Srila Prabhupada's sickness; the cause and the cure
Posted on November 2, 2016
Mahamsa Swami recently returned from Vrndavana where he was summoned by Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada had just ended a seven day fast when Mahamsa Swami arrived, and now he is beginning to eat again. His Divine Grace had been very ill. Mahamsa Swami described Srila Prabhupada as being very white, and for the first time He looked very old. His Divine Grace was very weak, and when He talked it was very slowly, one word at a time, and that in a soft whisper. Prabhupada said that this was not a normal illness, but was caused by 90% of His disciples not following the devotional principles. Therefore, Srila Prabhupada had said that he requested 24-hour continuous kirtans to purify the devotees. He had refused to take any medicine, and repeated that samkirtan was the only cure. Here in Hyderabad the kirtans continued uninterrupted for over a week, and I could see practically that this sankirtan yajna initiated by Lord Caitanya is the prime benediction. The devotees here became enthused as the kirtans continued ecstatically through the night. Devotees worked in kirtan shifts and my feeling was that every day felt like Janmastami. Prabhupada indicated that in particular the senior disciples were lax in following the principles. Actually Srila Prabhupada has said many times that what is needed is not leaders, but acharyas-those who can demonstrate by their example. In His article "What is a Goswami?" Prabhupada has mentioned that the Six Goswami[s] did not need to tell people to chant; people would chant just by seeing them. This is the standard of purity. When someone sees a Vaisnava, just by his personal appearance and conduct they are reminded of Krishna. There is always need for us to personally see that our own devotion has not become impure, tinted by any fruitive desires, speculation, laxness, or compromise with the regulative principles. In practice there is need for the senior disciples, the GBC, the sannyasis, and advanced initiates to provide the standard for all devotees to follow. The actual purity, nirmatsaranam, cent percent devotion is there in Srila Prabhupada. But the spiritual master as a pure representative of Krishna, worshipped on an equal level like the Lord Himself, is able to instill pure love of Krishna in His disciples, and provided we accept His instructions and practice them, to bring us up to the standard of pure, undeviating devotion to Lord Krishna. Brahmananda Swami in Vrndavana emphasized that it is important we attend all regular devotional activities, from arotiks, tulasi worship, classes, etc. and help to give our Godbrothers (what to speak of ourselves) a taste of the full-nectar of Krishna Consciousness.
[Letter from Pancadravida. 740901 Featured in VedaBase.]