Early years (1944-1967)
His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami (name at appearance — Gopal Krishna Khanna) appeared in this world on most auspicious day of Annada Ekadashi (on August 14th, 1944) in New Delhi, in a family of big military commander of the Indian fleet. Having graduated with distinction from Delhi University, He went to Europe where He studied management at Sorbonne University of Paris on a scholarship from the French Government.
Gopal Krishna Goswami has finished His studies at McGill University at Montreal, where He obtained a Masters Degree in Business Administration. After that He worked in department of marketing researches of "Coca-Cola" company, and then started to work in pharmaceutical company "Bristol-Myers".
Spiritual path of H.H. Gopal Krishna Goswami started at the end of 1967 when He began to visit regularly churches, temples, gurudwars and various spiritual communities. Coming to a new place of religious worship on Sunday morning, He usually remained there for all day and took part in spiritual practices.
Meeting with the devotees of Krishna and with Shrila Prabhupad (1968)
On the 31st of May 1968 Gopal Krishna Goswami for the first time visited Krishna Movement Temple in Montreal. He came by invitation of Temple President Mahapurusha das, who also informed that Founder Acaraya of ISKCON His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada shall be arriving in Montreal on June 1, 1968. When H. H. Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj enquired if He could render some service, Mahapurusha asked Him to clean Srila Prabhupada's apartment.
"I was fortunate to receive this as my first assignment in devotional service", Maharaj said. He cleaned the doors, shelves and windows of Srila Prabhupada's apartment. In this way, Gopal Krishna’s service attitude for Srila Prabhupada was manifested even before He actually met Him.
At that time there were only four temples of Krishna Consciousness in the world – three in the USA (in New-York, San-Francisco and Los-Angeles) and one in Canada (Montreal). That is why Srila Prabhupada while preaching and traveling to different temples stood for a long time, some weeks or even months, in each of the temples. Shrila Prabhupada has decided to stay in the Montreal temple for three months. Preaching gaudia-vaishnavism in the West, Shrila Prabhupada always treated His compatriots favourably. Gopal Krishna Goswami, however, distinguished from other Indians who usually came to Him. Usually the purpose of their arrival was receiving darshan from Indian saddhu. Having offered their respectful obeisances and having listened to lecture for several minutes, they left away. Gopal Krishna Goswami, on the contrary, came at lectures regularly and left only after their termination. He remembers: "My only small qualification was that I was very respectful to Srila Prabhupada from the first day I saw him, and I would stay for his lectures till the end, and leave only after He had left the temple". Very soon Srila Prabhupada noticed that and started to communicate personally with educated Indian young man every day, giving His instructions for spiritual life. After several weeks of personal contact with Shrila Prabhupada, Maharaj has decided to become His disciple and to accept gaudia-vaishnavism.
Taking spiritual initiation and the first years in Krishna Consciousness Movement (1969-1974)
After Shrila Prabhupada left Montreal and went to other temples of ISKCON for preaching, active correspondence has began between Him and Gopal Krishna Goswami, they exchanged letters about three times a month.
On the 27th of May, 1969 Gopal Krishna Goswami was initiated by Shrila Prabhupada at the age of 24 years old. Srila Prabhupada decided not to give Him new name as it is usually done in such cases, He wrote: "As your name is already Gopal Krishna, there is no need for changing it. You will now be known as Gopal Krishna das." In 1970 He married Shrila Prabhupada's disciple from New York. Till 1975 He continued to work in "Bristol-Myers" company, rendering financial help to the Canadian temples of ISKCON. During several years He also carried out duties of personal secretary of Shrila Prabhupada.
The preaching in India and Soviet Union (1975—1980)
In 1975 Shrila Prabhupada has sent Gopal Krishna Goswami to India and has appointed Him as a member of The Governing Body Commission of ISKCON (GBC). During the period 1975-76 His duties included monitoring of activity of Krishna Consciousness Movement in India and South East Asia (except for Japan, Fillipins and Indonesia). In particular, Maharaj headed ISKCON projects in Mumbai, Delhi, Gujarat, Hyderabad, Madras and Kanpur.
In 1976 Gopal Krishna Goswami has been appointed by the trustee of publishing house «Bhaktivedanta Book Trust», and He continued to supervise ISKCON activities in India together with Hamsaduta das. He has headed the Indian branch «Bhaktivedanta Book Trust» and has started to supervise the publication of vaishnav literature in languages of India. He recollects that «Shrila Prabhupada wanted very much, that many books were published in India. Within these two years He constantly reminded me of printing more and more books».
Gopal Krishna Goswami started His translating and publishing activities with publication in Hindi of the first canto of “Shrimad Bhagavatam” with Shrula Praphupada’s purports. «Shrila Prabhupada was especially happy, when I had brought to Him the first canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam in Hindi» - Maharaj recollects. Shrila Prabhupada constantly inspired Him to apply His talent in marketing for a wide distribution of vaishnav religious literature. In one of letters Shrila Prabhupada wrote: «Now you can use your knowledge of marketing for service to Krishna. This is the highest perfection of education».
In March, 1976 Shrila Prabhupada has entrusted Gopal Krishna Goswami to preach in the USSR. In 1976 and 1977 He came several times to Soviet Union as the representative of publishing house «Bhaktivedanta Book Trust», having presented Shrila Prabhupada's books to the Soviet libraries.
In 1977 He has taken part in the Moscow International Book Fair and as representative of BBT He has received the honorable diploma from organizers of this exhibition. Shrila Prabhupada was very happy to receive this diploma and He showed it with pride to everyone who visited Him and said, that His books were appreciated even in Russia.
