Sanatana Gosvami opened the storehouse of bhakti-rasa that is laced with renunciation, along with the associates of Radha-Krsna, like Lokanatha dasa Gosvami and Bhugarbha Gosvami. If one desires to relish the transcendental nectar of devotion, then Sanatana Gosvami should be eternally remembered. Srila Sanatana Gosvami, who is the abode of divine qualities, manifested Sri Radha Madana-mohanajiu, the Lordships presiding over spiritual relationship in Vrndavana-dhama.
jayatāṁ suratau pangor mama manda-mater gati mat-sarvasva-padāmbhojau rādhā-madana-mohanau Caitanya-caritāmrta, Ādi 1.15
Glory to the all-merciful Radhã and Madana-mohana! I am lame and foolish, yet They are my Lord and Masters; Their lotus feet are everything to me.
All glories unto Madana-mohana, who is the predominating Deity of amorous pastimes. The Lord Madana-mohana, who bewilders Cupid himself, nourishes the devotees with divine love and gives qualification for entering the transcendental truth. A spiritually blind person cannot understand this tattva. Without Sanatana Gosvami’s mercy, no one can enter the kingdom of established philosophical truths. Only a person who has relation with Madana-mohana can understand this tattva. May Sanatana Gosvami bestow his mercy and manifest the sambandha-devata (the Deity of a transcendental relationship), and vişaya-vigraha (the object of the devotees’ service) Sri Radha Madana-mohana in our hearts.
Vrndavana, the place of nectarean mellows, has Madana-mohana, who is the crest jewel of the enjoyers of rasa, as its crowning glory. Sanatana Gosvami manifested Him in Vrndavana by Mahaprabhu’s desire. May we always remember Sanatana Gosvami.
…If anyone would come from Vraja, Mahaprabhu would ask them, “Where do Rupa and Sanatana live? How do they maintain themselves?” The returning devotee would describe Rupa and Sanatana Gosvami’s renunciation. He would tell Mahaprabhu that they slept under a different tree every night and that they would beg for a few chickpeas and some buttermilk to maintain themselves.
They lived in Vraja while being greatly renounced. Mahaprabhu became very happy by their renunciation. If a sadhaka doesn’t take shelter of Vraja’s dust, then he will not be able to enter Vraja-dhama. Therefore, Mahaprabhu became very happy by the ideal renunciation of Rupa and Sanatana Gosvami. Mahaprabhu then spoke about the glories and specialties of Sanatana Gosvami to the devotees.
In Vraja, Sanatana Gosvami would go to everyone’s homes and inquire about their well being. He would ask, “Are your children married? How are they? Is anyone unhealthy? Do you need anything?” He would ask about everyone’s well being and share love and affection with everyone. By his instructions, he made everyone ready for bhajana.
Sanatana Gosvami would meet the Vrajavasis and he established a nitya-sambandha with Bhagavan for all of them. When he entered nitya-lila, all the Vrajavasis took him on their shoulders and did Govardhana parikrama. The Vrajavasis’ shaved their heads on his disappearance day and celebrated Sanatana Gosvami’s glories by doing kirtana. This occasion is known to everyone as Mudiya Puno.
On the day of guru-purņima (his disappearance day), the Vrajavasis gave Sanatana Gosvami samadhi near Madana-mohana, his worshipable deity. Until this day, everyone can have darsana of his samadhi along with his grantha-samadhi.
Srila Rupa Gosvami appeared in this world from Vraja-dhama to fulfill the desire of Mahaprabhu by distributing vraja-prema and the mood of the manjaris. He taught that the highest form of spiritual practice is anuragamayi-bhakti: devotion towards Sri Radha-Krsna imbued with spontaneous and powerful loving attachment and attraction towards Them with the desire to pleasurably serve Them. He described the sweet pastimes of Radha-Krsna in such a wonderful way that hearing or reading evokes greed to gain acceptance into the Divine Couple’s inner circle of loving servitors. Upon the awakening of spiritual greed, people naturally lose taste for earthly infatuations.
One who remembers and follows the instructions of Srila Rupa Gosvami, taking shelter of his lotus feet, will certainly achieve spiritual perfection, or anuragamayi-seva in eternal Vraja. He can thus be a Rupanuga-Vaisnava. Fortunate souls can perceive the specialty of Rupa Gosvami and the pricelessness of his teachings. One who approaches Srila Rupa Gosvami through prayer and by adopting his method of spiritual practice will understand and be empowered by Mahaprabhu’s karuņa-sakti, mercy potency.
Our Guru-varga is in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami. We cannot understand Mahaprabhu’s true movement without coming under the guidance of Srila Rupa Gosvami.
Srila Rupa Gosvami is priya and dayita, extremely dear and beloved to Sriman Mahaprabhu. Because he is beloved to Srimati Radhika, he is also beloved to Mahaprabhu. Priya-svarupa refers to Krsna’s svarupa and dayita-svarupa refers to Radharani’s svarupa. Prema-svarupe sahajabhirupe – Sri Rupa Manjari is the prema-mayi-murti of Radharani, the embodiment of Her love.
She arranges everything for the service of Radharani, so one who receives the mercy of Rupa naturally receives the mercy of Srimatiji. Prabhur eka-rupe – Sri Rupa Gosvami is so close to Mahaprabhu that he is like the second form of the Lord. Sva-vilasa-rupe – one who takes shelter of Rupa Gosvami can achieve vraja-rasa and vraja-seva.
He is also vilasa-rupa in the sense that he manifests rasa-sastra, the storehouse of transcendental nectar. All of Mahaprabhu’s love and mercy, moreover, the love of Srimati Radharani, Lalita, Višakha, and the sakhis and manjaris, is preserved in the books of Sri Rupa Gosvami.
This book, Sri Guru Darsana, is a revelation or darsana of the life of Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, an eternal associate of Radha-Krsna sent from Vraja, as well as his darsana or teachings to the world. He came in an unbroken succession of divine masters, descending from the Supreme Lord Himself, the original Divine Master. Such a spiritual lineage is considered a prerequisite for a bona fide guru by religious authorities throughout India.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, renowned as Srila Gurudeva, embodies all the descriptions of a pure guru of the highest caliber, as evidenced in the Vedic scriptures. He spent five decades serving the mission of his spiritual master. Having fully assimilated his master’s teachings, he then traveled the globe thirty-one times to fulfill the heart’s desire of his Guru-varga (spiritual lineage of gurus) by broadcasting the message of divine love for Krsna. He left an invaluable legacy by publishing scores of books. Concurrent to his literary legacy, the legacy of his loving dealings, humility, and purity, touched the hearts of people around the world. He truly practiced what he taught; therefore he was able to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands. This edition, of 1400 pages, comes with gilding and 96 Color Plates.