Biographies of various saints.
Rupa Gosvami - Disappearance on Dvadasi
Madhava - Mon, 19 Aug 2002 15:47:34 +0530
SRI RUPA GOSVAMI -- SUCAKA-KIRTANA
are mor zrI rUpa gosaI!
gaurAGga-cAndera bhAva, pracAra kariya saba,
jAnAite hena Ara nAi || 1 ||
vRndAvana nitya-dhAma, sarvopari anupAma,
sarva avatArI nandasUta || 2 ||
tAnra kAnta-gANa-dhikA, sarvArAdhyA zrI rAdhikA,
tanra sakhI gana saGga jUta || 3 ||
rAga mArge tAhA pAite, jAhAra karunA haite,
bhujilo pAilo jete janA || 4 ||
emona dayAlu bhAi, kothAo dekhiye nAi,
tAnra pAda koraho bhAvanA || 5 ||
zrI caitanya AjJA pAiyA, bhAgavata vicAriyA,
yata bhakti siddhAnter khani || 6 ||
tAhA uthAiya kata, nija grantha kari yata,
jive dilA prema cintAmaNi || 7 ||
rAdhA kRSNa rasa keli, nAtya gIta padAvali,
sudhA parakiyA-mata kori || 8 ||
caitanyer mano vRti, sthApana karilA kSiti,
AsvAdiyA tAhAra mAdhurI || 9 ||
caitanya virahe zeSa, pAi atizya kleza,
tAte jata pralApa vilApa || 10 ||
se saba kahite bhAi, dehe prAna rahe nai,
e rAdhA-vallabha hiye tApa || 11 ||
O, My Sri Rupa Gosvami!
(1) The way you presented the bhava of Sri Gauranga Canda is beyond comparison!
(2) In the eternal dhama of Sri Vrindavana, which is the most super-excellent of all, resides the son of Nanda Maharaja, the source of all avataras.
(3) There He frolics with His consorts -- the countless gopis -- of whom Sri Radhika is the foremost and worshipable for all.
(4) Out of your mercy you made the path of raga available to the world, by which anyone can attain love like that of the gopis!
(5) O brothers! Nowhere you will find such magnanimity! Therefore, just think about his lotus feet!
(6) On the order of Sri Caitanya, he deliberated on the meaning of the Bhagavata and presented a mine of devotional conclusions.
(7) From this mine, he excavated many books from which can give the desire-gem of prema to all living entities.
(8) In the course of Their amorous pastimes, absorbed in nectarine paramour feelings, Radha and Krishna dance, sing and offer garlands of poems to each other.
(9) Having tasted this sweetness, according to the inner desire of Sri Caitanya, you revealed this to the world.
(10) Devastated by separation from Sri Caitanya, in extreme misery I lament and speak delirious words.
(11) O brothers! When I try to speak about this, my life is about to escape from within me! Such is the suffering of this Radha Vallabha Dasa.
Madhava - Mon, 19 Aug 2002 16:04:26 +0530
I am now posting excerpts from Ananta Das Pandit's tika on Srila Rupa Gosvamipada's Utkalika Vallari, which I had the grace of receiving today.
Madhava - Mon, 19 Aug 2002 16:35:50 +0530
prapadya vRndAvana madhyam ekaH
krozann asAv utkalikAkulAtmA
udghATayAmi jvalataH kaThorAM
vASpasya mudrAM hRdi mudritasya || 1 ||
“O Lord Sri Krishna! O Goddess Sri Radhike! This Fallen soul has taken shelter of Vrindavana and cries pitifully for Your audience. I will now open my severely burning heart and show the marks my burning tears have made there!”
According to the Vaisnava researchers, this [Utkalika Vallari] is the last work of Sripada Rupa Gosvami, in which he sings his swansong. Just as the swan sings his most beautiful and pitiful song just before his death, so this Utkalika Vallari is Srila Rupa Gosvami’s final song of pity. His heart carries a turbulent eagerness that can only be cooled off when he receives the darsana of his most beloved deities Sri-Sri Yugala Kisora. On the one hand there is eager longing and on the other hand there is great humility that makes him very unsteady when it arises, because it makes him perceive his own lack of qualification. This causes him to weep incessantly. Weeping is the goal of life – relishing the sweetness of the beloved deity is the greatest means of attaining it. If a person has no thirst he will not even relish the taste of an ocean of nectar, even if it is situated right in front of him! In the same way, the sweetness of Sri-Sri Radha-Madhava, who are an ocean of transcendental sweetness, can not be relished by someone whose love is bereft of eagerness and anxiety. In the same way it is understood that the Sri Yugala Kisora, whose hearts are as soft as butter, are Themselves tolerating the anguish of separation from the devotee and make the devotee suffer the anguish of his separation from Them.
Sripada Rupa Gosvami is an eternally liberated associate of the Lord who descends to the world of sadhana to relish the mellows of sadhana just like the sadhakas. In this descension, the Original Personality of Godhead Sriman Mahaprabhu personally plunged into the mellows of sadhana. Like an ajata-rati sadhaka (a practicing devotee who has no deep taste or attachment to the Lord yet) He says:
nahi krishna prema-dhana; daridra mora jivana,
dehendriya vritha mora sab (C.C.)
“I do not possess the treasure of love for Krsna; My life is poverty-stricken and My body and senses are all useless.”
Bhakti-sadhana does not only devour bodily consciousness, it even devours the transcendental consciousness of liberation and creates a solid consciousness of the beloved deity. Sripada Rupa is deeply absorbed in the consciousness of service to Sri Radha. Another desire than the happiness of service to the Divine Pair cannot find a place in his heart. A person who tries to understand this service to Radha while remaining in physical male or female consciousness simply deceives him/herself. The service of Radha can only be grasped by a person who is totally fixed in rnanjari bhava, and who is exclusively surrendered to this. Such persons cannot find consolation for their hearts in anything else but the lotus feet of the Divine Pair.
Intrinsically Srila Rupa Gosvami is Vraja’s Sri Rupa Manjari, crying for the vision of Sri-Sri Radha-Madhava and Their personal service in a heartrending way: “I have taken shelter of Your Vraja-dhama and now I’m opening my heart to show you the tears of the severe pangs of separation that are locked in it! Behold the fire in Your Rupa’s heart!” A person who is bereft of the treasure of bhajana cannot possibly fathom these severe feelings of love-in-separation. Wave after wave of desire (for the Lord) come up in the ocean-like heart of a person who thus suffers this separation. The bondage of patience is broken and the devotee
cannot find peace, even if he gets an occasional vision. Such occasional visions are like lightning flashes in the night: after the flash has disappeared the darkness of night becomes even deeper than it was before. When the ears and the eyes taste a little of the sounds and the forms of the beloved it increases the ocean of their thirst. Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana writes in his commentary on this verse: iyam avastha khalu bhakta-janasya purusartha datri. “This condition of love-in-separation is certainly the highest goal of the devotee’s life.” Weeping is the attainment, wailing is relishable! No one else but a person who has experienced it can understand it. ei prema yara mane, tara vikrama sei jape, yeno visamrta ekara milana (C.C.) “A person who has this prema in the heart can understand it; it is like a blend of poison and nectar.” It was while relishing these ecstasies that Sriman Mahaprabhu elongated the joints of His bones, and it was in the frenzy of this flavour that He withdrew His limbs like a turtle. These extraordinary symptoms are the culmination of the pinnacle of relish. When a sadhaka hears and chants about this great love-in-separation of Srila Rupa Gosvami, he will also get sonic of this love-thirst. This is the greatest wealth of the Vraja rasa sadhana.
. . .
Srila Rupa Gosvami’s heart is as deep as an ocean. The Bhakti Ratnakara relates:
eka dina radha krsna viccheda kathate;
kandaye vaisnava murcchagata prthivite
agni-sikha praya jvale rupera hrdoy
tathapi bahire kichu prakasa no hoy
karu dehe sri rupera nihsvasa sparsilo;
agni-sikha praya sei dehe brana hoilo
dekhiya sabara mane hoilo camatkara;
aiche sri-rupera kriya kohite ki ara
“One day as they heard topics about Radha and Krsna’s separation the Vaishnavas fainted and fell to the ground. Sri Rupa Gosvami’s heart was like the high flame of a fire, but still he did not show anything on the outside. If Sri Rupa’s outgoing breath touched anyone’s body it would be scorched as if touched by the tongue of a flame. Everyone was astonished by seeing this. What more can I say about Sri Rupa’s condition?”
The words hrdi mudritasya jvalatah baspasya mean that just as a powerful steamengine is able to move a big train simply by compressing steam, the power which is generated by compressing the urge of love within one’s heart is able to move the engine of one’s body rapidly, so that it swiftly arrives at the lotus feet of the beloved deity. Therefore the grave devotees want to hide their love within the baskets of their hearts.
. . .
Until now Srila Rupa Gosvami has kept the lire of his great love-in-separation locked within his heart, but now, at the end of his life, he cannot conceal it anymore. The steam of his great feelings of separation now comes out as this “Utkalika Vallari”. Sripada Baladeva Vidydbhusana writes in his commentary on this verse: asid yasmad utkalika vallarir esa karkasa citta grava nitanta druta hetuh: “Just as lac melts when sufficiently heated, even a very hard heart will certainly melt of love and become free from desires for sense gratification after hearing and chanting this ‘Utkalika Vallari’ – of this there is no doubt.” The best means to make the heart melt with love is to relish this Utkalika Vallari. If a devotee conceives of himself as a manjari, a dear maidservant of Srimati Radhika, and takes this mood of Sri Rupa to his heart, then this fire of separation will also expand to his mind and heart and he will forget everything else and become eager to see and serve the Yugala carana of Sri-Sri-Radha-Krishna. That is for sure.(Excerpts from Ananta Das Pandit's tika on Utkalika Vallari, verse one)
Madhava - Mon, 19 Aug 2002 17:00:14 +0530
A biography relating some of the main events in Srila Rupa Gosvami's life and some nectar about Rupa Manjari will follow later on today. In the meantime, I'll post from Advaitadas's compilation from Bhakti Ratnakara chapters one, seven and ten.
Madhava - Mon, 19 Aug 2002 17:30:00 +0530
1. SANATANA GOSVAMI AND THE GIRLS’ BRAIDS
(Fifth Wave, verses 754 - 764)
ahe srinivasa ei vrksera talaya; hoilo ye ranga taha kohiye tomaya
eka dina sanatana govardhana hoite; etha aila rupa raghunathera dekhite
“O Srinivasa!”, Raghava Pandita told Srinivasacarya, “I will tell you what pastime took place at the base of this tree! One day Sanatana Gosvami came here (to Radhakunda) from Govardhana to see Sri Rupa and Sri Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami!” (754-5)
sri rupa gosvami padya koroye racana; venira upama dilo vyalangana phana
sanatana gosvami dekhiya kichu koy; dila e upama - iha hoy va na hoy
“Sri Rupa Gosvami had written a verse in which he compared Srimati Radharani’s braid with the hoods of a female snake. Seeing this verse, Sanatana Gosvami said: “I don’t know if this is a good comparison or not!” (756-7)
eto kohi’ asiya namila kundajale; dekhaye - balikagana khele vrksatale
balika mastake veni pithete lotaya; sanatana dekhe - sarpa-bhrama hoilo tay
balikagana prati kohe ati vyaghra hoiya; mathaya cadhaye sarpa prsthadesa diya
abodha balikagana hao savadhana!; eto kohi nivarite korila payana
“Saying this, he went down to the lake and saw (reflected) in the water that some girls were playing under a tree. When Sanatana Gosvami saw the braids of these girls, that hung down their backs, he mistook them for snakes. Very anxiously he told the girls: “O stupid girls! Be careful! Snakes are crawling up your backs!”, and ran up to them to stop these snakes. Seeing that Sanatana Gosvami was very upset, the girls giggled and disappeared!” (758-62)
sanatana atisaya vyakula dekhiya; antardhana hoila sobe isat hasiya
sanatana vihvala hoila ekhane; sthira hoiya gela rupa gosvamira sthane
rupe kohe - ye likhila sei satya hoy; sri rupa janile sanatanera hrdoy
“Here (on the eastern bank of Radhakunda) Sanatana Gosvami became overwhelmed. After calming down he went to Sri Rupa Gosvami and said: “What you wrote (about the snake) was true!” Sri Rupa understood what was on Sanatana’s mind (and that he had understood the purport of the verses).” (763-764)
Madhava - Mon, 19 Aug 2002 17:32:54 +0530
7. PAVANA SAROVARA
Srila Raghava Pandita describes a pastime of Sanatana Gosvami by this celebrated lake near Nandagrama.
vrndavana hoite asi’ e nirjana vane; premete vihvala sada krsna aradhane
sangopane rahe bhaksanera cesta nai; keho na janaye - ke achaye ei thai
“Srila Sanatana Gosvami came from Vrndavana to this lonely forest and constantly worshiped Krsna here in ecstatic love. He stayed here without even endeavouring to collect any food. No one knew that he was there.” (1301-1302)
krsna gopa balakera chale dugdha loiya; dadaila gosvami sammukhe harsa hoiya
go raksaka vesa mathe usnisa sobhaya; dugdha bhanda hate dhari’ gosvamire koy
achaho nirjane toma keho nahi jane; dekhilam tomare asiya gocarane
ei dugdha pan koro amara kothay; loiya yaibo bhanda rakhilo ethay
“Krsna then came to him dressed as a cowherdboy, blissfully standing before Him with some milk. He had a beautiful turban on His head and a milkpot in His hand as He told Sanatana Gosvami: “Nobody knows that you’re here all alone! I saw You here when I came here to herd My cows. Please drink this milk! I will pick up the pot later, just keep it here!” (1303-1306)
kutire rohile mo sabhara sukha hobe; aiche raho ithe vrajavasi duhka pabe
eto kohi’ gopalera hoilo gamana; mugdha hoiya pan koilo sanatana
dugdha pan matre preme adhairya hoilo; netrajale sikta hoiya bahu kheda koila
alaksite prabhu sanatana prabodhila; vrajavasi dvare eka kutire koraila
aiche sanatanera hoilo vasaloy; madhye madhye etha sri rupera sthiti hoy
“We will all be happy if you would stay in a hut (instead of outside)! If you stay here like this, the people of Vraja will be very sad!” Saying this, Gopala went away and Sanatana drank the milk in an enchanted state. After he drank, he became overwhelmed with ecstatic love and he sprinkled himself with tears. The Lord secretly addressed Sanatana Gosvami and had the people of Vraja make a hut for him. In this way Sanatana Gosvami got his own dwellingplace there. Sometimes Sri Rupa Gosvami also stayed there.” (1307-1311)
eka dina sri rupa gosvami sanatane; bhunjaite dugdhannadi korilen mane
aiche mane kori punah sankocita hoila; sri rupera manovrtti radhika janila
ghrta dugdha tandula sarkaradi loiya; gopa balikara chale aila harsa hoiya
“One day Sri Rupa Gosvami thought of feeding Sanatana Gosvami (his guru) some ksira (sweet rice). He became hesitant, but Sri Radhika had seen what was on his mind, so She blissfully came before Him as a cowherd girl, bringing ghi (clarified butter), milk, rice and sugar with Her.” (1312-1314)
rupa prati kohe svami ei sab leho; sighra pak kori krsne samarpi bhunjaho
mata mora ei kotha kohilo kohite; kono-i sankoca yeno nahi kabhu cite
eto kohi sri radhika kautuke colila; sri rupa gosvami sukhe sighra pak koila
“She told Sri Rupa: “O Svamiji! Take all these ingredients, quickly cook for Krsna and offer it to Him! My mother told Me to do this, so don’t feel shy at all!” After saying this, Sri Radhika joyfully left and Sri Rupa Gosvami blissfully began to cook.” (1315-1317)
krsne samarpiya gosvami sanatana; kori parivesana paramananda mane
sanatana gosvami samagri sugandhite; na jane kautuka sukha upajaya cite
dui eka grasa mukhe diya sanatana; hoila adhairya - asru nahe nivarana
sanatana samagri vrttanta jijnasilo; sri rupa kramete sab vrttanta kohilo
“After offering the food to Krsna, Rupa Gosvami served it to Sanatana Gosvami. I cannot describe Sanatana Gosvami’s ecstasy when he smelled the nice fragrance of these dishes! After he had eaten one or two mouthfuls, Sanatana became agitated with ecstasy and could not withold his tears of
love. When Sanatana Gosvami inquired about the origin of the ingredients, Sri Rupa Gosvami gradually told him everything.” (1318-1321)
suniya gosvami nisedhaye bara bar; aiche bhaksya dravya cesta na koriho ar
eto kohi’ maha prasada seva koila; sri rupa gosvami ati kheda yukta hoila
svapna cchale sri radhika diya darasane; prabodhila sri rupe janila sanatane
“Hearing the story, Sanatana Gosvami repeatedly forbade Sri Rupa Gosvami to prepare food for which Sri Radhika personally had to come to provide the ingredients. After that he honoured the prasada, leaving Sri Rupa repenting his act. Sri Radhika then appeared to Sri Rupa in a dream and consoled him. Sanatana Gosvami was aware of that (so he did not blame Rupa Gosvami anymore).” (1322-1324)
ahe srinivasa yaiche rupera dhairya; vaisnava samaje vyakta hoilo ascarya
eka dina radha-krsna viccheda kathate; kandaye vaisnava murcchagata prthivite
agni-sikha praya jvale rupera hrdoy; tathapi bahire kichu prakasa na hoy
karu dehe sri rupera nisvasa sparsilo; agni dagdha pray tara dehe brana hoilo
“Ahe Srinivasa! The Vaisnava-world was astonished at the gravity of Rupa Gosvami! One day he felt so much separation from Radha and Krsna that he cried and fainted, falling on the ground before the Vaisnavas. His heart was as if burning in the high flames of a fire, but still none of this was externally visible. But if Sri Rupa’s outgoing breath touched anyone’s body, that body was burned and caught a blister!” (1325-1328)
Madhava - Mon, 19 Aug 2002 17:33:56 +0530
10. SRILA RUPA GOSVAMI’S VISION IN VRINDAVANA
eka dina sri rupa gosvami vrndavane; bhavaye manase maha ullasita hoiya
radhikara vesa viracaye sakhigana; prstha dese rahi krsna kore niriksana
krsna ye dekhen taha radhika na jane; janaite sakhira kautuka badhe mane
vicitra bandhane kesa koriya bandhana; radhikara age sakhi dharila darpana
“One day Sri Rupa Gosvami blissfully meditated in Vrndavana that the sakhis were dressing Sri Radhika while Krsna secretly stood behind them, watching them. Sri Radhika did not notice it, and Krsna increased His own pleasure by making His presence known to the sakhis only. After the sakhis had braided Radhika’s hair with a beautiful string, they held a mirror before Her.” (3805-3808)
sri radhika nija mukha sobha nirakhite; krsna mukhacandra dekhe sei darpanete
vyasta hoilen rai lajja atisaya; loiya vasana sighra sarvanga jhapaya
sakhigana hase maha kautuka hoilo; sri rupa gosvami sei sangei hasilo
“When Sri Radhika beheld the beauty of Her own face in the mirror, She saw Krsna’s moonlike face behind Her. She became very shy and quickly took a garment to cover Herself with. When the sakhis saw this fun, they began to laugh and Sri Rupa Gosvami (in his spiritual identity as Sri Rupa Manjari) laughed with them.” (3809-3811)
heno kale aila vaisnava eka jana; sri rupe dekhite ati utkanthita mana
sri rupa hasen dekhi’ kichu na kohila; vimarsa hoiya sanatana age gela
“Just then one Vaisnava came who was eager to see Sri Rupa Gosvami. Sri Rupa just laughed without saying anything to that Vaisnava-devotee, so the devotee became displeased and went to Sanatana Gosvami.” (3812-3813)
vaisnava kohoye genu sri rupa dekhite; amare dekhiya tenho lagila hasite
mano duhki hoiya are kichu na kohinu; na bujhi karana kichu jijnasite ainu
ye nimitta hase ta kohila sanatana; suni vaisnavera hoilo kheda yukta mana
vaisnava kohen e samaya keno genu; tara mana na bujhiya aparadha koinu
“That Vaisnava said: “I went to see Sri Rupa Gosvami, but he only laughed at me! I became sad and I did not say anything, although I came to him to ask him something. I cannot understand why he behaved like that!” So Sanatana Gosvami explained that Vaisnava why Rupa Gosvami was laughing. When the Vaisnava heard this, he felt very sorry for misunderstanding Rupa Gosvami in this way and he said: “Why did I go to see him just now? I committed a great offense to him, not understanding his mind!” (3814-3817)
Malatilata - Mon, 19 Aug 2002 21:28:23 +0530
Longing to Attain the Lotus Feet of Sri Rupa Manjari
zrI-rUpa-maJjarI pada sei mora sampada
sei mora bhajana-pUjana
sei mora prANa-dhana sei mora AbharaNa
sei mora jIvanera jIvana
sei mora rasa-nidhi sei mora bAJca-siddhi
sei mora vedera dharama
sei vrata, sei tapa sei mora mantra-japa
sei mora dharama-karama
anUkUla habe bidhi se-pade hoibe siddhi
nirakhiba e dui nayane
se rUpa-mAdhurI-rAzi prANa-kUbalaya zazi
prabhullita habe nizi dine
tuyA adarzana-ahi garale jArala dehi
cira-dina tApita jIvana
hA hA prabhu! kara dayA deho more-pada-chAyA
narottama laila zaraNaThe lotus feet of Sri Rupa Manjari are my real wealth. They are the object of my bhajana and puja, the treasure of my heart, and they are my ornaments and the very life of my life.
They are the reservoirs of all rasa for me and the fulfillment of all my desires. They are the conclusion of the religion of the vedas for me and are the goal of all my vows, austerities, and the chanting of my mantra. They are the purpose of all my religious activities.
