Udayananda: We were on our way to Prabhupada's room when Tamal Krishna Maharaj stopped us and said, "You've never seen Srila Prabhupada look the way he does now. He's not robust and healthy and it might be a shocking and painful sight for you. But don't cry and don't say anything negative. Just say encouraging things."
Maharaj didn't want Prabhupada to be anxious. He said, "We're trying to encourage Prabhupada, to uplift his spirits, to make him enthused to go on preaching for at least another 10 years. So don't look shocked, don't be sad." We thought, "Okay, we're prepared to do this."
Prabhupada was lying in his bed and we offered our obeisances. Then we stood at Prabhupada's feet and saw him. We were shocked. Govardhan immediately lost it and quietly sobbed, covering his mouth with his chaddar. Prabhupada smiled and said, "Who has come?" Tamal said, "It's Govardhan and Udayananda from Detroit, Prabhupada." Prabhupada said, "Are your accommodations in the Krishna-Balaram guesthouse okay? Did you get prasadam? Are you comfortable? Is everything all right?"
Govardhan, who was saddened by Srila Prabhupada's condition, couldn't talk, so I said, "Yes, Srila Prabhupada, it's first class. Thank you for taking such good care of us." Prabhupada said, "Are the devotees in Detroit happy in Krishna consciousness? And how are Lekhasravanti and Ambarish? How is the temple and how is the Deity worship? Are you preaching in the neighborhood?" Prabhupada went on talking about everyone else's well-being.
The kaviraj who was treating Srila Prabhupada had treated thousands of people with the same condition and he had said, "This disease is so painful that others have writhed in pain - they can barely tolerate the pain - and they become incoherent, delirious." But Prabhupada's consciousness was crystal clear and he was simply concerned about the well-being of others. Never once did he say, "Look at my condition. Look at how I am suffering." I was trying to wrap my mind around how a person in such a condition could be so selfless.