Day 201: Gaurābda 532, Govinda Māsa – Navamī 28 Feb 2019 – Thursday

Bhakti Bullets

Bhakti Bullets

Kṛṣṇa-prema is not a thing of this world. It is of Goloka Vṛndāvana. It comes from Kṛṣṇa to Brahmā, from Brahmā to Nārada to Vyāsadeva, and from Vyāsadeva to Śukadeva Gosvāmī. In this way, it comes like a current that is flowing even today. If this current’s path is blocked at any one point, the flow will not come. Therefore, we have to accept all our gurus. If you accept one but not another, that is like accepting the half-hen logic. “I will only accept what my Gurudeva has spoken and written. I don’t believe in any other ācārya. I only depend on my Gurudeva—on what he has written and on what he has done. I believe in him, not the Guru- paramparā.” In this case what will happen? Everything will be spoiled. There will be no link from Kṛṣṇa to this realm. Such a person will not have the real thingSometimes we forget the greatness of the guru. Also, we try to estimate what he gives us in material terms. We cannot comprehend the nature of the transcendental treasure which guru wants to bestow upon us. We try to measure it or estimate it in comparison to worldly items. There is no item in the entire world which can be compared to that which the guru gives us. Bhagavān possesses unlimited compassion. When it is all gathered together and assumes an embodiment, that is the guru. Therefore, when Bhagavān desires to bestow mercy, He does it via the medium of the guru, as well as through other Vaiṣṇavas. Bhagavān doesn’t directly bestow mercy upon a jīva. In general, He doesn’t transgress this self-imposed restriction of distributing His mercy via the guru. Those who want to do bhajana should do śaraṇāgati first.

Spoken by Srila Gurudeva, February 28, 1994 Vṛndāvana

Prema Flame

Prema Flame

Rasa Varsa


At the time of perfecting one’s bhajana, one goes to Vraja-maṇḍala in one’s eternal siddhasvarūpa, with a desire for service. Rādhārānī gives some blessing, which comes through Rūpa Mañjarī, to Rati Mañjarī, through the mañjarīs to Gurudeva and then to the perfected disciples.

We must be firm in our dedication: “I will follow close in Śrīla Gurudeva’s footsteps. He gave harināma and dīkṣā. I will chant these in brāhma-muhūrta and be with him. Then automatically his heart will melt and a flow of mercy and inspiration will come in my heart.”

Now Kṛṣṇa saw that Rati Mañjarī had come.

“Bring My shawl,” Rādhārānī had told Rati Mañjarī. She walked through the inner kuñja and came outside, where Kṛṣṇa met her.

“Do you know Rūpa Mañjarī?” He asked. “Where is she? How can I meet with her?” He was very greedy. “Please help me just once. I want to ask for forgiveness. What I did was improper. She is very honest and chaste. I promise not to disturb her anymore. Let her know that I pray she may one day be pleased with Me.”

Rati Mañjarī went inside a cave without answering. Without the permission of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, she didn’t speak or look at Kṛṣṇa.

Rati Mañjarī is Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. Some say that Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī is Rasa Mañjarī or Tulasī Mañjarī. Vaiṣṇavas see according to their own position. However, our Śrīla Gurudeva describes that Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī in his siddha-svarūpa serves the Divine Couple as Rati Mañjarī.

If anyone follows rāgamayīsevā, then Kṛṣṇa Himself will come thousands of times to that person. There will be no need to take shelter of any other process to please Him; He will automatically be very pleased.

Dāsa Gosvāmī prays:

prabhur api yadunandano ya eṣa

priya-yadunandana unnata-prabhavaḥ

svayam atula-kṛpāmṛtābhiṣekaṁ

mama kṛtavaṁs tam ahaṁ guruṁ prapadye

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 4

Let me surrender to my spiritual master, Yadunandana Ācārya. Being a powerful and dear devotee of the Supreme Lord, he sprinkled the nectar of his mercy upon me.

“One Yadunandana is Kṛṣṇa, but His nearest and dearest, my beloved Guru-pāda-padma, is also named Yadunandana. He is the embodiment of Kṛṣṇa’s mercy; therefore, he is my guru. I took shelter of him and he also accepted me. He offered me to the lotus feet of Mahāprabhu, made my relation with Svarūpa Dāmodara, and gave me service under guidance of Rūpa Gosvāmī.”

Kṛṣṇamantra is given by diksa-guru and śikṣā-guru teaches vraja-bhakti or rāgānuga-bhakti. Sometimes dīkṣā-guru also accepts the position of śiksa-guru. With respect to dīkṣā-guru, the disciple has a mood of awe and reverence, but śiksa-guru is like one’s dear friend, with him everything can be openly discussed. If one disrespects dīkṣā-guru, that is a great problem in the life of a sādhaka, but śiksa-guru is always helping and is not disturbed if one perchance misbehaves.

