Krsna lila - Rüpa Maïjaré
Diksa guru: Sanatana gosvami
Birth: 1493 (Christian calendar), 1415 (Sakabda)
Hoseholder life: 22 yrs. - Braja: 51 yrs
Disapearance: 1564 (Christian calendar), 1486 (Sakabda) 12th day of the
bright fortnight of Sravan Age: 73
Srila Rupa Gosvami is known as bhakti-rasacarya, the
expert in the tastes of pure devotional service and was extremely dear
to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He and his elder brother, Srila Sanatana Gosvami left high
posts in the government of Nawab Hussein Shah to join Sri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu and through them Mahaprabhu disseminated His own teachings,
the essential conclusions of all the scriptures. Amongst the devotees
of Mahaprabhu these two were known as His generals.
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
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 darsan. 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
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 gladdened. 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 to 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
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.
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
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 called 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 literatures 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 Raghunatha 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 Raghunatha
Dasa to return the manuscript so that he could correct it, Raghunatha
dasa held on to it very tightly, not saying anything, refusing to part
After considering what to do, Sri Rupa composed
Dana-keli-kaumudi. He managed to exchange 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 ecstasy 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 breathe 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 lustre 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, Vrinda devi
reappeared in Vrajabhumi.
Sri Rupa Goswami completed many literatures, some being:
(See also Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 10.84,
Madhya-lila 1.36- 41, Madhya-lila chapter 19, and Antya-lila chapter 1.)