Published on August 6th, 2022 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada: The Final Lesson

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was a pure devotee of Lord Krishna and therefore his entire life, including his passing from this mortal world was a perfect example of Krishna consciousness. This film depicts his final pastimes.

During his last months in Vrindavana His Divine Grace continued to instruct his disciples, discuss the affairs of ISKCON and translate Srimad-Bhagavatam. On his request his disciples maintained 24 hour kirtan and readings from the scriptures.

Srila Prabhupada invited all his disciples to be with him as he passed the test we all must face. However, due to circumstances often beyond their control, most of his disciples were not present. Now those who choose to can experience those precious moments.

Although these scenes can be emotionally wrenching they do depict a rare transcendental event. The last chapter in Srila Prabhupada’s glorious life, “The Final lesson.”

Out of many thousands of men, one may endeavor for perfection and among many millions who have achieved perfection one may be a devotee of Lord Krishna. Such a devotee, who is fully peaceful, is extremely rare.

Being situated in his original Krishna conscious position a pure devotee does not identify with the body.

Such a devotee should not be seen from a materialistic point of view. Indeed one should overlook a devotees’ having a diseased or infirmed body. According to ordinary vision such imperfections may seem prominent in the body of a pure devotee but despite such seeming defects the body of a pure devotee can not be polluted.

It’s exactly like the waters of the Ganges which remain pure although filled with bubbles, foam and mud during the rainy season. Those who are advanced in spiritual understanding bathe in the Ganges without considering the condition of the water.

Since we cannot visually experience the presence of the Supersoul, out of His immense compassion the Supersoul appears before us as a pure devotee, the spiritual master. Such a spiritual master is as worshipable  as Krishna is for in his dealings there are no activities but those of transcendental loving service to the Lord.

The verdict of all reveled scriptures is that even by a moment’s association with a pure devotee one can attain all success. That moment is human societies greatest treasure. Seeing the spiritual master with devotion and reverence is the perfection of one’s eyesight. Touching his lotus feet is the perfection of the sense of touch and glorifying his qualities is the tongues real activity.

Srila Prabhupada [translating Srimad-Bhagavatam] Karma hetu. If you engage in devotional service we get a different nature and if we engage in the basis of sense gratification the result is [not clear] And according to the association of different natures we get a body, karanam guna-sango ‘sya sad-asad-yoni-janmasu. Therefore we should always seek good association, devotee association. Then our life will be successful.

Jnana. If we live with good association then we cultivate knowledge. That means association. A man is known by his company. So if we have the chance of association with devotees then our character, nature [not clear]. By hearing, by discussing Srimad-Bhagavatam, this raja-guna, tama-guna is subdued, then sattva-guna remains. Nasta-prayesv abhadresu nityam bhagavata-sevaya. Then the sattva-guna, tama-guna cannot do us harm. Therefore Varnasrama dharma is so essential, that people remain in sattva-guna. Tama-guna, raja-guna, rajas tama bhava. Increases lust and greediness and that implicates the living entity to exist in this material world in many, many forms. That is very dangerous. Therefore they should be brought into sattva-guna by the establishment of   Varnasrama dharma.

How to bring people in sattva-guna. The Brahminical qualifications. Very neat and clean. Rise early in the morning, see Mangal-Aroti. In this way to stay in sattva-guna.

The body, mind and senses of the pure devotee, acting only for the satisfaction of the Lord, are transcendental and are taken charge of by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Being awake to his constitutional position, the pure devotee is situated in samadhi, the highest perfectional stage of yoga. Being fully absorbed in devotional service, he does not care what is going on with the external body. Such a confidential devotee of the Lord sees in every moment, even a most difficult moment, the special mercy of the Lord.

Pure devotees are themselves places of pilgrimage. Because of their purity they are constant companions of the Lord and therefore they can purify even places of pilgrimage. For such a pure devotee there is no difference between living and dying because in this life he engages in pure devotional service and after giving up his body he engages in the same service in the spiritual world thus his devotional service is never hindered nor does he perceive the pangs of death.

The pure devotee does not forget Lord Krishna even for a moment and Lord Krishna never forgets His devotee.

Every learned man knows very well that attachment to the material world is the greatest entanglement to the spirit soul. But that same attachment when applied to the spiritual master opens the door of liberation.

