Ananda Sambada

Departed God Brothers and Sisters

This page is dedicated to remembering the disciples of Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja who have left their bodies. We have tried to arrange this in order of the date they left our association. There are several more godbrothers and sisters we will be adding to this page shortly. If you have any photos or stories about any of our Guru Maharaja’s departed disciples please contact me. 


H. H. Sripad Caitanya Candra Maharaja

At 1.55 a.m. on 30th March, 2024, our dear godbrother Sripad Caitanya Candra Maharaja left his body after taking darshan of Sri Sri Radha Gopaljiu at Their Temple in gadei giri, to the sound of kirtan being performed by his many disciples and followers. 

HH Chaitanya Chandra Maharaja’s Life story, in short. (by his disciples)

1947 Chaitanya Chandra prabhu was born in a high-class Brahmana family in the town of Balasore, in India’s Odisha State. His father was a well known Sanskrit scholar and was worshipping Narayana and Jagannatha in his household temple. His mother was a housewife and would assist his Father in the daily seva-puja. Since childhood, Chaitanya Chandra prabhu was interested in doing puja in his father’s temple, as well as in the public recitation of Srimad Bhagavatam, and in performing Jhulana-Yatra and Ratha-Yatra with other children. Due to his family’s poverty he could not go for higher education, so he worked in the government offices to support his family.

In 1984 Chaitanya Chandra prabhu met his Guru, Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja in Bhubaneswar where he was working as a government officer. He took initiation from his gurudeva on the 30th of March 1985. Then, in 1988 Chaitanya Chandra prabhu, at the request of his gurudeva, voluntarily resigned from his government service and joined the Sri Sri Krishna-Balarama Temple in Bhubaneswar dhama as the Temple President. In 1993 Chaitanya Chandra prabhu took on additional responsibility as the Temple President of Sri Sri Radha-Gopaljiu in Gadei Giri.

After his revered spiritual master departed this world, in 1996 Prabhu resigned from his responsibilities at the Sri Sri Krishna-Balaram temple in Bhubaneswar and exclusively took care of the Sri Sri Radha-Gopaljiu temple in Gadei giti. During his tenure as temple president both Bhubaneswar and Gadei giri temples were constructed and completed. 1997 Chaitanya Chandra prabhu took over the responsibility of the Berhampur Sri Sri Rama Govinda Temple in the southern part of Odisha where construction is still going on. Beside that, he has also taken responsibility for another centre, Bahanaga, in the northern part of Odisha, where the temple construction is also still going on.

Since 1990, he was travelling with his Guru Maharaja to different corners of the world. After 1996, when his Guru Maharaja departed, he continued to visit South-East Asia, Australia, America, Europe and Russia. In 2011, Chaitanya Chandra prabhu was accepted by the Governing Body Commission (GBC) of ISKCON as an initiating guru and has accepted many disciples from all over the world. 

You can listen to Maharaja's classes on 

and is on Facebook 

Srimati Vrajavasini devi dasi

Vrajavasini Devī dāsī, a French born devotee, who later mothered two daughters, joined the ISKCON Movement in 1983 in France and was initiated in Bhubaneswar in 1987 by Śrī Śrīmad Gour Govinda Swami, whom she had met and served on the occasion of his second visit to France during the summer of 1986.  

During the following years, she followed her Gurudeva in Europe and was eager to serve him to her best capacity by cooking for him, taking care of his clothes and hosting him in her and her then husband’s house in the South of France whenever the opportunity arose.

She loved to play the harmonium and chant the mahā-mantra in the company of devotees. Her mood was always filled with humility and the eagerness to help and serve.

Due to her very tender heart,  she would easily cry but more often would burst into a warm and hearty laughter.

During her six months stay in Bhubaneswar, our Gurudeva had told her that she would go through a lot of suffering and trouble throughout her life but that he would always be by her side and would never abandon her.

After many years of service and struggle, her health deteriorated consecutively to an earlier car accident and she finally ended in the local hospital to spend her last few hours, where devotees joined her, surrounding her with their affection and bhajans, along with all the necessary paraphernalia for her to leave her body in the most auspicious way.

(Puskaraksa das and Jayanti Sri devi dasi)

Sri Brahmanya deva das Prabhuji

Sri Brahmanyadeva das Prabhu was originally from Malaysia but moved to Singapore for work. He came in contact with the devotees in late 1980s, eventually  becoming a full time devotee at the Iskcon temple in Singapore. Around 1990 Srila Gurudeva visited Singapore and gave a series of lectures. After hearing from Guru Maharaja, Brahmanyadeva prabhu took shelter at his lotus feet and became an initiated disciple in 1992. In the Singapore Temple, prabhu would perform deity worship and would help with the upkeep of the temple. He was a tireless book distributor. At the weekends he would visit prisons to preach to the inmates. A few years after Srila Gurudeva departed this world, Prabhu returned to Malaysia, where he continued preaching and distributing books. A local Vishnu temple appreciated his service and gave him a room to stay. He touched lives of so many local people, and because of his calm nature he was loved by everyone.  For the last few years he was suffering from diabetes and it's severe complications. He was admitted to hospital on the 19th and left his body on the 27th of January, 2024.                                     

(Subhanana devi dasi).