By the power of those feet my activities will become favourable to devotion, spiritual perfection will be achieved, and with these two eyes I will be able to actually see. The exquisite beauty of Sri Rupa Manjari's divine feet will shine like the brilliant moon upon the lotus of my heart both day and night, thus giving relief to my afflicted soul.
The serpent in the form of separation from you has poisoned my whole body, and my life is permanently miserable. O my Lord, please bestow Your mercy upon me. Give me the shade of Your lotus feet. Narottama dasa takes shelter of You.Srila Narottama dasa Thakura's Prarthana, song 16
Malatilata - Mon, 19 Aug 2002 21:40:19 +0530
Receiving the Order of Rupa Manjari
ei nava-dAsI bali zrI-rUpa cAhibe
hena zubha-kSaNa mora kata-dine habe
zIghra AjJA karibena-dAsi hethA Aya
sebAra susajjA-kArya karaha tvarAya
Anandita haJA hiyA taGra AjJA-bale
pavitra mane kArya karibe tat-kAle
sebAra sAmagrI ratna-ThAlete kariyA
subAsita bAri svarNa-jhArite pUriyA
doNhAra sammUkhe la'ye diba zIghra-gati
narottamera dazA kabe haibe e-mati
When will the auspicious moment come, when Sri Rupa Manjari will accept me as her maidservant?
She will order me saying, "Quickly make arrangements for the service of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna."
With joyful mood and pure mind I will immeadiately execute that order.
Taking the ingredients for Their service on a golden plate along with scented water in a perforated waterpot,
I will immeadiately take them to Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. Thus Narottama dasa yearns for such a situation.
Srila Narottama dasa Thakura's Prarthana, song 18
Malatilata - Mon, 19 Aug 2002 21:51:29 +0530
Sri Rupa Introduces the New Maidservant
zrI-rUpa pazcAte Ami rahiba bhIta haJA
doGhe pUnaH kahibena AmA pAne cAJA
sadaya hRdaye doGhe kahibena hAsi
kothAya pAile rUpa! ei nava dAsI
zrI-rUpa-maJjarI tabe doGhA vAkya zuni
maJjulAlI dila more ei dAsI Ani
ati namra-citta Ami ihAre jAnila
sebA-kArya diyA tabe hethAya rAkhila
hena tattva doGhAkAra sAkSAte kahiyA
narottame sevAya dibe niyUkta jariyA
Seeing me standing in fear behind Sri Rupa, Radha and Krishna, with kind hearts will again smilingly ask Sri Rupa,
"Where have you brought this new maidservant from?"
Hearing Their statements, Sri Rupa will answer, "Manjulali brought her and gave her to me.
I could understand her to be very meek and humble, therefore engaging her with service I kept her here."
Sri Rupa, after disclosing this information to Radha and Krishna,
will mercifully engage Narottama dasa in Their service.
Srila Narottama dasa Thakura's Prarthana, song 19
Malatilata - Mon, 19 Aug 2002 22:04:39 +0530
Longing for the Mercy of Sri Rupa
zuniyAchi sAdhu-mukhe bale sarva-jana
zrI-rUpa-kRpAya mile jugala-caraNa
hA hA prabhu! sanAtana gaura-paribAra
sabe mili bAJcchA pUrNa karaha AmAra
zrI-rUpera kRpa jena AmAra prati haya
se pada Azraya jAra sei mahAzaya
prabhu lokanAtha kabe saGge laiJA jAbe
zrI-rUpera pAda-padme more samarpibe
hena ki haibe mora narma-sakhI-gaNa
anugata narottama karibe zAsane
I have heard from the mouths of pure devotees that be the mercy of Sri Rupa Gosvami,
one can attain the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.
O my Lord, Sanatana Gosvami, and the associates of Gauranga,
all of you kindly fulfill my desires.
Let the mercy of Sri Rupa Gosvami be upon me,
for whoever has taken shelter of him is my master.
When will my lord, Lokanatha Gosvami, take me with him,
and place me at the lotus feet of Sri Rupa?
Will it ever happen to me that the dearmost sakhis will chastise their servant,
Srila Narottama dasa Thakura's Prarthana, song 17
Madhava - Mon, 19 Aug 2002 23:45:40 +0530
SRI RUPA GOSVAMI
Sri Rupa Gosvamipada took birth in 1415 Sakabda era, corresponding to 1493 AD, as the son of Sri Kumaradeva. During his illustrious devotional life, he grew to be a leading follower of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu – to such an extent that even nowadays we consider ourselves as Rupanugas, followers of Sri Rupa. This naturally follows his eternal position as Sri Rupa Manjari in the Vraja-lila of Sri-Sri Radha and Krishna, a leading handmaid of Sri Radha's, the very embodiment of Her beautiful form!
In Laghu-Vaisnava-Tosani, Sri Jiva Gosvami, the son of Rupa’s brother, has described his family lineage begining with Sri Sarva, who was a yajurvedi brahmana, Bharadvaja gotriya, from Karnataka. His son was Sri Aniruddha deva who had two sons Sri Rupesvara and Sri Harihardeva. There was apparently some altercation between the two brothers, who had different mothers (Aniruddha deva had two wives) as a result of which Sri Rupesvara along with his wife and eight horses, came to Paulastya-desa, where he was befriended by the ruler of that land, Sri Sekaresvar. Sri Padmanabhadeva, the son of Sri Rupesvar was extremely learned in all the Vedas. He came with his family to live at Naihati, on the banks of the Ganga. He had eight daughters and five sons. His five sons, following in the footsteps of their predecessors, were very expert in the study of Vedas. Their names were Purusottama, Jagannatha, Narayana, Murari and Mukundadeva. Mukundadeva’s son, Sri Kumara deva, being oppressed by some of the other family members, came to live at Bakla Candradvip. Sri Kumaradeva had many sons, amongst whom Sri Amar (Sanatana), Sri Santosh (Sri Rupa) and Sri Vallabha (Anupama) were great devotees.THE EARLY LIFE OF RUPA GOSVAMI
Bhakti Ratnakara (1.578-619) relates the earlier history of Rupa and his brothers:
“Sanatana, Rupa and Vallabha were great devotees. Sanatana was the elder brother and Rupa the middle. Sri Vallabha was the youngest of the three brothers and his son was Sri Jiva Gosvami. This book will be too big if I go into details for describing the nature of relations between the three brothers.
The king heard from his experts that Sanatana and Rupa might be very suitable persons for posts as ministers. At that time the king of Gauda was a powerful non- Hindu. He appointed Sanatana and Rupa to two responsible posts in his kingdom. Due to fear of the king, they accepted the posts and helped him increase his state. The king became so satisfied with the brothers that he divided his kingdom between them and allowed them to enjoy their estate.
They settled in the village named Ramkeli in Gauda along with their wealth and treasures. Many scholars from different countries used to visit the court of Rupa and Sanatana. There were also singers, instrumentalists, dancers and poets who remained at the service of Rupa and Sanatana in their court. They would spend money profusely for state purposes but they never harmed anyone.
They passed their personal time in the study and discussion of scripture and took part in scholarly debates which would establish their views or discredit the opinions of their scholars. If any scholar wrote on the subject of Nyaya sutra, he could not feel accomplished until his work was approved by Rupa and Santana. Scholars throughout the country appreciated the acedemic genius of the two brothers. As their fame grew, brahmins from Karnata and other countries visited their courts.
Rupa and Sanatana arranged houses near the Ganges for the brahmins of their own country. The Bhatta class brahmins who lived in the village of Bhattabati were scholars of different scriptures. The brahmins of the Ramk
eli village assisted Rupa and Sanatana in many importany duties.
Rupa and Sanatana used to serve the Vaisnavas very sincerely and humbly. They had great respect for the brahmins who came from Navadvipa. Vidyavachaspati was the religious guide of Sri Sanatana and from time to time he stayed at Ramkeli. Sri Sanatana studied many scriptures under him and his respect for Vidyavacaspati knew no bounds. He respectfully mentioned the name of his guru in his book Sri Dasama Tippani. Who has the capacity to describe the remarkable activities of Rupa and Sanatana?
In a lonely place near their house there was a garden of Kadamba trees, in the middle of which were Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda. They used to think of the lilas of Vrndavana and while thinking of it they began to shed tears of emotional upheaval. But they continuously rendered sincere service to their deity Sri Madhava Mohana. And they retained an eager anticipation for meeting Sri Krsna Caitanya Candra who lived in Nadia at that time.
They regretted their service to the Muslim king and their father continually performed atonements for the disgrace of serving the Muslims. They lamented their own position, considering themselves no better than Muslims because of the work they did and the association they kept with Muslims. They felt themselves worthless as tey served the king of the Yavanas instead of the king of their own race. In the depths of their humble lamentation they considered themselves inferior to the Yavanas. Though they were descendants of a brahmin king they could not think of themselves as brahmins.
Whoever got the mercy of Sri Caitanya developed humble behavior. A devotee never considered himself great but took a most humble position. Although Sri Krsna Caitanya was God Himself, He nevertheless maintained the humble mood of a devotee. Gaura Raya knew that happiness lay in the mood of humility and He taught that principle amongst his followers. Only Sri Krsna Caitanya was able to understand the change that transpired in the minds of Sanatana and Rupa.”
Caitanya Das describes the history of Rupa and Sanatana to his son Srinivasa, as related in the Bhakti Ratnakara (2.338-493):
In Vrndavana Prabhu Gaura Rai had many duties to be performed by Rupa and Sanatana. The duties carried out by these two brothers proved that they were not ordinary persons. Caitanyadasa told his son that when he had first seen Rupa and Sanatana he could not recognize them. Now that he knew then he could describe their life stories to his son.
“Most of the professors from Navadvipa would assemble at that village Ramkeli. My professor was the most learned man in Cakhandi and he was invited to visit Ramkeli. We also accompanied our professor to Ramkeli and reached that place at an auspicious moment.
After settling in our residence near the house of Rupa and Sanatana we accompanied the professors to the court. There we saw that just like Indra the king of deities, Rupa and Sanatana were sitting in the court surrounded by professors and Pandits. Their beauty and brilliance immediately captured the hearts of everyone present. They smiled sweetly at everyone as they glanced around with their large beautiful eyes. We were attracted by their long hands, broad chests and beautiful waists.
They received us with great respect and we were astonished by their humble and modest attitude. Although they had enormous wealth, they had no pride at all. On the contrary, they requested everyone to bless them so that they might achieve devotion to the lotus feet of Lord Krsna.
Sanatana was the elder brother and Rupa was the younger brother, but both were scholars in all scriptures. They satisfied the professors of the different countries, with enormous wealth and they attentively listened to the professors’ opinions and views on different subjects. The professors also appreciated the brothers for their explanations and interpretations of different verses.
Although they held the most influen
tial and prestigious positions as Prime Ministers in the court of the king of Gauda who had great affection for them, they never insulted anyone. We were quite satisfied to stay with them for many days. After a long time the professors left Ramkeli and we also returned to our village. A few days after that Mahaprabhu embraced ascetic life and went to Nilacala with any Vaisnava devotees.
From Nilacala Prabhu went to Vrndavana and stopped on his way in the village of Ramkeli where he met Rupa and Sanatana. After blessing them Prabhu decided to return to Puri instead of Vraja. Sometime later Prabhu agains started for Vrndavana.
In Ramkeli Rupa and Sanatana heard that Prabhu had gone to Vrndavana. We do not know what motivated them but at that time they renounced everything related to wealth, knowledge or pleasure. Sri Rupa and his brother Sri Vallava first left for Vraja but met Sri Krsna Caitanya in Prayaga.
Prabhu was happy to see Rupa and blessed him in various ways. From Ramkeli Gosvami Sanatana clandestinely went to Vraja but met Prabhu in Kashi. Sri Caitanya was also happy to meet Sanatana and gave the two brothers valuable advice.
When the people of different countries came to know that Rupa and Sanatana had gone to Vraja they wondered how it was possible for the two brothers to give up all types of pleasure and wealth. The people of Ramkeli – women, men, children, old and young – all praised the activities of Rupa and Sanatana. The professors of Ramkeli did not want to stay ther in the absence of Rupa and Sanatana and sadly left. Everyone except the Vaisnavas felt sorry because Rupa and Sanatana had lost their interest in worldly matters. In Vrndavana Sri Rupa and Sanatana took up the task of teaching.”
Madhava - Tue, 20 Aug 2002 01:21:21 +0530
MEETING MAHAPRABHU IN RAMKELI
Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana, then known as Dabir Khasa and Sakara Mallik, had written letters to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in anxiety for deliverance from mundane life. During His travels, Sriman Mahaprabhu eventually came to visit the village of Ramkeli where the brothers had now resided since some time. Sri Caitanya Caritamrita (2.1.182-226) relates their meeting as follows:
“After returning to his residence, Dabira Khasa and his brother decided after much consideration to go see the Lord incognito. Thus in the dead of night the two brothers, Dabira Khasa and Sakara Mallika, went to see Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu incognito. First they met Nityananda Prabhu and Haridasa Thakura.LEAVING GOVERNMENT SERVICE
Sri Nityananda Prabhu and Haridasa Thakura told Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu that two personalities—Sri Rupa and Sanatana—had come to see Him. In great humility, both brothers took bunches of straw between their teeth and, each binding a cloth around his neck, fell down like rods before the Lord.Upon seeing Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the two brothers were overwhelmed with joy, and out of humility they began to cry. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked them to get up and assured them of all good fortune.
The two brothers got up, and again taking straw between their teeth, they humbly offered their prayers with folded hands.
jaya jaya zrI-kRSNa-caitanya dayA-maya
patita-pAvana jaya, jaya mahAzaya
“All glories to Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the most merciful savior of the fallen souls! All glories to You, O magnanimous one!”
“Sir, we belong to the lowest class of men, and our associates and employment are also of the lowest type. Therefore we cannot introduce ourselves to You. We feel very much ashamed, standing here before You.”
The two brothers submitted, “Dear Lord, You have incarnated to deliver the fallen souls. You should consider that in this world there is none so fallen as us. You have delivered the two brothers Jagai and Madhai, but to deliver them You did not have to exert Yourself very much.
The brothers Jagai and Madhai belonged to the brahmana caste, and their residence was in the holy place of Navadvipa. They never served low-class persons, nor were they instruments to abominable activities. Jagai and Madhai had but one fault—they were addicted to sinful activity. However, volumes of sinful activity can be burned to ashes simply by a dim reflection of the chanting of Your holy name.
Jagai and Madhai uttered Your holy name by way of blaspheming You. Fortunately, that holy name became the cause of their deliverance. We two are millions and millions of times inferior to Jagai and Madhai. We are more degraded, fallen and sinful than they. Actually we belong to the caste of meat-eaters because we are servants of meat-eaters. Indeed, our activities are exactly like those of the meat-eaters. Because we always associate with such people, we are inimical toward the cows and brahmanas.”
The two brothers, Sakara Mallika and Dabira Khasa, very humbly submitted that due to their abominable activities they were now bound by the neck and hands and had been thrown into a ditch filled with abominable, stoollike objects of material sense enjoyment.
“No one within the three worlds is sufficiently powerful to deliver us. You are the only savior of the fallen souls; therefore there is no one but You. If You simply deliver us by Your transcendental strength, then certainly Your name will be known as Patita-pavana, the savior of the fallen souls. Let us speak one word that is very true. Plainly hear us, O merciful one. There is no other object of mercy within the three worlds but us. We are the most fallen; therefore by showing us Your mercy, Your mercy is most successful. Let the power of Your mercy be exhibited thr
oughout the entire universe!
We are very depressed at being unfit candidates for Your mercy. Yet since we have heard of Your transcendental qualities, we are very much attracted to You. Indeed, we are like a dwarf who wants to capture the moon. Although we are completely unfit, a desire to receive Your mercy is awakening within our minds.”
After hearing the prayer of Dabira Khasa and Sakara Mallika, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “My dear Dabira Khasa, you two brothers are My old servants. My dear Sakara Mallika, from this day your names will be changed to Rupa and Sanatana. Now please abandon your humility, for My heart is breaking to see you so humble.
“You have written several letters showing your humility. I can understand your behavior from those letters. By your letters, I could understand your heart. Therefore, in order to teach you, I sent you one verse, which reads as follows.
para-vyasaninI nArI vyagrApi gRha-karmasu
tad evAsvAdayaty antar nava-saGga-rasAyanam
“If a woman is attached to a man other than her husband, she will appear very busy in carrying out her household affairs, but within her heart she is always relishing feelings of association with her paramour.”
I really had no business in coming to Bengal, but I have come just to see you two brothers. Everyone is asking why I have come to this village of Ramakeli. No one knows My intentions. It is very good that you two brothers have come to see Me. Now you can go home. Do not fear anything. Birth after birth you have been My eternal servants. I am sure that Krsna will deliver you very soon.”
The Lord then placed His two hands on the heads of both of them, and in return they immediately placed the lotus feet of the Lord on their heads. After this, the Lord embraced both of them and requested all of the devotees present to be merciful upon them and deliver them.
When all of the devotees saw the mercy of the Lord upon the two brothers, they were very much gladdened, and they began to chant the holy name of the Lord, “Hari! Hari!” All the Vaisnava associates of the Lord were present, including Nityananda Prabhu, Haridasa Thakura, Srivasa Thakura, Gadadhara Pandita, Mukunda, Jagadananda, Murari and Vakresvara. In accordance with the instructions of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the two brothers, Rupa and Sanatana, immediately touched the lotus feet of these Vaisnavas, who all became very happy and congratulated the two brothers for having received the mercy of the Lord.
After begging the permission of all the Vaisnavas present, the two brothers, at the time of their departure, humbly submitted something at the lotus feet of the Lord. They said, “Dear Lord, although the King of Bengal, Nawab Hussain Shah, is very respectful toward You, You have no other business here. Kindly depart from this place. Although the King is respectful toward You, he still belongs to the yavana class and should not be believed. We think that there is no need for such a great crowd to accompany You on Your pilgrimage to Vrndavana. “Dear Lord, You are going to Vrndavana with hundreds and thousands of people following You, and this is not a fitting way to go on a pilgrimage.”
Although Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was Sri Krsna Himself, the Supreme Lord, and was therefore not at all fearful, He still acted like a human being to teach neophytes how to act. Having spoken thus, the two brothers offered prayers to the lotus feet of the Lord and returned to their homes. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu then desired to leave that village.”
The narration of Krishnadas continues in the 19th chapter of Caitanya Caritamrita (2.19.3-13):
“After meeting Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the village of Ramakeli, the brothers Rupa and Sanatana returned to their homes. The two brothers devised a means whereby they could give up their material activities. For this purpose, they appointed two brahmanas and paid them a lar
ge amount of money.
The brahmanas performed religious ceremonies and chanted the holy name of Krsna so that the two brothers might attain shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu very soon. At this time, Sri Rupa Gosvami returned home, taking with him large quantities of riches loaded in boats.
Srila Rupa Gosvami divided the wealth that he brought back home. He gave fifty percent in charity to brahmanas and Vaisnavas and twenty- five percent to his relatives. He kept one-fourth of his wealth with a respectable brahmana. He kept this for his personal safety because he was expecting some legal complications. He deposited ten thousand coins, which were later spent by Sri Sanatana Gosvami, in the custody of a local Bengali grocer.
Sri Rupa Gosvami heard that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had returned to Jagannatha Puri and was preparing to go to Vrndavana through the forest. He sent two people to Jagannatha Puri to find out when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would depart for Vrndavana. Sri Rupa Gosvami told the two men, ‘You are to return quickly and let me know when He will depart. Then I shall make the proper arrangements.’”
After the departure of Rupa, his brother Sanatana was imprisoned by the Nawab who was concerned over keeping him in his service, having already lost one of his two important ministers. Eventually the messengers sent by Rupa returned from Jagannatha Puri.MEETING MAHAPRABHU IN PRAYAGA
The narration continues (2.19.31-60):
At Prayaga, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to see the temple of Bindu Madhava, and many hundreds of thousands of people followed Him just to meet Him. Some of the people following the Lord were crying. Some were laughing, some dancing and some chanting. Indeed, some of them were rolling on the ground, exclaiming “Krsna! Krsna!”MEETING WITH VALLABHA BHATTA
Prayaga is located at the confluence of two rivers—the Ganges and the Yamuna. Although these rivers were not able to flood Prayaga with water, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu inundated the whole area with waves of ecstatic love for Krsna. Seeing the great crowd, the two brothers remained standing in a secluded place. They could see that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was ecstatic to see Lord Bindu Madhava.
The Lord was loudly chanting the holy name of Hari. Dancing in ecstatic love and raising His arms, He asked everyone to chant “Hari! Hari!” Everyone was astounded to see the greatness of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Indeed, I cannot properly describe the pastimes of the Lord at Prayaga. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had made an acquaintance with a brahmana from Deccan [in South India], and that brahmana invited Him for meals and took Him to his place.
While Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was sitting in a solitary place in the home of that Deccan brahmana, Rupa Gosvami and Sri Vallabha [Anupama Mallika] came to meet Him. Seeing the Lord from a distance, the two brothers put two clumps of straw between their teeth and immediately fell down on the ground like rods, offering Him obeisances. Both brothers were overwhelmed with ecstatic emotion, and reciting various Sanskrit verses, they stood up and fell down again and again. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was very pleased to see Srila Rupa Gosvami, and He told him, “Stand up! Stand up! My dear Rupa, come here.”
