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Location: Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India

Hare Krishna! Welcome to the Gopal Jiu Publications blog. This will give you some information about Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami, show you some of the ancient tirthas and places we have been researching and visiting here in India, and give you some news and updates on our festivals, seminars and publishing works. You may also be interested in these other links:

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Vraja Bandhu's Chuin

As a child, when Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja was studying in upper primary school he stayed in his uncle's home in Gadeigiri. In his youth he was known by his birth name, "Vraja Bandhu". From his earliest years, Vraja Bandhu was very attached to the ancestral deities of his family -- Sri Sri Radha Gopal Jiu. Most afternoons young Vraja Bandhu would play near Gopal's temple. Next to the small thatched temple was a paddy field that was used for cultivating mung beans. The village boys used to enjoy picking and eating the fresh raw beans. Late one afternoon Vraja Bandhu was picking some mung dahl (known as chuin in Oriya). Whatever he could hold in his small hands he would take and put on the veranda of Gopal's temple, and then go back to collect more. One time when Vraja Bandhu returned from the field with his handful of beans, he noticed that his original pile of chuin had vanished. Surprised, he looked around wondering who had taken it, but no one was to be seen. So he put that handful of bean pods down and returned to the field to pick more.

Carrying all that he could in his hands, Vraja Bandhu went back to Gopal's veranda and found that once again his pile of chuin was gone. This time he was determined to see who it was that was taking his chuin, so while he returned to the field to collect more, he kept looking back at his pile on the veranda of Gopal's temple.

Suddenly Vraja Bandhu saw a small boy with a dark black face quickly grabbing all his chuin. Vraja Bandhu ran towards the boy shouting "Gopal is taking my chuin." Gopal fled around the temple with Vraja Bandhu in hot pursuit.

By this time it was getting dark, and Gopinath Giri, Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja’s maternal uncle (whom Maharaja recalled as a pure devotee) was going to Gopal's temple for his evening prayers. He was surprised to find Vraja Bandhu running around and around the temple calling out that Gopala had taken his chuin! Gopinath Giri called the boy, asking why he was running around the temple on his own in the dark. Vraja Bandhu told him that Gopal had taken his chuin. Gopinath Giri started to tell him that he should go home as it was getting late. Then suddenly he saw a boy's shadow rush in through the temple doorway. Seeing this, Gopinath Giri became ecstatic. With his hair standing on end, tears in his eyes, and a trembling body, he embraced young Vraja Bandhu, understanding that Gopal was playing games with his nephew.


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