Early Life



Sri Gopala Krishna Swamy was the eighth child of a pious Brahmin couple Smt. Yamunamma and Sri Venkataramana Urala.

Smt. Yamunamma was a devotee of Lord Shiva and was daughter of a well-known pundit- a medical practitioner of yester years. She had a desire to make her kids serve the society in every way possible and lead a righteous life.

Sri Venkataramana Urala was a successful businessman and was the founder of one of the most well known restaurants in Bangalore – Vidhyarthi Bhavan, in Gandhi Bazaar. He handed over a well-established business to his brother as he did not desire to earn a living by selling food, as he felt food was meant to be given free.

Both Smt. Yamunamma and Sri. Venkataramana Urala were drawn towards Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, even before Sri Gopala Baba was born. Sri. Venkataramana Urala, in one of his visits to Puttaparthi was instructed by Bhagawan to reduce worldly desires, lead a simple life and that Bhagawan would take care of everything.

Little did the parents know that they are going to have a great devotee of Bhagawan born in their own home! Loving parents, great human beings and wonderful support providers to Sri Gopala Baba in his Sadhana and service to all beings-not just restricted to humans.



Gopala’s childhood was filled with joy and happiness. There were many elderly visitors to see the baby and the parents and were pleasantly surprised to see the baby sitting for hours with them smiling. Gopala, as he was addressed by the early devotees, had many elderly women bringing him eatables. His mother, Smt. Yamunamma was initially cautious on what would be given to the child, but later on allowed them to continue as the people had a special bond with Gopala.

As Gopala grew older, his Upanayana (Sacred Thread Ceremony) was performed. He exhibited immense interest in learning pooja and sandhyavandana and mastered it very soon. Gopala was drawn to Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple and Sri Hanuman temple near his house. He was a regular visitor to these temples and was known as ‘Aynooru – A priest’ at a young age. Gopala used to sit in front of the deities in the temples for hours without moving. During one such visit to the Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple, he corrected the chief priest, by politely informing him that the disc and the conch of the Lord was interchanged. The priest was immensely happy by the attention to detail Gopala exhibited at such a young age and involved young Gopala in decorations of the deities. We all know how beautiful Sri Gopala Baba’s decorations of the deities are. Sri Gopala Baba used to say that ‘Sathya Sai wants him to keep doing decorations- and he is very happy doing it’.

Sri Gopala Baba, at a very young age was requested by the locals to do the Pooja at the Hanuman temple, as the priest had to go to his native place to address an emergency. Gopala happily agreed and did the Pooja to Hanuman with great devotion and awe of the locals.

In his early years, Gopala visited the Sri Dharmaraya Swamy Temple in Nagarathpete, Bengaluru, a 800 year old Temple, where the annual Bengaluru Karaga festival is held. It is a very old tradition where Draupadi who represents Shakthi, is taken in a procession in the night and offers prayers to Lord Krishna in the early morning. The priest who carries the deity of Draupadi walked straight towards Gopala and handed over a lemon as “Prasad” or offering. Everyone around were astonished at the attention this young boy received from the priest from amongst hundreds of people who had now joined the procession. Divinity knows best!!

One time young Gopala was playing in the Pooja room, while His parents were away. Suddenly, Vibhuti started pouring from all the Gods’ pictures. Unaware of its significance, Gopala started cleaning the Pooja room, afraid that His parents may scold Him. It is only much later that He understood its significance. Also, around this time, Gopala was called a miracle boy and many came to seek his advice.

Gopala attended schools too, but was in his own world drawing wonderful sketches of mother Sri Rajarajeshwari, Ganesha, Shiva in all the note books. Teachers took objection to this and one of the teachers punished Gopala. Gopala’s supportive brothers had to intervene and request the teachers to let Gopala do as he pleased. Gopala somehow managed to complete his studies till Grade 10. By this time everyone at home were resigned to the fact that Gopala was not meant to pursue an academic career.

Guru Mantra

Swamy Ashtottara


“Be Kind to Animals. You are their caretaker. Their well-being is your responsibility.”

-Gopala Krishna Swamy

“Do your duty properly, Duty is God. Work is Worship.”

-Gopala Krishna Swamy

“Help society in each and every possible way. Be God’s instrument to serve society.”

-Gopala Krishna Swamy

“Don’t just listen to the teachings of Saints, put them into practice.”

-Gopala Krishna Swamy

“ Be Good. Do Good. It is the only path to reach God. There is no other path. ”

-Gopala Krishna Swamy

“ If you look after your parents well, then you don’t have to go to any temples, the Gods will come to your home. ”

-Gopala Krishna Swamy

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