Later, in 1984, Gopal Krishna Goswami has published in India «Bhagavad-gita as it is» in Russian.
In March, 1977 Maharaj became one of the members of Mayapur Development Commetee, and His duties included monitoring of Temple and ISKCON Headquarters building in Mayapur. At the same time Governing Body Commission put Gopal Krishna Goswami and Gargamuni Swami in charge of the gaudiya-vajshnav literature distribution Program in Hindi and Bengoly in the Indian high schools. “International Committee of Honorary Membership in ISKCON” was organized in Governing Body Commission of ISKCON during the same year. Brahmananda Swami was charged a Head of Committee, Jayatirtha das and Adi Keshava Swami as well as Gopal Krishna Goswami became members of the Committee. During the following years, Gopal Krishna Goswami was playing a key role in the establishment in India of ISKCON Honorary Membership Program which has involved many rich Hindus in Krishna Consciousness Movement. Mainly thanks to His active contribution, big temples and Vedic Cultural ISKCON centers in Bombay and Vrindavan have been constructed in 1970th.
In March, 1978 Maharaj has started to supervise ISKCON activity in China and Canada, and His duties on management of ISKCON activity in India (except for Delhi) have been transferred to Jayapataka Swami and other leaders. The same year Gopal Krishna Goswami became a member of committee, supervising fund raising for continuation of the project construction in Mayapur.
In March, 1979 under the decision of Governing Body Commission Bombay and Gujarat have been added to a zone of responsibility of Gopal Krishna Goswami in India. Tamala Krishna Goswami and Hamsadutta Swami began to supervise ISKCON activity in China instead of Maharaj.
Also according to the decision of GBC Maharaj became a Head of the ISKCON Honorary Membership Program in the North America, having replaced Adi Keshav Swami at this position.
In February, 1980 Maharaj also has started to supervise ISKCON activity in Chandigarh and on Mauritius. At the same time Committee on Preaching Activity Coordination over all territory of India has been created. Besides Gopal Krishna Goswami, the members of that Commettee became Jayapataka Swami, Bhavananda Goswami, Jayatirtha Swami and Bhaktisvarupa Damodar Swami.
Taking sannayasa and the subsequent activity (since 1980 to the present)
In 1981 Gopal Krishna Goswami took sannayasa, a way of life in renunciation, and a title "Goswami". In March of the same year He began to supervise ISKCON activity in American states Washington, Montana, Idaho and Alaska.
On February 27th, 1982 Gopal Krishna Goswami has been appointed initiating guru of Krishna Consciousness Movement, having acquired therefore the right to accept disciples. The same year He became a member of Committee organized by GBC aimed to prepare celebration of the 500 anniversary of Shri Chajtanya Mahaprabhu’s appearance day. He also began to supervise ISKCON activity in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal-Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Goa.
In March, 1984 Gopal Krishna Goswami together with Jagadish Swami and Kirtanananda Swami has started to supervise ISKCON activity in Vrindavan and in states Rajasthan, Madhja-Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The same year (together with Bhakti Tirtha Swami) He began to supervise ISKCON activity in Kenya, and since 1992 in Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Ruanda as well.
Since 1988 Maharaj started to come regularly to the USSR, and then to Russia and other CIS countries. During the period from 1991 to 1993 He together with Kirtiraj das and Prabhavishnu Swami supervised ISKCON activity in Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kirghizia.
In 1991He has become a member of Board of Directors of ISKCON Ministry of Public Affairs. In 1993 He has ceased to supervise Georgia and Armenia, and on the territory of Russia He supervised ISKCON activity only in Golden Ring cities. Starting from 1995 Maharaj began to supervise also ISKCON in Southern region of Russia.
In 1998 Bhakti Bringa Govinda Swami began to supervise ISKCON activity in the countries of Central Asia instead of Gopal Krishna Goswami. GBC has released Gopal Krishna Goswami from this responsibility in order for Him to have more time for managing of the big ISKCON projects in Mumbai, Vrindavan and Delhi.
In 2001 of Maharaj began to supervise ISKCON activity in Moscow as well.
Under the guidance of Gopal Krishna Goswami several big temples of ISKCON have been constructed in India and behind its limits. In 1994 building of Radha-Bankebihari temple in Nairobi, Kenya has been finished. In April, 1998 there was inauguration of a new temple and ISKCON Vedic Cultural Centre in New Delhi — a temple of Radha-Parthasarathi (which is also known as «Glory of India»). Prime minister of India of that time Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the ambassador of Russia in India were present at ceremony of temple opening. In his speech, Vajpayee meritoriously responded about Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and about activity of ISKCON on distribution of Vedic culture and Hinduism worldwide. In 2004, inauguration of new ISKCON temple in Ludhiane took place on Balaram appearance day “Balarama-djayanti”. In 2007 the new temple of Radha-Govinda in Faridabade has been opened. In September of the same year there was inauguration of Krishna-Balaram temple in Pundjabi-bagh — the western area of New Delhi. In February, 2008 the temple of Djagannath in Gaziabade has been solemnly opened.
In India, Gopal Krishna Goswami periodically appears on TV, radio and in a press. He regularly gives lectures for the most various audiences: members of the Chamber of commerce of Mumbai, students of the Indian universities, Indian scientists and politicians. He also takes part in interreligious dialogue and regularly gives classes on "Bhagavad-gita" and "Shrimad-Bhagavatam" in ISKCON temples worldwide.