Srila Govinda Maharaja’s Sannyasa Day: A Photo Journal (10/30/10)

Srila Giri Maharaja
“Photo Journal of Srila Govinda Maharaja’s Sannyasa Day”

In honor of the Sannyasa day of His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Sundara Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaja on November 6, 1985, followed by the appearance day of Srila Bhakti Rakshaka Sridhara Dev-Goswami Maharaja, we are offering a short photo journal, containing previously unpublished photos, for the satisfaction of our Divine Masters and their devotees, friends and followers.

Srila Bhakti Sundara Goinvda Dev-Goswami Maharaja, the day after his sannyasa ceremony in November of 1985, preparing to speak at the function held in the Natha Mandira to commemorate Srila Bhakti Rakshakha Sridhara Dev-Goswami’s appearance day.

The day before, a local barber was called to help prepare Srila Govinda Maharaja for his sannyasa ceremony by shaving his head. Sripada Bhakti Kiron Giri Maharaja looks on as the barber does his work.

Srila Govinda Maharaja, as he appeared in March of 1984. He had just been discussing some important matters of Math management with Srila Sridhara Maharaja, as evidenced by the documents and paperwork still in his hand.

Srila Sridhara Maharaja requested his Godbrother, Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Maharaja to perform the fire yajna. He happily did so and is seen here in front of the column reading some instructions for the yajna.

Srila Govinda Maharaja, also very familiar with the procedures for performing fire sacrifices, watched carefully and did not hesitate to lend his own guidance to the ceremony.

In the same row with Srila Sridhara Maharaja, (L-R) Srila Govinda Maharaja, Srila Puri Maharaja, Sripada (Kiron) Giri Maharaja.

Srila Sridhara Maharaja was waiting on his veranda for the fire sacrifice to finish, after which Srila Govinda Maharaja came and offered his dandavats to his Divine Master. Several of us had also gathered there. Srila Sridhara Maharaja began glorifying the seva of Srila Govinda Maharaja and several of us in turn did the same. Srila Govinda Maharaja had taken his seat on a small carpet next to Srila Guru Maharaja’s chair. Guru Maharaja urged him to speak something. He spoke very briefly recounting Srila Guru Maharaja’s desire that, for a long time, he wanted Govinda Maharaja to take sannyasa so that he could turn everything over to him and Govinda Maharaja’s final acceptance saying, “I am your goat, you can cut off my head if you like.”

Srila Govinda Maharaja then told us, “I am the servant of the devotees.” He has proven that throughout his entire life.

After meeting with Srila Sridhara Maharaja, Srila Govinda Maharaja, accompanied by all the sannyasis present, went to the roof of the Natha Mandira to pose for this photo.
Here Srila Bhakti Sundara Govinda Maharaja is standing on the roof of the Natha Mandira on the day of his Sannyasa ceremony, November 6, 1985 (as I calculate it). All thirteen sannyasis pictured with him had also received sannyasa, or sannyasa names, from Srila Sridhara Maharaja.

The names of those with him, that I recall, are: L-R Sripadas: ___?___,  Bhakti Vedan Mahayogi, Bhakti Kanan Giri, Padmanaba, Bhakti Viraha Avadhuta, Bhakti Vijnana Bharati, Bhakti Kiron Giri, Bhakti Sudhira Goswami, Bhakti Ananda Sagara, Bhakti Aloka Paramadwaiti, Bhakti Abhaya Narayana, Bhakti Hrdaya Bon, and ___?___.

If anyone knows the names of those I missed please forward them to me.

Swami B.K. Giri