Srila Prabhupada's Poisoning by Arsenic
Srila Prabhupada: "Someone Has Poisoned Me"

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The Facts About Srila Prabhupada's Poisoning by Arsenic
Part 11 - - Chapter 25 to Chapter 26


"So as Krishna was attempted to be killed... And Lord Jesus Christ was killed.
So they may kill me also." (Srila Prabhupada, May 3, l976, Honolulu)
"my only request is , that at the last stage don't torture me, and put me to death"
(from SPC Vol. 36, November 3, 1977 tape recorded Room Conversation)

Part 11



MAY 1977

MAY 1: Srila Prabhupada gave His darshan by standing on His room's balcony at the request of about three hundred kirtan performers. Srila Prabhupada accepted the decision of His servants to not go as planned to Pohri in Madhya Pradesh, near Gwalior, due to weakness (AK5) and poor health. (TkgD.21-2)

            Patita Uddharan had brought a Ramanuja pandit from South India to Bombay to help design the planetarium and who supposedly knew the layout of the planets in the universal structure. Srila Prabhupada greeted him, "Hm. Hare Krishna. Jaya. I am little weak." (AK5) When the pandit astronomer could not answer any of Srila Prabhupada's specific questions, Srila Prabhupada dismissed him, and Tamal was emphatically derogatory of Patita Uddharan's intelligence. (Con:33.89-97; TkgD.22)

            Srila Prabhupada wrote to Hari Sauri in Australia: "You will be glad to know that I am feeling a little recovered now and every evening I am again able to do my translation work. Now my only disease is that I have no appetite." (AK1) (Letters Books)

MAY 2: Srila Prabhupada discussed with some Hindu guests about different locations that would be favorable for His health. Bombay was hot in May, and it was decided to go to Rishikesh at the base of the Himalayas, where the air, water and climate were very pleasant. Jaidayal Dalmia would make arrangements to allow use of his bungalow there. (Sat:6.304-5)  Srila Prabhupada participated in Lord Nrsinghadeva's appearance day feast, eating parathas also. (TkgD.23-4)

Tamal: Today there's a little swelling (AK17) in your… It seems to come and go. Is it bothering you? Is it disturbing?

Srila Prabhupada:Yes. From last night things have gone bad.

Tamal:What in particular, Srila Prabhupada?

Srila Prabhupada: There is spasm in the heart.(AK22)

Tamal: On the heart. Still?     (Comment: How often previously?)

Srila Prabhupada: Hm. If I lie down straight… Lie down means spasm. Sit up, not so painful.

Tamal:Maybe some gentle massaging on the heart would be good. (Con:33.104)

MAY 3: Srila Prabhupada shed tears remembering His dear disciple Jayananda, who had recently left his body. Srila Prabhupada complained of the slow progress with the Bombay construction. (TkgD.24)

            Srila Prabhupada wrote to Akshayananda Swami: "My health is not very good, the doctors have advised against making the long train journey as well as the vigorous preaching involved." (Letters Books)

MAY 5: At midnight, Giriraj Swami remembers visiting Srila Prabhupada to inform Him of a meeting in the morning with the new Indian prime minister Morarji Desai. Srila Prabhupada decided to send Tamal and Giriraj in His place, and said: "Actually, with this sickness I cannot sleep at night. Even if I want to, I cannot sleep. (AK21) Due to this illness, I cannot eat also." (AK1) (Satsv 6.303)

MAY 6: Ratan Singh Rajda brought Tamal and Giriraj to Morarji Desai's office very late and thus the meeting was only a few minutes long.  Srila Prabhupada was disappointed. (Sat:6.303-4; TkgD.25)

            This author clearly recalls reading a story about Srila Prabhupada but was unable to locate it in any book. One day, while sitting at His desk in Bombay, Srila Prabhupada smiled and showed how His teeth were loose and wiggling by pushing on them with His tongue. He opened a drawer on His desk and showed Tamal a tooth which He had just hours earlier taken out of His mouth. Later Tamal went and took the tooth as a keepsake. (A21)

MAY 7: Srila Prabhupada and His party flew to Delhi from Bombay, and He chose to walk down the plane's steps by Himself. That night at 10:30 PM they all took the train to Hardwar. Srila Prabhupada's limbs were greatly swollen (AK17) again, but His Divine Grace slept better on the train than the whole previous period spent in Bombay. (TkgD.027)

MAY 8:  From Hardwar, the party went by car to Hrishikesh to stay at the Swarga Ashram. Srila Prabhupada liked Rishikesh and right away ate jalebis and kicharis heartily, and then drank Ganges water. Later, Srila Prabhupada complained about the absence of chilis to help digest (A15) some ghee in the lunch. Kirtans were held morning and night, with darshan daily for one hour at five in the afternoon. (TkgD.27-8)

Tamal states on his Matchless Memories tapes that Srila Prabhupada wanted the fresh hot jalebis because it was the best treatment for a sore throat, (A2) which He had at the time. Tamal also acknowledged that he would personally give many of the various medicines to Srila Prabhupada during the time of His illness. Once Srila Prabhupada taught Tamal a type of massage to give relief to Srila Prabhupada wherein the fingertips barely touched the skin.(AK8) (Tamal tapes)

MAY 9 and 10:  Srila Prabhupada directed and taught the cooking of many preparations, making chapatis Himself.  Srila Prabhupada also increased His translation work. (TkgD.29)

MAY 11: Many local people and some Westerners are coming to see and hear Srila Prabhupada in the evenings, asking many questions. Followers of Maharishi also came but were philosophically "thrashed" by Srila Prabhupada's forceful preaching.  (Con:33.141-150; TkgD.31)

            Tamal wrote Radhaballabha: "Srila Prabhupada's health is slightly improving since we have come here to Rishikesh… the conversations are extremely enlivening as you will be able to tell when you get the cassette tapes." (Tamal letters)

            Srila Prabhupada wrote to Giriraj: "Yes, my health is improving a very little. The house that we have been given is the best in Rishikesh. It is very nice and the climate is much better than Bombay's." (Letters Books)

MAY 12:  Srila Prabhupada wanted that cow's milk be obtained wherever He traveled, because this was the bulk of His diet. (TkgD.031)

