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Dandavats! All Glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga!

Live From Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir! HH Radhanath Swami – Disapp HH Gour Govinda Swami

Thursday, 24 February 2011 / Published in In Memoriam / 5,357 views

Date: February 23rd, 2011
Topic: Dhruva Maharaja Goes Back To Godhead;
The Disappearance Anniversary of HH Gour Govinda Swami
Verse: SB 4.12.17
Speaker: HH Radhanath Swami

tasyam visuddha-karanah siva-var vigahya baddhvasanam jita-marun manasahrtaksah sthule dadhara bhagavat-pratirupa etad dhyayams tad avyavahito vyasrjat samadhau

TRANSLATION: In Badarikasrama Dhruva Maharaja’s senses became completely purified because he bathed regularly in the crystal-clear purified water. He fixed his sitting position and by yogic practice controlled the breathing process and the air of life; in this way his senses were completely withdrawn. Then he concentrated his mind on the arca-vigraha form of the Lord, which is the exact replica of the Lord and, thus meditating upon Him, entered into complete trance.

PURPORT: Here is a description of the astanga-yoga system, to which Dhruva Maharaja was already accustomed. Astanga-yoga was never meant to be practiced in a fashionable city. Dhruva Maharaja went to Badarikasrama, and in a solitary place, alone, he practiced yoga. He concentrated his mind on the arca-vigraha, the worshipable Deity of the Lord, which exactly represents the Supreme Lord, and thus thinking constantly of that Deity, he became absorbed in trance. Worship of the arca-vigraha is not idol worship. The arca-vigraha is an incarnation of the Lord in a form appreciable by a devotee. Therefore devotees engage in the temple in the service of the Lord as arca-vigraha, a form made of sthula (material) objects such as stone, metal, wood, jewels or paint. All of these are called sthula, or physical representations. Since the devotees follow the regulative principles of worship, even though the Lord is there in His physical form, He is non-different from His original, spiritual form. Thus the devotee gets the benefit of achieving the ultimate goal of life that is to say, becoming always absorbed in thought of the Lord. This incessant thought of the Lord, as prescribed in the Bhagavad-gita, makes one the topmost yogi. [End of Srila Prabhupada’s purport to SB 4.12.18]

HH Radhanath Swami: I am very grateful to be with all of you in the holy dham of Sri Mayapur. I am very humbled and honored to have this chance to try to serve you by speaking something from Srimad-Bhagavatam. Today we are reading from Canto four chapter twelve entitled ‘Dhruva Maharaja Goes Back to Godhead’, text seventeen.

We read in this story how Dhruva, inspired by his mother from his very early age went to the forest in search of God. It was in Vrindavan that he found his spiritual master. Actually he was in the forest and he found Narada Muni who then sent him to Vrindavan, specifically Madhuvan. And there worshipping the deity of the Lord, made of clay with his own hands, constantly chanting of the mantra om namo bhagavate vasudevaya, he meditated on the Deity within his heart. Within just a few months he attained perfect self realization.

For many thousands of years he ruled the world under the direction of the Lord and at the same time he renounced everything. He went to Badrikasrama and there according to the verse we are reading today, “He concentrated his mind on the arca-vigraha form of the Lord which is the exact replica of the Lord thus meditating upon Him, entered into complete trance.”

Today we are observing the disappearance of His Holiness Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaj. And my dear friend Madhavananda Prabhu has given me some of the manuscript of an incredibly outstanding book that he is compiling. I would like to share some excerpts beginning with the parallels of Dhruva Maharaj and Gour Govinda Maharaj.

