His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada His Divine Grace Srila Gour Govinda Swami Srila Gurudeva
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Srila Gour Govinda Swami translating

He was translating Srila Prabhupada's books into Oriya and arranging for their printing and collecting donations to build the temple Srila Prabhupada had envisioned. His routine was getting up around 3 am and bath, tilaka and gayatri then chanting his rounds. With his early devotions completed he would begin translating Srila Prabhupada's books into Oriya for about 2 hours. After this he would cook breakfast, make the offering to the Lord and then take prasadam and distribute to whoever might come by. By 8.30 am he was ready to go out preaching. He would walk everywhere as he did not know how to ride a bicycle. He would preach the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu from door to door, selling books and collecting donations for the temple. By 8.30 pm he would return and retire to bed around midnight sleeping only 2-3 hours a day. He also only ate once a day. When more devotees starting joining the asram he began the morning program of Srimad Bhagavatam classes and in the evening Bhagavad-gita classes.

Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja visted Sridham Mayapur for the Sri Gaura Purnima festival every year. However in 1978 during his annual visit he suddenly was apparently ill. For many months he stayed in Mayapur, the kavirajas' could not determine his illness and his symptoms were very devotional. It was apparent that he was manifesting extreme ecstatic conditions. (For details of these pastimes please read chapter thirty-two of Krsnalingita-vigraha).

Mission Fulfilled

BhubaneswarIn 1991, on Lord Nityananda's appearance day, after 16 years of struggle, Srila Prabhupada's last founded project, Sri Sri Krishna Balarama Mandir was completed. The magnificent temple and guest house was built single handedly by Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja, but he, with complete humility and simplicity, stayed in a portion of the mud hut that he had built for Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada is worshiped in his bhajan-kutir with full dedication and devotion.

Srila Prabhupada had said, "This shall be one of the best ISKCON temples in the world," and that "I will build a temple like Jagannatha Temple because Jagannatha will come, the western devotees are not allowed there. That type of temple I will build there in Bhubaneswar." It had certainly come to be true. In the beginning, it was located in such a remote area of Bhubaneswar with wild animals and dacoits, rickshaw wallas would not even go out to the area but now it was the center the city with thousands of people visiting the temple and wonderful festivals including Sri Sri Jagannatha Baladeva and Subhudra's Rathayatra every year. Srila Prabhupada had predicted that this temple would become the center of the city and now it is.

Srila PrabhupadaSrila Prabhupada also said that he will come for the opening of the Sri Sri Krsna Balaram Mandir, so on this auspicious day of Lord Nityananda's Appearance day in 1991, Sri Sri Krsna Balaram, Sri Sri Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhudra Mai and Sri Sri Gaura Nitai were installed on the three alters in the magnificent temple.

Srila Prabhupada was wonderfully installed in his murti form in the main temple to be present for the auspicious opening. Three Lord Balarams were installed according to Srila Prabhupada's instructions. This represents the spiritual strength of Lord Balaram or Sri Guru. Srila Gour Govinda Swami had mentioned, Srila Prabhupada had deposited all his potency here in his last founded project. Every year after this grand installation, on Lord Nityananda's Appearance day, the most ecstatic festival is held where the mercy of Lord Balaram - Lord Nityananda - Sri Guru are flowing limitlessly.

Lotus TempleLater in 1995, a beautiful lotus bud temple was built next to Sri Sri Krsna Balaram Mandir and Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha were installed. Many more projects were underway including a beautiful temple for Srila Gour Govinda Swami's beloved ista-devita, Sri Sri Radha Gopaljiu in Gadei Giri. A large temple and farm project in Bherampur, Orissa. The renovation of the famous Sri Alarnath temple in Brahmagiri near Puri and the reforestation project for Lord Jagannatha in Puri to name a few. Srila Prabhupada's books were being translated into Oriya and printed now onsite at the Bhubaneswar BBT printing press.

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Bhubaneswar Temple
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Above: ISKCON Sri Sri Krsna Balarama Mandir, Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India. Upper Right1: Early photo of HDG Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja with initiates, Bbhubaneswar. Upper Right2: First concreate laying ceremoney for the temple, Bhubaneswar.

 

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Prabhupada said, "my Guru Maharaja sent me to the west, I am a complete stranger there. A complete stranger! No friends, nothing. I went with only forty rupees! Orissa is your place, why you need money and men? Go! Go!" He cited his example. "Vaisnava is not alone, Krsna is with him." He told me that time, yes. I thought, 'Oh my Guru is Vaisnava, I am not Vaisnava!'Alright my Guru Maharaja said, well that's alright, I thought in my mind. 'Alright Krsna is there, I can go. But always day and night how can I do? Yes, Prabhupada told me, he will come to Orissa. That was in 1977 and he disappeared in that year, November 1977, you see. Somehow I brought him in January. Prabhupaa said, "I want a temple like Jagannatha. I will build a temple like Jagannatha Temple because Jagannatha will come, the western devotees are not allowed there. That type of temple I will build here in Bhubaneswar."

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Bhubaneswar Temple under construction
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