Tribute to HH Gopal Krsna Goswami



Dear Maharajas, Prabhus and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisance. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
All glories to HH Gopal Krsna Gosvami.

I was struck with great sadness when I heard the news of the passing of HH Gopal Krsna Goswami from this material world. I first served under him in 1977 when he was the GBC for the Hyderabad temple. I also recall that in the late 1970s and early 1980s that some envious persons would make disparaging remarks about him, but those critics fell into oblivion while his star grew ever brighter.

As chairman of the Bureau for ISKCON India he played an instrumental part in the expansion or Lord Caitanya’s mission in India. He was also a BBT trustee who vigorously pushed book publication and distribution. His temples were often on the top spot for book distribution.

Speaking of temples when Srila Prabhupada left the planet the ISKCON temple in Delhi was a small rented building in Lajpatnagar and this was still the case in 1983 when I left India to return to the West. The Delhi temple then had little facility and most devotees would stay in a hotel and eat at restaurants or bypass Delhi and go straight to Braja. So I was astounded when I returned to Delhi 20 years later in 2003 to find the huge Sri-Sri Radha Parthasarthi Mandir complex. In total HH Gopal Krsna Maharaja has erected 17 wonderful temples in the Delhi National Capitol Region more than making up for the humble start.

But it was in 2007 that HH Gopal Krsna Swami’s true colors were exposed. My wife and I had come to Delhi to get her a visa to Canada and on the day before Janmastami we were involved in a horrendous car accident on the way to Vrndavana suffering catastrophic injuries. Hari Sauri Prabhu informed Maharaja of our plight. Maharaja came to visit us in the hospital several times. He then shifted us to a room in the Delhi temple guest house and arranged for a team of his disciples to wait on us hand and foot — not for a few weeks but 11 months! It took that long because we had to learn how to walk again and go through extensive physiotherapy. My mother told me that no one would have been able to provide the kind of care that Gopal Krsna Swami provided for us. I also recall that doctor Nijjara who was treating us remarked that the temples Maharaja had built along with the millions of books distributed in the Delhi region was having a profound effect on the consciousness of the nation.

So while Maharaja was a “big man” he had a very soft heart and went out of his way to take care of devotees. My wife and I are eternally grateful for what he did for us in our weakest moment and greatest need. This quote from a text I wrote on Dandavatas at the time expresses our sentiment:

We would be remiss if we did not give our deepest thanks to HH Gopal Krsna Gosvami and the devotees of Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi Mandira who all personified the mercy and compassion of the Lord. Maharaja was always inquiring about our welfare and had his disciples wait on us hand and foot in our helpless condition. It is no exaggeration to say that our survival and recovery is largely due to their loving care for us. And it was not short term care but it went on for months, we came to Delhi for a 9 day trip and stayed for 10 months in their care. Never once were we made to feel that we were a burden or inconvenience to them which would have made us feel depressed. Rather we always felt lucky to be in the association of so many genuinely kind souls. It is impossible to repay this debt but we will try as best we can.

My wife and I pray that Sri-Sri Radha Parthasarathi take good care of HH Gopal Krsna Gosvami as he justly deserves.

Your humble servants
Shyamasundara Dasa ACBSP
Sundari Radhika Devi Dasi

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