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Shrila Sanatana Goswami
Today we are going to speak, by the request of the devotees, on Shrila Sanatana Goswami. What can a conditioned neophyte devotee speak about such an exalted and worshipable Acharya? But it is our duty, for the purification of our heart, to make some feeble attempts to explain perhaps a drop from the ocean of the glories of the Lord's personal and beloved associates. In the spiritual world. Shri Shri Radha Krishna are eternally being worshiped by the Sakhis, headed by Lalita and Vishakha, and their immediate assistants are the Manjaris. The two leading Maniaris are Rupa Maniari who was Shrila Rupa Goswami and Rati or Labanga Manjari who descended as Shrila Sanatana Qoswami. Shrila Sanatana Goswami appeared in the gotra of Bharadwaja muni. as the eldest son of Kumara Dev. Rupa Goswami was his younger brother and Ballava who was later named by Lord Chaitanya, Anupam was the youngest brother. From their very birth, the hearts of these three brothers were filled with ecstatic love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Gift of Shrimad Bhagavatam
When Sanatana was young, he had a dream. In this dream a very effulgent Brahman appeared to him and offered him the Shrimad Bhagavatam as a gift. Sanatana Goswami was in such ecstasy to receive this benediction. When he woke up, he looked around, and saw that he didn't have the Shrimad Bhagavatam- He was in terrible lamentation. Later that morning, the same Brahman who had appeared in the dream came to his door with the gift of Shrimad Bhagavatam. From that day on, Shrila Sanatana Goswami was always sinking deeper and deeper and deeper in the ocean of ecstatic love. while reading the Shrimad Bhagavatam. It became his very life and soul. Every aspect of his life simply revolved around hearing and chanting the glories of Shrimad Bhagavatam.
Shrila Rupa and Sanatana Goswami were very qualified, they were illustrious scholars of the Sanskrit language. They had also mastered Bengali and Persian languages. They were so well behaved that they attracted the hearts of everyone they came in contact with and were really and truly leaders who commanded respect. Although very humble and gentle, people simply wanted to worship them and follow them because of their benevolent qualities. The expert advisers of the then King of Bengal, Nawab Hussein Shah informed him that if he could get these two first class Hindu Brahmans to be his ministers then he would have control over all of the Hindu population. Nawab Hussein Shah approached Rupa, Sanatana and Anupam and ordered them to take the post of the ministers of his kingdom. And if they did not, he would not only persecute them but he would have rampant persecution of the entire Hindu population. It was out of compassion and fear. that harm would be done to the innocent, that Rupa and Sanatana Goswamis accepted the posts of the Prime Minister and Finance and Home Minister of the kingdom of Bengal. Nawab Hussein Shah was so pleased with their incredible qualifications and how they were literally running the whole state, that he didn't concern himself very much with ruling the citizens, he was more concerned with the aspect of exploitation and conquering others. He left the rest to Rupa and Sanatana. He was so pleased with them that literally he divided his kingdom and his wealth with them. Although Nawab Hussein Shah was a cruel, merciless meat-eating killer he gave them massive treasures, built magnificent palaces for them, offered them grand estates and treated them iust like his own younger brothers. Shrinivas Acharya explains, "dhira-adhira jana priyau", that the six Goswamis were so charming and kind to every living entity that even the demons would become attracted to embrace them like a brother. Nawab Hussein Shah gave them the very exalted titles of Dabir Khas to Rupa Goswami and Sakar Malik to Sanatana Goswami This is not an ordinary thing. For a Muslim king, at that time, to give a Hindu, Muslim names even though they were still practicing their Vedantic faith was a very, very great and rare honor. Rupa and Sanatana Goswamis were constantly immersed in glorifying Radha and Krishna and speaking from Shrimad Bhagavatam. In fact, they created facilities so that Vaishnavas and scholars from all over the country could come to the village of Ramkeli, where they were living to glorify Radha and Krishna. They built an auditorium where musicians, poets, dancers and all sorts of artists could come to perform. Scholars came from all directions just to hear Rupa and Sanatana Goswami speak from the Holy Scriptures. In fact, if a scholar wanted to write a book on the Nyaya philosophy it would not be accepted unless it was approved by Rupa and Sanatana Goswami. When these Brahmans would come, Rupa and Sanatana would arrange housing for them. With their wealth, they built beautiful little houses on the banks of the Ganges in Ramkeli and when people would come, with great humility they would welcome them and serve them. It is explained that when Sanatana Goswami and Rupa Goswami would sit in their court they looked iust like Indra surrounded by a host of pundits. While sitting on their raised platform in a beautiful aristocratic way their beauty was so charming that it melted the hearts of anyone who saw them. They were continually smiling sweetly at everyone who came. They astonished both the citizens as well as the guests who came because although they were in the highest positions, with folded hands they would beg everyone for their blessing so that they could attain pure devotional service to Shri Shri Radha and Krishna. And they would very humbly and enthusiastically accept the position of servant. They were born in Saraswat Brahman families from Karnataka and they were very much exalted in all their personal qualities, yet they considered themselves to be lower than the straw in the street. As householders they were very, very charitable. Whatever they had, they would give in charity to the Brahmans, the Vaishnavas, the poor, and the sick. It is explained that although they were in very high government positions they never caused harm to anyone and never in their lives did they ever insult anyone.
The spiritual master of Sanatana Goswami was a great learned devotee by the name Vidya Vachaspati. He would often times come to Ramkeli and spend long duration of time. Sanatana Goswami learned all the Vedas from Vidya Vachaspati. Always eager to serve his guru and always very enthusiastic to hear from him the respect and love that Sanatana Goswami had tor his spiritual master knew no bounds. In fact, Shrila Sanatana Goswami in his commentary of the 10"' canto of Shrimad Bhagavatam entitled the 'Casama Tipani', offers his prostrated obeisances and his surrendered devotion to his spiritual master Shrila Vidya Vachaspati, Rupa and Sanatana Goswami constructed a beautiful garden in Ramkeli which they called 'Kadamba Kanana'. They tried to make this garden a replica of Vrindavan. They excavated Radhakund and Shyamakund. They planted auspicious trees of Vrindavan like Kadamba. They would spend their personal time in this garden constantly immersed in meditating on Radha and Krishna's pastimes in Vrindavan and would continuously cry in separation. They installed the deity named Madanmohana in Ramkeii. Their whole lives were centered around the worship and glorification of Shri Shri Madanmohana. Sanatana Goswami also wrote a very celebrated book, 'Sadachar Paddhati', which describes how to achieve the ultimate perfection of life through devotional service to Shri Krishna.
Lord Chaitanya appears in a dream
One night Sanatana Goswami had a very historical dream. A beautiful, effulgent renunciate appeared to him. This renunciate was none other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Sanatana Goswami immediately felt his heart overflow with pure unalloyed love and devotion. This renounced person told him, "Do not become too much attached or entangled in this materialistic life. You should go to Vrindavan, excavate the holy places and write Vaishnava literatures extolling the glories of pure devotional service." The dream ended. The next morning he went to his brother Rupa Goswami and told him about the dream. Rupa Goswami said to him, "Yes, I know! Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is living within this world. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We should surrender to Him." From that day on, Rupa and Sanatana Goswami were eagerly awaiting that moment, when they could surrender their lives to Lord Chaitanya. They were ashamed that they were serving a violent, cruel, materialistic king, therefore they regretted the position they held. They considered themselves the most lowly and fallen of all souls. In fact, the father of Rupa and Sanatana Goswami lamented so terribly about the position of his sons, that he spent his life continuously performing yagnas and begging for atonement for the shameful position of his sons. What a Vaishnava he was! Most parents would be proud of their sons being Prime Ministers, multi-millionaires and the most influential scholars in all the world. But he was a real father - a Vaishnava father, he felt it was abominable that they were not sen/ing the Supreme Lord directly, but associating with materialistic people. This is the love of a real parent. Their ultimate desire for their children is that they may have the association of saintly people.
Rupa and Sanatana write a letter to Lord Chaitanya
Rupa and Sanatana felt so much shame and regret and wanted the shelter of Lord Chaitanya's mercy. They understood that only He couid save them. They approached their beloved mother and asked, "What should we do in our condition?" Their mother advised them, "You should write Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu a letter informing Him of your position and your desire." They wrote a letter but there was no reply. They wrote another letter, and again no reply. Again and again and again they wrote letters to the Lord, but there was no reply. Finally, a reply came. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wrote just one paragraph, that if a wife is attached to a man, other than her husband, then she should perform her duties very, very carefully, so that the husband does not suspect that she has paramour. But in her heart she should exclusively meditate on her beloved. Shrila Rupa and Sanatana Goswamis understood that the Lord wanted them to carry on with their service in the government and await the Lord's mercy.
Lord Chaitanya at Kanai Natashala
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu always longed to travel to Vrindavan. He told H's devotees, that He was going to Vrindavan. He began His journey and many of His devotees accompanied Him. In fact, as He was passing through the roadsides, there were hundreds then thousands and thousands and millions of people following Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to Vrindavan. Narasinghananda brahmachari had the power of love, whereby he could meditate on offerings to the Lord and those offerings would materialize before the eyes of Lord Chaitanya. So he sat in meditation, beautifying the road going to Vrindavan. He made it very wide, paved it with gold and Jewels and covered it with stemless, soft, fragrant, undying flower petals. He constructed takes, planted auspicious trees with beautiful birds on them on both sides of the road. He was literally going one step at a time. When he came out of his meditation he told the devotees, "The Lord will not go to Vrindavan. He will go as far as Kanai Natashala, then He will return." The devotees were astounded. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has longed for years and years to go to Vrindavan and now He was on His way. What could stop the Supreme Personality of Godhead from His desire? At the same time Narasinghananda brahmachari was a very good devotee and so they were quite bewildered by this statement. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu specifically went way off the proper route to Vrindavan just to meet Rupa and Sanatana Goswami.