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then said, “It is not possible to describe Krsna’s mercy, for He has delivered you both from the well of material enjoyment.
na me ’bhaktaz catur-vedI
mad-bhaktaH zva-pacaH priyaH
tasmai deyaM tato grAhyaM
sa ca pUjyo yathA hy aham
“‘Even though a person is a very learned scholar of the Sanskrit Vedic literatures, he is not accepted as My devotee unless he is pure in devotional service. Even though a person is born in a family of dog-eaters, he is very dear to Me if he is a pure devotee who has no motive to enjoy fruitive activities or mental speculation. Indeed, all respects should be given to him, and whatever he off
ers should be accepted. Such devotees are as worshipable as I am.”’
After reciting this verse, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu embraced the two brothers, and out of His causeless mercy He placed His feet on their heads. After receiving the Lord’s causeless mercy, the two brothers folded their hands and in great humility offered the following prayers unto the Lord:
nAmne gaura-tviSe namaH
“Obeisances unto You, O most munificent one, who is giving Krishna-prema! O Krishna, hidden under the golden hue of Sri Radha, now known by the name of Sri Krishna Caitanya, obeisances unto you!”
yo ’jJAna-mattaM bhuvanaM dayAlur
ullAghayann apy akarot pramattam
zrI-kRSNa-caitanyam amuM prapadye
“We offer our respectful obeisances unto that merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead who has converted all three worlds, which were maddened by ignorance, and saved them from their diseased condition by making them mad with the nectar from the treasure-house of love of God. Let us take full shelter of that Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna Caitanya, whose activities are wonderful.”
After this, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu sat them down by His side and asked them, “What news do you have of Sanatana?”
Rupa Gosvami replied, “Sanatana has now been arrested by the government of Hussain Shah. If You kindly save him, he can be liberated from that entanglement.”
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu immediately replied, “Sanatana has already been released from his confinement, and he will very soon meet with Me.” The brahmana then requested Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to accept His lunch. Rupa Gosvami also remained there that day. Balabhadra Bhattacarya invited the two brothers to take lunch also. The remnants of food from the plate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu were offered to them.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu selected His residence beside the confluence of the Ganges and the Yamuna, a place called Triveni. The two brothers – Rupa Gosvami and Sri Vallabha – selected their residence near the Lord’s.
Krishnadas Kaviraja then describes the meeting of Sri Caitanya and Rupa with Vallabha Bhatta. Caitanya Caritamrita (2.19.61-77):
At that time, Sri Vallabha Bhatta was staying at Adaila-grama, and when he heard that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had arrived, he went to His place to see Him. Vallabha Bhattacarya offered Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu his obeisances, and the Lord embraced him. After that, they discussed topics about Krsna for some time.MEETING AT PRAYAGA FURTHER DESCRIBED
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu felt great ecstatic love when they began discussing Krsna, but the Lord checked His feelings because He felt shy before Vallabha Bhatta. Although the Lord restrained Himself externally, ecstatic love raged within. There was no checking that. Vallabha Bhatta was astonished to detect this.
Thereafter, Vallabha Bhatta invited Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu for lunch, and the Lord introduced the brothers Rupa and Vallabha to him. From a distance, the brothers Rupa Gosvami and Sri Vallabha fell on the ground and offered obeisances to Vallabha Bhatta with great humility.
When Vallabha Bhattacarya walked toward them, they ran away to a more distant place. Rupa Gosvami said, “I am untouchable and most sinful. Please do not touch me.” Vallabha Bhattacarya was very much surprised at this. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, however, was very pleased, and He therefore spoke to him this description of Rupa Gosvami.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “Don’t touch him, for he belongs to a very low caste. You are a follower of Vedic principles and are a well experienced performer of many sacrifices. You also belong to the aristocracy.”
Hearing the holy name constantly vibrated by the two brothers, Vallabha Bhattacarya could understand the hints of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He said, “Since these two are const
antly chanting the holy name of Krsna, how can they be untouchable? On the contrary, they are most exalted.”
aho bata zva-paco ’to garIyAn
yaj-jihvAgre vartate nAma tubhyam
tepus tapas te juhuvuH sasnur AryA
brahmAnUcur nAma gRNanti ye te
“My dear Lord, one who always keeps Your holy name on his tongue becomes greater than an initiated brahmana. Although he may be born in a family of dog-eaters and may therefore, by material calculation, be the lowest among men, he is still glorious. This is the wonderful effect of chanting the holy name of the Lord. It is therefore concluded that one who chants the holy name of the Lord should be understood to have performed all kinds of austerities and great sacrifices mentioned in the Vedas. He has already taken his bath in all the holy places of pilgrimage, he has studied all the Vedas, and he is actually an Aryan.”
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was very pleased to hear Vallabha Bhatta quoting from sastra about the position of a devotee. The Lord praised him personally, and, feeling ecstatic love of Godhead, began to quote many verses from sastra.
zva-pAko ’pi budhaiH zlAghyo na veda-jJo ’pi nAstikaH
“A person who has the pure characteristics of a brahmana due to devotional service, which is like a blazing fire burning to ashes all the sinful reactions of past lives, is certainly saved from the consequences of sinful acts, such as taking birth in a lower family. Even though he may be born in a family of dog-eaters, he is recognized by learned scholars. But although a person may be a learned scholar in Vedic knowledge, he is not recognized if he is an atheist.”
bhagavad-bhakti-hInasya jAtiH zAstraM japas tapaH
aprANasyeva dehasya maNDanaM loka-raJjanam
“For a person devoid of devotional service, birth in a great family or nation, knowledge of the revealed scriptures, performance of austerities and penance, and chanting of Vedic mantras are all like ornaments on a dead body. Such ornaments simply serve the concocted pleasures of the general populace.”
When he saw the Lord’s ecstatic love, Vallabha Bhattacarya was certainly very much astonished. He was also astonished by the Lord’s knowledge of the essence of devotional service, as well as by His personal beauty and influence. Vallabha Bhattacarya then put Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates aboard a boat and took them to his own place to offer them lunch.
The meeting of Sri Caitanya and Rupa Gosvami is further described as follows (220.127.116.11):
Due to the great crowds in Prayaga, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to a place called Dasasvamedha-ghata. It was there that the Lord instructed Sri Rupa Gosvami and empowered him in the philosophy of devotional service.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught Srila Rupa Gosvami the ultimate limit of the truth about Lord Krsna, the truth about devotional service and the truth about transcendental mellows, culminating in conjugal love between Radha and Krsna. Finally He told Rupa Gosvami about the ultimate conclusions of Srimad-Bhagavatam.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught Rupa Gosvami all the conclusions He had heard from Ramananda Raya and duly empowered him so that he could understand them. By entering the heart of Rupa Gosvami, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu empowered him to ascertain properly the conclusions of all truths. He made him an experienced devotee whose decisions correctly agreed with the verdicts of the disciplic succession. Thus Sri Rupa Gosvami was personally empowered by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
In his book Caitanya-candrodaya, Kavi-karnapura, the son of Sivananda Sena, has elaborately described the meeting between Sri Rupa Gosvami and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
lupteti tAM khyApayituM viziSya
M ca sanAtanaM ca
“In the course of time, the transcendental news of Krsna’s pastimes in Vrndavana was almost lost. To enunciate explicitly those transcendental pastimes, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu empowered Srila Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami with the nectar of His mercy to carry out this work in Vrndavana.”
yaH prAg eva priya-guNa-gaNair gADha-baddho ’pi mukto
gehAdhyAsAd rasa iva paro mUrta evApy amUrtaH
premAlApair dRDhatara-pariSvaGga-raGgaiH prayAge
taM zrI-rUpaM samam anupamenAnujagrAha devaH
“From the very beginning, Srila Rupa Gosvami was deeply attracted by the transcendental qualities of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Thus he was permanently relieved from family life. Srila Rupa Gosvami and his younger brother, Vallabha, were blessed by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Although the Lord was transcendentally situated in His transcendental eternal form, at Prayaga He told Rupa Gosvami about transcendental ecstatic love of Krsna. The Lord then embraced him very fondly and bestowed all His mercy upon him.”
nijAnurUpe prabhur eka-rUpe
tatAna rUpe sva-vilAsa-rUpe
“Indeed, Srila Rupa Gosvami, whose dear friend was Svarupa Damodara, was the exact replica of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and he was very, very dear to the Lord. Being the embodiment of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s ecstatic love, Rupa Gosvami was naturally very beautiful. He very carefully followed the principles enunciated by the Lord, and he was a competent person to explain properly the pastimes of Lord Krsna. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu expanded His mercy to Srila Rupa Gosvami just so he could render service by writing transcendental literatures.”
The characteristics of Srila Rupa Gosvami have thus been described in various places by the poet Kavi-karnapura. An account has also been given of how Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu bestowed His causeless mercy upon Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami. Srila Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami were the objects of love and honor for all the great stalwart devotees of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
If someone returned to his country after seeing Vrndavana, the associates of the Lord would ask him questions. They would ask those returning from Vrndavana, “How are Rupa and Sanatana doing in Vrndavana? What are their activities in the renounced order? How do they manage to eat?” These were the questions asked.
The Lord’s associates would also ask, “How is it that Rupa and Sanatana are engaging in devotional service twenty-four hours daily?” At that time the person who had returned from Vrndavana would praise Srila Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis. “The brothers actually have no fixed residence. They reside beneath trees – one night under one tree and the next night under another. Srila Rupa and Sanatana Gosvami beg a little food from the houses of brahmanas. Giving up all kinds of material enjoyment, they take only some dry bread and fried chickpeas. They carry only waterpots, and they wear torn quilts. They always chant the holy names of Krsna and discuss His pastimes. In great jubilation, they also dance. They engage almost twenty-four hours daily in rendering service to the Lord. They usually sleep only an hour and a half, and some days, when they continuously chant the Lord’s holy name, they do not sleep at all. Sometimes they write transcendental literatures about devotional service, and sometimes they hear about Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and spend their time thinking about the Lord.”
When the personal associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would hear of the activities of Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis, they would say, “What is wonderful for a person who has been granted the Lord’s mercy?” Srila Rupa Gosvami has personally spoken about the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in his auspicious introduction to his book Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu [1.1.2]:
hRdi yasya preraNayA
pravartito ’haM varAka-rUpo ’pi
tasya hareH pada-kamalaM
“Although I am the lowest of men and have no knowledge, the inspiration to write transcendental literatures about devotional service has been mercifully bestowed upon me. Therefore I am offering my obeisances at the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has given me the chance to write these books.”
For ten days Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu stayed at Prayaga and instructed Rupa Gosvami, empowering him with the necessary potency.
Unfortunately time prevents us from delving deep into the instructions of Sri Caitanya to Rupa on the subject matter of bhakti-rasa in this connection. We hope to cover this important topic over the following days in commemorating the disappearance of Sri Rupa Gosvamipada.
Madhava - Tue, 20 Aug 2002 03:15:49 +0530
At the end of the ten days Sri Rupa and Mahaprabhu spent together, Mahaprabhu concluded His discourse and ordered Rupa to go to Vrindavan (Caitanya Caritamrita, 2.19.235-243).
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then concluded, “I have simply given a general survey describing the mellows of devotional service. You can consider how to adjust and expand this.
“When one thinks of Krsna constantly, love for Him manifests within the heart. Even though one may be ignorant, one can reach the far shore of the ocean of transcendental love by Lord Krsna’s mercy.”
After saying this, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu embraced Srila Rupa Gosvami. The Lord then decided to go to the city of Benares. The next morning, when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu arose and prepared to leave for Varanasi [Benares], Srila Rupa Gosvami submitted the following statement at the Lord’s lotus feet: “If You give me permission, I shall go with Your Lordship. It is not possible for me to tolerate the waves of separation.”
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu replied, “Your duty is to carry out My order. You have come near Vrndavana. Now you should go there. Later, you can go from Vrndavana to Jagannatha Puri through Bengal [Gauda-desa]. There you will meet Me again.”
After embracing Rupa Gosvami, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu got into a boat. Rupa Gosvami fainted and fell down on the spot. The brahmana from Deccan took Rupa Gosvami to his home, and thereafter the two brothers departed for Vrndavana.
Earlier, in the first chapter (31-34), Krishnadas has elaborated on the order given by Sriman Mahaprabhu to the two brothers:
Prabhu then sent Rupa and Sanatana to Vraja. On His order, they went to Sri Vrindavana Dhama. They broadcast the path of bhakti and discovered all the places of pilgrimage, and also established the service of Madana-Gopala and Govindaji. Having elaborately studied the scriptures, they compiled books on the essence of bhakti, and in this way delivered many fools and fallen souls. On the order of Mahaprabhu, they carefully studied all scriptures, thereafter presenting the confidential bhakti of Vraja-dhama.
Mahaprabhu had already sent His dear friend Lokanatha for Vraja to initiate the very same mission, namely to discover all the lost places of Sri Krishna’s divine pastimes. Along with Narayana Bhatta, Rupa and Sanatana pursued the task.Thus the brothers took the four-fold order of the Lord within their hearts, namely: (1) To compile literature on the subject matter of bhakti, (2) To discover the lost places of Sri Krishna’s pastimes, (3) To establish the worship of Deities in Vraja, and (4) To establish proper codes of conduct for all Vaishnavas.
Madhava - Tue, 20 Aug 2002 03:53:57 +0530
ARRIVING IN MATHURA
Having received the order of Prabhu, Rupa left for Vraja. Caitanya Caritamrita, 2.25.207-215:
When Rupa Gosvami arrived at Mathura, Subuddhi Raya, out of love and affection for him, wanted to serve him in so many ways. He personally took Rupa Gosvami to see all the twelve forests of Vrndavana. Rupa Gosvami remained in Mathura and Vrndavana for one month in the association of Subuddhi Raya. After that, he left Vrndavana to search for his elder brother, Sanatana Gosvami. When Rupa Gosvami heard that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had gone to Prayaga on the road along the banks of the Ganges, Rupa and his brother Anupama went that way to meet the Lord.STAYING IN VARANASI
After reaching Prayaga, Sanatana Gosvami, following the order of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, went to Vrndavana along the public road. When Sanatana Gosvami met Subuddhi Raya at Mathura, Subuddhi Raya explained everything about his younger brothers Rupa Gosvami and Anupama. Since Sanatana Gosvami went along the public road to Vrndavana and Rupa Gosvami and Anupama went on the road along the Ganges’ banks, it was not possible for them to meet.
Subuddhi Raya and Sanatana Gosvami had previously known each other. Therefore Subuddhi Raya showed much affection to Sanatana Gosvami, but Sanatana Gosvami hesitated to accept his sentiments and affections.
Being highly detached, Sanatana Gosvami used to wander from forest to forest, never taking shelter of any habitation built of stone. He used to live under trees or beneath bushes both day and night. Srila Sanatana Gosvami collected some books about archaeological excavations in Mathura, and wandering in the forest, he sought to renovate all those holy places.
After spending a while in Vraja, Rupa departed for Varanasi. Caitanya Caritamrita, 2.25.216-221:
Sanatana Gosvami remained in Vrndavana, and Rupa Gosvami and Anupama returned to Varanasi. When Rupa Gosvami arrived at Varanasi, he met the Maharashtriyan brahmana, Candrasekhara and Tapana Misra.
While Rupa Gosvami was staying at Varanasi, he resided at the house of Candrasekhara and took prasadam at the house of Tapana Misra. In this way he heard of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s instructions to Sanatana Gosvami in Varanasi. While staying at Varanasi, Rupa Gosvami heard of all Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s activities. When he heard of His deliverance of the Mayavadi sannyasis, he became very happy.
When Rupa Gosvami saw that all the people of Varanasi respected Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he became very happy. He even heard stories from the general populace. After staying in Varanasi for about ten days, Rupa Gosvami left to the direction of Bengal. In this way I have described the activities of Rupa and Sanatana.
Having reached Varanasi, Rupa was sorry to learn that his brother had already gone to Vraja. He was uncertain where to proceed – whether to go to Vrindavan and meet Sanatana or to go to Nilacala and meet Mahaprabhu. He decided to go to Nilacala through Bengal.
Madhava - Tue, 20 Aug 2002 05:41:24 +0530
DARSANA OF SATYABHAMA DEVI
Caitanya Caritamrita (3.1.36-45) describes the travels of Rupa Gosvami through Bengal to Nilacala as follows:
On his way to Gauda-desa, Rupa Gosvami had been thinking of how to write the action of the drama. Thus he had made some notes and begun to write. In this way the two brothers Rupa and Anupama reached Bengal, but when they arrived there Anupama died.ARRIVING TO NILACALA AND MEETING DEVOTEES
Rupa Gosvami then departed to see Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, for he was very eager to see Him. There was some delay because of the death of Anupama, and therefore when Rupa Gosvami went to Bengal to see the devotees there, he could not get in touch with them because they had already left.
In the province of Orissa there is a place known as Satyabhama-pura. Srila Rupa Gosvami rested for a night in that village on his way to Jagannatha Puri. While resting in Satyabhama- pura, he dreamed that a celestially beautiful woman came before him and very mercifully gave him the following order. “Write a separate drama about me,” she said. “By my mercy it will be extraordinarily beautiful.” After having that dream, Srila Rupa Gosvami considered, “It is the order of Satyabhama that I write a separate drama for her.
“I have brought together in one work all the pastimes performed by Lord Krsna in Vrndavana and in Dvaraka. Now I shall have to divide them into two dramas.” Thus absorbed in thought, he quickly reached Jagannatha Puri.
Upon arriving to Jagannatha Puri, Rupa met Haridas Thakura, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all the devotees. Caitanya Caritamrita (3.1.46-64):
When he arrived, he approached the hut of Haridasa Thakura. Out of affectionate love and mercy, Haridasa Thakura told Srila Rupa Gosvami, “Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has already informed me that you would come here.”MAHAPRABHU CONFIRMS THE ORDER OF SATYABHAMA
After seeing the upala-bhoga ceremony at the Jagannatha temple, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would regularly come to see Haridasa every day. Thus He suddenly arrived there. When the Lord arrived, Rupa Gosvami immediately offered his obeisances. Haridasa informed the Lord, “This is Rupa Gosvami offering You obeisances,” and the Lord embraced him.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then sat down with Haridasa and Rupa Gosvami. They inquired from one another about auspicious news and then continued to talk together for some time. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu inquired about Sanatana Gosvami, Rupa Gosvami replied, “I did not meet him. I came by the path on the bank of the Ganges, whereas Sanatana Gosvami came by the public road. Therefore we did not meet. In Prayaga I heard that he had already gone to Vrndavana.” Rupa Gosvami next informed the Lord about the death of Anupama.
After allotting residential quarters there to Rupa Gosvami, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu left. Then all of the Lord’s personal associates met Srila Rupa Gosvami. On the next day, Caitanya Mahaprabhu again met Rupa Gosvami, and with great mercy the Lord introduced him to all the devotees. Srila Rupa Gosvami offered his respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of them all, and all the devotees, by their mercy, embraced him.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu told Advaita Acarya and Nityananda Prabhu, “You should both show Your mercy wholeheartedly to Rupa Gosvami. May Rupa Gosvami, by Your mercy, become so powerful that he will be able to describe the transcendental mellows of devotional service.”
Thus Rupa Gosvami became the object of love and affection for all the devotees of the Lord, including those who came from Bengal and those who resided in Orissa. Every day Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would go to see Rupa Gosvami, and whatever prasadam He received from the temple He would deliver to Rupa Gosvami and Haridasa Thakura. He would talk for some
time with them both and then leave to perform His noontime duties. In this way Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s dealings with them continued every day. Thus receiving the transcendental favor of the Lord, Srila Rupa Gosvami felt unlimited pleasure.
After Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, taking all His devotees with Him, performed the Gundica- marjana [washing and cleansing of the Gundica temple], He went to the garden known as Aitota and accepted prasadam at a picnic within the garden. When Haridasa Thakura and Rupa Gosvami saw that all the devotees were accepting prasadam and chanting the holy name of Hari, they both were greatly pleased. When they received the remnants of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s prasadam through Govinda, they respected it, and then they both began to dance in ecstasy.
One day Sriman Mahaprabhu confirms the order given to Rupa by Satyabhama Devi. Caitanya Caritamrita (3.1.65-71):
On the next day, when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to see Srila Rupa Gosvami, the omniscient Lord spoke as follows: “Do not try to take Krsna out of Vrndavana, for He does not go anywhere else at any time.
kRSNo ’nyo yadu-sambhUto
yaH pUrNaH so ’sty ataH paraH
sa kvacin naiva gacchati
“‘The Krsna known as Yadu- kumara is Vasudeva Krsna. He is different from the Krsna who is the son of Nanda Maharaja. Yadu- kumara Krsna manifests His pastimes in the cities of Mathura and Dvaraka, but Krsna the son of Nanda Maharaja never at any time leaves Vrndavana.’”
After saying this, Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to perform His noontime duties, leaving Srila Rupa Gosvami somewhat surprised. “Satyabhama ordered me to write two different dramas,” Srila Rupa Gosvami thought. “Now I understand that this order has been confirmed by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Formerly I wrote the two dramas as one composition. Now I shall divide it and describe the incidents in two separate works. I shall write two separate invocations of good fortune and two different introductions. Let me think deeply about the matter and then describe two different sets of incidents.”
Madhava - Tue, 20 Aug 2002 06:01:53 +0530
THE CONFIDENTIAL FEELINGS OF MAHAPRABHU
The following incident, describing how Sri Rupa understood the mysteries of Sriman Mahaprabhu’s bhava, is related twice in the Caitanya Caritamrita. We shall now relate the more elaborate version of this history (3.1.72-92):
During the Ratha-yatra ceremony Rupa Gosvami saw Lord Jagannatha. He also saw Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu dancing and chanting in front of the ratha.
When Rupa Gosvami heard a verse uttered by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu during the ceremony, he immediately composed another verse dealing with the same subject. I have already described all these incidents, but I still wish to add briefly something more.