Gour Govinda Maharaj was also from a very early time in his childhood inspired by his mother to worship the Deity of Gopal and here at Sri Mayapur Dhama like Dhruva Maharaj with a photo of Gopal in his hand surrounded by devotees doing kirtana he entered into the ultimate trance and went back to the spiritual world. He was born on Sept 2nd 1929 near Orissa in a village called Jagannatha-pura. He was named Braja-bandhu. His family was very, very serious devotees coming from the very old tradition of Gaudiya Vasinavaism. His mother from a village of Gadeigiri worshipped for all her life the Deity of Gopal Jui. That deity was worshipped in her family for over three hundred and sixty years.

Srila Prabhupada tells us when he was a child he would see his father worshipping the deity of Radha-Govinda and that had such a deep impression on his life. He taught us that this is the most important responsibility of raising children – from the very beginning to give them that deep impression in their heart not only of the form of the Lord but seeing the parents lovingly worshipping the Lord.

His family was renowned for the performance of nama-sankirtan. Actually when he was just born a famous astrologer told his family members that he would be a great devotee, a great scholar, he will be married for some time then give up all material attachments, become a sadhu, preach all over the world. He would make the village of Gadeigiri famous. And he concluded by saying according to his reading that this child has been sent from the spiritual world for this purpose. [Audience chant Haribol!]

His family members shared with devotees that by the time he was eight years old he was well verse in reading Bhagavad-gita; Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. He would be naughty and cry and the only thing that would stop him from crying is if someone put a Srimad-Bhagavatam in his hands. He would get absorbed in reading it.

By the time he was four, they had no electricity and at night it was dark. His mother would be cooking and he would sit right close to the fire and in its light continue his reading of Srimad-Bhagavatam.

When he was between twelve and fifteen he was living with his uncles in Gadai-ghiri. The family told that his basic schedule was that he would wake up early in the morning, do seva to Gopal, do his studies and then when he would come back from his studies he would do kirtana for the rest of the evening and in the night with his uncles sometimes go village to village preaching the glories of the holy names.

He wasn’t interested in playing or cinema. Whenever there was free time he would do kirtana, serve the deities and read Srimad Bhagavatam. Everyone around him could see that he was extraordinary although he always kept himself in a very simple and humble demeanor.

By his mother’s strong wish in 1952 he was married. Soon after that his father passed away from the world. Braja Bandhu being the eldest son had to take the burden of all the finances of the family on himself. He worked and at night he studied and by taking tests he ultimately got degrees and became a teacher in a secondary school.

He had four sons and three daughters. During that time and throughout his life he kept a diary. Most of the entries into the diary were personal letters to Gopal, his worshipable Lord. He would begin each passage, “With the mercy of Gopal this day was spent thus.” And then he would write his realizations, his ., his activities for the day. Each entry would end with a prayer to Gopal, “Please give me prema-bhakti, love for Krishna.”

He performed his duties responsibly with his eldest son was old enough to take care of the family in 1974; he was forty five years old when he had a calling. Srila gour Govinda Maharaj explained to us that he was thinking that he is spending so much of his life teaching these mundane subjects and if he taught the children what was really in his heart, his superiors would find it unacceptable.

He wanted to give his life to teach the eternal truth of Srimad-Bhagavatam. That calling after twenty years, around twenty two years as a householder, detached him from everything except the will to search out a pure devotee he could accept as a guru.

Studying Srimad-Bhagavatam and Sri Caitanya-caritamrta he understood what the truth was and that he had to have a spiritual master who could bless him and give him everything. He had a dream at that time in his life after much prayer Gopal appeared to him and told him to take sannyasa. In the middle of the night he left his family. People tried to stop him in so many ways but he was determined.

He explained to the devotees that he was staying at a temple across from his house where his teachers and other friends and family members were coming and trying to convince him to come back. And he turned to one sadhu and asked him to sing a particular bhajan, a prayer to the mind describing the temporary entanglements of this material world, the nature of this vanishing body and the need to take shelter of the Supreme Lord Govinda. When he sang the last line Braja-bandhu fainted. Everyone knew that they could not stop him.

