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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Gaura Govinda Swami > Gopil Jiu > Chapter Four > Leaving Home

Leaving Home


Out of respect to his mother, he spent twenty-two years in household life. At the age of forty-five, on 10 April 1974, at the end of the school year, he completed his routine teaching duties and then gave a letter to Prahlad Mahanty, the headmaster of the Bunbihari High School in Kujanga:



Respectfully I beg to state that I am leaving Kujang tomorrow on 11/4/74 (morning) to start my divya yatra for Guru Dham, Rishikesh. This is for your kind information '"' and necessary action.Yours faithfully,

Brajbandhu Manik,

Assistant Master


Leaving the school, he went home. He did not say anything to his family, but he packed his Bhagavad-gitd, two gdmuchas, a pen, a pencil, and one notebook.That night, while his family was sleeping, he quietly got up at midnight and walked a half-mile away to a nearby temple known as Kakudia Math. He had decided to become a sannyasT, a wandering mendicant, entrusting the care of his family to his eldest son Vijay, aged 19. a picture of Gopal and singing over and over again, "Gopala, Gopala, Gopala, Gopala, Gopala, Gopala, Gopala." In the afternoon a group of teachers and students from the high school arrived to meet him. They were stunned by his sudden renunciation. They asked him, "Why have you left your job and His disciple Svayambhu Das, then known as Subhas, was attending the same high school in Kujanga. He recalls:


I heard that Gurudeva had left his family life and his position as a teacher and had gone to the Kakudia Math. The day after he left home I went to Kakudia Math to see him.When I arrived he was sitting and looking at your home?" Gurudeva then asked me to recite Manabodha-cautiša, "Instructions to the Mind", a song by the Oriya Vaishnava Bhakta Charan Das:


kaha-i mana are mo hola kara

kalašrimukha hare dekhiba calare

kete dinaku mana bandhuchu anta

ki ghenijibu tora chutile ghatare

khandi je khandi tora panjara kathi

khaum thibe švana šrgala bantire

khat palanke mana sejai sou

khala durgandha heba e tora dehure

galeni to sangaru jeteka jana

ganthire banddhinele ke kete dhanare

guru gobinda nama tunde nabolu

gadhe majjTm nitye dhana arjilure

gharaboU arjichu jete padartha

ghata chutile tote bolibe bhutareg

ghara gharamdeha kilauthibe

gheni bandhu kutumba šuddha hoibere


I say to you, O mind: Obey my order!Let us go and see the beautiful black-faced one [Lord Jagannath]!For how long will you remain bound in material life?At the end of your life, what will you take with you?Piece by piece your ribs will be distributed Amongst the dogs and jackals.O mind, you are now sleeping comfortably on a nice mattress.But after death your body will give off a terrible smell.How many of your friends and family have already died?How much of their wealth could they bind in a cloth to take with them?You have never uttered the names of guru and Govinda!Always deeply absorbed in thinking how to gather wealth.You are acquiring so many things like house and family!But when your life is gone, all will cry, "Ghost!"The ladies of the house will close up the doors.And only after the recommended period of purification will your relatives be considered freed from contamination.Gurudeva was listening intently to the song. When I came to the last line he fainted and fell back unconscious against me. Seeing that his jaw was clenched tightly shut, I took a piece of bamboo and pried open his mouth. When the teachers saw him faint in this way, they became convinced that Gurudeva was no ordinary person and that he was truly qualified to leave home and take to spiritual life. The students, however, still wanted him to return. Seeing the mood amongst the stu¬dents, I told them, "Now he is unconscious. We can easily take him back to his home. Go and get a motor rickshaw." As soon as they left I carried Gurudeva away where they could not find him. Later we came back to the matha. That evening Gurudeva's wife Srimati Vasanti Devi came.Gurudeva had her sleep inside the room while he and I slept outside on top of some coconut palm leaves.In the morning I pointed out to Gurudeva how there was an imprint on his body from the leaves. He said, "Yes, renounced life is like this." His wife was unable to convince him to return, and he sent her back home that morning. He stayed there at Kakudia Math for five or six days, during which time he called for his younger brother Kripa-sindhu and asked him to take care of his family.

Then he left Kakudia Math and walked 14 kilome¬ters to Gadeigiri to request Gopal's permission to take sannyasa.Leaving his old life behind, Braja-bandhu took on a new name, "Gour Gopal". "Gour" for Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is also known as Lord Gouranga, and "Gopal" after his beloved childhood deity. Ghanashyam Giri was in Gadeigiri when Gour Gopal arrived. He recalls:

He arrived at Gopal's temple about 2:00 P.M. Generally Gopal's arati begins at 12:00 noon and by 2:00 P.M. the arati is finished and everyone has taken prasadam. Somehow on that day the key was lost and Gopal's service was delayed. When Gurudeva arrived, the arati was just beginning. 1 think that Gopal made this arrangement so that He would be able to see His dear devotee.

After the noon arati Gour Gopal read Bhagavad-gita and Rama-carita-manasa to the devotees. When he came to the pastime of Lord Rama leaving for the forest, Gour Gopal held the cloth around his neck in the maimer of a sflnni/flsf begging alms. With a choked voice he sang the following verse where Lord Ramachandra says: "Vane gale muhin munT-jane bheti sarthaka koribi pram—If I go to the forest I will meet so many sadhus and thereby fulfill my life's desire."After the discussion, Gopal's evening arati started. Braja-bandhu's cousin Damodar Giri began to lead kirtan and Gour Gopal requested him to sing Dasavatara-stotra by the Oriya poet Jayadeva Goswami. Following the arati, Gour Gopal requested the devotees, "You should always sing this song for Gopal and remain Krishna conscious. Otherwise your life will have no value." Hearing that Braja-bandhu was leaving family life, many villagers, including family


members and old friends of Braja-bandhu, came to the temple that evening. Everyone requested him to go back to his wife and family in Jaganathpur. But one old friend of Braja-bandhu named Satyananda Kandi spoke up in his support, saying, "You should let him go. If someone has tasted nectar, how will he be satisfied with water?"That night Gour Gopal laid down to take Gopal's temple. At the last part of the night Gour Gopal woke up one of the devotees and told him, "I have re¬ceived Gopal's order. I'll be a sannyasT." As he was leaving in the morning, aU of his old friends and family members again came to see him. Gour Gopal told Damodar Giri to sing Tika Govinda-candra:bolu ki na mma-namare govinda, bhaju ki na rama-mma bhaji na parile kulacandrama re, bandhmeha kalayama  sehi kalayama bada nidaruna Not speaking the names of Rama and Govinda, not performing bhajari of rama-nama, if we cannot worship You, O moon of tlie living entities, then we will be bound up by the god of death. That binding of the god of death is very painful.Gour Gopal then told the devotees, "I am going. I will send you a letter and you should please reply. AU the devotees here are great kirtantyas. Always do kirtan for Gopal. Take care of Gopal.Gopal is the son of Nanda Maharaja. He should not stay like this [the devotees there were worshiping Him in a humble way]. We will all cooperate together to help main¬tain and develop Gopal's place."