Sri Sri Radha Gopal Jiu
The information presented is a few excerpts from 'Gopal Jiu - The Beloved Deity of Srila Gaur Govind Swami'. Shri Shrimad Gaur Govind Swami Maharaj was born from the womb of a girl of Giri family and used to do various types of services for Gopal since childhood. Throughout his life, whenever possible, he would go to see Gopal. He also renounced his divine body and this world while seeing a very beautiful picture of Gopal. Not only this, his last words were also the same, "Gopal".
Gadeigiri village is located in Jagatsinghpur district of east-central Orissa. Like other small villages in India, it is also a peaceful place where most of the kutcha houses are covered with straw roofs and huts made of mud. The residents of the village live a simple life like their forefathers, bathe in the local pond everyday, take care of the cows and cook their food on cow dung cakes. The main means of their livelihood are rice cultivation and selling of brass utensils. Almost every house in the village has a holy Tulsi plant in its courtyard and one can hear the chanting of Hare Krishna Mahamantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. The villagers of Gadeigiri village are completely devoted to Lord Gopal. It is a long-standing practice of this village that whatever first fruit or flower grows in the garden, they bring it and offer it to the deity of Gopala, and by doing so those trees and vines are believed to bear abundant fruits. Flowers are provided!
Establishment of Gadeigiri Village
Gadaigiri village is named after its founder Sriman Gadaigiri, who migrated here from Midnapore district in the seventeenth century. Being a merchant, he regularly used to come to this area to sell utensils and bronze items.
He was a simple and saintly person. Every morning he used to do kirtan after getting up early in the morning and then after getting some water, he went from house to house selling brass utensils. In the evening, in whichever village he was, he would spend the night there and participate with the local people in their daily kirtan and study of the Srimad-Bhagavatam.
He soon became famous as a good kirtankar and devotee and for the pleasure of the local deities (Shri Baldev Jiu, Shri Vrindavan Bihari Ji, Sri Sri Radha Madanmohan Jiu and Shri Dadhi Baman Jiu) he was invited to participate in the sankirtans of various festivals. Started getting invited again and again.
Appreciating Gadaigiri's asceticism, the Zamindar offered him some area of land. Shortly afte this, Gadaigiri met a Naga monk. He was highly pleased with Gadaigiri's polite behavior and good character.
One day Gadaigiri was walking in the forest with the ascetic when suddenly both of them heard the sound of Venu, Nupur and conch shells along with the soft voices of different types of birds.
The Naga-sadhu told him, “Where such auspicious sounds are heard, there Krishna himself is present. Where Krishna is, his consort, Bhagya Lakshmi, is also present. This is a sacred and famous place. Build a house here and reside here and engage yourself completely in the service of the Lord. Here all your wishes will be fulfilled instantly.
When Gadaigiri told this to the zamindar, the zamindar gifted him a large tract of land, including a portion to cultivate. Gadaigiri built a house and a small temple in a small part of the forest designated by the Naga-sadhu, where he installed the Deity of 'Dadhi Baman'.
When Lord Jagannath is worshiped in the absence of his brother Baladeva and sister Subhadra, he is called 'Patita Pawan' or 'Dadhi Baman'.
Leaving his business of utensils, Gadaigiri became completely engrossed in bhajan-kirtan. Many Parivrajak Sadhus and Sannyasis started participating in his kirtan. Gradually many people came to live permanently at that place and as a result a village named Gadeigiri was established at that place.
Gopal Giri was the only son of Gadeigiri. He was deeply impressed by his father's devotional qualities and consequently became devoted to Lord Jagannath. Every year he used to go to Jagannath Puri to participate in the Rath Yatra festival. At the same time, he was also highly enamored of sankirtan and was well versed in different types of kirtan styles.
Gopal Giri had a strong desire to worship the deity of Gopal. Not receiving such a deity, he decided to go to Puri with the thought that if he served Lord Jagannath there, one way or the other, Gopal would automatically come to him. On reaching Puri, he started living at a place called Kundhei Benta Sahi near the Grand Road. Being a learned scholar, he very easily got a job in the king's office, where he was assigned the post of treasurer of Lord Jagannath's temple.
Gopal Giri used to lead a regular and controlled life. During his stay in Puri, he used to visit Lord Jagannath everyday. He used to recite Srimad-Bhagavatam by sitting on the "baish pahach" ie twenty-two steps leading from the temple courtyard to the main darshan area and returned to his home after receiving prasad in the evening. Every Sunday he used to go to 'Satalhari' Math near the ocean coast and there he used to study Srimad-Bhagavatam and chant Harinam. In particular he was highly attached to Srimad-Bhagavatam.
Gopal comes from Vrindavan