By Lokanath Swami
The auspicious funeral ceremony of His Grace Gopiparanadhana Prabhu
Just now returned at 7:00 PM from the funeral ceremony of our beloved Godbrother Sriman Gopiparanadhana Prabhu at Govardhana. They bade his body at about 3:00 PM; offered bhoga and arati to him and with the kirtan procession carried his body on the Govardhana Parikrama marg, passed by Manasi Ganga, to the cremation place. Many local residents, especially in the first beginning stretch, were stepping out of their shop or home and offering their humble respect to him.
At the cremation place they laid down his body on cow dung patties, of course from the cows of Vraja. They put more patties on the side and the top until his body was fully covered. His teenage son was the first one to light the funeral fire. After that I also lit the fire and many others did this.
The cool and gentle breeze was flowing from the Kusum Sarovar’s side which was helping in fanning the fire. While kirtan was going on we started circumambulating the fire. Suddenly it started to rain gently, which was amazing and auspicious.
There were about 100 devotees, Prabhus and Matajis, in attendance. Several senior devotees were present, like Sruta Kirti Prabhu, Panca Gaura Prabhu, Kratu Prabhu, Radha Raman Swami, Janardana Prabhu, etc. Devotees traveled from nearby places, especially from New Delhi.
In the past Gopiparanadhana Prabhu had disclosed his will in person to his wife that his ashes to be put in Samadhi at the foothill of Govardhana, across the ISKCON Bhaktivedanta Ashram Govardhana project, next to Padmalochan Prabhu’s Puspa Samadhi.
Tomorrow morning, 16th September, at 8:00 AM his remembrance and glorification has been scheduled in Krishna Balarama temple in Vrindavan. Anyone who would like to share their memories/glories of Gopiparanadhana Prabhu could send it to my email account: firstname.lastname@example.org
Whatever will arrive by that time, we will share that with the assembled devotees.
There will be a feast in honor of Gopiparanadhana Prabhu. Gopal Krishna Maharaja has offered to sponsor the feast.
His Grace Gopiparanadhana Prabhu Ki Jaya.
Your servant, Lokanath Swami
By Srutakirti das
I received the most disturbing news that our Godbrother, Gopiparanadhana prabhu left his body a few hours ago here in Govardhan.
I’ve just returned from his house, which is next door to Iskcon Govardhan Mandir. I will give a short report here as told by his wife. He was seen early in the morning and was ‘fine’. One devotee was waiting for an hour to see him. When he finally got in his place he found him lying on the floor and probably been there for a few hoursâ€¦..
His wife told me that he had just returned from the Polish festival and in two days he was going to China. Krsna arranged for him to leave his body here, at his home in Govardhan. She told me yesterday a black snake came up to the door and Gopi simply closed the door on it. She sees it as Krsnaâ€™s messenger. It certainly could have been an asthma attack but no analysis has been done yet as the police hadnâ€™t yet arrived.
His body was almost straight on the floor of his room. He was lying on his back and would be in a dandavat position with his left side facing Govardhan Hill. I was his first Godbrother in the room and after a few minutes chanted Nrsingha prayers. Looking around his small room I saw the following on his desk. A framed picture with the following words:
â€śDo not hear from mouths of persons lacking proper conduct. If your conduct is below par you should not publicly preach about the Lord. Close the door and preach to yourself. Bhajan really begins when oneâ€™s outside and inside are the same.â€ť
Also on his desk was a large copy of Upanisadbhasyam and two books in Chinese, at least one of them was a Chinese/English Dictionary.
Gopiparanadhana dasa was a scholar of Sanskrit and a practising ISKCON devotee. Born in 1950 in New York City, he received his BA in linguistics from Columbia University in 1972 and was initiated by Srila Prabhupada in 1973. Under Srila Prabhupada’s guidance, Gopiparanadhana developed an expertise in Sanskrit and served as an editor for the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT). After Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance Gopiparanadhana helped complete the Srimad Bhagavatam, Mukunda-mala-stotra and Narada-bhakti-sutra. He continues to translate Gaudiya-Vaishnava literature from Sanskrit, and he is also training editors and translators for the BBT. He has worked on the BBT production of Sri Brhad Bhagavatamrita. He lived in India with his wife, his son, and two cows.