He went to Gadai-ghiri and prayed to Gopal for direction and it was then that he had that vision, the order to become a sannyasi. He wandered to the Himalayas, all the way down to Kanya-kumari searching for a spiritual master. In the Himalayas he met many yogis, sadhus, swamis, gurus and heard from them. But he was so deeply learned. He was looking for someone who would teach him who is Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, how to surrender to that, what is the greatness of bhakti and the holy name. And asrama after asrama meeting gurus he would quote, “That in this age of Kali the recommended process is the chanting of God’s holy names. harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam [Adi 17.21]Why are you not teaching this?” And his spiritual leaders would usually tell him “Please get out from here.”

In this way he wandered thousands and thousands and thousands of miles and ultimately came to Vrindavan. There he would stay in a different asrama each night, learn what they teach, meet the gurus from all the different sampradayas but somehow he wasn’t completely satisfied. Then one day he was walking down the road in Raman Reti and he saw a sign, ‘The International Society for Krishna Consciousness.’ He went in they were just digging the foundation for the Krishna Balaram Temple. There were a couple mud huts and one small room where Srila Prabhupada lived.

The devotees gave him a ‘Back to Godhead Magazine’ and where he saw Srimad-Bhagavatam, he saw Lord Caitanya and he saw the maha-mantra he was thinking, “This is it.” He went to a devotee and said, “I want to meet this person His Divine Grace A. C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Is it possible?” he said, “You go to his secretary.”

He went to HH Brahmananda Swami who said, “Why do you want to meet Srila Prabhupada?” [Laughter] he said, “He is a paramahamsa. I want to offer my obeisances and receive his blessings.” It was noon time. Srila Prabhupada had just taken prasad and was sitting on a chair and Brahmananda Prabhu went in and he said, “There is a sadhu out there. He wants to see you.” Prabhupada said, “Bring him in.”

Srila Gour Govinda Maharaj explained that when Prabhupada looked at him he could feel with all certainty that Srila Prabhupada knew everything. As the representative of the paramatma Srila Prabhupada knew exactly how to teach and bless this devotee who had already taken upon himself the name Gour Gopalananda. Srila Prabhupada then asked him, “Who are you? What is your name? Where do you come from?” Then Srila Prabhupada asked, “Are you a sannyasi?” Gour Gopalananda said, “No.” Srila Prabhupada looked at him and said, “I will give you sannyasa.” [Audience say ‘Haribol!’]

He was speaking in Hindi and Srila Prabhupada was very impressed with his command over the Hindi language. He said, “Would you like to translate my books into Hindi?” he said, “Yes.”

Gour Govinda Maharaj explained that on that first meeting he was certain that ths was his guru and he surrendered his body, mind, words and life to the service of Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada had Brahmananda Prabhu give one article from the ‘Back to Godhead’ and said, “Give him a pen and paper and let us see how he can translate.” He translated a couple of paragraphs. Prabhupada read the article and said, “Yes, you will translate my books.” He told him, “You stay here. We will take care of you.” He told the Temple President. The Temple President said, “You cannot stay here!” [Laughter]

So he stayed in an asrama outside and was coming everyday and he was doing services. He was washing pots and rolling chapattis, he was carrying big buckets of water and whenever possible he was translating. After some days he met with Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada said, “Are you comfortable here?” he said, “They won’t let me stay.” He said, “That is all right because they think you might be a thief.” [Laughter] So Srila Prabhupada explained to them and they gave him a nice room. People were thinking, “Nice room. It’s a mud hut. Why is he getting like this?”Srila Gour Govinda Maharaj said that the devotees would often refer to him as, “The Mayavadi sannyasi.” [Laughter]

Srila Prabhupada left that place and from Delhi he wrote him a letter and told him to translate ‘The Perfection of Yoga.’ Srila Prabhupada wrote another letter to him through Brahmananda Prabhu and told him that he was just donated a property in Bhubaneswara and he wanted Srila Gour Govinda Maharaj to go there to develop it, build a temple, train his disciples in Hindi and preach to the people in the Oriyan language. He wasn’t yet initiated. Srila Prabhupada said, “Come to Mayapur right away and we will discuss it.”

