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Title: Shrila Gopala Bhatta Goswami Appearance
User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-06-09 20:19:44
Shrila Gopala Bhatta Goswami Appearance Day
The all-merciful Lord Shri Gaura Hari, as He travelled from village to village throughout the south of India, continued to distribute love of Godhead wherever He wearing the nectarean names of Hari from His lotus mouth, thousands and thousands men and women felt relief from the blazing fire of material existence. Various wretched, miserable and fallen souls lives were completely rejuvenated and thus they became virtuous and happy. While causing rains of love of God to fall anywhere and everywhere, without consideration of time or place, Shri Gaurasundara came to the holy place of Shri Rangaksetra.
The temple of Shri Rangaksetra was extremely large, the crest of the temple tower pierced the sky. Throughout the day and night hundreds and thousands of pilgrims were going and coming to take darsan of Lord Ranganath. The temple hall resounded with the sounds of hundreds and thousand of brahmanas chanting Vedic hymns. In the midst of this scene from Vaikuntha, entered Shri Gaurasundara chanting the names of Krishna in his sweet voice that defeated the voices of 10 million Gandharvas. Everyone in the temple became dumbstruck, amazed and thrilled with wonder.
What unprecedented beauty; His bodily effulgence makes molten gold appear lack-lustre. From His eyes which are like the full blown petals of a lotusflower trickled down tears of ecstatic love. Every limb, every part of His body was filled with such exquisite grace that even the mind of Cupid gets stolen away. The brahmanas began to consider, "Is this a demigod? Can such symptoms and emotions be found in human beings?" Again resounding the halls with the transcendental vibrations of Shri Hari's name, when He came before the Deity and fell down as a tree is blown down by the wind, some people thought that a mountain of gold was rolling on the ground.
Shri Vyenkata Bhatta seeing this divine personage became restless with ecstasy. His heart being flooded with devotion he got up and began to move the crowds away so that the Lord could engage in chanting and dancing. When the Lord had regained His external consiousness after engaging in sankirtan, Vyenkata Bhatta approached Him and took the dust of His lotus feet. Mahaprabhu gazed towards him and saying, "Krishna! Krishna!" embraced him firmly. Shri Vyenkata Bhatta invited Mahaprabhu to come to his house and having brought Him there, very reverently washed His lotus feet and along
with the other family members, he drank the water. Shri Bhattaji's house became filled with joy.
Mahaprabhu came to Ranga Ksetra in the Christian year 1511. Vyenkata Bhatta had two brothers, Trimalla Bhatta and Prabodhananda Sarasvati. They all belonged to the Ramanuja sampradaya and Prabodhananda Sarasvati was a tridandi sannyasi of that order. Vyenkata Bhatta had a son named Gopal, who was then just a child. When the boy came to offer his obeisances at the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu, He picked him up and very affectionately seated him in His lap. Mahaprabhu would call Gopal after He had finished His meal and offer His remnants to the boy. In this way He prepared him for the
positon of Acarya. After remaining at Vyenkata Bhatta's house during the four months of the rainy season (Caturmasya) Mahaprabhu prepared to continue His journey of the South. Vyenkata Bhatta's house began to ebb in a tide of tears in anticipation of His departure. Gopal fell at His lotus feet in a dead faint. Therefore Mahaprabhu remained for a couple of more days in order to console the boy. He instructed him to serve his mother and father and always engage in chanting Krishna's glories and thereafter to come to Vrindavan.
Very quickly Gopal became expert in grammar, poetry and rhetoric and then began his study of Vedanta. His uncle Prabodhananda, specifically began to instruct him from the devotional scriptures (Bhakti-sastra).
Gopal Bhatta always remained thinking of the lotusfeet of Mahaprabhu and when he might again be able to meet Him. At the same time however he couldn't leave his aged mother and father. Finally having reached their final days they called their son Gopal and instructed him to go to the lotusfeet of Mahaprabhu in Vrindaban. Then while meditating on His lotusfeet themselves they went to join Him in His eternal lila.
Thus Gopal set out for Vrindavan and when he arrived there Rupa Gosvami immediately went word to Mahaprabhu to inform Him of Gopal's arrival there. Mahaprabhu had previously indicated to Rupa and Sanatan that Gopal Bhatta would one day come there to Vrindavan, so upon his arrival they treated him with the same care and affection they would their own brother. They immediately became life long companions.
When Mahaprabhu received word that Gopal Bhatta had come to Vrindavan, He was very pleased and sent with that messenger a wooden sitting plank which He had used along with a pair of His undergarments and one of His cloths. Having received these gifts Gopal Bhatta was in ecstasy and he worshipped them as the prasad of Mahaprabhu. When he would worship his Deities he would sit on that wooden plank. This piri (wooden seat) and Mahaprabhus clothes are still being worshipped at Radha-Ramana Mandir.