He came to the town of Ramkeli. There He was performing His Sankirtan with millions of people in the very capital and residence of the Nawab Hussein Shah who made very strict punishable laws against anyone who practiced any other religion but his own in public. Nawab Hussein Shah, when he was informed about this sannyasi who had come with so many followers, he was astounded. He called some of his ministers and servants, and asked what is this. They explained. Then he called Keshava Chatri. He was a very great devotee and a servant of the king. He said, "Tell me who is this sannyasi who has come to our village." Keshava Chatri understood that the Nawab Hussein Shah was demoniac and very violent. So he said, "Actually He is Just a beggar, doing Madhukari door to door and He has one or two disciples with Him. Don't worry, its not worth even thinking about Him." "Ah! What are you saying? He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I can understand this." He made a law that no one should disobey Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and if anyone interferes with His Sankirtan he will be punished. But Ftupa and Sanatana understood that the king had a very, very unstable mind. In the middle of the night they disguised themselves. Incognito, they went to the place where Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was staying. To this very day in Ramkeli there is a very sacred tree where Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu met with Shri Rupa and Sanatana. First they approached Lord Nityananda Prabhu and Shrila Haridas Thakur. They brought them in to the personal presence of Lord Chaitanya. In great humility both brothers took bunches of straw between their teeth and each binding a cloth around his neck they fell down like rods before the Lord. Upon seeing Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu the two brothers were overwhelmed with joy and out of humility they began to cry. Lord Chaitanya 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. "All glories to Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu the most merciful savior of the fallen souls. All glories to the Supreme Personality. 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. Dear Lord let us inform You that no one is more sinful than us. Nor there is any offender like us. Even if we wanted to mention our sinful activities we would immediately become ashamed and what to speak of giving them up. 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 Brahman 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 Maclhai had but one fault- They were addicted to sinful activity. However volumes of sinful activity can 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 meat-eaters. Because we always associate with such people, we are inimical toward the cows and the Brahmans." The two brothers Sakar Malik and Dabir Khas very humbly submitted that due to the;r abominable activities they were now bound by the neck and hands and had been thrown into a ditch filled with abominable stool like 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 the Savior of the fallen souls. Let us speak one word that is very true, plainly hear us. 0 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 throughout the entire universe. Let us submit one piece of information before You, dear Lord. It is not at alt false, but is full of meaning. It is this, If You are not merciful upon us then it will be very, very difficult to find more suitable candidates for Your mercy. 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, the desire to receive Your mercy is awakening within our minds. By serving You constantly one is freed from all material desires and is completely purified.
Hearing this prayer by Dabir Khas and Sakar Malik, Lord Chaitanya said, "My dear brothers you are My very old servants. My dear Sakar Malik from this day on, your name will be changed to Sanatana Goswami. My dear Dabir Khas your name will be Shrila Rupa Goswami. Please abandon your humility, for your humility is breaking My heart. You have written Me several letters showing your humility and I can understand your transcendental behavior from those letters. Therefore, just in order to teach you a lesson I sent you that verse. I really had no business coming here to Ramkeli. 1 came just to see you two brothers. Everyone is asking Me, "Why did You go to Ramkeli?" No one knows My real intentions. It is very good that you two brothers have come to see Me. Now you can go home, you have nothing to fear. Birth after birth you are My eternal servants. I am sure that Krishna will deliver you very soon." Sanatana Goswami then made an appeal to the Lord, "You are going to Vrindavan with so many millions of people. It is better if You go alone or with one or two others, because Vrindavan is a very quiet and lonely forest and You will appreciate it much better if You go with a small group." Chaitanya Mahaprabhu bid farewell to Shri Rupa and Sanatana. He embraced them and He placed His lotus feet on their heads.
The next morning the Lord continued His journey to Vrindavan. When He came to a place called Kanai Natashala, He saw a forest, that looked just like Vrindavan, circled by the holy river Ganga. He saw that the hundreds and thousands of people following Him were trampling upon the bushes. He thought, "What Sanatana Goswami said is correct. I should not go to Vrindavan with huge groups of devotees. People will Just think I am some sort of a magician coming with all these people just to attract attention. I should follow the advice of Sanatana. Now 1 will go back to Puri." When Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu returned to Puri, the devotees were very surprised to see Him. He told them, "When I was in Ramkeli, where 1 went with great difficulty, 1 met two exalted personalities, Sanatana Goswami and Rupa Goswami. They are truly the recipients of Krishna's mercy. They have such wealth, they are so learned in the scriptures, they are so powerful and influential, young, handsome and strong, and they are such great scholars that people are coming from all around just to associate with them. Yet they are so humble, that they consider themselves no better than a lowly piece of straw fallen on the street. Due to that humility, it is for certain, that Krishna will certainly empower them. And I told them that Krishna would deliver them from their abominable position." Actually the humility of Rupa and Sanatana Goswami was such an integral feature of their lives that it literally attracted the heart of the Lord to bestow upon them His complete causeless mercy. In fact, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to instruct the whole world on the importance of the principle of humility through His dearmost and favorite associates Shri Rupa and Sanatana. Humility is the only quality that attracts the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and to teach this principle the Supreme Lord Himself personally appeared as Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, in the role of a devotee, demonstrating unprecedented quality of humility. He taught that there is no possible way of finding real happiness except through this spirit of humility. The Bhakti Ratnakar declares that this was the message of Lord Chaitanya. But just see how M.aya deludes the world. People are trying to find happiness by boasting about, "What I have done, what I will do and just see what 1 am doing." People are trying to find happiness by competing and trying to excel over others Just for name and fame. People are trying to accumulate much wealth. What does anybody really need? A few rotis and a place to sleep. But we want so much just for prestige. But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught that everything you are looking at for happiness is going to be the very cause of your suffering, fear and anxiety. Real happiness is achieved by following in the footsteps of the humble six Goswamis of Vrindavan. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu bestowed His mercy on Rupa and Sanatana. After some time they decided to resign from government service. They worshipped the deity of Madanmohana, praying to Him, "Please deliver us from this abominable position and give us the shelter of the mercy of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu." Rupa Goswami sent a message to Lord Chaitanya, telling Him that they both wanted to resign from their service and join Him in Vrindavan. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sent a message back saying, "1 am Just now leaving for Vrindavan. Resign." Shriia Rupa Goswami immediately took all of his wealth and put it in boats and sailed to a house where he distributed all his wealth. He and his younger brother Anupam left everything and went to meet Lord Chaitanya in Vrindavan.
Sanatana Goswami is arrested
Meanwhile, Sanatana Goswami due to the force of circumstances, was unable to leave at that particular time. But he totally lost all interest in serving the government. Therefore he sent a letter to the king saying that he was very sick and could not come to do his services. He stayed home studying Shrimad Bhagavatam along with great Vaishnavas and scholars. Days and weeks went by. Nawab Hussein Shah's kingdom was in great difficulty without Sanatana Goswami. So he sent a doctor, "Go check him, see what's wrong with him." The doctor came back and reported "He is in perfect health. He is studying Shrimad Bhagavatam in an assembly of Brahmans." Nawab Hussein Shah was infuriated. He came to the house of Sanatana Goswami and just walked right in through the door. There was Sanatana reciting Shrimad Bhagavatam. "What are you doing? You have lied to me, you have cheated me. I am about to go to Orissa to conquer that state. 1 want you to come with me." Sanatana Goswami said, "1 will no longer be a part of your activities. You can count on me no longer tor any service." The Nawab Hussein Shah was very, very angry. He said, "I have treated you like my own brother. Your elder brother is busy going out murdering and killing. He needs you to stay back and take care of the state. If you do not, you will be punished." Sanatana Goswami said, "You are the king, the representative of God, you can behave with me in any way you please." The Nawab walked out in a fit of fury and ordered Sanatana Goswami to be imprisoned, and then, Nawab Hussein Shah went with his armies to conquer Orissa. Rupa Goswami heard this. He sent a letter to Sanatana Goswami along with 10000 gold coins that he deposited with a grocer and totd him, "Somehow or other get out and come meet us in Vrindavan. Lord Chaitanya will be arriving there." Sanatana Goswami, shackled in prison, spoke to the jail keeper, "Please help me. You are a very religious man and very pious in heart. I want to give up everything of this world and become a religious saint. In fact, I want to go on pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. If you facilitate me in my mission, then you will get great religious and pious benefits. Here are 5,000 gold coins. Get me out of this prison." The jail keeper said, "Yes, I am a pious and religious man and I want you to go to Mecca. But what would Nawab Hussein Shah say when he sees that you are gone, he would punish me." Sanatana Goswami told him, "No you just have to tell him the story that I had to pass stool and I went to the bank of the Ganges and jumped in with all my chains and drowned. You looked for me but I was nowhere to be seen. And here along with the original 5000 gold coins is another 2000 gold coins." This argument was very convincing, and he was released from prison.
Sanatana Goswami's dangerous journey to Varanasi
As he was travelling through the forests and the jungles he had a servant named Ishan who was assisting him. They came to a hilly tract of land in the state of Bihar, which is called Patada- That place was very infamous at the time, for the thieves and rogues who would kill anyone for anything at a moment's notice. There was a hilly track of Jungle that was very difficult to get through. Sanatana Goswami and Ishan stopped at an inn. The innkeeper was the leader of the whole band of dacoits. He had an astrologer. This astrologer told him, "These two guests have 8 gold coins." He was very eager to kill them and get the gold. So he treated them with great respect just to make them comfortable and confident. It is said, "Too much devotion is the sign of a thief." This applied to this case. Sanatana Goswami, being a government leader, he knew the spirit of diplomacy. So he thought, "Why is this man giving me so much respect and serving us so nicely? He must want to rob and kill us." "Ishan, do you have any of those gold coins left?" he asked. Ishan said, "Yes. I have 7 gold coins." Immediately he took those coins to the innkeeper and said, "I have these coins, you keep them." The innkeeper said, "What an honest and charitable person you are. Lucky you gave them to me. because I would have killed you on this very day if you hadn't. But now that I see you are so honest and so nice, you keep the coins, I don't want them." Sanatana Goswami said, "If you don't kill me for these gold coins somebody else will kill me. Take them away. But I ask only one favor. Please help me get through this mountain range." That morning, the innkeeper personally arranged for Sanatana Goswami to get through that hilly tract. Sanatana Goswami turned to Ishan and asked him, "Do you have any more gold coins." "I have one." "You take that gold coin and go home. Why have you brought this death knell with you?" Sanatana Goswami was, then, a fugitive, who had Just escaped from prison and was wearing the robes of a prisoner. He was alone and had nothing. He continued his travel till he came to a place called Hajipur. There his brother-in-law, who was a government servant, had come to visit. On the command of the local king he had come with large sums of gold to purchase first-class horses in Hajipur. Shrikanta who was his brother-in-law, had seen Sanatana Goswami and had sent one of his messengers to bring him. He said, "What happened to you? Look at you! You are all unshaven and your hair is all scraggly and the prisoner's clothes you are wearing are all torn up!" Sanatana Goswami told him the whole story. He said, "You stay with me for at least two days." Sanatana Goswami said, "1 will not stay with you for even one moment. 1 am going to Vrindavan." But somehow or other, Shrikanta appealed to him with much affection to at least accept a brand new woolen blanket as a gift. Sanatana Goswami left on that very day.