In Mayapur Srila Prabhupada gave him first initiation and the name Gour Govinda dasa. Sometime later he got another letter from Srila Prabhupada to come to Bombay. When he came to Bombay he was given second initiation – just couple months later. Then Srila Prabhupada had one disciple, Bhagavat Prabhu who was traveling as a leader of a little brahmacari group. He sent them to Bhubaneswara together to establish Iskcon.

When they got to the land it was far from the city, desolate, no electricity or water anywhere near it. It was a jungle. And Bhagavat Prabhu who was somewhat of an experienced devotee (In those days if you were a devotee for a few years you were very senior.) He said, “We can’t live here. It is horrible and too dangerous. This is the type of place where there are so many dacoits and you could be killed in broad daylight. We have to go.”

Gour Govinda Maharaj said, “It is Srila Prabhupada’s wish that we stay. I am staying. Nothing will take me away from here.” Bhagavat said, “Well we are going.” He said, “Then I will stay alone.” Bhagavat Prabhu said, “You are a brahmacari under me. Bramacaris cannot stay alone. You come.” [Laughter]

Soon after that Srila Prabhupada was in Hyderabad where Gour Govinda Maharaj met him. They were discussing developing Bhubaneswar and Gour Govinda Maharaj said to Prabhupada, “Please give me sannyasa so that I could stay over and develop the land properly for you because nobody else wants to stay there.” [Laughter] Srila Prabhupada said, “Yes, I will give you sannyasa at the installation of Krishna Balarama on Ram Naumi in Vrindavan.”

So he went to Vrindavan soon after that but the GBC had made a resolution just recently that any candidates for sannyasa had to be approved by the whole GBC body and then they had to be observed for a minimum of one year. And Srila Prabhupada signed and approved that resolution. [Laughter]

Although there was an initiation for sannyasis in the Krishna Balarama Temple Srila Prabhupada privately called Gour Govinda Maharaj to his room and gave him the mantra, the danda and the dress of a sannyasi. In this way Srila Prabhupada did not violate the rule. [Laughter] But at the same time achieved his aim.

He took first, second and sannyasa initiation within eight months of joining Iskcon and meeting Srila Prabhupada. There were complaints. People complained to Prabhupada that, “This new man, he has so much responsibilities, he is a sannyasi.” And Srila Prabhupada replied, “He took his birth as a devotee.” It was Prabhupada speaking to his senior most people. He said, “Gour Govinda Maharaj took his birth as a devotee. You are all new men.” [Laughter]

Gour Govinda Maharaj asked Prabhupada if he would give him some funding, some men and some books to start the project in Bhubaneswara. Srila Prabhupada said, “No.” [Laughter] He said, “My Guru Maharaj, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaj gave me instruction to spread Krishna consciousness. And when I went to America on the Jaladutta I had no money, I had no funding, I had nothing.”

Srila Prabhupada wanted to give Gour Govinda Maharaj the opportunity to do what he did, but to make it easier for him Prabhupada said, “I went to a foreign land. [Laughter] You are going to Orissa where you are from.” So he went to Bhubaneswar. He took that order as his life and soul. He had no money. He had no one and the land was practically uninhabitable.

So he was going and living in the dharmsala for the night but after sometime he had to get out. He was going from dharamsala to dharamsala to dharamsala. He would go out house to house to beg for food. Then ultimately someone built him a little thatched hut in which he stayed for some time.

Then he had another letter from Prabhupada inviting him to come to the Kumbhamela and there Srila Prabhupada told him, After Kumbhamela I would come with you to Bhubaneswar.” So he rushed back to try to make arrangements for Srila Prabhupada. He tried to arrange a water pipe so that there was water there because there was no water in the land. He tried to arrange a nice little hut made out of clay and straw. He tried to arrange some sort of lighting. He was really working hard day and night trying to clear some of the jungle land.