The spiritual master’s eternal occupation is to expand the service of the Lord by training his disciples in a service attitude. This service attitude, along with knowledge of Krishna, is such a great gift that it is impossible to repay the benefactor.

Our dear Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, because our association with material desires one after another we were gradually falling into a blind well full of snakes following the general populous but your servant Srila Prabhupada kindly accepted us as his followers and instructed us how to achieve the transcendental position. Therefore our first duty is to serve him. How could we leave his service?

Srila Prabhupada was the crown jewel on the head of this world. Without him this world is bereft of its valuable ornament. Yet in Srila Prabhupada’s absence there is no need to become despondent because there is no difference between Srila Prabhupada’s instructions and Srila Prabhupada himself.  He is personally present in his instructions.

In his absence therefore Srila Prabhupada’s words of direction are the pride of his followers. Their implicit faith in his words is their success.

O virtuous devotees, thus we have seen the departure of Srila Prabhupada and this is just to increase our desire for him because the more we hanker for him the more we will be freed from all material desires.

About the Author

Founded the Hare Krishna Movement in 1966 in New York. In only 11 years he spread the movement all over the world. He wrote more than 80 books including Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Sri Isopanisad. Prabhupada's books constitute a complete library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature and culture.

7 Responses to Srila Prabhupada: The Final Lesson

  1. Bk yosh says:

    Just amaizing

  2. Manoj Pandey says:

    Hare Krishna prabhu, these all r true because I really inspired by prabhupadas book..this type of personality I never found until..he is like a father of philosophy..I can’t say what the supreme quality he have,because he is really rare for this world..n his preachings r very valuable for this world and every mankind..I also want to live in touch with devotees..but here in India(Delhi)I have some difficulty to live in iskcon temple..because I m a student n I m alone here,no family no devotees.. I tried many times but failed because of too much money..for me. If there is any solution then please. I want to see arti,sing mahamantra,doing something for the iskcon goal..but I need to study also..there is many reasons why I m helpless..there is two is my goal(Krishna) n my responsibility.. Pls help..

    • Hare Krishna Manoj

      Set up a small alter in the place you live, even just with photos of Srila Prabhupada and Panca-Tattva, and offer aroti and bhoga and kirtan…

      Krishna consciousness can be practiced anywhere at any time. You do not need to live in a temple to be Krishna conscious.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  3. pradeep saxena says:

    I am honored and grateful for this movements for upliftment of human soul.

    i have joined ISCKON. and will continue ………

    Yours servant


  4. Namesake says:

    Hare Krishna
    I am writing this because there is virtually no one around me who would listen to me without thinking I am insane.
    This material world is a place of illusion.
    Even if you gain something you are bound to lose it one day hence the moment you gain something you are bound to suffer when you lose it , also there is the anxiety knowing you will lose anything and everything as everything is temporary.
    Sense gratification detoriates one’s position in the material world from demigod to human to millions and millions of lives in hell.
    It’s not worth it.
    This sense gratification is not worth it and once you are in it then there is probably no escape for millions and trillions of births as our consciousness also gets covered with tamo and rajo gun(a) hence we lose the opportunity to escape from this insanity unless we somehow get spiritually uplifted along with krishna’s mercy(via pure devotee or otherwise)
    Maharaja parikshit a great devotee and a great ruler did not kill Kali despite it having all the bad qualities only because he knew that this age is the age where anyone can be spiritually uplifted just chanting and then executing devotional service to obtain the highest spiritual platform.

    • Hare Krishna Prabhu

      Yes. You have got some actual realization as to the true nature of this material world and if you try to explain it to the non-devotees they will think you are crazy.

      So don’t try to explain it. Just distribute the ocean of mercy in the form of Lord Caitnaya’s Sankirtan movement and let all the non-devotees drown in the ocean of Sankirtan. Then feed them with sumptuous Krishna prasadam. The chanting and prasadam will purify them and then they too will also realize the real nature of this material world.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  5. Debbie Elder says:

    “By the mercy of the spiritual master one receives the benediction of Krishna. Without the grace of the spiritual master one cannot make any advancement. Therefore, I should always remember and praise the spiritual master. At least three times a day I should offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master”, Srila Prabhupada. (quote: Sri Sri Gurv-Astaka)

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