Finally Sanatana meets Lord Chaitanya
He went to Varan&si. There he heard that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had already visited Vrindavan and was residing at the house of Chandrashekhar Acharya, in Varanasi. Sanatana Goswami sat outside of the courtyard of Chandrashekhar. Lord Chaitanya told Chandrashekhar, "There is a very great, pure-hearted, saintly Vaishnava outside, please bring him in to Me." Chandrashekhar went out. There he saw Sanatana Goswami sitting. He went back in. He told the Lord, "There is no saintly Vaishnava out there." "Is anyone out there?" "There is a dervish, a very dirty-looking Muslim mendicant." "Bring him in immediately. That is who I am looking for." Chandrashekhar brought Sanatana in. As soon as Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu saw him, in great ecstasy, He embraced him, bathing him with His tears of love. Sanatana Goswami fell at the feet of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and said "Please, please do not touch me, I am filthy and dirty. Not only that. 1 am utterly fallen, sinful and contaminated." Lord Chaitanya said, "I am touching you for My purification." Out of His love for His devotee Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu with His Own Hands cleaned the body of Sanatana Goswami. He then ordered Sanatana Goswami to get shaved up. Chandrashekhar took Sanatana and shaved him. Shrila Prabhupada in the purport to this particular section of Chaitanya Charitamrita explained that Lord Chaitanya did not like people looking like hippies. After taking his bath Chandrashekhar gave him fresh new clothes. Sanatana Goswami rejected those and said, "1 will not take new clothes." Then he came back to Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and was introduced to Tapan Mishra.
Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would take prasad at the house of Tapan Mishra but would stay at the house ot Chandrashekhar. So Tapan Mishra, offered Sanatana Goswami brand new garments. He couldn't tolerate seeing him in such rags. Sanatana Goswami rejected it. He said, "You give me just an old dhoti." So Tapan Mishra brought him one of his old dhotis. Sanatana Goswami started ripping it into pieces and used them for loin cloth, chaddar and kaupin. Then he came and got the personal remnants of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. A Maharashtrian Brahman who was a great devotee of the Lord invited Sanatana Goswami to come and take prasad at his house everyday. Sanatana Goswami said, "No. I will do Madhukari." Each and every day, in the mood of a beggar, he would go house to house, begging for little bit of food. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was very pleased to see the spirit of renunciation of Sanatana Goswami. But once he looked at the blanket of Sanatana. Sanatana Goswami understood that he doesn't like this blanket that my brother-in-law gave me. He went to the bank of the Ganges and at the bathing ghat was a mendicant who was washing an old torn quilt. Sanatana Goswami said, "1 will give you this very costly, new, woolen blanket if you give me your old, torn quilt." The mendicant said, "What are you saying? Why are you making fun of me just because 1 am so poor?" Sanatana said, "No 1 am serious, take the blanket and give me your quilt." He came back to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Chaitanya asked, "Where is your blanket?" He said, "I gave it to a mendicant in exchange for this quilt." Lord Chaitanya said, "Very good. Now 1 can see that you have renounced even the last shred of material attachment. This is very good. You are going around like a mendicant Vaishnava doing Madhukari house to house, asking for alms and you are wearing such an expensive blanket. People will think you are a hypocrite. It is shameful. By the causeless mercy of Lord Shri Krishna, you have now been delivered from the last attachments to this material world." Sanatana Goswami, he replied, "I do not know who Krishna is, but 1 know one thing that, it is your causeless mercy that has saved me. And 1 have no other hope than you."
Lord Chaitanya explains the science of Krishna Consciousness
At that time Sanatana Goswami put a straw between his teeth. With folded palms, he bowed down at the lotus feet of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and he began to inquire, "My Lord, I am from a low family and all of my associates were of the lowest disposition. I am sinful and I am addicted to sinful activities. My whole life is abominable. But by your causeless mercy you have accepted me as your servant. Please my Lord, please, ..., please instruct me. 1 do not know, what my duty is, I do not know, what is beneficial and what is detrimental for the real purpose of life. And yet, due to the influence of illusion, people are calling me a great learned scholar. 1 am such a fool that I accept myself as such. Please tell me, what is my real duty in life? Who am I? Why am I suffering birth after birth the three-fold miseries of material existence? How can I be benefited? My Lord, I do not know how to inquire about the goal of life from You. Out of your mercy please explain these truths to me." Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu replied to Sanatana Goswami, "Your humility is breaking my heart. You know all the truths of the conclusions of the Vedas. You are fit to propagate the cult of pure devotional service all over the world. There's nothing that you do not know. But still it is the nature of a sadhu like you to enquire just tor the sake of being strict."
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu began His explanations of Krishna Consciousness to Sanatana Goswami. He began by explaining that the spirit soul is constitutionally, by nature, the eternal servant of Krishna. It is the tatastha shakti or marginal energy of the Lord. The soul is simultaneously one and different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just as a single ray of the sun is non-different, in quality, from the sun planet, similarly, the spirit soul is of the same quality as the Lord - sac-cid-ananda - but is constitutionally a fragmental, insignificant, tiny part and parcel of the Lord. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught Sanatana Goswami the philosophical truth of the adr.tya bheda-abheda tattva. He described how the Lord has various energies spreading throughout all of creation. Just as the sun is in one place, diffusing its sunshine in all directions, similarly, Krishna although living in His eternal abode of Goloka Vrindavan through His multifarious energies, is pervading everything that exists. There are three primary energies. The cit-shakti or the eternal spiritual energy, Maya shakti - the illusory material energy and tatastha shakti, the Jiva soul. When the jiva soul is covered by the Maya shakti it forgets its original nature and becomes covered by the false ego and thinks that he is himself an enjoyer separate from Krishna. Since time immemorial, the spirit soul. has been suffering repeated births and deaths, ignorant of his constitutional nature and in each birth he has to suffer the three-fold miseries - adhyatmika, adidaivika and adibhautika. Due to the power of the three ropes of the modes of material nature, he is influenced to sometimes act pious and sometimes impious. Sometimes he is elevated to the higher planets and then again he is plunged into the lower planets of misery. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gives the example of when the king sees a person who is a criminal, he takes his guards and tells them what to do. They take that criminal by the hair and push his head under water in the river, and when that person is about to suffocate to death they pull his head out of the river to let him get some air. After a few seconds they push him again into the river, where he suffers terribly and when he is about to die he is brought up again to enjoy the air. And he is plunged back down! Millions and millions of births we are going through this same type of a situation. Suffering the repeated miseries of material existence and every now and then we are pulled up and we get some breath and we think, "Oh! How nice life is." Only to be plunged down again. "However", Lord Chaitanya continued, "if one gets by the mercy of Krishna the association of a sadhu. he can be delivered." "DaM hy esh guna may'i mama maya duratyaya, mam eva prapadyante mayam efam taranti te." This material existence is very, very difficult to overcome. But one, who associates with a sadhu and learns the process of surrendering to Krishna, can easily cross beyond it. Only the causeless mercy of Krishna can deliver one from ignorance. There is no other means possible. Out of His mercy, Krishna has compiled the Vedas and He saves the aspiring soul through three forms - the Vedas, the Guru and Sadhus, and the Supersoul within the heart. Through this process we can understand what Krishna is. Lord Chaitanya continued that in the Vedic literatures there are essentially three subject matters that are discussed. Sambandha - or how to re-establish our lost relationship with Krishna, Abhideya - or how to act according to that relationship, by engaging in the service of the Lord with attachment and Prayojana, - or the ultimate goal of life which is pure, unalloyed love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are many different paths by which one can approach spiritual truths. However, the conclusion of ail the Vedas, is that only through bhakti or devotional service can we know Krishna as He is.
