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 going on.

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 material. Read."

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 out.'

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 'Jai! '.

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 trustees!
Srila Prabhupada: So now you are all here. Very cautiously and everything agree.
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 guru.
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 observation.
(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!

Your servant,
Gauridasa Pandita Dasa
(Story compiled from my memory, Yasodanandan's diary & tapes)


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