Grahila Prabhu's Departure
Posted March 27, 2010
Another son of Srila Prabhupada, H.G. Grahila das, has received unbelievable mercy by the Lord and has left this world on the recent Ekadasi, March 11, at 7.47 a.m.
Grahila prabhu had been diagnosed with brain cancer during his visit to Vrindavan in Kartik 2009. Accompanied by his wife, Guruseva dasi, he went to Mumbai and was further diagnosed with having metastatic stage-4 melanoma (i.e., in different places of his body). Grahila prabhu's first reaction was that he felt he hadn't done enough for Srila Prabhupada's mission and that he desired to stay if a treatment could be found. His good wife gave him full support in his decision.
In December they decided to return to their home in Mayapur and continue the "alternative treatments" he had started in Mumbai. Grahila prabhu very conscientiously followed the regimen, while at the same time fully preparing for the final journey to the Lord's lotus feet. We could perceive how perfectly the Lord arranged all that was necessary for Grahila prabhu's successful departure. A devotee "healer" from Russia arrived, offering a special "treatment" — which, he claimed, could cure his brain cancer and possibly the other cancers as well.
After a few days, Grahila prabhu did appear for a time to regain full functionality of his brain, sharp memory and freedom from pains in the head. He was able to increase his chanting and read Srila Prabhupada's books daily. He had visits by Jananivas das, Pankajanghri das, H.H. Sivarama Swami, H.H. Lokanath Swami and many other visitors. From the U.S., his biological family came, which included his daughter Nitaipada dasi, who was instrumental in assisting with his care.
When we asked him if he felt that the Lord would allow him to stay for sometime longer, he answered, "My health has improved due to the treatment, but inside my heart I feel that the Lord plans to take me." We asked him if he was able to let go his attachments to this world, and he said: "Most of my attachments are gone, but I still value good Prasadam."
To our astonishment, his stomach, which had been afflicted by cancer as well, recovered somewhat, and during a week's remission he was able to relish sumptuous Prasadam, including Mahaprasadam from the Gaura Purnima offerings. Shortly after that, however, he relapsed and was unable to eat any more. He grew increasingly eager to leave this world and attain the service of Their Lordships Radha-Madhava.
His wife, Guruseva prabhu, encouraged him to call out to the Lord to take him and to grant him pure devotional service despite all the shortcomings that might still be in his heart. Guruseva prabhu relentlessly cared for her husband day and night for his last five months in this most difficult part of her husband's life. She was overwhelmed, though very blissful, when Grahila prabhu's consciousness was entirely focused on the Lord's lotus feet at the end of his life.
H.H. Bhakti Brhad Bhagavat Swami visited Grahila prabhu three consecutive nights before his departure, read to him from the Tenth Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, and helped him to dive right into the pastimes of the Lord in Vrindavan. We could all observe Grahila das's full absorption in the intimate details of the Lord's pastimes, disconnecting himself from all pains and lamentations and looking so effulgent.
On the morning of March 11, Grahila das experienced rapid, uncontrollable breathing but retained his perfectly clear consciousness. The night-long Bhajans increased in intensity and bliss, and Grahila prabhu lifted his arms and chanted along in the presence of Jananivas prabhu, Bhakti Brhad Bhagavat Swami and many other devotees. At 7.45 a.m. during Guru Puja, when Kirtan was going on in the temple, he thanked his wife with gestures for her amazing selfless service. Gazing at the pictures of Radha-Madhava and blissfully smiling, he just left his body. The devotees present at this specially intense moment jumped up and, with arms raised, chanted and danced in the room.
This was the departure of a very special son of Srila Prabhupada, who was known to everyone as always being a perfect gentleman. Grahila prabhu ki jaya! Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!