Story of an astrologer named Sarvajnya
Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told the story of an astrologer named Sarvagya, who was approached by a very poor man who was suffering. The astrologer told him that, "Your father has given you as your inheritance a treasure of wealth." He asked, "Where am I to find this wealth?" The astrologer explained, "If you dig in the southern direction, you will be bitten and stung by innumerable wasps- If you dig in the western direction, you will be harassed by a ghost. If you dig in the northern direction you will be devoured by a big black serpent. But if you just dig a little bit of ground in the eastern direction, you will find the pot of treasure." Mahaprabhu explained that the path of karma kanda is like the southern direction. The wasps and bees that will sting you represent all the troubles and sufferings and miseries that come from following the process of karma kanda. By following jnana kanda our mind becomes terribly disturbed due to mental speculation, just like one is disturbed by a ghost. And following the mystic system, where one tries to achieve kaivalya or merging into the oneness of the Lord, is like having your personal identity devoured by a serpent. The eastern direction represents the path of bhakti. With just a little bit of effort, we can find the priceless treasure of Krishna consciousness within our own hearts. The Lord explained how pure devotional service is dormant in the heart of every living entity and it is awakened only by devotional service. One who takes to the path of bhakti does not want wealth or liberation, but only wants to serve and please the Lord. In the Vedas there is mention of worship of many great demigods. But Mahaprabhu said that the conclusion of all the Vedas is that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and all the demigods are subordinate to His will. He is the center of everything. Krishna is the source of all that exists. His body is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss. "Isvara paramah Krishna sac-ci'd-ananda v'lgraha, anad'ir ad'ir Govinda sarva karana karanam." His abode is Goloka Vrindavan. In His eternal abode, the Lord resides with His associates, cows, gopas and gopis. From Krishna's original form in Gotoka Vrindavan all other incarnations emanate. Krishnas tu Bhagavan svayam. He is the original cause of all causes and He is the source of Vishnu and all of the other incarnations. The Brahman effulgence is nothing but the rays of light emanating from the spiritual body of Krishna and the Paramatma is the localized feature of the Lord who is the witness of one's activities. He divided the various incarnations of the Lord into three categories - Swayamrupa or the eternal form of the Lord, Tadekatmarupa, other forms of Himself directly and Avesharupa or empowered incarnations. The Lord went into great, great detail of the various categories within these categories of incarnations within this world. He described how the creation of the cosmic manifestation takes place. Beginning with the expansion of Lord Krishna, Karanodakshayi Vishnu who exhales and creates all the various universes and how by His glance He impregnates each universe with all the living entities that exist within them. He then explained, how Garbhodakshayi Vishnu appears and from Him lotus flower is born from His navel. Brahma is born, He reveals the Vedas to him and then from Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva appears. He described how Lord Shiva is not a jiva, but superior to all jivas, because he is actually a personal expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just as when milk is turned into yogurt it is simultaneously milk and not milk. Similarly, Lord Shiva is eternally Vishnu but still different from Vishnu. He is the greatest devotee of Vishnu. He is eternally accepting the role of a servant of Vishnu. Within Brahma's lifetime there are 504,000 Manus, in each Manu there are 71 rotations of yuga cycles and in each yuga the Supreme Personality of Godhead personally incarnates to teach the recommended process of self-realization for that yuga. He is called the Yuga Avatar. In Satya yuga the Lord appears with a white complexion to teach the process of meditation. In Treta yuga He appears with a red complexion to teach the process of yagna. In Dwapara yuga He appears with His beautiful blackish complexion to teach the process of deity worship. In Kali yuga He appears with a beautiful golden complexion to teach the Yuga Dharma - the congrega-tional chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord. Lord Chaitanya quoted the verse, "Kafer dosa nidhe rajan asti eka mahaan guna, kirtanad eva krishnasya mukta sangha param vrajef. This age of Kali which is an ocean of faults has only one means of deliverance - the chanting of the Holy Names - Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. In fact, Mahaprabhu continued, the results that you get through thousands and thousands of years of meditation in Satya yuga, through perfectly performed yagna in Treta yuga, through the execution of devotional worship of the Lord in Dwapara yuga, can be received in Kali yuga simply by the loud congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra - Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
Sanatana Qoswami then asked the Lord, "How do I know who is the Yuga Avatar for Kali yuga?" Lord Chaitanya said, "You must understand these things from the Holy Scriptures." He began citing various evidences from the scriptures about the qualities of the Yuga Avatar. Sanatana Goswami said, "Oh! It's like that! He has a beautiful golden complexion, He is always surrounded by His associates and He is dancing with His arms raised, singing the glories of the congregational chanting of the Holy Names. Is that it?" Chaitanya Mahaprabhu became embarrassed. He said "Sanatana you are playing tricks on Me." He continued by explaining in the original abode of Goloka, Krishna is eternally present and once in every day of Brahma He descends to this world, and manifests four different ages. His baby and tiny childhood age which is called Kaumara, His boyhood or Pauganda, His youthful age Kaishor and His developed youthful age or Yauvana. How Krishna is performing His transcendental pastimes in Vrindavan! For 125 years on this earth He performed His transcendental pastimes. He explains how the Vrindavan lila is the supreme most perfect. Krishna is perfect and complete. When He appears in Vaikuntha He is complete in His perfection. When He appears in Mathura and Dwaraka he is more complete in His perfection. And when he appears as Gopinath, in Vrindavan He is most complete and perfect. He explained how the Vrindavan lila is so extraordinarily exalted that even Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, was bewildered when he came to Vrindavan, to see the incredible loving relationships between Krishna and His friends. In Vaikuntha, the Lord is being worshipped by ail living entities with great majestic devotion. But when Brahma came to look down in Vrindavan after Krishna killed Aghasura, he saw Krishna sitting on the bank of the Yamuna as an ordinary cowherd boy, just eating the remnants of the cowherd boys. They would all take bites from their laddoos and other food and say "Oh! This is very nice. Try this Krishna." And Krishna would eat it. Brahma was bewildered. Who is this Krishna? Just to test Him, he stole the calves and the boys. And when he returned he saw that Krishna manifested each form perfectly and then each form of Krishna - each little cowherd boy and calf manifested the form of Vishnu. This is the Supreme glory of the position of Vrindavan. Mahaprabhu explained, how below Goloka Vrindavan are the Vaikuntha planets, below the Vaikuntha planets is Viraja, which is the border between material and spiritual existence and within material existence there are innumerable universes, like, mustard seeds in a bag of mustard seeds. Yet the illusion every living being is under, is thinking that they are the center of the universe and "if I am happy, every thing is very nice."
Krishna's greatness explained
In this regard, Lord Chaitanya told the story of when Lord Brahma came to visit Dwaraka. He said to the gatekeeper, "Please tell Krishna that Brahma has come to see Him." Krishna said, "Oh! Which Brahma?" "The four-headed Brahma!" "Tell him to come in." Krishna also called many other Brahmas. On his way in Brahma saw eight-headed Brahmas, sixteen-headed Brahmas, thirty-two-headed Brahmas, sixty-four-headed Brahmas. Some Brahmas had hundreds of heads, some thousands, he even saw a Brahma with millions of heads. He felt utterly insignificant as he had only four heads, because how many heads Brahma has depends on the size of the universe. They were all bowing down to Krishna and He said,"... I will protect you from all demons, go back to your abodes." And the little tiny Brahma was the only one left. He offered his worship to the Lord, understanding how before God we are all insignificant.
Lord Chaitanya explained the sweetness of Vrindavan. How even Laxmi Devi the Goddess of Vaikuntha performed vows to enter into the lila of Vrindavan. But she was not able to do so. The only way to achieve residence of Vrindavan is through following the 64 principles of devotional service. Of which 5 are prominent - associating with devotees, chanting the Holy Names of the Lord, hearing Shrimad Bhagavatam, living in a holy place worshipping Tulasi and worshipping the deity of the Lord with great devotion. He described how there are different stages of bhakti that one progresses through - sadhana bhakti, which has two parts - Vaidhi bhakti, which means we advance by strictly following rules and regulations, then there is ragatmika bhakti, or we begin to develop spontaneous devotional service and through practicing. Through ragatmika bhakti we ultimately come to bhava bhakti, where we serve the Lord with pure unalloyed devotion and through that we gradually come to the ultimate perfection of Krishna prema. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was asked by Sanatana Goswami, "I have heard that you explained the Atmaram verse of Shrimad Bhagavatam to Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya. Can you please explain it to me as well?" The Atmaram verse teaches that even the greatest, liberated souls are attracted to devotional service to Krishna. Lord Chaitanya explained the Atmaram verse in 61 different ways with 61 different points of view. He also told him the story of Mrigari, the hunter, being delivered by Narada muni. He taught Sanatana Goswami on the banks of the Ganges in the holy place of Kashi everyday, all day, for two months. Then He told Sanatana, "You should write books about whatever 1 have spoken, to reveal these truths to the world." Lord Chaitanya told Sanatana Goswami that He was entrusting him with this mission and that he should go to Vrindavan. He should teach - What is the behavior of a devotee? What is the duty of a devotee? What is Vaishnava etiquette? What is the behavior of one in renounced order of life? "From all the scriptures you should understand that the essence of all knowledge is pure, unalloyed devotional service to Shri Shri Radha and Krishna. You should also excavate the holy places and establish temples." Sanatana Goswami then took leave ot Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. As they left there was great separation in both of their hearts.
Sanatana Goswami meets Subuddhi Raya in Vrindavan
Sanatana then went to Vrindavan where he met with Subuddhi Raya. Subuddhi Raya was a great devotee of the Lord. and his whole life was iust to serve Lord Chaitanya's associates when they came to Vrindavan. Subuddhi Raya took Sanatana Goswami through the 12 forests of Vraja. He offered Sanatana Goswami a place to live. But Sanatana Goswami was so happy living in Vrindavan that by his own free will he decided to live under a different tree each night. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had also instructed Sanatana Goswami, "In due course ot time, you should serve My devotees who come from distant places. Because My devotees are generally very poor, they don't have much, just a water-pot and some little clothes. You should give them shelter and maintain the Vaishnavas when they come." So, Sanatana lived with Subuddhi Raya for some time. He found out that Rupa Goswami had already been there and had gone to Purl
Sanatana Goswami in Puri
With Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's permission Sanatana Goswami then began his iourney to Jagannath Puri. He traveled through the Jharikhanda forest, alt alone. Sometimes he would fast, because there was just no food, sometimes he would get some little bit which he would first offer to Krishna and partake. Due to this severe fasting and drinking some contaminated water, from one of the ponds of the forest, he contracted a terribly painful skin disease. His entire body had sores that were intolerably itchy. From all those sores there was contaminated blood oozing out. Sanatana Goswami was thinking, "I am low- born, I am sinful and look at my body, it's useless. My life is useless. I am going to Puri, but I won't be allowed to enter Jagannath's temple. And because Chaitanya Mahaprabhu lives right next to the temple, and the servants of Jagannath are coming in and out of the temple, I won't even be allowed to see Lord Chaitanya. With this contaminated existence of mine I will not be able to do any practical service. What is the use of my life? Aah! When I get to Puri I will have darshan of Jagannath and at the rath yatra, in the presence of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu I will throw this wretched body under the wheel of the cart. That will be the most auspicious blessing of my life. Then perhaps I will get a better birth in my next life." With this conviction, he continued his iourney. When he arrived in Jagannath Puri he went to the bhajan kutir of Shrila Haridas Thakur, which is called Siddhabakuia. When Haridas Thakur met with Sanatana Goswami, they were both in great ecstasy to be together once again. If you remember, Haridas Thakur was the person who personally introduced Sanatana Goswami to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at Ramkeli. Sanatana Goswami asked Haridas, "Where is Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu?" Haridas replied, "He comes here everyday. In fact, He should be here any moment now." Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared right at that time. They both offered their prostrated obeisances. Lord Chaitanya picked up Haridas and embraced him. Haridas said, "Lying here at Your lotus feet is your beloved Sanatana Goswami." Sanatana got up. Lord Chaitanya went to embrace him. Sanatana said, "No! I am the lowest of the low. Please, do no touch me. My body is contaminated." Lord Chaitanya, by force, embraced Sanatana Goswami. As He embraced Sanatana Goswami the oozing blood smeared on the beautiful golden form of Gauranga Mahaprabhu. This was terribly embarrassing to Sanatana Goswami. Lord Chaitanya enquired, "How are you Sanatana?" He replied, "Everything is auspicious, because I am seeing You, my Lord." Lord Chaitanya enquired, "Are you coming from Mathura? How are the devotees in Mathura?" That was discussed. Lord Chaitanya said, "Rupa Goswami was just here. He stayed here in Puri for 10 months, Just 10 days ago he left. He informed Me that your younger brother, Anupam, is dead." Sanatana Goswami explained how his brother Anupam was such a great devotee of Lord Shri Ramachandra. Rupa Goswami and I, would tell him the pastimes and teachings of Krishna day and night. One day we said, "Krishna's lila is the sweetest of the sweet, Krishna's beauty is unparalleled, you should join us and take the mantra of Krishna." Anupam said to us, "I cannot refuse you. You can give me the mantra." The next morning, he approached us weeping and crying. He said, "Last night I tried to chant the name of Krishna, but the only thing that I could think of was my worshipabte, Lord Shri Ramachandra. I cannot give up His devotion. Let anything happen in my life, but please do not take me away from my service to Shri Ramachandra. It is impossible for me." Sanatana said, "We embraced him and congratulated him for his chastity for his worshipable Lord." We told him, "We only said these things to test you. We are very pleased." Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, "Anupam has attained the Supreme abode of Lord Shri Rama. Similarly, Murari Gupta was also like that and I congratulated him." Lord Chaitanya told Sanatana, "You and Haridas Thakur are both experts in relishing the rasas of Krishna's lilas. You should remain here with Haridas Thakur and constantly hear the glories of the Lord and with Thakur Haridas chant the Holy Names - Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna -Hare Hare /Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. I know that due to your humility you will not go into the Jagannath temple, but right from where you are sitting you can see the Chakra on top of the dome. That is non-different than Jagannath. You can have darshan of Jagannath Dev everyday by viewing the Chakra." Each and every day Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu after the Uppala Bhoga offering in Jagannath's temple wpufd come to see Haridas and Sanatana. Shrila Prabhupada remarks that Sanatana Goswami was so humble, he did not even make an attempt to enter Jagannath's temple, he thought himself so sinful. But due to that humility, Jagannath Himself in the form of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would come out everyday, bring the most succulent Mahaprasad of Jagannath and deliver it to Haridas and Sanatana with His own hands. Every day, Lord Ctiditanya would spend hours discussing Krishna's lila with Sanatana and Haridas. One day Lord Chaitanya said - "Give up this nonsense idea of committing suicide, if one could attain Krishna by committing suicide I would give up millions and millions of these bodies without a second's hesitation. You can only attain Krishna through devotional service. There is no other way. The idea of suicide is simply due to the influence of the mode of ignorance. However, sometimes devotees when they are feeling intense ecstasies of separation, they feel they cannot live without Krishna, at that time sometimes they want to end their bodies. But when you come to that stage of separation, then Krishna appears before you. Sanatana Goswami, your idea of suicide is simply nonsense. Give it up. You should spend your life hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord, that is the only means of attaining Krishna." Sanatana Goswami was thinking that the Lord does not appreciate my idea of committing suicide. So I have to give it up. Then he spoke, "0 Lord, what is the value of this body, it's useless. What profit will you gain if I remain alive?" Lord Chaitanya said, "Your body is my property. You have surrendered to Me, therefore you no longer have any claim on your body or life. I am going to use your body as My principal instrument tor spreading Krishna consciousness throughout the world." Again He repeated, "I want you to go to Vrindavan and write books. Through your books and through your lifestyle I want you to establish the principles that a devotee must live by. What is devotional service? What is Krishna? What is Krishna prema? What is the etiquette of a Vaishnava and the duties they must perform? How do those in the renounced order of life live? 1 want you to excavate the holy places of pilgrimage in Vrindavan, which have been lost to the vision of humanity. And 1 want you to construct temples and preach. What I want to do in Mathura and Vrindavan, I cannot, because My mother wants Me to stay in Puri. It is my plan to do it through your body. Yet you want to destroy that body. How can 1 tolerate this? Haridas Thakur, look at this man! Do you agree with his idea? He wants to destroy another person's property." Haridas Thakur replied, "My Lord, we are all useless. It is You my Lord, who are able to utilise us for whatever purposes You desire. But unless You tell us what we are supposed to do we will never know. I can understand the good fortune of Sanatana Goswami today." Sanatana Goswami said to the Lord, "1 am just a wooden doll. You can make me dance anyway You like. But all credit and glory is Yours." Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then again forcibly embraced Sanatana Goswami and left. Haridas Thakur was weeping in ecstasy. He said, "Sanatana, you are the most fortunate person in all of creation. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has accepted your body as His own property. He wants you to do what He wants to ... His work in Mathura and Vrindavan. How fortunate you are'. But look at me, 1 am useless, 1 am sinful, I cannot do any practical service for the Lord." Sanatana Goswami said, "Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu descended to expound the mission of Harinam Sankirtan, but He is not doing it Himself. He is doing it all through you, Haridas. You are most fortunate. You are chanting 300,000 names of Krishna every day and through your life Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu will bring the whole world to the lotus feet of Krishna through the congregational chanting of the Hoiy Names - Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Some people preach very nicely, but their behavior is not very exemplary. And other people behave very well but they do not know how to preach. But you, Haridas Thakur, simultaneously preach perfectly both by your words and your example. Therefore Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is empowering you, to deliver the whole universe."
One day Lord Chaitanya invited Sanatana Goswami to come to a garden called the Yamala gardens, to take prasad. To get there, there were two ways. One is a very nice cool walk, just by the Simhadvaram gate of the Jagannath temple. The other is along the sand of the beach. It was the month of Jyeshtha. Sanatana Goswami arrived in Puri during April-May and he was called for prasad at the Yamala gardens some time in May-June, the hottest months. It was noon and the sand was burning like fire. Sanatana Goswami walked along the sand. As he was walking his feet were being blistered and burnt. However, he was so eager to meet Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, that he didn't even feel any pain. When he arrived, Lord Chaitanya had already finished prasad and was resting. He told Qovinda to give His remnants to Sanatana. After he took prasad Lord Chaitanya met him. He saw that Sanatana's feet were scorched. He asked, "Sanatana, how did you come here?" He said, "1 came by the beach." "You came by the beach? The sand is burning. It's intolerable. Why did you not come by way of the Simhadvaram?" Sanatana said, "The pujaris of the Jagannath temple are coming in and out of the temple. If 1 go near one of them, they will be polluted and then they will go in and make aparadh(otfense) to Lord Jagannath." When Lord Chaitanya heard this, He was very pleased. He said, "Your humility is melting My heart. I am very pleased that you observe the etiquette of a Vaishnava so strictly. That etiquette is the ornament that makes a Vaishnava beautiful in the eyes of Krishna."
Shrila Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami describes in Chaitanya Charitamrita that Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught the world the four principal attributes of a Vaishnava, through four of His dearest associates. In this world everyone is afflicted by the powers of Kamadeva or Cupid. He taught the world the highest level of self-control through Ramananda Raya. Ramananda Raya could be with the most beautiful young ladies, massaging their bodies, teaching them how to sing, act and dance, but because he was always immersed in his eternal lila as Vishakha Sakhi, there was absolutely not a trace of agitation in his mind. Through Damodara Pandit he taught neutrality. Damodara Pandit was so much in the mood of a servant that if any devotee transgressed Vaishnava principles, out of kindness of his heart, he would point out those transgressions. In fact he would even criticize Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, when He appeared to transgress the principles of Vaishnava behavior. In other words, a devotee should not be political. Devotee should be neutral. This was revealed through Damodara Pandit. Through Haridas Thakur, He revealed the attribute of tolerance. His forbearance was so great that even after being beaten in 22 market places he happily tolerated it, thanking the Lord for the mercy he was receiving. And through Sanatana Goswami He revealed humility. Although the most qualified person in the world, he considered himself lowly and fallen. The rath yatra came, all the devotees from Bengal arrived. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu introduced Sanatana Goswami to all of His associates and He praised Sanatana Goswami's glory as if He had five mouths. All the devotees were overjoyed to hear about the mercy Sanatana Goswami was receiving. Prabhupada explains, this is the quality of Vaishnavas. Their greatest joy is to hear other Vaishnavas glorified, and tne happiness of their heart is to see how other devotees are getting the special mercy of the Lord. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu loved Sanatana Goswami so very dearly .
One day Lord Chaitanya was visiting and Sanatana Goswami was somehow or other trying to escape His embrace. He would offer his obeisances from a distance. But Mahaprabhu would forcibly embrace him and every time His body would be smeared with infectious blood. Sanatana Goswami met with Jagadananda Pandit. He revealed his heart. There are six loving exchanges amog devotees. To reveal your heart in confidence and hear another is one of them. So he revealed, "1 came to Puri for my benefit, I am getting just the opposite. 1 came for purification, for service and what's happening? Every time the Lord embraces me, His beautiful pure, body is covered with pus and blood. 1 feel due to these offences I will be ruined." Jagadananda Pandit said, 'The Lord has already said that your home is Vrindavan. You have already spent enough time in Puri. Go to Vrindavan. There you will be happy." The next day Lord Chaitanya came. He went to embrace Sanatana, who tried to get away, but He embraced him. Sanatana Goswami sat down with the Lord and said, "I am going to leave for Vrindavan." " Who told you to leave for Vrindavan?" "Jagadananda Pandit told me. He is my well" wisher. He is a learned scholar. He gave me good advice." Lord Chaitanya became very angry. "Who is this Jaga? Impudent neophyte devotee' He thinks that he has the right to instruct you? You are fit to be his Guru. /ou are My adviser. You are fit to deliver the whole universe with Krishna consciousness. It is unbearable for Me tu think that this young boy Jagadananda is telling you what to do." Sanatana Goswami became very sad. He said, "How fortunate Jagadananda Pandit is. He is tasting the sweet nectar of your intimate words. But You are praising me, just like an outsider. How unfortunate am I." Lord Chaitanya said, "No, no Sanatana, there is no one more dear to Me than you. I am not speaking in this way. But it is true, you are a learned scholar who has all the qualities of a pure Vaishnava. Jagadananda should not be instructing you in this way." Sanalana Goswami said, "But my Lord it is a fact what he is saying. 1 came here for my benefit and my life is being ruined. You keep embracing me, look at your body, it's covered with blood and pus of my sins. I cannot bear this any longer my Lord." Lord Chaitanya then revealed His heart. He said, "Please listen Haridas and Sanatana. You two are like my own little children. A mother does not feel any hate even when she cleans the urine and stool of her child, in fact due to the affection of the mother, the stool and urine of her baby child smells just like the sacred offering 'Chatushama', which is sandalwood, musk, camphor and saffron. The first time I embraced you, your body smelled just like fresh sandalwood pulp, I take great pleasure in embracing you. In fact, I get purified when 1 embrace you. The perfection of the sight is to see a Vaishnava. The perfection of the ears is to hear a Vaishnava and the perfection of touch is to touch a Vaishnava. 1 am a sannyasi. 1 am not supposed to discriminate between what is good and what is bad. for my own enjoyment. If 1 felt the slightest bit of hatred to touch you, then I would be committing an offence to Krishna. Krishna sent you with this disease just to test Me." At that time Sanatana Goswami saw Lord Chaitanya was again coming to embrace him. Sanatana tried to get away. "My Lord, please, no, no, no, don't embrace me." Lord Chaitanya with His long arms captured Sanatana and embraced him. With that embrace Sanatana Goswami became completely purified. The disease disappeared. His form became beautiful, effulgent like gold. Haridas Thakur seeing this cried out, "This is your pastime my Lord, it was You who caused Sanatana to get this disease, just to glorify your devotee. You have now embraced him and made his body perfect."
