Kartik Braj Darshan with Vrindavan Today (Day 27): Gopal Guru Temple

The temple is the abode of Thakur Shri Radhakant who was served by Gopal Guru.

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Vrindavan, 2020-11-24 (VT): To the west of Bansivat in Vrindavan is the Gopal Guru Temple that is the abode of Thakur Shri Radhakant. The temple is managed by Gambhira in Jagannath Puri.

The service of Shri Radhakant (Puri) was entrusted to Gopal Guru by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Later, when he came to Vrindavan for doing bhajan, he made a small kutira in Dhria Samira and began worshipping his own Shri Radhakant there. The deities were formally established at this place by Dhyanchand Goswami who was the disciple of Gopal Guru and an important acharya in the Gaudiya Sampradaya. He wrote the book, ‘Dhyana Chandra Paddhati’.

After both he and Mahaprabhu had finished Their lilas in this realm, Dhyanchand became overwhelmed with grief and came from Puri to Kashi. On arriving there he learnt that Gopal Guru had appeared in Vrindavan. Knowing well that his rites had been conducted in Puri by then, Dhyanchand at once left for Dham to verify the claim. Both overjoyed and perplexed on finding his Guru there, he asked him the secret of this lila. Gopal Guru told him that a Vaishnava’s body is immortal. His life, death and actions are like the manifest and unmanifest lilas of Shri Bhagwan.

There are two temples named after him in Vrindavan; a small Gopal Guru Mandir in Gopinath Bagh and the big one in Bansivat. Vakreshwar Pandit and Gopal Guru’s Samadhis are present inside the big temple. At the place where he appeared in Vrindavan to Dhaynchand Goswami are two large Bakul Trees standing as representing ‘guru-shishya’.

Gopal Guru Goswami was a born in family of Oriya Brahmins. His parents named him Makardhwaj Pandit. He was the disciple of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's associate Vakreshwar Pandit. Since childhood, Makardhwaj had the rare opportunity to serve Mahaprabhu who would affectionately call him Gopal and later, also bestowed on him the title, ‘Guru’.

The story goes that prior to Mahaprabhu’s departure from Puri, Gopal happened to notice that while the Lord was going to answer nature’s call he held his tongue between the teeth. Upon enquiring as to why He did so, Mahaprabhu replied that His tongue couldn’t stop chanting, and it was improper to do so in an impure state. So, it had to be restrained by force. Hearing this Gopal remarked, “Prabhu, you are the Supreme Lord and everyone follows you. What if one leaves the body while relieving themselves?  It is said ‘anatah mati so gati’; what will be his destination if he were not chanting?” Mahaprabhu became pleased and said, “You have spoken correctly. From today you shall be known as ‘guru’.”


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