Vamsha Gopala temple is a small temple located in Keshi Ghata area of Vrindavana. Vrindavan is the land of over 5000 temples, almost all dedicated to Lord Krishna, the supreme personality of Godhead.
This temple is just like any other Krishna temple in Vrindavana. What makes it special is that Srila Prabhupada stayed here during his Vanaprastha section of life.
Srila Prabhupada, before becoming the Founder Acharya – International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), was a pharmaceutical retailer in Allahabad.
During mid-fifties hi left Allahabad and shifted to Kolkata in west bengal, where he continued his business. He was neglecting his business and spending most of the time in service of Krishna, so he had to bear financial crunch.
His Guru Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thukura, had instructed him to spread the message of Lord Caitanya throughout the globe. This work was given to him in his twenties.
In his fifties, Srila Prabhupada, then known as Abhay Charnavarvinda dedicated himself in doing the work assigned te him by his Guru, and neglected his business.
He started the magazine, “Back to Godhead”, as a medium to propagate the message of Lord Caitanya, which is the love of Godhead and to chant,
hare krishna hare krishna
krishna krishna hare hare
hare rama hare rama
rama rama hare hare
This is the only way to cross the ocean of material existence and return back to Krishna.
Srila Abhay Charnarvinda’s family, especially the wife didn’t like that he was completely engaged in preaching Krishna consciousness and neglecting business. So they didn’t cooperate with him.
He left his house for Vrindavana, where he rented a room at first floor of Vamsha Gopala temple.
Here he lived for three year before taking renunciation in 1959. This is the place where beginning of a great revolution took place. Srila Prabhupada, in forecoming years preached the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu throughout the globe.
Now there are over a 1000 ISKCON centers across the globe.
It is not possible to see the room which Srila Prabhupada usid as it is now occupied by others. But still the temple is a must visit as it is sanctified by the presence of a Goloka soul – Srila Prabhupada, the commander in chief of Vaishnavas.
The temple is on the route going from Radharamana temple to Keshi Ghata. The major landmarks near the temple are Radharamana temple, Radha Gokulananda temple, Jugal Kishore temple and Keshi Ghata.
Vrindavana is well accessible from Delhi (135 km) and Agra (60 km) through National Highway – 2.
The other temples which are worth visit in Vrindavana are ISKCON Krishna Balarama temple, Madana Mohana temple, Radha Damodara temple, Govindaji temple, Radha Gokulananda temple, Radharamana temple and Vrindavana Chandrodaya temple.
The places of interest near Vrindavana are- Krishna’s appearance place (Janmabhumi temple) at Mathura which is just 10 km away, Sriji temple at Varsana and Chaurasi Khamba at Mahavana.
Vrindavana and Mathura are both cities of fair size with all facilities- accomodation, food and markets.
Jaya Srila Parabhupada!