The disappearance of Srila Rupa Goswami Wednesday (Sydney)


SRILA RUPA GOSVAMI

Srila Rupa Gosvami was extremely dear to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Through
him and his elder brother, Sri Sanatan, Mahaprabhu disseminated His own
teachings, the essential conclusions of all the scriptures. Amongst the
devotees of Mahaprabhu these two were known as His generals.

In the Gaura -ganoddesa – dipika, Kavi Karnapura has written that Sri Rupa Gosvami was
known as Sri Rupa Manjari during Krsna lila. There is an anecdote as to how
they came to be the ministers of the king of Gaudadesa, Hussain Shah Badsa.
Even at a very young age they had become quite learned in all of the
scriptures.

The guru (moulabi) of Hussain Shah was supposedly capable of
seeing into the future. Hussain Shah inquired him about the prosperity of
his kingdom. The moulabi replied, “There are two extremely learned brahmana
boys who are endowed with all good qualities. If you appoint them as your
ministers then you will attain a very opulent kingdom.”

Having heard of the glories of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Rupa had written a letter to Him
praying for His darshan. In His reply Mahaprabhu explained to him, “As a
woman who is attached to another man makes a show of being devoted to her
husband, so you should, while being internally attached to the lotus feet
of Sri Krsna, externally make a show of being engaged in your worldly
duties. Krsna will bestow His mercy on you very soon.”

While residing at Ramakeli, Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana were visited by many brahmanas and
panditas from Navadwipa, Karnataka and various other parts of India. They
were always careful to receive these guests and serve them in a befitting
manner.

They lived in a very opulent surroundings at Ramakeli. Their court,
which rivalled that of Lord Indra, was always attended by brahmanas,
pandits from many lands as well as poets, singers, musicians and dancers.
At great expense they maintained these guests and were always very careful
that no one was disrespected in any way.

They were always engaged in studying the sastras and could establish and defeat the same philosophical arguments alternatively. Near their house were solitary gardens of Kadamba
and other trees in the middle of which were Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda.
There they would meditate on the Vrndavana pastimes of Sri Sri Radha-Syama
and thus, losing their patience, a constant stream of tears would flow from
their eyes. They were always absorbed in the service of Sri Madana Mohana
and constantly assuaged their grief by praying for His mercy. Hearing of
the pastimes of Sri Gaurasundara at Nadia they were always meditating when
they might get His darsan. [B.R. 1/585].

Rupa Gosvami’s worshipable Deity in Vrndavana was Sri Govinda Deva.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had instructed the Gosvamis to re-discover the holy
places of Krsna’s pastimes in Braja and to establish worship of His Sri
vigraha. One day Sri Rupa was sitting on the banks of the Jamuna, lamenting
that they hadn’t been able to properly carry out His instructions. It was
known to them that Sri Krsna’s grandson Vajranabha had installed a number
of Deities in Braja, among them Hari Deva, Madana Mohana Deva, Gopinath
Deva and Sri Govinda Deva. Sri Rupa had tried to locate these Deities, but
to no avail. As he was sitting and thinking in this way a very beautiful
cowherd boy came along and asked him, “He Swamin! Why do you look so sad?”
Hearing the boy’s cheerful voice, Sri Rupa’s melancholy reverie was broken
and his heart felt engladdened. He replied that he was feeling sad because
he hadn’t been able to follow Mahaprabhu’s instructions properly. The
cowherd boy told him, “Swamin! Please come with me. I know where what you
are looking for is.” Then the boy brought him to Gomatila and
explained, “Everyday a cow comes on top of this hill and pours down her
milk here. There is a good chance you will find what you are looking for
inside.

Now I have to go.” Sri Rupa turned to see the cowherd boy off, but
found no one present. He began to reflect, “Who was that cowherd boy and
where did he run off so suddenly?” His body thrilled with ecstatic symptoms
as he intently gazed at the Mahayoga Pith (Gomatila), and then went back to
his kutir. The next morning he again came to Gomatila and quietly waited.
After a little while an exquisitely beautiful Surabhi cow came there and
poured milk down on top of the hill which immediately disappeared inside
the earth. Then she sauntered on into the woods.