Sri Dhruva Maharaja das Prabhuji

Sri Dhruva Maharaja das Prabhu was born in the village of Dengabari in Ganjam district of Orissa, and prior to joining Iskcon Bhubaneswar in December 1986, his occupation was in farming. During Janmastami the very next year, Dhruva Maharaja became an initiated disciple of Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami. He initially spent some time on the Temple book distribution team, but then became the personal servant of our belove Gurudeva from 1988 through to the beginning of 1990. After this, Prabhu took up the role of Temple Commander and then, some time after Srila Gurudeva left this world, Dhruva became the Temple President at Iskcon Bhubaneswar (and he was responsible for the construction of the Gundicha Temple in Bhubaneswar)

Dhruva Maharaja was reknowned as a very good singer, and was known as a kind hearted devotee. He would always look after sick devotees, and similarly looked after Sri Ranganath das Prabhu in his old age. Among his many other service activities were he spent time at the Iskcon land in Puri on behalf of Srila Gurudeva, and he also ran the Gour Govinda Swami Tape Ministry in Orissa for several years. In March 2017, Dhruva Maharaja entered the Grhasta asrama, and then spent time in Vrindavan. 

After visiting Puri for a couple of days and giving Bhagavad gita class at the Bhubaneswar Temple, Prabhuji boarded a train back to Vrndavan, where early in the morning after his arrival, on the 14th of January 2024, he left this world from his rooms in the Iskcon Temple Goshalla.

                                                                                                                                                                                                (Thanks to Purandar Acarya prabhu)

Sri Acyutananda das Prabhuji

Acyutananda prabhu distributing prashad with Food for Life 

Sri Acyutananda das Prabhu was born in the Principality of Wales, U.K. in 1964. He joined Iskcon in 1982 at the Soho Street Temple in London, and then spent time serving at Bhaktivedanta Manor and Caitanya College. At this early period on his spiritual path, Acyutananda prabhu was a top temple fundraiser, and also spent a short time as a personal servant to H.H. Sivarama Swami. In 1987 he joined the Padayatra travelling around India with H.H. Lokanath Swami, and eventually he became an initiated disciple of our beloved Guru Maharaja surrendering at his lotus feet at the Bhubaneswar Temple in 1990. Acyutananda prabhu then stayed in Bhubaneswar for some years during the time His Divine Grace was physically present, where, under the direct instruction of our Guru Maharaja, he was fully engaged in the Bhubaneswar Food for Life program, both fundraising for the project and serving the prasadam to it's needy recipients. 

After the disappearance of our beloved Srila Gurudeva, Acyutananda prabhu spent a few years as the assistant of our Guru Maharaja’s saintly devotee friend, the Professor, Dr. Fakir Mohan Das prabhu. At that time also Acyutananda organized Food for Life in East-central Odisha based at Kendrapara, and also in Chotimangalpur, the native place of Srila Thakur Bhaktivinode. Acyutananda prabhu then became very concerned about developing unity and cooperation amongst the disciples of Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami and was working hard to establish an 'International Gour Govinda Swami Committee'. Prabhuji was regularly seen in Sri Vrindavan dhama, where he would spend his time quietly performing bhajan, and from where he departed this world at the end of December, 2023.

He will always be remembered as a good humoured, very humble, simple, sincere devotee, who was very careful with his sadhana and was most dedicated to the lotus feet of our Gurudeva.

Sri Akincana das Prabhuji

Akincana prabhu on Srila Gurudeva's right

Sri Akincana das Prabhu was born in 1957, on the island of Penang, Malaysia, and moved to the UK as a teenager in the 1970s. He had the great good fortune to hear His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada speak at Bury Place. A couple of years later, Akincana prabhu joined the Temple and was engaged in book distribution, the Life Membership program and raising funds for the Temple. Along with Jahnava devi dasi, his dedicated wife, he visited the Bhubaneswar temple to hear from His Divine Grace Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja, in November 1989 and took initiation from him, his eternal Guru Maharaja, a few months later in 1990. Srila Gurudeva told him that he was Prabhu's eternal spiritual father, and that he always had a place in his heart for Akincana prabhu. 

In 1991 Srila Gurudeva installed Sri Sri Gour-Nitai for Akincana prabhu to worship and a year or so later, Akincana prabhu and Jahnava devi dasi, along with their dear friends and fellow disciples, Krsnananda prabhu and Manjubhasini devi dasi, were instructed to live in Sri Vrindavan dhama by Srila Gurudeva. His Divine Grace told each couple to build a house, and that when he retired in the future, Srila Gurudeva would come and live with them in the Dhama. As Sriman Mahaprabhu sent the Goswamis to Vrindavana, so Srila Gurudeva sent these four devotees to Lord Krishna's holy dhama.

After Srila Gurudeva performed his final manifest pastimes, Akincana prabhu split his time between the U.K., Malaysia (in both places he would continue distributing books and preaching, and was a regular attendee of Hari Nama sankirtan parties.) and Sri Vrindavana dhama. 

Prabhuji was always highly regarded by anyone that knew him as a kind-hearted, helpful, humble, knowledgeable, sincere Vaishnava. He had a great sense of humour, and an unforgettable laugh. He was greatly attached to the Divine Lotus Feet of his beloved Srila Gurudeva, knowing no other shelter, and there is no doubt that Srila Gurudeva had great affection for Sri Akincana prabhu. 

