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The interesting true facts about Srila Prabhupada's departure

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The following statements from Abhirama prabhu, who was Srila Prabhupada’s personal nurse up to the last month before his departure, explains the truth about Prabhupada health at this time - Note he kept a diary which documented Srila Prabhupada’s physical condition:

"As you may know, I acted as Srila Prabhupada’s nurse and assistant secretary from 25th July through 16th October of 1977, and was therefore in the best position to evaluate the factors influencing his health during this time.


I kept a diary which often documented his physical condition, food intakes, and discomforts. I also was the primary player when he was taken to hospital in Watford England during his last stay at the Manor.


I convinced his divine grace to go to hospital, accompanied him there, negotiated with the surgeon not to give general anesthetics and intravenous feeding (as was the policy), provided most of the post operative care to Srila Prabhupada etc.


I give this background to emphasize not only my intimate role in his physical care, but also to let you know that this same surgeon, Dr. McIrving, made a very clear and definitive diagnosis of Srila Prabhupada’s condition:

1) He had, due to diabetes (and dropsy), suffered swelling which affected the flow in his urinary tract over many years.

2) Since birth he had a slightly constricted urethra which further reduced the urinary flow. (This was the reason for surgery, which gave a great deal of relief to Srila Prabhupada.)

3) The combination of these two major factors had put a constant and harmful back pressure on his kidneys, which along with a general deterioration due to age had inflicted serious renal damage. (Srila Prabhupada complained to me that he had difficulty urinating and finally was blocked completely, leading to this surgery).

4) The kidney failure would naturally cause an increase in uric acid in his system, which would probably affect digestion and appetite, both being prominent symptoms in Srila Prabhupada’s condition.

5) The loss of digestion and appetite led to malnutrition, which caused an already aged and intensely taxed system to go into a total collapse.

The above is, I believe, an accurate account of the diagnosis of the doctors who examined Srila Prabhupada at Peace Memorial Hospital on 8th September of 1977, and all of my/our observations prior and subsequent to this generally confirmed this diagnosis."

As far as ascertaining Srila Prabhupada’s medical condition goes, here is a comment by Dr. Karl Otto Jacob, M.D., internist (40 years of professional practice in internal medicine):

"Srila Prabhupada’s chronic diabetes, which was never medically properly treated, was bound to lead to other serious consequent diseases which had to increasingly manifest in his body, such as premature aging and degradation of blood vessels, microangiopathy (narrowing of arterioles and capillaries), high blood pressure, heart problems, and diabetic nephropathy (occurs as consequent disease in most cases of untreated diabetes).

Diabetic nephropathy (severe kidney damage due to diabetes) is usually accompanied by nephroseclerosis, pylonephritis, and again high blood pressure, tendency for heart attacks or strokes. In addition his urethra was constricted which put a constant back pressure on the kidneys, increasing the renal insufficiency and inducing further damage.


Chronic renal insufficiency leads in four stages to uraemia, i.e. terminal renal insufficiency which is bound to lead to death unless treated in emergency care by dialysis.

The patient suffering from uraemia dies of the metabolic poisons that cannot be excreted anymore by the kidneys, and accumulate in the body instead.


Typical symptoms of renal insufficiency leading up uraemia are: anorexia (total loss of appetite), gastrointestinal disturbances, peripheral polyneuropathy, high blood pressure and heart problems, edema, in the last stage cerebral problems up to coma.


A person suffering from uraemia is literally being poisoned and feels like this, as metabolic toxins (creating, uric acid, electrolytes, and many other uraemic toxins) accumulate and intoxicate the organism in a lethal way.

It is medically utterly amazing that Srila Prabhupada reached such a high age in spite of his diabetes going on untreated for decades, being bound to lead to serious consequent diseases.


The idea that Srila Prabhupada was poisoned by anything else than his own metabolic toxins is superfluous and sounds highly speculative and absurd to anybody knowledgeable in medicine."

(Editor’s note: This stands as a reasonable explanation for Srila Prabhupada’s statement from the room conversation dated November 8, 1977:

Tamala Krsna: Srila Prabhupada? You said before that you..., that it is said that you were poisoned?

Prabhupada: No. These kind of symptoms are seen when a man is poisoned. He said like that; not that I am poisoned.

We shall look in more detail at this conversation further down.)

Abhirama’s statement continued:

"1) Srila Prabhupada’s esoteric conditions were carefully observed by a variety of care givers and medical professionals.

2) All diagnoses generally confirmed that his body was in an overall crisis, precipitated by his diabetes, dropsy, kidney damage, and overly stressed due to age, travel, etc.