Now Sri Rupa was positive that Sri Govinda Deva must be within the earth
here. He came very quickly to the village of cowherds nearby and excitedly
told them everything that had happened. The cowherd men hurriedly gathered
up some spades and hatchets and came running to Gomatila. Digging where Sri
Rupa indicated they saw, after removing a small amount of earth, the all
enchanting form of Sri Govinda. They all erupted in shouts of
ecstasy, “Hari! Hari! Sri Govinda has again manifested Himself.” Sri Rupa
with tears flowing from his eyes fell down at the lotus feet of Sri Govinda
deva to offer his obeisances, all the while reciting prayers and hymns.

Very quickly the news spread and the other Gosvamis, floating in an ocean
of joy, came there also. Soon an incessant flow of people from all quarters
began to arrive, carried by waves of joy. Lord Brahma and the other
demigods, having assumed mortal appearances, mixed in with the other people
and gazed upon the body of Sri Govinda. There was not a lull in the crowd
for even a moment as people continued to pour in from places unknown. Sri
Rupa Gosvami immediately sent word to Mahaprabhu in Puri concerning this
auspicious event. Sri Gaurasundara along with His associates couldn’t
contain their ecstasy on receiving this happy news. Meanwhile the brahmanas
performed the abhiseka of the Deity and began to prepare offerings of bhoga
from the milk, yogurt, rice, flour and vegetables which the villagers were
bringing. Mahaprabhu sent Kasisvar Pandit from Puri to assist in worshiping
the Deity.

Sri Govinda Deva is presently being worshiped in Jaipur, Rajasthan, which
is easily reached by bus from Vrindavana. One has to proceed by rickshaw to
Sri Sri Radha-Govinda Mandir from the bus stand. Overjoyed that Sri
Govindaji and Madan Mohan had re-appeared and thus the responsibilities
which Mahaprabhu had given them were gradually being carried out, Sri Rupa
and Sanatan began to compose the Bhakti-sastras, in compliance with
Mahaprabhu’s further instructions. After completing Vidagdha – madhava,
Lalita-madhava, and various other books, Sri Rupa began to work on Bhakti –
rasamrta – sindhu. One day Sri Vallabhacarya (of the Visnuswami sampradaya)
came to visit Rupa Gosvami. After offering him a seat the two of them began
to discuss Krsna-katha. In the house of their conversation, Sri Rupa
presented the opening verse of Bhakti-Rasamrta-Sindhu to Vallabhacarya to
read. After studying this verse for some time Vallabha commented that there
were a few mistakes. At this time Sri Jiva, who had arrived from Bengal a
few days before, was fanning his uncle Sri Rupa. He was extremely learned
in all the sastras and was unsatisfied with Vallabha’s remark. When
Vallabhacarya went to the Jamuna to take his bath, Sri Jiva also came there
on the pretext of fetching some water. He inquired from the acarya as to
what actually were the mistakes in that verse. Vallabhacarya, after
discussing some points with him, was amazed at the boy’s scholarship.

After a few days Vallabha again came to Sri Rupa. After inquiring about the boy
scholar, he greatly praised his learning. After Vallabha had gone to his
residence, Sri Rupa Dalled Jiva and spoke to him, “Those whom we respect as
our Guru and to whom we offer our obeisances you are ready to debate with
on an equal level. This is not at all polite. What he spoke was for my
benefit but you couldn’t tolerate that. You should return home and when you
can control your mind then you can come back to Vrindavana.” [B.R. 5.1643]

Hearing this decision of his uncle Sri Jiva left that place and decided to
proceed eastwards. When he came to an old dilapidated temple at Nanda-ghat,
he sat down and began to cry. Soon the villagers began to worry: “Such a
handsome young man, but he sits there crying for so long without taking
food.” After a while, Sri Sanatana Gosvami came by and the villagers
informed Sanatana of the boy’s presence at the old temple.