Our dear gurubhai, Sri Akincana das Prabhuji, left this world with Giriraja Govardhan seated upon on his chest, listening to Sri Hari Nama, at 2.05 a.m., on Friday, the 8th April 2022. Akincana prabhu will be greatly missed by many devotees around the world, but I may add here, especially by the devotees around Bhaktivedanta Manor, where he was based for more than four decades.  I myself consider his departure a great loss. Sadly, I won't see him again, in this lifetime. He was an amazing, great soul.

Srimati Manjulata devi dasi

Manjulata mataji was born Malati lata Nayak in Dhanisha, Gadei giri and was the purvashram wife of Sripad Swayambhu Swami Maharaja. She became an Iskcon member in 1974 and took initiation from our Gurudeva in the first group of disciples at Bhubaneswar in 1985.

(Purandar Acarya das)

Srimati Kalahansi Devi Dasi

Kalahansi mataji took up to Krishna consciousness in the mid 80's when her son became a devotee and disciple of HH Tamal Krishna Goswami. She embraced Krishna consciousness whole-heartedly. Many sannyasis and devotees would stop over in Singapore from Australia,  India and from the west coast of the United States. Kalahansi mataji would serve them with her excellent prasadam and many times would even host them.

In 1990 she took initiation from our Srila Gurudev. She was very much inspired by Guru Maharaj and he loved her cooking, simplicity and devotion. In that way Gurudev blessed her.

With those blessings she cooked daily for the presiding deities in the Singapore temple,  Sri Sri Radha Madana Mohan. Despite her elderly age she would come punctually to serve Them. She was neat and meticulous in her service and that won the hearts of all the devotees. She was also very kind and many younger devotees seeked her saintly advice and got benefited.

She loved Srila Prabhupada  and whenever book tables were set up she would volunteer to help out. Just by looking at her saintly demeanor many would purchase books.

She continued her service till her ripe old age. When she could no longer serve physically she spent the last few years constantly chanting.

All glories to Kalahansi mataji. She left her body in 2012 at the age of 88. 

(Subhanana devi dasi)

Sri Srivas Pandit das Prabhuji

(based on a message posted by his older sister, Malthi Sundari devi dasi)

Mataji writes: Yesterday, the 13th of March 2022, at 3:36 a.m., my beloved brother and siksha guru Srivasa Pandit Das left this mortal world to be embraced by Srila Prabhupada, to take shelter at the lotus feet of Radheshyam at this Dham: Vrndhavan. At the time Vrndhavan was awake with Braj celebrating Holi through-out the night. Prayers could be heard through-out the Dham, filled with Radharani's mercy.

Srivas Pandit Prabhu laid the foundation to serve Srila Prabhupada's mission of Krsna Consciousness in Myanmar 30 plus years ago, to establish Iskcon Myanmar in many cities across the country. 

Srivas Pandit prabhu came to Krishna consciousness in 1983 whilst still a student, and it was his good fortune to receive Srila Gour Govinda Maharaj's mercy, who bestowed prabhu with Diksha to start the legacy International Society of Krsna Consciousness Myanmar. With his mercy, prabhu single-handedly, with trials and tribulations, built  twelve temples, a gaushala, gurukulas, held many preaching programs and Food For Life Foundation Myanmar, which is currently going on .

He also translated Shrimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavad Gita, Chaitanya Caritamrita (which will be published on 18th of March, Gaura purnima) and many other books in Burmese. He served his Gurudeva and Krsna by living amongst the devotees in simplicity, training them in the management of temples, deity worship, scriptures, learning , service attitude, importance of book distribution, Nagar Sankirtan and how to become humble Vaishnavas by setting his own example.

Though our hearts are empty, our lives have been enriched by his association, his extraordinary leadership to preserve what he has built for us. I know this is how all devotees of Myanmar will keep him in the centre although he is not physically present with us.

Malthi Sundari Devi Dasi, without Prabhu in my life, I would never have got Krsna Consciousness.

Srimati Yamuna Devi Dasi

SRIMATI YAMUNA DEVI DASI was a devotee, originally from Madagascar, who lived in France and was the wife of Pushkaraksa prabhu. She was totally dedicated to the service of Srila Gurudeva and left this world in 1992, on Papamocana Ekadasi. His Divine Grace revealed that she entered Krishna’s service as a manjari upon leaving this world.

Puskaraksa prabhu writes about her – 

Yamuna devi dasi, a disciple of Srila Gour Govinda, whom I had the good fortune to serve as her husband, became a pure devotee, in the course of the trial (cancer) given personally to her by Krishna, as stated by our Gurudeva…

She had the personal darshan of Krishna twice, Srila Prabhupada came to her, she reached a stage where she was constantly chanting the maha mantra… “Even at night”, she said, “when I sleep, I hear the Holy Name”, which Srila Gurudeva commented by saying to me “you see, this is samadhi…”. She had a vision of the spirtual world (“of where she was going”, commented Gurudeva) and bathed in the water of mercy, along with Srimati Radharani and the gopis…

A couple days before leaving her body, she had me ask our Gurudeva what her spiritual rasa was, in the spiritual world…

He told me: “she is a gopi, manjari, maid-servant of Srimati Radharani”

This was no surprise to me… She had herself mentioned, moving her two little fingers, while lying in bed… ” I have two desires… cooking and dancing for Krishna…”

When she passed away, while chanting the Holy Name, along with her father and mother and your servant doing the same around her, Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja declared “she went straight back to Krishna…”

After her passing away, when I brought back the ashes of her body back to India, throw them in the ocean in Puri, the Ganges in Mayapura and the Yamuna in Vrindavana, as per the instruction of Gurudeva, he told me publicly : ” My Guruship is now successful, that one of my disciples has gone back to Godhead…”.

