Homage to H.G. Gopiparanadhana Prabhu by H.H. Lokanath Swami
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Below is the transcription of the homage to His Grace Gopiparanadhana Prabhu by H. H. Lokanath Swami. You can watch the video on facebook and on wwww. lokanathswamivideo. com
Your servant, Premanjana das
I arrived in Vrindavan yesterday and I was not expecting to be sitting here and talk about him. I would love to talk about him but not now. As I arrived yesterday the first person I met was Matsyavatara Prabhu, right hand man of Gopiparanadhana Prabhu, serving with him for many years at the Govardhan School, and Gopiparanadhana Prabhu did become topic of our talk. His Laghu Bhagavatamrta is also ready and the Sandharbhas are ready. It was just around the time when he left us, that we were talking about him, and soon after the news spread. I think Srutakirti Prabhu was the first one to break the news and he posted something on the Face book and one of my disciples read it and called me and I received the very sad news of his departure. The devotee told me that I have a very sad news for you and I asked how sad and he told me very sad and then I told him oke go ahead and say it and then I had to hear this very sad news. I was there in the late afternoon around 4:00 ‘o clock for the final rites.
Bhaja Govindam Bhaja Govindam Bhaja Govindam Mudha Mate. Sankaracarya had said this to some Sanskrit scholars, you fools when are you going to serve Govinda, you are just busy with the grammar, Bhaja Govinda, worship Govinda. We had the best scholar, a Sanskrit scholar amongst us in the family of Srila Prabhupada. In the morning he got up and he worshipped his Govardhan Sila as he always did and he also chanted japa on his mala and at some point it was concluded that the asthma was the problem, he was suffering from it since long time, and then the devotees arrived and the kirtan started. They bath his body and put on new dress and did bhoga offering and arati, and when the devotees were carrying him for the procession, the local residents, many of them knew him, had love and affection for him, as he was a local Vrajavasi, he was a Govardhanvasi. So many people came out of their homes and shops to offer respects to Gopiparanadhana Prabhu. I know he used to write his address as MANASI GANGA, GOVARDHAN. As he wrote Introduction to Jaya Vijaya’s book and my book SANSKRIT PRONUNCIATION GUIDE BOOK, he wrote MANASI GANGA, GOVARDHAN, and he was cremated on the banks of Manasi Ganga.
As we were carrying him and circumambulating him, it started raining. It was amazing, very auspicious. The breeze started coming from the Kusum Sarovar side, right from the water, which made it very very auspicious. One GBC Member said, “Yes, sad for us all, very good for him.” He was a very unique personality. Unique means not many are like him. I said to Srutakirti Prabhu yesterday that many of us are similar but he was different. What he knew, what he could do, only he could do and most of us couldn’t do what he was able to do. He had access to not only as a technical knowledge of Sanskrit grammar and Sanskrit language, many could have that, but he was dealing with Bhagavatam, and then leave us. Face will disappear, Thoughts would remain, his thoughts. So the body is not always there and the face has not much value. The speech is the essence of a person. What is inside only comes out of the person and his thoughts were very deep, very high thoughts of what is the highest thinking, thoughts of Bhagavatam. He dealt with Bhagavatam, he dealt with Brhad Bhagavatam and recently he dealt with Laghu Bhagavatamrta. So Bhagavata, Bhagavata, Bhagavata all the way. What Sanatana Goswami had to write and what Jiva Goswami had dealt with, those were his thoughts, he was absorbed in those topics. Jayadeva Goswami writes in the beginning of his GITA GOVINDA, MUNI JANA MANASA HANSA. The Munis they swim, they become like swans in the lake, and they swim in the thoughts of Krishna Lila. So did Gopiparanadhana Prabhu, that’s what he was doing, always absorbed in the highest thoughts, contemplating, churning, having access to them and had blessings of Srila Prabhupada and had the finer thoughts of the Acaryas and their commentary, and the scriptures got revealed to him. He was not only writing but also talking. Some write but do not preach much and some preach but do not write. I was thinking of Gopiparanadhana Prabhu, he wrote and spoke also.
He had just returned from his tour from Europe and just now he was prepared to leave for his tour for China in two days time. I was there last year and I saw the Chinese books on his table and I asked him what are you doing with the Chinese books? He said, I am studying them. From one end to the other the Chinese, he was already a master. I am just a student. I thought, I had a very close tie with him and I belong to that group, doing something with the Sanskrit, but I am just a little student and he is the master. I used to consult him a lot while I was working on my Sanskrit Pronunciation Guide Book. He gave me lot of input, he wrote the introduction to that book. He was pride less.
