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Tamal Krsna Goswami
By Swami B.V. Tripurari
Swami Tripurari has written these words in response to the devastating news that Tamal Krsna Goswami, one of Srila Prabhupada's most significant soldiers, has passed from our vision. This was written on Tattva-Viveka, a discussion forum for his disciples. Upon hearing the news Swami immediately called his Godbrother and they shared their memories of this special servant of our dear Lord. His text follows:
I first met Tamal Krsna Goswami in Gauda Mandala Bhumi, the circle of Gaudadesa in which the lila of Sri Gaurasundara is eternally performed. The last time I saw him he was was also in Gaudadesa, and today I have learned that he passed from this world in that same Gauda Mandala Bhumi.
I knew him for 28 years, and I served Srila Prabhupada and Mahaprabhu shoulder to shoulder with him from the spring of 1975 to the summer of 1977 and then again from the summer of 1978 until sometime in 1980. He is not a person one can easily forget.
I consider him an eternal servant of Srila Prabhupada. His service to His Divine Grace is woven into every stitch of the fabric of ISKCON. I know of no area of service that he was not only involved in but moreover took responsibility for in some capacity at one time or another.
Today he has left many friends and loved ones behind. Their burden is heavy, for he has left much for them to carry in his absence, much that he was carrying for them and would expect them to take up in his absence. For them, this day is long and dark in his shadow. Let them find light in realizing the measure of his stature as they stand now in his silhouette. His unexpected departure should make us more aware of what is expected of all of us, and what the stakes are. Live every moment of your life in krsnanusilanam—Krsna consciousness. Only then will you enter the eternal circle of Gaura lila, Sri Gauda Mandala Bhumi—dhama cintamani. Only there and in its inner circle of Vraja lila will you again find Tamal Krsna Goswami, serving at the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada.
The conditions under which Tamal Krsna Goswami passed were uncommon. He left the world while traveling through Santipura on his way to maya's kingdom. Once our Gurudeva, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, wrote to Pujyapada B.R. Sridhara Deva Goswami asking his opinion about departing from the world. In consideration of his age and health he asked Srila Sridhara Maharaja if he thought he should return to Vindavana, or leave the world in the preaching field. Appreciating Srila Prabhupada's preaching success, Sridhara Maharaja felt that it would be more glorious to remain in the preaching field.
One's life determines one's destination at death, for what one does thoughout his life determines what will be on his mind at the time of death. I can assure you, Tamal Krsna Goswami was absorbed in thoughts of Krsna and Krsna sankirtana, and it should be underscored that he left the world in Gauda Mandala Bhumi, from which there is no return to the world of birth and death.
Was his an untimely departure? I think not. God's ways are mysterious. Tamal Krsna Goswami should be remembered particularly for his preoccupation in the latter part of his life. Those who know him know that these were his softest days. His heart pined for camaraderie among Vaisnavas, especially those influenced by Srila Prabhupada. As we are moved in unison to think of Tamal Krsna Goswami now perhaps more than ever before, we should think of this: the need for generous dealings amongst one another. This is the need of the hour. May the unexpected departure from our midst of Sripada Tamal Krsna Goswami propel us once and forever in this direction, down the straight and narrow yet all accommodating road to Gauda Mandala Bhumi, the land of the all generous lila of Lord Gauranga.
© CHAKRA 21 March 2002
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