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Gopal Comes from Vrindavan
Gopal Giri had long cherished the desire to worship a deity of Gopal. During the Ratha-yatra festivals in Puri he would approach devotees and sadhus coming from Vrindavan and ask them to bring him back a deity of Gopal. They would readily agree, "Yes, yes. Next time I will bring a Gopal deity for you." But no one ever brought a deity.At this same time, in Vrindavan there was one renounced devotee who was worshiping a deity of Gopal. One night this sannyasi had a dream that his deity was speaking to him. Srila Gour Govinda Swami tells this story:Gopal Giri was serving in Purl as a government cashier. He was always thinking in his mind, "If I can get a Gopal deity I'll offer worship to Him." But he thought, "Hpw can I go to Vrindavan?" He had a strong desire to get a deity.At that time this deity of Gopal was in Vrindavan with a sannyasi Vaishnava, a renunciate. He was doing madhukari, begging, and he was keeping that deity in his jhola, [a cloth tied as a bag]. During the day, he would go out and do madhukari, then in the evening he would cook whatever he had begged and offer it to Gopal. In this was he was leading his life.
One night this Gopal deity told the Vaishnava, "You take Mc to Copal Giri, the son of Gadai Giri. He wants to offer Me worship. I want to go there. Take Me there." But the Vaishnava thought that it was only a dream. He did not take it seriously. After a few days Gopal came again in a dream and beat him with a cane on his legs. It was such a severe beating that his legs were bleeding.
The sannyasi" Vaishnava woke up and begged apology, "Please forgive me for my offense. I did not take Your order seriously. But You have beaten me so severely, how can I go there v5rith such wounds on my legs?" Gopal said, "When Gopal Giri touches you it will be healed, otherwise you cannot be cured. You go there at once, don't make any delay."So he started walking. At that time there was no communication system, no train or bus. The only way was by walking. It took him two and a half months to reach ;Puri. At this time Gopal Giri was staying in a rented house at Kundhei Benta Sahi in Puri. The Vaishnava reached Puri in the evening and stayed near the Jagannath temple. Early the next morning he inquired, "Who is Gopal Giri? I want to meet him." Many people knew Gopal Giri; he was famous as the cashier of the Jagannath temple. So he quickly found Gopal Giri at his rented house.Gopal Giri had just finished his bath and was putting on tilak. The Vaishnava arrived and offered his obeisances to Gopal Giri. He then took the deity from his bag and presented Him to Gopal Giri. Gopal Giri was amazed, "What is this? Who are you, and where has this deity come from?"The Vaishnava replied, "You wanted Gopal to worship. So Gopal has come from Vrindavan. I was in Vrindavan carrying this Gopal. He told me to hand Him over
to you, and He beat me. He showed Gopal Giri his legs and said, "If you touch it, it will be cured, otherwise it will not be cured." So Gopal Giri immediately touched him and the injury was gone.
Gopal Giri was very happy that Gopal had fulfilled his desire. He couldn't go to Vrindavan, but Gopal had come to him. Gopal Giri went to the market and purchased rice, dal, and vegetables. He prepared prasad and gave some to the Vaishnava. Then he went to the king and offered his resignation, saying, "I don't want to serve any more." When he returned to Ws room he opened his bag and told that Vaishnava, "You can take as much money as you want."The Vaishnava said, "No, I don't want any money. I only want to do service for Gopal. Wherever Gopal goes, I will go. I want to go and serve Him. I am not one to sell Gopal. I am a servant. I won't take any money."Later on, Gopal Giri again went to see the king. The king asked him, "Why did you resign?""I have a temple in my village and I had a desire to get a deity of Gopal to worship."The king was very pleased and said, "All right, your desire is very noble. I have no objection. But sometimes you must come to Puri with your ktrtan party and chant in Jagannath's temple.Gopal Giri also had a deity made of Radha and installed Her. Their temple was a mud hut.
He made all arrangements for Gopal, providing agricultural property so that in the future there would not be any difficulty for Gopal's maintenance. Gopal Giri was a wealthy person. His family had landed property and they were famous for kirtan. Every day kirtan was going on. At last that land has come to me. Now we are taking care, constructing a nice temple for Gopal.message to Gadeigiri for a kirtan group to come to Puri to accompany Gopal to His new home. When the Gajapati king heard the kirtan of the Gadeigiri villagers he became very pleased. It is written in the madala-panji, the history book of the temple of Lord Jagannath, that whenever the kirtan party from Gadeigiri comes they should be allowed to perform kirtan in the temple.Gopal Giri installed the Gopal deity in Gadeigiri and requested the renunciate from Vrindavan to perform Gopal's daily worship. After serving Gopal for twenty years, the renunciate departed this world and was given samadhi, ritual burial, near Gopal's temple. After this, Gopal Giri engaged other renounced Vaishnavas for the daily worship of Gopal.After Gopal Giri departed at the age of 85, responsibility for Gopal's service passed on to his son, Dinabandhu Giri.