A mother always takes care of her babies. If babies are angry and sometimes break or destroy things, their mother is never angry with them. This is a mundane example.
Siksa-guru, however, is millions of times more kind than a mother.

Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī now glorifies his dīkṣā-guru, Yadunandana Ācārya: “My Guru Mahārāja took me out of māyā; he gave me power to renounce all material things. If my Guru-pāda-padma did not accept me, I couldn’t have given up anything. My body is with me since millions of lives and I am very attached to it. Because of my Guru-pāda-padma’s mercy and power, I had no taste or attachment to my beautiful young wife, wealth, or anything. After that, so much respect followed me, but Gurudeva protected me; he always gave a strong boundary so that nothing could come inside and disturb me. If Guru-pāda-padma didn’t protect me, then I could never progress.”

In the fifth verse, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī prays:

yo māṁ dustara-geha-nirjala-mahā-kūpād apāra-klamāt

sadyaḥ sāndra-dayāmbudhiḥ prakṛtitaḥ svairī kṛpā-rajjubhiḥ

uddhṛtyātma-saroja-nindi-caraṇa-prāntaṁ prapadya svayaṁ

śrī-dāmodara-sac-cakāra tam ahaṁ caitanyacandraṁ bhaje

I worship Lord Caitanya-candra, the supremely independent ocean of mercy, who with His ropes of mercy quickly lifted me from the endlessly troublesome dry well of household life, from which escape is very difficult, who gave me the shelter of His feet which rebuke the beauty of lotuses, and who gave me to Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī.

Who understands the glories of Śrīla Gurudeva? If someone sends a poor helpless person to school, maintains him in every way, and takes care of him attentively, then when he becomes a post graduate, and thereafter a minister, he thinks, “This person was so kind to me. I was a poor orphan with no helper; I was suffering in the street and no one gave me one drop of water or food, but that person always helped me.”

Similarly, if anyone crosses māyā, he will be somewhat able to understand the glories of Guru-pāda-padma and guru-mantra. At the time of svarūpa-siddhi he will understand Gurudeva’s position. Śrīla Gurudeva will also arrange śiksa-guru for his disciples to help them achieve svarūpa-siddhi. If Guru-pāda-padma doesn’t arrange this, then we will go running the wrong way. There is then a big problem.

If there is no attachment with Gurudeva, then we will only have relation with māyā and her family. Relatives will tell us, “This is your mother, father, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, grandfather, and grandmother.” But Gurudeva gives the identity of our soul and our soul’s family.

“Oh! Where are you going?” Gurudeva exclaims, “go to Vṛndāvana, Jagannātha Purī, and Navadvīpa-dhāma. Stay with Vaiṣṇavas, they will protect you. Chant harināma there, pray in the morning, hear hari-kathā and take mahā-prasāda.” This is Gurudeva’s arrangement and protection. He teaches and helps us, giving us the disposition to gradually progress. This is his causeless mercy. If we forget that Guru-pāda-padma, we will lose everything! And if we always offer obeisance to him with respect, then we will cross māyā and enter Vraja.

Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī says, “Aho! These senses and family are so attractive. Young age! Wealth! An opulent kingdom! I had everything. This is mahāandha-kūpa, a deep, dark well. How can I escape from this? This is impossible for me. O Gurudeva! You are so kind. You are an ocean of mercy. He Gurudeva! On one side my nature pulls me, ‘Come, come, there is a nice bed, wife, and all enjoyment! Young age, wealth, everything is available to enjoy.’ On the other side you throw your rope of mercy into this well of family life and pull me up, saying, ‘Hey! Don’t look at this side.’ You sent Haridāsa Ṭhākura, Balarāma Ācārya, Advaita Ācārya, and the Gosvāmīs.”

Haridāsa Ṭhākura never went near any king. This is not the nature of sādhus. It is impossible! He would not go to the homes of wealthy men and beg for any wealth. But he went to the home of the aristocrats Hiranya-Govardhana just to see Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī.

When I came to Mathurā, Śrīla Gurudeva taught me, “Never go and beg, ‘Oh, give me one paisa, one rupee.’ Only beg for the mercy of Guru and Vaiṣṇavas, the powerful transcendental personalities in Vraja-maṇḍala, and the Gosvāmīs. Pray to them. Don’t be greedy for anything mundane.” In this world, if Guru and Vaiṣṇavas don’t help us, then the illusory energy of the Lord defeats everyone; it smashes us and makes us into halavā and chutney. Then people lick, eat and destroy us, and pass us out like stool. If Guru and Vaiṣṇavas protect us, our backbone will be strong, and our health and wealth will be God’s property, dedicated only for His service.

Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī prays, “How is your mercy? Aho! You took me out of this deep well, and offered me at the lotus feet of Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Svarūpa Dāmodara. I could not understand this at that time. You are not cruel to me, but very kind. Caitanya-candra is the independent Lord.
But you prayed for my sake; He then accepted me and always took care of me. He offered me to Svarūpa Dāmodara, who then taught me everything; all this is your mercy.”

Dāsa Gosvāmī first offered obeisances to guru, then to śiksa-guru, and Caitanya-candra. This is the proper process. He says, “Without water, a fish suffers and will leave its body in a minute. The soul is inside the body and is always suffering without love and affection. After sometime it leaves the body, but you watered me with bhakti-rasa, saving my life, saving my soul. And you took me out of the small well of suffering in family life and brought me to the great ocean of Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s unlimited mercy. And He offered me to Svarūpa Dāmodara. Now there is no shortness of anything. How much water is present in a small well? One day this will be dry and short. But the great ocean of Caitanya-candra’s mercy will never be finished.”

Only Guru-pāda-padma who is rāgānugā can give this anurāga to his disciples. He is perfectly able to protect and save them.

Ordinary gurus have no spiritual power. After sometime the disciples leave their guru, and guru leaves his disciples, and everyone runs here and there. Why? They have no link, there is no one watering the soul, they have no rasa. Thus they are dry and suffer.

Our beloved Śrīla Gurudeva is not like this. He bestows bhakti-rasa and gives us life and nourishment so that we can grow and one day attain our svarūpa-siddhi. He arranges so that we can obtain this rasa. This is the nature of a pure guru. Mundane gurus give initiation, take some donation, fill their pockets, and then run away, not thinking about the progress of their disciples’ souls. Our Guru-varga is not like this. Therefore this line is running on.

Babies don’t understand the help and nourishment of their mother’s breast milk. Anything the Guru-varga gives to the conditioned souls is like pure nourishing milk, but the ignorant souls have no knowledge of this great mercy. However, when they meet with śiksa-guru, he can teach and make them qualified; then they can understand gurus glory.

If we don’t hear this Vilāpa-kusumāñjali, then how can we understand guru and bhakti? And those who say, “Don’t read, you have no qualification,” actually think, “Oh! You are hiding and suffering in deep and dark wells, rotting there in the sewer plants of material life. This is good for you.”

Is this called spiritual instruction? No. If anyone is not greedy for this, then how has he come to guru? If you have no desire to cross māyā and enter the eternal world, then why have you come to this line? Why have you come here? The Guru-varga strongly teaches us. Therefore this book is present, Dāsa Gosvāmī is present, his advice is present, his philosophy and example is present. By following this, spiritual power will come to you; love, faith, and respect will come. Then you will never lose anything. Then you won’t think, “I have lost my Gurudeva. My Gurudeva has departed.” What is the meaning of departure?

Gurudeva is eternal, God is eternal, and relation with them is eternal. How does this question come to you?
Is Gurudeva ash or smoke? Is he dust or anything mundane? No. To understand our Gurudeva’s glories we must come near the Gosvāmīs, who will teach us the nature of Gurudeva and how Śrīla Gurudeva is present even now, bestowing his mercy.

Saṁsāra-phukāra kāne nā paṣibe: we will then not hear the talks of ordinary people. Gurudeva will protect us. He makes a protected area for his sincere disciples so that mundane people don’t come and torture them with their mundane desires. They will not come and say, “Come, come with me, make relation with me. I will be your lover. You are my friend. Let’s go to the park and the movies.”

By drinking this bhakti-rasa, you will have no more desire or thirst for material life and shall follow bhakti very seriously.

Pray everyday with this Vilāpa-kusumāñjali. For those who pray, entering eternal life is not hard, but if we don’t follow this line, we will waste millions more lives wandering in māyā.

Srila Raghunatha das Gosvami ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Vilāpa-kusumāñjali”. Available from: [email protected] )

Day 200 – How the Seasons Perform Radha Dasyam in Vraja – Krsna Bhavanamrta

Day 200 – How the Seasons Perform Radha Dasyam in Vraja – Krsna Bhavanamrta

Day 200: Gaurābda 532, Govinda Māsa – Navamī 27 Feb 2019 – Wednesday

Bhakti Bullets

Bhakti Bullets

Kṛṣṇa-prema is not a thing of this world. It is of Goloka Vṛndāvana. It comes from Kṛṣṇa to Brahmā, from Brahmā to Nārada to Vyāsadeva, and from Vyāsadeva to Śukadeva Gosvāmī. In this way, it comes like a current that is flowing even today.
If this current’s path is blocked at any one point, the flow will not come. Therefore, we have to accept all our gurus. If you accept one but not another, that is like accepting the half-hen logic. “I will only accept what my Gurudeva has spoken and written. I don’t believe in any other ācārya. I only depend on my Gurudeva—on what he has written and on what he has done. I believe in him, not the Guru- paramparā.” In this case what will happen? Everything will be spoiled. There will be no link from Kṛṣṇa to this realm. Such a person will not have the real thing.Spoken by Srila Gurudeva, February 27, 1994 Mathurā

