Sri Sakshi Gopala

Based on a chapter of Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja’s

Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Script by Parividha das

The young brahmana
The old brahmana
Sri Gopala
The wife
First narrator
Second narrator / Village elder
Arjuna das
Sakshi Gopala das
Kripamoya das
Govardhana dasi
Sad Bhuja das
Dharani Dhara das
Suvrata dasi
Jayadeva das
Dwarakadisa das
Parividha das
Gandharvika dasi
Sitar by Riksaraja das

Engineered and mastered by Dwarakadisa das
Directed and produced by Parividha das © 1997


Narration: I offer my respectful obeisance’s unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Who appeared as Sakshi Gopala to benefit a brahmana. For one hundred days the deity of Gopala travelled through the country walking on his own legs. Thus His activities are wonderful. Once at Vidyanagar, South India, there were two brahmanas who decided to go on a pilgrimage together. First of all they visited Gaya, then Kashi, then Prayag. Finally, with great pleasure, they came to Mathura. Then they started visiting the different forests of Vrindavana and came to Govardhana Hill. Finally they entered the village of Vrindavana. After taking baths at Keshi Ghat and Kaliya Ghat the pilgrims visited the temple of Gopala, where they remained for a few days.
Kirtan leader: Sri Gopala ki! Jaya!
Lead singer: Govinda jaya jaya, Gopala jaya jaya
All: Govinda jaya jaya, Gopala jaya jaya
Kirtan leader: Govinda jaya jaya, Gopala jaya jaya
All: Govinda jaya jaya, Gopala jaya jaya
Kirtan leader: Radha Ramana Hari Govinda jaya jaya
All: Radha Ramana Hari Govinda jaya jaya
Lead singer: Govinda jaya jaya, Gopala jaya jaya
All: Govinda jaya jaya, Gopala jaya jaya
Kirtan leader: Govinda Govinda Govinda Govinda
All: Govinda Govinda Govinda Govinda
Kirtan leader: Gopala Gopala Gopala Gopala
All: Gopala Gopala Gopala Gopala
Kirtan leader: Gopala Gopala Gopala Gopala
All: Gopala Gopala Gopala Gopala
Kirtan leader: Gopala Gopala Gopala Gopala
All: Gopala Gopala Gopala Gopala
Kirtan leader: Radha Ramana Hari Govinda jaya jaya
All: Radha Ramana Hari Govinda jaya jaya
Kirtan leader: Radha Ramana Hari Govinda jaya jaya
All: Radha Ramana Hari Govinda jaya jaya
Kirtan leader: Lord Sri Gopala ki!
All: Jaya!
Kirtan leader: Bhagavan Sri Gopala ki!
All: Jaya!
Sanjaya: Let me help you. (helps the old brahmana up)
Old brahmana: Ah, My dear Sanjaya, you have assisted me in traveling to all these wonderful places of pilgrimage, and you have rendered all kinds of service to me. Even my own sons do not treat me the way you have done, and it is by your mercy that I did not become fatigued, even once on our tour. I feel that if I do not show you my appreciation then it will be very ungrateful of me. Therefore, I promise to you my daughter in charity.
Sanjaya: Sir! You are from a most aristocratic family. You are well educated and wealthy, and I am exactly the opposite. Therefore, what you are saying is very unusual. Such a thing never happens! My dear sir, I am not a suitable bridegroom for your daughter, and besides, I render service to you only for the satisfaction of the Lord – as He is very pleased by service rendered to brahmanas. And when the Lord is pleased, the opulence of one’s devotional service increases.
Old brahmana: My dear boy, I have already decided. You will have my daughter Yamuna as your wife.
Sanjaya: Sir, you may offer her to me with all good intentions, but what about your family? What will they say? Without their consent, you will never be able to give your daughter to me. Just remember the story of Rukmini. Although her father, King Bhismaka, wanted Krishna to marry Rukmini, his eldest son Rukmi objected. Therefore he could not carry out his decision.
Old brahmana: I will not be persuaded like king Bhismaka. My daughter will be given to the man of my choice. Have faith in me and accept my proposal.
Sanjaya: If you really want to make such an offer then I suggest that we go before Sri Gopalji and make the promise in front of Him. He’ll be the perfect witness.
Old brahmana: Hmm, an excellent idea. Jaya Sri Gopala! Namah om… My dear Lord, please witness that I have given my daughter to this boy.
Sanjaya: My dear Lord. You are my witness. I shall call on you to testify on this statement if need be.Old brahmana: Jaya Sri Gopala!Sanjaya: Jaya Sri Gopala!
Scene 2