She left a beautiful poem in French, riming as “please, do not cry about me…”, which I still did for a long time…

(Sri Puskaraksa prabhu)

Read More about Yamuna devi dasi >

Sri Misra Purandara das Prabhuji

Srila Gour Govinda Swami holding Sri Misra Purandar prabhu’s arm in Nakuru, Kenya in January 1995

Srila Gour Govinda Swami holding Sri Misra Purandar prabhu’s arm
Nakuru, Kenya in January 1995 

Sri Misra Purandara Prabhuji - by Sri Lekha dasi 

Misra Purandara Das’s family were very wealthy merchants in India, who traded in cotton goods.  During the struggle for independence their warehouses were burned, and they lost everything. His parents went to Kenya where he was born on the 14h Oct 1933.

One of 12 children he lived in poverty but enjoyed listening to pandits, who came from India and recited Srimad Bhagavatam.

He qualified as a barrister at the Inns of Court in London, but while doing so wanted to find an English translation of the Srimad Bhagavatam. He never forgot listening to it with his father, or his father distributing prasadam to children of any race or religion during his morning walks.  After he qualified, he returned to Kenya with his English wife with whom he had 5 children.

In 1981 his wife, Sri Lekha Devi Dasi joined Iskcon and subsequently took initiation.

 Misra Purandara Das stayed in Nairobi due to work commitments.  He visited the temple frequently and was delighted when he found Srila Prabhupada’s English translation of the Srimad Bhagavatam. This was the changing point in his life.

 During a visit to Mayapura, where he heard His Divine Grace Gaura Govinda Swami give a class.  He stood up and said: “He is a sadhu.  I am going to take initiation from him.”:

His eternal spiritual master initiated him in Birmingham on the 7th Aug 1994

From then on, he sometimes travelled with Gaura Govinda Swami.  After his eternal spiritual master left his body Misra Purandara Das travelled extensively with Radha Govinda Swami until he left his body chanting with his head on Radha Govinda Swami’s lap on 25th Jan 1999.


Sri Simhanana das Prabhuji

Sri Simhanana prabhuji in Mauritius with Srila Gurudeva, 1995

Sri Simhanana prabhuji in Mauritius with Srila Gurudeva, 1995 

Sri Simhanana prabhu lived on the Island of Mauritius and took initiation from Srila Gurudeva in February 1995. When he first met Srila Gurudeva the previous year, he was chanting 32 rounds a day and also reading Srimad Bhagavatam for hours, but wouldn't attend Bhagavatam class at the Temple. Guru Maharaja spoke to him about the importance of hearing Bhagavatam, not just reading. Prabhu was the father of Shashila Mataji, the respected wife of our godbrother, Sri Rasikananda das prabhu.

Sripad Sacinandana Dasa Prabhuji

Anyone who spent any time at Bhubaneswar during the presence of Srila Gour Govinda Swami would have seen that Sacinandana prabhu was constantly by the side of his beloved spiritual master. He is an initiating spiritual master and has developed the beautiful ashram at Dandabhanga.

(Please visit

Here are some brief excerpts from his biography.

Sacinandana prabhu was born in a family of great vaishnava heritage to mother Smt. Bidulata Devi and father Sri Surendranath Das on the vedic ‘Pahili Raja’ Day 1954 at Bhubaneswar (Lord Shiva’s abode of Ekamra Kanana) near the Lingaraj Temple, and was named Srutidhar Das.

As a young boy he did his schooling in Bhubaneswar and largely associated with elderly saints and sadhus. He would often attend 24 hours sankirtan of Hare Krishna Mahamantra with his vaishnava grandfather Sripad Sadhu Charan Das. His mother, Smt. Bidulata Devi. brought him up with strong vaishnava traditions and had also inspired him to daily read Ramayan and Odiya Srimad Bhagavatam at a young age.

Read More about Sacinandana prabhuji>

Sri Sadhu Hrdoya das Prabhuji, ‘Sadhu Prabhu’

The personal associate and servant of Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami, the great ‘Sadhu prabhu’, departed this world on Friday the 5th of April, 2013, at 2.30 a.m.

Sadhu prabhu was a simple-hearted village devotee. In his youth he decided that he would dedicate his life to serving a sadhu. He went to the Siva Temple just outside his village and prayed that the Lord would kindly direct him to a sadhu-acarya. He fasted for 21 days in the temple to please Lord Siva and would sleep there at night also. Finally Lord Siva came in a dream and instructed him to go to Nayapalli, Bhubaneswar and surrender to a great sadhu staying there and serve him. Getting that instruction from Lord Siva Sadhu prabhu came directly to that place and surrendered to Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja. He never left him, and became his associate, his dedicated cook and servant.