Kripa Wave

Mahāprabhu Sahasra Nama – 27 Feb 2019 AM


How the Seasons Perform Radha Dasyam in Vraja – Krsna Bhavanamrta – 26 Feb 2019


Krsna Caitanya Sahasra Nama – The Weapon of Kali-yuga – Prabhuji Eng. 26 Feb 2019 AM


Param Gurudeva and Prabhupada Stories and Glories – 25 Feb 2019 PM


Bhakti Saranga Gosvami Maharaja Glories – Prabhuji English am – 25 Feb 2019


Srila Prabhupada and Associates Glories – Prabhuji Eng. 24 Feb 2019


Prema Flame

Prema Flame

Rasa Varsa


When Caitanya Mahāprabhu left Jagannātha Puri to go to Vṛndāvana, He travelled through the Jharikhanda forest to Kāśī, or Vārāṇasī. Arriving in Kāśī, the Lord went to the Maṇikarṇikā-ghāṭa to take bath.

When the Lord came to the ghāṭa, Tapana Miśra happened to be there taking his bath. Seeing Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Tapana Miśra was surprised and thought, “I have heard that Gaurāṅga has accepted sannyāsa.” Weeping, he grabbed the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and the Lord picked him up and embraced him. Tapana Miśra then took Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to visit the temple of Viśveśvara and Bindu Mādhava.

In great joy, Tapana Miśra brought Mahāprabhu to his house and began to dance in ecstasy. He washed Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s lotus feet, and afterwards he and his whole family drank the caraṇāmṛta. Tapana Miśra also respected and worshiped Mahāprabhu’s servant, Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya. He invited Mahāprabhu to accept lunch at his home, and he requested Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya to cook. Raghunātha was a young boy at that time.

bhikṣā kari’ ahāprabhu karilā śayana

miśra-putra raghu kare pāda-samvāhana

Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 17.90

When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu took rest after lunch, Raghu, Tapana Miśra’s son, massaged His legs.

Mahāprabhu’s remnants were then honored by Tapana Miśra’s whole family. When the news of the Lord’s arrival spread, Candraśekhara Vaidya came to see Him. Candraśekhara was a friend of Tapana Miśra and a devotee of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He was a physician by caste, and by profession he was a clerk. At the time he was residing in Vārāṇasī. Weeping, Candraśekhara fell down and caught hold of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s lotus feet. The Lord lifted him up and embraced him out of His causeless mercy.

Candraśekhara said, “My Lord, You have bestowed great mercy by giving this fallen servant Your darśana. Due to my past actions, I am residing at Vārāṇasī, but here I do not hear anything apart from ‘māyā’ and ‘brahma.’ They do not discuss anything apart from the six philosophies. Tapana Miśra has been very merciful to me, for he speaks kṛṣṇa-kathā.

“Prabhu, we both constantly think of Your lotus feet. Although You are the omniscient Supreme Lord, You have given us Your darśana. My Lord, I have received the news that You are heading towards Vṛndāvana. Please be kind and stay here at Vārāṇasī for a few days and deliver us, for we are Your
two servants.”

Tapana Miśra then spoke, “My Lord, as long as You remain at Vārāṇasī, please do not accept any invitation for Your lunch meal other than mine.”

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu had no desire to remain at Vārāṇasī, but being obliged by the requests of His two servants,
He stayed for ten days.

Mahāprabhu Returns from Vṛndāvana

After visiting Mathurā-Vṛndāvana, Caitanya Mahāprabhu returned to Kāśī via Prayāga. In Prayāga, Mahāprabhu instructed Rūpa Gosvāmī for ten days and ordered him to go to Vraja. When Caitanya Mahāprabhu came back to Kāśī after going to Vṛndāvana, he stayed at the house of Candraśekhara for two months and would honor prasādam at the house of Tapana Miśra.

raghunātha bālye kaila prabhura sevana

ucchiṣṭa-mārjana āra pāda-saṁvāhana

Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Ādi-līlā 10.155

The young boy Raghunātha served Mahāprabhu by taking away His remnants, cleaning His eating place, and massaging His feet.

