01/09/98 - 1482
Historical Account of The Last Days
USA (VNN) - 'Forming The Property Trusts' (May 27, 1977)
by Gauridasa Pandita Dasa
Srila Prabhupada had come to Vrindavan to leave his body and was
very concerned about securing the future of his movement. Today
he had the leading devotees form the main Temple property trusts.
At about 9am Srila Prabhupada had met with some of the leading
devotees and a few guests. Afterwards Srila Prabhupada commented
that there was a conspiracy to take over the properties. He then
ordered the secretary, Tamal Krishna Maharaja, to meet with some
of the GBC members and form a trust to continue the management
of the movement. Srila Prabhupada said to form three trustees
for each of the properties and model it after the BBT Trust. Srila
Prabhupada got a little upset that the devotees were taxing his
brain over managerial matters.
Srila Prabhupada said that of all of the devotees there were no
strong men. He said we were all like children. Later he said he
was just waiting for the day when he could sit down under a tree
and simply talk about Krishna with one of his disciples, but none
of us were ready. We just want to talk about politics. The secretary
said that they would meet and discuss the matter and Srila Prabhupada
said I have already discussed this; just do it! Srila Prabhupada
said that the trustees for each temple should consult an advisory
board before doing anything. He intelligently organized everything
so nicely. Srila Prabhupada showed his genius again by how he
oversaw everything. He oversaw the construction of Sri Sri Krishna
Balarama Mandir in all details. He directed the installation of
the Deities and performed the first arati. Vrindavan was 'his
home' and he wanted to make sure everything would be maintained
nicely after his upcoming 'departure'.
The devotees gathered in Srila Prabhupada's room, later in the
day, and read their first draft of the trusts to Srila Prabhupada.
When Ramesvara was reading it he said that none of the properties
could be sold. Srila Prabhupada asked if he said stole. Sold;
answered Ramesvara. Srila Prabhupada said that the trustees had
to be his initiated disciples. The trusts were never to have less
than three or more than five trustees.
After hearing of all of the arrangements Srila Prabhupada was
very pleased and said, "Now I can die happily! " Srila Prabhupada
had gone to Vrindavan to leave his body and this trust was a major
factor for the welfare of his movement.
Krsna Das Babaji and Govinda Maharaja from the Chaitanya Math
in Mayapur came to see Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada asked
them to turn over some of the Math's to ISKCON. Srila Prabhupada
said to keep something that one doesn't use is like keeping knowledge
concealed; it doesn't come out. Then Srila Prabhupada told a joke.
A man has some puffed rice that he is keeping for himself. Then
the wind comes and blows it off and he says, 'Govinda bhoga oh
Govinda'. Now You can have it. This was in reference to the fact
that they wanted to keep something that they could not use.
Later Ramesvara came and Srila Prabhupada started talking about
ambition and America. He said, "our only ambition is we live among
devotees and execute the mission of our predecessors, Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu, Krsna if one fourth of America becomes Vaisnava, the
whole world will change. They are the leading nation. Krsna has
given them all facility - good land, good intelligence, good education,
good facilities, good prestige. Is it not? They are fortunate!
Yes. Be doubly blessed. Yes. I say, America is my fatherland."
Srila Prabhupada was very happy with the preaching work that was
Then Srila Prabhupada started to talk about his departure again
saying to the devotees : "You are my body. So you live on. There
is no difference. Just like I am working, so my guru Maharaja
is there, Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati. Physically he may not be,
but in every action he is there! One who has done something substantial,
he lives forever."
Srila Prabhupada was as brave as Grandfather Bhisma. He continued,
"Kirtan should go on. That is the panacea of all troubles. If
you always continue kirtan, there is no danger. You are above
all danger! That is life. Eat sumptuously nutritious food. Chant
Hare Krsna. Bas. What is this nonsense life, from five o'clock
in the morning driving big, big trucks, 'whoosh, whoosh, whoosh!
' Is that life? And they are compensating by drinking, by illicit
sex and meat- eating. Soul killing civilization."
Srila Prabhupada always got ecstatic talking about the books.
Ramesvara mentioned how the distribution was increasing and Srila
Prabhupada said, "it will increase more and more. People will
be inquisitive. Yes, everything is there. What is the wrong? We
are talking of Krsna, and all of the sudden I collapse. Oh, that
is the greatest profit. Greatest profit! in the kirtan if we die,
oh, it is so successful! Injection, operation! Who needs it?!
Please accept my request. Chant Hare Krsna, bas, and let me die
peacefully. Never be disturbed, call doctor-no. Chant Hare Krsna.
Go on chanting. Chanting, hearing, chanting. You've got so much
In the evening Srila Prabhupada talked about leaving his body
again. "just see how to become a man of character like Narada,
Vyas. That is our goal! Don't care for maintaining body. "Whatever
Krsna will bring, I take. If He does not mind, don't mind." So
discussing all this twenty-four hours and death takes place. Death,
if it takes place, then where is the wrong? Where is the lamentation?
There is nothing! you are not permanent. You have to die. But
if you die discussing all these things, that is your glorious
death. Death is sure. You cannot avoid it, today or tomorrow or
a hundred years after. But die a glorious death. That is wanted!
So I have called you for that purpose. So if death is to take
place, let me die in your association and chant Hare Krishna.
There is no harm That is glorious." Srila Prabhupada is serious
about leaving his body and we all are sad. Srila Prabhupada mentioned
that one of the devotees had asked him for his blessings to 'find
another guru' The devotee associated with some 'pseudo guru' and
ended up falling down. Srila Prabhupada said, "Again become a
mouse" This same devotee had said previously in a class in Vrindavan
that even Lord Brahma had 'fallen down'. Srila Prabhupada heard
about it and said he was a 'rascal' for speaking like that. I
believe he is the only devotee that Srila Prabhupada ever 'kicked
Talk of some court cases came up and one guest mentioned that
the high court judge in New York had said that Srila Prabhupada
was the 'greatest guru of the age' and all of the devotees shouted
Then at the end of the evening Srila Prabhupada talked about his
mission again with some of the devotees: Srila Prabhupada: Just
now everything is going on, but after my demise it may be taken
away from your hand! I understood it long ago. It has been stayed,
(?) Bombay, Vrindavan. So how are you going to guard yourself?
That is the problem.
Tamal K.G.: Your order that it be a trust property with lifetime
Srila Prabhupada: So now you are all here. Very cautiously and
T.K.G.: That will protect it. At least the property will be protected.
Srila Prabhupada: You should be very much determined, strong-minded.
Otherwise it will slip. Such huge property!
T.K.G.: Actually these properties are the envy of all of India.
They're the best properties in each place.
Srila Prabhupada: Not only property. Our prestige, our position!
Everything is envied. Everywhere we are first class.
T.K.G.: Yes, there is no rival. Bhavananda: There will be men,
I know. There will be men who want to try to pose themselves as
T.K.G.: That was going on many years ago. Your Godbrothers were
thinking like that. Bhavananda: Oh, yes. Oh, ready to jump.
Srila Prabhupada: Very strong management is required and vigilant
(Background whispering, T.K.G. & Bhavananda)
I finished putting Srila Prabhupada's translating materials on
his desk and that was my service for the day. I retreated to my
room in the guest house where I could see Srila Prabhupada translating
all night long. It was amazing what Srila Prabhupada accomplished
in just one day!
Gauridasa Pandita Dasa
(Story compiled from my memory, Yasodanandan's diary & tapes)
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