Some time before
Srila Prabhupada's deteriorating health he stated that he might have being given
poison in his food. (see Prabhupada's
poison complaint). Since Srila Prabhupada had no more trust in his secretaries,
he called his sister Pishima to Mayapur and ordered that she cook for him. Prabhupada
wanted her to personally supervise all aspects of his food preparation including
purchasing bhoga and cooking.
The following Room Conversation with Prabhupada's sister Pishima is recorded on Vedabase:
12, 14, 21, 1977
771012R 3/3, 771014rc.vrn, 771021rc.vrn
Krsna: Here's Pisima. You want to see her?
Prabhupada: She cannot hear me.
Prabhupada: (Bengali with Bhakti-caru and Pisima)
Tamala Krsna: Prabhupada liked that fruit juice.
Bhakti-caru: Pisima knows a nrsimha-mantra. Prabhupada wants that she chants that mantra.
Tamala Krsna: Come over here, Pisima.
Upendra: This side.
Prabhupada: (converses with sister in Bengali) Somebody may be sent to Imlital Math to call her son.
Tamala Krsna: Take some grape juice, Srila Prabhupada. That is the old reliable.
Tamala Krsna: Today is Rama Vijaya Utsava. So maybe Pisima should do some cooking to celebrate this day.
Tamala Krsna: And also Durga-puja is today.
Prabhupada: Vijayotsava. Today Ramacandra conquered over Ravana.
Tamala Krsna: So to celebrate that, shouldn't Pisima do some cooking?
Prabhupada: Hm. Lugdu.
Tamala Krsna: And you'll taste a little of each thing?
Prabhupada: Hm. I'll take. (break)
Prabhupada's sister Pishima stated in 1976 that he had called her to cook for
him in Mayapur because he suspected he was being poisoned. He only wanted to eat
food preparations if cooked by her. After Srila Prabhupada's disappearance she
reiterated this claim and maintained that he had been killed with poison. This
is very significant because Srila Prabhupada and Pishima, as brother and sister, had
a very confidential relationship, including a secret language that they had invented
in childhood similar to 'pig latin' except in Bengali. So they could talk confidentially
in any circumstance.
[PADA: Pishima was requested to cook for Srila Prabhupada by him, because he told her he was being poisoned. This was related to me by a person who was in Vrindavana in 1977. This is also related to in Nityananda's book.]
[Ud: I have
been in Mayapur at this time and I personally have seen Pishima cooking initially,
but later on she was kept away more and more. Everyone knew why Prabhupada had
called her to cook for him. It was common knowledge amongst the main devotees
at that time. Srila Prabhupada complained about poisoning.]
[Kd: Someone told me that Pishima was considered a visa-harinama (one who could counteract poison- see reference for visa-harinama in Bhagavatam 12.6.12 where the snakebird tricks the visa-harinama and disguised as a brahmana bites Maharaja Pariksit leading to his death-).
I also heard that in the Gaudiya Matha as well as in ISKCON there was an effort to keep Srila Prabhupada's sister, Pishima away.
I was told she was locked in a closet to keep her away from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta as she was also kept away from Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada requested they bring her, saying that if she cooked he would eat. This early exchange with Tamal Krsna is worth noting. Tying this up Tamal Krsna says on November 8, 1977 "No poison is strong enough to stop the harinama, Srila Prabhupada." Very interesting eh? ]
[Ud: Prabhupada complaints that he is being poisoned and Tamal answers, don't worry no poison is strong enough to stop the harinama - What an answer - unbelievable. Anyone else would have been very concerned, trying to stop the poisoning and find out the poisoners. But not so Tamal - the main poison suspect]
Although Srila Prabhupada ordered that his sister Pishima should cook for him, yet, it seems that in the last days only the leaders, such as Tamal Krishna and senior Sannyasis in Vrindavana, were in charge of the water, medicine and cooking? If not, "who else" was cooking for Srila Prabhupada? (Pishima was kept away) Subsequent testimony from a devotee present at this time states: That Srila Prabhupada had requested his sister, named Pisima, to purchase all of his cooking ingredients at the market, and to cook for him. Srila Prabhupada had told her that this was because he was being poisoned, but Tamal Krishna said that he is not allowing "anyone else" to cook for Prabhupada.
One recent anonymous letter pulled from the internet website called VADA, Allegations of Poisoning, reads: "I had a conversation with Prabhupada's sister Pishima, just after Srila Prabhupada's passing, in which she mentioned that Prabhupada had called her to Mayapur to cook for him some time before because he was concerned that he was being given poison.
Letter from Anon Amos
[PADA: For all those who have asked, NO we did not write the article below. We cannot verify if all of this is true or not, but it certainly seems to make sense on a lot of levels. We present it as a matter of public interest and we sincerely hope that Anon amos comes forward and identifies himself/ herself and also helps find other witnesses and collaborations.]
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
I am an old disciple of Srila Prabhupada who, for reasons that will become clear after you read the rest of this post, wishes to remain anonymous.
