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The life and teachings of a pure devotee

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada

Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Know his glorious pastimes, analogies, temples and more ...

November 14, 1977 : Vrindavan

On November 14, 1977, at 7:30 P.M., in his room at the Krishna-Balaram Mandir in Vrindavana, Srila Prabhupada gave his final instruction by leaving this mortal world and going back to Godhead.

His departure was exemplary because his whole life was exemplary. His departure marked the completion of a lifetime of pure devotional service to Krishna. A few days before the end, Srila Prabhupada had said he was instructing as far as he could, and his secretary had added, "You are the inspiration." "Yes," Srila Prabhupada had replied, "that I shall do until the last breathing."

Prabhupada's "last breathing" was glorious, not because of any last minute mystical demonstration, but because Srila Prabhupada remained in perfect Krishna consciousness. Like grandfather Bhishmadeva, he remained completely collected and noble and grave, teaching until the end.

He was preaching that life comes from life, not from matter, and he was showing that one should preach with every breath he has. The many devotees who crowded the large room bore witness that up to the very end, Prabhupada remained exactly the same. There was nothing suddenly incongruous with what he had previously shown and taught them. At the time of his departure, therefore, he was teaching how to die, by always depending on Krishna.

Prabhupada's passing away was peaceful. During the evening of November 14, the kaviraja asked him, "Is there anything you want?" and Prabhupada replied faintly, kuch iccha nahim: "I have no desire." His passing away was in the perfect situation: in Vrindavana, with devotees.

Memory of the Day

Dayananda das: I specifically remember a meeting in which some of the teachers asked Prabhupada’s advice about teaching. At that time, I seem to remember there were two camps. One camp really wanted to be very loving to the students, they somehow wanted to control the students through affection or through love, and then another camp of teachers wanted to be very strict with the students. I remember very clearly that Prabhupada said that we needed to communicate affection to the students. I can’t remember the precise words that Prabhupada used, but I remember very clearly getting the message from Prabhupada that the teacher needs to have real affection for the student and he needs to be able to communicate that affection to the student. Otherwise how will the student take what the teacher is giving? There may certainly be discipline, but this real affection coming from the teacher to the student has to be there. 

The other thing that happened before I arrived there was that Prabhupada had visited a couple of years prior to this visit and he wrote a letter in which he said, “If the students are beaten or if the stick is used on the students, I will use the stick on the teacher.” So my understanding of that was always that the teachers should not consider themselves the highest authority and they shouldn’t misuse their position as teachers and they should always be mindful of the fact that they are answerable to a higher authority, and that whatever they administer to the students that they certainly will have to either enjoy or suffer themselves in the future. Also, what’s prominent in my mind is that Prabhupada always loved children. Before, during and after my gurukula experience, I always remember Prabhupada being very affectionate to children and to anyone who was in the dependent situation.

Reference: Following Srila Prabhupada – Remembrances by Yadubara dasa

Anecdote of the Day

Jayadvaita Swami : It was around 1969 that it became important to identify Srila Prabhupada as the Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. At first Srila Prabhupada was known as A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, then he was A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and then A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. The Founder-Acharya part began while we were publishing the Second Canto in chapter-by-chapter booklets. From the West Coast we heard that we were supposed to write Founder-Acharya. But the message was garbled, so we only printed "Founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness." Prabhupada was upset with us. Then another message came and we reprinted. We ran a black line through "Founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness" and put "Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness." Again it was wrong. Finally we got it right - "Founder-Acharya" and since then that's been there. Prabhupada foresaw that his position as Founder-Acharya should be well established.

Reference: Memories-Anecdotes of a Modern-Day Saint by Siddhanta Dasa

Prabhupada's travels

Srila Prabhupada visited Rome once.

Srila Prabhupada
Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada's Rare Pictures

Biography

Acharya - One who teaches by example
The life of a pure devotee as a treat to our eyes.

Memories

Be in the association of Srila Prabhupada. Always.
The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment’s association with a pure devotee, one can attain all success. (CC Madhya 22.54)

Quotes

Vani, or the words of the spiritual exists with us eternally
guru-mukha-padma-vakya, cittete koriya aikya, ar na koriho mane asa
- My only wish is to have my consciousness purified by the words emanating from his lotus mouth.
–Guru vandana

Prabhupada Analogies

Experience through examples
Srila Prabhupada brings us the knowledge of the Vedic literatures with his hard hitting analogies.

Eulogies By Eminent

The glories of a pure devotee are inexhaustible.
ebe jasa ghusuk tribhuvana
May your glories now be proclaimed throughout the three worlds.
-Guru Vandana

108 Temples

The glories of a pure devotee are inexhaustible.
ebe jasa ghusuk tribhuvana
May your glories now be proclaimed throughout the three worlds.
-Guru Vandana

Poetry by Prabhupada

Prabhupada’s ballads of bhakti
One of the qualities of a pure devotee is that he is a kavi.

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