Kashmiri Saintís Birthday Celebrated in Australia


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Kashmiri Saint’s Birthday Celebrated in Sydney
Sydney (Australia) July 5, 2009

Report and Images by Rohit Revo
Born Gopinath Bhan, he was the only Kashmiri given the title 'Bhagawan' (Glorious Lord). Bhagawan Gopinath was a celibate, he belonged to no religious order. Staying mostly in a room of a relative or in a hut at a sacred site, he lived in extreme introversion. His teaching sessions were limited to a few sentences. Often he would awaken necessary insight in people with a touch or a glance or sometimes like a Zen Master, with a blow.
Bhagwan Gopinath lived a very cloistered life. He was known only to a few close devotees. He never moved out of the Kashmir valley. Gradually, his fame spread and saints and sadhus from different parts of India used to visit him.

Bhagavan Gopinath’s fame is not only restricted to the Indian community but he is also revered by a large group of Australians. Australian devotees and followers of Bhagavan Gopinath gather at a place called Glastonbell, near the town of Bell in New South Wales . Glastonbell, is 410 acres of bushland, a great landscape and till recently had a temple managed by a group of devotees.

The saint left this world in 1968 but he continued to speak to people. Glastonbell had its origin in a statement made by the Kashmiri saint, Bhagavan GopiNath in 1978 to an Australian devotee Philip Simpfendorfer. The comment was that the wellbeing of the world depended on an interconnection of spiritual centres and sites of power across the globe, undivided by religious or national boundaries. In early 1984 Philip purchased Glastonbell and used this sacred land as his adobe and practiced meditation in the natural caves inside Glastonbell.

107th birthday of Bhagawan Gopinath was celebrated with religious fervour and gaiety at two separate functions held in Sydney during 4th and 5th July . Many Sydney based devotees visited the Durga Temple in Regents Park to participate in his birth anniversary celebrations and pay their obeisance to this 20th century spiritual saint from Kashmir . A havan was also performed on the occasion. This was followed by religious discourses and recitation of bhajans in the praise of Bhagavan Gopinath by Chuni Fotedar. The legacy of Bhagawan Gopinath in Australia is being spearheaded by ML Fotedar who is the son of S.N Fotedar, who stayed with Bhagawan Gopinath during his last days and also written a best seller Autobiography of Bhagavan Gopinath.

Devotees also gathered in Glastonbell and trekked to one of the caves where Philip Simpfendorfer lived and also did meditation and sang bhajaans in the memory of Bhagavan Gopinath. More details about the activities of the Bhagwan Gopinath devotees in Australia can be found from Sandeep at 0418 216 597..
Rohit Revo is originally from Srinagar in India, he studied in Burn Hall School in the same city and then went on to do his Electronics Engineering from Karnatak University. He then spent 2 years in Baroda in India to do his Masters in Business Administration from MS University. It was this period that ignited the writing spark in him. Interactions with the university professors and some of his friends pursuing doctorates helped him paint a picture of the world he wanted to see.

Rohit has a flair for sniffing news and has done some outstanding stories related to the growing and vibrant Australian Indian community. See his website at: http://www.rohitrevo.com.au

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