While staying at the house of Candraśekhara, Caitanya Mahāprabhu gave many instructions on sādhya-sādhana-tattva. Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī was only a boy at that time and he rendered many personal services to the Lord, like massaging Mahāprabhu’s lotus feet and smearing sandalwood paste on them. He would also serve the Vaiṣṇavas like Sanātana Gosvāmī and others. Mahāprabhu was very happy by his services. Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa would also go and bathe with Mahāprabhu in the Maṇikarṇikā-ghāṭa. Mahāprabhu, Tapana Miśra, Candraśekhara, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa, and the others would then perform nāma-saṅkīrtana. Raghunātha would always engage himself in harināma-saṅkīrtana and in studying the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

During these two months, Mahāprabhu met Sanātana Gosvāmī and gave many instructions to him (sanātana-śikṣā). Raghunātha had the opportunity to continuously hear from Mahāprabhu at this time.

Tapana Miśra and Candraśekhara became very unhappy because of the criticism of Mahāprabhu by the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs. Seeing their unhappiness, Mahāprabhu honored a brahmaṇa’s invitation to go to his home. On that pretext, Mahāprabhu went and delivered Prakasānanda Sarasvatī and all his disciples. In this way, Raghunātha witnessed the Lord’s pastimes with His associates.

After residing in Vārāṇasī for two months, Mahāprabhu decided to return to Jagannātha Puri. He got up in the night and began to leave, but five devotees began to follow him.

tapana miśra, raghunātha, mahārāṣṭrīya brāhmaṇa

candraśekhara, kīrtanīyā-paramānanda, pañca jana

Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 25.180

These five devotees were Tapana Miśra, Raghunātha, the Mahārāṣṭrīya brāhmaṇa, Candraśekhara, and the kīrtanīyā Paramānanda. They wanted to go with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu
to Jagannātha Purī, but the Lord affectionately bade them farewell saying, “If you want to see Me, you may come to Puri later, but for the time being I shall travel alone through the Jhārikhaṇḍa forest.” In this way, the Lord left them all behind and proceeded to Puri.

Some days later, Rūpa Gosvāmī and Anupama arrived in Vārāṇasī, after having visited Vraja, on their way back to Bengal. They stayed in the house of Candraśekhara and would take prasādam at Tapana Miśra’s house. During this time, young Raghunātha had the chance to meet and serve Rūpa Gosvāmī for the first time, along with his younger brother Anupama.

Rūpa Gosvāmī heard from the devotees about Mahāprabhu’s instructions to Sanātana Gosvāmī and how he delivered the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs. Hearing all this and seeing how all the people of Kāśī had developed faith in Mahāprabhu, Rūpa Gosvāmī became very happy. After staying there for ten days, Rūpa Gosvāmī and Anupama returned to Bengal.

Once Mahāprabhu left Vārāṇasī, Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī continued to do śravaṇa-kīrtana daily with all the devotees. He would offer bhoga to Mahāprabhu and distribute His remnants to everyone.

Raghunātha Goes to Purī

Some years later, when Raghunātha had grown into a young man, Jagadānanda Paṇḍita came through Vārāṇasī on his way to Vṛndāvana and met with Tapana Miśra and others. He passed through Vārāṇasī on his way back and then arrived in Purī, much to the joy of Caitanya Mahāprabhu and all the devotees. Meeting Jagadānanda Paṇḍita had increased Raghunātha’s eagerness to meet Mahāprabhu. Thus, shortly after, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭācārya decided to leave home and go meet Mahāprabhu.

ethā tapana-miśra-putra raghunātha-bhaṭṭācārya

prabhure dekhite calilā chāḍi’ sarva kārya

Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 13.90

During this time, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭācārya, Tapana Miśra’s son, gave up all his duties and left to meet Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

When Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa left to Purī for Mahāprabhu’s darśana, he first went to Bengal to bring gifts for Mahāprabhu. Accompanied by one servant carrying his baggage, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa traveled along the path leading through Bengal. In Bengal he met Rāmadāsa Viśvāsa, who was a kāyastha by caste and the king’s secretary. Rāmadāsa Viśvāsa was a learned scholar in all the scriptures, as well as a teacher of the famous book Kāvya-prakāśa. He was known as an elevated devotee because he was a worshiper of Śrī Rāmacandra. He had renounced everything and was on his way to see Lord Jagannātha. He would chant rāma-nāma during the eight periods of the day.

Rāmadāsa Viśvāsa met Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa on the way and they began to travel together. When he met Raghunātha, Rāmadāsa Viśvāsa was immediately drawn to him because of the hari-kathā he spoke. Upon reaching maturity, Śrīla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī had begun speaking hari-kathā. And by his explanations on the Bhāgavatam, he would drown everyone in vraja-rasa. Thus, Rāmadāsa Viśvāsa was very attracted to the hari-kathā he heard from Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa, and a desire to serve him entered his heart. He asked permission to carry the gifts that Raghunātha had bought for Mahāprabhu, and he placed them on his head for the rest of the journey. He would also massage Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa when he would become tired. Rāmadāsa served Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa in various ways, but Raghunātha felt some hesitation in accepting all this service. Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa would say, “This is not proper. You are a servant of the king, a paṇḍita, and a mahā-bhāgavata devotee of Lord Rāma. Please don’t serve me. Just accompany me.”

