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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Prabhupada in trance

I was listening to a lecture by Srila Prabhupada on the life of Ajamila. Prabhupada very nicely explains the significance of Holy Names especially at the time of death. The class runs 27 mins and is very interesting.

Another thing that excited me was at the end when Prabhupada was imitating Ajamila by chanting "Narayan". After Prabhupada chanted "Narayan", there was an eerie silence for about 20 seconds at the end. Finally Prabhupada concludes the lecture saying "Thank you very much". After I heard the pause two or three times, I was convinced Prabhupada went into trance calling the names of Narayana. I wanted to verify my doubt so I did some research online to find if there were any eye witness to this lecture. Lo and behold I found a passage about this encounter by Satyaraja Dasa (Steven Rosen) in his book "The Agni and the Ecstasy".

In page 71 of his book, he writes "On the fourth day of Prabhupada’s Chicago lectures, another miracle occurred. After repeating Narayana’s name many times in telling the story of Ajamila, Srila Prabhupada fell into trance. This was something he rarely did in public. An intense silence engulfed the room. We all felt blessed to witness the transcendental phenomenon. Through purely calling out Narayana’s name, in telling the story, Prabhupada was seeing Narayana face-to-face. His trance-like state and his inability to speak lasted two minutes. Although I have read about the ecstatic symptoms of a pure devotee, I was amazed to see them. Those of us who were in the room will never forget his spiritually uplifting expression, as tears rolled down his face. After two seemingly eternal minutes, Srila Prabhupada said, “All right. Thank you very much.” He then gestured that kirtana should begin, and one of the most intense chanting sessions I had ever experienced permeated the large hall.

 You can listen to the lecture below.

 

 Hare Krishna

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