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A Tribute To Gopiparanadhana Prabhu

Friday, 16 September 2011 / Published in In Memoriam / 3,789 views

By Bhakti Madhurya Govinda Goswami, (ACBSP), formerly Makhanlal das brahmachary

“Gopi”? (Gopiparanadhana prabhu). Oh, no! Surely there is some terrible mistake! Not Gopi! Oh no; surely it is just a nasty, irresponsible rumor—that Gopi has left us! But no; only about an hour after receiving this terrible news, it is confirmed. Gopi has left us! Oh Radhe! Oh Krishna! Oh, why? Why do you take away such a sweet and valuable devotee from our association? Oh why? Oh, why not someone else? There are others you could take that would not so pain our hearts! Oh, Gopi was such an important contributor to Srila Prabhupada’s movement? “Was?” How can I say “was”? Yet I have no choice; you have taken him away, to enter into your nitya lila. Certainly there is no problem at all for him! He has joined your eternal pastimes. You would have taken your dear devotee even if he didn’t leave his body at Goverdan; but just to show his greatness, you took him from Vraj, just before he was to leave for China for preaching. He was one of the original pioneers of preaching in China, though less known for this than Tamal Krishna Goswami, but an equal contributor. Oh yes, he was a preacher, though he is famous in ISKCON for his spotless translations of the shastra and for his Goverdan institute. Who will take the helm now of this wonderful school? Such scholars are few and far between in ISKCON. Actually he was (“was”? Oh, the pain!) unique, one of a kind. There will never be another devotee exactly like him, though in 10-20 years there may develop other Sanskrit scholars in ISKCON; but will they have the big heart of Gopi paranadhana, the spiritual advancement, the love, the kindness, the compassion? He was more than a scholar—he was a saintly person, an ocean of good qualities: humility, pridelessnes, tolerance, always (not sometimes) ready and willing to offer all (not some) respects to others, never expecting honor for himself, devoid of all sense of false prestige, exactly as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu declares in his Sikshastika that all Vaishnavas should be like. He had no taste for politics, back biting, vaishnava aparada (did he ever offend even a germ?) and other garbage that the Bhagavatam refers to as the “pilgrimage of the crows”—“pilgrimage” meaning the favorite taste, way of being, method of acting, preference for subject matter, etc). Rather, Gopi was always interested only in the “pilgrimage of the swans”—the path of goodness, gentleness (he was the proverbial “gentle Brahmin”), sweetness, adhering only to the path of Hari katha, devotional service, and positive endeavors.

But now we will never again see his smiling face in this lifetime. Oh, what a loss! Oh Radhe! Oh Krishna! Oh, why did you take him? But you are supremely independent. We cannot speculate about your inconceivable plan. Please do not take any more of our beloved God brothers, at least for some time! Let them stay for anther ten or maybe even twenty years to continue developing the foundation of this movement, for indeed, it is not yet complete. Besides, we need their association, as does the entire mission of Srila Prabhupada. Oh Radhe! Oh Krishna! Please, don’t make us have to hit our heads against the wall again and again, as Narottama das Thakur laments in his “ye anilo prema dana” prayers. Lost in separation, we keep Gopiparanadhana always as a beloved friend and saint in our saddened hearts.

Respectfully submitted to Sri Sri Radha, Krishna and the host of Vaishnavas,

Your eternal servant,

Bhakti Madhurya Govinda Goswami

One Response to “A Tribute To Gopiparanadhana Prabhu”

  1. Puskaraksa das says :

    Dear Maharaja(s), dear devotees

    Please accept my humble obeissances.
    All glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to Sri Guru & Sri Gauranga.

    We are all weeping the departure of a dear devotee.

    A friend for those who have been fortunate enough to know him and have his sweet association.

    A friend for all ISKCON members who are endebted to him, for the most valuable service Gopiparanadhana Prabhu has rendered to our Society and beyond, to humanity at large, by translating the last Cantos of Srimad Bhagavatam and other most valuable spiritual gems…

    Hence, we have to highlight the fact that Gopiparanadhana Prabhu will remain in devotees’ hearts for generations and generations to come, not only for his outstanding Vaishnava qualities, but also and foremost for his seva…

    As it is, “actions speak louder than words…”, and seva is a testimony of love manifested into action…

    Therefore, such valuable seva being most endearing to Srila Prabhupada, his spiritual master and to Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we can rest assured that Gopiparanadhana Prabhu has eternally secured a place at Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet…

    Hence, despite the fact that the departure of a dear one may always seem untimely, all the more when it is sudden and happens without any expectation or previous warnings, we still have to have faith that Krishna’s arrangement is the best arrangement…

    In this way, we have to envision the fact that the departure of advanced devotees may well be part of Lord Krishna’s master plan to serve ISKCON and the superior cause of spreading Krishna consciousness…

    Hasn’t the bona fide spiritual master promised to take his faithful disciples back home, back to Godhead…? And isn’t he ready to take birth again to serve this divine mission…? In that case, doesn’t he need some of his prominent disciples to assist him, the same way he did earlier ?

    On our side, aren’t we vowing, each morning, janme janme Prabhu sei, that life after life, he is our master…?

    So, we know for a fact that such an exalted disciple as Gopiparanadhana Prabhu is firmly attached to Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet… Sri-Guru-carane rati, ei se uttama gati…

    Therefore, even if we are not in a position to see whether he has gone back to Godhead or not (while not being on the liberated platform yet), we must rest assured that “Gopi” is firmly fixed in his service to Srila Prabhupada and his mission and has joined him in his pastimes…

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