3) His prognosis was not optimistic and death seemed imminent, at least from September 1977.

4) There were no indications of any other cause of his ill health i.e., poisoning) noticed by me or any medical professional up to October 16, 1977 and Srila Prabhupada did not say anything to indicate that he suspected such a thing during my time with him.

5) His eventual physical departure within one month of my departure as his nurse was a logical and expected conclusion to the above-mentioned indications. I was not at all surprised, although I will remain broken-hearted over his departure throughout my life.


Srila Prabhupada had Chronic Renal Failure which caused poisoning and swelling in his body. The Chronic Renal Failure was caused by his diabetes."


The following was written by Hari Sauri das and Jahnu on the 21st of May 1998


In his last days Srila Prabhupada was very keen that he be taken on a parikrama around Vrindavana. He made several statements to the effect that, "I’m just lying here idle and rotting; I want to spend my last days going out on parikrama."


It is clear from the conversations that he was frustrated about the prospect of passing away in his bed. But the Kaviraja assured him that it was not guaranteed that he was about to pass away. He said that if Srila Prabhupada would just take his medicine and rest peacefully without talking he would be able to gain strength, and then he could be taken on a parikrama.


The Kaviraja stated very emphatically that if Srila Prabhupada went riding on a bullock cart in his present condition, as Srila Prabhupada wanted, he would not survive for even a few hours, what to speak of the whole trip. The Kaviraja was clear that such a tour would without a doubt kill Srila Prabhupada.

Leading devotees also were devastated by the idea of Srila Prabhupada rattling about in a bullock cart and pleaded with him not to go. They said that he should wait until he had gained more strength and then they would take him in a suitable van.


We should understand that at that time Srila Prabhupada had not taken any solid foods for several months and his body was mere skin and bones.

At one point Srila Prabhupada said, "Let’s make an experiment. Let us go on parikrama and we shall see whether I will live or die. Whether I lie here in bed or on a bullock cart, what does it matter?" But the devotees who were nursing him all the time were given hope by the Kaviraja that he could get better, and therefore they would not let him go.


They pleaded with Srila Prabhupada not to go. Now, if the Kaviraja assured the devotees that Srila Prabhupada would indeed not survive a bullock cart ride, and if these devotees wanted Srila Prabhupada dead, what could be more convenient than letting him go on a parikrama and in this way speed up his death by entirely natural causes, rather than risk discovery in a poison plot?

It was only after so much pleading from the devotees, and the assurance of the Kaviraja that it was possible to improve his condition if he would just take the time to let the medicine work, that Srila Prabhupada declined. After hearing the sincere plea of Tamal Krishna Maharaja, Prabhupada responded in a very loving manner:

Prabhupada: All right.

Bhakti-caru: Jaya Srila Prabhupada.

Bhavananda: Thank you, Srila Prabhupada.

Prabhupada: I cannot refuse all your request.

Tamala Krishna: And we cannot refuse your request. We will take you all over tirtha-yatra, to all the places. Just that you get a little stronger. You’ll be free of all management. You simply go to tirthas and take darshana of all the Deities in India. Everyone will stay in their respective places. They’ll manage. But we just want you to be stronger.

Prabhupada: All right. That will satisfy you? (laughter)

Tamala Krishna: Babaji Maharaja also, you also thought that? We did not talk to him.

Bhavananda: We were just on our way down the stairs to come and see Your Divine Grace.

Prabhupada: Bhavananda?

Bhavananda: Yes, Srila Prabhupada.

Prabhupada: You are satisfied?

Bhavananda: Now I am, Srila Prabhupada, yes. (Laughter) I was in too much anxiety.

Prabhupada: No, no, I cannot put you in anxiety. You have done so much. You have suffered in Mayapura so much. I cannot put you in anxiety. So I shall do what you like. (Bengali) Lefthand, righthand. I cannot refuse....

Prabhupada: Where is Kaviraja?

Tamala Krishna: He’s out again, getting medicine. This man, Srila Prabhupada, Adri-dharana says he sits up all night worried about you, thinking, taxing his mind how to give you just what you require.

Prabhupada: No.

Bhakti-caru: Yesterday, when I went to call him at 4:30, I saw him sitting on his bed.

Tamala Krishna: All night. He goes in the jungle four, five hours looking for roots, herbs to give you. He’s so sincere.

Prabhupada: So many well-wishers, I cannot refuse. This is not my business. (Bengali) All right. You take Babaji Maharaja. That will be my going. (laughter)

Krishna dasa Babaji: Jaya.

Tamala Krishna: Yes, the bullock cart will go tomorrow.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Tamala Krishna: To Govardhana.

