Here’s another tribute from Chaturatma :
In Honor of His Holiness Bhakti Madhuyra Govinda Goswami (Makanlal dasa)
On a Sunday afternoon in March of 1973 I knocked on the front door of the temple on Laclede St in St Louis ready to give up material life. Maha Muni was the first devotee I met. He greeted me and arranged for me to get shaved up. There was some kind of transition going on the the management structure that was above my head at the time. A short time later we got a new temple president. His name was Makanlal dasa. He was a early devotee for the San Francisco area with lots of experience in preaching. He came with his wife, Tilak dasi. As a brahmacari under his care we were looked after, protected, guided and molded into followers of Srila Prabhupada. We were like a big family. His guidance was not sectarian, either in the sense of devotees and non devotees, men and women, old and young. He saw that we were respectful to everyone. At times, as young men living together, we would argue and even fight with each other.
Makanlal would call the two devotees into his office. He would hear each side. Then he would deliver his verdict. “We are all following Prabhupada and should be working together not fighting. You wash his plate and bowl after prasadam and you fold his laundry. In this way serve each other not fight with each other.” This was the way he was. Makanlal had the entire temple go out on morning circumabulation of the building every day–summer or winter. As the houses were close together we walked the entire block all the time chanting. It was then he would come up to you and whisper into your ear, “Always remember Nitai!” We were all trained to follow his deep devotion to both Nityananda and the lotus feet of the Lord. We were soon known (for better or worse) as the Nitai Pada Club.
The building, the soundwaves, the talk was filled with the pastimes of Nitayananda. All because Makanlal knew that Nitayananda was the most merciful and we were all in need of that mercy. We all devoted ourselves to attaining the mercy of Nityananda. Back in those days we had an unheard of 5 classes a day. Srimad Bhagavatam, Nectar of Devotion, Sri Isopanisad, Bhagavad-Gita and Krsna Book. Book distibution, Hari Nama, festivals we did it all under his direction.
In those years he was treated unfairly for this single pointed devotion, but he bore it out and never wavered. I eventually moved on from St Louis and didn’t see him for a number of years. When we did meet in India years later he had become HH Bhakti Madhuyra Govinda Goswami and was just as devoted to his one point focus—always remember the Lord and always serve Him. I truly feel that my conviction in devotional service, my endurance over the years, my ability to sit and study was in no small part due to those years of training under this wonderful devotee. I’m sure that is what he is still doing—sharing single pointed devotion to the Lord. Thank you prabhu for helping me.
– HH Kavicandra Swami Maharaja