the passing of Gopinatha Acarya(ACBSP)

September 9, 2020 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Hare Krsna–I first learned of this nice devotee when some Australian devotees came to our ashram for a Janmastami festival. They showed and gave me a copy of Gopinathas 3 volume set of books called –Make Vrndavana- a huge compilation all from the conversations books that he did  focusing on what Srila Prabhupada preached about simple living, and cow protection.I have this rare set of books and they are simply wonderful.!!
When he was kicked out of some Iskcon farm in Australia due to some “management issues” with him. I dont know what happened at that time but from what I can surmise about him and iskcon it was because he was not standing for the current guru fall downs and politics surrounding them all. So he lived in some van or car for about a year, I was told, and went daily to the local library to use their computer so he could put together his 3 volume set–Make Vrndavana. Below is part of his story, and I wish I could have met such a great soul

Hare Krsna

damaghosa das

The passing of Gopinath

Story by Priyavrata das

For me, Gopinatha Acharya das was a hero — a true living legend. His example of brahmacharya was untouchable in ISKCON. When I became a monk in 1983, he was the one I aspired to be like. His cool demeanor, strong determination, effulgent brow, piercing eyes, soft voice, gentle movements and graceful gait were something out of the great stories we read in the ancient scriptures. He was a “throwback man” — someone that had popped in from a past age just to give us encouragement. When I first met him he was leading the charge to sell sets of the ancient India classic Srimad Bhagavatam, considered the “cream of the Ancient Vedic literature.” He would go door to door in Sydney making presentations and encouraging people to purchase the 12 books that made up the series. And he was very successful too, usually selling more than anyone else. His good friend and ally in this endeavor, Brighupati dasa is today the number one bookseller for Bhakitvedanta Book Trust in the United States. And then something changed. After dedicating years of his life to studying these ancient scriptures and sharing their wisdom with the world, he decided to go live on a farm and protect cows. I remember the day I asked him, “What happened? Why did you stop your preaching work?” With a reassuring smile, he said: “I came to the conclusion that protecting cows and showing an example of living on the land in harmony with nature and the cows, was the best preaching. This is the actual front-line of preaching.” I was shocked at first but then realized how profound his statement was. Yes, he was right. The purpose of the ancient scriptures is to inspire us to remember God and to live in harmony with God’s plan. Srila Prabhupada, the author of these books, repeatedly encouraged his readers to live simply but to never forget Krishna. He proposed that the Hare Krishna movement should create an alternative society and be fully independent and self-sufficient and that his society should be centred on cow protection, as clearly shown in these selected quotes:

“We shall have to live there self-independently, simply by raising cows, grains, fruits, and flowers.” (Letter to Kirtanananda, 12 January 1968)

“If we can keep cows sufficiently and grow our necessary foodstuffs, then we shall show a new life to your countrymen—completely spiritual life in healthy atmosphere in divine consciousness.” (Letter to Satyabhama, 30 March 1969)

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September 9, 2020 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Hare Krsna-Continuing our SUMMARY series from the Caitanya Caritamrta–#3

Adi lila 1.53 purport...The word yat refers to Brahman, the impersonal effulgence of the Lord. In the Brahma-saṁhitā (5.40) it is said, tad brahma niṣkalam anantam aśeṣa-bhūtam: the Brahman effulgence expands unlimitedly. Just as the sun is a localized planet although the sunshine expands unlimitedly from that source, so the Absolute Truth is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but His effulgence of energy, Brahman, expands unlimitedly. From that Brahman energy the creation appears, just as a cloud appears in sunshine. From the cloud comes rain, from the rain comes vegetation, and from the vegetation come fruits and flowers, which are the basis of subsistence for many other forms of life. Similarly, the effulgent bodily luster of the Supreme Lord is the cause of the creation of infinite universes.The Brahman effulgence is impersonal, but the cause of that energy is the Supreme Personality of GodheadFrom Him, in His abode, the Vaikuṇṭhas, this brahmajyoti emanates. He is never impersonal. Since they cannot understand the source of the Brahman energy, impersonalists mistakenly choose to think this impersonal Brahman the ultimate or absolute goal. But as stated in the Upaniṣads, one has to penetrate the impersonal effulgence to see the face of the Supreme Lord. If one desires to reach the source of the sunshine, he has to travel through the sunshine to reach the sun and then meet the predominating deity there. The Absolute Truth is the Supreme Person, Bhagavān, as Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam explains.Sat means “effect,” asat means “cause,” and param refers to the ultimate truth, which is transcendental to cause and effect. The cause of the creation is called the mahat-tattva, or total material energy, and its effect is the creation itself. But neither cause nor effect existed in the beginning; they emanated from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as did the energy of time. …. Since the energy of the Lord is not different from Him, in fact everything that exists is Kṛṣṇa in His impersonal feature. Sunshine, sunlight and heat are not different from the sun, and yet simultaneously they are distinct energies of the sun. Similarly, the cosmic manifestation and the living entities are energies of the Lord, and they are considered to be simultaneously one with and different from Him. The Lord therefore says, “I am everything,” because everything is His energy and is therefore nondifferent from Him.

Adi 1.54 purport…In the previous verse the Absolute Truth and its nature have been explained. One must also understand the relative truth to actually know the Absolute.The real nature of māyā, the illusory existence of the material manifestation, is clearly explained in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The Absolute Truth is substance, and the relative truth depends upon its relationship with the Absolute for its existence. Māyā means energy; therefore the relative truth is explained to be the energy of the Absolute Truth. Since it is difficult to understand the distinction between the absolute and relative truths, an example can be given for clarification. The Absolute Truth can be compared to the sun, which is appreciated in terms of two relative truths: reflection and darkness. Darkness is the absence of sunshine, and a reflection is a projection of sunlight into darkness. Neither darkness nor reflection has an independent existence. Darkness comes when the sunshine is blocked. For example, if one stands facing the sun, his back will be in darkness. Since darkness stands in the absence of the sun, it is therefore relative to the sun. The spiritual world is compared to the real sunshine, and the material world is compared to the dark regions where the sun is not visible.

Adi 1.55 purport...The Personality of Godhead in His all-pervading feature of Paramātmā enters every entity, from the biggest to the most minute. His existence can be realized by one who has the single qualification of submissiveness and who thereby becomes a surrendered soul. The development of submissiveness is the cause of proportionate spiritual realization, by which one can ultimately meet the Supreme Lord in person, as a man meets another man face to face.
Because of his development of transcendental attachment for the Supreme Lord, a surrendered soul feels the presence of his beloved everywhere, and all his senses are engaged in the loving service of the Lord. His eyes are engaged in seeing the beautiful couple Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa sitting on a decorated throne beneath a desire tree in the transcendental land of Vṛndāvana. His nose is engaged in smelling the spiritual aroma of the lotus feet of the Lord. Similarly, his ears are engaged in hearing messages from Vaikuṇṭha, and his hands embrace the lotus feet of the Lord and His associates. Thus the Lord is manifested to a pure devotee from within and without. This is one of the mysteries of the devotional relationship in which a devotee and the Lord are bound by a tie of spontaneous love. To achieve this love should be the goal of life for every living being.

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