The house where Srila Govinda Maharaj was born stood near the house where Vrindavan Das Thakur lived, the author of Sri Chaytanya Bhagavata (the scriptures about the life and teaching of Sri Chaytanya Mahaprabhu). The boy was named Gaurendu.
From the early childhood he was raised in the atmosphere of Vaisnava culture and love of his relatives and friends. Five generations of his family worshiped the deities of Radha and Krishna. According to the family legend those deities were installed by Virachandra Prabhu himself, the son of Nityananda Prabhu.
In 1947 the devotees from Sri Chaytanya Saraswat Math, the disciples of Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev Goswami Maharaj, visited Bamunparu. Young Gaurendu was so much inspired by the ideas of their preaching; and once late at night, secretly from his family, he left the village with the devotees of Math to Nabadwip, where he joined the mission of Srila Sridhar Maharaj.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj from the very first moment emphasized prominent spiritual qualities and talents of his young disciple. After the first week in Math Srila Sridhar Maharaj decided to give him the spiritual guidance of the whole Math. Srila Sridhar Maharaj asked the opinion of his spiritual brothers. All of them gave the best recommendations to young devotee. Srila Sridhar Maharaj chose Gaurendu as his successor and personally taught him.
Govinda Maharaj was a permanent personal servant of his spiritual teacher for more than 40 years and got all his blessings.
Srila Govinda Maharaj also got special blessings of other great Acharya — Srila A. Ch. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj with young Govinda Maharaj lived several years in the preaching center on the second floor of pharmaceutical laboratory of Swami Prabhupada (at that time he wore mundane name — Abhay Charan De).
Young Gaurendu studied Bhagavadgita under the guidance of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami who saw unusual spiritual qualities in this young man. In his speech at the grand opening of the temple in Mayapur Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada called Gowinda Maharaj his beloved son. Thousands of devotees from all over the India heard those words.
Once Srila Sridhar Maharaj made a prediction: “This young man will become a great sadhu and will liberate thousands of souls”.
Srila Govinda Maharaj along with prominent spiritual qualities has plenty of talents, among them we can emphasize his knowledge of scriptures, of Vaisnava philosophy, Sanskrit grammar and poetry. Society of pandits (theistic scientists) several times gave him the highest titles. Srila Sridhar Maharaj discussed many of his famous books with his best disciple, Govinda Maharaj made a great contribution in their creation. Moreover, Srila Sridhar Maharaj wrote wonderful slokas — pranamamantra — glorifying Govinda Maharaj.
Once at Vyasapuja — the ceremony devoted to the day of appearance of spiritual master — Srila Sridhar Maharaj glorified Govinda Maharaj for several hours.
For several years Srila Sridhar Maharaj performed as a ritvik (representative) of Srila Govinda Maharaj — he was giving initiations to the disciples from Govinda Maharaj’s name. Such glorifying of a disciple by his teacher is a unique example in the history of Vaisnavism, Srila Govinda Maharaj took that mercy and blessings of his Guru as seva, theopportunity of self-sacrificing service to him.
Because of his careful and energetic guidance our Math started to grow attracted many of followers. The territory around the Math developed intensively; a huge ashram grew up there. Nowadays the complex of temple buildings is situated around the lake, which Srila Sridhar Maharaj saw as Govinda kund in his revelation. There is a sacred place with the same name in Vrindavan, but it was revealed to Srila Sridhar Maharaj that it appeared in Nabadwip as well. Due to Srila Govinda Maharaj’s service the main temple of our Math was built on the bank of Govinda kund as well as Shiva temple, natmandir, chandayatra mandir, living accommodations for devotees and other buildings.
The lands of Math grew essentially in those years, and now there are farms there. Thanks to the efforts of Srila Govinda Maharaj there were founded temples and centers in Vrindavan, Jagannath Puri, Kolkatta and other cities of India. Nowadays thanks to the self-sacrificing efforts of his disciples the new centers were founded in big cities all over the world.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj gave many verbal and written instructions that everybody who considers himself as a follower of Sri Chaytanya Saraswat Math should take the guidance of Srila Govinda Maharaj.
He gave to his closest disciple all the property of our Math and all the spiritual authority including the right to give initiation. Srila Govinda Maharaj completed the will of his spiritual master in full measure. He traveled around the world several times; thanks to his preaching the centers and the followers of the Math appeared in many Eastern countries.
Srila Govinda Maharaj mercifully accepted thousands of disciples, initiated them into the chanting of Holy Name and pointed the way of pure devotional service to Mahaprabhu and Vaisnavas. He visited Russia several times, and he conquered the hearts of many people by his amazing spiritual qualities.
Preachers about Gurudev