Gour Govinda Swami

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Gour Govinda Swami
Religion Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Hinduism
Born 2 September 1929
Jagannathapur Village, District Jagatsinghpur, Orissa, British India (Exact birth place is here)
Died 9 February 1996(1996-02-09) (aged 66)
Mayapur, West Bengal, India
Religious career
Initiation Diksa–1975, Sannyasa–1975
Post ISKCON 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. 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]

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


  1. ^ GopalJiu.org - Official Website of Gopal Jiu Publications
  2. ^ Official ISKCON website
  3. ^ a b c A Brief Life Sketch of Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami
  4. ^ How Jagannatha came to Bhubaneswar ISKCON Bhubaneswar website
  5. ^ G.G. Swami, A.C. Bhaktivedanta (2001). "Krishna OR Vishnu?" (PDF). Fortnightly email mini–magazine from Gopal Jiu Publications. Retrieved 2008-04-12. 
  6. ^ Three Logs of Wood - An ecstatic pastime of Lord Jagannatha
  7. ^ Annual Disappearance Festival Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami ISKCON News, 25 Feb 2008

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