His Grace Dravida Prabhu
I was shocked to learn this morning that my old friend and colleague Gopiparanadhana Prabhu had left his body suddenly at Govardhana. Just a few days ago I sent him a chapter of his Laghu-bhagavatamrta translation I had been reviewing and now he’s gone. What a loss for our Society and the world! He was a pure and vastly learned Vaisnava who impressed everyone with his firm faith in and loyalty to Srila Prabhupada and his movement, his genuine humility, his warm and open personality, and his deep realization of the intricacies of bhakti. Though we mourn his departure, we rejoice at the auspicious circumstances of his passing at the foot of Govardhana Hill chanting japa.
Gopiparanadhana Prabhu (or “Gopi,” as he was known to his close friends) joined the famous Henry St. temple in Brooklyn in 1973, the same year I did. We came from a similar background New York Jewish intellectual. We even both played the recorder, a simple renaissance-era flute. (In fact, we used to occasionally play duets in Miami during slow times in the production of the Bhagavatam.) Of course, he was a real scholar, with a degree in linguistics from Columbia, while I wasn’t. But still, we both began serving in Srila Prabhupada’s Bhaktivedanta Book Trust the year we joined, and have done so for nearly 40 years since.
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