Generally Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu recited a verse while dancing and chanting before the ratha, but no one knew why He was reciting that particular verse. Only Svarupa Damodara Gosvami knew the purpose for which the Lord recited that verse. According to the Lord’s attitude, he used to quote other verses to enable the Lord to relish mellows. Rupa Gosvami, however, could understand the intention of the Lord, and thus he composed another verse that appealed to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
yaH kaumAra-haraH sa eva hi varas tA eva caitra-kSapAs
te conmIlita-mAlatI-surabhayaH prauDhAH kadambAnilAH
sA caivAsmi tathApi tatra surata-vyApAra-lIlA-vidhau
revA-rodhasi vetasI-taru-tale cetaH samutkaNThate
“That very person, the thief of my pristinity, is again my lover, and these are the same moonlit nights of the month of Caitra. We are surrounded by the same odors of blossoming malati flowers, the gentle breezes of the kadamba forest are blowing, and I am that same beloved again. My mind is very eager to return under the Vetasi tree on the banks of the Reva river – to the place where we used to fulfill our pastimes of making love.”
priyaH so ’yaM kRSNaH saha-cari kuru-kSetra-militas
tathAhaM sA rAdhA tad idam ubhayoH saGgama-sukham
mano me kAlindI-pulina-vipinAya spRhayati
“My dear friend, now I have met My very old and dear friend Krsna on this field of Kuruksetra. I am the same Radharani, and now We are meeting together. It is very pleasant, but I would still like to go to the bank of the Yamuna beneath the trees of the forest there. I wish to hear the vibration of His sweet flute playing the fifth note within that forest of Vrndavana.”
After writing this verse on a palm leaf, Rupa Gosvami put it somewhere in his thatched roof and went to bathe in the sea. At that time, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went there to meet him, and when He saw the leaf pushed into the roof and saw the verse, He began to read it.
After reading the verse, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was overwhelmed by ecstatic love. At that very time, Rupa Gosvami returned, having finished bathing in the sea. Seeing the Lord, Sri Rupa Gosvami fell flat in the courtyard to offer obeisances. The Lord slapped him mildly in love and spoke as follows: “My heart is very confidential. How did you know My mind in this way?” After saying this, He firmly embraced Rupa Gosvami.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu took that verse and showed it to Svarupa Damodara for him to examine. Then the Lord questioned him: “How could Rupa Gosvami have understood My heart?” the Lord asked.
Svarupa Damodara replied, “I can understand that You have already bestowed Your causeless mercy upon him. No one could otherwise understand this meaning. I can therefore guess that previously You bestowed upon him Your causeless mercy.”
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu replied, “Rupa Gosvami met Me at Prayaga. Knowing him to be a suitable person, I naturally bestowed My mercy upon him. I thereupon also bestowed upon him My transcendental potency. Now you also should give him instructions. I
n particular, instruct him in transcendental mellows.”
Svarupa Damodara said, “As soon as I saw the unique composition of this verse, I could immediately understand that You had bestowed upon him Your special mercy.
phalena phala-kAraNam anumIyate
“‘By seeing a result, one can understand the cause of that result.’
kAryaM nidAnAd dhi guNAn adhIte
“‘The river Ganges flowing in the heavenly planets is full of golden lotus flowers, and we, the residents of those planets, eat the stems of the flowers. Thus we are very beautiful, more so than the inhabitants of any other planet. This is due to the law of cause and effect, for if one eats food in the mode of goodness, the mode of goodness increases the beauty of his body.’”
Krishnadas has further described the bhava of Mahaprabhu while relating this incident in brief earlier on (2.1.77-86):
Now, O devotees, please hear a brief explanation of this verse. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu was thinking in this way after having seen the Jagannatha Deity.
The subject of His thoughts was Srimati Radharani, who met Krsna on the field of Kuruksetra. Although She met Krsna there, She was nonetheless thinking of Him in the calm and quiet atmosphere of Vrndavana, dressed as a cowherd boy. But at Kuruksetra He was in a royal dress and was accompanied by elephants, horses and crowds of men. Thus the atmosphere was not congenial for Their meeting.
Thus meeting with Krsna and thinking of the Vrndavana atmosphere, Radharani longed for Krsna to take Her to Vrndavana again to fulfill Her desire in that calm atmosphere.
Ahuz ca te nalina-nAbha padAravindaM
yogezvarair hRdi vicintyam agAdha-bodhaiH
gehaM juSAm api manasy udiyAt sadA naH
The gopis spoke thus: “Dear Lord, whose navel is just like a lotus flower, Your lotus feet are the only shelter for those who have fallen into the deep well of material existence. Your feet are worshiped and meditated upon by great mystic yogis and highly learned philosophers. We wish that these lotus feet may also be awakened within our hearts, although we are only ordinary persons engaged in household affairs.”
The gopis thought, “Dear Lord, if Your lotus feet again come to our home in Vrndavana, our desires will be fulfilled.”
In one verse, Srila Rupa Gosvami has explained the confidential meaning of the verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam for the understanding of the general populace.
yA te lIlA-rasa-parimalodgAri-vanyAparItA
dhanyA kSauNI vilasati vRtA mAthurI mAdhurIbhiH
saMvItas tvaM kalaya vadanollAsi-veNur vihAram
The gopis continued, “Dear Krsna, the fragrance of the mellows of Your pastimes is spread throughout the forests of the glorious land of Vrndavana, which is surrounded by the sweetness of the district of Mathura. In the congenial atmosphere of that wonderful land, You may enjoy Your pastimes, with Your flute dancing on Your lips, and surrounded by us, the gopis, whose hearts are always enchanted by unpredictable ecstatic emotions.”
In this way, when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw Jagannatha, He saw that the Lord was with His sister Subhadra and was not holding a flute in His hand. Absorbed in the ecstasy of the gopis, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu wished to see Lord Jagannatha in His original form as Krsna, the son of Nanda Maharaja, standing in Vrndavana and appearing very beautiful, His body curved in three places. His desire to see that form was always increasing.
Rupa’s direct explanation of the verse spoken by Mahaprabhu is the verse beginning “priyaH so ’yaM kRSNaH”. The last verse in the passage above, “yA te lIlA-rasa”, is from Lalita Madhava.
Madhava - Tue, 20 Aug 2002 06:32:57 +0530
MAHAPRABHU AND HIS ASSOCIATES
PRAISE THE WRITINGS OF RUPA GOSVAMI
The narration of Rupa’s exchanges with Sri Caitanya and His associates continues in the Caitanya Caritamrita (3.1.103-133):
On the next day, after visiting the temple of Jagannatha as usual, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu met Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, Ramananda Raya and Svarupa Damodara. They all went together to Srila Rupa Gosvami, and on the way the Lord greatly praised his qualities.
When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu recited the two important verses, He felt great pleasure; thus, as if He had five mouths, He began to praise His devotee. Just to examine Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya and Ramananda Raya, the Lord began to praise the transcendental qualities of Sri Rupa Gosvami before them.
Characteristically, the Supreme Personality of Godhead does not take seriously an offense committed by a pure devotee. The Lord accepts whatever small service a devotee renders as being such a great service that He is prepared to give even Himself, what to speak of other benedictions.
bhRtyasya pazyati gurUn api nAparAdhAn
sevAM manAg api kRtAM bahudhAbhyupaiti
AviSkaroti pizuneSv api nAbhyasUyAM
zIlena nirmala-matiH puruSottamo ’yam
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is known as Purusottama, the greatest of all persons, has a pure mind. He is so gentle that even if His servant is implicated in a great offense, He does not take it very seriously. Indeed, if His servant renders some small service, the Lord accepts it as being very great. Even if an envious person blasphemes the Lord, the Lord never manifests anger against him. Such are His great qualities.”
When Haridasa Thakura and Rupa Gosvami saw that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had come with His intimate devotees, they both immediately fell down like logs and offered prayers to their lotus feet. Thus Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His personal devotees met Rupa Gosvami and Haridasa Thakura. The Lord then sat down in an elevated place with His devotees.
Rupa Gosvami and Haridasa Thakura sat at the foot of the elevated place where Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was sitting. Although everyone asked them to sit on the same level as the Lord and His associates, they did not do so. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu ordered Rupa Gosvami to read the verse they had previously heard, Rupa Gosvami, because of great shyness, did not read it but instead remained silent.
Then Svarupa Damodara Gosvami recited the verse, and when all the devotees heard it, their minds were struck with wonder.
priyaH so ’yaM kRSNaH saha-cari kuru-kSetra-militas
tathAhaM sA rAdhA tad idam ubhayoH saGgama-sukham
mano me kAlindI-pulina-vipinAya spRhayati
“‘My dear friend, now I have met My very old and dear friend Krsna on this field of Kuruksetra. I am the same Radharani, and now We are meeting together. It is very pleasant, but I would still like to go to the bank of the Yamuna beneath the trees of the forest there. I wish to hear the vibration of His sweet flute playing the fifth note within that forest of Vrndavana.’”
After hearing this verse, Ramananda Raya and Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya said to Caitanya Mahaprabhu, “Without Your special mercy, how could this Rupa Gosvami have understood Your mind?” Srila Ramananda Raya said that previously Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had empowered his heart so that he could express elevated and conclusive statements to which even Lord Brahma has no access. “Had You not previously bestowed Your mercy on him,” they said, “it would not have been possible for him to express Your internal feelings.”
Then Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “My dear Rupa, please recite that verse from your drama which, upon being heard, makes all people’s unhappiness and lame
ntation go away.” When the Lord persisted in asking this again and again, Rupa Gosvami recited that verse:
tuNDe tANDavinI ratiM vitanute tuNDAvalI-labdhaye
karNa-kroDa-kaDambinI ghaTayate karNArbudebhyaH spRhAm
cetaH-prAGgaNa-saGginI vijayate sarvendriyANAM kRtiM
no jAne janitA kiyadbhir amRtaiH kRSNeti varNa-dvayI
“‘I do not know how much nectar the two syllables “Krs-na” have produced. When the holy name of Krsna is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We then desire many, many mouths. When that name enters the holes of the ears, we desire many millions of ears. And when the holy name dances in the courtyard of the heart, it conquers the activities of the mind, and therefore all the senses become inert.’”
When all the devotees of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, especially Sri Ramananda Raya, heard this verse, they were all filled with transcendental bliss and were struck with wonder. Everyone admitted that although they had heard many statements glorifying the holy name of the Lord, they had never heard such sweet descriptions as those of Rupa Gosvami. Ramananda Raya inquired, “What kind of drama are you writing? We can understand that it is a mine of conclusive statements.”
Svarupa Damodara replied for Srila Rupa Gosvami: “He wanted to compose a drama about the pastimes of Lord Krsna. He planned to describe in one book both the pastimes of Vrndavana and those of Dvaraka and Mathura. He began it in that way, but now, following the order of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he has divided it in two and is writing two plays, one concerning the pastimes of Mathura and Dvaraka and the other concerning the pastimes of Vrndavana. The two plays are called Vidagdha-madhava and Lalita-madhava. Both of them wonderfully describe ecstatic emotional love of God.”
Ramananda Raya said, “Please recite the introductory verse of the Vidagdha-madhava so that I can hear and examine it.” Thus Sri Rupa Gosvami, being ordered by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, recited the verse:
sudhAnAM cAndrINAm api madhurimonmAda-damanI
dadhAnA rAdhAdi-praNaya-ghana-sAraiH surabhitAm
praNItAM te tRSNAM haratu hari-lIlA-zikhariNI
“‘May the pastimes of Sri Krsna reduce the miseries existing in the material world and nullify all unwanted desires. The pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are like sikharini, a blend of yogurt and sugar candy. They overpower the pride of even the nectar produced on the moon, for they distribute the sweet fragrance of the concentrated loving affairs of Srimati Radharani and the gopis.’”
Ramananda Raya said, “Now please recite the description of the glories of your worshipable Deity.” Rupa Gosvami, however, hesitated due to embarrassment because Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was present. The Lord, however, encouraged Rupa Gosvami, saying, “Why are you embarrassed? You should recite it so the devotees can hear the good fruit of your writing.”
When Rupa Gosvami thus recited his verse, Caitanya Mahaprabhu disapproved of it because it described His personal glories. He expressed the opinion that it was an exaggerated explanation.
anarpita-carIM cirAt karuNayAvatIrNaH kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasAM sva-bhakti-zriyam
sadA hRdaya-kandare sphuratu vaH zacI-nandanaH
“‘May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Srimati Sacidevi be transcendentally situated in the innermost core of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has descended in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most elevated mellow of devotional service, the mellow of amorous love in allegiance to Sri Radha (manjari-bhava).’”
All the devotees present so greatly appreciated this verse that they expressed their gratitude to Sri Rupa Gosvami for his transcendental recitation.
The unprecedented amorous love mentioned in
Rupa’s verse above refers to manjari-bhava (tat-tad-bhavecchamayi), since aspirants for sakhi-bhava (sambhogecchamayi), such as Jayadeva, Candidas and Bilvamangala existed prior to the appearance of Sriman Mahaprabhu. The words "sva-bhakti sriyam" are significant in defining the ujjvala-rasa Rupa mentions.
Madhava - Tue, 20 Aug 2002 06:54:56 +0530
DISCUSSION OF RAMANANDA RAYA AND RUPA GOSVAMI
In the course of his discussion with Raya Ramananda, Rupa recites several exquisite verses from the dramas he compiled, namely Vidagdha-Madhava and Lalita-Madhava. Caitanya Caritamrita (3.1.134-212):
Ramananda Raya inquired, “How have you introduced the assembly of the players?” Rupa Gosvami replied, “The players assemble at a suitable time under the heading of pravartaka.”
pravezaH syAt pravartakaH
“‘When the entrance of the actors is set in motion by the arrival of a suitable time, the entrance is called pravartaka.’
so ’yaM vasanta-samayaH samiyAya yasmin
pUrNaM tam Izvaram upoDha-navAnurAgam
gUDha-grahA rucirayA saha rAdhayAsau
raGgAya saGgamayitA nizi paurNamAsI
“‘Springtime had arrived, and the full moon of that season inspired the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is complete in everything, with new attraction to meet the beautiful Srimati Radharani at night to increase the beauty of Their pastimes.’”
Ramananda Raya said, “Please recite the prarocana portion so that I may hear and examine it.” Sri Rupa replied, “I think that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s desire to hear is prarocana.”
bhaktAnAm udagAd anargala-dhiyAM vargo nisargojjvalaH
zIlaiH pallavitaH sa ballava-vadhU-bandhoH prabandho ’py asau
lebhe catvaratAM ca tANDava-vidher vRndATavI-garbha-bhUr
manye mad-vidha-puNya-maNDala-parIpAko ’yam unmIlati
“‘The devotees now present are constantly thinking of the Supreme Lord and are therefore highly advanced. This work named Vidagdha-madhava depicts the characteristic pastimes of Lord Krsna with decorations of poetic ornaments. And the inner grounds of the forest of Vrndavana provide a suitable platform for the dancing of Krsna with the gopis. Therefore I think that the pious activities of persons like us, who have tried to advance in devotional service, have now attained maturity.’
abhivyaktA mattaH prakRti-laghu-rUpAd api budhA
vidhAtrI siddhArthAn hari-guNa-mayI vaH kRtir iyam
pulindenApy agniH kim u samidham unmathya janito
hiraNya-zreNInAm apaharati nAntaH-kaluSatAm
“‘O learned devotees, I am by nature ignorant and low, yet even though it is from me that the Vidagdha-madhava has come, it is filled with descriptions of the transcendental attributes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, will not such a literature bring about the attainment of the highest goal of life? Although its wood may be ignited by a low-class man, fire can nevertheless purify gold. Similarly, although I am very low by nature, this book may help cleanse the dirt from within the hearts of the golden devotees.’”
Then Ramananda Raya inquired from Rupa Gosvami about the causes of the loving affairs between Krsna and the gopis (prema-utpatti-karana), such as preliminary attachment (purva-raga), transformations of love (vikara), endeavors for love (cesta), and exchanges of letters disclosing the gopis’ awakening love for Krsna (kama-likhana).
Srila Rupa Gosvami gradually informed Ramananda Raya about everything he asked. Hearing his explanations, all the devotees of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu were struck with wonder.
ekasya zrutam eva lumpati matiM kRSNeti nAmAkSaraM
sAndronmAda-paramparAm upanayaty anyasya vaMzI-kalaH
eSa snigdha-ghana-dyutir manasi me lagnaH paTe vIkSaNAt
kaSTaM dhik puruSa-traye ratir abhUn manye mRtiH zreyasI
“[Experiencing preliminary attachment to Krsna (purva-raga), Srimati Radharani thought:] ‘Since I have heard the name of a person called Krsna, I have practically lost My good sense. Then, there is another person who plays His flute in such a way that after I hear the vibration, intense madness ari
ses in My heart. And again there is still another person to whom My mind becomes attached when I see His beautiful lightninglike effulgence in His picture. Therefore I think that I am greatly condemned, for I have become simultaneously attached to three persons. It would be better for Me to die because of this.’
iyam sakhi su-duHsAdhyA rAdhA-hRdaya-vedanA
kRtA yatra cikitsApi kutsAyAM paryavasyati
“‘My dear friend, these palpitations of Srimati Radharani’s heart are extremely difficult to cure. Even if one applied some medical treatment, it would only end in defamation.’
dhari-a paDicchanda-guNaM sundara maha mandire tumaM vasasi
taha taha rundhasi bali-aM jaha jaha ca-idA palAemhi
“‘O dearly beautiful one, the artistic loveliness of Your picture is now impressed within My mind. Since You are now living within My mind, wherever I wish to run because I am agitated by impressions of You, I find that You, O My friend, are blocking My way.”’
agre vIkSya zikhaNDa-khaNDam acirAd utkampam Alambate
guJjAnAM ca vilokanAn muhur asau sAsraM parikrozati
no jAne janayann apUrva-naTana-krIDA-camatkAritAM
bAlAyAH kila citta-bhUmim avizat ko ’yaM navIna-grahaH
“‘Upon seeing peacock feathers in front of Her, this girl suddenly begins trembling. When She sometimes sees a necklace of gunja [small conchshells], She sheds tears and cries loudly. I do not know what kind of new ecstatic influence has entered the heart of this poor girl. It has imbued Her with the dancing attitude of a player creating wonderful, unprecedented dances on a stage.’
akAruNyaH kRSNo yadi mayi tavAgaH katham idaM
mudhA mA rodIr me kuru param imAm uttara-kRtim
tamAlasya skandhe vinihita-bhuja-vallarir iyaM
yathA vRndAraNye ciram avicalA tiSThati tanuH
“[Srimati Radharani said to Her constant companion Visakha:] ‘My dear friend, if Krsna is unkind to Me, there will be no need for you to cry, for it will not be due to any fault of yours. I shall then have to die, but afterwards please do one thing for Me: to observe My funeral ceremony, place My body with its arms embracing a tamala tree like creepers so that I may remain forever in Vrndavana undisturbed. That is My last request.’”
Ramananda Raya inquired, “What are the characteristics of emotional love?”
Rupa Gosvami replied, “This is the nature of emotional love for Krsna:
pIDAbhir nava-kAlakUTa-kaTutA-garvasya nirvAsano
nisyandena mudAM sudhA-madhurimAhaGkAra-saGkocanaH
premA sundari nanda-nandana-paro jAgarti yasyAntare
jJAyante sphuTam asya vakra-madhurAs tenaiva vikrAntayaH
“‘My dear beautiful friend, if one develops love of Godhead, love of Krsna, the son of Nanda Maharaja, all the bitter and sweet influences of this love will manifest in one’s heart. Such love of Godhead acts in two ways. The poisonous effects of love of Godhead defeat the severe and fresh poison of the serpent. Yet there is simultaneously transcendental bliss, which pours down and defeats the poisonous effects of a snake, as well as the happiness derived from pouring nectar on one’s head. It is perceived as doubly effective, simultaneously poisonous and nectarean.’”