Sanatana Goswami leaves Puri for Vrindavan
Sanatana Goswami stayed in Puri for one year. After the Dol yatra Lord Chaitanya told him that he should go to Vrindavan. Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami tells us that one cannot describe what a piteous scene it was, as the Lord and His devotee were about to be separated. Sarratana Goswami got the notes of Balabhadra Bhattacharya telling exactly which places Lord Chaitanya stopped and performed His lilas on His way to Vrindavan. Shri!a Prabhupada explains in this regard, that any place the Lord performs His lila, even a place where He stops for one second, even the place He just walks through, is worshipable by devotees. Sanatana Goswami went through the Jharikhanda forest in great ecstasy, visiting the places of the Lord's pastimes- Then he arrived in Vrindavan. Finally after several years, he was reunited with Shrila Rupa Goswami. Sanatana Goswami brought with him to Vrindavan, many great Vedic scriptures because his mission was to extract the essence from all of them and write his books, When devotees from Puri, or Bengal returned home after their visit to Vrindavan, everyone would ask them, "Did you see Rupa and Sanatana? What are they doing? Where are they living? What are they eating? Please tell us about them." These devotees would say that Rupa and Sanatana, left the riches of royal opulence in Ramkeli, now they have no fixed place of residence, they sleep either under a tree or under the bushes of Vraja. A different place each night. They go out and beg door to door on Madhukari. They have given up all forms of material enjoyment. The only type of food they get is some dry roti, and some times fried chickpeas. They are always chanting the Holy Names of the Lord. They are always discussing the lila of the Lord. They are always dancing in kirtan. They only carry an earthen pot and they wear just some torn, discarded clothes and in the winter a little torn quilt. They are constantly performing kirtan and they don't even sleep. They are constantly immersed in meditating on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and carrying out His order to write books, declaring the essence of all knowledge is pure devotional service.
When Sanatana Goswami's priest from Ramkeli heard about Sanatana's life in Vrindavan, he renounced his royal services and came to take initiation from Sanatana. Everyday Sanatana Goswami would travel from one place of Vraja to another. The Brijbasis were more dear to him than his very life. When he would come to a village, the people of the village, would be very happy to see him, it was as if a poor person was receiving precious Jewels. The whole village would come to the outskirts with tears of joy in their eyes to welcome him. They loved Sanatana Goswami so dearly. The older people considered him to be just like their son. Others considered him to be just like a brother, but at the same time they respected him as their Guru. Sanatana Goswami was the Guru of all of Bra)abhumi. They would cry out to him. "0 my brother, finally you have come, where have you been? Why are you so cruel to us that you have forgotten us? Please,... please come and accept our services." The young people would touch his feet. Sanatana Goswami did not like anyone to touch his feet. But he was so affected by the love of these devotees, he could not say, "No" to them for anything. Even though he was their Guru and they were supposed to touch his feet, because of their affection for him, the older people completely forgot about touching his feet. They would sit him under a tree and they would bring him milk and yogurt and ghee and all kinds of sweets to eat. Sanatana Goswami would ask one person, "How many children do you have?" To another he would ask, "Whom did you marry?" To yet another he would ask, "How many cows do you have? Are they giving milk properly? What do you do with their milk?" He asked another person, "How is your farming? What type of farming are you doing? Are your crops growing nicely? What are you doing with them?" He would ask another Briibasi, "How is your health?" To another, "How is your mental condition?" Sanatana Qoswami loved the Brijbasis very much. Anyone who had any problem, would come to Sanatana Goswami and he would give them solace. He would spend the night with them, and the next morning as he was about to leave, all the Brijbasis of that village would be pouring their hearts out in feelings of love and separation from Sanatana Goswami. It was unbearable. As he left not only were they crying but Sanatana Goswami was also crying, everyone was crying. They would walk a little distance to the next village where everyone was crying to receive him in happiness and this was his daily life, making people cry. He loved crying in meeting, the happy crying and crying in separation.
There was a village called Baithan. When Sanatana Goswami was about to leave those devotees they were pleading with their hearts begging to Sanatana, "Please don't go, stay at least 2 or 3 more days." Due to the love of those devotees, he changed his whole regulation and stayed on with them for a few more days. Since that time that village is very famous amongst Gaudiya Vaishnavas. One time when he was travelling, he came to Nanda ghat on the bank of the holy river Yamuna. There, he found Jiva Goswami, weeping, crying out the Holy Names of the Lord, because he had been exiled by Rupa Goswami.
Vallabha Bhatta came to Vrindavan and volunteered to help Rupa Goswami to edit his Bhakti-Rasamrita-Sindhu, correcting certain grammatical errors. But Jiva Goswami convinced Vallabha Bhatta that it was perfect. Vallabha Bhatta came back to Rupa and said, "Here is your book, there is no need for any corrections, if your disciple Jiva Goswami is so learned, then how can I correct you?" Rupa Goswami wanted to show the world the glories of Jiva. "Ah! This senior Vaishnava came to render service and you have the impudence to correct him? No one with even a trace of false pride has the right to live in Vrindavan. Go home." Jiva Goswami, accepted this chastisement for his purification, thinking, "1 am so proud, so I have been rejected." He went to Nanda ghat and there he performed severe austerities to atone for this offence. But Sanatana Goswami found him there and brought him back to Vrindavan, and .Rupa Goswami nursed him back to proper health.
Sanatana Goswami once traveled to Mahavan, where a small little temple of Madangopal was. Madangopal was the deity that was originally installed by Vajranabha, the great-grandson of Krishna. It was rediscovered by Advaita Acharya near Advaita vata in Vraja. The deity was temporarily living in a little temple in Mahavan and Sanatana Goswami would go every day for the darshan.
Sanatana Goswami begins the worship of Madan mohan
One day on the banks of the river Yamuna, Sanatana saw a very beautiful cowherd boy playing in the sand with friends and the way they were having their lilas was so charming to the heart, that he thought, "This boy is not ordinary." All day long, Sanatana iust watched the child playing. When evening came, all the children went home and Sanatana followed this little cowherd boy to his home. He saw the gopa enter the Madangopal temple. Sanatana too entered the temple. But the boy had disappeared, only the Madangopal deity was there. He understood that the child was the Lord Himself. Sanatana did not say anything to anyone. He offered his obeisances. That night the deity appeared to him in a dream and said, "I want you to take Me with you, to be worshipped." It is also said that a brahman named Purushottam Chaubey, who was a disciple of Advaita Acharya was worshipping that deity. In a dream Madangopal told Purushottam Chaubey to entrust His worship to Shri Sanatana Qoswami. Sanatana brought the deity to the Dvadasa Aditya Teel, a little mountain on the banks of the Yamuna in Vrindavan. There he began his devotional service.
He was worshipping the deity of Madanmohana in a little hut under a tree. From Madhukari, the most he would get was some dry roti without even any salt. Sanatana Qoswami was feeling so much lamentation in his heart. This is all I could offer the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such a shame. Not even salt for His roti- Even He asks for it and 1 cannot give Him. While he was thinking this way, Madanmohana wanted to fulfil the desire of His devotee. And the only desire a devotee has is how to serve the Lord. There was a very wealthy merchant from the district of Multan whose name was Krishnadas Kapoor. He had a boat with many valuables that he was going to sell in Agra. But that boat got caught in the river Yamuna just below the Dvadasa Aditya Tee!. It was a helpless situation. All of his riches were at stake. It appeared that the boat might even sink. He came to the shore and climbed the hill. It is said that Madangopal in the form of a cowherd boy asked, "Do you have some salt?" "I have a whole boat of salt." He gave Him. "You need help? There is a very good Goswami on the top of the hill. He can help you." Krishnadas Kapoor climbed up the hili and surrendered at the lotus feet of Sanatana Goswami, However, Sanatana never accepted that he could do anything for anyone. He understood the only shelter is Madanmohana. This is a preacher. A real preacher doesn't think he can help, but simply tries to connect a person to Krishna and the previous acharyas, knowing that they can deliver you. He offered the head of Krishnadas Kapoor to the lotus feet of Madanmohana. He became a purified Vaishnava and by the mercy of the Lord, his boat became free. He came back and offered all his wealth to Sanatana Goswami. Sanatana said, "I require nothing, 1 am quite happy sleeping under these trees. But Madanmohana shouldn't be living in such poverty. Kindly build Him a temple." The first major temple of Vrindavan was constructed under the direction of Sanatana Goswami for Shri Madanmohana. And to this very day, almost 500 years later, that temple is the very symbol of Vrindavan.