I think he had a body but no ego, which is a childlike innocence. A kind of Avadhuta, absorbed in his own world. Sometimes when we would talk to him and address him he would get shocked, he wasn’t there, he was not ready to talk, he was somewhere else and as I would say Gopiparanadhana Prabhu, he would kind of come out from wherever he was in deep within, not external, not superficial not at the surface level, he was deep within. No puja, no labha, no pratistha, no traces of this, which is the hardest thing to do, hardest thing to achieve. We can follow the four regulative principles of no meat eating, no intoxication, this and that, but no puja, no labha no pratistha. This is yet another level to be achieved and we can all witness, he never aspired for all that stuff, dirty business. PUJA, LABHA, PRATISTHA are SUKARERA VISTHA. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur compared that with the pig stool. Going to that pratistha is compared to that vistha, so he was free from all that.
I think a couple of years ago I also stayed in Govardhan for some Book Project and I wanted to see him, so I said that I have a vehicle and I can come over, but he said, “Oh, I also have a vehicle and then I said come over. So he was driving in his vehicle, driving on his vehicle and not in his vehicle and as he was closer I looked through the window and I saw him a kind of floating or flying in and when I went outside to receive him, he was not even on his scooter. Have you seen his vehicle? A scooty? The tiniest vehicle I have ever seen. He was kind of a big body but sitting on that tiny vehicle, and when I asked, is that all your vehicle? He said, LOW MAINTAINENCE Maharaja, LOW MAINTAINANCE “. So if his vehicle was of that kind, then everything else and even his maintenance was very very simple. Well, people like to show their life style, then they come driving in, what they have to show, who they are, this is my identity, this is me and with that there are so many things attached. You could imagine when I saw (you might have seen also) him driving on that little not even scooter. Then everything else, his residence, his clothing, his needs, we could imagine the simple life, SIMPLE LIVING HIGH THINKING, that he practised. And he preached what he practised. (To Srutakirti Prabhu) There was a statement that you quoted yesterday. It was right on his desk. It said, that close the door and first preach to yourself. Don’t preach to the world. First preach to yourself. So this is him, this is his ID, this is his meditation and this are his thoughts. So this is his vani, and he stays with us. WHO SAYS VAISNAVAS DIE, THEY LIVE. In his words they live forever, so these words and tons of words he has put on paper, as he worked on Srimad Bhagavatam, Laghu Bhagavatam and Brhad Bhagavatamrta, Sad Sandarbhas and his talks.
I used to hear his lectures all the time. I have an I-Pod which has many of his talks, and whenever I heard that, it was different. Although I have been hearing and reading Bhagavatam from last 40 years, but when he spoke it was a different angle. He had a different dimension, another realm. I always relished what he had to say. It’s too bad. He had a big mission. He had a lot to do on his way. It was just a beginning. I don’t know why the Lord does this. Of course He is Independent and can do anything and everything He likes to. But we all wanted him. The world was in need of Gopiparanadhana Prabhu. And as I said, we could find many managers, fundraisers, many temple openers, this and that, but where are we going to find another person to match his calibre, all that he stood for? So as I was hearing YE ANILO PREMA DHANA by Narottama das Thakur, he had also experienced that he has gone, he is no more, he is no more, he is no more…. I am the only one staying behind so it’s like that. From our generation so many are leaving and Krishna has always surprises for us. EVERY SAD NEWS OF THIS NATURE IS A SURPRISE. So the Lord is going to surprise us again, one of these days. It’s a big list. In the next 15-20 years, there are going to be several thousands of departures. This wasn’t happening 10-20 years ago. But the time has come to move on.
It was also his wish and he had spoken to his good wife that his ashes be put into Samadhi at the foothills of Govardhan, just opposite to our Bhaktivedanta Ashram, ISKCON Govardhan project, where H. G. Padmalocan Prabhu’s Samadhi is. And he also wanted it next to him. He also wanted to reside there, to be there, so he was praying, VILASA KUNJE DIO VASA, MORA AI ABHILASA VILASA KUNJE DIO VASA, TULASI KRISHNA PRIYASI…. So he did not only stay at Govardhan hill but he stayed like a Govardhanvasi. With the mood and life style he wanted to be there. It was also Srila Prabhupada who wanted to be there. One of his last desires was to go to Govardhan and do parikrama. A few days prior to Srila Prabhupada’s departure, he had discoursed, “BRING ME TO GOVARDHAN, I WANT TO GO TO GOVARDHAN”. So he just disappeared from our vision but he is eternally with us, especially through his thoughts, his vani, which has contributed a lot. So many are benefitted, and he has left the legacy behind. I don’t know where he was in the middle of doing things and who will continue? Who is competent? So a vacuum, a big vacuum has been created. I was getting different comments and realisations of different GBC Members. They all are in great distress with this news.
GOPIPARANADHANA PRABHU KI JAYA !