Ramananda Raya further inquired, “What are the natural characteristics of awakening love of Godhead?” Rupa Gosvami replied, “These are the natural characteristics of love of God:
stotraM yatra taTa-sthatAM prakaTayac cittasya dhatte vyathAM
nindApi pramadaM prayacchati parIhAsa-zriyaM bibhratI
doSeNa kSayitAM guNena gurutAM kenApy anAtanvatI
premNaH svArasikasya kasyacid iyaM vikrIDati prakriyA
“‘When one hears praise from his beloved, he outwardly remains neutral but feels pain within his heart. When he hears his beloved making accusations about him, he takes them to be jokes and enjoys pleasure. When he finds faults in his beloved, they do not diminish his love, nor do the beloved’s good qualities increase his spontaneou
s affection. Thus spontaneous love continues under all circumstances. That is how spontaneous love of Godhead acts within the heart.’
zrutvA niSThuratAM mamendu-vadanA premAGkuraM bhindatI
svAnte zAnti-dhurAM vidhAya vidhure prAyaH parAJciSyati
kiM vA pAmara-kAma-kArmuka-paritrastA vimokSyaty asUn
hA maugdhyAt phalinI manoratha-latA mRdvI mayonmUlitA
“‘Upon hearing of My cruelty, moon-faced Radharani may establish some kind of tolerance in Her aggrieved heart. But then She might turn against Me. Or, indeed, being fearful of the lusty desires invoked by the bow of formidable Cupid, She might even give up Her life. Alas! I have foolishly uprooted the soft creeper of Her desire just when it was ready to bear fruit.’
yasyotsaGga-sukhAzayA zithilitA gurvI gurubhyas trapA
prANebhyo ’pi suhRt-tamAH sakhi tathA yUyaM pariklezitAH
dharmaH so ’pi mahAn mayA na gaNitaH sAdhvIbhir adhyAsito
dhig dhairyaM tad-upekSitApi yad ahaM jIvAmi pApIyasI
“‘Desiring the happiness of His association and embraces, My dear friend, I disregarded even My superiors and relaxed My shyness and gravity before them. Furthermore, although you are My best friend, more dear to Me than My own life, I have given you so much trouble. Indeed, I even put aside the vow of dedication to My husband, a vow kept by the most elevated women. Oh, alas! Although He is now neglecting Me, I am so sinful that I am still living. Therefore I must condemn My so-called patience.’
gRhAntaH khelantyo nija-sahaja-bAlyasya balanAd
abhadraM bhadraM vA kim api hi na jAnImahi manAk
vayaM netuM yuktAH katham azaraNAM kAm api dazAM
kathaM vA nyAyyA te prathayitum udAsIna-padavI
“‘I was engaged in My own playful activities in My home, and because of My childish innocence I did not know right from wrong. Therefore, is it good for You to have forced Us into being so much attracted to You and then to have neglected Us? Now You are indifferent to Us. Do You think this is right?’
antaH-kleza-kalaGkitAH kila vayaM yAmo ’dya yAmyAM purIM
nAyaM vaJcana-saJcaya-praNayinaM hAsaM tathApy ujjhati
asmin sampuTite gabhIra-kapaTair AbhIra-pallI-viTe
hA medhAvini rAdhike tava kathaM premA garIyAn abhUt
“‘Our hearts are so polluted by miserable conditions that we are certainly going to Pluto’s kingdom. Nevertheless, Krsna does not give up His beautiful loving smiling, which is full of cheating tricks. O Srimati Radharani, You are very intelligent. How could You have developed such great loving affection for this deceitful debauchee from the neighborhood of the cowherds?’
hitvA dUre pathi dhava-taror antikaM dharma-setor
bhaGgodagrA guru-zikhariNaM raMhasA laGghayantI
lebhe kRSNArNava nava-rasA rAdhikA-vAhinI tvAM
vAg-vIcIbhiH kim iva vimukhI-bhAvam asyAs tanoSi
“‘O Lord Krsna, You are just like an ocean. The river of Srimati Radharani has reached You from a long distance—leaving far behind the tree of Her husband, breaking through the bridge of social convention, and forcibly crossing the hills of elder relatives. Coming here because of fresh feelings of love for You, that river has now received Your shelter, but now You are trying to turn Her back by the waves of unfavorable words. How is it that You are spreading this attitude?’”
Srila Ramananda Raya further inquired, “How have you described Vrndavana, the vibration of the transcendental flute, and the relationship between Krsna and Radhika? Please tell me all this, for your poetic ability is wonderful.” After offering obeisances to Ramananda Raya, Rupa Gosvami gradually began answering his inquiries.
su-gandhau mAkanda-prakara-makarandasya madhure
vinisyande vandI-kRta-madhupa-vRndaM muhur idam
kRtAndolaM mandonnatibhir anilaiz candana-girer
mamAnandaM vRndA-vipinam atulaM tundilayati
“‘The sweet, fragrant honey oozing from newly grown mango buds is again and again attracting groups
of bumblebees, and this forest is trembling in the softly moving breezes from the Malaya Hills, which are full of sandalwood trees. Thus the forest of Vrndavana is increasing My transcendental pleasure.’
latAz ca puSpa-sphuritAgra-bhAjaH
puSpANi ca sphIta-madhu-vratAni
madhu-vratAz ca zruti-hAri-gItAH
“‘My dear friend, see how this forest of Vrndavana is full of transcendental creepers and trees. The tops of the creepers are full of flowers, and intoxicated bumblebees are buzzing around them, humming songs that please the ear and surpass even the Vedic hymns.’
kvacid bhRGgI-gItaM kvacid anila-bhaGgI-ziziratA
kvacid vallI-lAsyaM kvacid amala-mallI-parimalaH
kvacid dhArA-zAlI karaka-phala-pAlI-rasa-bharo
hRSIkANAM vRndaM pramadayati vRndAvanam idam
“‘My dear friend, this forest of Vrndavana is giving great pleasure to our senses in various ways. Somewhere bumblebees are singing in groups, and in some places mild breezes are cooling the entire atmosphere. Somewhere the creepers and tree twigs are dancing, the mallika flowers are expanding their fragrance, and an overabundance of juice is constantly flowing in showers from pomegranate fruits.’
parAmRSTAGguSTha-trayam asita-ratnair ubhayato
vahantI saGkIrNau maNibhir aruNais tat-parisarau
tayor madhye hIrojjvala-vimala-jAmbUnada-mayI
kare kalyANIyaM viharati hareH keli-muralI
“‘The flute of Krsna’s pastimes measures three fingers in length, and it is bedecked with indranila gems. At the ends of the flute are aruna gems [rubies], glittering beautifully, and between its ends the flute is plated with gold set ablaze by diamonds. This auspicious flute, pleasing to Krsna, is glittering in His hand with transcendental brilliance.’
sad-vaMzatas tava janiH puruSottamasya
pANau sthitir muralike saralAsi jAtyA
kasmAt tvayA sakhi guror viSamA gRhItA
“‘My dear friend the flute, it appears that you have been born of a very good family, for your residence is in the hands of Sri Krsna. By birth you are simple and are not at all crooked. Why then have you taken initiation into this dangerous mantra that enchants the assembled gopis?’
sakhi murali vizAla-cchidra-jAlena pUrNA
laghur ati-kaThinA tvaM granthilA nIrasAsi
tad api bhajasi zazvac cumbanAnanda-sAndraM
hari-kara-parirambhaM kena puNyodayena
“‘My dear friend the flute, you are actually full of many holes or faults. You are light, hard, juiceless and full of knots. But what kind of pious activities have engaged you in the service of being kissed by the Lord and embraced by His hands?’
rundhann ambu-bhRtaz camatkRti-paraM kurvan muhus tumburuM
dhyAnAd antarayan sanandana-mukhAn vismApayan vedhasam
autsukyAvalibhir baliM caTulayan bhogIndram AghUrNayan
bhindann aNDa-kaTAha-bhittim abhito babhrAma vaMzI-dhvaniH
“‘The transcendental vibration of Krsna’s flute blocked the movements of the rain clouds, struck the Gandharvas full of wonder, and agitated the meditation of great saintly persons like Sanaka and Sanandana. It created wonder in Lord Brahma, wrought intense curiosity that agitated the mind of Bali Maharaja, who was otherwise firmly fixed, made Maharaja Ananta, the carrier of the planets, whirl around, and penetrated the strong coverings of the universe. Thus the sound of the flute in the hands of Krsna created a wonderful situation.’
harin-maNi-manohara-dyutibhir ujjvalAGgo hariH
“‘The beauty of Krsna’s eyes surpasses the beauty of white lotus flowers, His yellow garments surpass the brilliance of fresh decorations of kunkuma, His ornaments of selected forest flowers subdue the hankering for the best of garments, and His bodily beauty pos
sesses mind-attracting splendor greater than the jewels known as marakata-mani [emeralds].’
jaGghAdhas-taTa-saGgi-dakSiNa-padaM kiJcid vibhugna-trikaM
sAci-stambhita-kandharaM sakhi tiraH-saJcAri-netrAJcalam
vaMzIM kuTmalite dadhAnam adhare lolAGgulI-saGgatAM
riGgad-bhrU-bhramaraM varAGgi paramAnandaM puraH svI-kuru
“‘O most beautiful friend, please accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is standing before You full of transcendental bliss. The borders of His eyes roam from side to side, and His eyebrows move slowly like bumblebees on His lotuslike face. Standing with His right foot placed below the knee of His left leg, the middle of His body curved in three places, and His neck gracefully tilted to the side, He takes His flute to His pursed lips and moves His fingers upon it here and there.’
yugapad ayam apUrvaH kaH puro vizvakarmA
marakata-maNi-lakSair goSTha-kakSAM cinoti
“‘O beautiful-faced one, who is this creative person standing before us? With the sharp chisels of His loving glances, He is splitting the hard stones of many women’s devotion to their husbands. And with the luster of His body, surpassing the brilliance of countless emeralds, He is simultaneously constructing private meeting places for His pastimes.’
vrajendra-kula-candramAH sphurati ko ’pi navyo yuvA
cchidA-karaNa-kautukI jayati yasya vaMzI-dhvaniH
“‘My dear friend, this newly youthful Lord Sri Krsna, the moon in the family of Nanda Maharaja, is so beautiful that He defies the beauty of clusters of valuable jewels. All glories to the vibration of His flute, for it is cunningly breaking the patience of chaste ladies by loosening their belts and tight dresses.’
balAd akSNor lakSmIH kavalayati navyaM kuvalayaM
mukhollAsaH phullaM kamala-vanam ullaGghayati ca
dazAM kaSTAm aSTApadam api nayaty AGgika-rucir
vicitraM rAdhAyAH kim api kila rUpaM vilasati
“‘The beauty of Srimati Radharani’s eyes forcibly devours the beauty of newly grown blue lotus flowers, and the beauty of Her face surpasses that of an entire forest of fully blossomed lotuses. Her bodily luster seems to place even gold into a painful situation. Thus the wonderful, unprecedented beauty of Srimati Radharani is awakening in Vrndavana.’
vidhur eti divA virUpatAM
zata-patraM bata zarvarI-mukhe
iti kena sadA zriyojjvalaM
tulanAm arhati mat-priyAnanam
“‘Although the effulgence of the moon is brilliant initially at night, in the daytime it fades away. Similarly, although the lotus is beautiful during the daytime, at night it closes. But, O My friend, the face of My most dear Srimati Radharani is always bright and beautiful, both day and night. Therefore, to what can Her face be compared?’
hRdayam idam adAGkSIt pakSmalAkSyAH kaTAkSaH
“‘When Srimati Radharani smiles, waves of joy flow over Her cheeks, and Her arched eyebrows dance like the bow of Cupid. Her glance is so enchanting that it is like a dancing bumblebee moving unsteadily due to intoxication. That bee has bitten the whorl of My heart.’”
Having heard these verses recited by Rupa Gosvami, Srila Ramananda Raya said, “Your poetic expressions are like continuous showers of nectar. Kindly let me hear the introductory portion of the second drama.”
Srila Rupa Gosvami said, “In your presence, which is just like brilliant sunshine, I am as insignificant as the light of a glowworm. It is even impudent for me to open my mouth before you.” Then, having said this, he recited the introductory verse of the Lalita-madhava.
mukha-kamalAni ca khedayann akhaNDaH
dizatu mukunda-yazaH-zazI mudaM vaH
“‘The beautiful moonlike glories of Mukunda give distress to the lotuslike faces of the wives of the demons and to their raised breasts, which are like gleaming cakravaka birds. Those glories, however, are pleasing to all His devotees, who are like cakora birds. May those glories forever give pleasure to you all.’”
When Srila Ramananda Raya further inquired about the second introductory verse, Srila Rupa Gosvami was somewhat hesitant, but nevertheless he began to recite.
nija-praNayitAM sudhAm udayam Apnuvan yaH kSitau
kiraty alam urI-kRta-dvija-kulAdhirAja-sthitiH
sa luJcita-tamas-tatir mama zacI-sutAkhyaH zazI
vazI-kRta-jagan-manAH kim api zarma vinyasyatu
“‘The moonlike Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is known as the son of mother Saci, has now appeared on earth to spread devotional love of Himself. He is the emperor of the brahmana community. He can drive away all the darkness of ignorance and control the mind of everyone in the world. May that rising moon bestow upon us all good fortune.’”
Although Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was inwardly greatly pleased when He heard this verse, externally He spoke as if angry. “Your exalted poetic descriptions of the mellows of Lord Krsna’s pastimes are like an ocean of nectar. But why have you put in a false prayer about Me? It is like a drop of detestable alkali.”
Srila Ramananda Raya objected, “It is not alkali at all. It is a particle of camphor he has put into the nectar of his exalted poetic expression.”
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “My dear Ramananda Raya, you are jubilant at hearing these poetic expressions, but I am ashamed to hear them, for people in general will joke about the subject of this verse.”
Ramananda Raya said, “Instead of joking, people in general will feel great pleasure in hearing such poetry, for the initial remembrance of the worshipable Deity invokes good fortune.”
Ramananda Raya inquired, “By which subdivision of style do the players enter?” Rupa Gosvami then began to speak specifically about this subject.
nihatya raGga-sthale kalA-nidhinA
samaye tena vidheyaM
“‘While dancing on the stage after having killed the ruler of uncivilized men [Kamsa], Lord Krsna, master of all arts, will at the proper time accept the hand of Srimati Radharani, who is qualified with all transcendental attributes.’
Rupa Gosvami replied, “This introduction is technically called udghatyaka, and the whole scene is called vithi. You are so expert in dramatic expression that each of my statements before you is like a wave from an ocean of impudence.”
padAni tv agatArthAni
yojayanti padair anyaiH
sa udghAtyaka ucyate
“‘To explain an unclear word, men generally join it with other words. Such an attempt is called udghatyaka.’”
When Ramananda Raya requested Srila Rupa Gosvami to speak further about various portions of the play, Srila Rupa Gosvami briefly quoted his Lalita-madhava.
harim uddizate rajo-bharaH
purataH saGgamayaty amuM tamaH
vraja-vAma-dRzAM na paddhatiH
prakaTA sarva-dRzaH zruter api
“‘The dust from cows and calves on the road creates a kind of darkness indicating that Krsna is returning home from the pasture. Also, the darkness of evening provokes the gopis to meet Krsna. Thus the pastimes of Krsna and the gopis are covered by a kind of transcendental darkness and are therefore impossible for ordinary scholars of the Vedas to see.’
hriyam avagRhya gRhebhyaH karSati
rAdhAM vanAya yA nipuNA
sA jayati nisRSTArthA
“‘May the sweet sound of Lord Krsna’s flute, His authorized messenger, be glorified, for it expertly releases Srimati Radharani from Her shyness and attracts Her from Her
home to the forest.’
saha-cari nirAtaGkaH ko ’yaM yuvA mudira-dyutir
vraja-bhuvi kutaH prApto mAdyan mataG-gaja-vibhramaH
ahaha caTulair utsarpadbhir dRg-aJcala-taskarair
mama dhRti-dhanaM cetaH-koSAd viluNThayatIha yaH
“‘My dear friend, who is this fearless young man? He is as bright as a lightning cloud, and He wanders in His pastimes like a maddened elephant. From where has He come to Vrndavana? Alas, by His restless movements and attractive glances He is plundering from the vault of My heart the treasure of My patience.’
vihAra-sura-dIrghikA mama manaH-karIndrasya yA
uro ’mbara-taTasya cAbharaNa-cAru-tArAvalI
mayonnata-manorathair iyam alambhi sA rAdhikA
“‘Srimati Radharani is the Ganges in which the elephant of My mind enjoys pastimes. She is the shining of the full autumn moon for the cakora birds of My eyes. She is the dazzling ornament, the bright and beautiful arrangement of stars, on the border of the sky of My chest. Now today I have gained Srimati Radharani because of the highly elevated state of My mind.’”
After hearing this, Srila Ramananda Raya submitted at the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu the superexcellence of Srila Rupa Gosvami’s poetic expression and began to praise it as if he had thousands of mouths. Srila Ramananda Raya said, “This is not a poetic presentation; it is a continuous shower of nectar. Indeed, it is the essence of all ultimate realizations, appearing in the form of plays.
“The wonderful descriptions of Rupa Gosvami are superb arrangements to express loving affairs. Hearing them will plunge the heart and ears of everyone into a whirlpool of transcendental bliss.”
kiM kAvyena kaves tasya
kiM kANDena dhanuS-mataH
parasya hRdaye lagnaM
na ghUrNayati yac chiraH
“‘What is the use of a bowman’s arrow or a poet’s poetry if they penetrate the heart but do not cause the head to spin?’
“Without Your mercy such poetic expressions would be impossible for an ordinary living being to write. My guess is that You have given him the power.”
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu replied, “I met Srila Rupa Gosvami at Prayaga. He attracted and satisfied Me because of his qualities.”
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu praised the metaphors and other literary ornaments of Srila Rupa Gosvami’s transcendental poetry. Without such poetic attributes, He said, there is no possibility of preaching transcendental mellows. He requested all His personal associates to bless Rupa Gosvami so that he might continuously describe the pastimes of Vrndavana, which are full of emotional love of Godhead.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “Srila Rupa Gosvami’s elder brother, whose name is Sanatana Gosvami, is such a wise and learned scholar that no one is equal to him.”
He told Ramananda Raya, “Sanatana Gosvami’s renunciation of material connections is just like yours. Humility, renunciation and excellent learning exist in him simultaneously. I empowered both of these brothers to go to Vrndavana to expand the literature of bhakti.”
Srila Ramananda Raya replied to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, “My Lord, You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If You like, You can cause even a wooden doll to dance. I see that the truths regarding transcendental mellows that You expounded through my mouth are all explained in the writings of Srila Rupa Gosvami. Because of Your causeless mercy toward Your devotees, You want to describe the transcendental pastimes in Vrndavana. Anyone empowered to do this can bring the entire world under Your influence.”
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then embraced Rupa Gosvami and asked him to offer prayers at the lotus feet of all the devotees present. Advaita Acarya, Nityananda Prabhu and all the other devotees showed their causeless mercy to Rupa Gosvami by embracing him in return. Seeing Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s special mercy toward Srila Rupa Gosvami and seeing his personal qualities, all the devotees w
ere struck with wonder.
Then, when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu left with all of His devotees, Haridasa Thakura also embraced Srila Rupa Gosvami. Haridasa Thakura told him, “There is no limit to your good fortune. No one can understand the glories of what you have described.”
Sri Rupa Gosvami said, “I do not know anything. The only transcendental words I can utter are those which Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu makes me speak.”
hRdi yasya preraNayA
pravartito ’haM varAka-rUpo ’pi
tasya hareH pada-kamalaM
“Although I am the lowest of men and have no knowledge, the Lord has mercifully bestowed upon me the inspiration to write transcendental literature about devotional service. Therefore I offer my obeisances at the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has given me the chance to write these books.”
Madhava - Tue, 20 Aug 2002 07:08:42 +0530
RETURNING TO VRINDAVANA
Finally the time came for Rupa to settle permanently in Vrindavana, dedicating himself to fulfilling the order of the Lord. Caitanya Caritamrita (3.1.213-222):
In this way Srila Rupa Gosvami passed his time in close association with Haridasa Thakura by discussing the pastimes of Lord Krsna in great happiness. All the devotees of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu thus spent four months with Him. Then the Lord bade them farewell, and they returned to Bengal.
Srila Rupa Gosvami, however, stayed at the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and when the Dola-yatra festival took place, he saw it in great happiness with the Lord. After the Dola-yatra festival ended, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu bade farewell to Rupa Gosvami also. The Lord empowered him and bestowed upon him all kinds of mercy.
“Now go to Vrndavana and stay there,” the Lord said. “You may send here your elder brother, Sanatana. When you go to Vrndavana, stay there, compose scriptures discussing the subject matter of rasa and excavate the lost holy places, manifesting all of this to the world. Manifest the service of Krishna and rasa-bhakti there. I shall also go to Vrndavana once more.”
Having thus spoken, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu embraced Rupa Gosvami, who then placed the lotus feet of the Lord upon his head. Srila Rupa Gosvami took leave of all the devotees of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and returned to Vrndavana by the path through Bengal.
Thus I have described the second meeting of Rupa Gosvami and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Anyone who hears of this incident will certainly attain shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Thus we have completed depicting the life of Rupa Gosvami prior to his residence in Vraja. Sometime early tomorrow we shall continue relating his life after he settled in Vraja.
Madhava - Tue, 20 Aug 2002 16:57:43 +0530
LIVING IN VRINDAVANA
The following paragraphs are drawn from “The Gosvamis of Vrindavana” by O.B.L. Kapoor, chapter three.
Rupa Gosvami returned to Vrndavana in 1519. His journey to Vrndavana coincided with Sanatana’s journey to Nilacala. But they could not meet on the way, because Sanatana was travelling through the forests of Jhadikharida, while Rupa was going on the highway through Visnupura. Rupa had left Nilacala only eight or ten days before Sanatana arrived there. But Sanatana did not stay there long. He was also sent to Vrndavana after Holi. After relinquishing the high offices of the ministers of the extensive state of Bengal and cutting asunder the ties of all worldly attachments the two brothers met for the first time in the free environment of Vrndavana. There was no end to their joy on realizing that their long cherished desire of living in Vrndavana with vairagya and doing Krsna bhajana was at last fulfilled.
As ordained by Mahaprabhu, both applied themselves wholeheartedly to the task of preaching Krsna-bhakti. But preaching in order to be fruitful must be accompained by practice. Therefore while preaching Krsna-bhakti, compiling bhakti-sastras, installing Sri Vigrahas and building temples, they also practised intense sadhana and set up an example of vairagya and strict spiritual discipline in sadhana. Slowly the works written by them began to come to light and be recognized as the most valuable contribution to the
religious literature of the world. Their reputation as the great masters of learning, as the embodiments of raganuga-bhakti and as the very images of humility and austerity travelled far and wide. People from distant places began to come to them to be blessed by their dargana and company.
Mahaprabhu had told Sanatana, “Many of my followers would renounce the world, accept vairagya and go to Vrndavana for Krsna-bhajana. You will have to look after them.” They also now started coming in parties. Though Sanatana was supposed to look after them, he was by nature grave and seclusive and not as active and proficient in organisational matters as Rupa. So Although Sanatana discharged his responsibility towards them as best as he could, it was actually on Rupa that their responsibility rested. Whenever a new sadhana came to Vrndavana, it was Rupa who had to make arrangements for his dwelling and bhajana. It was he, who had to steer the ship of his life across the ocean.
