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Was Prabhupada in a trance when he was writing the purports?

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Topic starter

Posting a question from Gita Life course from participants.

We humbly ask for an answer.

Hare Krsna!

This topic was modified 2 years ago 2 times by Roberto Rosandic
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Topic starter

Sharing some stories that give some insides to this question:

His schedule


Saturday, 29 June 1974 - Ratha-yatra


Srila Prabhupada's work of translation and commentary on Krsna dasa Kaviraja Goswami's Sri Caitanya-caritamrta was well over three-quarters completed. While in Melbourne, he worked on the concluding chapter of Madhya-lila: "How all the residents of Varanasi became Vaisnavas".


Prabhupada had developed a routine of translating wherever he went, for at least a few hours a day. At around 1.30am, he would rise, open the large Bengali volume, and switch on the small desk light. He translated the synonyms one by one, clicking the Grundig reel-to-reel dictaphone "hold" button while he paused briefly for thoughts. Occasionally he worked with a small Oxford dictionary.


Although his busy travelling and translating schedules were maintained side by side, it was no small task.


Satsvarupa Goswami: That Prabhupada could concentrate on translating while travelling almost constantly was a remarkable achievement. Perhaps only a writer can appreciate how extremely difficult it is to expect to make a serious literary contribution while at the same time moving continually from room to room, country to country, climate to climate -- one week after the next. But Prabhupada had been doing it for years. And he was able to do it because he was completely surrendered to the task and because Krsna was directly collaborating with him. Devotees had come to expect that Srila Prabhupada would live a very busy life all day, dealing with internal management, with devotees, guests, letters, lectures, travels -- and then at night, instead of collapsing for eight hours of hard-earned rest, that he would lie down for a couple of hours and then rise, unaided, when almost everyone else was asleep, and execute the most demanding task of his entire day, translating and commenting upon the Bengali verses of Caitanya-caritamrta.


The translation work went on sometimes for two or three hours, sometimes less. From around 3am to 5am, Prabhupada sat and chanted on his beads. His chanting was almost silent, although the moving beads could sometimes be heard in the next room and occasionally "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna".


At around 5am, Prabhupada would get up to go to the bathroom. At that time Satsvarupa Goswami would enter his room and put out Prabhupada's tilaka and mirror, put away his books and spectacles and ready things for his morning walk.


After he had finished in the bathroom, Srila Prabhupada would put on tilaka and say his morning Gayatri mantra. Then he was ready for his walk.



- From "The Great Transcendental Adventure" by HG Kurma Prabhu


From < >

Topic starter

One more incidence:


Guru Das: “Prabhupada, you’re laughing at your own books.”

Prabhupada: “I did not write these books, Krsna wrote them!”


"It is not possible for a common man to write books on bhakti, for his writings will not be effective. He may be a very great scholar and expert in presenting literature in flowery language, but this is not at all helpful in understanding transcendental literature.


Even if transcendental literature is written in faulty language, it is acceptable if it is written by a devotee, whereas so-called transcendental literature written by a mundane scholar, even if it is a very highly polished literary presentation, cannot be accepted.


The secret in a devotee's writing is that when he writes about the pastimes of the Lord, the Lord helps him; he does not write himself.


As stated in the Bhagavad-gita (10.10), dadami buddhi-yogam tam yena mam upayanti te. Since a devotee writes in service to the Lord, the Lord from within gives him so much intelligence that he sits down near the Lord and goes on writing books."

- (Srila Prabhupada, Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi 8.39)


From < >