Read More about Sadhu Hrdoya prabhu >

Sri Tapana Misra das prabhuji

On the auspicious Appearance Day of Lord Nityananda (23rd February 2013) our dear Godbrother, Tapana Misra prabhu left this world, four weeks after voluntarily  stopping dialysis treatment. He had been listening to Guru Maharaja's lecture on Lord Nityananda's pastimes all day, and passed away in the evening wearing garlands from Sri Sri Radha Govardhanadhari.

Srimati Kamala Devi Dasi

Kamala devi dasi left her body on the 2nd of December 2005 in Singapore. She was 68 years old. She had been a devotee from birth and took initiation from Srila Gurudeva in 1994. In her last few years she was chanting 32 rounds daily and worshipping her beloved deities of Sri Sri Gour Nitai.

Sri Bidyanidhi prabhuji

On 7th August 2004, at around 12.30 a.m. Bidyanidhi prabhu left his body on the Bhubaneswar temple property, aged 85 years old.

Srimati Lila Rupa dasi

On the 11th of December, 2003, Lila Rupa dasi left her body after a long illness. She was an Australian disicple of our Gurudeva, and was married to our godbrohter Sacitananda prabhu.

Sri Bhakti Prema das prabhuji

Bhakti Prema prabhu ("Premji") passed away in Sri Vrindavan Dham on Monday the 29th of November 2004. At the time of his departure, Bhakti Prema was only 36 years old. He was born and raised in Bolton, UK in a pious Indian family, he came to India to take full shelter of Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami. Unfortunately Guru Maharaja left this world before Bhakti Prema could take diksa, so he then took initiation from HH Bhakti Swarupa Damaodara Swami. After Guru Maharaja's departure, in 1996, Bhakti Prema moved to the ISKCON Gadei Giri temple in Orissa, hearing from Sri Caitanya candra prabhu. There, he rendered various services as a kirtan leader, preacher, and lakshmi collector for Sri Sri Radha Gopal Jiu, the beloved deities of Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami. He became a well-known travelling brahmacari preacher and gave many classes in UK, Ireland, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Brazil and South India.

Shortly before his departure, during the month of Kartika, Bhakti Prema was daily absorbed in hari-katha, blissful kirtan, dancing and taking darshan of different deities and holy places of Vraja. Devotees have told us that he was having stomach problems due to some water he had drank on the parikrama. When Kartika finished, he went to Srila Bhakti Svarup Damodar Maharaja’s temple at Radha Kund, to recuperate. However, his condition worsened and he started suffering from severe dysentery. The devotees took him to the hospital at Govardhan. They said they could not help him, and referred him to the hospital in Vrindavan. He was admitted to hospital in Vrindavan and that afternoon, sometime between four and five PM, he left his body.

Sri Ranganath das Prabhuji

Sri Ranganath Prabhuji, Bhubaneswar

Sri Ranganath Prabhuji, Bhubaneswar 

(Pradosh prabhu gives us the following information,) Ranganath prabhu belonged to a rich and religious zamindar family hailing from a village not far from our Jantaribol Ashram. From his childhood prabhu was very fond of kirtan, and where ever the asta prahara nama going on sankirtan would be, he would run immediately and join it. 

Close to his village lived a grhastha sadhu, who was a follower of Nigamanada Saraswati who's slogan was “Sankarera mata, Caitanyer patha”. Ranganath Prabhu regularly went there to attend their 'sat sanga'. One day, that sadhu announced that he would give initiation to his followers. Those who were interested, they came to take initiation. Ranganath went along too, and approached him for initiation. Surprisingly, that sadhu rejected him. Ranganath prabhu, asked him why he wouldn't give him initiation, to which the sadhu replied that, 'Your guru is some one else. I am not you guru. Therefore, I can’t give you initiation'. When Ranganath inquired from him as to who his guru was, the sadhu told him, 'Your guru is in Bhubaneswar', but he did not mention Gurudeva's name. 

Ranganath prabhu left their sanga and spent his time meditating and praying to find his guru from Bhubaneswar. (He never been to Bhubaneswar and doen not know anything about Bhubaneswar). After some time, he heard that in the local market area one sadhu had come from Bhubaneswar to Jantaribol Village and was speaking very nice pravacan. The next day Ranganath walked to Jantaribol and found Srila Gurudeva was sitting very humbly and doing nama sankirtan. He then he gave a most wonderful class on the topic of nama bhajan. Hearing that class, Ranganath prabhu became convinced, 'Here is my guru, and he is from Bhubaneswar (as predicted).' He approached Srila Gurudeva and felt like a rod in front of him and cried, and begged him for initiation. Srila Gurudeva invited him to come to Bhubaneswar. After some time, he left his family and went to Srila Gurudeva. Srila Gurudeva engaged him in service first at Jantaribol Ashram, and after some time, he took initiation and became engaged with Srila Prabhupada's vigraha Seva at the Bhubaneswar Temple, until his old age. Every morning Ranganath prabhu would wait out side the Varanda of Srila Gurudeva’s hut and for Srila Gurudeva to come out, and help him put on his shoes. 