Then Prabhupada came to Bhubaneswar. He arranged a nice government house for Srila Prabhupada but when Srila Prabhupada saw the very primitive thatched hut on the property, he said, “I will stay here with my beloved disciple Gour Govinda Maharaj.” Prabhupada stayed for sixteen days and every day, sometimes for hours and hours he and Gour Govinda Maharaj would discuss intimate topics.

He told him that he wanted him to translate all of his books into Oriyan language. He told him, “I want you to build a temple here. You will see that in the near future this property will be the centre of Bhubaneswar. And the temple that you will build will be one of the greatest temples in our movement.” Srila Prabhupada told him to preach all over the world. He blessed him.

After Srila Prabhupada departed Gour Govinda Maharaj took this instruction so seriously. He lived on the property and all the other people were some coolies who were doing the hard labor. And he had Prabhupada’s order.

vyavasayatmika buddhir, ekeha kuru-nandana [Bg 2.41]

Srila Prabhupada explained that this is how we advance in Krishna consciousness. By being resolute in purpose and our aim should be one, which is to make the order of our guru our life and our soul.

He heard that Srila Prabhupada was in his last stages in his earthly lila and Gour Govinda Maharaj went to Vrindavan and spent beautiful intimate time with Srila Prabhupada there in his last days. Srila Prabhupada asked Gour Govinda Maharaj, “What is the climate like in Bhubaneswar?” He said, “It is very nice.” Srila Prabhupada said, “I want to go to Bhubaneswar.” This was in the very last days. And also around him was Srila Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj, Bhavananda Prabhu, Tamal Krishna was saying, “No. No. You can’t travel now.” But he actually wanted to go to be with Gour Govinda Maharaj in Bhubaneswar.

He sent Gour Govinda Maharaj back. He left. Bhakti Charu Swami tells the story that Prabhupada asked, “How is he going to the railway station?” Bhakti Charu Swami came back and said, “He is planning to take a bus.” Srila Prabhupada said, “Arrange my own personal car to bring him to the railway station.”

Soon Srila Prabhupada departed and in intense pains of separation from his guru he found his vani his life and soul. And what was it like living there for him? It really was a jungle. Madhavananda Prabhu explains in his book that one day Gour Govinda Maharaj on the land gave a Bhagavad-gita class. Then he got up after the class and a cobra fell from his lap. He did not even know it was there. Every now and then there would be wild elephants coming, deers and snakes – very austere.

He went in 1979 to Mayapur Dham. He came here and at that time one of Srila Prabhupada’s God brothers, HH Bhakti Daitya Madhava Maharaj had passed from the world. There was a samadhi ceremony. Many of the leaders of the Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir went. There was a beautiful kirtan and Gour Govinda Maharaj was absorbed in the holy names and was swaying back and forth. Then suddenly he fell to the ground, fainting. They did not know what happened to him. Devotees picked him up and brought him back to his room and he was crying out, “Gauranga Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, Gopal, Sri Radharani, Krishna!” He was crying and crying Krishna’s names and he persisted for days.

They called on astrologer. The astrologer said, “As far as I could see he is in divine ecstasy.” But some of the devotees were thinking that nobody will believe and astrologer saying that. So they called an ayurvedic doctor and the ayurvedic doctor said, “This is some sort of madness that is very incomprehensible.” Then one day Krsnadasa Babaji Maharaj who was one of Srila Prabhupada’s best friends whom Prabhupada called a paramahamsa, they brought him into Gour Govinda Maharaja’s room and put a piece of straw under his nose, took his pulse, felt his head and then Krsnadasa Babaji Maharaj started laughing and he said, “It is krsna-prema.” [Laughter and applause] And then he walked away. [Applause]

Srila Prabhupada attracted such a variety of incredible personalities! He was in that state for four months where he couldn’t really do anything except for cry out the names of the Lord. He was in Bhubaneswar. After that four months he just came out of it and he asked devotees around him, “How long was I sleeping?” [Laughter] They said, “Four months!” [Laughter] He was amazed. He though it was just a few minutes!

