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THE SIX GOSVAMI'S OF VRNDAVANA
It wa.s the six Gosvamis, who not only helped found this holy city of Vrndavana, but also firmly established the teachings of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu through their various writ¬ings, explaining the doctrine and philosophy of Sri Caitanya for the benefit of the whole world, 'The two brothers, Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis, were ordered by Lord Caitanya in the year 1516 to go and live in Vrndavana and excavate all the lost holy places con¬nected with Lord Sri Krishna's transcendental pastimes. He also ordered them to compile books on the great science of bhakti-yoga, the process of devotional service to God.In their sacred mission, Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis were ably assisted by; Raghunatha dasa, Raghunatha Bhatta, Gopala Bhalta and Jiva who completed the famous transcendental group of the six Gosvamis of Vrndavana. Even though both Rupa and Sanatana were very important ministers in the government of Bengal, by the divine inspiration of Lord Caitanya, they completely renounced mundane family life and accepted the path of detachment, in order to fully serve the mission of Lord Caitanya.When they first came to Vrndavana, it was just a large forest. At night, they would sleep under the trees. They dressed only in simple kaupins (loin cloths), and subsisted on dry chapatis obtained by begging alms (madhukari) and forest roots. The Six Gosvamis hardly slept more than two hours a day and spent most of their time in meditation and writing books on the science oihhakti-yoga. (Some of their original works, written on parch¬ment leaves have been preserved, and can be seen at the Vrndavana Research Institute.)The fame of the Six Gosvamis spread so far and wide that even Emperor Akbar decided to pay a visit to Vrndavana in the year 1570. Jiva Gosvami led him blindfolded, into the sacred kunja of Nidhuvana. So great was the Emperor's spiritual experience there, that to commemorate the great event, permission was granted to construct four great temples dedicated to Lord Krishna. The temples were Govindajl, Goplnatha, Madana-mohana and Jugal-Kishor. The Emperor also donated funds to set up a hbrary for the preservation of the Gosvami's books at Radha-Damodara Temple. This hbrary used to be in the room to the left of the alter and is still known as Grantha Ghar (book house). Akbar even provided first class sandstone, normally reserved for the Emperor's palaces' and forts; such was his appreciation for the Six Gosvamis. Unfortunately, 100 years later, these same temples were desecrated by the soldiers of Emperor Aurang7£b, the muslim zealot, in the year 1670.