Ananda Sambada

The Disappearance Pastimes Of 

His Divine Grace Srila Gour Govinda Swami

Some Recollections of Srimati Madanalasa devi dasi

Glorification of Srila Gurudeva Tirobhava Wednesday 28th of February 2024, Sri Mayapur dhama

The traumatic tirobhava event

The third and last event I would like to share with you took place in February, in the year 1996, 28 years ago. Then Srila Gour Govinda Swami left his body here in Mayapur. This is a sensitive, controversial and a traumatic topic. I wish to tell you about the circumstances which lead to Srila Gour Govinda Swami leaving his body. We all have heard about how glorious his passing away was. Srila Gour Govinda Swami spoke the deepest Hari katha, about eye-to-eye union of Radha Krsna and left this world.

•          According to Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Maharaj no one ever in the Gaudiya Sampradaya left his body in such a glorious way. So then, why were the disciples and followers of Srila Gour Govinda Maharaj so frustrated, so bitter and angry, and why so many left ISKCON? Some were stating heavy statement like:

” The GBC they have driven Srila Gour Govinda Maharaj out of the mission of his Guru Maharaj, out of Srila Prabhupada’s house. Gour Govinda Maharaj had no other choice then to leave his body.”

•          Why did Srila Gour Govinda Maharaj decided to leave his body? He was not sick. He had the boon of leaving at his own will. So, why did he decide to leave? How did he feel and what did his disciples experience?


1.        Quotes from Srila Gour Govinda Maharaj himself, from our own Srila Gurudeva:

•          After the GBC meetings Srila Gurudeva would come back to Bhubaneswar and would speak openly about the things which had happened there. He would tell his disciples after the GBC meetings of 1993 and 1995 about the quarrelling in the GBC and the voting on siddhanta, Jiva tattva.

•          For example, in 1993 regarding his disciples Srila Gour Govinda Swami would say: when a guru has accepted disciples, then that guru is judged through his disciples. How are they acting, how are they behaving? If a disciple does something wrong, then it is reflected on the guru. This is like passing stool and urine on the lap of the father. So, this is coming to me. What shall I do?

•          Srila Gurudeva also indicated that other gurus have wrongdoing disciples too but in his case it was used to criticize him: “The disciples of Gour Govinda swami are bad, he is not taking care of them. Oh, the disciples of Gour Govinda Swami are doing this, they are doing that. In this way they are hitting me. You may hit as you like, I have to tolerate.”

•          And after the GBC meeting of 1995 he expressed his unhappiness about voting on the siddhanta, voting on the Jiva-tattva siddhanta. He was unhappy becasue he felt it was not appropriate to vote on what is siddhanta. Srila Gour Govinda Maharaj said that when there is a philosophical dispute one should quote mahajana’s and sastra’s. It should not be settled by voting. That gives one much pain. If we fight, then bhakti will be lost to us. We should be united in the Mission”.

•          “However unpalatable it may be, the truth should be spoken. But also, such danger is there to speak the unpalatable truth. Danger is on my head, like a sword is hanging on my head because I am speaking the unpalatable truth. And it also makes one afraid of speaking the truth. And I have already heard: “Gour Govinda will speak against the GBC…” I am facing such danger, like a sword hanging. At any moment it may thrust into my head.  I have been getting so much pain, and it is growing, growing every year”.

•          “Therefore, I feel suffocated there in Mayapur, very, very, suffocated. I cannot feel happy. Everything is decided there by majority vote, finished, bas!, decided! You cannot speak. Stop. We have decided already, it has been voted on. No more talking. Finish.” Voting on siddhānta became very intolerable for him. “So, I am in a dilemma. I cannot decide what to do. A very, very dangerous period has come.”

•          Some disciples of Gour Govinda Maharaj approached their spiritual master:” Guru Maharaj, we don’t need these people. We can leave ISKCON and start our own society. You have so many disciples, it won’t be any problem.” Hearing their suggestion, Gour Govinda Swami became very grave. Shaking his head no, he said:” The only way I leave ISKCON is if someone cuts off my head.” Srila Gour Govinda Swami considered ISKCON the mission of his beloved Guru Maharaj Srila Prabhupada. He could in no means leave voluntarily the house of Srila Prabhupada. Clearly these disciples who suggested this to him, didn’t quite understand the mission, the mood of Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaj.


2.        Experiences from his disciples:

•          I will share now the experiences I had. I mentioned earlier that since the day I met Srila Gour Govinda Swami I felt a strong feeling of tension and later him being ignored in Los Angeles. We experienced more things. For example, we had invited Srila Gurudeva to our home in Holland in the summer of 1995. During that time there were quite some disturbances within ISKCON about his preaching and the fanatic behaviour of some of his disciples in Belgium and the Netherlands. This led to ban Srila Gour Govinda Swami by the local GBC from visiting ISKCON temples in the Netherlands and Belgium. We were summoned by the local GBC to come to Radhadesh in Belgium. And were told that Srila Gour Govinda Swami was not allowed to enter ISKCON temples in the Netherlands and Belgium.

•          We were very saddened by this ban but decided to organize programs in private settings, at devotees’ houses and in public halls and he stayed at our home for a week. Although he didn’t enter any ISKCON temples, he didn’t violate any rules of the ban, but just coming to Holland, preaching in private setting and staying in our home caused Srila Gour Govinda Swami lots of trouble. My husband Anupama dasa will give his first-hand personal account later.


