:: SHRI GOPINATHJI ::

Shri Gopinathji, the elder son of Shri Vallabhacharyaji was born on the 12th Day of the black half of the month of Ashvin in the S.Y.1568, soon after Shri Vallabhacharyaji had completed a "Soma Yagna" and was residing in the village called Adel (Near Prayaga). He had received the fond care and full guidance in his education from his father. Shri Gopinathji was quite simple and to him the teaching of his father were not mere doctrine’s to be studied and talked about in eloquence, but principles to be followed sedulously.

The "Yajnopavita Samskara" (Sacred Thread Ceremony) of Shri Gopinathji was performed in the S.T. 1573 when Shri Vallabhacharya was staying at Varanasi. Soon after as is the practice in cultured Hindu Brahmin families in those times, the real education of the young celibate into Vedic lore began in right earnest.

Apart from the studies of the comparative systems of the doctrines, he was trained in Anu Bhasyam , Subodhini and other works composed by Shri Vallabhacharyaji. The simple Satvik and Scholastic life his father had moulded the young mind of Shri Gopinathji into adopting a life of self discipline and sacrifice.

The marriage of Shri Gopinathji took place at an early age before Shri Vallabhacharya had renounced and left the world. It is said that his marriage was performed in South. Shri Gopinathji had one son, Shri Purushottamji and two daughters, Satyabhamaji Betiji and Lakshmi Betiji.

As mentioned in "Vallabha Digvijaya" written by Shri Yadunathji, after the Asurvyahmohleela (Disappearance) of Shri Vallabhacharya, Shri Gopinathji had adorned the seat of Acharya of the Sampradaya and he was much venerated by various disciples. It is believed that he has done much for the propagation of Shrimad Bhagavata Purana.

After completing the ceremonial rites of his father in Varanasi, he had returned to Adel with his younger brother Shri Vithalnathji, mother and other members of family.

During this period, he had received a complaint form the Adhikari Krishnadas that the Gauda Bengalis to whom Shri Vallabhacharya had entrusted the seva of Shri Govardhannathji, were not fulfilling their duties faithfully. They had installed an Icon of Devi called Brinda near Shri Govardhannathji inspite of the protests from the management.

Inspite of the best efforts of Shri Gopinathji and Shri Vithalnathji the Bengalis refused to mend their ways and persisted in continuing the worship of Brinda, thus misusing the funds of the Mandir. At last the Adhikari was compelled to adopt coercive tactics. One day for some mysterious reason fire broke out in the tenements of Bengalis. So they ran helter-skelter to save their belongings. Taking this opportunity the Adhikari had the gates of the Mandir closed against them and thereafter entrusted the seva to Vaishnavas.

It is understood that Shri Gopinathji and Shri Vithalnathji had offered the interior seva of Shri Govardhannathji like cooking etc., to their relatives, but this offer was declined by them. As such the two brothers had entrusted the seva to Sanchihara Brahmin.

Retaining Krishnadas as the overall supervisor of the management of the mandir, they had returned to Adel. Thereafter they had made it a practice that when one of the brothers was there, other would take care of the seva of Shri Govardhannathji in Jatipura.

Shri Gopinathji then went on long trip of the whole of North, including Jagannathpuri, where his father had won a major victory over erudite scholars of Sankaramatha. After visiting several pilgrim centers and establishing the greatness of Shri Bhagavata Purana, he returned to Adel in V.S.1601.

He had performed one Somayagna in the tradition of the family and later performed one Vishnuyagna. It is said that Shri Gopinathji had collected lakh of rupees during this trip which he utilized in increasing the seva of Shri Goverdhannathji at Jatipura.

It was a practice with him, right from his youth to read Shri Bhagavata Purana regularly.He was so obsessed with its reading that he would not even eat unless he would complete Shri Bhagvata. Very much worried about this adamant attitude of Shri Gopinathji ,Shri Vallabhacharyaji had composed one Stotra containing one thousand names of Purna Purushottama Sahasranama , all extracted from Shri Bhagavta Purana and advised his son to read this work daily so that he could have the complete effect of reading Shri Bhagavata Purana. This “Purushottama Sahasranama Stotra " is one of the original works of Shri Vallabhacharya and is much venerated.

Again in V.S.1618 he undertook a long tour of Gujarat, Sindh and Dwarka. Shri Gopinathji had been blessed with a son. Whenever Shri Gopinathji had gone out of Adel on his regular yatra of the country, he used to leave his son Shri Purrshottamji with his younger brother Shri Vithalnathji. Shri Purushottamji passed away at the age of 12 years before Shri Gopinathji had returned from his travels of Gujarat in the V.S.1620 after a lapse of nearly three years was divine hand behind this. As this turn of events came in his life, he recalled the words of his father who had predicted in confidence that the dynasty of Shri Gopinathji will not run long and that it would be only Shri Vitthalnathji and his family members who would take the responsibilty of carrying his tradition of Pushti Sampradaya.

After this event Shri Gopinathji entrusted the reign of the Sampradaya into the able hands of his brother and turned his face on again on wanderings. It is believed that during this period he had gone to Jagnnathpuri purposely and merged with the Swarupa of Shri Baladevji and disappeared. It is quite obvious that Shri Gopinathji was aware of how had turned his mind away from the household responsibities and adapted a way of Vairagya or detachment inwardly allowing his brother to take the greater part of the burden of the management of family and carrying the Sampradaya to its rightful course.

Even though he was no mean scholar,only one work credited to him is available . It is titled as "Sadhana Dipika".