Jagadananda Pandit meets Sanatana Goswami in Vrindavan
In Pun, there was a transcendental argument between Jagadananda Pandit and Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Jagadananda Pandit was Satyabhama in Krishna's lila. He was always trying to give comforts and enjoyments to the Lord. Sometimes he would bring very, very expensive sandalwood oil to be massaged on the Lord's body. At other times he would design and offer very nice, soft beds for the Lord to lie on. But the Lord would reject it saying, "1 am a sannyasi, 1 cannot be enjoying these things." Jagadananda would then fast, he was so upset. One day he asked Lord Chaitanya's permission to go to Vrindavan. The Lord said, "You can go to Vrindavan but you should only stay there for a short time. You should not remain in Vrindavan for long, and do not mix too freely with the Brijbasis, because they have a spontaneous, inconceivable type of devotion to Radha and Krishna and if you mix with them too freely, you will undoubtedly offend them. You should not go to Vrindavan alone. You should only be in Vrindavan with an experienced Vaishnava who can show you the Dham, and-protect you. You should associate with Shrila Sanatana Goswami and not leave his association ever and come back here very soon. And give Sanatana this message that very soon I am coming to Vrindavan again, and ask him to arrange a place for Me to stay." Jagadananda Pandit went to Vrindavan and according to the instructions of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was constantly in the association of Sanatana. Sanatana Goswami took him to all the 12 forests of Brajabhumi. At the end they came to Mahavan where Jagadananda was living with Sanatana Goswami, in his cave. Sanatana Goswami would go for Madhukari and sometimes Jagadananda Pandit would cook the various things that Sanatana would bring for him in a nearby temple. In fact, Sanatana Goswami was such a loving devotee that he maintained and cared for Jagadananda Pandit day and night- One day Jagadananda Pandit invited Sanatana Goswami to come to this temple for prasad. There was a sannyasi named Mukunda Saraswati who gave Sanatana Goswami one of his red outer cloths. Sanatana came for prasad with that outer cloth wrapped around his head. When Jagadananda Pandit saw it, he was very happy. He thought, "My Prabhu is wearing my worshipable Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's outer garment on his head, how wonderful! 1 will enquire, Just to hear the glories of Lord Chaitanya. He said "0 Sanatana, who has given you this cloth?" Sanatana Goswami said that it was given by Mukunda Saraswati Maharaj. Jagadananda Pandit became so uncontrollably angry, he picked up one of the cooking pots and came to Sanatana to beat him. Sanatana Goswami was in ecstasy. Sanatana said, "Now 1 can understand why you are such a dear devotee of the Lord. You are a great scholar and you have such faith in Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Unless you exhibit it in inconceivable ways like this, how will I ever understand and learn how to have faith like this. Today you have proved to me what a glorious servant you are. I am very grateful to you. As far as this cloth goes, I have no use for it, I will give it to a stranger." Jagadananda Pandit was very embarrassed. Then they took prasad together. They cried in ecstasy, in separation from Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Jagadananda Pandit remained with Sanatana Goswami for two months and then with his permission he left for Puri.
The Pilu Fruit Pastime
Sanatana Goswami gave four gifts to Jagadananda Pandit to present to Lord Chaitanya. Sand from the area of Krishna's Rasa iila, a stone from Govardhana hill, a Gunja mala and some dry Pilu fruits. Jagadananda Pandit returned to Puri and offered all of these gifts to Lord Chaitanya. Lord Chaitanya kept all of them except the Pilu fruits. He distributed those to the devotees. Those devotees who knew what is a Pilu fruit, they sucked the seeds. Please listen very carefully, this is very important - this is the instruction of Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami. Those who did not know what Pilu fruits are chewed the seeds. Hare Krishna! They were in terrible distress because the seeds of the Pilu fruit are hot like chilies and Lord Chaitanya was very happy to see this.
Sanatana Goswami was waiting for the Lord to arrive, he was given the message, "1 am coming for my second visit to Vrindavan. Please arrange a place for me to stay." On Dvadasa Aditya Teel Sanatana Goswami just made a little hut for Lord Chaitanya to stay in and cleaned the whole area very nicely. He waited eagerly, day after day after day but the Lord did not come. But one night he had a dream. He saw the beautiful golden form of Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu sitting on a celestial platform right there at Dvadasa Aditya Teel. Sanatana offered his prostrated obeisances to Lord Chaitanya. Lord Chaitanya placed His feet on top of his head. Then he lifted him up and embraced him and told Sanatana Goswami, "1 have come to Vrindavan to satisfy your desires." When Sanatana Goswami woke up from his dream, he understood that the Lord had certainly come.
Gopala Bhatta Goswami arrives in Vrindavan
Afterwards Gopal Bhatta Goswami came from'South India, on the instruction of Lord Chaitanya. Rupa Goswami and Sanatana Goswami wrote a letter to Lord Chaitanya in Puri that your dear servant Gopal Bhatta Goswami has come and we have accepted him as our own brother. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was very pleased to see the congenial loving relations between His devotees. He sent the very precious gift of His own remnants to Gopal Bhatta Goswami, Sanatana Goswami and Rupa Goswami with the message, "It is My desire that you live together as brothers in loving relationships serving the mission of Vrindavan." Gopal Bhatta Goswami was dearly loved by Sanatana. Sanatana Goswami wrote 'Hari Bhakti Vilas' and published it under the name of Gopal Bhatta Goswami. Gopat Bhatta Goswami also helped him to edit that bock.
Sometimes Sanatana would live in the district of Nandagram at Paavan Sarovar. He slept under a tree in a completely secluded place. Nobody in all the world knew where he was. He was so absorbed in worshipping Krishna and Shri Radharani that for days at a time he forgot to even eat or drink. Madangopal appeared as a beautiful little cowherd boy with a very nice turban decorated with peacock feather around His head and approached Sanatana Goswami and said, "Why are you living in such a secluded place? Nobody knows where you are. But 1 happened to be herding the cows and 1 saw you here. 1 have brought this bucket of milk for you. Please drink this milk. Another thing 1 want to say to you. Your living on the ground under a tree is causing great distress to the hearts of the Brijbasis. If you want to make us happy please build a little hut for yourself and stay there. 1 will be back to get my bucket." Then the boy disappeared. Sanatana Goswami drank the milk. By the influence of that milk his heart erupted with uncontrollable ecstasy and he understood that, that little boy was his worshipable Madangopal. He was so beside himself in transcendental love that Krishna had to appear to him in an invisible way just to pacify him and reminded him, "We are very sad about your living under this tree. But we will be very happy if you have a hut, a bhajan kutir." That was the first time Sanatana Goswami accepted a bhajan kutir. And to this very day, on the banks of Paavan Sarovar we go to worship the bhajan kutir of Shrila Sanatana Goswami.
Shrimati Radharani serves Sanatana Goswami
Rupa Goswami had a bhajan kutir just a few minutes walk away near Ter Kadamba in Nandagaon. Rupa Goswami would come practically every day to visit Sanatana Goswami when they were both in the area, for Rupa Goswami considered Sanatana Goswami his spiritual master. He begins the Shri Bhakti-Rasamrita-Sindhu by offering his obeisances to Sanatana Goswami, his spiritual master. One day Rupa Goswami wanted to offer some special prasad to Sanatana. At that time a very charming little gopi, cowherd girl, brought him some milk, sugar, rice, ghee, camphor and saffron -said: "Why don't you cook this for your Gurudev?" But Rupa Goswami was so busy that .the iittie girl personally cooked it. Rupa Goswami offered it to Sanatana, and they ate it together. The first taste of this kheer, brought about uncontrollable ecstatic love - tears were pouring from their eyes, their hairs were standing on end, they were perspiring, they were trembling, they were rolling on the ground. Sanatana said, "Where did you get this kheer?" "Oh! A little girl gave it to me. She cooked it with Her own hands." 'Tell' me about this girl." When he heard the description Sanatana Goswami chastised Rupa Goswami, "You have caused me to accept service from our worshipable object of service, Vrindavaneshwari, Shrimati Radharani." Rupa Goswami was very ashamed. But this is the way Krishna Consciousness is - simultaneous joy and pain, meeting and separation. Though they were ashamed and with the pain in their hearts that they have accepted service from Radharani, they couldn't stop drinking the sweet rice. And that sweet rice was putting them in realms of ecstasy that will never be understood. That night Rupa Goswami was lamenting, but Shrimati Radharani personally appeared in a dream to him to pacify him and tell him it was Her desire to teach the world through Her devotees, "How a devotee does not want to accept service from the Lord, but simply wants to offer service without expecting anything in return" This is the essence of Shrimad Bhagavatam.
Sanatana Goswami instructs Raghunath das Goswami
One day Sanatana Goswami went to Radhakund to meet Shrila Raghunath Das (Goswami. Raghunath Das was so immersed in his bhajan that he was oblivious to the external circumstances of the world. A tiger came to drink water from Radha and Shyamkund. As the tiger was drinking the water from Shyamkund, Krishna appeared with a stick in His hand to protect Raghunath Das Goswami from the tiger. Sanatana Goswami was watching. When the tiger went away, Krishna too went away. Sanatana Goswami said, "Raghunath Das, what is the purpose of bhajan? It is to serve Radha and Krishna. But your bhajan is causing Krishna to come and serve you like a chowkidar, with a stick to protect you." The next time Sanatana Goswami came, it was summer and the sun was very hot overhead. Raghunath Das Goswami was immersed in the chanting of the Holy Names in meditation on the lila of Radha and Krishna. Sanatana Goswami saw Shrimati Radhikarani appear and with the veil of Her sari She was shading Raghunath Das Goswami's head. When the sun went down Shrimati Radharani left. Sanatana Goswami came and told Raghunath Das, 'This is too much, now Shri Radharani is standing for hours at a time shading your head. You are in the nice cool shade of Her sari and She is under the sun perspiring, what type of bhajan is this? You should build a bhajan kutir." So Sanatana Goswami had a bhajan kutir built for Raghunath Das Goswami. To this day on the banks of Shri Radhakund, we worship Raghunath Das Goswami in this holy place.
The real Touchstone!
