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Shrila Jiva Goswami
Childhood pastimes of Jiva Goswami
Shri Jiva Goswami was the nephew of Shri Rupa and Sanatana Goswami. Rupa and Sanatana were working as government officials under Nawab Hussein Shah in the capital of Bengal, which at that time was Pamkeli. From there they wrote many letters to Gauranga Mahaprabhu. They were pure Vaishnavas from birth. They were forced by social pressures to take service under a miechcha king. But they couid understand by the pure intuition of their heart that Shri Shri Radha and Krishna, the eternal Lord and His Consort had appeared as Gauranga Mahaprabhu. So they were writing letters asking "What should we do? We want to join you. We want to serve you. But we are under this most lamentable and degraded condition of life." Anyway, Mahaprabhu didn't answer their letters many times. The parents of Rupa, Sanatana and Anupam .were great devotees. They were pure Vaishnavas who encouraged them to continue writing to Mahaprabhu. In fact their parents were very embarrassed. They very much wanted them to give up this government service and take exclusively to the path of bhakti, unlike most of the parents these days.
Finally Mahaprabhu answered their letter in a very mysterious way- But because of their sincere devotion they could understand what He was writing. He had written that, "Just as a wife who is attached to another man will perform her worldly duties to her husband very nicely so he doesn't suspect, but in her mind she will always be thinking of the other man waiting for the chance to meet him." And they could understand that very soon they would be receiving the mercy of Mahaprabhu and they would be liberated from all this government service but for now they have to just pretend to be ordinary civil workers.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was on His first attempted journey to Vrindavan Dham. As He was travelling, many of His followers were coming with Him to go on a yatra to Vrindavan. This was something they very much wanted to do. Throughout the path and in Vrajabhumi He was performing Sankirtan with His devotees and His beautiful dancing, His supremely gorgeous form, and His merciful glance, what to speak of the bhakti of all His associates like Nityananda Prabhu, Haridas Thakur and others were attracting people to Just leave their homes and their families, without any regard of past. present or future. Tens and hundreds followed and soon there were literally thousands and thousands of people having kirtan with Mahaprabhu. He was walking and every step that He would take, people would just pick up the dust from the place wrsere His foot touched, worship that dust and placed it on their heads.
Inconceivable to the minds of all others Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took a detour which was actually quite out of the way, and reached Ramkeli and there He had beautiful kirtan. Nawab Hussein Shah heard from the people that a great prophet had arrived and perhaps He is the Supreme God because He is attracting so many people, with His beauty, love and His devotion. So he enquired from Rupa and Sanatana. They could understand that Gauranga Mahaprabhu had come. They told 'No'. The Nawab should not take Him seriously. He was just some Hindu sadhu chanting. But anyway at night when no one would suspect what they were doing Rupa, Sanatana and Anupam very secretly went to the residence of Shriman Mahaprabhu. They first went to Nityananda Prabhu and Shrila Haridas Thakur, and by the mercy of these two intimate associates of the Lord, they were brought to the lotus feet of Lord Gaurasundar and there they surrendered their lives. They took cloth and wrapped it around their necks and put grass in their teeth and fell down with such humility that they didn't even feel themselves qualified to stand up in the presence of the Lord. The Lord had to pick them up. He embraced them and they began to offer beautiful prayers, very humble prayers considering themselves the most fallen, the most wretched, lower than Jagai and Madhai with no hope of any salvation, so they accepted the causeless infinite mercy of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who was Patita Pavan avatar. They said, "We have no right to even ask for your mercy. We are so fallen souls. But what other hope we have than You?" Chaitanya Mahaprabhu placed His Lotus Feet on their head and He gave them these names - Rupa, Sanatana, Anupam.
The son of Anupam, little Jiva who was a tiny child, was watching from a little distance away and listening to this beautiful exchange between His father and uncles and Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu. Just by that brief darshan and hearing the ambrosial words of the Lord, seeing the example of the utter surrender of his father and uncles, he became completely saturated with the thoughts of Gaurasundar. He could think of nothing else. Soon after this, his father Anupam was travelling with Shrila Rupa Goswami to Jagannath Puri to meet Gauranga Mahaprabhu. Enroute to Jagannath Purl, Anupam departed from this world on the banks of the Ganges in Bengal and gained entrance to the spiritual world.
When Jiva Goswami, who was a young child, heard this news it was utter devastation in his mind. He loved his father very dearly, not as a father but as a great Vaishnava. And then Rupa and Sanatana on the order of Gauranga Mahaprabhu settled in Vrindavan Dham. They were given these instructions - to establish by their example proper Vaishnava behavior, to establish the proper etiquette the Vaishnavas should follow to extract the essence of all the Vedic scriptures, to establish that pure bhakti is the ultimate siddhanta, the goal of life, to excavate the holy places of pilgrimage where Lord Shri Knshna had performed His wonderful pastimes and to establish temples and demonstrate the proper form of deity worship. So while they were there in Vrindavan, little Jiva was always thinking. 'When will I go to Vrindavan to meet with Rupa and Sanatana? When will 1 go? When will I go? When will that day be mine?'