Several years after the arrival of Rupa and Sanatana, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami arrived in Vrndavana. At that time Mahaprabhu suddenly disappeared from the world. Then Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami also came from Nilacala. After some other Gosvamis had also arrived the work of the installation of Sri Vigrahas and their worship gathered momentum. Each of them installed a Sri Vigraha of his own and started serving Him. Out of these vigrahas the vigraha of Govinda Ji was installed when Mahaprabhu was present. Other vigrahas, including Madana Mohana, the vigraha worshipped by Sanatana Gosvami, were installed after his disappearene.
We will now proceed to relate in further detail the service rendered by Rupa and Sanatana during their residence in Vraja.REVEALING THE LOST PASTIME PLACES
The fifth wave of Bhakti Ratnakara discusses Rupa’s and Sanatana’s quest for the discovery of the lost pastime-places as follows:
King Vajranabha of Mathura Mandala established many villages which he named after the various lilas of Krsna. By installing many deities of Krsna and by developing many kundas King Vajranabha satisfied his own long-cherished desires. In the course of time the holy places of Vraja were forgotten: no one cared to discuss or remember those holy places or those pastimes. Much later, Sri Krsna Caitanya, who was Vr
ajendra Kumar himself, came to Mathura and indicated the obscure locations of those holy places. He described everything about those places to Sanatana and Rupa.
Although Rupa and Sanatana were familar with the places and their importance, never the less they sought evidence from the scriptures. After collecting scriptural references, they travelled to each of the holy places in Vraja. With utmost care they revealed many of the holy places which were concealed. They also revealed the glory of Radha and Krsna and the essence of their divine love. Rupa and Sanatana were very dear to Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and because of their sincere endeavor to reveal the holy places, people now know the glory of Mathura.
Madhava - Tue, 20 Aug 2002 17:05:57 +0530
DISCOVERY OF SRI GOVINDA DEVA
In the second wave of Bhakti Ratnakara (404-477), we find a description of the discovery of Srila Govinda Deva:
After re-establishing the lost holy places, Sri Rupa Gosvami felt anxious on only one point. According to the scriptures Sri Govinda Vrajendra Kumar had been installed as a deity in a holy place in Vrndavana, but Sri Rupa had not found Him although he had searched many places for a long time. He even searched the houses of the people of Vraja, but when he could not find the deity he sat petiently on the bank of the Jamuna.
One day by chance a Vrajavasi came to Sri Rupa Gosvami. He was beautiful, calm and quiet in his manners, and he asked Sri Rupa why he looked so sad. Sri Rupa felt a great attraction toward The Vrajavasi and told him his story. The Vrajavasi told him not to be anxious, because there was a spiritual place named Gomatila in Vrndavana where a certain cow used to willingly let down her milk every afternoon. Sri Govinda Deva kept himself hidden there under the ground. The Vrajavasi led Sri Rupa to Gomatila.
After locating the place that Vrajavasi suddenly disappeared, and Sri Rupa fell on the ground unconscious. After a long time he regained his senses but he could not control the tears which rolled down his face. Sri Rupa Gosvami realised the desire of the Lord and checked his emotions. He told the Vrajabasis about the hidden Deity of Sri Govinda Deva and they came to Gomatila in big crowds. They were surprised to learn that Gomatila was a spiritual place. A divine oracle’s voice from Balarama was heard by everyone, and the Vrajavasis dug very carefully until they at last unearthed the deity of Govinda Deva who was as beautiful as millions of Cupids.
In the book Sri Sadhana Dipika written by Sri Radha Krsna Gosvami, the disciple of Sri Haridasa Pandita Gosvami of Vraja, the details of the abovementioned narration have been written.
Everyone glorified the name of Sri Govinda deva and people were attracted to Gomatila to see the Deity. Even Lord Brahma and other demigods came in the disguise of human beings to pay their respects to that deity. The place overflowed with lakhs of people. Sri Rupa Gosvami at once sent a letter to Mahaprabhu in Sri Ksetra and Mahaprabhu could not control his happiness upon receiving the news.
Mahaprabhu privately advised Sri Kasisvara to go to Vrndavana, but Kasisvara lamented because he did not wish to leave Prabhu. Gaurahari realized the state of His devotee’s mind and gave him a Deity of Himself. Mahaprabhu and Krsna (in the form of the deity) ate rice and other foodstuffs simultaneously to please Their devotee.
Prabhu taught Kasisvara how to worship the Deity of Sri Gaura Govinda and then sent him to Vrndavana. Upon reaching Vrndavana, Kasisvara placed the Deity of Sri Gaura Govinda on the right side of the Deity of Sri Govinda Deva and served them both with great sincerity and devotion.
The book Sri Sadana Dipika has narrated everything about this incident. Only a favored person can understand the lila of Sri Govinda Deva. He had two types of lilas – prakata and aprakata (manifest and unmanifest). His prakata-lila was manifest in His inanimate form. Sri Govinda revealed himself in his prakata-form to Sri Rupa.
Sri Rupa Gosvami composed the following verse, recorded in the Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu (1.2.239), in praise of the charming beauty of Srila Govinda Deva:
smerAM bhaGgI-traya-paricitAM sAci-vistIrNa-dRSTiMSRI VRINDA DEVI REVEALS HERSELF
vaMzI-nyastAdhara-kizalayAm ujjvalAM candrakeNa
govindAkhyAM hari-tanum itaH kezi-tIrthopakaNThe
mA prekSiSThAs tava yadi sakhe bandhu-saGge ‘sti raGgaH
“My dear friend, if you are indeed at
tached to your worldly friends, do not look at the smiling face of Lord Govinda as He stands on the bank of the Yamuna at Kesi-ghata. Casting sidelong glances, He places His flute to His lips, which seem like newly blossomed twigs. His transcendental body, bending in three places, appears very bright in the moonlight.”
Caitanya Das further describes the discovery of Vrinda Devi to his son Srinivasa in the second wave of Bhakti Ratnakara (449-455):
Sri Vrndadevi appeared before Sri Rupa in his dream, and on the order of Mahaprabhu Sri Rupa unearthed Sri Vrndadevi from the bank of Brahma Kunda. What a beautiful form was possessed by Sri Vrnda Devi, who could immediately fulfil the desires of her devotees! The book Sri Sadhana Dipika has narrated everything about this incident. My dear son Srinivasa, I am utterly unable to describe the activities of Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana who lived occasionally in Mahavana. RADHA INSTALLED BY THE SIDE OF GOVINDA DEVA
Since a long time, Govinda Deva had been alone. The murti of Sri Radha was installed by His side only a short time prior to the disappearance of Rupa. Bhakti Ratnakara describes (6.67-112):
Maharaja Prataparudra’s son was named Pururottama-jana. He was handsome in every respect. Hearing that the two Deities had no consorts, with care he sent two Radha-Thakurani Deities to Them. After some days these two Deities arrived in Vrndavana. Hearing this news, everyone in Vrndavana was filled with bliss.CONSTRUCTING THE TEMPLE OF GOVINDA-DEVA
On the pretext of a dream Lord Madana-mohana appeared before His priest and with a happy heart said: “Two Sri Radhika Deities were sent, but the sender does not know that one Deity is Radha and the other is Lalita. Quickly go and bring Them both here. The smaller Deity is Sri Radhika. Place Her on My left. The larger Deity is Lalita. Place her on My right.” Hearing these words, the priest at once departed.
With a very joyful heart the priest returned with both Deities. At once he placed Them as Lord Madana-mohana had commanded.
In Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti’s Sri Stavamrta-lahari (Sri Madana-Gopaladevastaka Text 8) it is said:
lalitayA sArddham anupada-ramitA! rAdhayA
madana-gopAla! nija-sadanam anurakSa mAm
“Situated in a splendorous jewelled palace beneath a shade-giving kadamba tree on the bank of the Yamuna, You are perpetually served by Srimati Radhika and Lalita-sakhi. O Madana-gopala! Remain near and always protect me.”
When these pastimes of Sri Madana-mohana were revealed, the Vaisnavas became filled with wonder. Hearing this wonderful news, Pururottama-jana was overcome with bliss. He did not know even his own self. Now he wished to send a Radha-Thakurani Deity to Lord Govinda. Many times he attempted, but he could not see a way to do it. Anxiously thinking of this, one day he fell asleep.
On the pretext of a dream, Sri Radhika then came before his eyes. Softly, softly She said to Pururottama-jana, “At once send Me to Sri Govinda. The people see Me within Lord Jagannatha’s circle, (cakrabeda) but they do not suspect that I am Sri Radha. For a long time I have stayed in that circle, and everyone affirms that I am Goddess Laksmi, but in truth I am Radhika. This no one knows.” After speaking these words, Sri Radhika suddenly disappeared. When his dream broke, Purusottama-jana was very frightened. Quickly he went to Cakrabeda and saw the Deity with his own eyes.
Now I will briefly tell the story of how the Radhika-Deity stayed at Cakrabeda. The Deity Gopala personally walked to South India from the place of the Deity Govinda (in Vrndavana), which is described in these words of Sadhana-dipika:
“Walking with His own feet, the Deity Gopala, who is an ocean of mercy, and who has stayed in Sri Gov
inda’s place, came to bear witness for a brahmana. Even today that Deity, who dearly loves His devotees, is splendidly manifest in Orissa. Lord Hari is the all-powerful Supreme Personality of Godhead. He can do anything, or avoid doing anything. Certainly He can walk.”
The Deity Sri Gopala’s journey is elaborately described in other books. Now I will say something of the Deity Sri Radhika’s journey.
Controlled by Her devotees’ love, that Radhika Deity at one time came to Orissa from Vrndavana. In Orissa is a village named Sri Radha-nagara. In that village lived an exalted brahmana from South India. That exalted vaisnava was named Brhadbhanu. He was learned in all the scriptures. This was known everywhere. Sri Radhika thought of Herself as Brhadbhanu’s daughter. With a happy heart She enjoyed pastimes as a Deity in his house.
In Sadhana-dipika it is said: “Please hear a beautiful story. There was a saintly South-Indian vaisnava-brahmana named Brhadbhanu. He resided in the village of Radha-nagara in Orissa. For many years he served Sri Radha Deity. Sri Radha thought of Herself as his daughter. By Her mercy nothing is impossible.”
I am worthless like a pile of ashes. With only one mouth how can I describe the great vatsalya love the brahmana Brhadbhanu felt for Sri Radhika? If for half a sesame seed’s worth of time he did not see the Deity Sri Radha, Brhadbhanu felt that moment as long as a yuga. Radha was the be-all and end-all of his life. He thought only of Radha. He thoght of none but Her. After some days the brahmana left this world. The king heard the news from the people’s mouths. He dearly loved Lord Jagannatha. Coming to Radha-nagara, that king gazed at the glorious Radha-Deity. In his head the wise king thought and thought.
In a dream Sri Radhika commanded him: “At once take Me from here and keep Me at Lord Jagannatha’s abode.” The joyful king obeyed that command. With great care the king kept Sri Radhika at Lord Jagannatha’s delightful abode of Cakrabeda. After many days at Cakrabeda everyone came to say, “This Deity is Laksmi.”. Saying the Deity is Laksmi, everyone worshipped Her in that way. In truth Sri Radhika is the perfect and complete original form of Goddess Lakrmi. Who has the power to understand the pastimes Radha enjoyed in that way in Cakrabeda?
When it was time for Her to go to Vrndavana, She informed Purusottama-jana. In a dream she commanded prince Purusottama-jana to send Her to Vrndavana with many people. Everyone in Orissa and Gauda-dera knew the Radha Deity had travelled from Puri to Vrndavana. The day that Radha-Deity entered Vrndavana was a day filled with an overflowing ocean of happiness. Radha was placed at Lord Govinda’s left on the simhasana. The two of Them felt wonderful happiness in meeting again. What person with only one mouth can describe the glorious handsomeness of Radha and Govinda?
The past poets have all described Radha Thakurani’s arrival in Vrndavana. Anyone who hears of Her arrival, as it is elaborately described in Sadhana-dipika and other books, will attain pure spiritual love and devotion (prema-bhakti).
The following history is related in O.B.L. Kapoor’s “The Gosvamis of Vrindavana”, chapter three:
In 1590 Raja Mansingh built the historic red-stone temple for Govinda Deva, which is regarded-ache finest specimen of Hindu architecture and the most attractive temple of Northern India. When Mansingh thought of building this temple, King Akbar was building the fort of Agra with the red-stones of Eastern Rajasthan. No one else was allowed to use this stone. But Mansingh was at that time the trusted commander-in-chief of Akbar. On his insistance he allowed the stone to be used for the temple of Govinda Deva free of cost. Besides he donated 130 bighas of land for the seva of the temple.
Mansingh died in 1614. For a hundred years after the death of Mansingh the temple remained, with all its original g
lory and grandeur, the centre of attraction for pilgrims all over India. When Badshah Aurangzeb, who was enemical to Hindus, came to power, it was apprehended that he might demolish the temple. Therefore the Sri Vigraha of Govinda Deva was taken to Rajasthan and installed in a temple constructed for Him in the valley of Amera. Later, when Maharaja Jaisingh founded the city of Jaipur, he built another temple for Him in Jainivasa and took Him there. He built his own palace called Candramahal in front of the temple in such a way that he could see Govinda Deva from inside the palace. Jaisingh was a devout Vaisnava. He regarded Govinda Deva as the ruler of the state and himself as His divana (prime-minister). On the mohur (gold coin) of the state was inscribed “Maha-rajadhiraja 5ri Govinda Deva Ji, Divana Maharaja Jaisingh”. Today Govinda Deva remains in the same temple. On His right on the same altar can be seen the Sri Vigraha of Gaura-govinda.
The main turret of Govinda Deva’s temple in Vrndavana was so high that the light emanating from its light-pedestal could be seen from Agra. When Aurangzeb came to know that that was the light of a Hindu temple, he sent a Faujadara to demolish it. He demolished the main turret and five other turrets adjoining it.’ Before the arrival of the Faujadara the Sri Vigraha of Govinda Deva and the other vigrahas in Vrndavana were shifted to Jaipur.
During the rein of King Mohammad Shah of Delhi (1729-48) the devotees of Vrndavana installed a vigraha, a replica of Govinda Deva in a temple adjoining the old temple of Mansingh. In 1819 a devotee named Nandakumara Basu built another temple in the north-west of the old temple, to which the vigraha of Govinda Deva was then shifted. It remains there today.
Madhava - Tue, 20 Aug 2002 17:07:42 +0530
VALLABHA BHATTA MEETS JIVA GOSVAMI
The fifth wave of Bhakti Ratnakara describes the meeting of Vallabha Bhatta, Rupa Gosvami and his nephew Jiva.
Once Sri Rupa was writing a book in a quiet place in Vrndavana. It was a hot day, and to dry the sweat from Rupa’s body Sri Jiva would stand beside him and fan him. The beauty of both Sri Rupa and Sri Jiva was bright. At that time Sri Vallava came to visit Rupa and when he looked at the invocation prayers (mangalacarana) in Rupa’s book Bhaktirasamrta Sindhu, he told Rupa, “I shall edit it.” When he went to bathe in the Yamuna Sri Jiva followed on the pretext of taking water from the Jamuna. Although he did not know Sri Vallabha personally, Jiva asked him, “What is the flaw in the mangalacarana?”
As Vallabha mentioned each point he felt required correction Jiva refuted the point by his knowledge of the scriptures. Unable to defeat Sri Jiva in a discussion, Vallabha went to Sri Rupa to enquire about the identity of Jiva. Rupa told Vallabha that the young Vaisnava was his nephew, and that he had arrived from his village only a few days before. Vallabha Bhatta praised Jiva Gosvami and told Rupa the details of their discussion on the book. Then Vallabha left that place.
Meanwhile Sri Jiva returned from the river and Sri Rupa scolded him in a very quiet voice, “It was very kind of Bhatta to visit me and for my own benefit he wanted to edit my book. This much you could not tolerate by your Vaisnava grace? Go back to your home and return to Vrndavana when you will be able to be patient.”
At once Sri Jiva left the place and headed East towards his home. When his mind became peaceful he decided to remain in a solitary place in the forest as he did not have permission to return to the association of Rupa Gosvami. He lived here in a hut made of leaves; sometimes he ate a little and sometimes he ate nothing while he passed his time in great distress and lamentation. He thought that if he gave up his life he would be able to obtain the lotus feet of his Lord.
In the course of his travels Sanatana Gosvami came to that village. The villagers came forward to welcome him and ask about his well being. They informed him that one young and beautiful sannyasi had been living in the forest for a long time, eating only a small quantity of fruits or roots or drinking water mixed with atta (flour).
Knowing that this sannyasi must be Sri Jiva, Sanatana went to see him affectionately. Seeing Sanatana, Sri Jiva could not control himself and fell flat on the ground at Sanatana’s feet. The villagers were quite astonished. Sanatana asked Sri Jiva to explain his difficulty and Jiva very lovingly explained everything. After consoling the villagers Sanatana left Sri Jiva in his hut and went to see Rupa in Vrndavana.
Hearing of Sri Sanatana’s arrival in Vrndavana, Sri Rupa went out to meet him. He asked about the book Bhaktirasamrta sindhu and Rupa said that he had finished writing the book but the editing was incomplete because of Sri Jiva’s absence. Sanatana explained the situation to Sri Rupa and said, “Jiva is alive, but he is so weak that even the breeze can rock his body.” At once Sri Rupa brought Jiva back to Vrndavana and nursed him affectionately. Everyone was happy with Sri Jiva’s recovery and Rupa Sanatana bestowed all responsibility on him. By their mercy the greatness of Sri Jiva’s knowledge spread throughout the world.
Jiva was very dear to Rupa Gosvami. In his kindness, in a dream Rupa manifested the vigrahas of Radha-Damodara and offered Them for Jiva to be served. (Bhakti Ratnakara 4.286)
Madhava - Tue, 20 Aug 2002 17:09:31 +0530
DARSANA OF SRI RADHA
In the fifth wave of Bhakti Ratnakara (1312-1324), Raghava Pandit describes how Sri Radha appeared to Rupa Gosvami to help him serve his brother.
One day Sri Rupa Gosvami thought of feeding Sanatana Gosvami (his guru) some ksira (sweet rice). He became hesitant, but Sri Radhika had seen what was on his mind, so She blissfully came before Him as a cowherd girl, bringing ghi (clarified butter), milk, rice and sugar with Her.
She told Sri Rupa: “O Svamiji! Take all these ingredients, quickly cook for Krsna and offer it to Him! My mother told Me to do this, so don’t feel shy at all!” After saying this, Sri Radhika joyfully left and Sri Rupa Gosvami blissfully began to cook.
After offering the food to Krsna, Rupa Gosvami served it to Sanatana Gosvami. I cannot describe Sanatana Gosvami’s ecstasy when he smelled the nice fragrance of these dishes! After he had eaten one or two mouthfuls, Sanatana became agitated with ecstasy and could not withold his tears of love. When Sanatana Gosvami inquired about the origin of the ingredients, Sri Rupa Gosvami gradually told him everything.
Hearing the story, Sanatana Gosvami repeatedly forbade Sri Rupa Gosvami to prepare food for which Sri Radhika personally had to come to provide the ingredients. After that he honoured the prasada, leaving Sri Rupa repenting his act. Sri Radhika then appeared to Sri Rupa in a dream and consoled him. Sanatana Gosvami was aware of that (so he did not blame Rupa Gosvami anymore).
Madhava - Tue, 20 Aug 2002 17:10:54 +0530
RUPA GOSVAMI’S HUMILITY
Bhakti Ratnakara (5.3805-3836) relates a touching incident about Sri Rupa’s humility:
One day Sri Rupa Gosvami blissfully meditated in Vrndavana that the sakhis were dressing Sri Radhika while Krsna secretly stood behind them, watching them. Sri Radhika did not notice it, and Krsna increased His own pleasure by making His presence known to the sakhis only. After the sakhis had braided Radhika’s hair with a beautiful string, they held a mirror before Her. When Sri Radhika beheld the beauty of Her own face in the mirror, She saw Krsna’s moonlike face behind Her. She became very shy and quickly took a garment to cover Herself with. When the sakhis saw this fun, they began to laugh and Sri Rupa Gosvami (in his spiritual identity as Sri Rupa Manjari) laughed with them.
Just then one Vaisnava came who was eager to see Sri Rupa Gosvami. Sri Rupa just laughed without saying anything to that Vaisnava-devotee, so the devotee became displeased and went to Sanatana Gosvami. That Vaisnava said: “I went to see Sri Rupa Gosvami, but he only laughed at me! I became sad and I did not say anything, although I came to him to ask him something. I cannot understand why he behaved like that!” So Sanatana Gosvami explained that Vaisnava why Rupa Gosvami was laughing. When the Vaisnava heard this, he felt very sorry for misunderstanding Rupa Gosvami in this way and he said: “Why did I go to see him just now? I committed a great offense to him, not understanding his mind!” The Vaisnava became very agitated. Sanatana Gosvami made become calm and peaceful again.
Sri Rupa was then plunged in seeing the Lord’s pastimes, but when the Vairnava felt offended, Sri Rupa’s bliss suddenly disappeared. Agitated, Sri Rupa looked in the four directions. In his heart he was certain that some person had come here. “I did not honour the person that came. I committed an offense.” Thinking in this way, Sri Rupa went to Sri Sanatana Gosvami’s place. Seeing Sri Rupa coming, that Vaisnava approached. Falling on the ground, that Vaisnava offered his respects.
To Sri Rupa he very humbly said, “I committed an offense. O great soul, please forgive me. I did not understand how you were rapt in meditation when I came.”
Standing before Srila Rupa Gosvami, the Vaisnava prayed, “Please kindly forgive my offense. If you are merciful to me, then my heart can become peaceful. This I say to you.”
Hearing these words, Sri Rupa became very agitated at heart. Falling to the ground, he offered respectful obeisances. Folding his hands he said: “I have no power to say how great was the offense I committed against you. Please kindly forgive my offense.”