There was a brahman who was worshipping Lord Shiva. He was very poor and desired wealth. Lord Shiva appeared to him and told him, "If you want wealth, you should go to Vrindavan. On the banks of the river Yamuna is the Dvadasa Aditya Teel. There you will find Sanatana Goswami. He has a Sparshmani or touchstone. If you touch iron with that touchstone it will turn it into pure gold. If you ask him, he will give it to you." The brahman very enthusiastically went to Vrindavan. He climbed up the Dvadasa Aditya Teel and there was Sanatana Goswami, doing his bhajan. "Lord Shiva appeared to me and told me that you will give me a Sparshmani. Do you actually have one?" Sanatana Goswami said, "Yes I have one. Do you want it?" "Yes." "It's over there." "Where?" "There." 'There? That's a pile of rubbish/' "Yes, somewhere in that pile of dust and rubbish there is a Sparshmani. If you can find it you can have it." So he looked through the rubbish. There it was - the TOUCHSTONE!! Anything of iron he touched would turn into gold. He was very happy. He was touching and getting gold. But he was blessed by Lord Shiva, therefore he had good intelligence. He began to think, "The whole world is looking for a touchstone like this. But this Sanatana Goswami had it laying in a rubbish bin, so he must have something more valuable than this." He went back and asked Sanatana, "Do you have something more valuable?" He said, "Yes, I have something millions of times more precious. Do you want it?" "Please." "First take your touchstone and throw it into the Yamuna, because you cannot receive what 1 have until you are free from all these other attachments." He had faith in the words of a sadhu. To get the treasure of Krishna Consciousness, there has to be tt)at leap of faith in the words of a sadhu. He threw the touchstone into the Yamuna knowing that it would never be seen again. Sanatana Goswami said, "I wilt now give you a touchstone that will give you something greater than alt the gold in creation. The greatest treasure is the treasure of Krishna prema. That treasure is dormant within your heart. There is only one means of achieving it, through the touchstone of Vr\e\ sincere-chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra - Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, Sanatana Goswami initiated him in the chanting of the Holy Names and he became the possessor of the ultimate wealth.
At Govindakund, Sanatana Goswami performed a very special Ula. He -would meet Rupa Goswami and discuss their writings with each other. Rupa Goswami, in a poem, described Shrimati Radharani and the Gopis' hair as long strands, going down their backs like black snakes. Sanatana Goswami disapproved of this. He said, "Rupa Goswami with all respects, how can you compare the most beautiful plaits of Shrimati Radharani to a black snake?" Rupa Goswami was silent. Then he said, "Well, please Sanatanaji, give me an appropriate comparison." So Sanatana was thinking about it. Then he went to Govindaghat to take his bath. In Govindaghat, he saw these young girls taking their baths. Then he saw, on one of the young girls there was this big black snake, right on the back of her head, about to bite her. Sanatana was saying, "Get away, get away, get away", but they didn't hear. They were just laughing and joking. So Sanatana Goswami started going through the waters and they disappeared, smiling and laughing. He understood, "Actually its true, that Her hair is like a black snake. The Gopis have revealed to me that Rupa Goswami's description is perfect." So he came back to Rupa Goswami and told him this story and they were both very much in the ecstasy of this darshan.
Sanatana Goswami lived, in his old age, just on the banks of Manasi Ga'nga near Govardhana Hill in a place called Chakaleshwar Mahadev. This area is also called Chakra tirtha. Sanatana Goswami would write his books and do his bhajan there. But one night there were many mosquitoes that were tormenting him. The next morning he thought that this is not a good place to do bhajan and so he was just about to leave. Chakaleshwar Mahadev is an ancient Shiva Lingam, which was originally installed by Va)ranabha, the great-grandson of Krishna. It is one of the four principal Shiva Lingams of Vraja. Lord Shiva could not bear the thought of separation from Sanatana Goswami. He appeared in the disguise of a brahman. "0 Sanatana Goswamiji. are you going somewhere?" He said, "Yes, I must go, these mosquitoes are too much. I cannot do my seva to Lord Chaitanya." The Brahman begged him, "Please, just stay one more night, If the mosquitoes disturb you again then leave tomorrow." Sanatana Goswami's heart was so soft, he could not say no to the loving offerings, or appeals of a devotee. Lord Shiva then contacted the demigod who is in charge of insect life, and ordered that demigod, "Keep the mosquitoes away from Chakra tirtha." So Sanatana Goswami happily lived there.
He had a vow that every single day he would do the full twelve kosa Parikrama of Govardhana. If you remember, last Kartik we did the Parikrama of the small route of Giriraj Govardhana. That took us 16 hours. Of course, we were not rushing, by any means. He would do the long route, that means going by Chandra Sarovar and other distant areas everyday. Then he would come back, do his writing and meet with the other Goswamis when they would come. He was constantly immersed in his devotional service. Years went by and Sanatana became very old but still he would do his Parikrama with great strain and difficulty. Lord Gopinatn appeared in the guise of a cowherd boy and with His own Hands He lovingly wiped the perspiration from Sanatana Goswami's body, as he was doing his Parikrama. Krishna had tears flowing from His eyes. He said, "0 Goswamiji, I cannot tolerate seeing you struggling and straining so much to do this circumambulation everyday. You are old, you are practically invalid, stop doing it. There is no need." Sanatana Goswami said, "I have made my vow. I made my vow to Krishna and only if Krishna orders me wilt I give it up." The child then climbed to the top of Govardhana Hill. By His own ecstatic devotion to His devotee, He caused the hill to melt and His footprints entered into one of the stones. The Cowherd Boy then took the stone and brought it down to Sanatana Goswami. He said, 'These are Krishna's personal footprints. Now if you circumambulate this stone it will be equal to circumambulating the whole of Govardhana Hill. In your old age, please do this as your service." Then the child carried the stone all the way back to Chakra tirtha, placed it in Sanatana Goswami's bhajan kutir and disappeared. Sanatana Goswami looked everywhere for the Child, but could not find Him. Then he realised that it was Krishna, who had given him the order. Everyday after that. he would perform his Parikrama, by going four times around this Govardhana Shila.
The literary contribution of Sanatana Goswami
Sanatana Goswami wrote many books of which, Krishnadas Kavira] Goswami, explains tour are prominent. The Brihad-Bhagavatamrita, which perfectly explains what a devotee is, what is devotion, who is Krishna and what is love for Krishna. He wrote Hari Bhakti Vilas, which describes the rules and regulations and the etiquette a devotee should observe for achieving Krishna consciousness. He wrote the Dasama Tipani also known as Shrimad Vaishnava Tosani which was a very elaborate and extensive commentary of the tenth canto of Shrimad Bhagavatam. Shrila Jiva Goswami edited this book. Jiva Goswami, later, wrote his editorial offering and named it the Laghu Tosani. Both books are still available. Sanatana Goswami also wrote the Dasama Charita.
Living at Chakra Tirtha in his old age, he became the very life and soul of all the residents of Vrindavan. When he was too old to travel from village to village to meet the Brijbasis, they would regularly come to him to receive his blessings. It was at Chakra Tirtha on Guru Pournima, that Shrila Sanatana Goswami disappeared from this world. When the Brijbasis heard that Sanatana Goswami had departed, it was an unbearable thunderbolt that struck their hearts. The whole of Vraja was literally lamenting. Practically every Brijbasi came to Chakra tirtha to offer their last respects to Shrila Sanatana Goswami. Because he is the Guru of all the Brijbasis they declared that his disappearance day is Guru Pournima. As an act of worship, knowing how the Parikrama of Govardhana Hill was so dear to him, they all performed Parikrama in his honour. And to this very day, the largest Parikrama of Govardhana Hill is on Guru Pournima. On the last day of Kartik, hundreds and thousands of Brijbasis do Parikrama of Govardhana, but far more than that, do it on Guru Pournima. And recently one of our Godbrothers, living near Govardhana in one of Shrila Prabhupada's temples, asked a Brijbasi, just a common Brijbasi who herds cows, "Why on this day of the full moon of Guru Pournima are there so many hundreds and thousands of Brijbasis doing this Parikrama of Govardhana?" He said, "Because this is the disappearance day of our Gurudev, Sanatana Goswami. He is the Guru of all of Vraja. And this is the way we celebrate, because we know this is how we can please him." Shrila Prabhupada often quoted, 2 verses from Shrila Sanatana Goswami's works. They are found repeatedly in his books and in his lectures- One, which explains that one is a brahmana by quality and by initiation of a bonafide spiritual master, not by birth. This verse states that just as bellmetai is turned into gold by the chemical process of adding mercury, similarly, when one, even a person who is of the lowest caste, takes initiation from a bonafide spiritual master, he becomes the best of the brahmanas. Another verse that Prabhupada often quoted is, just as milk touched by the lips of a serpent has poisonous effects, similarly, even hearing Hari-Katha or the knowledge of the sacred scriptures from a person who is not a proper devotee of the Lord can contaminate our hearts.
Due to the invasion of Aurangzeb and his armies Sanatana Goswami's worshipable deity Madanmohana, was taken to Jaipur and the disciplic descendants of the disciples of Sanatana Goswami continued the worship. By Sanatana Goswami's mercy the daughter of the king of Jaipur, worshipped that Deity as her life and sou!. When she came of marriageable age it was decided that she should marry the prince of Karoli, another kingdom, not very far from Bharatpur. She told her father, "I have given up my life to be the chaste servant of Madanmohana. I cannot go anywhere else. He is my life and soul." But the arrangements between the kings were already made and it was too late to change it. The two kings came together and decided that the king of Karoli would build a beautiful temple for Madanmohana in Karoli and the king of Jaipur would give the Deity as dowry. Usually the bride is taken in a procession to the village of the bridegroom, but this time Madanmohana was taken in procession to Karoli, on her insistence, and she just went as a maidservant. To this day Shri Madanmohana is worshipped in the village of Karoli. Krishnadas Kavira] Goswami prays, in Chaitanya Charitamrita, "1 accept Sanatana Goswami as the teacher who has given me pure devotional service. And I have accepted Rupa Goswami as the teacher who has given me the taste for the ecstatic Rasa of Vrindavan." Shrila Prabhupada explains that in the Vilapa Kusumanjali, our Prayojana Guru, Shrila Raghunath Das Goswami offers a verse to Sanatana Goswami, worshipping him as his teacher on the path of bhakti.
Sanatana Goswami is the Sambandha Guru of our sampradaya. It is through his life and his teachings that we can receive the proper understanding and realizations of our relationship with Krishna. Devotees, over the centuries, visit his samadhi-mandir behind Shri Madanmohana temple begging and praying for his mercy. His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, our beloved Guru Maharaj has so perfectly bestowed upon us the mercy of the lotus feet of ail our great acharyas, headed by Shrila Sanatana Goswami. So let us pray with our hearts and souls that we can follow in the footsteps of these dear associates of the Lord and make our only aspiration in life to be the servant of the servant of their servants. As it has been said, the special paramount characteristic of Sanatana was humility, which is the essence of all of our devotion, "trnad api sunicena taror api sahishnuna amani na manadena kirtaniyah sada Hari." Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu personally chose Sanatana Goswami to reveal this opulence and to teach the world. Let us pray to Him that we can truly be genuinely humble servants of the servants of His servants, free of all pride and desire for prestige, to chant the Holy Names of Lord Krishna - Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.