Gour Govinda Swami

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Gour Govinda Swami
Born2 September 1929
Jagannathapur Village, District Jagatsinghpur, Orissa, British India (Exact birth place is here)
Died9 February 1996(1996-02-09) (aged 66)
ReligionGaudiya Vaishnavism
Senior posting
InitiationDiksa–1975, Sannyasa–1975
PostISKCON Guru, Sannyasi, Member of the Governing Body Commission
Puspa Samadhi of Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaj at ISKCON, Mayapur, West Bengal, India.

Gour Govinda Swami (2 September 1929 – 9 February 1996) was a Vaishnava religious leader. He was a leading ISKCON guru, sannyasi, governing body commissioner within the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (commonly known as the Hare Krishnas or ISKCON) and the main inspirational force behind Gopal Jiu Publications.[1] He is a saint within ISKCON.[2] He was the first initiating guru after Srila Prabhupada to leave his body (pass on or die) in good standing spiritually within the society. He never left Krishna Consciousness.

He was born in the village of Jagannathpur, District Jagatsinghpur Orissa, India as Braja-bandhu Manik.[3] By the age of eight, Braja-bandhu had read the entire Bhagavad-gita, Bhagavata Purana and Sri Caitanya-caritamrta and could also explain their meanings.[3] On 8 April 1974, at the age of 45, he gave up home and relatives in quest of spiritual perfection and a worthy guide. Carrying only a Bhagavad-gita and a begging bowl he wandered around India for one year and visited many sacred places along the river Ganges. He was searching for that person who could help him develop a true understanding of the Maha Mantra. After many philosophical debates with mayavadi sannyasis and yogis in the Himalayas, he proceeded on foot to Vrindavana.[citation needed] He thought, "Surely I will find Lord Krishna here in this holiest of places.". He was searching after three things: guru, Bhagavat and Bhagavan. He was given a Back to Godhead magazine and found it contained all three things. He decided to see the founder of ISKCON then and there. Two weeks later, in 1975, at the opening of ISKCON’s Krishna-Balaram Temple in Vrindavana, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami accepted him as a disciple, gave him the name Gour Govinda, and awarded him the sannyasa order, thus the name Srila Gour Govinda Swami.[3] After Srila Prabhupada left the planet,[clarification needed] Gour Govinda Maharaja was at the annual disciple gathering at Sridham Mayapura. He fell down in the temple unconscious. Devotees carried him to a room. Doctors were called. He was diagnosed as being in samadhi. Srila Prabhupada's Godbrother Akincana Krishna Dasa Babaji Maharaja confirmed Gour Govinda was in bhava. He was tended mainly by one devotee for four months, at the end of which time he woke up and asked, "How long have I been sleeping?". During his life, Gour Govinda Swami preached extensively for ISKCON in Orissa. He worked to establish an ISKCON temple in Bhubaneswar, as he was instructed to do by his guru in 1977. He also brought many disciples and other temples and a goshala to ISKCON.[4] He an author of many research papers and translated his guru's books into the Oriya language. Gour Govinda Maharaja has several sannyasa disciples in his line. Already at least one of them has become an initiating spiritual master himself, and others are said to be on the way. He had all of the potency of a pure devotee of the Lord. He worked steadily for guru, sadhu and sastra. Not only did he build one of the largest temples in the movement at the time by himself, he also brought other temples into the movementl. He accepted hundreds of disciples, and thousands more wished to take initiation from him around the world. His classes are considered to be some of the highest and most realized within the movement, and devotees around the world still listen to them to this day.[5]

He left his body in 1996 in Mayapur during a discussion on Lord Jagannath[6] and is remembered in annual ISKCON festivals.[7]

Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami Maharaj has 3 prominent disciple who are preaching vigorously namely Sripad Chaitanya Chandra Das Prabu who is based in Gadei Giri, Srimad Bhakti Prana Gopinath Swami Maharaj who is based in Cuttack and Srimad Haladhara Swami Maharaj who is based in Bhubaneswar. In 2018 the Government of Orissa tore down the huts Gour Govinda Maharaja and Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder/acarya of the International Society for Krsna Consciousness, in order to put in a sewer pipe on the premises. Gour Govinda Maharaj's body has therefore been relocated.


  1. ^ "Welcome to GopalJiu.org". www.gopaljiu.org. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Saints and Incarnations - Krishna.com". www.krishna.com. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami's Life Story (from the book - My Revered Spiritual Master)". www.gopaljiu.org. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  4. ^ "宇宙と未来の資格を目指す。DCC フラッシュモブプロポーズとは". www.iskconbbsr.org. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  5. ^ G.G. Swami, A.C. Bhaktivedanta (2001). "Krishna OR Vishnu?" (PDF). Fortnightly email mini–magazine from Gopal Jiu Publications. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  6. ^ Three Logs of Wood - An ecstatic pastime of Lord Jagannatha
  7. ^ Annual Disappearance Festival Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami ISKCON News, 25 February 2008

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