By Radhanath Swami
I am beside myself with grief and am speechless while trying to digest the reality that His Grace Gopiparanadhana Prabhu has been taken away by Krishna. Krishna‚Äôs plan is always perfect but when it manifests in the passing away of such an intimate, loving Godbrother as Gopiparanadhana Prabhu it is painful. But our solace is in our deep confidence that he has attained the ultimate perfection of life, entrance into Radha Giridhari‚Äôs eternal lila.
Gopiparanadhana Prabhu was an all-attractive personality who inspired deep bhakti into our society. He was a profound scholar of Sanskrit who had studied the scriptures and commentaries of the greatest Acaryas and could translate, lecture and teach like no other. Yet he was genuinely humble, unassuming and eager to offer all respect to others. Although he was an intellectual and devotional giant, he never thought of himself as anything more than a servant of a servant of a servant.
Tears of gratitude are falling as I meditate on Goiparanadhana Prabhu‚Äôs love, faith and loyalty to Srila Prabhupada. In all of his study and research into the inner mysteries of the Sanskrit texts and commentaries, foremost he appreciated the brilliance, authenticity and compassion of our beloved Srila Prabhupada‚Äôs presentation.
He realized that every word of the Vedic literatures were a confirmation of Srila Prabhupada‚Äôs perfect teachings and he dedicated his life to share that realization. He saw all the scriptures through the eyes of our beloved Guru Maharaja and saw the divine grace of Srila Prabhupada through the eyes of all the scriptures. Only one who is immensely blessed by Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundara could have such faith. I cry and pray for his mercy.
In his gentle, humble way Gopiparanadhana Prabhu had unshakable determination. He pushed forward his Sanskrit academy at Govardhana in the face of a lack of funding, manpower or interest. Harsh winters, burning summers and very poor health could not discourage him from giving his heart to teach others the priceless gift he was entrusted with. Although an empowered guru, translator and commentator of Vaisnava siddhanta, he sat and ate the same simple prasada with his students.
Wherever he shared our Gaudiya teachings, be it India, Russia, America, Europe or anywhere else, Gopiparanadhana Prabhu had an irresistible effect in attracting devotees hearts. He was like a full moon among vaisnavas ever shining with the soothing light of his devotional qualities.
In his departure a great loss has fallen upon the world. At the same time the treasured legacy of the literatures he left for us, his students and his rare example are with us forever. For this we can be grateful and happy.
I offer my sincerest love and gratitude to our dear Godbrother, Gopiparanadhana Prabhu and offer my heartfelt condolences to his beautiful family.