Meanwhile living on the land – so exemplary, his humility, his simplicity and his devotion every day he would go out at four o’clock in the afternoon to beg. He had a quota. He would go to twenty one houses to beg for funds to build a temple. He was doing this for months and months. Later when his students said, “Let me do it, let me do it.” The students did it. And he was making a hundred and sixty rupees a month. That was the beginning stages of building a temple in Bhubaneswar but he was never discouraged because it was the order of his guru.

He was printing ‘Back to Godhead Magazine’ in the Oriyan language and the person who was doing the publishing passed away. So for several months there was no BTG. Then Tejas Prabhu came and started it going again. But about four or five times a month Srila Gour Govinda Maharaj would have to go to the press. From the land he would walk two kilometers. He would take a bus then walk five and a half kilometers. He would go to the press. He would spend most of the day proof reading, doing final editing then he would walk five and a half kilometers back to the bus, take the bus then walk two kilometers again back to the land. By that time it was dark.

Gour Govinda Maharaj would only eat once a day. In fact he had a standard that until he finished a quarter of translating Prabhupada’s books, a quarter of the pages, he wouldn’t even take a drop of water every day. On the days that he went to the press often times it was night and he also had a vow he would eat at night. So he would hardly eat.

One of his disciples said, “Why don’t we get a rickshaw?” Gour Govinda Maharaj said, “We can’t waste so much money.” The rickshaw was three rupees in total. He will never accept it. He said, “This is Srila Prabhupada’s money. We must see it as sacred and never waste it.” That was his spirit. And we can see how that spirit can draw such incredible mercy of Lord Krishna.

In 1985 another aspect of Prabhupada’s instruction to him unfolded. He travelled to Europe. He was from an Orissan Village. Now he was on a jet plane and the person who was serving him on the plane explains it was really a culture shock. There was an airline hostess dressed the way airline hostess’s used to dress in those days, going around and giving people food. And he said, “What is happening? What is she doing? Why is this single lady going up to everybody?” “She is giving everybody food.” Hare Krishna he was chanting.

The brahmacari assistant was very thirsty. He said, “Bring me some juice. Can I have some juice?’ Gour Govida Maharaj said, “I am sannyasi. You are brahmacari. We cannot take food from a woman. We don’t know who she is.” [Laughter]

They went to Rome and he gave a two hour Srimad-Bhagavatam class. But before the class he said, “I have to pass water.” So he went to pass water in the bathroom and he was in it for a really, really long time. And everyone was waiting for the class. They knocked on the door and said, “Is everything all right?” They opened the door and he was completely soaking wet. They said, “What happened?” He said, “I just turned on the water and it all soaked me.” [Laughter] He never saw a shower before. [Laughter] he turned the wrong tap and got a full shower. [Laughter] but he went and gave class. Everyone was spell bound by that class. He kept going on and on. The leader of the community said, “It is time for Prasad.”

He went to Spain. There was a massive drought for one and a half years. The whole community was suffering like anything. Gour Govinda Maharaj said, “If we just have kirtan then the Yajna-purusa, Krishna will send rain.” He gave his Bhagavatam class. I think it was a Gita class and then after the class very intensely he was chanting kirtan for a long time. And thunder started coming in the sky. Devotees said, “Sometimes there is thunder and lightning but there is no rain.

Soon after the class and the kirtan there was a major rain storm. The drought ended. The devotees were so impressed, mesmerized by this. He had such faith and such boldness. They all came to see him. He was supposed to spend many days there but he told his servant, “We should leave immediately.” He said now they are coming to glorify me. I am not one to be glorified. Srila Prabhupada should be glorified. Let us go.”