Many devotees have written messages pro and con the Gurukuli lawsuit. What both sides don't know is that the lawsuit is actually Srila Prabhupada's desire. Let me explain. When Srila Prabhupada passed away, I was in India. At the time of his passing, I was in Delhi doing some service for the Vrndavana mandir. As soon as I heard of Srila Prabhupada's passing, I rushed to Vrndavan only to find that the samadhi ceremony had already been performed. All the devotees were shocked and lamenting in separation. All, that is, except the new "gurus", who were celebrating. Their mood was in such contrast to the rest of the devotees that it really stood out.
[PADA: This is what we heard as well, while the rank and file were crying and upset, various GBCs were laughing and joking amongst themselves in their little clique? Odd is it not?]
As I entered the Vrndavan temple guesthouse, I saw Srila Prabhupada's sister Pishima. Spontaneously I paid my dandavats to her. I had known Pishima a long time and she greeted me warmly. Pishima invited me to her room in the guesthouse, and I was only too glad to spend some time in her association. At this time Pishima, as the rest of us, was engulfed in grief at the passing of our Gurudeva. Through her tears and grief, Pishima told me many confidential things that day. She implored me to keep them secret until the proper time. Accordingly I have remained silent until the present situation has made disclosure of some her confidences appropriate.
Pishima had already confided in me in Mayapur in 1975 that Srila Prabhupada was being poisoned to death. Srila Prabhupada had brought her to Mayapur to cook for him, and for a short time, I was her kitchen helper. She was very concerned at the time that there was a conspiracy among Srila Prabhupada's leading disciples and the Gaudiya Math to murder him and take over the movement.
[PADA: Is this why Srila Prabhupada said, vahi bat, same thing, I am being poisoned, just like other saints were killed?]
At our meeting in Vrndavan after Srila Prabhupada's disappearance, Pishima confirmed that Srila Prabhupada had been poisoned. Srila Prabhupada had told her specifically that his inner circle of sannyasis were the poisoners.
[PADA: Well, this is no surprise!]
Srila Prabhupada had told her many other things as well. He said that he decided to accept the poisoning as Krsna's will. Just like Maharaja Pariksit accepted Sringi's curse, he saw it as an opportunity to leave this world and return back to home. In addition, he wanted to destroy [the deviated] ISKCON. I questioned Pishima closely on this point, because it seemed to be contrary to common sense. Pishima said that Srila Prabhupada had determined that the leadership of ISKCON had deviated so completely from the actual teachings of the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya that he wanted to destroy the organization, lest they become another Catholic Church and attempt world domination.
[PADA: This also makes sense, he knew they would abuse his mission, give it a bad name, and so better to curtail his mission for the time being until it can be properly purified and run as he intended.]
According to Pishima, Srila Prabhupada was totally disgusted with his disciples' failure to understand his pure Vrajabasi mood, and that they had become entangled in organizational politics. So he manipulated them into perfoming an elephant offense to destroy them. In this way, he was just like Krishna, who arranged to destroy His own family army, the Yadu dynasty, with a curse and a fratricidal war, lest they become too much of a burden for the earth.
[PADA: Well, we hate to point this out, but this not only makes sense, it has occured before.]
Srila Prabhupada was so humble, he viewed his own life and self-preservation as nothing. At that point he was much more concerned about the continuity of the sampradaya. He sacrificed his life so that his bogus disciples would be cut down and stopped from preaching in the wrong way: from a neophyte platform.
When I asked Pishima what would happen to Srila Prabhupada's sincere disciples if ISKCON was destroyed, she explained that Srila Prabhupada said that Krsna would protect them, and the devotees who had any spiritual intelligence would leave ISKCON before anything really bad happened. Events have borne this out.
[PADA: Wow, you mean our getting kicked out was the biggest blessing? Agreed.]
Then I asked Pishima how the result of the elephant offense would manifest. She told me that Srila Prabhupada predicted that the ISKCON movement would become embroiled in court cases that would destroy their properties and bank balance, stop their preaching and punish the so-called leaders. Now this is also happening.
[PADA: Once there is nothing left to exploit, the exploiters will leave. Makes sense again. Once an evil criminal man has robbed, raped and killed a woman, he leaves the scene. Happens every day.]
Finally I asked Pishima how the movement would go on after all this devastation. Pishima replied that Srila Prabhupada had told her that Krishna would take care, and that he had already picked one of his disciples to be his successor. But the successor would not manifest his potency until after the present structure of ISKCON was completely destroyed.
[PADA: Well, let us all hope there is someone who can carry the ball in a big way? If not one big main pure person, then many of the little people will carry it onwards, and there is already a core of faithful who are already preaching the right view.]
Pishima also told me many other things that Srila Prabhupada told her that are not yet appropriate to reveal. I have kept these secrets in my heart these so many years. It is a relief to finally be able to see these predictions come true. Even though they are heavy, it assures me that Srila Prabhupada knew everything all along, that Krishna is taking care of His movement, and that no cheater can cheat the greatest cheat without being thoroughly defeated in the end.
