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Learning to die in order to learn how to live

At the time of passing away all the understandings and experiences we have developed over our lifetime are at stake. This is the moment of truth. In that circumstance masks fall off and the new reality opens up, mostly unexpectedly. If life is a surprise, imagine what death is. People naively think that they can plan everything in their existence, they are certain that tomorrow is as predictable as today, but actually this is not the case, therefore it is essential to be ready for any experience at all times, and what about the time of death. Thousands of people depart from this world and each departure is a unique act, in which the individuals detach themselves from their physical envelope in a peculiar way and begin their journey to a hardly predictable elsewhere. Hence the immense importance, incalculable usefulness and convenience of learning from those who have prepared for this passage in life. What can we learn from those who, out of fear and terror, have avoided talking about death and thus precluded getting ready for this crucial transition?

We can only learn from those who have prepared themselves for this experience with the utmost awareness and devotion to God. We can realize a treasure of Wisdom and Love by learning from the way Shrila Prabhupada, a pure devotee of the Lord, left this world, from the state of consciousness and feelings through which he prepared for the Journey.

Love conquers death.

The eternal service of Love cannot be taken away by death. This is the great lesson that Shrila Prabhupada has left us. The most precious gem of Shrila Prabhupada that shone brightest at the time of his departure: his attitude of complete humility and intense affection towards his disciples and all creatures. On 14th November 1977 at 7.30 p.m., in his room at the Krishna Balarama Mandir in Vrindavana, Shrila Prabhupada left this mortal world, returning to God and offering us the most precious of teachings. He taught us to die, he taught us to live. He taught us that life is pure love towards God and every creature. Shrila Prabhupada taught us through his books, through his works, through his life and finally through his death.

The spiritual Master always remains in the company of his disciple as long as he or she follows his teachings faithfully and purely. The greatest gift is service in separation, which is the greatest and most ecstatic realisation.

With eternal gratitude and spiritual love for His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupda,

Your servant,

Matsya Avatar das
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