MAY 13: Srila Prabhupada made plans to go to New Delhi on May 29 and then to Srinagar in Kashmir by May 31.  Srila Prabhupada said He did not want to eat food unless it was cooked by His own disciple. (TkgD.32)

MAY 14:  Srila Prabhupada "very much appreciated" the Ekadasi lunch today and thought He would try to follow a non-grain diet. Bhakti Chaitanya Swami came from Chandigarh with a box of fruits. Srila Prabhupada immediately took some litchis. Travel plans were changed to go on the 20th to Chandigarh, then to Solon on the 23rd. (TkgD.33)

All went well in Hrishikesh for about a  week, and it is noted that Srila Prabhupada's voice was extremely faint. (A2) (Sat:6.307)

MAY 15: Last night, with severe windstorms and no power, Srila Prabhupada could neither translate nor sleep, (AK21) and at 5 AM told Tamal He was feeling very weak. (AK5) Being massaged for an hour, Srila Prabhupada then felt better. In the night, His hands, legs and feet had swollen again (AK17) and Srila Prabhupada said that His symptoms were not good. (TkgD.34)

Satsvarupa's relates: "But on the eighth night (in Hrishikesh), a violent storm hit, and with the storm came a drastic turn in Srila Prabhupada's health. He said the end was near, and he asked to go immediately to Vrindaban..."  In the evening, Srila Prabhupada's hands and feet were swollen, and He said: "From the material point of view, it is not good. Please consider how everything may be turned over to the G.B.C., so that in my absence everything will go on. You may make a will, and I will sign it."  (Sat:6.307-8)

MAY 16: At 1:30 AM, suddenly Srila Prabhupada called Tamal and Bhakticharu, and said: "As I was telling you, the symptoms are not good. I want to leave immediately for Vrindaban. If I am going to die, let it be in Vrindaban. What time can we leave by?" Every time Srila Prabhupada had laid down that night, "he would have heart spasms." (AK22) Tamal found there were no train seats available from Hardwar to Delhi, so at 10:00 AM Srila Prabhupada, Tamal, Upendra and Damodara Pandit drove by car for four and a half hours to Delhi, surprising the devotees there with their arrival. Srila Prabhupada stopped on the way for some cucumbers, which He said were good for quenching thirst. The Kashmir, Chandigarh and Solon programs were all cancelled by the sudden downturn in Srila Prabhupada's health."Practically, eating is finished," (AK1) Srila Prabhupada said after resting and eating a little at the Delhi temple. (TkgD.35; Sat:6.308))

MAY 17: This morning,staying overnight at the Delhi temple, Srila Prabhupada left for Vrindaban by car at 5 AM. Until now Srila Prabhupada could still walk and stand up, (AK5) but arriving in Vrindaban, He was carried by palanquin before the Krishna Balaram Mandir Deities and then was taken to His quarters, where He was offered worship. Srila Prabhupada spoke solemnly about His return to Vrindaban:

            "So I cannot speak. (A2) I am feeling very weak. (AK5) I was to go to other places like Chandigarh program, but I cancelled the program because the condition of my health is very deteriorating. So I preferred to come to Vrindaban. If death takes place, let it take here. So there is nothing to be said new. Whatever I have to speak, I have spoken in my books. Now you try to understand it and continue in your endeavor. Whether I am present or not, it doesn't matter… So you have been taught to serve Krishna, and with Krishna we'll live eternally. Our life is eternal… Body is meant for disappearance… So live forever by serving Krishna. Thank you very much." (Con:33.197)

            Srila Prabhupada had but a little cheese at lunch, later telling Tamal,"Yes, you become my eyes… You must give me complete relief from management… Now take it that I am dead."  Tamal relates, "Since he speaks often about death, I feel I must now consider how everything should be managed by all of us, as if Prabhupada were not present…" (TkgD.37-38)

MAY 18: Due to heart palpitations (AK22) last night, Srila Prabhupada could hardly sleep. (TkgD.38)

Srila Prabhupada's lower room had an air cooler, and in His upper room, devotees had set up a desk, chair and bed on the outdoor veranda. 

Srila Prabhupada instructed Tamal, His personal secretary and trusted assistant, that there were the two things, namely to try to survive and to prepare for death.  He wanted to have always some men with Him, reading Bhagwatam or doing kirtan."Now I am trying to take little food. (AK1) Pariksit Maharaj would not even take water."

Tamal suggested a will and Srila Prabhupada agreed to dictate one which could be signed by witnesses. (Sat:6.311-312)

Srila Prabhupada wrote to Guru Kripa: "I was staying in Rishikesh hoping to improve my health, but instead I have become a little weaker. (AK5) Now I have come back to my home, Vrindaban. If anything should go wrong, at least I will be here in Vrindaban. Vrindaban is for residence, Bombay is office for organization, and Mayapur is for worship…" (Letters Books)

Srila Prabhupada wrote to Hari Sauri: "For ten days I was staying in Rishikesh in a very nice house on the side of the Ganges River. But my health was not good and so I have come to Vrindaban where I will stay indefinitely." (Letters Books)

MAY 19: In the morning Srila Prabhupada went for an invigorating drive in the car, and enjoyed breathing the fresh air. Srila Prabhupada took a half bath late in the afternoon and met with Sri Sita Ram Singh, a Parliament member from Bihar. (TkgD.39-40; Con:33.198-203)

MAY 20: Srila Prabhupada recalled how Bhaktisiddhanta had made a will on a "scrap of paper" that prevailed in court over opposing parties. The will was made before an operation was to take place.

Tamal:He recovered from the hernia operation.

Srila Prabhupada: (laughs) No… He thought it that 'The doctor has been called to kill me.' So he did not undergo the hernia operation.

Tamal:He thought the doctor was paid off to kill him.

Srila Prabhupada: Yes.

Tamal: 'Cause sometimes people were paid off to kill him.

Srila Prabhupada: So he did not go.

Tamal: Actually you and your Guru Maharaj are the greatest enemies of modern civilization in this century, Srila Prabhupada.

Then Tamal explained to a Hindi guest:"So Prabhupada has decided that the best medicine will be Srimad Bhagwatam and kirtan, and no need of any doctors who've promised that 'I will save your life' or anything like that. We shouldn't bring them. And no outsiders. No outsiders."

Hindu guest: No medicine for the body?

