Most of these excerpts are from eulogies given in Mayapur the day after his passing.
Rukmini Devi Dasi
I first met Tamal Krishna Goswami in 1968 at the wonderful San Francisco temple. He made me feel welcome and part of the family.
As Srila Ramananda Raya has said, the greatest pain on earth is separation from a devotee. So what a great pain for this earth to lose such a great, great devotee as Tamal Krishna Goswami! He took the words of Srila Prabhupada as his life and soul.
For many of us, Prabhupada had to engage us according to our propensity as we liked, not necessarily what he liked. Tamal Krishna Maharaja, however, would do whatever Prabhupada wanted. Prabhupada could ask him anything, and he would go anywhere and do anything for Srila Prabhupada he was such a great example.
I was praying to Radha-Madhava, "If you think it's so important to take him right now, I'm going to have to ask You to please empower all the rest of us to be as empowered as he was to take his place."
Ravindra Svarupa Dasa
I first had extended acquaintance with Tamal Krishna Goswami in the early seventies. He made the greatest impression on me, because I learned things from him that are the foundation of my spiritual life. These are the things that I don't think you can learn unless you see them. You can read about them, but you really won't get the idea until you see it. And what I learned from Tamal Krishna Goswami was tivrena-bhakti-yogena: intense devotional service. I saw how intense and focused he was in his devotional service, and then I also began to understand that this inten-sity of focus was the intensity of his service to Srila Prabhupada. And that's when I learned what it meant to serve Srila Prabhupada. I am forever grateful to him for teaching me that. He taught me so many other things too; he was so intelligent. He taught me a lot of things I never could have learned anywhere else, and I've always been his disciple.
The primary meditation I have been considering is the value the world is provided by the mere presence of one so attached to Krsna as Tamal Krishna Goswami. One manner of appreciating Tamal Krishna Maharaja is to consider his capacity to provide shelter, directly and indirectly, for so many. For example, to get his saintly association, a contingent of thirty or more Taiwanese devotees came to Mayapur this year. It was such a powerful experience just to see all the Taiwanese devotees assembled together, coming daily together into the temple, replete with tilaka, all in dhotis and saris, with bright and shiny faces. I knew that Tamal Krishna Maharaja had completely captured their hearts, just as he has done singlehandedly with so many unique individuals. That is what brought these souls to Krsna consciousness, and to Mayapur.
He liberally showered personal time and attention upon them whenever he had some free time between our GBC meetings' sessions. And if that many Taiwanese came to Mayapur, how many are still back in Taiwan? What a powerful personality! All this was going on while he was completing his Ph.D., no less!
When I spoke with him briefly in Mayapur, I complimented him for two things. First, I told him that my experience is that his disciples love him uniquely, incredibly deeply, which tells me that he has given so much of himself to them and he had so much to give! The other compliment I offered was that wherever his disciples are in this world, they are universally known to be quite mature and have very highly trained manners and Vaisnava etiquette. This is no accident; it is because they learned these things from him.
Hridayananda Dasa Goswami
Because His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami was such a great servant of Srila Prabhupada, his passing is a powerful teaching of Krsna consciousness that brings us closer to Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krsna. I pray that we all honor Tamal Krishna Goswami by deeply assimilating the many valuable lessons he has given us through his life, his teaching, his writing, and even his glorious passing at a most auspicious time and place in the presence of many exalted Vaisnavas.
Srila Prabhupada would always call upon him to render unique and powerful services, and as we all know without a doubt, Srila Prabhupada has again called his right-hand man, Tamal Krishna Goswami, to another service, to again do what he alone can do.
Devotees are freely declaring to the world that a great Vaisnava has passed, and in doing so they personally and deeply recognize and acknowledge that Srila Prabhupada's dear disciple Tamal Krishna Goswami was indeed a great Vaisnava. We all, in our grief, cry out that this was an exalted servant of Srila Prabhupada, a great soul who played a mighty part in transforming the world.
Devotees everywhere are seeing that every living being that benefits from Srila Prabhupada's movement owes an eternal debt to His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami, who did more than words can tell to serve the mission of his eternal spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada. Let us rejoice in our certain knowledge that Tamal Krishna Goswami will now speedily return to the personal service of his eternal spiritual master, a service he valued above all things.
Srila Prabhupada said that when a Vaisnava departs we feel simultaneously happy and sad. We feel happy because we know that the Vaisnava has gone to Krsna, but we feel sad because we will miss the Vaisnava's association. I have no doubt that Srila Gurudeva [TKG] has gone not just to the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada, but also to the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha-Kalachandji. By such service as Srila Gurudeva offered to Srila Prabhupada for so many years, one is naturally promoted to their Lordship's service.
His insight, his intelligence, and his association with Srila Prabhupada made him uniquely qualified to answer questions and give guidance. It is extremely rare to find someone so spiritually attuned and at the same time so astute in worldly matters, so conscious of a person's mentality and psychology and mood and sincerity.
I am feeling tremendous loss. During my presentation at the GBC meeting, I felt great pleasure and comfort seeing Maharaja "back in his chair" in a position of revered leadership. I was proud that such a senior devotee should still care so much about Srila Prabhupada's movement, and felt secure and safe in his association. There is now a tremendous void in Maharaja's absence, and I do not know how we will fill that chasm.
All I can say is, Maharaja's disciples and followers are not alone. His Godbrothers and Godsisters are also grieving his absence and are praying to Lord Caitanya that his wonderful disciples continue his splendid mission.
Goswami Maharaja, with your departure I have lost a dearmost friend who had my real interest at heart and who extended himself to me on numerous occasions. Our association goes back to the mid-1970s, when each year you, Bhagavan Dasa, and I would go on a spiritual retreat to the sacred abode of Hrishikesh in the Himalayas. There we would read and chant, swim in the Ganga, and have kirtanas, just the three of us, in the spiritual atmosphere of that sacred abode. It was during those retreats that I imbibed from you a great zeal for the missionary activities of Krsna consciousness, for you would always preach to me the glories of the holy names, book distribution, and the making of devotees.
But what amazed me the most was your brilliant plans and strategies for organizing these activities. Recognizing these abilities early in your devotional career, Srila Prabhupada entrusted you with the most responsible services, such as being part of the first Governing Body Commission, acquiring and securing the land for our Mayapur project in India, and heading up book distribution in America. Prabhupada's supreme love and trust in you was demonstrated by his making you his personal secretary a service you executed faithfully for so many years up to the very moment of his departure.
As a result of that service, you had an intimate look into the life of a pure devotee, something you have shared freely with us all these years. You were part of a rare breed of devotees, Goswami Maharaja devo-tees who had intimate association of His Divine Grace and understood his mood and the particular way he did things for Krsna. No doubt, you earned the most prestigious title any ISKCON devotee could earn, for you were in every way a "Prabhupada man."