someone was holding a dictophone up to his mouth.

Chills raced all up and down my body. That photo brought my heart to its knees. In that moment, I glimpsed just a spark of Prabhupad's purity and his beauty; he was thinking of all of us with his dying breaths. Tell me, who will pray for you when you are on your deathbed?

Tell me, who?

Tears were streaming down my face. I gazed and gazed at that picture, listening to the arati bell and Prabhupad's grave voice. In those moments, I felt as though I had been picked up and placed in the hands of Srila Prabhupad, and he would protect me forever.

1 comment:

Satsvarupa Shyam Das said...

There's nothing to write. Your post captures the essence of Prabhupada's munificence. If Srila Prabhupada wouldn't have been there, what would have become of us...?
We can never repay our debt to him. Perhaps try to repay by distributing his books. Today is Mokshada Ekadasi and Gita Marathon is going on. Let us deliver Srila Prabhupada's mercy to everybody.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada !!!

To write is to dare the soul. So write.