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Bhagavat Das was in charge of the group of preachers in Orissa. He recalls how Gour Govinda took sannyasa:We went by train to Hyderabad to see Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada saw us there
~ and he called Gour Govinda Das Brahmacari over and said, "Why are you here?" He told Gour Govinda to come and see him the next day to explain. The next morning we went to Prabhupada's room and Gour Govinda explained the purpose of our visit. Then, quite unexpectedly, Gour Govinda turned to Prabhupada and said, "Prabhupada, 1 want to take sannyasa." Prabhupada looked at him.There were two or three sannyasis as well as several GBCs in the room, some big devotees. At that time many of the leaders were against new Indian devotees taking sannyasa. Prabhupada said, "So you want to take sannyasa. Let me tell you what it means to take : -8 sannyasa." Prabhupada explained the qualifications of a sannyast, "The sannyasi can never have any sex desire. He should never think of a woman even for a second. A sannyasi is fearless he'll go anywhere to preach, no matter how dangerous it is. A sannyasi never thinks he is alone, but always knows that Krishna and guru are with him."After Prabhupada had explained all these things, he just looked at Gour Govinda and said, "Now do you understand?" Gour Govinda said, "Yes." Then Prabhupada said, "Okay, let's take prasadam." And that was it. He never said yes or no.Then 1 remember going into the secretary's room where all these sannyasts and GBCs had gathered. They were all saying, "Did Prabhupada say yes or did he say no? We don't understand." After that we all went with Prabhupada to Vrindavan for the next leg of the festivals. In Vrindavan, on the last day of the festival, there was a fire yajita and Gour Govinda was acting as the priest for the ceremony. Only one person was supposed to take sannyasa, and that was Tripurari. But there were two dandas and two sets of sannyasa cloth. No one knew who the other person was.Then Prabhupada said, "The sannyasa candidates should come up and get their cloth." At that time Gour Govinda stood up from behind the fire and took his cloth. Then Prabhupada handed him the danda, looked at him with a big smile, and said, "You have understood." After he Took sannyasa, many sannyasTs and GBCs started complaining, "How has he taken sannyasa? He's a new man!" Then Prabhupada told them, "He is a devotee from his birth, you are new men!"
After taking sannyasa, Gour Govinda Swami came back to Orissa and stayed in Puri at the Veda Bhavan. From Puri he wrote a letter to his old friend Fakir Charan Kanungo:Now I am staying in Veda Bhavan, Puri, with my group. 1 had great hope that you would all come here and we would go together to my most dear place of Gopal. There we will do nama-sankirtan and preach the message of Guru Gouranga with some satsanga.On 30 May 1975 he wrote Fakir Charan:By the blessing of Krishna some land has been donated near Banibihar in Bhubaneswar. After opening a center of this Society there, we will then make a branch center at my dear Gopal's place. I have already spoke with Ghanashyam Giri about this. He has agreed to donate Gopal to this ISKCON Society and he also promises to help the project in any other way possible.On 26 July 1975 he sent another letter to Fakir Charan:Ghanashyam Giri and his wife are now hesitating to donate Gopal. If we are surrendered to Krishna then there will be no question of maya's presence. Sri Krishna is all powerful, the greatest yogt, the Supreme Personality of (3odhead. The spirit soul is His eternal servant. We are all His eternal serŽvants. He is bound in devotion. The devotee of Krishna is always without fear. The devotee Prahlad was getting so much pain from his demon father Hiranyakashipu, but Prahlad had no fear. Rather, he prayed to the Lord for the liberation of his father. This is the nature of a devotee's magnanimous heart. Always I have a desire to meet all of you and discuss with you about Gopal, because Gopal and His place are most dear to me."