HH Sripad Swayambhu Swami

The Departure of HH Sripad Swayambhu Swami

by Sri Madhavananda dasa

When speaking of the glory of the Vaishnavas, Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja would often quote the following Bengali verse from the poet Vaishnava Das:

vaisnavera guna gana, korile jivera trana

suniache sadhu-guru mukhe

“I have heard from the lips of sadhu-guru, if you glorify a devotee, you will be delivered very easily. Krishna will be very pleased and you will get his mercy very easily.”

Svayambhu Maharaja was born in a ksatriya family on 17 December 1935 as Subhas Chandra Nayak in the Orissan village Garaam. Subhas attended school in the nearby town of Kujanga. A teacher in one of his fourth grade classes was an effulgent Vaishnava only five years older than Subhas. This young teacher was named Braja Bandhu Manik. Subhas found Braja Bandhu to be a sober serious person, very dedicated to reading Vaishnava literature, chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, and worshiping his family deity of Sri Sri Radha Gopal Jiu. Braja Bandhu was his teacher from the 4th to the 7th grades. At that time he didn’t know that his tutor would one day become known as Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja and would become Subhas’ spiritual master.

Read More about Swayambhu Maharaja >

Sri Kalakantha das Prabhuji

Sri Kalakantha das prabhu was an early, dedicated, and learned disciple of Guru Maharaja, and was given several responsibilities by His Divine Grace. He was only interested in Guru Maharaja's seva, to the extent that he voluntarily lived the life of a pauper, totally disregarding, and disinterested in, his own bodily needs. Prabhu is listed as Srila Gurudeva's 3rd disciple, and took initiation in March 1985. He was previously known as Karunakar Das and was a Government officer. He first came to Iskcon in the year 1980. Prabhu's wife is Swayambhu Swami's daughter, Srimati Subarna Manjari devi dasi.

He composed the Gour Govinda Swami Carita, a book in Bengali verse about the life of Srila Gour Govinda Swami. The first chapter of this book is the sanskrit language Gour Govinda Swamyastakam, which you can find below.

Sri Syamasundara Prabhuji

Syamasundara prabhu, who was originally from Gadei giri village and served at the Bhubaneswar Temple for a number of years, left his body on the 17th October 2008.

Sri Raghubar das Prabhuji

(Pradosh prabhu kindly gives us the following information,) Raghubar prabhu was from the town of  Khordha, not too far from Bhubaneswar. He left his home and went to Sri Jagannath Puri dhama to join Iskcon there. The devotees there sent him to Kolkata Temple to do service.  After some time there he met with Srila Gurudeva. As so often happened, that first darshan of Srila Gurudeva caused a great bliss to appear in his heart, and whilst he was supposed to take initiation from another guru, he decided instead to take initiation from Srila Gurudeva. The next night, he escaped from the Iskcon Kolkata Temple, and made his way Bhubaneswar. 

After some time, the Kolkata Temple devotees found out that Raghubar was there in Bhubaneswar, and lodged a complaint to Srila Gurudeva. Finding that trouble was coming to his dear spiritual master because of him, Raghubar left Bhubaneswar Temple and went back to his village. After some time, though, he returned to Krishna Balarama's Bhubaneswar Temple, and took initiation from Srila Gurudeva. He fully engaged himself in deity service till last breath. Raghubar prabhu left his body at the Bhubaneswar Temple aged 85, on the 22nd March 2009.

Sri Vasudeva das Prabhuji

On Monday the 1st of June 2021, Srila Gurudeva’s disciple, Vasudeva das, who was over eighty, left his body. He was a local resident of Nayapalli Village (the village next to Sri Sri Krishna-Balarama Temple at Bhubaneswar). Srila Gurudeva gave him the service to work in the Temple gardens, which he did faithfully until he became too ill, and he passed away. Sri Upendra Misra prabhu, the Bhubaneswar Temple president arrived and gave him Guru Maharaja's maha-prashad garland, before he left his body.

Vasudeva prabhu recalled his first meeting with Srila Gurudeva. He had heard that a sadhu had arrived in his village of Nayapalli, and was trying to establish an Ashram next to the new National Highway No-5, which was under construction at that time. Before moving on to the land that had been donated to Iskcon, Srila Gurudeva was staying in a simple bamboo hut, that had been erected for a watchman to use. This watchman was supposed to be guarding a mango orchard, but after a short time, this unfortunate fellow had became scared that ghosts were haunting the area at night, and left. All of the locals knew about this, and so no-one would go to that place. So, the hut was in a totally dilapidated state. Srila Gurudeva had found out about this hut and asked if he could stay there temporarily. The local villagers were surprised that this sadhu was staying there without being disturbed at all. One rainy day Vasudeva passed by the hut whilst returning from working in his fields, and with some curiosity, as the door was closed, he peeped through the broken window, where he witnessed Srila Gurudeva chanting peacefully with his eyes closed. He was totally undisturbed by his surroundings and the pouring rain, and was just absorbed in chanting Hari Nama.

Srimati Aparajita Devi Dasi

Srimati Aparajita devi dasi (Adwaita acarya prabhu’s mother) left us on 22nd June 2009 aged 81 years old.

