The Significance of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Last Written Words – Dhanurdhara Swami’s Vyāsa-pūjā Offering to Śrīla Prabhupāda

August 20th, 2022

The Significance of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Last Written Words


Unfortunately, Śrīla Prabhupāda’s infirmity had visibly taken its toll on him. Day and night, he lay prone on his bed, and with whatever energy he could muster left in his body, he tried to rest comfortably and focus on the kirtan that softly played non-stop in his room. It is beyond comprehension that anyone in such a condition could gather the energy and mental acuity to continue dictating a profound commentary on such deep textual work as the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. But he did. During hours through the day, he would listened attentively to his Sanskrit pandit read the various commentaries on a particular verse, assimilate them within his mind, and then with great effort bring his voice to a whisper into a dictaphone held to the side of his mouth, which is about as loud as he could struggle to be audible. Despite the condition in which these purports were written, I am convinced they are among his best. When going over those commentaries again recently, what particularly struck me was the significance of his last written words. They seemed to sum up in many ways the spiritual practice he was leaving the world:


Seeing the Lord before him, Brahma began to offer prayers with great humility, respect and attention. (Purport, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.13.64)


Spiritual practice means concentration or attention. On the path of bhakti, that practice is kirtan or prayers, which to be done feelingly must be chanted from a platform of humility and with respect (offenselessly).


Am I reading too much into this? Anyway, in classical hermeneutics, and in writing in general, what is said last is always significant. Śrīla Prabhupāda said that his books were dictated in his heart by Krishna. If that is a fact, Krishna certainly dictated a perfect legacy to his teachings. Can there be anything more significant in our practice than prayers or kirtan done with great humility, respect, and attention?



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