But Rāmadāsa would not listen. He would say, “I am a śūdra and a fallen soul. Serving a brāhmaṇa is my dharma. I am your servant. Indeed, I become very happy by serving you. Please don’t be inconvenienced by me. Śrī Rāmacandra has bestowed His mercy upon me through you.”

In this way, Rāmadāsa served Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa sincerely. Rāmadāsa would chant Rāma’s names continuously during the day and night. While chanting Rāma’s names, he would also carry the basket of gifts for Mahāprabhu.

Traveling in this way, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa arrived shortly in Jagannātha Purī. Feeling great delight, Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa ran to where Mahāprabhu was and offered his prostrated
obeisance to Him. Mahāprabhu became very happy seeing him and loudly called out, “Raghunātha!”

daṇḍa-paraṇāma kari’ bhaṭṭa paḍilā caraṇe

prabhu raghunātha jāni kailā āliṅgane

Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 13.101

Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa fell to the ground like a stick at Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s lotus feet. The Lord embraced him, knowing him to be Raghunātha, the son of Tapana Miśra.

The Lord asked, “How are Candraśekhara Ācārya and your father, Tapana Miśra?”

“They are well,” Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa replied, “and have sent You their obeisance.”

“It is good you have come,” Mahāprabhu said, “you are very fortunate. Now, go for Jagannātha’s darśana. Today, please come and honor prasāda with Me.”

Mahāprabhu Himself would always praise Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī’s cooking. He would say, “Raghunātha cooks so beautifully. He will cook and feed Jagannātha from tomorrow.
I will also honor prasāda with him.”

Mahāprabhu asked Govinda to arrange for Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa’s room and then introduced him to all the devotees, headed by Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara, Rāmānanda Rāya, Sikhi Mahiti, Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, and Kāśī Miśra.

Rāmadāsa Viśvāsa also met with Mahāprabhu, but the Lord did not bestow any special mercy upon him. Internally, Rāmadāsa Viśvāsa aspired for impersonal liberation and was very proud of his learning. Being the omniscient Supreme Lord, Mahāprabhu did not show Rāmadāsa any special favor. Rāmadāsa Viśvāsa began living in Jagannātha Purī and taught the kāvya-prakāśa to the Paṭṭanāyaka family, who are descendants of Bhavānanda Rāya.

Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa stayed in the association of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu for eight months, and by the Lord’s mercy, his happiness increased day by day. Mahāprabhu would become very happy seeing him. By giving him His darśana, He would make Śrīla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī drown in the ocean of bliss. He would also cook and invite Mahāprabhu to honor mahā-prasāda. By honoring the prasāda Śrīla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī had cooked, Mahāprabhu would become overjoyed. He would cook rice with various vegetable dishes and thus served

raghunātha-bhaṭṭa pāke ati sunipuṇa

yei rāndhe sei haya amṛtera śama

Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 13.108

Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa was expert at cooking. Whatever he cooked became like nectar.

In kṛṣṇa-līlā, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa is Rāga Mañjarī, therefore, we can see in Mahāprabhu’s pastimes how he would serve so nicely with anurāga. Mahāprabhu would become exceedingly happy by his services. Anything he would cook would be nectarean. Mahāprabhu would take all the items prepared by Raghunātha with great satisfaction. And after honoring mahā-prasāda, Mahāprabhu would give His remnants to Raghunātha.

When Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa had stayed with Mahāprabhu for eight months and was preparing to leave, Mahāprabhu told him, “Do not marry. Marriage binds one to saṁsāra. By associating with viṣayīs (materialists), the desire to engage in bhagavad-bhakti will be lost. And by attachment to saṁsāra, it becomes very difficult to offer all your love to Bhagavān.”

He further ordered Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa, “When you return home, serve your elderly parents, and study the Bhāgavatam from the Vaiṣṇavas.”

punarapi eka-bāra āsiha nīlācale

eta bali kaṇṭha-mālā dilā tāṅra gale

āliṅgana kari prabhu vidāya tāṅre dilā

preme gara gara bhaṭṭa kāndite lāgilā

Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 13.114–115

Caitanya Mahāprabhu concluded, “Come once again to Nīlācala.” Having said this, the Lord put His own neck beads on Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa’s neck and embraced him, bidding him farewell. Overwhelmed with prema, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa wept in separation from Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

After taking leave from Mahāprabhu and all His devotees, like Svarūpa Dāmodara, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa returned to Vārāṇasī.

In accordance with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s orders, Raghunātha continuously rendered service to his parents for four years. Mahāprabhu had told him, “Serve your parents. They are Vaiṣṇavas.”