Narrator: After these talks the two brahmanas started for home and as usual the young brahmana rendered his older companion service in various ways. Having arrived in Vidyanagar, each brahmana went to his respective home. After some time the elderly brahmana became very anxious.
Old brahmana: I have given my word to a brahmana in a holy place. I cannot wait any longer. I have to tell them. Devi! Bala! Jiva! Yamuna! Please come, I have some important news for you.
Wife: What is it pati?
Bala: Please be quick father. I am in the middle of my karma kanda studies.
Jiva: Yes, me too.
Wife: Such good sons we have, always thinking of our welfare. Well, what is it? I hope you are the bearer of good news.
Old brahmana: I uh, I am sure you will all be most pleased to learn of this wonderful arrangement that I have made.
Wife: Arrangement?
Sons: Go on father.
Old brahmana: Do you remember Sanjay, the young brahmana who accompanied me on my pilgrimage?
Wife and sons: Yes.
Bala: I never understood, why of all persons you went with him. He is uncultured and uneducated,
Wife: And the way he dresses.
Old brahmana: But but he is such a nice, kind devotee of the Lord. His character is decorated with so many wonderful qualities. Why, he treated me as if I were his spiritual master! (Sons laugh.) Assisting me, and serving me constantly. Ah, I was so grateful to him that I promised him, in that most holy place of Vrndavana, before the deity of Gopala, that he would have Yamuna’s hand in in marriage.
Wife: You did what?
Jiva: How could you?
Bala: I cannot believe this!
Jiva: Father!
Wife: If you offer our daughter to him our aristocratic lineage will be completely polluted.
Jiva: Yes, and all our relatives will condemn us!
Bala: They will excommunicate us!
Wife: Oh no! We will be the laughingstock of the whole district! (cries loudly)
Bala: Oh mother!
Jiva: Just see what you have done father!
Bala: Please don’t ever make such a proposal again.
Old brahmana: But how can I undo a promise made in a holy place? No, no. Whatever happens, I must give him my daughter in charity.
Jiva: If you give my sister to that boy, I will never speak to you again!
Bala: And I. I will move to another town!
Wife: If such a thing happens, I will take poison and die! (cries)
Jiva: Me too.
Bala: And me!
Old brahmana: Please! Please, don’t do this to me! If I do not give her to this brahmana, he will call Sri Gopalaji as his witness. Thus he will secure Yamuna’s hand by force, and in that case my religious principles will become completely meaningless.
Bala:Why are you so anxious over this father? The deity may be a witness, but he is in a distant country. How can He come to bear witness against you?
Jiva: Besides father, you do not have to flatly deny that you spoke such a thing. There is no need to make a false statement. Simply say that you do not remember what you said.
Bala: Very good Jiva! Yes father, if you simply say: ‘I do not remember’, then I shall take care of the rest. By argument I shall defeat him!
Jiva: He is right father.
Bala: Come mother, I will sort this out.
Wife: Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear… whatever shall become of us? Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear…
Old brahmana: (sighs) Oh, my dear Gopala, my dear Lord. Your lotus feet are my only shelter. Please protect my religious principles, and at the same time, please save my kinsmen from taking poison and dying. I beg You.
Narrator: The next day, the elderly brahmana was still thinking deeply about this matter, when a visitor arrived. (Knocking on a door)
Sanjaya: (off stage) Excuse me, is your father in please?
Yamuna: Yes he is, one second. Father, father, the young brahmana is here.
Old brahmana: Hmm? Oh, show him in please. How how nice to see you. Please be seated. Would you like something to drink? Some juice? Lassi?
Sanjaya: Some juice would be nice. My dear sir, I have come here concerning the wedding. I have been waiting for the announcement. What is causing the delay?
Bala: I heard you speaking that nonsense to my father! How dare you? Who do you think you are? You are just like a dwarf who wants to catch the moon, but the only thing you’ll catch is a stick! Now out! OUT!
Old brahmana: Bala, please…
Son: Out!
Old brahmana: Bala!
Bala: I warn you! OUT! And don’t ever show your face here again!