Sri Jaya Gopala das Prabhuji

Jaya Gopal prabhu joined Iskcon some time during the early 1980s, and took initiation from Guru Maharaja in around 1992 or 93. He was based for some time at the Birmingham Temple. He became very ill, and left his body in Vrindaban, during September, 2012.

Sri Dina Syama das Prabhuji

Dina Syama das was a devotee of Lord Hanuman who came to Guru Maharaja after hearing from him on one of his tours of North America in the early 1990s. He became a dedicated follower, but after Guru Maharaja departed this world, Dina Syama prabhu set up his own group and unfortunately became distanced from many of his godbrothers and godsisters by his teaching. 

Srimati Sachimayi devi dasi

Mataji passed away around the 24th December 2020. She was the wife of our distinguished godbrother Sri Ujjvala Nilamani prabhuji, and a disciple of HH Jayapataka Swami.

Sri Bhupati das Prabhuji

In 1991, Bhupati prabhu was working for a Government Bank in Bhubaneswar. This was the year of our Sri Sri Krishna-Balarama Temple's inauguration, but days before the opening festival, the Temple room floor was not ready. The Temple didn't have enough money to pay for the marble needed to cover the floor. Bhupati prabhu came forward and donated the one lakh rupees needed to cover the cost at that time,and the marble floor was hurriedly laid just in time for the inaugural festival. He was a very humble and jolly devotee, always telling jokes with the devotees, making them all laugh.

Srigarbha das Prabhuji

Srigarbha das was a retired policeman who came from a village named Poio, which is not too far from Srila Gurudeva’s own sacred appearance place of Jagannathpur. Every year he organized a “Gita Jnana Yajna” in his village and he would invite Srila Gurudeva along with some speakers from different sects. At one such Gita programe, Srila Gurudeva chastised a speaker in front of the entire audience, because he spoke his own ideas, and then started smoking a bidi after he finished speaking. Srila Gurudeva was about to leave that place, saying that he would not stay there, where such an offensive person is allowed to speak on Gita. Srigarbha begged excused realizing that Srila Gurudeva is in fact the really qualified speaker of Bhagavad Gita. He became a disciple. After some time, he moved in to the Temple as a Vanaprastha. Srila Gurudeva engaged him in the Namahatta preaching to organize programmes in different village areas. He was also a very good palmist, which attracted the village people, and so could easily arrange preaching programmes wherever he went. (info. Pradosh pr)

Sri Bhanu das Prabhuji

Bhanu Das, departed around two years ago (2019) and was from Kamakhya Nagar, close to our Jantaribol Ashram. He was a politically very famous person in his area. Before he met with Gurudeva, he was a animal hunter. Carrying a gun with him hunt different forest animal and birds also. Once Srila Gurudeva was in a preaching tour in that area, and upon hearing Srila Gurudeva’s sweet and powerful lecture, he decided to give up hunting. He took shelter of Srila Gurudeva, who instructed him to become a devotee, and to do 'no more such type of nonsense'. 

The next time  Srila Gurudeva visited Kamakhya Nagar, some devotees complained about Bhanu das not following Ekadasi. Srila Gurudeva replied “He was an animal hunter, now he is a devotee. At least give some time to him to follow our Vaisnava system". Then Srila instructed him to follow Ekadasi. Bhanu said, “Srila Gurudeva I can’t eat only one time on ekadasi”, Srila Gurudeva then told him that he may eat as many as times as he wants to, but must otherwise carefully follow Ekadasi. 

Bhanu prabhu served Srila Gurudeva, organizing preaching programmes and Namahatta in that area. Once Srila Gurudeva sent news to Bhanu das ‘come soon to Bhubaneswar’, but he could not come on time because he was busy with his father-in-laws death ceremony. After a while he came, and begged excused from Gurudeva, but Srila Gurudeva chastised him, pointing out the duty of a disciple,‘Guru calling means you must come, giving up all other engagement, even after the death of your father or mother’.                                                                      (written by Pradosh prabhu)

Sri Sarbeswar das Prabhuji

Sarbeswara das was from Soro, a town in the Northern Odishan Baleswara district, who left his body a few years ago. During festival times he always travelled all the way to Bhubaneswar on his bicycle. He never came in a Bus, Train or any kind of other vehicle. One Janamastami he came and stayed in the Temple for a few days, after the festival had finished, when he was ready to leave, some devotees asked him, whether he would be coming back again soon for Srila Gurudeva’s Vyasa Puja festival, (one week after Janamastami). Sarbeswara replied, 'Why I will come again to Vyasa Puja, I have already attended for Janamastami, there is no need come for Vyasa Puja'. When Srila Gurudeva heard this thing, he called him and told him, "You must come for the Vyasa Puja of your Guru. That is most important for a disciple, even more important than any other festival. A disciple may sometimes neglect other festivals, but must never neglect the Worship of Guru". 