Tamal: No medicine.

Srila Prabhupada: Whatever medicine I am taking, that…

Tamal:He's taking a little bit. Yogendra-rasa he's taking. He's tried so many medicines. That is the point. Every doctor has come, and they've each given their medicine, and he's tried them. But they don't work. This medicine always works, Bhagwatam and kirtan.

Srila Prabhupada: …It pleases the ear and mind… Bhagavan, glorification of His activities.

Tamal: Prabhupada will come and he'll sit in front of Krishna Balaram every day for a couple of hours, and he's calling some of his, all the devotees here. They'll be here. No… Perfect medicine.

Srila Prabhupada: No, he's calling all the GBC.

Then Srila Prabhupada explained what to do after His departure.

"The system of management will go on as it is now. There is no need of changing. The money which is in my personal name in different banks, that is being spent for the society, and it will be society property."

Later Tamal spoke to Srila Prabhupada: "So I was thinking that when Krishna wants His devotee to come back to Him, then it seems like He gives the devotee notice… when you were in Bombay you were very much hoping to recover. Seems like you're not… You know… That will seems not to be as strong as it was then, maybe because there's been so many… You've made such an effort to get better and it still hasn't improved. So how long one can keep trying like that?

Srila Prabhupada: Therefore I do not wish to leave Vrindaban.

Tamal: Yeah.

Srila Prabhupada: If by Krishna's desire I survive, then we shall see later on. Otherwise… (Con:33.204-209)

MAY 21: Today there was a morning car ride. Now Srila Prabhupada would spend his mornings and evenings listening to kirtan or readings, usually lying in bed with eyes closed. (AK18)  His translation work still continued in the middle of the night, his massage and bath in the morning, and Tamal's daily report on ISKCON news.  Tamal would carefully restrict most visitors and letters, answering them all himself and freeing Srila Prabhupada from all worries. (Sat:6.312)

Srila Prabhupada's morning rides and deity darshans all but ceased.  Lying in bed, and sometimes sitting at his desk,  He would be mostly silent, (AK18) but would sometimes speak on Krishna conscious subjects, albeit so weakly that His disciples would need to lean close to hear.(A2) "Eating was almost nil." Srila Prabhupada requested all the GBC's to be brought to Vrindaban for the preparation of His final will and to prepare for His departure, if it were to come soon. (Sat:6.314)

Tamal notified the GBC of the urgent situation and called them to Vrindaban on Srila Prabhupada's request.  Tamal expressed his mixed feelings; that although he was sad that Srila Prabhupada's health was failing, he was also happy that Srila Prabhupada seemed relieved by giving up the struggle for life and giving up all worldly concerns. Bhavananda Maharaj also was sad that Srila Prabhupada was leaving, but also happy that He was leaving this horrible material world to rejoin Krishna.  Srila Prabhupada warned the gathered GBC not to "spoil ISKCON and become another Gaudiya Math by splitting up." (Sat:6.315)

Srila Prabhupada did not take the mid-day heat very well. On the roof, Tamal massaged His heart from front and back, while Bhagatji massaged the legs. Tamal notes that at this time he felt that Srila Prabhupada's desire to "live was no longer as strong… I felt that he had tried hard to recover since Mayapur, but everything had failed. Since Bombay and Rishikesh he had grown increasingly weaker… it was a great strain for him to remain within his body, which was now malfunctioning so badly. It would be much easier to give up his body and join Lord Krishna…" (TkgD.41-2)

MAY 22: Srila Prabhupada went for a ride in His car this morning. Later, Tamal was massaging Srila Prabhupada and found a hard knot in His abdomen, and states that "his condition was deteriorating. For some time we discussed his health, the value of doctors and medicines, and diet. Prabhupada said the defect was in the kidney.(AK15) The problem was he had no appetite (AK1) and no digestion (A15)." That night, (TkgD.42-4)

Srila Prabhupada said:"This disease is not ordinary. It is always fatal. But by His special mercy anything can be done. That is another thing. Lost appetite (AK1) means life is finished." (Con:33.210)

Srila Prabhupada had grown very thin, (AK1) appearing like an ascetic described in the Bhagwatam, saying, "There is no hope of life…" "…from the physical condition there is no hope."  Srila Prabhupada's voice was hoarse and weak.(A2) Speaking about His imminent departure, Srila Prabhupada said,"You are my body. Then you can do it", referring to the pushing on of His movement. Tamal said, "…for whoever follows the guru, the guru lives with him eternally."  Srila Prabhupada said, "But if in the kirtan you die, oh, it is so successful. Not the injection and operation - that atmosphere. But in Krishna-kirtan. That is glorious." (Sat:6.319)  Several devotees read or disclosed prayers they had made for Srila Prabhupada's restored health, including Tamal, who said,"…we may all pray to Krishna Balaram to save you."  Srila Prabhupada replied,"…you are all pure devotees with no other motive." (Sat:6.316-323)

MAY 23: At 3:00 PM Srila Prabhupada signed His will which was witnessed by Upendra, Tamal and Bhakticharu. Srila Prabhupada said, "Your love for me will be tested how after my departure you maintain this institution." (TkgD.44-46)

MAY 24: Jayapataka and Bhavananda Maharajs arrived from Mayapur. Translating at night has gradually decreased due to its difficulty (AK5) for Srila Prabhupada, Who said to Bhavananda that there was now no hope, "I can only die. But if Krishna wants (I may live)."  Today "Srila Prabhupada was unable to eat. There was no motion in his stomach." (A15)  

Ikshvaku had returned after ten days with Dr. Ghosh in Kodaikanal, reporting that construction on the 15 room house for Srila Prabhupada had been discontinued since Srila Prabhupada was not able to go there. "Now, with the mention of Dr. Ghosh, who was not only a world-famous doctor but very devoted to Srila Prabhupada as well, a faint glimmer of hope came in Prabhupada's eyes. Although he had refused any doctors and medicines so far, he was now willing to be treated by Dr. Ghosh."  Srila Prabhupada decided to ask Dr. Ghosh to come to treat Him, and if He became well enough to travel, He would then go to Kodaikanal. Tamal was supposed to write to Dr. Ghosh accordingly, asking him to come straight away. (TkgD.46-7)

