Tribute to H H Gopal Krishna Maharaj - Part 1

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

Today on the auspicious Dwadashi May 5 2024, H H Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj, one of the dedicated leader of Srila Prabhupada's army has returned back to the lotus feet of his dearmost spiritual master Srila Prabhupada, in the spiritual world. 

In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 3.5.3, Mahatma Vidura says to Maitreya Rshi why pure devotees descend to the earth and live amongst us.

janasya kṛṣṇād vimukhasya daivād
adharma-śīlasya suduḥkhitasya
anugrahāyeha caranti nūnaṁ
bhūtāni bhavyāni janārdanasya

O my lord, great philanthropic souls travel on the earth on behalf of the Supreme Personality of Godhead to show compassion to the fallen souls who are averse to the sense of subordination to the Lord.

H H Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj thoroughly imbibed this quality and traveled around the world for more than 5 decades, inspiring countless souls to take to serious devotional service. In our humble endeavor we would like to meditate on a few of His Holiness's transcendental qualities for our own purification and Maharaj's glorification.

1. Enthusiasm:  As we all know Maharaj is a very enthusiastic preacher. Neither age, nor health issues could slow down his preaching service at any time. While sharing his interactions with Srila Prabhupada, Maharaj says that  in the initial days when there was no book production happening in India, His Divine Grace had asked him to start it. So in India Maharaj arranged for a grand display of all of Srila Prabhupada's books in a book house. But even after 1 month, not many books were distributed. So when Maharaj reported this to Srila Prabhupada, His Divine Grace said, "My books are sold because of the enthusiasm of my disciples and in the store nobody is enthusiastic. That's why."

Taking Srila Prabhupada's words to his heart, Maharaj then engaged in this service with so much enthusiasm, inspiring so many others also to not only distribute, but also to translate in many other Indian languages and thereby enabling Srila Prabhupada's books to reach people of other languages as well.

When out of care and concern for his failing health and old-age related challenges, devotees requested Maharaj to slow down his services a bit, Maharaj replied, "I am Prabhupada's soldier. I have learnt this from him and I will continue to do this only."

Maharaj said, "Prabhupada was always concerned about preaching and even when he was physically not well, he did not stop preaching. And we have seen in Vrindavan, when he was not well and even had somebody help him to sit, he was still virtually whispering the purport. So we should cultivate this mood."

Maharaj carried this mood throughout his life.

2. Strong Morning Program: Irrespective of his travels or health conditions, Maharaj was always present for Mangala arati. He would sincerely perform the arati seva also to the Deities, pay obeisances to Them - ignoring or not minding any of his bodily inconveniences. When one of the devotees inquired Maharaj the secret of his success, Maharaj simply replied - "Strong morning program". 

This very much reminds of the same instruction which our spiritual master HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj instructed all of us as to how a strong morning program is very important for us and that will prepare us and protect us for whatever challenges that we would face through out the day.

3. Inconceivable Determination: In Oct '22, we were fortunate to serve Maharaj in an insignificant way in Srirangam when Maharaj came there on his way back from Rameshwaram yatra. We were astounded to see his determination in serving his personal deities so meticulously early morning in spite of his precarious health, hectic travel and tiredness. And defying his physical difficulties he walked all the way in Srirangam to take darshan of Lord Ranganatha and also in the morning went for a long parikrama walk around the temple. Then he even went o the famous Nrsimha temple, climbed up the stairs and paid obeisances in multiple places. As we stood there in utter shock, observing the determination of Maharaj, we could realize strongly that Maharaj was not in his bodily conception at all and was driven only by his pure spiritual force of loving devotion to the Supreme Lord.

Our prayers unto the lotus feet of Maharaja that we imbibe atleast a drop of their sincerity in serving Srila Prabhupada's mission.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Kalacakra Krsna das & Sudarshana devi dasi.