Gopala Bhatta, like Rupa and Sanatana, had no fixed residence and would spend the night in various kunjas (forest groves). He spent his time studying the scriptures and composing various literatures.
Shri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami used to worship eleven Saligram-silas. Wherever he would go he would bring them with him in a piece of cloth tied at the corner. One time a rich Seth came to meet Gopala Bhatta to have his darsana. Being very impressed with the Gosvami he wanted to render some service which he presented in the form of some valuable cloths and ornaments.
Gopala Bhatta kept the cloths and ornaments with his silas and thought that, "If I had a Deity then I would be able to decorate Him so nicely with these clothes and ornaments." In the evening after offering some bhoga and arotika to his salagram silas, Gopala Bhatta put them to rest, covering them with a wicker basket. Late in the night, Gopala Bhatta took a little rest and then, in the early morning went to take bath in the Yamuna. Returning from his bath, he uncovered the salagramas in order to wake Them, and saw amongst Them a Deity of Krishna playing the flute. There were now eleven silas and this Deity. Floating in the ocean of ecstasy, he fell to the ground in order to offer his dandavats and then recited various prayers and hymns. When Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis as well as many other devotees received news of this miraculous event they came running to see the Lord.
Gazing on the Lord's transcendental form, which bewildered all the living entities of the many various planets, they all bathed Him with their tears. This Deity whom the Gosvamis named, "Shri Radha-Raman Deva" made His appearance on the full moon day of Vaisakha in the year 1542. Except for Vrindadevi, Shri Radha-Ramanaji is the only one of the original Deities of Vrindavana who never left to go to Jaipur. He is still being worshipped in Vrindavana near Nidhuban kunj.
Shri Radha-ramana Deva, unlike other Deities, has very intricate features, including fingernails and even teeth. On the back side of His body parts of the original salagram sila from which He manifested Himself can be seen. There is a story that the small son of one of the sevaits was playing with the Deity once and put a small stick in one ear of the Deity and pushed it through out the other ear. The stick however, had blood on it, and that boy died vomiting blood that very day.
Once Shri Gopala Bhatta went to Hardwar. As he was returning, suddenly a downpour started and thus he took shelter in the house of one brahmana. This brahmana was very devoted and he very carefully began to serve Shri Gopala Bhatta, who thus became very pleased. As this brahmana had no children Shri Bhattaji blessed him that he might have a son who would be a devoted follower of Lord Hari. The brahman replied that, "My first son I will send to you in order to serve you."
Approximately ten years later when Gopala Bhatta returned from bathing in the Yamuna one day, he saw a young boy sitting at the door of his kutir. When the boy saw the Gosvamiji approaching, he got up and then fell down to offer his dandavats. Gopala Bhattaji inquired who the boy was, to which he replied, "My home was in Devandyagram within Saharanpur near Hardwar. My father has sent me here to serve you. My name is Gopinatha."
Then Gopal Bhatta could remember the time when he went to Haridwar many years ago. So this boy remained with him and very carefully began to serve him. Eventually he became known as Shri Gopinatha Pujari Gosvami as he served Shri Radha-ramana Deva through his life as a brahmacari. His younger brother Shri Damodara dasa, along with his family, accepted iniation from Shri Gopinathaji and also became engaged in the service of the Deity. Shri Damodara dasa's three sons were named Harinatha, Mathuranatha and Harirama. Shri Gopala Bhatta, in his worship of Shri Radha-ramana would sometimes see that He had taken the form of Shri Gaurasundara. "Becoming subservient to the love of Shri Gopala Bhatta, Shri Radha-ramana would sometimes accept the form of Shri Gaurasundara."
Shri Gopala Bhatta was the initiating guru of Shrinivasa Acarya Prabhu. He wrote many books including: Sat-sandarbha-karika, Shri-Krishna-vallabha (Krishna-karnamrta-tika), Sat-kriya-sara-dipika, and Laghu Hari-bhakti-vilasa with Dig-darsini-tika. From this work, Shri Sanatana Gosvami compiled the Hari-bhakti-vilasa now followed by Gaudiya Vaishnavas.
In the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami's name in Vraja-lila has been given as Guna manjari. His birth was on the day of the dark fortnight of the month Pausa in the year 1503 (Christian), 1425 (Sakabda). His disappearance was on the sixth day of the dark fortnight of the month of Sravana in the year 1578 (Christian), 1500 (Sakabda). Age: 75 years.