Sri Guru Carana Padma

Sri Sri Radha Gopaljiu
The Beloved of HDG
Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja's Heart

Perfect Humility

trnad api sunicenataror iva sahisnuna
amanina manadena kirtanyah sada harih

“One should chant the Holy Name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street: one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and should be ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the Holy Name of the Lord constantly.” (Sri Sri Siksastaka verse 3)

Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja practically lived all his life based on this verse. He often said, “This is the most important teaching of Sriman Mahaprabhu! Srila Kaviraja Gosvami has said, “Make a garland of this verse and place it around your neck, then do hari-bhajan. This is Mahaprabhu’s most important teaching. Mahaprabhu is an ideal acarya. As an ideal acarya, He is teaching practically. He Himself practiced in His own life. He never spoke theoretically!”

An Ideal Acarya

Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja appeared on September 2nd, 1929 (the Holy appearance day of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura) in a small mud hut in the village of Jagannatha Pura in Orissa, India, in a family of pure vaisnavas. His grandfather was a pure devotee of Lord Krishna. By the age of eight he had read Caitanya-caritamrta, Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavad Gita and the Ramayana, and was able to explain their meanings to others.

He regularly went on padayatra from village to village with his uncles chanting Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra and singing the bhajans of Srila Narottama Das Thakura and other Vaisnava Acaryas from his very childhood. His love for Srimad Bhagavatam was so deep and intense that every night, he would read Srimad Bhagavatam in the meager light of the cooking fire, as the family had no money for lamp oil. Rising from bed before 4.00am every morning chanting Hare Krsna, dancing and doing kirtan and bhajan for his Lordship Sri Sri Radha Gopaljiu of Gadei Giri. Every morning and evening all through his school years he would devote all his time to Sri Gopaljiu.

Birth in a family of yogis or transcendentalists those with great wisdom is praised herein because the child born in such a family receives a spiritual impetus from the very beginning of his life. It is especially the case in the acarya or goswami families. Such families are very learned and devoted by tradition and training, and thus they become spiritual masters. ….By the grace of the Lord, there are still families that foster transcendentalists generation after generation… Purport, BG 6.42

Life of Devotion audio - special darsan

Listen to a special informal darsan in Bhubaneswar where Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja is speaking to devotees about his devotional life, Srila Prabhupada and his instructions including the last founded project of ISKCON Sri Sri Krsna Balaram Mandir, Bhubaneswar. Clicking the link above opens a pop-up audio player.

The sources for the biography, "Life of Devotion" here are varied and is intended as a summary and does not follow this audio recording.

The following excerpts have been taken from the book called, “Krsnalingita-vigraha: One Who is Always Embraced by Krsna.”

Early Childhood

Whenever as young boy he would become naughty and not stop crying, his mother would simply put the Srimad-Bhagavatam in his hands and he would stop crying. He was so much inclined to read the Srimad Bhagavatam, that he would forget to take his meals. The family was too poor to afford candles or a lamp for reading, so in the evening he would sit close to the cooking fire and read Srimad-Bhagavatam. At night he would go to sleep clutching the Srimad Bhagavatam to his chest.

A Family of Vaisnavas

His mother and father were very fond of studying and reading the scriptures. They would regularly read to their son. Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja recalls, ”I would regularly listen to Krishna-katha from my parents, they would read different Puranas to me and other Vedic literature: Srimad Bhagavatam, Mahabharata, etc. Such an opportunity I received at such an early age! From then I was singing, dancing, doing kirtana and listening to Srimad Bhagavatam.“ His father would read to him from Srimad Bhagavatam, completing all twelve cantos once a year. He was completely absorbed in pure love for Sri Sri Radha Gopal Jiu.

His Grandfather was a great devotee also. He was always doing sankirtan and cring in the temple. Sri Sri Radha Gopaljiu would speak to him. Here is a nice story told in Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja's own words: "So my grandfather had a nice plantain garden, we have plantain trees with big bunches of platains that were ripened. He brought those plantains, the ripe bananas and gave them to the pujari. "You will offer them to Gopal." So then he went out as he had some business somewhere. He was absent for four or five days. As soon as he came back he went to the temple and saw the Gopal Deity and asked the pujari, "Have you offered the bananas?" "Yes Prabhu, according to your instruction I offered." He asked, "How many days have you offered?" The pujari replied, "In one day." "You rascal! In one day you offered all these... big bunch of bananas, such a big bunch of bananas! In one day! Gopal is sick! There is mucous and He is coughing! Coughing and mucous is coming out, so much cold and cough! Ohh, he is suffering! My Deity is suffering! What have you done? You rascal." What sort of eye my grandfather had! He called the Kaviraja. Kaviraja gave Gopal medicine, then everything was alright. I have experienced this, I was a mere boy when I saw this thing. How is it? This is a fact. So many nice stories are there. You should experience all these things."

Gadei Giri

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