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In 1991, on Lord Nityananda's appearance day, after sixteen years of struggle, Srila Prabhupada's last founded project, Sri Sri Krishna Balarama Mandir was completed and inaugurated. The magnificent temple and guest house was completed by Srila Gour Govinda Swami, but with humble devotion to Srila Prabhupada, Srila Gour Govinda Swami remained in a portion of the mud hut that he had built for Srila Prabhupada. Today, Srila Prabhupada is worshiped in his bhajan-kutir with full dedication and devotion. Srila Gour Govinda Swami would say that he often hears Srila Prabhupada on his dictaphone translating and chanting during the night in Srila Prabhupada’s room adjacent where he stayed in 1977.
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 avoid 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 Subhadra's Rathayatra every year. Srila Prabhupada had predicted that this temple would become the center of the city and now it is.
Srila 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 Subhadra 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 Balarama's were installed according to Srila Prabhupada's instructions. This represents the spiritual strength of Lord Balarama 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.
Later 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 Berhampur, 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 on-site at the Bhubaneswar BBT printing press.
The Perfect Example
Srila Gour Govinda Swami worldwide preaching took him to North and South America, Canada, Africa, Europe, Asia, Mauritius, Australia, and India, especially to the rural villages of Orissa.
Of the many contributions Srila Gour Govinda Swami offered by far the most significant contribution was his preaching of nectarean Krsna-katha.
Not caring for his personal comfort and undergoing many austerities, Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja preached Krsna-katha very dynamically all over the world. The most striking aspect of his preaching was the ability to expand on the Sri Bhaktivedanta purports with profound depth and detail with conclusive sastric evidences. Taking just one word or one sentence from the purport and speaking on it for days. Sometimes a lecture would go for 3-4 hours as the flow of Krsna-katha could not be checked. Each lecture was followed in the traditional vaisnava way of singing bhajans and reciting verses then pausing for explanation.
He always practiced what he preached: compassion toward all living entities, true kindness, childlike simplicity, complete detachment, tolerance, spiritual blissfulness, exclusive devotion and complete surrender to Sriman Mahaprabhu, and a profound level of humility and devotion for Srila Prabhupada.
A Fearless Preacher
Although very meek and humble in his personal dealings, when seated on the vyasasana, a transformation would take place. He would roar like a lion, crushing the pride and cutting the misconceptions from the hearts and minds of his disciples and followers. Interacting with each audience he captured devotee’s hearts. Knowing what was inside each devotee’s heart was expressed during the class to dispel doubts and destroy anarthas. Devotees attested to this experience often while hearing from Srila Gour Govinda Swami.
Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja's knowledge of scripture was formidable. He would substantiate everything he said with evidence from all over the Vedic literature. He would always preach fearlessly and would never compromise the conclusions of the scriptures in the name of being practical. During his powerfully devotional lectures, he inspired numerous devotees to surrender, inquire deeper and empty the heart of unwanted things to ultimately obtain the goal of life, Krsna-prema. Hearing these daily classes inspired people to surrender to the chanting of the Holy Name of Krishna in the mood of separation, as taught by Sriman Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
In a darsan with devotees on USA tour 1994, Srila Gour Govinda Swami had spoken to devotees about his mission:
“There are three things that are very important to me. One is that I want to preach to the preachers. It causes me so much pain to see the devotees falling down and going away. The second thing is that I want to show how everything is in Srila Prabhupada’s books. Those persons who are saying that Srila Prabhupada only gave ABC, it causes me so much pain in my heart. I want to make them maun [silent]. And the third thing is that I want to show how everything is in ISKCON and that devotees do not have to go elsewhere for higher teachings.”
Sri Nityananda Prema
Every year in Bhubaneswar, on Lord Nityananda’s appearance day he would flood the audience with most nectarean, ecstatic and divine Nityananda prema-bhajans and speak about Lord Nityananda’s nectarean pastimes. During these ecstatic bhajans and lectures, his extreme ecstasy could not be checked. He would make everybody present there dip in the deep, nectarean sweetest ocean of Gauranga Prema-Datta Lord Nityananda’s prema rasa-kathamrta.
"If Nityananda Prabhu will shower His mercy then you can have Radha and Krsna in Vrajabhumi. Therefore, clasp the two lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu, tightly, tightly! Otherwise how can you get the mercy of Nityananda? How can you get Radha Krsna in Vrajabhumi? This is the goal of your human life. Without Nityananda's mercy there is no hope at all. This is what Narottama dasa Thakura says." [from a commentary of Nitai pada kamala.]
Srila Gour Govinda Swami ecstatic singing on Lord Nityananda Prabhu's Appearance Day.