MAY 25: Srila Prabhupada took His early morning car ride, chased for a mile by a barking dog. Srila Prabhupada said the dog was thinking, "You have not stopped and obeyed my command." Atreya Rsi brought fresh fruit from Iran, and Srila Prabhupada took some orange juice. Rupanuga, Adi Keshava, Dristadyumna, and Balavanta arrived today. Srila Prabhupada asked about Dr. Ghosh again, but later said to Bhavananda Maharaj that there was no hope.  "I shall appoint some sannyasis as acharyas; the symptoms are very bad."  (COMMENT: this acharya appointment statement is unverified and Tamal's account)  In His room, Srila Prabhupada would now spend much time lying down and less time sitting up. (AK5)

Srila Prabhupada has had much trouble at night, His sleep and translations were interrupted by heart palpitations, (AK22) often caused simply by speaking. Massages of the heart area, front and back, were initiated to help calm the heart. Awaking, Srila Prabhupada told Tamal, "Now, either you will see me pass away or eat four chapatis." (TkgD.48)

Srila Prabhupada spoke of how Bhaktisiddhanta was sending 700 rupees a month to maintain Bon Maharaj in London, saying, "But he was a waste of money… What he has done? Has he published any books like that?"

Tamal: Well, he has a big degree now.

Srila Prabhupada: (laughs) Nonsense degree. Who cares for his degree? (Con:33.211)

Tamal: I was just inquiring whether you were drinking fruit juice.

Srila Prabhupada: Fruit juice is very good.

Bhavananda:I noticed, Srila Prabhupada, your complexion is yellowish. (AK10) Liver is…

Srila Prabhupada: There is no hope of life. Therefore we have called you. This condition is hopeless. We have given our will. Now we can.. If I die in Vrindaban, there is no harm. But Krishna can play anything wonderful. But from physical condition there is no hope… We have become very, very weak. (AK5) No appetite .(AK1)

Bhavananda: What can we do, Srila Prabhupada?

Srila Prabhupada: You can pray to Krishna. That's all. Krishna is all-powerful." (Con:33.212)

Later Srila Prabhupada was speaking about some of His godbrothers, saying, "These rascals, Gaudiya Matha." Srila Prabhupada compared them to a hooded snake that bites without poison. "Similarly, these people are envious. Although they have become so-called Vaishnava, they are ferocious. They have not acquired the qualification of Vaishnava." (Con:33.215)

AUTHOR'S COMMENT: Was this when Srila Prabhupada had discussed with Tamal about rtviks prior to the May 28 rtvik appointment? Since Tamal did not use the word rtvik in his May 28 diary entry, perhaps he is omitting the use of this word for the May 25 entry? At some point in the sorting out of the guru question in the Hare Krishna movement, Tamal will be asked to bring forth his diary for examination by an investigative committee to see exactly how the original diary entries were expanded or paraphrased in his book, TKG's Diary. END COMMENT

MAY 26: Today a large number of GBC's arrived. For lunch, Srila Prabhupada was offered fruit from many countries, but ate little (AK1) and drank some orange juice from Jaffa and tasted a puri. Tamal wanted to know where to repose Srila Prabhupada's body after His departure and Srila Prabhupada said He would answer later. (TkgD.49-50)

            Srila Prabhupada appreciated the kirtans in His room. "It is very palatable. Not this ordinary medicine, some of them very bitter, pungent. It (kirtan) is always palatable. So kindly administer this medicine. It doesn't matter whether I survive or die. It doesn't matter. Both ways it is beneficial." (Con:33.227)

            Satsvarupa noted that he was regularly commuting between Los Angeles and India: "Each time we were called, there was an urgency that Srila Prabhupada was about to leave his body any day, so we always had the feeling that we should go there and be with him." However, after going, he described that after awhile, Srila Prabhupada would seem to get a little better and the GBC would return to their zones, being restless with no service in the midst of the hot Indian summer.

            "Tamal told us the position. Srila Prabhupada was not eating, (AK1) not sleeping, (AK21) and had written out his will. We should pray and chant and sometimes go in turns to his room to chant and read. My own thoughts are so fallen (?) I am ashamed to even note them here." A summary of other points made by Satsvarupa are:

*Srila Prabhupada had called for the GBC because His disease was fatal, being the inability to eat.(AK1) His body was finished.

*There was also some hope; a special doctor was coming, and Srila Prabhupada spoke of preaching.

*Tamal said that if Krishna desires, there could be a recovery.

*There is no talk that Srila Prabhupada is "disgusted" with His disciples.

*Until coming to Vrindaban, Srila Prabhupada had been eager to recover, by taking neem with His meals in Bombay and going to Hrishikesh.

*Between the struggle to survive and the preparation to depart, Srila Prabhupada has decided to come to Vrindaban to die.

*Bhavananda told Srila Prabhupada that "they felt mixed sadness that he was departing, but also joy that" He was leaving the nasty material world and rejoining Krishna. (ISK70, 279-283)

MAY 27:  Today Srila Prabhupada felt a little better and received some "relief" from taking Gargamuni's Mahabaleshwar fresh strawberry-raspberry syrup, and defiantly ate fried food three times, saying,"that which is poison can sometimes be medicine." Gopal Krishna received the anger of His Divine Grace today due to pinching pennies and not getting books printed quickly enough.  Atul Krishna Goswami visited and wondered who would take charge of the ISKCON property after Srila Prabhupada had departed. "Now I can understand there is a very big undercurrent to take our property. Our position, property, everything, is enviable. Now make everything so it is safe." (TkgD.50-53; Sat:6.326-7)

The exact quote from the tape recordings is,"Among yourselves, there is no strong man. That is the defect. All like child. That is the defect. And it requires a very strong man. That is lacking. In every minute details I have poked my nose." (Con:33.233)

Srila Prabhupada was disturbed and warned of a large plot and "undercurrent" of those who envied the assets of His movement, and worried that others would try to take over ISKCON assets after His departure. (It is interesting to note that perhaps the greater danger was from within, the takeover of ISKCON by Srila Prabhupada's own ambitious disciples in ways contrary to Srila Prabhupada's desires or instructions.) Srila Prabhupada wanted His will completed immediately. It was done soon thereafter and Srila Prabhupada thus felt relieved. Today, the GBC met and drew up a draft will to arrange for at least three GBC directors to sign on every ISKCON property before it could be sold. (TkgD.50-53; Sat:6.326-7) 