Scene 3
Narrator: Alarmed by this incident, the young brahmana gathered together all the people of the village and narrated the whole story.
Sanjaya: And then threatening me with a stick, he chased me out of the house!
Woman: My Goodness.
Village elder: This is a very serious accusation sir. Of course we have to hear the other side of the story as well. Vamsi, go to the brahmana’s house and request the whole family to come to the meeting place. In this way we can fairly assess the situation. (A little later) Members of the council - quiet please. Members of the council, holy sirs, thank you. Respected citizens, we pray for the guidance of the Lord. We have called this meeting here today to decide an important issue, regarding the truth and purity of two highly respected brahmanas. As is the custom we will first hear from the plaintiff.
Scribe: Quiet please!
Sanjaya: Members of the council. This gentleman has promised me the hand of his daughter. Yet now he does not follow his promise. Please ask him about his behavior.
Village elder: On behalf of the people of Vidyanagar I am obliged to ask you reverend sir if you have indeed promised to give your daughter in charity to this young brahmana. If so, then why are you not fulfilling your promise? He claims you have given your word of honor. Is this true?
Old brahmana: I am sorry to be the cause of such trouble.
Bala: Go on father, tell them.
Old brahmana: I do not exactly remember making a promise like that.
Bala: Members of the council, if I may interject for a moment. I can relate the exact truth in this matter. My father is to embarrassed and afraid to speak, but I as his eldest son will not stand by and see him defamed. While traveling with this - gentleman my father carried much money which he schemed to take away. He secretly added an intoxicant to my father’s food, which made him mad. Taking advantage of the situation, this rogue robbed my father of his money. He claims it was stolen by a thief. And to add insult to injury, he has the audacity to claim that my father promised him my sister in marriage.
Now, all of you assembled here are respectable and intelligent people. Please judge for yourselves whether it is befitting to offer my sister to this - pauper.
Man: Indeed the lust for wealth is strong.
Man 2: Strong enough to make one give up all religious principles.
Man: O yes.
Jiva: You were great!
Bala: Did I look convincing?
Mother: Oh yes!
Woman: What do you think?
Woman 2: I think he made it all up!
Woman: Yes, that’s what I think.
Scribe: Silence please. Silence!
Sanjaya: My dear members of the council. Simply to win his argument, this man is blatantly lying. I neither stole his father’s money, nor did I give him an intoxicant. This his father will confirm. He knows too well that he promised his daughter to me. I refused to accept his proposal, and I warned him that his relatives might become outraged, and still he insisted and urged me to agree. It was then that we called upon Sri Gopala to be the witness. And now, if you so desire, I will go to Vrindavan and request the lord to come and testify to my honesty. Sri Gopala is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and His words are accepted by the whole world as the absolute truth.
Old brahmana: If Gopala personally comes here to bear witness, I shall certainly give my daughter Yamuna to this young brahmana.
Bala: Yes, I think that is a very nice settlement.
Sanjaya: Please write this down on paper in black and white, so that there is no more confusion.
Village elder: Yes, write it down scribe. We will take signatures. All will be legal and proper.
Old brahmana: (thinking) Since Lord Krishna is very merciful, He will certainly come to help me keep my promise.
Bala: How is it possible for a deity to come and bear witness? Such rubbish.
Sanjaya: This elderly brahmana, who is following religious principles, is certainly truthful. He had no desire to break his promise, but in fear of his kinsmen, he has been deviated from the truth. By his piety I shall call the Supreme Personality of Godhead as a witness, and thus I shall keep his promise intact.
Woman 2: Hah! How can a statue be a witness?
Woman: After all the Lord is merciful; and if He likes He can come!
Village elder: The meeting is adjourned. All and sundry can return home. Sri Gopala must be the witness.

