Gour Govinda Swami Carita
by Kalakantha prabhu,
English translation by Jagannath Misra prabhuji
(edited by Govinda G.P. Embleton & Jd.)
Chapter 2, “Vanaprastha sadguru sadhana guruprapti o diksha graham”.
(This chapter is devoted to Gurudeva's acceptance of Vanaprastha, searching for sadguru,and attainment of Guru and acceptance of Diksha)
Countless salutations to your Sri Carana, as I herein describe your pastimes.
I am a wicked person, most fallen, and will not achieve deliverance after millions of births.
karma-nahi-jnana nahi-bhakti-mora nahi
I have no karma, jnana or bhakti - how will I achieve your mercy?
As the sun is not miserly in the distribution of his rays, so let your own immeasurable grace shine on me.
Weeping and weeping, so says this fallen one, “Please bestow your causeless mercy on me”.
Thus, in Cuttack he remained in one place for a few days; Maya soon approached in the dress of an old woman and spoke to him.
(Maya said) “Your insurmountable bondage to this samsara, only you will be able to sever.”
Hearing this, and contemplating on what he had heard, he travelled a great distance in search of the lotus feet of Guru.
Travelling around the Himalayas, in Haridwar and Hrisikesh, he continued his constant search for Guru.
He had darasana of many Munis and Yogis, who delivered nothing but false arguments, never touching on Bhakti.
False logicians can never know Krsna; only those who have Bhakti can know Krsna. These conclusions are the voice of scripture. Saying so, my Guru then gave the following understanding.
Listen Uddhava to my words, I am fond of bhakti - austerity, renunciation and sankha are worthless.
bhakti-bina-kona-karma-phale-nahi dhare (15)
One may endlessly perform yoga, sacrifice and austerity, but any deed that lacks Bhakti bears no fruit.
Once again, with clear logic, Gurudeva would verify the Kaliyuga dharma of Harinama sankirtan as the dharma of all sastras.
Hearing these sastric siddhantas, they (the Munis and Rishis) were often moved to anger and drove him from their ashrams, overwhelmed with indignant pride.
In this manner, Gurudeva would hold debates in different places, but everyone would respond in a similar fashion, as they did not know the siddhanta.
Many Munis, Rishis and Yogis, who had given up their homes, would live in these places, practicing meditation. All of those Yogis were Sadhus, and they maintained kitchens, and would distribute roti and dahl.
Two rotis and two ladles of dhal, per-person, created a queue of jostling Sadhus. Sadhus would eat and leave, at the kitchen, the plate, which would be in continual use. (They had communal kitchen plates.)
Thus, our Guru, who had forsaken his home, lived, for a short time, in these Yogis’ company. One day, as usual, he went to dine in the company of the Yogis, yet, on returning from the kitchen, found that he could not engage in bhajan, as his mind had turned restless.
Weeping and lamenting at the feet of Krsna, he promised never to eat at the free kitchens again. Thus, he moved here and there, sleeping beside and keeping company of, snakes and beasts. In this way some time passed, yet still he had not seen the lotus feet of his Guru.
He reflected on the fact that Vrindavana is Krsna's dear abode; “Surely, I must find my Guru therein. Krsna must of course be merciful to me in Vraj, and by the strength of that mercy, I will achieve the shade of the Guru's feet”.
Thinking thus, he went to Vrindavana-dhama, wherein he stayed, constantly taking Krsna's name, and thereby, he pleased Krsna. He carefully tried to achieve the mercy of Guru.
He would move from one ashram to another on a daily basis - but, as before, he had no peace, due to holding debates.
There is a place, in Vrindavana-dhama, called Ramanareti. Whilst there, he noticed a placard with "Iskcon" engraved thereupon, alongside the name of Srila Prabhhupada, the founder Acarya.
Seeing this, he entered the ashrama and inquired, from various devotees, if he could have darasana of the Acarya, who had been travelling the world, singing of Hari's virtues.
By Krsna's grace, he received the news, that, by some good fortune, Srila Prabhupada was, indeed, present.
Prabhupada's servant was Bhramananada das. Approaching him, in a humble mood, with a blade of grass between his teeth, he said, "Be merciful and arrange a meeting, between me and Srila Prabhupada". Hearing this, the servant replied, “Do not to worry, as Srila Prabhupada is presently resting, after which you can have his darasana.”
Hearing this, he again and again humbly petitioned, and noting his humility, the servant arranged a meeting, saying to Srila Prabhupada, “A sadhu has come desirous of meeting you”.
Srila Prabhupada said, “Call him at once!”, and the servant immediately called him forward.
The servant approached, declaring; "You are very fortunate, for Srila Prabhupada is happily calling you into his presence"
Seeing the Acharya, he offered his eight-limbed prostration, and said why he had come, in a suppliant tone.
Noting him clad in the garb of a mendicant, Srila Prabhupada asked him if he was a vanaprastha or a sannyasi, adding that, “If you are not a sannyasi, then I will give you sannyas”. Hearing this his heart was satisfied.
He thought, " This is my guru, for in our first meeting he knew what was in my mind.” The Guru is a servant of the Paramatma, who appears before us as a representative of the Paramatma.
In this way, the Guru and the disciple became acquainted; I am simply writing the events as I have heard them (from my Guru).
Srila Prabhupada told him to serve Krsna, and to translate all his books. He then gave him a magazine, upon reading which, he attained many siddantas. Very quickly, he translated it into Hindi, and gave it to Srila Prabhupada, who was delighted to read it.
Srila Prabhupada instructed his servants to make all arrangements for him to translate - a room, cloth, ink and paper were given; nothing was lacking.
Firmly accepting Srila Prabhupada as Guru, he remained in the ashram, and gave up travelling. He took much delight in translation work. This bliss is understandable by those who have likewise taken such shelter.
Noting his unwavering faith in Krsna, Srila Prabhupada gave him diksha, and changed his name to Sri Gourgovinda.
This Harinama-diksha took place in Bombay, with Gayatri initiation one month later in Hyderabad; He collected alms, and presented them as Guru-dakshina.
Always acknowledging Srila Prabhupada as a manifestation of the all-knowing Paramatma, he remained fixed in constant seva.
Srila Prabhupada, as a manifestation of the Paramatma, knew of his service attitude, and gave him the following message;
The message was to return to Odissa. Later on, I shall narrate all these events.
Countless obeisances to your feet. Please do not consider my offences.
With all hopes remaining at the lotus feet of my Guru, Kalakanta Das narrates the biography of Gurudeva.