Srila Prabhupada’s Disappearance Day
Srila Prabhupada’s Disappearance Day.
“So at the time of death… Of course, those who are devotees, their position is different. People may say, “The devotee is also dying, and the nondevotee, sinful man, is also dying. What is the difference?” So there is much difference. The example is given: just like a cat catching a rat in his mouth and at the same time carrying his cubs in the mouth. Superficially, we can see that the same mouth is being used, but one is feeling comfortable being carried by the mother, and another is feeling the death knell. Similarly, at the time of death, the devotee’s feeling that they are being transferred to Vaikuntha, whereas the ordinary sinful man is feeling that the Yamaraja, the dutas, the constables of Yamaraja are dragging him to the hellish condition of life. So one should not conclude simply by seeing that he is dying. No. The process is different. Janma karma ca me divyam. As Lord Krsna’s appearance and disappearance are all spiritual, transcendental, they are not ordinary things, similarly, Lord Krsna’s devotee, His representative, who is sent to this material world for preaching the glories of Lord Krsna, their appearance and disappearance is also like Krsna’s. Therefore, according to Vaisnava principles, the appearance and disappearance of Vaisnava is considered all-auspicious. Therefore we hold festivals. Just like yesterday we had the disappearance day of His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupada. So we offered our respects and observed a festival, Avirbhava, Tirobhava. Tirobhava.”
Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam 6:1:27-34, Surat
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada departed from this world on November 14, 1977 in Vrindavan, India. As Srila Prabhupada explains above, the appearance and disappearance of the Lord and his pure representatives from this world is a cause for celebration. While there is no need to lament the disappearance of the Lord’s pure nitya-siddha representative, at the same time the devotees feel great pangs of separation due to the manifest physical absence of His Divine Grace.