Dear Respected Vaisnavas Maharajas, Prabhus and Didis,
Please accept our most humble dandavats pranamas.
We are very sad to inform you that on 5th of January, 2007, Gopikanta
Prabhu, Srila Gurudev's disciple from Lithuania and one of the best
kirtaniyas in Europe, left his body. (You must remember him Srila Gurudev
always used to make him sing at big programs, so you must have heard his
kirtans during various European and Russian festivals of 2001-2005, as well
as during Karttika Festival 2006.)
So, during that last Karttika in Vrindavana, Gopikanta Prabhu was bitten by
a mad dog, but failed to have the necessary injections done immediately, in
order to prevent rabies. As a result, approximately five weeks after his
return from Parikrama, it became clear that he had that disease. He was
immediately hospitalized to Infectious Diseases Clinic in Vilnius, Lithuania.
After just a few days, the infection took over all of his body and entered
into his brain, so he got into a coma.
The local devotees were trying their best to apply all kinds of
non-traditional methods of treatment, but all was in vain the doctors were
categorically rejecting any alternative means. Gopikanta Prabhu still was in
coma, and at that time we were begging Srila Gurudev and all the Vaisnavas
to please pray for him. Then, Srila Gurudev said in his letter that if
Gopikanta left, he would definitely receive a very exalted sadhu-sanga in
his next birth, and that very quickly he would achieve pure bhakti.
Many devotees in Europe and Russia were praying for our dear Gopikanta
Prabhu those days, dedicating him their kirtans
But sadly, on 5th of
January he had to leave us by Krishna's will
Here, we would like to tell you a little about our Gopikanta Prabhu, his
guru-seva and his wonderful qualities.
He was born in 1964 in Lithuania. First he came in touch with Krishna
Consciousness in 1988. In that year, he heard the Hare Krishna mantra and
got some books from the local devotees. Long time after, he was telling us
that those days the maha-mantra was spontaneously resounding within him 24
hours a day. He couldn't stop singing Hare Krishna spontaneously over and
over again. Being a professional musician, he had a deep feeling to Harinama
from the very first days.
In 1992, Gopikanta became a full-time devotee, and in a little while
accepted initiation in ISKCON. (By that time he was already married and had
two little daughters, but his family members did not support his spiritual
interests.) He joined a travelling sankirtana party, and together with three
more devotees was preaching all over Lithuania, distributing books and
charming everyone by singing his wonderful kirtans.
A few years later, Gopikanta Prabhu started his regular solo programs with
slide shows. He was playing synthesizer and harmonium, singing kirtans and
Hare Krishna maha-mantra and showing people slides with transcendental
places of Vraja Mandala and Navadwipa Mandala. The programs were taking
place in huge auditoriums and halls at many recreation homes, cafes, etc.
Many people were attracted by his singing, and especially by simplicity and
sincerity of his character. It was really effective preaching.
After Gopikanta Prabhu's ISKCON guru fell down, very quickly he took shelter
at the lotus feet of our Srila Gurudev, Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana
Gosvami Maharaja. During Srila Gurudev's first Russian festival near
Moscowin July-August 2000, Gopikanta Prabhu received harinama and
diksa from Srila
Gurudev, and immediately he became number one kirtaniya in Gurudev's
Regarding his singing in public places during that period, it mostly was
rather spontaneous. During summer time, Gopikanta was often singing in
parks, in front of open cafes, sometimes arranging small programs in
different areas. People were often thanking him so much for his sincerity
and beautiful singing.
Four years before his departure, Gopikanta Prabhu had a very serious car
accident, and just by Krishna's mercy his health was gradually nearly
completely back to normal, and he could stay with us
for a few more years.
During Gopikanta's last period, his mood was as never before to gradually
fully dedicate himself to spiritual life. He could see that his situation,
with his family circumstances and the boring job he was doing, is not
satisfactory for his bhajan. He was often telling then, "I want to be again
like I was in the 90's supporting myself only by bhajan programs, and
give up my job which takes all of my energy." The mood of renunciation was
thus growing in him.
In 2006, Gopikanta Prabhu was very eager to go to Vrindavana for Vraja
Mandala Parikrama, first time in his life. So, he went and he saw Seva
Kunj, Yamuna, Giriraj Govardhan, Radha Kunda, Syama Kunda
He heard Srila
Gurudev's transcendental rasika harikatha, and he sang for him in
last time in this lifetime.
Krishna quickly took him away to a better place, where he will definitely
have wonderful facilities for perfecting his guru-seva nad kirtan, as it was
blessed by Srila Gurudev
We will always remember our Gopikanta Prabhu, his wonderful kirtans, his
sincerity and determination in guru-seva.
We are very grateful to all the devotees who were with our Gopikanta Prabhu
during his critical period, who were dedicating him their prayers and
Also, most important,
WE WOULD LIKE TO CONVINCE ALL DEVOTEES,
THOSE WHO ARE GOING TO INDIA FOR ANY REASON:
*PLEASE HAVE YOUR ANTI-RABIES INJECTIONS MADE EVEN BEFORE YOUR JOURNEY, *
*AND IF YOU HAPPEN TO BE BITTEN BY A DOG, A MONKEY, OR ANYTHING WHILE IN **
*HAVE THEM MADE IMMEDIATELY!*
On behalf of the Lithuanian yatra,
Gopikanta Prabhu singing for Srila Gurudev in Berlin 2003
Gopikanta Prabhu offering a ghee lamp to Manasi Ganga, Karttika 2006