Both devotees were very humble. Both were filled with the nectar of pure devotee. They both forgave each other. Then they both became peaceful. They both approached Srila Sanatana Gosvami. For many moments they were all plunged in the nectar of talking about Lord Krsna. Everyone heard of this incident with Srila Rupa Gosvami. Hearing of it, everyone became filled with wonder.
O my brothers, please be very careful in dealing with the Vaisnava. Give them even your very breath so they will forgive your offense. Be careful. Do not see a Vaisnava’s faults. Always praise the Vaisnavas. The ancient, ancient great devotees say: No one understands the ways of a Vaisnava. Through His dear devotees Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya has taught this truth to us. Hold the devotees’ lotus feet to your head and always dive in the nectar of pure devotional service.
Madhava - Tue, 20 Aug 2002 17:16:01 +0530
RUPA GOSVAMI AND GOPALA BHATTA
The first wave of Bhakti Ratnakara (1.178-205) describes the arrival of Gopala Bhatta in Vrindavana and his dearness to Rupa and Sanatana. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu speaks:
“I feel concerned because I have not received any news from Vraja for a long time.” He told the devotees that he wanted to send some letters to Vrndavana, but as He spoke, a letter arrived from Rupa and Sanatana in Vraja giving news of Gopala Bhatta’s arrival there.RUPA GOSVAMI AND RAGHUNATHA DAS
In His enthusiam over the letter, Mahaprabhu began to describe Gopala to his devotees. “During My southern tour, I had the pleasure of staying at the house of Venkata Bhatta. There I met Sri Bhatta’s son Gopala who had already proven himself a great scholar of all scriptures. With the permission of his father, Gopala had gladly served Me with great sincerity. Lord Krsna has been kind to him and he has now gone to live in Vrndavana. Rupa and Sanatana are very dear to Me and they sent Me a letter as soon as Gopala arrived there.”
Prabhu’s devotees were happy to hear the Lord relate His story. The Lord praised Rupa and Sanatana and then sent them His reply. He wrote, “I am glad to hear of Gopala’s arrival in Vrndavana. You should accept him as your own brother. Continue to send Me letters from time to time informing Me of your welfare and activities. The books which you have already written and those which you are currently writing will later be well accepted by the world The person who will help to circulate all books, has now arrived by the wish of Lord Krsna.”
Mahaprabhu ordered a person to take the letter and many clothes for his Vrndavana disciples and to leave without delay for Vraja. When the courier met the Gosvamis in Vrndavana, he delivered the doras, Kaupinas and outer garments along with the letter. I dare not attempt to describe how joyfully the Gosvamis received the gifts and letter from Mahaprabhu. Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana lovingly accepted Sri Gopala as their brother. An internal revelation helped Gopala identify Sanatana Gosvami at once.
Sri Sanatana Gosvami described the book Sri Hari Bhakti Vilasa to Gopala. While listening to the book, Gopala harbored a secret to serve the deity of the Lord. One night in a dream, Sri Govinda Deva told Rupa about Gopala’s desire. Under Sri Rupa’s affectionate guidance Gopala learned to serve Sri Radha Raman. This subject shall be discussed in detail later, but for now I will say that Gopala’s effort in serving the Lord was very sincere.
Lokenatha, Bhugarva, Pandita Kasiwara, Sri Paramananda and the other devotees all showered thier love on Gopala Bhatta. He liked to spend his days with Rupa Sanatana discussing the loving pastimes of Sri Krsna Caitanya. Sri Gopala’s heart swelled with love for Sanatana while a deep friendship grew between him and Sri Rupa.
The fifth wave of Bhakti Ratnakara describes the loving dealings between Rupa Gosvami and Raghunatha Das.
“When Sri Rupa had finished writing Lalita-madhava, he gave it to Raghunatha dasa Gosvami to read. Lalita-madhava is description of Krsna’s pastimes after he left Vrindavana and is thus full with sentiments in the mood of separation. By reading this Dasa Gosvami began to cry day and night, having become completely absorbed in love in separation to the point of being ready to leave his body. He became as though deranged in mind from sadness and he completely lost all patience. When Sri Rupa requested Sri Dasa Gosvami to return the manuscrip, so that he could correct it, Raghunatha das held on it very mightly, not allowing to add anything, or rewrite it or extract anything from it.
After considering what to do, Sri Rupa composed Dana-keli-kaumudi. He managed to exchange this manu
script with Lalita-madhava. By reading Dana-keli-kaumudi, full of narrations of Krsna’s Vrindavan pastime, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami now became totaly absorbed in the ecstasy of hapiness.”
In his Prarthanasraya Caturdasakam (10-12), Raghunatha Das expressed his deep, burning feelings of separation following the disappearance of Rupa-Sanatana:
apUrva premAbdheH parimala-payaH phena nivahaiH
sadA yo jIvAtur yam iha kRpayA siJcad atulam
idAnIM durdaivAt prati-pada vipad-dAva valito
nirAlambaH so’yaM kam iha tam Rte yAtu zaraNam
“Srila Rupa Gosvami, who is my life-support, has mercifully sprinkled me with the foam of the fragrant water of the unprecedented ocean of prema. To whom else but him shall I go, now that I am helpless and unfortunate, burning in the forest fire of dangers at every step?”
zUnyayate mahA-goSThaM girIndro ‘jAgar’Ayate
vyAghra tuNDAyate kuNDaM jIvAtu rahitasya me
“Without my life-support (Sri Rupa Gosvami) the great meadows of Vraja are empty, the Govardhana Hill stretches itself out like a python and Radha Kunda has become like the gaping mouth of a tiger.”
na patati yadi dehas tena kiM tasya doSaH
sa kila kuliza sArair yad vidhAtrA vyadhAyi
ayam api para hetur gADha tarkeNa dRSTaH
prakaTa kadana bhAraM ko vahatv-anyathA vA
“If this body does not fall (die), then that is not the fault of the body. Surely the Creator made it as hard as the essence of a thunderbolt. But even this is a cause seen through intense arguments. Who else could clearly carry such a load of pain and misery?”
Madhava - Tue, 20 Aug 2002 17:19:46 +0530
SRINIVASA MEETS RUPA GOSVAMI IN A DREAM
The fourth wave of Bhakti Ratnakara (4.194-247) describes of Rupa Gosvami continued to bless the devotees even after disappearing from their vision:
“In Nilacala, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu disappeared from the world. After hearing that unbearable news, Kasisara Gosvami also left the world. Raghunatha Bhatta, the great Bhagavatam reciter, also disappeared when he heard about the disappearance of Mahaprabhu. A few days ago Sri Sanatana Gosvami also left this world. Now Sri Rupa Gosvami is also gone. Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami and Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami constantly burn in the fire of seperation. They are the most unfortunate as they have had to see so much misery.”
When he heard the brahmins lamenting, Srinivasa Thakura inquired about the cause of their unhappiness. Crying bitterly, they related the story of the disappearance of Rupa and Sanatana Gosvami. Srinivasa also began to cry and fell on the ground in a faint. Gaining consciousness he rose up crying, “Alas! What have I heard! What have I heard! and again he fell to the dusty ground in a faint.” Again he cried out, “My dear Lord Rupa Gosvami. My dear Lord Sanatana Gosvami why have you been so unkind to an unfortunate soul like myself? I will never see your lotus feet and my desires will never be fulfilled.” As he cried he tore the skin on his chest with his nails.
Observing Srinivasa’s miserable condition a brahmin from Mathura held his hand and tried to console him in various ways just to save his life. All the inhabitants of Mathura also came forward to console him but it was of no use. Srinivasa offered obeisances at the feet of that Mathura brahmin and started for the road leading back to Gauda. “The Vaisnava devotees of Gauda adviced me to go quickly to Vrndavana,” he thought. “Now I understand why they wanted me to go quickly, but I was not fortunate enough to reach here in time. Although cruel destiny has forced me to suffer in this way, my sinful life continues.”
As he contemplated his miserable plight tears flowed constantly from his eyes and from time to time he shouted in acute agony. “My dear Sanatana my dear Rupa Raghunatha Bhatta, Sri Kasiswar Pandita you were the ocean of devotional qualities,” he shouted. “I have heard that you were all extremely kind hearted, so why have you been so unkind to a poor soul like me?” With that Srinivasa decided to give up his life and he fell to the ground with no further concern for his own condition. With the dark hours of the night after travelling quite a distance Srinivasa rested beneath a tree. His lamentations were so pitiful that even a stone or a piece of wood would crack upon hearing them. The inhabitants of the nearby village grew morose when they heard Srinivasa’s continous crying. Throughout the night he sobbed until he finally fell asleep by the desire of the Lord.
Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami and other merciful Gosvamis appeared before Srinivasa in a dream. All the Gosvamis were extremely beautiful and seeing them, Srinivasa’s heart filled with ecstasy. Feeling symptoms of ecstasy his eyes filled with tears and he fell at the feet of the devotees. They placed their feet on his head and embraced him, consoling him in various ways. They carassed his ematiated body and bathed him with tears from their eyes.
Again seeing Srinivasa’s face, Sanatana Gosvami spoke to him in ecstatic love: “My dear son Srinivasa, this is not the time for you to lament. Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami is no different from me. Go and take initiation from him.”
Sanatana also directed Srinivasa to take the books of the Gosvamis to Gauda in order to propagate the Gosvami philosophy. By directing Srinivasa in various ways they blessed him and then remembering Caitanya Mahaprabhu they disappeared. By observing the Gosvamis and
hearing their nectarine instructions Srinivasa’s ecstasy verflowed. The next day he reversed his course and started for Vrndavana.
That same night Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami appeared in a dream of Jiva Gosvami’s to give some instruction. “Previously I told you that on the 20th day of the month of Vaisakh you will obtain wonderful association. That devotee will reach Vrndavana today, and after meeting him you will become very happy. At the time of the arati of Govinda Deva, when the crowd is thin, you should search for him. His complexion is like a golden champa flower and his is very thin. He is young and tears constantly flow from his eyes. In great pain he left Gauda and he has already gotten news of our disappearance. He decided to give up his life but we appeared before him to console him. We cannot describe his affliction, but when you see him you will understand. You should arrange his initiation from Gopala Bhatta Gosvami and when his study is completed give him all the books. Send him to Gaudadesha where he will distribute the transcendental jewels of literature to the masses. What more can we tell you about him? Through this Srinivasa Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu will perform many activities.”
After instructing Sri Jiva Gosvami they appeared to Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. “Your Srinivasa has come from Gauda but his suffering is beyond description. Accept him as your disciple.” Then Sri Rupa Sanatana disappeared.
Madhava - Tue, 20 Aug 2002 17:22:09 +0530
KANA-I AND RUPA-SANATANA
The sixth wave of Bhakti Ratnakara (6.372-391) relates the loving dealings between Rupa-Sanatana and a Vrajavasi known by the name Kana-i.
On the Yamuna’s bank, by a solitary tree, was a charming and very secluded place, a place beyond the knowledge of outsiders. A Vrajavasi brahmana named Kana-i stayed under that tree and worshipped Krsna. Srinivasa approached Kana-i and offered respectful obeisances. Kana-i hugged Srinivasa and would not let him go.
Sprinkling Srinivasa with tears from his eyes, again and again Kana-i said, “Now I see you. I will not see you again. You are full of spiritual love. You will circulate the devotional books in Gauda-desa. Easily you will destroy the conditioned soul’s sins. You are Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana’s object of mercy. How shall I describe your good fortune?”
As he described the activities of Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana, Kana-i was overcome. He could not remain peaceful. I will briefly describe Kana-i’s spiritual love for Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana. I have no power to describe it in detail. Kana-i’s mother was like an abode of great spiritual love. She loved Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana as if they were her sons.
Who has the power to understand Kana-i’s activities? He always stayed with Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana. From time to time he very respectfully took Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana to his own home and offered alms to them. Fruits, roots, sak, or whatever was in his house, he respectfully gave to them.
Manifesting Kana-i’s form, one day Lord Krsna Himself gave alms to Sanatana Gosvami. Pretending to be Kana-i, Lord Krsna enjoyed pastimes in this way. Kana-i’s virtues were known everywhere. No one could leave Kana-i’s association for even a single sesame seed’s worth of time. He was very dear to Sri Sanatana and Sri Rupa.
When Srila Sanatana Gosvami and Srila Rupa Gosvami were no longer to be seen in this world, in his heart Kana-i firmly decided to give up his life. Only by the wish of Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana was Kana-i’ life saved. Renouncing his home, Kana-i then wandered in Vraja. He resided under that tree by the Yamuna’s banks. He always rolled in the dust. He always floated in the tears from his eyes. Calling out, “Rupa! Sanatana!” he gave out long sighs. Without them he did not wish to live.
Seeing Kana-i’s condition, Srinivasa could not remain peaceful. As he bid Kana-i farewell, tears of spiritual love streamed from Srinivasa’s eyes.
Madhava - Tue, 20 Aug 2002 17:24:24 +0530
WRITINGS OF RUPA GOSVAMI
Narahari Cakravarti describes the literary accomplishments of Rupa Gosvami in the first wave of Bhakti Ratnakara (5.796-799, 811-829):
Sri Rupa wrote some books which have become famous in the world, namely Sri Hamsaduta Kavya, Srimad Uddhava Sandesha and Chando’sta-dasakam. He wrote some hymns which had also become famous, namely Stavamala, Govinda virudavali, Premendusagara etc. He wrote some dramas namely Lalita Madhava, Vidagdha Madhava, Danakeli, Rasamrta Yugala, Mathura Mahima, Nataka-Candrika and Sri Bhagavatamrta in condensed form (as Laghu Bhagavatamrita).
Sri Rupa Gosvami wrote sixteen books in which he had revealed the different types of divine sports of Krsna. The names of these books are Hamsaduta Kavya, Uddhava Sandesha, Krsna Janma-tithi-vidhi, Sri Brihad Ganoddesa dipika, Sri Laghu Ganoddesa dipika, Stavamala, Lalita Madhava and Dana Lila Kaumudi, Dana Keli Kaumudi, Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu, Sri Ujjvala Nilamani, Prayuktakhyata Candrika, Mathura Mahima (Mahatmya) and Nataka Candrika.
He wrote eleven slokas known as Sri Radha-Krsnayor Astakaliya-lila-smarana-mangala-stotram, being requested by the Vaisnavas, and gave them to Krsnadasa Kaviraja to elaborate on. All these slokas dealt with the eight divine sports of Krsna which became very famous in the realm of Vaisnava literature.
Krsnadasa Kaviraja edited and condensed the book (Govinda) Virudavali. Apart from these books, Rupa Gosvami composed hymns in separate forms which Sri Jiva compiled in a complete work and named it Stavamala.
In addition to the titles mentioned by Narahari above, Jiva Gosvami mentions Astadasa Lila Canda, Utkalika Vallari and Padyavali, a compilation of poetry, in his Laghu Vaisnava Tosani. Many famous titles such as Upadesamrita and Gitavali, along with some of the aforementioned titles, are collected in Stavavali.
In addition to the aforementioned books, Krishna Das Babaji has given a further list books attributed to Rupa Gosvami in his introduction to Ujjvala Nilamani. They are as follows: Nikunja Rahasya Stava, Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu Sahasranama Stotram, Ujjvala-candrika, Gangastaka, Sadhana Paddhati, Premandha-stava, Sri Radhastaka, Sri Navadvipastaka and Upasana-paddhati. Dr. Jana of the Oriental MSS Library of Madras also lists the following titles: Vaisnava Pukjabhidhanam, Pancasloki, Gadadharastaka, Ekanta Nikunja-vilasa, Advaita-stavaraja, Yugaöa-stavaraja, Ananga-manjari-stava, Sananta Gosvamyastakam, Astakala-smarani, Sadhanamrita, Siksadasaka and Hare Krsna Mahamantra Nirupana.
The esoteric depths of Rupa’s poetic expression are illustrated in the following story from the fifth wave of Bhakti Ratnakara (5.754-764):
“O Srinivasa!”, Raghava Pandita told Srinivasacarya, “I will tell you what pastime took place at the base of this tree! One day Sanatana Gosvami came here (to Radhakunda) from Govardhana to see Sri Rupa and Sri Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami!
Sri Rupa Gosvami had written a verse in which he compared Srimati Radharani’s braid with the hoods of a female snake. Seeing this verse, Sanatana Gosvami said: “I don’t know if this is a good comparison or not!”
Saying this, he went down to the lake and saw (reflected) in the water that some girls were playing under a tree. When Sanatana Gosvami saw the braids of these girls, that hung down their backs, he mistook them for snakes. Very anxiously he told the girls: “O stupid girls! Be careful! Snakes are crawling up your backs!”, and ran up to them to stop these snakes. Seeing that Sanatana Gosvami was very upset, the girls giggled and disappeared!”
“Here (on the eastern bank of Radhakunda) Sanatana Gosvami became overwhelmed. After calming down he went to Sri Rupa Gosvami and sa
id: “What you wrote (about the snake) was true!” Sri Rupa understood what was on Sanatana’s mind (and that he had understood the purport of the verses).”
In his Dasa-sloki-bhasya - commentary (8-9) on the Smarana Mangala Stotram of Rupa Gosvami, Radhakrsna Gosvami relates how it was Rupa himself who revealed the practice of astakaliya-lila-smarana, primarily in the seva sadhaka-rupena verse and in various of his stotras, but because of its confidential nature he confined it to his own followers and never wrote about it in an ordered, detailed way. When his followers encouraged him to do so, he was already very old and close to death. One the verge of death he taught it to Krsnadasa Kaviraja in detail and asked him to publish it. Krsnadasa Kaviraja honoring Rupa’s request wrote about it in great detail in the enormous Govinda-lilamrta.
Madhava - Tue, 20 Aug 2002 17:58:11 +0530
RUPA GOSVAMI'S DISAPPEARANCE
Sri Rupa Gosvami disappeared from this world in the dvadasi of bright fortnight in the month of Sridhara, in the year 1486 of Sakabda era, corresponding to 1564 AD, joining Sri Radha and Sri Krishna in their eight-fold daily pastimes in his eternal identity of Rupa Manjari. His disappearance left all the devotees lamenting and longing to again attain his association.CONCLUDING WORDS
Thus we conclude this compilation of accounts on Rupa Gosvami's life. As I have hastily compiled these accounts from various sources, I must apologize for any errors that may have crept in. I will continue to refine them over time, and it is very likely that many passages need to be entirely re-translated. May the Vaishnavas be kind upon us and disregard our faults.
I would like to end this account with several songs of praise, as they appear in Bhakti Ratnakara's sixth wave (285-306) on the occasion of Srinivasa’s visiting Rupa Gosvami’s samadhi.SONGS OF PRAISE
Ah! Ah! A person who described the shoreless ocean of Srila Rupa Gosvami’s glories himself becomes known everywhere.
In Srila Kavi-Krsnapura’s Sri Caitanya-candrodaya (9.43) it is said: “Indeed, Srila Rupa Gosvami, whose dear friend was Svarupa Damodara, was an exact replica of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and he was very, very dear to the Lord. Being the embodiment of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s ecstatic love, Rupa Gosvami was naturally very beautiful. He very carefully followed the principles enunciated by the Lord, and he was a competent person to explain properly the pastimes of Lord Krsna, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu expanded His mercy to Srila Rupa Gosvami just so he could render service by writing transcendental literatures.”
In Sadhana-dipika it is said: “Devotees who walk on the path of raganuga-bhakti should not associate with persons who reject the philosophy of Srila Rupa Gosvami, who is an ocean of mercy.”
It is also said in Sadhana-dipika: “Again and again I offer my respectful obeisances to the lotus feet of Srila Rupa Gosvami, by whose mercy even a fool can become learned in the Vairnava philosophy.”
In Srila Narottama dasa Thakura’s Sri Prema-bhakti-candrika it is said: “When will Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Sri Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?”
In Sri Sadhana-dipika it is said: “Please always chant, O my tongue, the name Sri Rupa. Please remember, O my heart, Sri Rupa, who is mercy personified. Please bow down, O my head before Sri Rupa, whose glance is filled with mercy, and whose second form is Raghunatha dasa.”
How wonderful are Srila Rupa Gosvami’s glories! The wise devotees have described his glories in many ways.
A song in Bibhasa-raga:
(refrain) yau kali rupa sarira na dharata
tau bhu-tala braja-prema-maha-nidhi kauna kapata ugharata
"If Srila Rupa Gosvami had not accepted a body in Kali-yuga, who on this earth would have opened the door to the great treasure house of Vraja’s spiritual love?"
ko saba tyaji’ bhaji’ bandabana
ko saba grantha bicarata
misrita ksira nira binu hamsana
kauna pathak kari’ payata
Who would have renounced everything, worshipped Vrndavana , and written many books (describing devotional service)? Who but a swan can drink only the milk from a mixture of milk and waters?
ko janata mathura-bandabana
ko janata braja-rita
ko janata radha-madhaba-rati
ko janata saba nita
"Who would have understood Mathura and Vrndavana? Who woul
d have understood the ways of Vraja? Who would have understood the love of Radha and Krsna? Who would have understood the rules of devotional service?"
yake carana-prasada sakala jana
ga-i ga-i sukha pa-ota
ki rati bimala sunata jana
madho-hade ananda badhayata
"When someone happily sings and sings of the mercy of Srila Rupa Gosvami’s feet, and when others happily hear his songs. Lord Madhava’s heart becomes filled with bliss."
What to speak of others, even Sri Krsna-Caitanya Himself felt His heart become wild with bliss when He heard of Srila Rupa Gosvami’s glories. This is known everywhere. No one can come to the end of describing Sri Rupa’s glories. Srila Rupa Gosvami is the life’s breath of Lord Caitanya’s dear devtoees. O my brothers, no one can find the end of Srila Rupa Gosvami’s glories!
