Gopala Bhakta started playing the tabla and harmonium back in 2011 when he discovered the sacred devotional music and cosmic chants of Paramahansa Yogananda when he started to attend the group meditations at the Hollywood temple of Self-Realization Fellowship. When he heard the Kirtan ensemble perform there he immediately fell in love with the tabla and harmonium and decided to learn to play these instruments.
After practicing the tabla and harmonium for a while his love for these instruments grew so much that he decided to learn them professionally and started taking professional lessons from the renowned tabla teacher Debashish Chaudhuri while at the same time practicing the harmonium and the cosmic chants of Paramahansa Yoganada. He became a regular tabla and harmonium player for the Kirtan group at the Self-Realization Fellowship Hollywood temple performing regularly at the group meditations with Kirtan. After he started improving on the tabla his teacher Debashish suggested for him to try to study the instrument at the California Institute of the Arts so that he would be able to learn from Swapan Chaudhuri who is one of the best tabla teachers in the world. He followed the suggestions of his teacher and decided to apply as an undergraduate student for the world music performance program at the California Institute of the Arts. He then got accepted and studied tabla and Indian music professionally under the tutelage of tabla maestro Swapan Chaudhuri and other world renowned faculty teachers at the school. After a highly successful two year program studying tabla intensively he graduated from the school and earned his degree. He showcased a successful sold out concert for his graduation recital where he performed a tabla solo, Indian classical music, and Kirtan devotional music, all of which was recorded professionally and uploaded to YouTube.
After his successful studies at the school he went on to form along with other musicians the devotional and spiritual band Raas Leela Kirtana which fuses the spirituality of Indian classical music and devotional Kirtan. In this band he showcases his years of expertise on the tabla and the harmonium.
Gopala is an incredibly gifted musician and teacher with years of experience who offers personalized individual and group tabla and harmonium lessons. He is also a professional freelance performer who can be hired as a session musician for gigs, live performances, and studio recordings.