Preaching until the death and preaching by the death of the body

Manidhara Das
14 Jun 2022


It took me more than forty years to write an essay of this sort, remembering the day my glorious spiritual master left this mortal world in order to preach elsewhere. The pain somewhat subsided, better to say it took another form.

Having during His presence the wonderful service of a book distribution, a service which helped me to survive the rest of my life, I never saw the need to ask Srila Prabhupada personally anything. Those of my godbrothers, who took care of me, gave me anything I needed to go out and preach. There was a powerful preaching spirit, which united us all, we all had a MISSION.

It was this mission to preach "the cult of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu", which Srila Prabhupada deeply installed in our hearts by His personal example. We all thought at that time that we will simply distribute Srila Prabhupada´s books and He will stay with us forever.
Even Srila Prabhupada warned us that death is standing at His door, nobody could imagine that one day we will not have the opportunity to have His personal association.

Harikesha informed me that Srila Prabhupada, being at that time in Vrndavana, wants all His senior disciples to come and chant at His bed.
By that time, still not believing that this moment would come, Srila Prabhupada lying on His death bed, said that the only thing keeping Him in this world is the distribution of His books. „When I hear the sankirtan results, I feel like a young boy again,“ He said.
If this was the way to keep Srila Prabhupada with us, of course, we embarked on a day and night marathon, coming back to the temple only to load our cars with more books.
Whenever the sankirtan results were presented to Srila Prabhupada, beaming with pleasure, He commented:

And so we doubled it. The response from our spiritual master was the same: „DOUBLE IT!“
And so it went on day by day, week by week. Constant race between the time of departure of our beloved spiritual master arriving and us, trying to stop that moment by means of book distribution.

Srila Prabhupada, surely aware of the approaching end of His body, used every breath to push us lovingly to the more intensified level of our service to the MISSION, as only this way we were connected to the flow of mercy emanating from the Lotus Feet of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Using even the approaching destruction of His body to spread Krsna Consciousness all over the world, Srila Prabhupada not only taught us how to live and preach, but also how to die and preach. Whoever follows His example will have Srila Prabhupada installed in his heart forever, becoming immortal due to being part of the immortal mission of the guru parampara.
Srila Prabhupada and His real followers will be always united in this way.