A song in bibhasa-raga:
(refrain) jaya mora prana sanatana-rupa
agatinke gati do-u bhaga
"(refrain) Glory to Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami! They are my breath of life. To the last they give the supreme spiritual destination. O my brothers, they are the pillars supporting the yajna of Bhakti-yoga."
bandabanake sahaja madhuri-
prema sudhake kupa
bhakta sabhahe bhupa
"They are Vrndavana ‘s two wells filled with the sweet nectar of pure spiritual love. They are two oceans of mercy. They are the two friends of the lost souls who have no master. They are the two kings on the assembly of devotees."
bhakti bhagabata matahi acarana
bhubana-caturdasa-bidita bimala yasa
"They are the two great generals leading the army of preachers who expertly speak of bhakti and Bhagavatam. Their pure glories are known in the fourteen worlds. Their glories are nectar for the tongue."
bijasa-upasaka sada upase
"The dust of their lotus feet has become the Vaisnavas’ fragrant tilaka. They worship Vyasa. They always worship Sri Radha’s peerless feet."
Another song in Bibhasa-raga:
(refrain) jaya more sadhu-siromani rupa-sanatana
jinke bhukti eka rasa-nibahi
(Refrain) Glory to Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami! They are the crest jewels of saintly devotees. They are filled with the nectar of devotional love for Sri Sri Radha and Krsna.
bandabanahi sahaja madhuri
rauma rauma sukha gatana
saba teji’ kuNja-keli bhaji’
ahar-nisi ati anuraga radhatana
"Tasting the sweetness of residing in Vrndavana , they are filled with bliss. The hairs of their bodies stand up. Renouncing everything, they worship Vraja’s forest groves. Day and night they meditate on Radha’s love for Lord Krsna."
kapaphali dau bhratana
tina binu byasa anathana ye
se sukhe taru-bara patana
"These two brothers brought the mercy of Sri Krsna Caitanya, who is an ocean of mercy, without these two brothers I am helpless and without a master. Without these two brothers, the tree of my happiness has broken and fallen to the ground."
Who has the power to describe all the glorious activities of Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami? I have briefly described only some of their activities.
Bibliography: Sri Caitanya Caritamrita (AC Bhaktivedanta Swami / BBT) | Bhakti Ratnakara (two versions -- unknown translator, unpublished) | The Six Gosvamis of Vrindavana (OBL Kapoor / Saraswati Jayasri Classics) | Excerpts from Bhakti Ratnakara (Advaitadas).
Madhava - Tue, 20 Aug 2002 23:44:00 +0530
|SRI RUPA MANJARI|
Age: 13 years, 6 months
Complexion: Gorocana (bright yellow)
Dress: Mayura-pincha (color of peacock-feathers)
Sister: Lavanga Manjari
Service: Massaging feet
Kunja: Rupollasa-kunja (in the northern part of Lalita’s kunja)
Another name: Rangana-malika
Identity in Gaura-lila: Rupa Gosvami
Madhava - Wed, 21 Aug 2002 00:48:39 +0530
SRI RUPA MANJARI
* * *
rAgeNa rUpa maJjaryA raktI kRta muradviSaH |
guNArAdhitA rAdhAyAH pAda-yugma ratir mama ||
“May I love the lotus feet of Rupa Manjari,
who colours Sri Krishna with the incomparible flavours
of her heart’s passionate love
and worships Sri Radharani
through her own incomparable qualities.”
(Vraja Vilasa Stava, 106)
* * *
vRndAraNya-mahezvarIM priyatayA yAs toSayanti priyAH |
prANa-preSTha-sakhI-kulAd api kilAsaGkocitA bhUmikAH
kelI-bhUmiSu rUpa-maJjarI-mukhAs tA dAsikAH saMzraye ||
I take shelter of the handmaidens of the Queen of Vrindavan,
who are led by Sri Rupa Manjari
and who lovingly satisfy her
by offering hazelnuts and other condiments,
massaging her feet, bringing fragrant water
and arranging trysts with her gallant
and have thus become most dear to her.
They are thus allowed to enter the scene
of the Divine Couple’s most intimate affairs
without the slightest discomfiture
a reward not given even to her dearest friends.
(Vraja Vilasa Stava, 38)
* * *
“Of all the manjaris, Sri Rupa Manjari is the greatest and the chief. In allegiance to her and under her control all the manjaris perform and accomplish their services to Sri Radha-Madhava. Just as Sriman Mahaprabhu would not listen to anyone’s poetry before having it examined by Sripada Svarupa Damodara, the great knower of rasa, because if it contained rasabhasa (incompatible flavours) or viruddha siddhanta (controversial theories), the Lord would suffer intolerably, similarly in Vraja, the new manjaris attain the eligibility to engage in the rasika service of Sri Radha-Madhava after passing Sri Rupa Manjari’s examination. Otherwise it is not possible for anyone to attain the yugala-seva.” (PBC 52, ADP)
The following verse illustrates the intimate relationship between Sri Radha and Sri Rupa Manjari, the embodiment of Her own beautiful form. In the words of Raghunatha Das Gosvami (Vilapa Kusumanjali, 1):tvaM rUpa maJjari sakhi prathitA pure’smin
puMsaH parasya vadanaM na hi pazyasIti |
bimbAdhare kSatam anAgata bhartRkAyA
yat te vyadhAhi kim u tac chuka puGgavena ||
My dear friend, Rupa Manjari!
In the township of Vraja,
you are well known for your chastity.
You don’t even look at the faces of other men!
It is therefore surprising that your lips,
that are as beautiful as bimba-fruits, have been bitten,
although your husband is not at home!
Has this perhaps been done
by the best of parrots?
“Srimati Rupa Manjari has accomplished the meeting of Radhika and Syamasundara in a solitary cave of Govardhana Hill, and she secretly looks through a hole in that cave to witness Their sweet love-pastimes. Radha and Syama are both intoxicated by each other’s presence. How expertly are They playing Their pastimes! At the end of these pastimes Syamasundara bites Srimati’s lips, leaving a mark there. The relationship between Radhika and Rupa Manjari is so pure that all the signs of Krishna’s lovemaking on Sri Radhika’s body, such as His bite marks on Her lips, become manifest on Sri Rupa Manjari’s body also. Sri Rupa Manjari is beside herself of ecstasy, so she’s not aware of this reflection. Then she thinks to herself: “Aha! My sakhi Tulasi Manjari (Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami) has not seen these sweet pastimes! Where is she? Alas, I should bring her here and show, this to her!” She leaves the window and starts searching for Tulasi. When Tulasi meets Rupa Manjari, she sees Krishna’s bite marks on her lips and j
okingly asks her: “My dear friend Rupa Manjari! You never look at the faces of other men! You’re famous in Vraja for your chastity! But, despite the fact that your husband is not at home, I see that your lips have been bitten! Has some great parrot maybe done this?” If anyone considers the words suka purigavena to indicate that Sri Rupa Manjari was enjoyed by Sri Krishna, then that would contradict the definition the acaryas have given of the manjaris within their books.” (ADP/AGG)
Madhava - Wed, 21 Aug 2002 01:09:43 +0530
MAKING A BED OF FLOWERS
“Sri-Sri Radha-Madhava are resting on a jewelled platform at the base of a sweet Madhavi-vine, while the sakhis fan Them and serve Them betel leaves. Everyone is absorbed in a wonderful rasa of laughter. On Lalita's indication Sripada, in his siddha svarupa, makes a bed of flowers in a nearby kunja, which is filled with buzzing bees that serve as the kunja gatekeepers that will not let any hostile person in. The gate is decorated with vermilion pictures that depict the pastimes of Krishna, like the killing of Putana, and inside the kunja there are garlanded pictures of Radha and Madhava's purva raga (beginnings of love), which incite playful feelings. Sri Rupa Manjari makes a bed with stemless flowers for the Divine Pair to have Their erotic pastimes on. Rupa Manjari keeps these soft flowers together in a thin sheet so that they will not scatter during Radha and Krishna’s wild love game.
The words madana samara carya (lit. Cupid's battle) here mean loving pastimes, in which both lover and beloved have only pure desires to make each other happy, nothing more. Radha and Madhava are a transcendental hero and heroine, and Their amorous pastimes are the sweet meeting between transcendence personified (Sri Krishna) and the supreme love personified (Sri Radha). It is difficult to understand this, though, without accepting the mood of a spiritual maidservant!
When the vision disappears from Sri Rupa Gosvami, he begins to lament and pray with an anxious heart. Then his heart is filled again with a spiritual vision, which is a continuation of the previous verse’s pastime. Sri-Sri Radha-Madhava are resting on a jeweled platform at the base of a sweet Madhavi-vine, while the sakhis fan Them and serve Them betel leaves. Everyone is absorbed in a wonderful rasa of laughter.
Sri Rupa Maiijari makes a pillow of stemless flowers. The manjaris are well aware of nikunja vilasi Syama-Svamini's expertise in sweet lovemaking, and they have a very clear picture in their minds what kind of pastimes They will perform now. Blessed are these maidservants! Blessed is their service! The bed of flowers is made now and Sri Rupa Manjari takes the Sri Yugala there by the hand as soon as They arrive in the Madhavi-pavillion, saying: “O Syama! O Svamini! You must be tired now of rambling in the forest for so long! Come, come! Take a little rest in this kunja mandira!” The playful Pair then sit down on the play bed, filling up the whole kunja with Their brilliant sweetness, which simply gushes out of Them. Sri Rupa Gosvami, in his identity of Rupa Manjari, sees Them as the king and queen of the kunja.
Suddenly the transcendental vision disappears, and he prays in great anguish: ‘O Hari, king of the kunjas! O Sapphire of Vraja! O Radhe! Queen of the kunjas! O enchantress of Syama! O two jewels of mine! When can I make a very enchanting bed of soft flowers, which can tolerate the motion of Your love game, and a wonderful pillow of fresh flower buds for You in Vrndavana’s flowery nikunja forests, where the bumblebees are constantly humming?’” (UV 48/ADP)
Madhava - Wed, 21 Aug 2002 01:23:32 +0530
THE FUN OF PLAYING DICE
“Srila Rupa Gosvami’s mind is very upset when the previous verse’s vision vanished. He can not stay alive anymore without these visions, in which he can see the Lord directly and render his devotional service. Just then another revelation comes to him. In each vision he gets another devotional service to do. In this verse he gets the service of massaging the lotus feet of the Divine Couple while They are enjoying a game of dice and the many jokes that are made in it.
While he is absorbed in the flavours of lila, it becomes evening time and Radha and Madhava are absorbed in laughing and joking with Their girlfriends. The sakhis and manjaris are engaged in the service of the Sri Yugala. On the sakhis’ indication Vrinda-devi tells Krishna: “O Lotus-eyed One! Show us Your skill in playing dice!” Sri-Sri-Radha-Syama then sit facing each other on Their play bed, surrounded by sakhis, while kinkari Rupa Manjari brings the dice. For the first round Krishna place His flute at stake and Radhika Her Vina, and these stakes are kept up front. Nandimukhi and Vrinda are witnesses, and Kundalata conducts the throwing. Before the dice are thrown the hands must be kept open, and after that one can play.
Srimati says: “O beautiful One! You throw first!” Syamasundara throws, but does not open His hands. The sakhis all cover their mouths and giggle. Srimati Radharani, who is the Jaya-Sri (goddess of victory) of dice in person, tosses the dice with Her hands with a mild smile on Her face. It is as if She tosses Syama’s mind along with it. First She throws 17 and She exchanges glances with the sakhis, who say: “You will win, that we can understand! O You cowherd boy! Just run after Your cows, shouting out ‘hai! hai!’ What do You know of a game of dice?” How beautiful Sri-Sri Radha-Madhava look when They desire victory in this game! It is as if the ocean of beauty wells up and the eyes of the sakhis and manjaris become like fishes that blissfully swim in the waves of this ocean.
Sri Rupa Gosvami is now Rupa Manjari and sits at the foot soles of the Yugala, taking these feet on her lap and softly massaging them. Syama is absorbed in Radha’s sweetness, and Svamini is also enchanted by Syama’s moonlike face. Sometimes a suspicious move is made. Kinkari Rupa sits at Svamini’s feet, gives tricky hints to Her about Her or Syama’s next move, and thus helps Vibhrama-vati (Radha, enchanted by Krsna) to win. The sakhis and manjaris then float on a high wave of wonderful ecstasy. When Syama has lost He pulls out His Murali-flute, and a quarrel arises about it, with a tug-of-war. Svamini then thrusts Herself on Syama’s chest and thus snatches the flute away. Who can describe Syama’s condition at that time? His hand slackens when He is thus hit by rasa, and Srimati uses the opportunity to snatch the flute away. The sakhis and manjaris roll on the ground and laugh in ecstasy. Sri Rupa Gosvami, in his transcendental identity, is immersed in relishing the kautuka rasa (fun-mellow) while massaging Radha and Krishna’s lotus feet.
Suddenly the vision vanishes and in sadhakavesa he anxiously prays: ‘O Loving Pair Sri Radha-Madhava! When will that blessed day come that I can softly, softly massage Your lotusfeet while You sit on Your play bed in the nikunja in the evening, eager for victory in Your dice-game, absorbed in a mood of laughter and joking?’ Thus Sri Rupa Gosvami prays, weeping under a tree in Vrindavana.” (UV 50/ADP)
Madhava - Wed, 21 Aug 2002 01:55:29 +0530
SERVING BY LYING
When the previous verse’s vision ended Sri Rupa felt the pain of separation in his heart, but then the picture of another sweet pastime blossoms up before his eyes: divabhisarika Sri Radha very eagerly goes out to meet Syama, and Rupa Manjari follows Her like Her shadow. Keeping Her arm on the shoulder of a sakhi, Sri Radhika illuminates the forest paths with Her sweetness and beauty.
When Svamini entered Her kunja, She saw that Nagara did not show up yet for His appointment. Actually Nagara-raja had come there, but He had been intercepted by Candravali’s clever helpers Padma and Saibya and had been taken to Candravali’s kunja. As time passed by, Srimati became more and more anxious and began to cry.
Sri Rupa Manjari saw how Svamini was feeling intolerable pain, so she left Srimati in the care of Her sakhis and went out to search for Syamasundara. She looked in the forests, in the subforests, in the mountain-caves and in the arbours, but she could not find Him anywhere. Finally she became desperate and cried: “O Lord of Radha! O Lover of Radha! Show Yourself to me once! Your heart’s beloved is unable to stay alive without You!” After crying like this for a while she thought: “Let me look in Candravalfs kunja just once!”, so she went to Candravali’s village Sakhi-sthali and lo! There she found Him sitting in Candravali’s kunja, chatting with His hostess. Sri Rupa Manjari then thought to herself. “How can I take Syamasundara from here into SvaminIs kunja?” Then she got a brilliant idea. She suddenly stormed into the kuiija with anxious, terrified eyes and said in an excited mood: “O Aghahara! Come! Come! A demon sent by Kamsa has come in the form of a bull and is attacking Your dearest young bull! Help!”
Rasika Cudamani (Krishna, the king of relishers) recognised Rupa Manjari and understood the purport of her words. He thought: “She must mean that My beloved Radhika has been swallowed by the demon of separation from Me. Why else would a Radha-kinkari say such a thing?”, and He got up from the bed as quick as a hare, telling Candravali: “Excuse Me, dearest One! Duty calls! I have to kill this wicked demon! Just go home! When I kill this demon, everyone will come and watch Me! I may not be able to come anymore today! Just come and see it for a while and then go home!” Saying this, He rushed out of Candravali’s kunja, not even waiting for Her reply, and followed Rupa Manjari.
While He came along with Rupa Manjari, she chastised Him, saying: “O crownjewel of cheaters! Why are You sitting here while Svamini is waiting for You, dying a hundred deaths out of separation from You? Come along, today I will make You suffer the reactions to Your deeds!” Syama then prayed to Rupa Manjari with folded hands: “Rupa! Never tell Svamini that you found Me in Candravali’s kunja! Tell Her that I’m so late because I lost the way to Her kunja, being mad out of separation from Her (Radhika) and that you thus found Me, wandering from forest to forest!”
Rupa Manjari said: “Are You not even ashamed to say such a thing? Come along, and You will see what I will tell Svamini and what I will not tell Her!” How sweet is the kinkari’s control over Syamasundara! Although she is a sakhi, she is still a maidservant. How sweet is her undaunting mood! This service attitude is free from shame, fear and respect and it is still within the category of madhura rasa. Syama tries to please and satisfy Rupa Manjari while she takes Him by the hand. Rupa Manjari thinks: “He is ‘Mukunda’; He can liberate Svamini from the pangs of separation! It’s therefore better not to throw oil on the fire of Svamini’s anguish!”, and she wisely consoles Syama before they arrive in Svamini’s kunja. She takes Mukunda into Svamini’s kun
ja, places His hand into Hers, and says: “Here! Take Your beloved!”
Suddenly the transcendental vision disappears and Sri Rupa Gosvami prays with aching heart: ‘“O Sri Hari! O Aghahara! O Prince of Vraja! Some demon has come to Vrndavana in the form of a bull, entered the meadows and suddenly started to harrass Your dear young bull! Quickly go there and stop this bull-demon!” O Mukunda! By speaking such lies I can take You from Candravali’s kunja into Radhika’s kunja. I pray that I may thus cure the pain of separation felt by my mistress Radhika!’” (UV 60/ADP)
Madhava - Wed, 21 Aug 2002 01:57:24 +0530
“In the previous verse Srila Rupa Gosvami, in his svarupavesa, rendered a wonderful service to Sri-Sri Yugala Kisora by speaking lies. The maidservants of Sri Radha can do anything in the service of the Divine Couple!
When the transcendental vision disappears Sri Rupa Gosvami weeps, as if he cannot stay alive anymore. Just then another sweet pastime appears to him. He sees Sri Radha going on navabhisara, the first love journey. After Sri-Sri Radha-Madhava’s purva raga Their first meeting takes place. Sri Rupa Manjari stays with Sri Radha at Yavala, Her in-laws’ abode, and Syama has sent a message through a parrot about where He can be met. There is no end to the expertise of goddess Yogamaya, who makes the impossible possible (aghatana ghatana patiyasi) in enchanting the luscious Supreme Person and His pleasure-potency with different wonderful pastimes in Vraja. In Vraja-lila the eternal is happening always for the first time; new meetings, new love, new attachments. That passionate love that makes the hero and heroine eager to meet each other before the actual first meeting is called purva raga. Then They are already absorbed in each others’ feelings and enchanted by each others’ love. They spend Their days in great hardship, being very eager to meet each other, and in great agony They spend the nights in anticipation. There are simply no words to describe this desire and this agony.
Sri Rupa Manjari will help utkantha-vati (eager Radhika) on abhisara. It is the new-moon night, and the darkness is so dense that it can only be perforated with a needle. If you stretch out your hand before you, you won’t see it! The whole world is covered with darkness, but Srimati is eager to go out on abhisara: “Rupa! Take Me with you! I don’t have any other shelter but you!” Rupa Manjari dresses Anuragavati (passionate Radhika) with blue dresses and ornaments.
After dressing and ornamenting Srimati in blue Sri Rupa Manjari takes away all the ornaments on Her that may jingle, like Her anklebells and waistbells. Srimati is afraid. Her heart thumps in Her crest. She walks without making a sound, leaning on Rupa’s shoulder until they arrive at the trysting place. The eager hero is already sitting in the trysting-bower, eagerly waiting for Her, but Svamini is afraid to enter, so She tells Rupa: “Why have you brought Me here? Bring Me back home!” Sri Rupa Manjari then tells the Mugdha Nayika (innocent maiden):
Listen, O Fortunate Girl, Listen to my advise Today!
First You sit on the edge of the bed
When Your lover wants to see your face, You turn it away
When He wants to touch You, You beat His hand away
When ale asks You something You keep quiet
When I want to place Your hand in His hand you turn His hand away
Vidyapati says: Do not worry,
For Cupid is the guru who will teach You everything!
After instructing and encouraging Srimati for a long time in this way, Rupa takes Her by the hand into the nikunja. When the eager hero sees the jewel of heroines He floats in an ocean of bliss. How many hundreds of waves of ecstatic love are revealed on Srimati’s limbs then! Rupa Manjari takes Srimati by the hand and says to the Nagara:
“Her hands are shivering and Her voice is faltering. She cannot utter a word out of shyness. Listen, listen, 0 Krsiia! This girl is very much afraid. She does not know anything about love-making! She has never done it before! Be as cool as sandalwoodpulp, then I will give You this young girl. O king of clever pranksters! Be gentle, so that this tender maiden will not feel any pain!”
Saying this, Sri Rupa Manjari places Svamini’s hand in Syama’s hand. Then everything vanishes; the vision has disappeared, and with aching heart Sri Rupa Gosvami then prays:
“O Sri R
adhe! Vinodini! I tell You: When You want to go on a new rendez-vous in the dark night I will carefully remove all noisy ornaments, like Your jeweled anklebells, from Your limbs. Sri Rupa Gosvami prays: “When will I then dress You in a sari that is colored like the black bees and help You to meet Your beloved Krishna?” (UV 61/ADP)
Madhava - Wed, 21 Aug 2002 02:02:13 +0530
Thus we conclude our descriptions of Sri Rupa Manjari, and for now, postings in this thread altogether. Whenver new nectar surfaces from the ocean of beautiful granthas, I'll be posting it in.
The excerpts above are from Rupa Gosvami's Utkalika Vallari with the commentaries of Sri Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj, available from here.
Madhava - Sat, 09 Aug 2003 12:41:49 +0530
Today we commemorate the disappearance of Sri Rupa Gosvamipad.
adiyen - Sat, 09 Aug 2003 13:33:27 +0530
Today we commemorate the disappearance of Sri Rupa Gosvamipad
Prabhupad ki jaya!