Srila Gour Govinda Swami made his appearance into an ancient Oriya Vaisnava family famed for their devotional kirtans. He grew up surrounded by devotees, worshipping Sri Sri Radha Gopaljiu, chanting the holy names and reading Srimad Bhagavatam. Later in life, after becoming a wandering sadhu, he met Iskcon’s founder-acarya His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada and instantly surrendered at his lotus feet, recognizing him to be the topmost of Lord Krishna’s dear devotees. Srila Prabhupada offered to award Maharaja the order of sannyasa at their first meeting and later himself later commented about his disciple Srila Gour Govinda Swami, stating that ‘Krsna has sent him’.
Srila Gour Govinda Swami fully dedicated his life to fulfilling his revered Guru Maharaja’s instructions – vigorously preaching the Gaudiya Siddhanta around the world; translating Srila Prabhupada’s books from English into the Oriya language, also preaching widely throughout Orissa State: and building the stunning Sri Sri Krishna Balarama Temple in Bhubaneswar. Following Srila Prabhpada’s orders he also travelled the world preaching the message of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and accepted disciples, continuing the line of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada and Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupadaji Maharaja.
In the year 1996, at the International Head Quarters of Srila Prabhupada’s Iskcon movement in Sri Mayapur Dhama, Srila Gour Govinda Swami performed his final manifest lilas in this world. In the evening of the 9th February two disciples of Srila Prabhupada came to Maharaja’s room and asked him to explain why it was that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu stayed in Sri Jagannatha Puri Dhama. He began to explain the confidential significance of Mahaprabhu’s pastimes in Puri. He described the pains of separation felt by Radha and Krishna when Krishna was away from Vrindavan.
He blissfully unfolded the pastime to the point where Radha and Krishna were finally reunited after Their long separation. He described how Krishna became so ecstatic upon seeing Radharani that He manifested a form with big round eyes and shrunken limbs (Lord Jagannatha).
At that time the devotees noticed that tears had come to his eyes and his voice had become choked up. Barely audible, he said, “…after a long separation Krishna came back to Vrajabhumi and then the eyes of Krishna fell on the eyes of Srimati Radharani – eye to eye union.” Unable to continue, he apologized with folded hands, “Please excuse me. I cannot speak.” Overwhelmed with ecstatic love and unbearable separation from Srimati Radhika and Syamasundara, he could speak no more and gave his final instruction: “Nama koro! Nama koro!” (Chant the Holy Names, Chant the Holy Names!)
Originally posted on www.gourgovindaswami.org