Scene 4

Narrator: The young brahmana started immediately for Vrindavan. Upon arriving there, he offered his obeisance’s to the Gopala deity. He then narrated everything that had happened in full detail.
Sanjaya: My dear Lord, I am not thinking to become happy by getting his daughter as a bride, but to know that the brahmana has broken his promise disturbs me so much. My dear Lord, You are so merciful, and You know everything. Therefore, kindly be a witness in this case. A person who knows things as they are, and still does not bear witness becomes involved in sinful activities.
Sri Gopala: My dear brahmana, return to Vidyanagar and call a meeting of the village council. In that assembly, just try to remember Me. I shall certainly appear there, and at that time I shall protect the honor of both you brahmanas by bearing witness to the promise.
Sanjaya: My dear Lord, even if you appear there as a four-armed Vishnu deity, still none of those people will believe in Your words. Only if You go there in this form of Gopala, and speak the words from Your very own mouth will Your testimony be accepted by all of them.
Sri Gopala: I’ve never heard of a deity walking from one place to another.
Sanjaya: That’s true but - how is it that You are speaking to me although you are a deity? My dear Lord, You are directly the son of Maharaja Nanda. For the sake of the old brahmana, You can do something You have never done before. You can talk, so you can walk. Please.
Sri Gopala: My dear Sanjaya, listen carefully. I shall walk behind you. In this way I shall go with you. Do not try to see me by turning around, for as soon as you see Me, I shall remain stationary at that very place. You will know that I am walking behind you by the sound of My ankle bells. Every day, please cook one kilo of rice and offer it to Me, and I shall eat it.
Sanjaya: Thank you my Lord! (hears ankle bells) Jay Gopala!
Pujari: Sri Gopala ki!..... Gopala? Gopala! Ahh! (drops plate with arati paraphernalia)
Narration: With these orders, the young brahmana started his journey back to Vidyanagar, followed by Gopala, step by step. Daily the young brahmana cooked the kilo of rice, which the Lord requested. After many days he eventually arrived in his own country and when he neared his own village, he began to think.
Sanjaya: Vidyanagar! Finally. Gopal we have ar… Oh!
Sri Gopala: (laughs) Sanjay, now you can go home. Go to the village and tell everyone that I have arrived. I shall stay here, and will not leave.
Sanjaya: Come everyone! Come everyone! Gopala has arrived! The Supreme Lord has arrived! Sri Gopala, The Supreme Personality of Godhead has arrived……The Lord has come!
Scribe: Where?
Village elder: Yes, where is He?
Scribe: Is this your idea of a joke?
Old brahmana: He has come? Jay Sri Gopala!
Sanjaya: Yes He has come. Follow me!
Man: What are we waiting for? Let’s go!
Scribe: Amazing!
Village elder: This is incredible! The Lord has come to Vidyanagar!
Bala: You are not taking us to Vrindavan are you? (laughter)
Old brahmana: Be quiet!
Sanjaya: There He is!
All: Ah!
Sanjaya: He walked all the way on His lotus feet!
Man: Amazing how he walkedChild: He walked?
Man: Of course He walked Jagi. He is far too heavy to carry.
Old brahmana: Sri Gopala ki!
All: Jaya!
Yamuna: He is so beautiful father!
Sri Gopala: My dear inhabitants of
All: Ah!
Sri Gopala: Vidyanagar, I have come here to bear witness.
All: Ah!
Sri Gopala: This elderly brahmana certainly offered his daughter in marriage to this young man. (responses) You two brahmanas are my eternal servants, birth after birth. I have become very pleased by the truthfulness of you both. Now you can ask from me any benediction you desire.
Sanjaya: My dear Lord, please remain here, so that people all over the world will know how merciful You are to your servants.