Very truly yours,
[PADA: Well, this is pretty interesting. It seems Pishima sparked a
few fires and they are growing albeit in the background ---at least for now.]
Dear PADA, Please accept my most humble obeisances.
All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!
I was shocked by the anonymous letter regarding Pishima that appeared in your 8/17 newsletter. Some pretty drastic statements were made, and a lot of it didn't make sense to me for the following reasons:
1. Pishima did not speak English, so the person who had this conversation with her must have spoken fluent Bengali.
2. If Pishima invited the person into her room in the Vrndavan guesthouse, the person must have been a woman because it doesn't make sense that Pishima would invite a man into her room since Pishima was a very proper Vaisnavi lady.
3. How many "old disciples of Srila Prabhupada" (as the writer claims to be) are there who are Bengali-speaking females?
4. When and where did Srila Prabhupada spend so much time alone with his sister when he could have told her all these things?
[PADA: Good questions. We hope "anon" will clarify some of this for us. Our idea was that we made the letter public since some of the points were interesting and a lot of people were already discussing this letter in various circles. Like we said, we had heard that some folks were discussing that Pishima had said that Srila Prabhupada was being poisoned way before anon came along the pipeline. So whether anon really talked to Pishima or not, we could not prove either way, and we pointed that out. Or perhaps anon has come to conclude that Srila Prabhupada was poisoned by later intuition, and that also we cannot say for sure either, but however anon figured this out, he/she has now come to the right conclusion on this issue at least.]
5. The anonymous writer says, "Srila Prabhupada was totally disgusted with his disciples' failure to understand his pure Vrajabasi mood" and "He sacrificed his life so that his bogus disciples would be cut down and stopped from preaching in the wrong way: from a neophyte platform."
[PADA: Well, Srila Prabhupada often said "will the GBC spoil it"? And so he indirectly indicated that a catastrophe, say a lawsuit or some other disaster, could ensue, that is: if the GBC went off the rails. In sum the GBC could and perhaps would spoil ISKCON. This is what he said in many places and "anon" had merely re-stated this as well, but anon said that the spoiling would take the shape of a lawsuit. Well, what does it matter? The GBC can spoil it, and they did. That is the main point.]
DD: The writer also states, "Srila Prabhupada had told her ...that he had already picked one of his disciples to be his successor."
[PADA: This does seem to be off since, why would the successor hold back and let the whole thing go totally to pot like this? Of course, Srila Prabhupada did emerge from the ashes of the Gaudiya Matha when no one expected it? In any case, this point also cannot be proven and is thus speculative. Agreed. Moreover, Srila Prabhupada pointed to a mangerial body being his agents after his departure and he did not stress on another successor? Agreed.]
DD: These statements all sound very much like the rhetoric we hear from devotees who have become followers of persons from the Gaudiya Math and Narayana Maharaja. These devotees seem to have developed a condescending attitude towards us lowly followers of Srila Prabhupada and revel in pointing out our "neophyte" status. Also, most importantly, Srila Prabhupada always said that he WOULD NOT "pick a successor", that the Guru is "self-effulgent." Regarding the mood displayed by Srila Prabhupada during his time with us, to me he appeared like a Preaching Lion in Lord Caitanya's transcendental army. This "pure Vrajabasi mood" (whatever that means) is more the realm of the Gaudiya Matha and Narayana Maharaja followers, is it not?
[PADA: Good points.]
DD: I have an old friend, who I have lost touch with for the past 10 years, who was Pishima's personal servant in 1977 in Mayapur. She considered Pishima to be a pure devotee, and Anonymous' letter just does not correlate with what my friend told me about Pishima. I would like to request that Anonymous come forward so that his/her story can be corroborated since some very grave allegations have been made. If Anonymous' letter is nothing more than a hoax, then it should be exposed as fraudulent. How despicable it would be for someone to manufacture these words and put them in our worshipable Pishima's mouth! Haven't we who are struggling to cling to Srila Prabhupada's lotus feet suffered enough heartbreak? No more, please!
[PADA: This is certainly a huge problem. Many people have witheld bona fide information, and/or criminal information, while others have forwarded false information and/or cover-ups. That is why all of this will take some years to settle up. However, as we said earlier, some of these points were said to have been spoken by Pishima before, and we threw it out there to see what kind of other memories might be jogged out there on this topic. And we are always searching for further witnesses, recollections and so on.
We think there is still a lot of info out there which needs to come to the
surface, and when we pry things like this out, all kinds of things can and sometimes
do fall out of the cupboard. We have printed all kinds of letters and things that
seem to be wacky at the time, but that may cause something else to happen and
one never knows how it will all end up? Our policy is to sometimes print things
that are being discussed, yet as we say at the top we cannot verify all the stuff
we print. We had hoped that our disclaimer at the top of our newsletter would
have made this clear but it sometimes happens that people say "you (pada)
said this or that," when they are citing our incoming letters and not us.
Thanks for your input, ys pd]