Sarbeswar das took first initiation from Srila Gurudeva, but after some time, he took second initiation from a Goudia math Guru at Bhadrakh. When Srila Gurudeva heard this, he became so much upset and called that devotee, and heavily chastised him, 'Why you took second initiation from some other devotee, when I have not disappeared yet'. Then Srila Gurudeva wrote a letter to that Goudiya Math Guru, how could he give him dikhya without any consideration. That Maharaj replied, “ I myself thought, there is no difference between you and me’. After that Sarbeswar cut all relations with the Goudiya Math Guru, and again came back to Srila Gurudeva with repentence, begging for forgiveness.       (Pradosh prabhu)

Sri Nursinghananda das Prabhuji

Nursinghananda das left his body a couple of years ago, 2019. He was a Homeopathic doctor staying in Bhubaneswar. In his youth, he was a religious person, living in Unit-9, not so far from the Ashram of Baya Baba. During the 1980s, this baba was famous in eastern Odisha. He was in the line of Mahaprabhu’s but they preached the chanting of “bhaja nitai gour radhe shyam, japa hare krushna hare ram”. Baya Baba had some type of mystic powers, and therefore he became famous. In Vrndavan, just rear to our Krsna-Balarama Temple, his Ashram is also there. Once, that baba came to Bhubaneswar and gave dikhya to some people. One of Nushingananda prabhu's friends took dikhya and also inspired him to take dikhya from the Baba as well. His friend preached him that this Baba is a Mahatma, and if you take dikhya, you will have material gain and all your problems will be solved. Getting encouraged in this way, Nurshingananda went there and paid his dandavats to the Baba and begged for his kind dikhya. However, that Baya Baba immediately rejected his request. The Baba told him, “you are not my disciple, how can I give you dikhya”. Then prabhuji asked him again, but the Baba said “No, you are not my disciple, you are the disciple of Gour Govinda Swami. Go and take initiation from him". 

At that time prabhuji had totally no idea at all, even about the name of Gour Gvinda Swami. The prabhuji asked 'where can I find him'. Baba said go to Nayapalli, he is there. After some time Nursinghananda came to Nayapalii area and inquired about Gour Govinda Swami. Some one told him he stays in a cottage next to the National Highway number 5. So he came, found Srila Gurudeva and paid his dandavats at his lotus feet, and narrated the story about Baya Baba’s instruction. Srila Gurudeva, heard from him, laughed and gave him shelter at his lotus feet. Srila Gurudeva frequently joked with him during his class, how he was doing service to mankind, service to society and did not have time to serve Krsna.      (P. pr)

Sri Manohar das Prabhuji

Mahohar das, who left his body a few years ago, was a local resident and businessman in Bhubaneswar. The first time Manohar prabhu met our Guru Maharaja, was when Srila Gurudeva was himself collecting bhikya from diffrent shops in Bhubaneswar Market area. Manohar prabhu gave him a coconut as bhikya. After some time Prabhuji took initiation from Srila Gurudeva and he would frequently come to the Temple to do seva. 

Once he was cleaning Srila Gurudeva’s toilet, and found that even that toilet had a wonderful fragrance. Srila Gurudeva, would change his sacred thread every Nityananda trayodasi, and the old one he would give to a devotee to deposit in a pond nearby. On one occasion he gave the old thread to Manohar prabhu to drop in his village pond at Nayapalli. Mahaohar prabhu took it, and before throwing it into the water, he soaked the thread and drank the water. He became ecstatic, finding that the water tasted very beautiful, like the fragrance of aguru.

Once Srila Gurudeva send to him to go to a distant place in part of Bhubaneswar to contact some Bramhin who would cook for public feasts. That day was “holi”, when people play with coloured powders and dyed water, in India. Whoever goes outside, he will have a color bath. Manohar prabhu was a little reluctant to go there that day, because he feared that someone would throw colours all over him. But Srila Gurudeva assured him, 'go quickly, and no-one will throw colours over you'. Keeping full faith in Srila Gurudeva’s words, he left to find the cook. On his way he found three places where people stopped him, but no one threw color over him. 

In his last period while Prabhuji was in bed ridden, his elder son Biren recalled: “One day I heard my father was howling very much. When I rushed into his room, I asked what happened to you? In his reply my father told me ‘Srila Gurudeva just now beat me and instructed me - "Nam kar Nam kar "{chant the holy name}'. This is how a bonafide Spiritual Master, although he was not physically present, always keeps his eye to each and every of his disciples and takes care of them in their last minutes. (by Pradosh prabhu)

Sri Kamadeva das Prabhuji

Kamadeva prabhu came from the same area where Srila Gurudeva appeared, and was a sanskrit teacher. He married after Srila Gurudeva disappeared (Guru Maharaja had advized him to become a Government teacher, before accepting a wife), but unfortunately passed away at a relatively young age.

Sri Hayasirsa das Prabhuji

Hayasirsha das was an educated devotee who left his body a few years ago.

Ratnakar Pandit das Prabhuji

Ratnakar Pandit das was from the Dhenkanal District, and was Government officer working in Bhubaneswar. He was the first devotee who took Srila Gurudeva to preach in Dhenkanal. He organized huge preaching programmes and because of this, Srila Gurudeva became famous in the District. Many devotees from the area thus came in contact with Srila Gurudeva and joined  Iskcon. 

Sri Lokanath das Prabahuji

Lokanath prabhu left his body a few years ago. He lived in Bhubaneswar, and right behind his residence was a huge jackfruit tree. Every year he supply jackfruit to Temple for sabjees. He often would also bring jackfruit pokoras and distribute them to all the devotees in the Temple.