By: Gauridasa Pandita Dasa
I got electrocuted right in front of Srila Prabhupada. I had been gathering his recording paraphernalia to take it downstairs and I noticed an extension cord that was rolled up and hanging on a hook on the wall. Some of the visiting devotees wanted to help so they rolled it up and hung it there still plugged in. Thinking it must be unplugged and ready to go, I grabbed it as I walked by. There was a bare spot on the cord which shocked me with 220 volts. I remember taking three steps and melting like a candle in front of Srila Prabhupada who was sitting in his chair waiting to be carried downstairs. Everything went black as I melted to the ground and I thought I died. At that time Srila Prabhupada couldn’t walk any more, so we carried him around in his rocking chair and palanquin. So even though he was just a few feet away from me, he couldn’t pull the plug that was shocking me as I rolled around on the roof. The roof has an inside room and bathroom and a couple outside areas some covered and some open. Srila Prabhupada went to the rooftop around sunset every evening during the hot season.

Upendra Prabhu was in the bathroom gathering a few things when he heard Srila Prabhupada shout, “Save him!” He was pointing at me rolling around in the wires. Upendra ran out and pulled the plug; probably saving my life. They said my heart had even stopped. Premana Swami pounded on my chest and massaged my heart. After about two hours I started to see the devotees’ faces above me. I didn’t recognize anyone or myself for about twenty minutes. After I had finally got my memory back I was told that Srila Prabhupada wanted to see me in his Prasadam room downstairs. I entered the room and offered my obeisances; still feeling embarrassed for making such a scene.

Srila Prabhupada looked at me very compassionately and asked, “So, you are alright?” I replied, “Yes, Srila Prabhupada, I am alright.” Then he said, “So you should take this as a good lesson that death can come at any moment; and you should always be ready.” I Thanked Srila Prabhupada and offered my obeisances grateful to have such a loving, caring and compassionate well wishing Spiritual Master.

Actually it wasn’t so bad ‘leaving my body’ as I had thought. Being in the service of the guru in Sri Vrindavan Dham would be the best way to go. The best part about staying is that I can serve and share my spiritual master with others. This is the perfection of our lives. After all, death can come at any moment and we should always be ready.

When Srila Prabhupada arrived in Sri Vrindavan Dham on May 17, 1977 specifically, to leave his body, he said in his arrival talk that the body is meant for passing. But all souls are eternal, what to speak of a soul that has done great service. He said that he would still be present in his books and if we read his books and cooperate everything would go on nicely. Let’s show our love for him and earn our return ticket back to Godhead where we will celebrate where the party never ends.