Ananda Sambada

The Disappearance Pastimes Of

His Divine Grace Srila Gour Govinda Swami

From 'A Life Sketch of Srila Gour Govinda Swami'

by Parantapa (now Prema Prayojana), Raghava Pandit and Gokuldas prabhus

Time To Leave

In late January of 1996, Srila Gour Govinda Swami mentioned privately, “Srila Bhaktisiddhanta said that this material world is not a fit place for any gentleman. Therefore, because he was disgusted, he left this world prematurely. I may also. I don’t know. I simply depend on Gopal. I will do whatever He wants.” The next day Srila Gour Govinda Swami went to Gadai-giri to see his Gopal. The word of Srila Gour Govinda Swami’s remarks quickly spread among his disciples, who felt confident that Gopal would not let him leave them.

For a further four days he preached more powerfully than ever to thousands of people who flocked to a Prabhupada Centennial festival in Bhubaneswar. Then he left for the annual ISKCON management meetings in Sridham Mayapur.

On February 9, 1996, the holy appearance day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasavati, two senior devotees requested an appointment to see Srila Gour Govinda Swami. They had never spoken with him before, but they had become eager to hear from him after reading some of his books.

As if by providential arrangement, they entered his room at 6:00 P. M. and submissively inquired, “Why did Caitanya Mahaprabhu stay in Jagannatha Puri?” He laughed with delight and began to explain the confidential significance of Lord Caitanya’s pastimes.

In answer to the question, he lovingly described the pain of separation felt by Radha and Krsna when Krsna was away from Vrndavana. Enchanting all the devotees in his room with the nectarean topics of Krsna, he gradually unfolded the pastime to the point where Radha and Krsna were finally united after Their long separation. He described how Krsna became so ecstatic upon seeing Radharani that He manifested a form with big round eyes, known as Lord Jagannatha. With a choked voice Srila Gour Govinda Swami said, “Then the eyes of Krsna fell upon the eyes of Radharani. Eye-to-eye union.”

Overwhelmed with love for Radha and Krsna, he apologized with folded hands, “Please excuse me. I cannot speak.” Then, in a barely audible voice, he gave his final instruction: “Kirtana! Kirtana!”

The five devotees still in the room began to chant as their spiritual master lay back on his bed, breathing very slowly and deeply. A servant nearby placed a picture of Gopal Jiu in his hand. Then, gazing lovingly at that picture of his worshipable Deity, Srila Gour Govinda Swami called out, “Gopal!” and departed for the spiritual sky to be united with his beloved Lord.

Epilogue

Every day before the Srimad-Bhagavatam class, Srila Gour Govinda Swami would sing a song he had learned as a boy. Now his prayer was fulfilled:

“O supremely blissful Madhava! Nectar is coming from Your lotus feet. Drinking that nectar, I blissfully sing ‘Hari! Hari!’ Taking the name of Hari, I am binding a raft on which Lord Jagannatha will ferry me across this ocean of material existence. My mind always remains at the lotus feet of that Lord Jagannatha, who has very large round eyes. In this way I call out, ‘Alas! Krsna!’ and give up my life. O husband of Radharani, please deliver me.”

The sadhu never speaks theoretically.