•          In January 1996 we came to Bhubaneswar to attend the ecstatic Nityananda Trayodasi festival with Srila Gour Govinda Swami. He had just returned back from his African tour and seeing us he told his servant that he wanted to speak to us. A bit surprised and worried we entered his hut and he said:” You have invited me to your home in Holland, I came and now I am in trouble”. He showed us a letter he had received from the GBC mentioning that he had violated the ban of preaching in ISKCON temples in Holland. Srila Gour Govinda Swami said:

”This issue has been put on the GBC-agenda. Please come with me to Mayapur, to the GBC- meeting to explain”. This is how we ended up in Mayapur together with Srila Gurudeva in February 1996. The GBC-meeting was scheduled for the morning of the 10th of February and Srila Gurudeva left the evening before, the 9th of February.

•          Already in Bhubaneswar days before Srila Gour Govinda Swami left his body, it was known and sensed by many disciples that something really inauspicious was about to happen and that Srila Gour Govinda Swami may leave his body. For example, I, myself felt that the life of my Srila Gurudeva was in great danger. I was praying in front of the deities in Bhubaneswar and here in Mayapur in front of Nrshimha-deva to protect my Srila Gurudeva. There was lots of talking amongst the disciples about this danger. The danger was felt so much so that two disciples were posted as a bodyguard at the door of Srila Gurudeva’s room number 80 at the Conch building. We kept hearing so many rumours that a paper was made to kick Srila Gour Govinda Swami out of ISKCON. We could see our Srila Gurudeva looking very unhappy, very grave. There was great tension all around him here in Mayapur.


3.        Information from other devotees:

•          I mentioned before the South Indian Brahman and astrologer Badrinarayan Ramanuja from Sri Rangam. He knew that Srila Gour Govinda Swami came with the mission to re-inforce the mission of Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON. And that he would live up to 90 years to fulfill this mission. Just few days before Gour Govinda Maharaj would go to Mayapur something prompted this astrologer to re-calculate the chart of Srila Gour Govinda Swami.  And to his astonishment the chart had changed. It showed that Srila Gour Govinda Swami was going to leave his body very soon. Badrinarayan Ramanuja das came again to Bhubaneswar to Srila Gour Govinda Maharaj with three messages:

1.        Don’t go to Mayapur

2.        Don’t leave your body there

3.        And Please stay in Bhubaneswar.

•          Because all these astrologers knew that Srila Gour Govinda Swami would live on this earth planet up to 90 years. They knew he came to this planet with a Mission to make the ISKCON of Srila Prabhupada strong. They were very worried that he would leave untimely, and his mission will be cut short with 24 years and that is a Disaster.

•          What was the answer that Srila Gour Govinda Swami gave to Badrinarayan?:” My Guru Maharaj A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada and Mahaprabhu are very powerful. They can deal with the present situation going on, I personally cannot.”  So Badrinarayan left Bhubaneswar with the understanding that Srila Gour Govinda Swami would leave his body in Mayapur and which he did a few days later….


•          Last year after my offering a devotee came up to me and asked: ” Is it true that Harikesh swami was going to kick Gour Govinda Swami out of ISKCON?” I told her that we as disciples of Gour Govinda Swami have been hearing these rumours for many years. But it was hard to get confirmation.


•          And then another devotee came forward and confirmed: “ Yes, Harikesh swami and Suhotra swami had prepared a voting to kick Srila Gour Govinda swami out of ISKCON”. This devotee had a close relationship with the servant of Harikesh swami. According to this servant Harikesh swami together with Suhotra swami had prepared a proposal for voting on kicking out Srila Gour Govinda Swami out of ISKCON. Suhotra swami and Harikesh swami were already blocking Srila Gour Govinda Swami from entering their respective places.


•          Harikesh swami had told Gour Govinda Swami to leave ISKCON. The night before the voting of the proposal Gour Govinda swami said to Harikesh swami: “You don’t need to do the voting. I cannot leave ISKCON but I will leave my body, and you will leave ISKCON in 2 years”. And when Gour Govinda Swami left his body Harikesh swami was shaking and locked himself up in his room. And he left indeed ISKCON after few years.



•          My personal belief is also that Srila Gour Govinda Maharaj’s mission was cut short with 24 years. He wanted to preach to the preachers of ISKCON, to make them strong preachers. In this way make the branch of his Guru Maharaj Srila Prabhupada very strong. But by banning him from entering ISKCON temples, he couldn’t preach to those preachers, was prevented to preach to them. Therefore, his mission was hampered. He mentioned the danger on his head by preaching the siddhanta, the fear to preach the truth and therefore he felt suffocated.

•          He felt cornered and leaving ISKCON the mission, the house of his Guru Maharaj voluntarily was out of the question. To be voted out of the mission of his Guru Maharaj was also very painful and would not only disgrace his teachings but also his disciples. For him the only way out with dignity was to leave his own body on his own will in a tremendous auspicious and glorious way.

•          To end on a more positive note: there are two predictions from two different sources confirming that Srila Gour Govinda Swami couldn’t complete his mission and will return to do so. He is keeping himself hidden until the right moment. He will preach strongly and unite all the vaishnava’s from the four different sampradaya’s.

•          I don’t have any tattva to back up these predictions, but several astrologers have said that Srila Gour Govinda Swami is Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur come again. So, I hope and pray this becomes true and I pray we will not again hamper him in his mission to make this Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya strong.