His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, the most influential spiritual
emissary of Vedic Culture in the twentieth century, has many sincere disciples throughout the
world. Srila Gopal Krsna Goswami Maharaja is one such disciple and his relationship with Srila
Prabhupada and the instructions he received from him are unique.
We, the disciples and well-wishers of His Holiness Srila Gopal Krsna Goswami Maharaja, commemorate
his 69th appearance year through this publication which presents his brief biographical sketch with a
special focus on his 45 years of dedicated service to his divine master, Srila Prabhupada.
This offering seeks to the glorify Srila Prabhupada as well as his ardent servant, His Holiness Srila Gopal
Krsna Goswami Maharaja. It was Srila Prabhupada who produced many such gems as our Guru Maharaja
who eternally embellish Srila Prabhupada’s necklace -- the wonderful world of ISKCON.
This book will also work as a faith-booster for many of us as Many Stalwart Devotees including Senior
Srila Prabhupada disciples from our society appreciated Guru Maharaja’s service mood and some of them
gave messages to his disciples as well.
Although scriptures say that out of two forms by which a disciple can associate with the spiritual master,
vapu (physical) and vani (instructions); vani is more important as each and every disciple cannot associate
intimately with his spiritual master physically but everyone should serve him by following his instructions;
Nonetheless, the heartfelt need for a relationship with Guru Maharaja in his vapu form is an inescapable
fact for all the disciples, aspiring disciples and well-wishers.
Guru Maharaja’s unmatchable divine grace, his delicate touch, and his merciful smiles and gestures are
an irreplaceable treasure of inspiration for our advancement in Krsna Consciousness. Therefore all over
the world devotees try to perpetuate Guru Mahdaraja’s presence by preserving his photos, videos, audio
lectures, and books. This book is a humble attempt to increase our attachment for Our Guru Maharaja by
bringing us closer to him through the medium of pictures and quotations from various scriptures.
This is a meditation book.
The painstakingly precise work in recollecting and resizing the photographs, the size of the book, the
quality of printing and the paper, the gorgeous designing and layout, hard bound cover of the book with
name embossed on it, changing the whole text material into Sanskrit transliteration font, and to top it
all, the devotional mood of all the devotees involved in producing this master piece — all these — just to help
us meditate deeply on our beloved Guru Maharaja.
We pray for the blessings of all the devotees, disciples, aspiring disciples and well-wishers of our Guru
Maharaja and hope our humble attempt will serve to increase our appreciation and understanding of the
divine personality of our Gurudevaaa.
We'll consider this book successful if devotees experience through it, the compassionate association of our
beloved Guru Maharaja, our glorious master. Our hope is that this book will engrave Guru Maharaja’s
beautiful lotus-feet in our hearts and we will also go on singing forever — vande guroh sri-caranaravindam.
This visual biography of Gopal Krsna Maharaja entitled"VandeGurohSri-Caranaravindam"
is more than just a compilation of photographs with abbreviated accompanying texts. In
the many pages, it creatively exploits distinct elements of visual art and design to pay
homage to an iconic individual, Gopal Krsna Maharaja. In using the photographic technique,
this book represents a moving form, spinning from one page into the other in a kaleidoscope of
visuals, thus giving life to different moments, ca pturing the different contexts, the moods and
demeanor of an inimitable individual. Thus the book cannot be separated from the individual
and his unsurpassed life. Hence, in this foreword, | am constantly and helplessly drawn beyond
the series of pictures, to the man himself.
I recall a letter from Srila Prabhupada to Gopal Krsna Maharaja that demonstrates the complete
confidence that Srila Prabhupada had in Gopal Krsna Maharaja to serve his ISKCON mission
at an unparalleled level. In a letter dated 16 NJovember 1969, Srila Prabhupada notes about
Gopal Krsna Maharaja that "Krsna is giving you gradually more and more strength to serve
Him. Just like a wrestler, simply by practicing wrestling amongst friends, gradually becomes
stronger and the body is built up very nicely, Krsna Consciousness is exactly like that: The
more you serve Krsna, the more you get better strength to serve Him. Please remember this
valuable advice and you will find it very convernient for your progressive march".
Later in the very same letter, he instructs Gopal Krsna Maharaja to take charge of constructing
a temple in Mayapur on a "grand scale". Then it rained temples — Gopal Krsna Maharaja has
a matchless record of having the largest concentration of temples in one location in the world.
The pictures within the book reflect this achiew~ement.
The book begins with photographs of Gopal Krsna Maharaja and Srila Prabhupada and the brief
inscription captures his dedication to his guru:
In his very youth prime, Mahdrdja surrendered all his time
And every single dime, For Prabhupada’s wonderful chime
Similarly, in his appreciation, Giriraj Maharaja pays tribute to Gopal Krsna Maharaja and
describes him as having "tremendous capacity for managing and doing business" and his
"expanding book distribution and developing major projects in India and throughout the world"
and "cultivating and engaging important and influential people". In all of this, Gopal Krsna
Maharaja is matchless as a sannyasi. The pictorial depictions in the book include his association
mostly with Srila Prabhupada, his god brothers, government officials and other dignitaries whom
he felt would assist and enable Srila Prabhupada’s mission. So it is not uncommon to see him
grace the stage with politicians and leading film actors like the diva, Hema Malini. There is an
adage that a picture is worth a thousand words and this is the case for each still image.
Gopal Krsna and I were peers and struggled and grew together through our formative years. He
kept me in his zone, seeing me grow, increasing my responsibilities and enabling my development.
Even when I tried to escape his grasp, he would track me down. It would appear as if I was under
seize and Gopal Krsna Maharaja’s unrelenting grip, judicious and incisive arguments made it
impossible to resist.
This book has a variety of graphic elements, such as special fonts, and graphic organizers, hence it
is a multidimensional presentation that is a rich resource for a broad range of spiritual situations.
The wide variety of photographs has appeal to readers of all ages, and will be alluring for those
with higher levels of artistic sophistication. The spiritual dimension is pervasive and there are
learnings from each photograph.
Gopal Krsna Maharaja has been observed paying obeisances to all the spiritual paintings at
different temples walls — this is a demonstration of his humility and I am sure that a book of this
purport will undoubtedly leave him feeling very uncomfortable. The photographs illustrate his
accomplishments and provide an imperishable cadence to his very being. Here, I am reminded
of a verse from the Svetaévatara Upanisad 6.23
yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tathd gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah prakasante mahadtmanah
"Only unto those great souls who have unflinching, implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual
master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed."
This book provides a rich browsing experience and is brimming with visual ways to portray a
seemingly endless number of events that form this compelling collection. It is a living revelation
of his life and work and its launch coincides with Gopal Krsna Maharaja’s vyasa puja. We were
virtually glued together through thick and thin in this sojourn and I would like to thank Gopal
Krsna Maharaja for tolerating me during the early years. Now | can only but feel love and
adoration for him. This is a dedication by his disciples for whom he is the captain of the ship
steering them back to Godhead (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.22).
It is with this in mind that I wish him Satam Sarada pasyema —a long life that will see him
through a hundred autumn seasons.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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