There are many things to be said. It is already gone overtime which is his tradition [Laughter] but I am not so bold and courageous as him because I have the GBC waiting for me also. [Laughter] But I must at least tell one more story.

It was in 1996. Srila Prabhupada’s centennial was being celebrated all over the world. HH Lokanath Swami Maharaj was inspiring that. In Bhubanesvwar, Gour Govinda Maharaj said to one of his close associates, “This material world is a miserable place. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur said it is not a place for a gentleman and therefore he left this world prematurely. I think I too will be leaving soon.’ That shocked this devotee.

He said, “I will go to Gadeigiri and ask Gopal.” He went before Gopal and prayed before his worshipable Lord. One of his relatives, Ghanasyam, Gour Govinda Maharaj said to him, “You will see the installation of the deities in their new temple in Bhubaneswar, I would not.” He said, “How you say this? I am ten years older than you. I see it and not you?” He knew! He went back to Bhubaneswar and spoke to tens and thousands of people the glories of Srila Prabhupada’s centennial for several days and came here to Sri Mayapur Dham for the annual GBC meetings. It was yesterday. We are celebrating today.

On the appearance day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada, Srila Gour Govinda Maharaj was in his room and two devotees asked him to speak about why Lord Caitanya had chose to live in Jagannath Puri he was explaining the nature of Gambhira were Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in order to taste the sweetness of Srimati Radharani’s love in separation He spent the last twelve years of His life in the ecstasy of tasting that vipralambha-bhava.

He told of how when Krishna left Vrindavan what was the condition of the Vrajavasis, especially Srimati Radharani, crying in the ecstasy of love day and night in separation from Sri Krishna. And of Krishna’s heart, crying in separation from Sri Radha and how Krishna returned to Vrindavan after so many years. And Sri Radharani came before Him. Seeing the ecstasy of Her love for Him he went into such a state of ecstasy that His limbs entered into His body and His eyes became very large in size. It was the form of Lord Jagannath.

Narada Muni happened to see this and asked for the benediction that this form of the Lord in ecstasy of love in separation from Srimati Radharani upon Their meeting would be worshipped somewhere in this world and that anyone who goes there to see would get that path/part. (?) That is the eternal origin of Lord Jagannatha. He was telling this story; tears were welling in his eyes. He became choked up and he said, “Krishna. Jagannath looked into Sri Radharani’s eyes and Sri Radha looked into Krishna’s eyes.”

Then he became so emotional, he could not speak any longer. He said, “Please excuse me I cannot talk. Kirtan. Kirtan.” Devotees gathered around, performed beautiful kirtan. He asked for a photograph of his beloved Gopal Jui, the deity he worshipped from his birth. And he held that in his hand and gazed upon it as the kirtan was chanted; he chanted the holy name, leaned back and closed his eyes.

Devotees became very worried. They went to get a doctor. Some doctors said, “He is dead.” But an auyurvedic doctor came and felt his pulse and he said, “He is still living.” There was no heart attack. According to this ayurvedic doctor there was no physical reason for him to leave. He just decided to leave or let us say Srila Prabhupada and Krishna just took him on Sri Bhaktsiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur’s appearance day, during the one hundred anniversary of Srila Prabhupada’s birth appearance in this world in the holy land of Sri Mayapur Dhama after speaking the most intimate lilas in ecstasy of divine love, surrounded by the kirtan of the holy name, His Holiness Srila Gour Govinda Maharaj departed from this world. His blessings, his grace and his incredible example will live forever in our hearts.

Srila Prabhupada had a special very unique love for this special, unique disciple. Today is the day we can set aside to honor, appreciate and worship that love. Thank you very much. [Applause] Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaj Ki. Jai! Srila Prabhupada Ki! Jai. Anantakoti Vaisnavavnrda Ki. Jai!

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