Kirtanananda asked Srila Prabhupada if He could trade His old age with His disciples' youth. Srila Prabhupada answered, laughing: "No, why? You are my body. So you live on. There is no difference. Just like I am working, so my Guru Maharaj is there. Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati. Physically he may not be, but in every action he is there… So I am not going to die. Kirtiryasya sa jivati. One who has done something substantial, he lives forever. He doesn't die." (Con:33.248-9)

            Later Srila Prabhupada, as He was fond of doing, made an imitation of a man choking at the point of death, "Ghara, ghara, ghar... Choking and… But in the kirtan if we die, oh, it is so successfully… Injection, operation… Who needs it?… Krishna-kirtan death, glorious death. Oxygen gas, (laughs) dying and so much trouble. Never call. Please accept my request. Chant Hare Krishna, bas, and let me die peacefully. Never be disturbed, call doctor- no. Chant Hare Krishna. Go on chanting."

Later Srila Prabhupada said further, " So I have called you for this 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." (Con:33.252,256)

MAY 28: Srila Prabhupada went for a car ride through the Vrindaban streets and the forests. After some encouragement through Yasodanandana's prayer to stay longer with the devotees, Srila Prabhupada ate some solid food and displayed a more positive mood. Late in the afternoon, Narayan Maharaj came and led kirtan and also gave some medical advice. (TkgD.052-3)

            The GBC discussed the will which would protect and secure the various ISKCON properties and bank accounts, but also had some other questions. Herein took place the famous "appointment tape" conversation regarding initiations after Srila Prabhupada's departure. (Con:33.269-70)

            A committee of six, including Tamal, were set up for governing the Mayapur-Vrindaban Trust. In Bombay, the signers were Tamal, Gopal Krishna and Giriraj, and in Los Angeles, Rameshwar and Satsvarupa. (Con:33.266-7).

AUTHOR'S COMMENT: Satsvarupa Maharaj's biography subtly alters the actual May 28 statements of Srila Prabhupada, the oft studied"appointment tape" discussion, by portraying Srila Prabhupada's choosing "rtviks" as the appointment of regular gurus.  Today, in 1999, most leaders of ISKCON admit there was not an appointment of gurus, and now ISKCON has a system of no-objection certification for new gurus "authorized" to initiate their own disciples. For over twenty years, senior disciples of Srila Prabhupada have variously interpreted or twisted Srila Prabhupada's teachings and instructions for the sake of their own positions.

Satsvarupa's quotations do not quite match the actual tape transcriptions. His biography was written in 1983 when the self-appointed"acharyas" were busy establishing their supposedly divinely ordained positions. To compare Satsvarupa's version in his "authorized" biography, Volume 6, pgs. 324-5, and Tamal's version in TKG's Diary pg 52-53, with the actual transcription of tape recordings (Con:33.269-270) published by the  Bhaktivedanta Archives, see APPENDIX 5, and note the differences and omissions. END COMMENT

MAY 29: Jayatirtha remarked, "You're feeling a little stronger today, Srila Prabhupada?" Srila Prabhupada replied, "Yes. Little improvement is there… I am very much confident of this medicine because nobody is prepared to die. That much strength I have got. Generally people do not like to die. But I will be very glad to die if Krishna wants… I have no objection either way. But I am not afraid of death. That much strength I have got. Why shall I be afraid?" (Con:33.277)

            Srila Prabhupada chastised Bhagwat and Gargamuni for not keeping their heads clean-shaven. (Con:33.285)

MAY 31: Tamal describes that three devotees took sannyasi initiation today, but mistakenly identifies one as Bhaktiruci Swami instead of Bhakticharu Swami. (Con:33.289-293; TkgD.55-56) 

AUTHOR'S COMMENT: This error was intentionally retained from the original diary to demonstrate the "untouched" and "untampered" quality of the book, as explained by Rabindra Swarup in the foreword to TKG's Diary.  However, a photocopy of the original diary, or better yet, the original diary itself, donated to the Bhaktivedanta Archives would be a much better verification of the authenticity of TKG's Diary.  If Tamal wants to earn credibility, then let us see the original diary! END COMMENT


JUNE 1977

There are 14 days of missing tape recordings from June 3- June 16.

JUNE 1:  The first days of June brought hope of recovery, and Srila Prabhupada wanted to start His morning car rides again. Srila Prabhupada began a new routine of going to see the Deities every morning while kirtan was held. Srila Prabhupada often sat in His private garden next to His main downstairs room, and it is noted that His voice was still "soft and weak." (A2) (Sat:6.330-1)

Narayan Maharaj's assistant, Sukhananda das brahmachary, came today to do expert massage and apply hot and cold compresses. Srila Prabhupada asked him to stay on for some days. Thus, Sukhananda would, on most days, come three times a day for this treatment which helped Srila Prabhupada greatly, (AK12) but did not increase His appetite.(AK1) Tamal quotes Srila Prabhupada: "Now it is not so bad. I am drinking fruit juices. It is hot, but by midnight it cools off. There is no need for me to eat cereals, (AK1) except that sometimes, someone must help me to the bathroom.(AK11, A17) And gradually, I will increase my translating."  Tamal also notes that, "During the gurukula kirtana, Prabhupada is drooling more and more. (A6) These are transcendental symptoms." (TkgD.57-8)  It appears certain from the description that drooling was common and not simply a one day occurrence. Whether transcendental symptoms or not, they are also arsenic symptoms.