Prabhupada: Yes, other devotees can go. I cannot go.

Tamala Krishna: No, they’ll go on your behalf, but you will go one day. That we promise you.

Prabhupada: All right.

Tamala Krishna: Our greatest pleasure will be to take you on tirtha-yatra, Srila Prabhupada. We wanted so much to go with you on that.

Prabhupada: Thank you very much.

Tamala Krishna: Actually, Srila Prabhupada, we’re so much attached to you that you practically drive us to madness sometimes. Tonight we were becoming mad.

Prabhupada: No, no, I shall not do that. Babaji Maharaja? (Bengali) So you will take bath in Radha-kunda on my behalf.

Tamala Krishna: We’ll get you better, Srila Prabhupada, and you will also be able to take bath personally there. We’ll see you get better.

Prabhupada: That’s all right.

From the above is clear that real love and affection existed between Srila Prabhupada and his disciples and that he accepted their genuine concern for his well-being to the point of canceling his cherished idea of performing parikrama. A further point to consider is who exactly would want to kill Srila Prabhupada and what would be their motive?

Some proponents of the "Ritvik" idea of guruship have postulated that some members of the GBC who were named by Srila Prabhupada in his letter of July 9, 1977 wanted him removed from the scene as quickly as possible so that they could become full gurus in their own right rather than be proxies for Srila Prabhupada.


According to their logic, Srila Prabhupada was about to state that he didn’t want his disciples to be full gurus, and to prevent this and thus fulfill their own ambitions, they poisoned him to death. Obviously such a task couldn’t be the work of just one devotee.


There would have to have been a conspiracy. An astute observer would have to ask how is it possible to keep a conspiracy like that tight without any leaks for 20 years, especially in ISKCON?


And if there was a conspiracy, how was it possible to keep Bhakti Caru Swami out of it? He would have had to be in on it. But what would be his motive? He was not one of the originally appointed gurus nor did he become one until after the guru reforms in 1987.

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In his last months, Srila Prabhupada would often drink juices, milk, etc. and pass urine with the amount around 100 – 300 ml a day. This is less than what is mentioned as the minimum for a person with normal renal function. Srila Prabhupada was also suffering from edema as confirmed in these conversations:

Morning Walk, Bombay, December 24, 1975:

Dr. Patel: You have taken that tablet for passing more urine?

Prabhupada: Yes.

Dr. Patel: Daily or..., yes or no.

Prabhupada: I am passing (laughing).

Dr. Patel: Yes, sir, but you have got the edema on the leg, and I mean, when...

Prabhupada: It is cured. That one tablet, two tablets, has cured. So explain what is the experiment with truth.

Room Conversation, Vrindavana, October 3, 1977:

Tamala Krsna: Yes. He recommends that. Anything for the swelling, did he say, Srila Prabhupada?.

Tamala Krsna: That’s hot, too hot though, Srila Prabhupada? You want us to give you powders again for taking the swelling? Hands and...?

Tamala Krsna: The swelling has increased since yesterday. It was never so much as today. The mucus was never so much as today. (Bengali; Prabhupada speaks little Bengali) What did Prabhupada just say?

Room Conversation, Vrindavana, October 10, 1977:

Doctor: Ad lib. As much as he likes. Because fluid intake is very necessary, whether it is water or fruit juice or in any way he likes. And regarding the treatment of the swelling, we can approach, we can approach it scientifically only after the urine report. If there is nothing wrong with that, then some diet can be increased.

Doctor: I want Prabhupada to do nothing for edema. Edema will disappear as he gains again strength. When he gains strength this swelling will disappear gradually.

It should be noted that Srila Prabhupada’s liquid intake and output was very little compared to what the kidney was filtering every day. "A normal adult man has a glomerular filtration rate of approximately 180L/day (125 ml/min)."


This means that the main function of the kidney is to constantly filter liquids that are staying in the body‚ not only to filter the incoming liquids. If the kidney is not functioning properly, naturally a lot of poison will accumulate in the body.

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One would think that advanced disciples would be beyond such thoughts, if they did indeed occur.


Perhaps this is the reason they were not granted guruship? Its not at all uncommon for a holy man to be surrounded by people who say one thing and do another.


A REAL holy man KNOWS. He is privy to the thoughts of his followers.





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Hi Sarva,

Thanks for posting these articles. I dont spend much devotional life reading all the conspiracies and things, ofcourse it is unavoidable on the internet sometimes. These posts are very refreshing, very earthy and quite beautiful. The last days of a pure devotee on this earth are nothing but sweet. Thank you.

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