Sanatana went there and saw his nephew, who looked very pale from not
eating. Sanatana picked him up from the ground and affectionately asked him
what was the matter. Sri Jiva explained everything that had happened.
Sanatana Gosvami pacified him and, taking his nephew with him, went to see
his brother. At first Sanatana spoke with Rupa alone. When Sri Rupa
happened to mention Jiva, Sanatana explained everything. Sri Rupa
immediately called Jiva. Seeing his forlorn and pale appearance, he
gradually nursed him back to health and a happy state of mind.

Then he entrusted him with proof reading and various litratures which
he had composed. Just as he was very strict with his young nephew, so also
he was very affectionate and loving. Their relationship was an ideal
example of how the guru and sisya behave together. When Sri Rupa had
finished writing Lalita-madhava, he gave it to Raghunatha dasa Gosvami to
read. Lalita-madhava is a description of Krsna’s pastimes after he left
Vrindavana and is thus full with sentiments in the mood of separation. By
reading this book 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. [B.R.5.768] He became as though deranged in mind from
sadness, and he compeletely lost all patience. When Sri Rupa requested Sri
Dasa Goswami to return the manuscript so that he could correct it,
Raghunatha dasa held on to it very tightly, not saying anything, refusing
to part with it. After considering what to do, Sri Rupa composed Dana-keli-
kau?mudi. He managed to exhange this manuscript with Lalita-madhava.

By reading Dana-keli-kaumudi, full of narrations of Krsna’s Vrindavana
pastimes, Raghunatha dasa Goswami now became totally absorbed in the
ecstacy of happiness. On another occasion the Goswamis were having a
discussion about the ecstatic feelings of separation of Radha-Krsna and
Their associates. Some of the Vaisnavas were fainting to the ground, while
Sri Rupa Goswami began to breath very heavily. His heart felt as though it
was burning. At one point as he sighed his breath happened to fall on the
body of one devotee present there.

Shortly thereafter a boil developed on that devotee’s body where Sri
Rupa’s breath had touched it. [B.R. 5.1326] After the re-appearance of Sri
Govinda, Madana Mohana and the Yoga Pith, Sri Rupa began to contemplate
where Vrindadevi might be. One night she came to him in a dream and
said, “I am on the banks of Brahma-kunda. You can have my darsan there.”
The next morning, after finishing his bath and puja, he came to Brahma-
kunda and began to look everywhere. Suddenly he saw a heavenly damsel whose
bodily effulgence defeated the luster of gold. All the directions were
illuminated by this glow and the atmosphere created by her presence was
very sweet and cooling. Sri Rupa offered his dandavats and various prayers
and hymns. In this way, Vrindadevi reappeared in Vrajabhumi. Sri
Gaurasundara established the glories of Sri Vrajadhama through His two
generals Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatan Goswamis. Within their hearts He
awakened, through oral transmission, the knowledge of what was in His own
heart. “Sri Rupa Goswami has established in this world the mission to
fullfill the desire of Lord Caitanya. When will he give me the shelter at
his lotus feet?” [Srila Narottama dasa Thakura in his Sri Rupa Pranama].

Sri Rupa Goswami completed many literatures, among them: Sri Hamsaduta
Kavya, Sri Uddhava-sandesh, Sri Krsna-janma-tithi-vidhi, Brhat Radha-Krsna-
ganoddesa-dipika, Laghu Radha-Krsnaªganoddesa-dipika, Stavamala, Vidagha-
madhava, Lalita-madhava, Dana-keli-kaumudi, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Ujjvala-
nilamani, Prayuktakhyata-manjari, Mathura-mahima, Padyavali, Nataka
candrika, Laghu-Bhagavatamrta, among others.
.
Birth: 1493 (Christian calendar), 1415 (Sakabda) Disapearance: 1564
(Christian calendar), 1486 (Sakabda) Appearance day? Disappearance day:
12th day of the bright fortnight of Sravan.

Householder life: 22 yrs. Braja: 51 yrs. Age: 73

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