Encouraging Swarup Damodar to press on with his scientific preaching, Srila Prabhupada said:"I can give you ideas… So I wanted to see that you are all busy. That I want because now I am becoming invalid. (AK11) I cannot move very swiftly here and there. But if you move, I take pleasure."  Sometimes Srila Prabhupada would go up on the roof, and today He asked Kirtanananda for some cut oranges. (Con:33.302)

JUNE 2: Srila Prabhupada asked to resume His morning car rides, and, coming down to the car, He said, "Soon I will get down and walk myself." (Sat:6.328)

During Srila Prabhupada's massage, Sukhananda applied hot and cold compresses on the belly; Srila Prabhupada appreciated these massages greatly. (AK12) Dr. Ghosh from Kodaikanal finally arrived with his family and examined Srila Prabhupada, felt His aura, and diagnosed the disease as anxiety over the movement and devotees. Srila Prabhupada agreed, and Dr. Ghosh assured that He would be cured, wanting to bring Srila Prabhupada to Kodaikanal in south India for treatment and recovery. He was organizing a"Prabhupada Village" there with a nice house for Srila Prabhupada under construction.  (TkgD.058-9)

Bhavananda told Dr. Ghosh that Srila Prabhupada was taking fruit juice, some cooked vegetables and black cow's milk. The GBC reviewed a draft of a will with Srila Prabhupada. A provision stated that all properties and accounts were the property of ISKCON, and Tamal suggested that Dr. Ghosh could be a witness at the signing. (Con:33.307-319)

            Dr. Ghosh made a diagnosis (?), prescribing medicines, treatments and blood pressure monitoring. But Srila Prabhupada did not follow this program, instead taking the massages and saying that He hoped for recovery in six weeks. Satsvarupa misidentifies Dr. Ghosh as the doctor from Allahabad instead of Kodaikanal. (Sat:6.328)

JUNE 3: Dr. Ghosh's treatments were combined with Sukhananda's treatments: "hot and cold massages three times a day, special organ massages, spinal nerve massages, etc. Prabhupada slept well and ate three and a half puris with fried portals." (TkgD.059)

            At the end of May, (actually in early June) after the assembled GBC had completed Srila Prabhupada's final will and made arrangements for the future management and protection of ISKCON, they all returned to their places of service around the world. Srila Prabhupada's health seemed to improve a little, and He even ate and digested some fried food, (A15) talking of resuming His translation work. (Sat:6.329)

            The Times of India ran a front page story entitled, "Srila Prabhupada Seriously Ill," but a few days later, on page three, the paper responded to a statement from a devotee under the title, "Srila Prabhupada Now Better." This confirms the improvement in Srila Prabhupada's health. (Sat:6.332)

JUNE 4:  Srila Prabhupada spoke with Dr. Ghosh of going to Bangalore and on to Kodaikanal for health recovery, yet, at the same time, stated, "I am not leaving Vrindaban until I am well." Dr. Ghosh's opinion was that there was a grave danger of a fatal coma due to very high urea content of the blood, (AK15) and thus Srila Prabhupada's condition was critical. However, Srila Prabhupada admitted to feeling better from the massage program, which Sukhananda said would cure Srila Prabhupada within six weeks. Srila Prabhupada managed two chapatis for lunch, after which Dr. Ghosh took a blood pressure reading and wanted to start certain unspecified treatments. Srila Prabhupada became irritable, (A4) confiding to Tamal later, "They will introduce so many things- injections, operations- therefore I don't want it. Gradually he is introducing so many things." (TkgD.060)

AUTHOR'S COMMENT: Keep in mind that the bibliographical references are tacked in after every piece of information in this health biography. Since Tamal is considered a suspect in the poisoning, we must note what it is that he says happened and whether it is verified by other sources. In this case, we have no verification how it was that Srila Prabhupada disagreed with Dr. Ghosh's treatment. END COMMENT

Satsvarupa's biography notes that Srila Prabhupada's "moods moved and varied within the realm of transcendental emotions…" Emotions ranged from feelings of being a burden to His caretakers to becoming upset over a disciple's carelessness. (A11) (Sat:6.333)

JUNE 5:  Srila Prabhupada was so weak (AK5) He could not go on the morning car ride. In the morning, Dr. Ghosh concluded that Srila Prabhupada had no chance of recovery. "His organs were finished; his body was filling with urea." (AK15) Dr. Ghosh recommended going to Delhi for dialysis and other treatments, and, if Srila Prabhupada did not want this, then He should be made as comfortable as possible by kirtan and no worries. Srila Prabhupada asked Bhavananda for help in removing the rings from the fingers of His swollen hands. (AK17) (TkgD.60-61)

JUNE 6: Again there was no morning car ride; even sitting was too tiring for Srila Prabhupada.(AK5) Most GBC's have returned to their far-flung posts around the world, but a few returned from Delhi upon hearing of this recent downturn in health. Dr. Ghosh and Sukhanda's treatments seemed to have improved Srila Prabhupada greatly today, with the swelling (AK17) reduced more than in many weeks. Tamal says, "The alternate hot and cold compresses and frequent massages throughout the day and night seemed effective, and Dr. Ghosh was hopeful." Srila Prabhupada took a bath in a tub and liked it so much He arranged for it three times a day from now on. Upon request, Srila Prabhupada was taken to see the Deities, and He sat under the tamal tree in His palanquin-chair gazing upon Their Lordships Krishna Balarama. (TkgD.62)

            Tamal wrote to Kirtanananda: "Srila Prabhupada's health has not at all improved. Dr. Ghose (sic), who we were waiting for, has finally arrived, but he is not very hopeful of Srila Prabhupada's condition." (Archives)

JUNE 7: Srila Prabhupada awoke in the night very weak due to the massaging having been too hard,"suitable for a horse." Upon awakening in the mornings, the first order of business was to have His back scratched. (AK8)  Temperatures sometimes reached 130 degrees in the Vrindaban summer daytimes. Srila Prabhupada was transported to the temple, the garden, the roof or the car by his rocking chair palanquin.(AK5, AK11, A17) Tamal believes that the massaging was reducing the swelling. (AK17) Appetite (AK1) and taste (AK20) have not returned yet, however. Mr. Arora, the lawyer, came today to have an affidavit signed and to register the will. (TkgD.63-4)

            Tamal wrote Hansadutta:"Unfortunately, His Divine Grace's health has taken a turn for the worst. Prabhupada's body is practically worn out and all of the internal organs are no longer functioning properly. This includes the kidneys (AK15), the liver (A18), and the heart (A20). Dr. Ghose (sic) is here giving him treatment throughout the day but he himself admits that there is no way to know exactly what will be the outcome." (Tamal letters)

