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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Nisikant Sanyal > Sree Krishna Chaitanya > Two Acharyas > Svarupa Damodar Goswami

Shri Swarup Damodar Goswami;


Shri Swarup Damodar is the eternal associate of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

"That person by the name of Visakha, who previously in Braja used to teach Shrimati Radhika, is now sporting in the same mood as Swarup Gosvami.

Swarup Damodar's father's name was Paddagarbhacarja and his maternal grandfather's name was Joyram Cakravarti. He was raised at his maternal grandfather's house in Nabadwip.

Though his scholarship was practically unlimited, he spoke very little with others and preferred to remain alone. Thus very few were aware of his actual position. He was completely conversant with the understanding of the mellows of devotion to Shri Krishna and his body was fully imbued with love for Him. He was as though a second Mahaprabhu.

Whenever anyone wanted to present to Mahaprabhu some book, verse or song that they had composed, Swarup Damodar would first hear what they had written before it could be presented to Mahaprabhu. If these compositions contained any points which were in contradiction to the superior position of bhakti, as concluded in the scriptures, then to hear these writings would not be a source of transcendental pleasure for Mahaprabhu. Therefore Swarup Gosai would first examine what had been composed and if it was untainted by contradicting mellows then it could be presented to Mahaprabhu. Usually he would recite Shri Gita Gobinda, and the writings of Candidas and Viddapati, for the transcendental happiness of Mahaprabhu. In music and singing he was like a Gandharba and in knowledge of the sastras he was like Brhaspati. There was no one to compare with him in talent and intelligence. He was extremely dear to Shri Adwaita and Nityananda Prabhu and was the life and soul of devotees like Shribas and others.


When Shri Swarup Damodar arrived in Puri from Kasi (Baranasi) he recited this sloka in praise of Mahaprabhu, "Oh You, Who are the personification of mercy, Shri Chaitanya. That which very easily causes grief to retreat far away, and which is spotlessly pure; which causes the appearance of the highest happiness, and by whose appearance disputation over the intricacies of scriptural statements ceases; that which causes the spirit, by a shower of grace and beauty, to become extremely agitated in ecstatic love; may that extremely expansive and auspicious mercy by its sweetness and dignity shine its rays upon me."

[Shri Chaitanya Candrodoy Natak]

Whenever Mahaprabhu became immersed in a particular ecstatic emotion, Swarup Damodar would perform a kirtan in that particular mood. Shri Ray Ramananda was also very qualified in this capacity and thus the two of them would enhance the ecstatic moods of Mahaprabhu by singing different songs and reciting various poetic verses.

During the day, Mahaprabhu would engage in his pastimes of sankirtan with His devotees, and at night He would taste the mellows of the ecstatic love of Shri Shri RadhaKrishna in the company of these two. As Lalita and Visakha were very intimate with Shrimati Radharani, Ray Ramananda and Swarup Damodar were similarly intimately connected with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Damodar Swarup would himself sing alone and Shri Gauranga Ray would dance, overwhelmed with ecstasy. All of the ecstatic symptoms, tears, trembling, laughing, fainting, horripilation and loud roaring would all incarnate themselves within the Lord's body. Shri Chaitanya Candra used to dance with the embodied forms of those ecstatic symptoms. As soon as He heard the high sound of Swarup's kirtan, Prabhu would lose external consciousness.

Amongst all of the sannyasi associates of the Lord no one could compare with Damodar Swarup. He was as affectionate to him as He was to the sannyasis who were disciples of Madhabendra Puri and Iswar Puri. The songs of Damodar were reservoirs of the mellows of ecstatic love, which caused the Lord to dance. Disguising Himself in such a way that no one could recognize Him (as the Supreme Personality of Godhead), with the ecstatic symptoms and dancing of a devotee experiencing love of God, Prabhu used to wander about the town in the company of Damodar Swarup.

Neither could anyone recognize Damodar Swarup due to his intense subtlety and gravity. He was like Narada Muni with his tanpura, who alone could cause the Lord to dance? Is there any greater wealth in the world that this? He was the dearest of Mahaprabhu amongst the sannyasis, along with Puri Gosai. These two used to remain with Him continuously. Paramananda Puri remained absorbed in meditation while Damodar sang kirtan. They were as like the two arms of the Lord. Night and day Shri Gaurcandra used to thus pass His time in the joy of sankirtan along with Damodar Swarup.

While lying down, while eating, while moving about; Prabhu wouldn't give up the association of Damodar for even a moment. Even when they were walking along together in the town Prabhu would dance to the accompaniment of Swarup's singing. Then He was no longer conscious even of the road they were walking on. In great ecstasy He would fall down on the ground more times than Damodar could count. He wasn't conscious of anything; the presence of a body of water, solid ground, trees, forests or branches. Simply He used to occasionally roar very loudly. Damodar continued to sing, picking up the Lord when He would fall down and preventing Him from getting entangled in the branches of trees. The limits of good fortune which were experienced by Swarup Damodar can only be compared with himself. There is no one else to compare him to.


One day while Prabhu was intensely absorbed in the kirtan, He slipped and fell into a well. Adwaita Acarja and the other devotees became totally stupefied and could only put their hands to their heads. Prabhu was still unaware of anything other than the mellows of loving devotion as He remained afloat within that well like a small boy.

The moment Prabhu's body touched the walls of that well they became like butter and so His body remained free of any wounds or bruises. How strange yet wonderful it is that by the influence of devotion, sometimes when a devotee is dancing a thorn pierces his foot but he doesn't even feel it.

Adwaita and the other devotees finally pulled Him up out of the well and held on to Him for some time. But Prabhu wasn't even conscious that He had fallen int the well.

He asked them, "What are you saying? What are you talking about? Why are you holding on to Me?!"

Merged as He was in the mellows of ecstatic love He wasn't conscious at all of His external surroundings. Adwaita and the other devotees were simply amazed, yet floating in the waves of ecstasy to hear His nectarean speech, so innocently He asked them what was going on.


Swarup Damodar's place of residence in Puri was the Satasan Math. This is located near Bhaktivinode Thakur's bhakti kutir, near the ocean at Swarga Dwar. It is primarily through the mercy of Swarup Damodar Gosvami that Shrila Krishna das Kabiraj Gosvami was able to so nicely compose Chaitanya Charitamrita. Damodar Swarup's diary, consisting of memoirs of Shri Chaitanya's life, was entrusted to his apprentice Raghunath das Gosvami. Raghunath then in turn presented these to Krishna das Kabiraj, who some say was his disciple. In addition to this diary, Swarup Damodar also composed a treatise on music entitled, Sangit Damodar.


Swarup Damodar Goswami disappeared on the second day of the bright fortnight in the month of Asar.