Caitanya Mahāprabhu had given the order to Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī the first time he returned to Vārāṇasī, “Stay in Vārāṇasī, and study the Bhāgavatam under the guidance of a qualified Vaiṣṇava.”

Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa thought, “There are many Māyāvādīs in Vārāṇasī. Where can I find Vaiṣṇavas? How can I know who a Vaiṣṇava is?  A Vaiṣṇava will never announce himself.”

Raghunātha prayed to Mahāprabhu, and the Lord then inspired him with the following Bhāgavatam verse, spoken by Yamarāja:

svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ

kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ

prahlādo janako bhīṣmo

balir vaiyāsakir vayam

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 6.3.20

Brahmā, Nārada, Śiva, the four kumāras, Lord Kapila, Svāyambhuva Manu, Prahlāda Mahārāja, Janaka Mahārāja, Bhīṣma, Bali Mahārāja, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, and I myself know the real religious principle.

“These twelve Mahājanas (spiritual preceptors) know the Bhāgavata.”

“Where can I find them now?” Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa thought.

Mahāprabhu replied, “I sent you to Vārāṇasī, Śiva Ṭhākura’s residence. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is very dear to Śiva Ṭhākura. Pray to him, and he will arrange for you to meet a śuddha-vaiṣṇava. The Vaiṣṇavas are very dear to him. He will show you the bhakta-bhāgavata.”

yāha, bhāgavata paḍa vaiṣṇavera sthāne

The Bhāgavatam should be studied with the Vaiṣṇavas.

Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa would chant and perform kīrtana and stava-stutis. Everyday he would go to Śiva Ṭhākura’s temple for darśana. He would perform kīrtana there. By Mahāprabhu’s and Śiva Ṭhākura’s mercy, he obtained the association of a pure, bhāgavata-premi sādhu. Externally, the sādhu dressed like a Māyāvādī; but he was very subtle in his manners. According to the words of Guru and Vaiṣṇavas, he was a disciple of Śrī Madhavendra Purīpāda. He was a very hidden Vaiṣṇava.

By Śiva Ṭhākura’s inspiration and Mahāprabhu’s order, this Vaiṣṇava gave guidance to Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī and helped him relish the Bhāgavatam, which is full of spontaneous, divine love. Sweetness pervades every syllable of the Bhāgavatam. Although Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī was a dear, eternal associate of Bhagavān, he performed the pastime of learning the Bhāgavatam.

When his parents left the world at Vārāṇasī, renouncing his home, Raghunātha returned to Mahāprabhu and became absorbed in the Lord’s service. Svarūpa Dāmodara and the other associates of Mahāprabhu became happy to see him.

As before, Raghunātha remained with Mahāprabhu for eight months. The Lord Himself personally instructed him in many ways. Mahāprabhu then spoke the following order:

āmāra ājñāya raghunātha yāha vṛndāvane

tāhāṅ yāñā raha rūpa-sanātana-sthāne

bhāgavata paḍa sadā laha kṛṣṇa-nāma

acire karibena kṛpā kṛṣṇa bhagavān

Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 13.120–121

“My dear Raghunātha, on My order, go to Vṛndāvana, and remain under the shelter of Rūpa and Sanātana Gosvāmī. Speak on the Bhāgavatam and always chant kṛṣṇa-nāma. Kṛṣṇa will quickly bestow His mercy upon you.”

After saying this, Mahāprabhu embraced Raghunātha, and by the Lord’s mercy Raghunātha became maddened in kṛṣṇa-prema.

When Śrīman Mahāprabhu embraced Śrīla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, bhāgavata-prema manifested in his heart. Mahāprabhu then gave him a giant tulasī garland that Jagannātha had worn, as well as His remnant pān-biḍa (the Lord’s betel-nut remnants). Śrīla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī accepted them as his worshipful Deities, and preserved them very carefully.

Coming to Vraja

Taking leave from Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa then left for Vṛndāvana. When he arrived there, he placed himself under the care of Rūpa and Sanātana Gosvāmī. He took up his residence near the temple of Śrī Rādhā Dāmodara where Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī resided. He also had a bhajana-kuṭīra in Topi-kuñja, near the Śrī Rādhā-Vallabha temple, where he would always meditate and serve in the eternal pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Later, he lived by Rādhā-kuṇḍa in a small hut.

When reciting Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in the association of Rūpa and Sanātana, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa would become overwhelmed with ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa. Mahāprabhu had told him previously, “I will be very happy if you speak on the Bhāgavatam to everyone in Vṛndāvana.” Indeed, Mahāprabhu would Himself relish listening to him recite the Bhāgavatam.

When Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa would recite the Bhāgavatam, the devotees of Vṛndāvana would come to listen to him, including the other Gosvāmīs. When he would describe the moods of the gopīs, everyone would become overwhelmed by bhāva. He described the separation the gopīs felt from Kṛṣṇa at Uddhava-kyārī. The gopīs were completely absorbed in mahābhāva. When Uddhava came, he had darśana of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s utmost limit of separation. On beholding such separation, Uddhava realized that it is not possible for such love to exist anywhere but in Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. We cannot understand such love by our speculation.

aśru kampa gadgada prabhura kṛpāte

netra kaṇṭha rodhe bāṣpa nā pāre paḍite

pika-svara-kaṇṭha tāte rāgera vibhāga

eka-śloka paḍite phirāya tina-cāri rāga

kṛṣṇera saundarya-mādhurya yabe paḍe

śune premete vihvala tabe kichui nā jāne

Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 13.127–129

By the mercy of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he experienced the symptoms of ecstasy, such as trembling, faltering of the voice, eyes filling with tears, and becoming choked up, and thus for some time he would be unable to speak. His voice was as sweet as a cuckoo’s, and he could recite each verse of the Bhāgavatam in three or four melodies. His recitations were very sweet to hear. When he recited about the beauty and sweetness of Kṛṣṇa, he would be overwhelmed with ecstatic love and become oblivious to everything.

All the connoisseurs of the transcendental mellows of Vraja would come to hear him speak. Everyone’s hearts would melt, and they would become maddened in ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa. They would transcend saṁsāra and experience bhāvas of ever increasing prema. By listening to him even once, a person’s bondage to material existence would be severed. Such was the effect of the medicine of his kathā. The listeners would experience the topmost spiritual nectar.

If a speaker of the bhāgavata is niṣkiñcana and akiñcana whose only possession is love of God, then the listener can enter bhāgavata-dharma simply by hearing. Thereafter, the pastimes of Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa will also manifest in the heart of the listener because he received the qualification to serve in the fully blossomed state.

Therefore, Mahāprabhu bestowed special mercy on Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī. Whoever would listen to his hari-kathā would receive transcendental knowledge and would have realization of the spiritual realm. Those who would come to listen to him speak on the bhāgavata would ask for initiation from him. Śrīla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī only initiated devotees because it was the order of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. Thus, he gave dīkṣā and śikṣā and accepted many disciples.

When Mahārāja Mānsiṅgh of Jaipura became the disciple of Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, he built the magnificent red stoned Govindajī Temple. He also presented a golden flute, earrings, and other ornaments for Śrī Govindadeva.

govinda-caraṇe kailā ātma-samarpaṇa

govinda-caraṇāravinda yāṅra prāṇa-dhana

nija śiṣye kahi govindera mandira karāilā

vaṁśī makara kuṇḍalādi bhūṣaṇa kari dilā

Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 13.130–131

Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa surrendered his soul at the lotus feet of Govinda, and those lotus feet became the treasure of his life. He had many wealthy disciples who made all the arrangements for Govindadeva’s daily services and would make all the arrangements for His festivals, such as flower decorations, clothing for the Lord, the distribution of mahā-prasāda, and a place for the devotees to stay in Vṛndāvana. Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī cared for the seven main temples of Vṛndāvana, especially the Govindadeva temple. He would continuously serve Govindajī along with his disciples. He would never speak or listen to gramya-kathā (village talk).

grāmya-vārtā nā śune nā kahe jihvāya

kṛṣṇa-kathā-pūjādite aṣṭa-prahara yāya

Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 13.132

Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa would neither listen nor speak about anything mundane. He would simply talk about Śrī Kṛṣṇa and worship the Lord during the eight periods of
the day.

vaiṣṇavera nindya-karma nāhi pāḍe kāṇe

sabe kṛṣṇa-bhajana kare ei-mātra jāne

Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 13.133

He would only busy himself with kṛṣṇa-nāma, kṛṣṇa-kathā, and kṛṣṇa-pūjā, and would never criticize the Vaiṣṇavas, neither would he let the blasphemy of a Vaiṣṇava enter his ears. He knew only that all are engaged in serving Kṛṣṇa.

Being always absorbed in the many moods of kṛṣṇa-prema, he would perform his services with great happiness. He would wear the garland that Mahāprabhu had given him and honored the cloth of Jagannātha as well.

mahāprabhura datta mālā mananera kāle

prasāda-kaḍāra saha bāndhi lena gale

Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 13.134

When Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī was immersed in remembrance of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, he would bind the tulasī garland and the prasāda of Jagannātha given to him by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu together and wear them around his neck.

mahāprabhura kṛpāya kṛṣṇa-prema anargala

ei ta kahiluṅ tāte caitanya-kṛpā-phala

Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 13.135

By Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mercy, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī remained constantly overwhelmed in ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa. This is the fruit of Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mercy.

mahāprabhura raghunāthe kṛpā-prema-phala

Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 13.137

Mahāprabhu gave Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī mercy in the form of the fruit of kṛṣṇa-prema.

Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami”. Available from: [email protected] )