Legendary Raasacharya, Padmashree Hargovind passed away at the age of 91 on 25th July, in the afternoon, suffering from age related ailments. Brajwasis paid their tribute to this legendary person as he was cremated and became one with the dust of Vrindavan. Padmashree Hargovind was a huge name in the raaslila performance culture and he is survived by his two sons, who are also noted raaslila acharyas.
He first stepped into the culture of raaslila performance at the age of eight when he played the role of Krishna in the raaslila troupe of Swami Kishan Lal of Vrindavan. Swami Kishan Lal was a legendary raasacharya of his time. Swami Hargovind formed his own troupe in the year of 1945. He also received many awards apart from the Padmashree in his lifetime.
The Gauranga Lila style of performance, which focuses on the pastimes of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was started by him. This made him notedly different from the other raasacharyas of the time. His first performance outside of Vrindavan was in Delhi at the Ramlila Maidan. After that he also performed internationally, becoming famous in Singapore, Thailand and several other countries.
His last direction was in Sinhastha Kumbha in Ujjain. Before that he has directed the ‘Gauranga Lila’ on the banks of the Yamuna to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s arrival in Vrindavan.
Thousands of Vrindavan residents, which included raasacharyas, devotees, respected citizens and political leaders accompanied the funeral procession till the cremation ground, bidding farewell to this legendary personality of Vrindavan.