Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Tribute to Gopalji

With a heavy heart, we wish to inform the demise of Our most beloved Gopalakrishnan Mama who passed away last wednesday morning 3.30 am in Muscat. A renowned and perfect devotee of Swami Gnananandha and showed the glorious path of Swamigal to all who came to him.

Gopalji, as he was fondly called - was a highly intellectual person, a devotee of great caliber  and a good human being. Mama was a perfect Adhwaithi and practiced what he believed.

He came in contact with H H Swami Gnananandha Giri Swamigal of Thapovanam Mutt at a very young age and received his guidance at every step. He then undertook the guidance of  Mother Gnanananda Sarasvathi of Sri Gnana Advaitha Peetam.

As instructed by a divine command - he was an ardent worshiper of Amba in the form of Sri Bala Tripurasundari, and He was also a composer who has composed various songs under the pen-name Baala Daasan- But he was very rarely known to the outside world; But all his songs contained excellent value and has a unique style of narration and poetic expression.

The respect he had for Indian culture and its spiritual heritage did not hinder him from exploring the current world. He was employed in the very famous business empire of  Oman and he was promoted as the Executive Director and CFO of the company.

Mama greatly valued literature and books, and had a lot of collection of Philosophy and spiritual works in English, Tamil, Sanskrit and Hindi. Not only an avid and eclectic reader, he was also a writer. His command of both Tamil and English was exceptional.

His stay at Tapovanam during his childhood and youth deeply awakened him to the possibility of realization in this human life. He always clarified several misconceptions, sweeping aside unhelpful superstitious beliefs, and had his own way of interpreting things.

I still recollect our late evening discussions - which would continue even after 3.00 AM. We would share all our spiritual experiences; debate on philosophies; Life history of  various Maha Purushas and the spiritual journey of many souls. Quite often - we would come to a conclusion that Bhakthi Marga is the Mukti Marga.

The Sathsang members of Muscat can never forget the Soul-stirring Bhajan rendered by him. Radha Kalyanam, Sampradhaya Bajan, Tiruppugazh and Ayyappan Pujas - his voice is simply unforgettable. His knowledge on the Bhajan field, its sampradayam, Music, Raagas,Bhaavas etc was something remarkable.

My association with Sri. Gopalji started only three years ago - I visited Muscat on his invitation for a Lecture Series and to conduct a Sastha Preethi. From the very first sight we had a sense of attachment- as if we knew each other for years.

He was staying some 2000 kilometers away - But our bondage was something unique. May be this is the reason Bagawan wanted me to be there during his last days. Unusually I took my Bagawan(Vigraham) along with me this time- may be he wanted a proper send off !

When he called me some two months back to discuss on His recent experience - it left me speechless. He was in the state of ecstasy. And he wanted me to come early even before the scheduled programs.

And so, I was told he was eagerly awaiting my visit - to discuss a something in person - But unfortunately this could not materialize.

He personally came to the airport to receive me and took me home. As soon as I kept the Lord in the puja room - he did a Namaskaram to the Lord and we had our dinner together; the very same night he developed a sudden ill health and was hospitalized and things went the unexpected way. I had an opportunity to be with him and his family during his last days.

In the last days of his life, Gopalji was often unwell. More recently, he suffered from a liver problem, which caused his multi organ failure and finally his heart stop beating.

A stream of well wishers and friends took their final chance of seeing him before he was sent to India for the last rites. On behalf of Maha Sasthru Seva Sangam - our prayers to Lord Bhaktaparipala to grant strength to his family and friends to bear the immense loss.

He is no more and on the Muscat Astikas will feel the Vacum so hard to fill.

I will end here: “Those who walk with Guru always reach their destination.”

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