His Divine Grace Srila Gour Govinda Swami would always stress the importance of sadhu sanga, associating with the true Gaudiya Vaisnava sadhu. During his Acarya lila in this world Srila Gour Govinda Swami, relishing the association of saints and teaching by his own example, would sometimes spend time with a few seniour Vaisnavas. On this page we attempt to honour these great souls.
A Few Mahatmas
1. Sri srimad Bhakti carana das Baba
2. Sri srimad Sriniketana das Baba
3. Professor Sripad Dr Fakir Mohan Das Prabhuji
SRI SRIMAD BHAKTI CARANA DAS BABAJI MAHARAJA; BHAGAVAT MAHARAJA
Once, on the day celebrating Srila Prabhupada's sacred disappearance in this world, Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja was feeling unhappy about not having any money with which to hold a festival in honour of his beloved Gurudeva. At this time he was living pretty much alone in a brick hut on the site that would in the future become the beautiful Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Temple in Bhubaneswar. As he was lamenting, at that moment an auto rikshaw stopped on the road outside the Iskcon property and out stepped one elderly Vaisnava. He introduced himself as Bhakti Carana das Baba, a disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Swami Prabhupadaji Maharaja. When Srila Gour Govinda Swami mentioned that the day was the day of Srila Prabhupada's disappearance, Babaji Maharaja instantly offered to pay for the feast and festivities. So the festival was held, well attended by the local villagers and devotees.
Srila Gour Govinda Swami explained that at that point he realized that Srila Prabhupada had sent Babaji Maharaja to him.
Over the coming years, Srila Babaji Maharaja would sometimes visit Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja, coming again to the Iskcon Bhubaneswar Temple property.
Then, just a matter of days before Babaji Maharaja left this world at the end of 1993, hearing that his friend was quite ill, Srila Gour Govinda Swami privately visited him at his Nikunja bihari Ashram in Kendarapara. During their final meeting Babaji Mahasaya was tearfully calling out "Gour! Gour!" and "Radhe! Radhe!" with great spiritual emotion. He was chanting various verses from our sacred scriptures, including a verse which describes how on the peacock feather adorning Krsna's hair are the syllables 'Ra' and 'Dha'. He was quite obviously on the spiritual platform, absorbed in thought of his Lord.
The Baba left this world whilst Srila Gour Govinda Swami was preaching in Africa, a few days after their final meeting.
SRI SRIMAD SRINIKETANA DAS BABAJI MAHARAJA
Srila Gour Govinda Swami with Sripad Sriniketana das Babaji at Bhubaneswar in 1991
In 1991 at the opening of the Sri Sri Krsna Balaram Temple at Bhubaneswar, Sri Srimad Sriniketana dasa Baba, a disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Swami Prabhupadaji Maharaja who was based at a village near Khurda, stayed as a special guest on the Iskcon property for several weeks. He took a very active part in the installation of Srila Prabhupada's murti at the Bhubaneswar Temple and gave several classes in English to Srila Gour Govinda Swami's disciples. The respected Maharaja left this world at Sri Jagannath Puri dhama on 30th January 1995.
PROFESSOR SRIPAD DR. FAKIR MOHAN DAS PRABHUJI
Srila Gour Govinda Swami walking with Professor Sripad Dr Fakir Mohan Das, Bhubaneswar 1991
Another Vaisnava that Srila Gour Govinda Swami had a relationship with was Professor Sripad Dr Fakir Mohan Das Prabhuji. Both were born in Vaisnava families at around the same time, and in the same area of Orissa. As children they had known each other, and in later years they also spent some time in each others' company.
The Professor was present during part of the final meeting between Srila Gour Govinda Swami and Sripad Bhakti carana das Baba in Kendarapara one day in 1993. After their meeting Maharaja accompanied the Professor to his library of ancient manuscripts - which was just down the lane from Babaji Maharaja's Nikunja bihari Ashram.
In 1994 Srila Gour Govinda Swami wanted the Professor to head up a Vaisnava Vedic University that he had envisioned at Bhubaneswar. He was also very interested to help the Professor with a temple for Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur's deities of Sri sri Radha-Madhava at Choti, the Thakur's native place.
Srila Gour Govinda Swami very much appreciated the Professor's scholarly research into Vaisnava topics, and once stated that 'no-one knows as much about Mahaprabhu' as the respected Professor.
The Professor is well known and highly respected throughout the Vaisnava world (as well as in scholarly circles) crossing all sectarian boundaries, and has travelled widely visiting devotees around the world over the last twelve years.
Professor Sripad Dr Fakir Mohan Das Prabhuji
Brief biographical detail from Asia/Pacific Who's Who - Das, Fakir Mohan M.A. PhD (Oriya) Sahityacharya writer and research scholar born 24th August 1932 Panchapalli, Orissa. President of Sri Bhaktivinode Library; vice-chairman of International Thakur Bhaktivinode and Thakur Bhaktisiddhanta Memorial Trust, Kendrapara; Chairman Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana Research Inst, Bhubaneswar... he has published more than 35 books, mostly in Oriya but 'Choti, the Native Place of Thakur Bhaktivinode' and 'Bhakta Kavi Gopalkrishna' are in English. For a more complete listing of his many achievements see the above mentioned Who's Who! (what it doesn't tell you is that he was a devotee from childhood, and spent many years in close association with many of the Gaudiya Math's/Mission's and Gaudiya Vaisnava's leading scholars and devotees