JUNE 8: Dr. Ghosh predicted that Srila Prabhupada would walk again within a week, being past the worst stage. Since Sukhananda was giving the massage treatments, and Srila Prabhupada refused to take any medicines, cow urine, or even the Yogendra Ras after ten years of use, Dr. Ghosh decided to return to South India, thinking there was little he could do.  "Dr. Ghosh seemed a little frustrated, since he had practically not been able to treat Prabhupada at all." Asked how He was feeling, Srila Prabhupada said, "Now there is some hope. Before it was hopeless." (TkgD.64-5)

Srila Prabhupada instructed His disciples to focus on His instructions and not His physical condition or presence. He said,"I may stay or go, but in my books I will live forever." Srila Prabhupada thrived on reports of devotees preaching, especially those of book distribution. Taking very little food (A1), it appeared He was being sustained by kirtan and these good news preaching reports. In touring the new Gurukula building, Srila Prabhupada's voice was again noted by Satsvarupa to be "soft," (A2) and "sometimes lost in the noise of construction." At one point, Srila Prabhupada commented, "my life is ending." (Sat:6.337-342)

Tamal wrote Yasomatisuta in Hong Kong: "Srila Prabhupada's health has deteriorated since Mayapur. In fact his health has become so bad that Srila Prabhupada came to Vrindaban and said, 'Now I will prepare for my departure.' We are giving him constant massage (AK8) and other treatments." (Tamal letters)       

JUNE 9: Srila Prabhupada often slept soundly (A10) through the day, as He had last night. Srila Prabhupada "declared that if Upendra and Bhavananda could take care of him" like Sukhananda had been doing, then surely He would recover. In the afternoon, Srila Prabhupada asked, "All the doctors are leaving; does it mean it is hopeless?…(A11) So long as there is no appetite it is hopeless. Good sleep means appetite (AK1) will increase."  Later, Srila Prabhupada said:

"Whatever I have wanted to say, I have said in my books. If I live, I will say something more. If you want to know me, read my books. Now I'm not going to travel here and there anymore, no more speaking to large gatherings. Let my disciples do that. Physically I am unfit." (TkgD.65-6)

Tamal wrote Bhumata dasi: "As you know, Srila Prabhupada's health has not been good and now His Divine Grace is seriously ill." (Tamal letters)

JUNE 10: Last night Srila Prabhupada translated again after many days of not doing so.  Srila Prabhupada complained that Dr. Ghosh was mixing naturopathic, Ayurvedic and allopathic practices. "Why Dr. Ghosh prescribes cow urine?"  Tamal surmised that he was observing ecstatic,  transcendental symptoms in Srila Prabhupada, as described in the Nectar of Devotion: "He can be seen with his eyes closed, always meditating with an intense, concentrated expression.(AK18?) Sometimes he stretches his neck (A19?), and sometimes he drools (A6) in his sleep and his body shakes (AK7?). Sometimes there is loud belching."  Tamal has now fully taken over Srila Prabhupada's correspondence, answering them himself, almost always without reading them or the replies to Srila Prabhupada for review. (TkgD.67-68)

JUNE 11: Srila Prabhupada was not pleased that Bhavananda Maharaj wanted to return to Mayapur rather than stay on caring for His Divine Grace. (TkgD.69)

JUNE 12: Srila Prabhupada wanted to go for a car ride today, but became upset when Tamal was off to chant in the local forests. (TkgD.70)

JUNE 13: Srila Prabhupada had heart palpitations (AK22) preventing Him from translating at night. Bhavananda Maharaj had returned to Mayapur, so Satadhanya Maharaj became the new masseur. Srila Prabhupada requested that a regular palanquin be constructed for his transport (AK5) to replace being moved around in His rocking chair. (TkgD.070-1)

JUNE 14: According to Tamal, Srila Prabhupada is quoted as saying, "I have analyzed the disease as blood pressure. (AK6) When I eat foods not easily digestible (A15), it forms gas that pushes up on the heart. (AK4) I will change my diet. And this Brahmi oil gives me great relief."  Srila Prabhupada then instructed Bhakticharu Swami as to what to cook and how. Satadhanya and Sukhananda both gave massages today. Alice Coltrane visited. (TkgD.71-2)

JUNE 15: Srila Prabhupada met with Krishnan Meyer, who decided to return to Vrindaban with his wife in a week and stay for a month. (TkgD.73)

JUNE 16: Srila Prabhupada recalled an unpleasant situation in Los Angeles in August 1970, when He called Tamal in Paris to come and take His Divine Grace back to India. "I want to go back. There is some conspiracy… I do not wish to recall that. It was intolerable… I made my headquarter in Los Angeles. And they made a conspiracy against me."  Tamal replied, " It was such a shock to you. We were massaging your heart and reading Krishna book. And you developed a very bad cough."

Srila Prabhupada: That conspiracy was… (break)

Tamal:I could understand later on how it… very subtle.

Srila Prabhupada: Very.

Tamal: Anyway, now we're trained to the point where that can never reoccur. Not… Never. That could only happen because we were so new at that time. (Con:33.327-8)

JUNE 17: Srila Prabhupada invited His godbrother Srouti Maharaj to come visit, and yesterday and today he has been speaking with Srila Prabhupada. (TkgD.76-8) In Los Angeles Satsvarupa received word that Srila Prabhupada was feeling better. (ISK70.291)

JUNE 18: Today Srila Prabhupada had lengthy discussions with Yasodanandana and Bhakti Prema Swamis about designing a model of the universe for the planned Mayapur planetarium. (Con:33.330-342)

JUNE 19:  His Divine Grace translated some last night, in spite of trouble from flying insects. Srila Prabhupada drank pineapple juice from Manipur and milk "in various ways throughout the day." Milk was important to restoring Srila Prabhupada's health. (TkgD.78-9)

JUNE 20: Last night, Srila Prabhupada's heart was giving pain (AK22), and He awoke early. He was unhappy to hear from Gopal Krishna that the Bombay opening was delayed due to slowed construction. (TkgD.80)  Swarup Damodar had returned to Vrindaban to visit Srila Prabhupada, and said in the garden today: "You look better today, Srila Prabhupada." (Con:33.351)

JUNE 21: Tamal recounts a story told by Srila Prabhupada (not available from the tape recordings):"One of my Godbrothers' wife was an adulterer. When her son found her out, he said he would tell his father. So the mother poisoned him. And when the father found out his son was poisoned by his mother, he committed suicide. The only hope of Western civilization is to chant Hare Krishna. Otherwise they are finished!" (TkgD.81-2)