All: Oh!
Old brahmana: Sri Gopala ki!
All: Jaya!
Sanjaya: Sri Sakshi Gopala ki!
All: Jaya!
Old brahmana: Bhagavan Sri Sakshi Gopala ki!
All: Jaya!
Narration: Lord Gopala stayed, and the two brahmanas engaged in his service. After hearing of this incident, many people from different countries came to see Gopala and thus felt great satisfaction. The king constructed a nice temple, and regular service was executed. Thus Sakshi Gopala, as he became known, stayed at Vidyanagar and accepted service for a very long time. Many years later, there was a war and the country was conquered by king Purusottama of Orissa. He took possession of the throne called Manikya simhasana, which was bedecked with many jewels. That king became known as Purusottamadeva. He was a great devotee, and begged at the lotus feet of Gopala.
King Purusottamadeva: Please come with me to my country.
Narrator: Gopala accepted his prayer, and thus the king took the deity and went back to Kattak. He also took the throne with him and presented it to Lord Jagannatha in Puri. During his life he also established regular worship of the Gopala deity in Kattak. The queen of Purusottamadeva went to see the Gopala deity at the time of the installation, and with great devotion presented Him various kinds of ornaments. The queen wore a very valuable pearl in her nose, and she wished to give it to Gopala.
Queen: If the deity would have hole in His nose, then I could give Him the pearl to wear.
Narrator: Considering this, the queen offered her obeisance’s to Gopala and returned to her palace. That night she dreamed that Gopala appeared and began to speak to her as follows.
Sri Gopala: During My childhood, My mother made hole in my nose, and with great endeavor set a pearl there. The hole still exists, and you may use it to set the pearl you desire to give Me.
Narrator: After dreaming this, the queen explained it to her husband. Then both the king and queen went to the temple with the pearl. Seeing the hole in the nose of the deity, they set the pearl there, and being very pleased, held a great festival. Since then, the Gopala deity has been situated in Kattak, in the village known as Sakshi Gopala. Many years later, this narration of Sri Gopala’s activities was told by Nityananda prabhu to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu when they visited the temple of Sakshi Gopala. Lord Caitanya and His personal associates became very enlivened by this story. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was sitting before the Gopala deity, all the devotees saw Him and the deity as being of the same form. They were of the same complexion, and both had the same gigantic bodies. Both wore saffron cloth and were very grave. The devotees saw that both Lord Caitanya and Gopala exhibited the same brilliant effulgence, and had lotus like eyes. Their faces resembling full moons. Thus with great pleasure, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu passed that night in the temple of Sakshi Gopala. After seeing the mangala arati ceremony He continued His journey.


Gurubhakta dasi (ACBSP) USA: Listening to your CD's simply transports one to the transcendental world. I only wish there were more! My children spend hours listening to them. When my husband Batu Gopala heard the story of 'Sakshi Gopala' he said: "What a nice job they did! Such nice service, and for the benefit of countless generations to come. Imagine the benefit they will get for doing this."

Sucharya devi dasi (ACBSP) USA: We used your recording for our children's play of 'Sakshi Gopala' during last years Rathayatra Festival in Chapel Hill, N.C. The play was a smash hit with everyone and the children themselves had such a good time acting out the many parts of your lovely drama. Many thanks to all the actors for their expert presentation.