Upendra Prabhu and I had just observed Nirjala Ekadasi in Sri Vrndavan Dham.It was June of 1977. The temperature was over 100*. Even though we were young we became very weak and I could hardly stand up by the end of the day.Upendra would cook Srila Prabhupada's lunch every day spending hours every morning toiling away in the kitchen. Srila Prabhupada had been sick and he actually came to Vrndavan specifically to 'leave his body'. Even though Upendra worked so hard to prepare the foods the way Srila Prabhupada liked it; Srila Prabhupada had been refusing to eat.
For the previous few weeks when the Plate was brought to Srila Prabhupada he waved it off saying, "Distribute!". Well after fasting the day before and becoming so weak Upendra got frustrated when Srila Prabhupada again refused to eat. Upendra asked Srila Prabhupada how it was that we young boys could barely survive one day of fasting in the Vrndavan heat and he had been fasting for weeks now. Upendra asked Srila Prabhupada, "How do you do it?"
Srila Prabhupada responded, "I am living proof that the soul is not dependant on the body for subsistance; but rather the body is dependant on the soul"! Although I was a neopyhte I could see that Srila Prabhupada was totally Krishna conscious and above the bodily concept of life. He was/is a total inspiration to me. Those were the best days of my life. To serve Srila Prabhupada in Sri Vrndavan Dham was a dream come true. I counted my blessings as I gazed out my window at night and could see Srila Prabhupada translating his books all night long on his rooftop.I could hardly sleep at times anxious for the next morning when I could resume my daily services for Srila Prabhupada. All glories to our transcendental spiritual master; the acharya, our living proof!
"He lives forever by his divine instructions and the followers live with him"
By Gauridasa Pandita Dasa