JUNE 22: Srila Prabhupada, during a scientific preaching strategy conversation, said: "You are all young men. Who wants to become an invalid man like me? With three men I have to walk. Nobody wants. But you have to accept, cumpulsory." (Con:34.31)

            During a private Bhagwatam class in His garden, Srila Prabhupada became quite upset that the BBT book editors had changed the translation for a word; the meaning was changed and confused completely. (Con:34.20-7)

JUNE 23: Tamal inquired as to how He was feeling, Srila Prabhupada answered that as long as He was sitting and translating, there was no problem, but to walk, He required help. Srila Prabhupada remembered His early days in New York when He was alone. (TkgD.84-5)

            Tamal wrote to Guru Kripa: "Srila Prabhupada's health is a lot better than when you were here. He is eating regularly now, although not very much. (AK1) And every night He is translating again. During the morning from 9:30 to 10 He goes before Krishna and Balaram for darshan and the devotees sing bhajans. So his health has improved, although not that much." Tamal letters)

            Tamal wrote to Kirtiraj:"You will be glad to know that Srila Prabhupada's health has come to the point where He is able to translate regularly in the evening. His health is not very much improving but neither is it deteriorating any further." (Tamal letters)

JUNE 24: Bhagatji came to Srila Prabhupada with a unique medicine made from 45 different trees by an "old Baba." Srila Prabhupada's swelling (AK17) had increased since the cold water treatments were discontinued due to Srila Prabhupada's dislike of the icy water austerity. Srila Prabhupada commented about the new medicine: "I cannot make so many experiments. Everyone says in four days you will be cured. Dr. Ghosh said I would walk in four days. But actually he left in four days." Later Srila Prabhupada took this medicine and by June 28 thought it had been effective, asking for more to be gotten. (TkgD. 086, 89, 93) Srila Prabhupada has been translating and also has been talking more lately. Bhagatji had brought six days worth of the new medicine, to be taken twice daily. (Con:34.40-58)

JUNE 25: The tape recording marked June 26 is, according to Tamal, June 25. Srila Prabhupada toured and inspected the new Gurukula building, emphasizing more students and less managers were needed. (TkgD.87-9)

JUNE 26: No tape recordings. Srila Prabhupada slept well the previous night and was taking Bhagatji's medicine. Srila Prabhupada spoke about the intelligence of the mongoose, who, if bitten by a snake, rushes to rub himself against a particular plant to counteract the poison. Srila Prabhupada later cried when Tamal voiced appreciation for His books. He chastised Upendra for leaving the cabinet doors open. (TkgD.89-90)

JUNE 27: No tape recordings. Jaidayal Dalmia and family visited and Mr. Arora delivered the original will back from the registrar. An incredible (literally) incident is purported to have occurred in the middle of the night, when Srila Prabhupada called for Tamal. Unverified, Tamal reports :"'Amongst the GBC, have you selected one after me who will succeed?' I replied that we felt that we should manage together as a group, that none of us was more qualified than the others. 'Yes, each of you can be acharya of your zone.'" Then Srila Prabhupada told Tamal not to worry about finally going to China, but to stay as His personal secretary. (TkgD.91-2)

AUTHOR'S COMMENT: It is the little surprises like this one that really arouse suspicion in the veracity and authenticity of Tamal's diary. END

JUNE 28: Srila Prabhupada asked if more of the herbal medicine had been brought from Bhagatji's old Baba, and asked if they should bring the Baba to see Srila Prabhupada.

Tamal: No, no… And then, if it works, we can bring him. I'm still not fully satisfied. I think it works, but I'm not sure.

Srila Prabhupada: Working very slowly… Slow and sure.

Tamal:Yes. But let us see. (Con:34.102-3)

JUNE 29: Srila Prabhupada took some Phillips Milk of Magnesia, a laxative. (AK3) Bhakti Chaitanya Swami came to report on preaching in Delhi and north India. (Con:34.111-121)

JUNE 30:  During His afternoon translation work on June 30, Srila Prabhupada could not see properly and called for eye drops, (A8) which were lost, causing some inconvenience while new drops were located. Srila Prabhupada's eyesight had become so poor (A9) by now that He could hardly do His translation work. (TkgD.096-8)

When an unmarked bottle of clear liquid was delivered third hand to Srila Prabhupada through Tamal, Srila Prabhupada asked, "What is that?" Srila Prabhupada grilled Tamal for verification of its source, and Tamal said it was supposedly rosewater from Seth Visanchand. Quite irritated, Srila Prabhupada emphasized that its purity could only be known by confirming its origin. Tamal agreed to look into it. The eyewash cup had also been misplaced. Srila Prabhupada also wanted to know why it had been so difficult to find a common eye-washing cup "from any medical shop." Upendra had not shown the bottle of Optrix eye wash (A8) to Srila Prabhupada that he had brought back from a shop in town. (Con:34.136-8) This incident reveals how Srila Prabhupada had conjunctivitis; His eyes runny and filled with mucus. Adi Keshava also remembers that Srila Prabhupada was characterized as having "conjunctivitis" at this time.

Srila Prabhupada stopped Sukhananda's cold bath and cold friction massage and since His swelling (AK17) was worse than in many weeks, He talked of perhaps using Lassix tablets (AK14) again.  (TkgD.096-8)

Srila Prabhupada asked that some special creeping herb called punarnava be collected in Mayapur and sent to Him immediately.

Satadhanya: It is good medicinally?

Srila Prabhupada:For me. This medicine, what I am drinking, that is punarnava. Yes, as much as possible... Then I can prepare this medicine. And I know that is the medicine for my disease, punarnava... It is available here also.

Tamal: So they should get it here, then.

Srila Prabhupada: Yes, I have asked him.

Later in the day, Tamal mentioned that Mahaksha had gone to get the herbal medicines at a place some three hours distant, and would return late in the evening. (Con:34.124-130)

Will be continued on Part 12

Srila Prabhupada left this mortal world on November 14, 1977.
But He lives forever in His instructions, and His followers will always live with Him.

"He reasons ill who tells that Vaishnavas die
While thou art living still in sound!
The Vaishnavas die to live, and living try
To spread the Holy Name around"
(Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Thākura)


Index - Overview