A look at the temple founded by Rasikānanda Prabhu nearly four hundred years ago.
Article from JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1999 edition of BACK TO GODHEAD
by Bhaktivikāśa Swami
GOPIBALLABHPUR is situated in the southwest corner of the Medinipur district in southwest West Bengal, near Orissa and Bihar. Nearly four hundred years after Rasikānanda Prabhu started the Kṛṣṇa temple at Gopiballabhpur, the temple is still being managed by his descendants. Known as the Dev Goswamis, they continue to initiate disciples into the line of Śrī Caitanya Mahaprabhu. They also over- see several other temples, including the Kṣira-corā Gopinatha temple in Remuna and Syamasundara temple in Vṛndavana, started by Syamananda Prabhu, Rasikananda’s spiritual master.
The family keeps up the Vaisnava traditions of their ancestors. They perform kirtana, decorate themselves with the clay tilaka markings of the Syamananda line, oversee the Deity worship and festivals, and like to talk about Caitanya Mahaprabhu. They know Caitanya’s philosophy and pastimes as given in Śri Caitanya-caritamṛta and Śri Caitanya Bhagavata. And they know and love the songs of the great devo- tees in Lord Caitanya’s line. Though the Gopiballabhpur temple is small compared to many of India’s opulent and well-known temples, it is an attractive place, under the care of a family that upholds the spirit of Caitanya Vaiṣṇavism.
- This deity of Rasikānanda Prabhu resides at the Kṣira-coră Gopinatha temple in Remuna, Orissa.
- Śyāmānanda’s footprints (Right), Imprinted in stone, are worshiped daily with fresh flowers and other articles.
- The temple courtyard (above) is quiet while the Deities rest in their closed chambers in the afternoon.
- An entrance to Rasikānanda Prabhu’s Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa temple in Gopiballabhpur.