Bhakti Raghava Swami Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Prabhupada Memories

Interview 01

Bhakti Raghava Swami: After moving into the temple in Ottawa, the three of us brahmacaris drove all the way to New Vrindavan to meet Srila Prabhupada for the first time. It was there in July of 1974 that we received first initiation from His Divine Grace. The other meaningful experience at the gathering for me was being able to see so many senior disciples, including sannyasis. It was inspiring to have this association because we were rather isolated in our little temple in Ottawa.

There is one statement I will always remember that indicated to me Srila Prabhupada’s high level of Krishna consciousness. Prabhupada had come to Montreal, and he stayed in the apartment of the temple president. One day he was having a deep conversation about the cosmology of the universe because at that time he was writing various purports to the Fifth Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Fifteen or so of us were in the next room listening to Prabhupada’s discussion on these deep and controversial subject matters. Of course, one famous statement he made was that the moon is further away than the sun. At one point Srila Prabhupada made the following statement, which to me was very significant. He said, “This particular comment that I have made (referring to something in the purport) has to do with realization.” I understood his comment to mean that in Krishna consciousness we can understand certain things not just by reading, but also when Krishna reveals the knowledge. In other words, certain explanations that Prabhupada was giving us were from his level of realization as revealed by Krishna Himself. That’s the one statement that will always be with me to indicate Srila Prabhupada’s high level of spiritual realization, which is only possible for someone who is a pure devotee like Srila Prabhupada.

It was obviously sad to receive the news that Srila Prabhupada had left the material world. At the same time it was inspirational to see that in his final days he continued to translate from the Srimad-Bhagavatam while so many devotees surrounded him. It was a further confirmation for me regarding Srila Prabhupada’s position as the pure devotee. He lived as he taught and preached in the most ideal, most exemplary manner, and he left this world in the same way. Even before leaving India for America, Prabhupada was exemplary. As a householder he began preaching with his Back to Godhead magazine in 1944 up to his extraordinary feat of bringing Krishna consciousness to the West. Srila Prabhupada taught us to his last moment how to live and how to die.

To view the entire unedited video go to Memories 72 - Canadian Yatra

The full Prabhupada Memories Series can be viewed here and also at