Because of his long deep burning desire to be amongst Rupa and Sanatana Goswami he had absolutely no interest in any material things. Their family was very wealthy. He was given beautiful ornaments, wonderful clothes, all sorts of nice facilities, But he cared nothing for any of them. In fact his friends, the young children around, they would naturally study and play games, but he had no interest in any of that. He was only considering one thing in life from his earliest childhood and that was bhakti to Krishna Balaram. Because he had that darshan in his very childhood of Lord Gauranga and Lord Nityananda, somehow it had awakened in his heart, a spontaneous love for Krishna and Balaram- So he would spend his day making little deities of Krishna Balaram and then serving them. He would get nice food and offer it to them as Bhoga. He would be constantly bowing down, offering dandavats before them, make garlands for them, make jewelry for them, clothe them with beautiful nice garments and sing and dance. He would always be praying, "0 Krishna and Balaram, when would that day be when I would meet Rupa and Sanatana in Vrindavan Dham." He was feeling such intense separation.
Jiva Goswami meets Lord Chaitanya in a wonderful dream
One day it is explained he spent the whole day in this way in the loving service of the Lord and night fell. He was feeling so much separation from Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu and His associates that he was trying to compose himself. In fact people around were very much impressed and concerned about him. People would say, "Look at this Jiva, ever since his father has left, he just weeps and cries", and he incessantly with tears of love in his eyes would be serving these little murtis of Krishna and Balaram. Sometimes in ecstatic love he couldn't control his emotions but he would try to conceal them. But on this night he just broke down and began to pray from the core of his heart. " 0 Lord Shri Gaurachandra, 0 Nityananda Prabhu, 0 Advaita Prabhu be kind upon me." He was up throughout the night, sleepless, just weeping and crying due to the separation from the Lord and towards the end of the night he fell asleep. Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared to him in a beautiful dream. This was a dream which he had seen before. Mahaprabhu appeared with Nityananda, Advaita, Shrivas, Haridas, all of His associates and they were having beautiful sankirtan of holy names. And when he was seeing Mahaprabhu, His beautiful golden form dancing and trembling in ecstasy brought ecstasy to his heart. And as Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was singing and dancing, there were hundreds and thousands of people all around Him tumultuously resounding the holy names
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
And then his dream broke, he woke up and since the vision of Mahaprabhu disappeared, it broke his heart. He just fell to the ground in the ecstasy of separation. "My Lord, where are You? Where are You? Where have You gone?" And then he fell asleep again by the grace of the Lord and this time, Krishna and Balaram, his worshipable deities, appeared in their original forms to him. Shyamasundar had a beautiful bluish complexion, beautiful golden gowns, eyes blooming like lotus flower, wonderful jewelry and garlands, head bedecked with peacock feathers and Balaramji with His beautiful complexion like the spring cloud, wearing beautiful bright blue garments with fresh flowers and jewels. They looked upon Jiva as a child, with such love and Jiva Goswami upon seeing them, just absorbed the causeless mercy. Lord Balaramji transformed into the form of Shri.Nityananda Prabhu and Lord Shri Krishna transformed before his eyes in to the beautiful form of Lord Gaurasundar- Jiva offered his prostrated obeisances, dandavats at Their lotus feet and took Their beautiful lotus feet and placed them upon his head. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said to Jiva Goswami - "1 am entrusting you under the care of Shri Nityananda Prabhu. You are His property." Nityananda Prabhu said to Jiva - "You always worship Lord Gauranga as the Lord of your life."
Lord Nityananda personally guides Jiva on a Parikrrama of Navadvipa
After receiving this most blessed darshan the dream came to an end and at that time, Shrila Jiva Goswami had an inspiration to leave behind all of his attachments to family and simply run to Vrindavan Dham. Soon after this the Lord in His heart inspired him to go to Navadvipa to see the beautiful place of Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu's birth, and Adi lila pastimes and he also knew that Lord Nityananda Prabhu was residing there at that time. Jiva Goswami at that time made some excuse about going to visit some relative in some native place and when he got on the boat, he told the boatman "You take me to Navadvipa instead." When he arrived, in the ecstasy of love to be in holy land of Mahaprabhu's lila, he immediately began inquiring from everyone, 'Where is Lord Nityananda?' He was given directions to the place where Shrivas Thakur was residing. Lord Nityananda Prabhu could feel within His heart, Jiva was coming- Shrivas Thakur went with all other devotees to greet him. He brought him to the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu. Jiva fell at His lotus feet and Nityananda Prabhu placed His sacred lotus Feet, which are the ultimate goal of all the fortunate bhaktas, on the head of Jiva Goswami. In order to fulfil Shri Jiva's intimate desire Lord Nityananda Prabhu decided to take him on a Parikrama of all of Navadvipa Dham. Nityananda, Jiva and Shrivas went to the home of Lord Gauranga, the Yogapitha which Bhaktivinod Thakur discovered later. When Thakur Bhaktivinod was excavating the place they found murtis of Laxmi Narayan. Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur later made a beautiful temple at the actual place where those original deities were worshipped by Jagannath Mishra and Lord Gauranga. They were greeted by Sachi Devi and Vishnupriya, the mother and the widow of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and also the servant of Sachi Devi whose name was Vamsivadan. Sachi and Vishnupriya, although they were just utterly engrossed and lamenting in ecstasy of divine separation from the Lord, their Gaurasundar, they became jubilant to see such effulgent young beautiful devotees and immediately began to cook nice prasad with their own hands and brought it to offer to Nityananda, Jiva and Shrivas. Sachi Devi and Vishnupriya put their feet on little Jiva's head and bestowed their blessings upon him to begin his Navadvipa Parikrama. Bhaktivinod Thakur with his divine vision, has revealed many of the details of this Navadvipa Parlkrama in his book Navadvipa Dham Parikrama. Through the nine islands of Navadvipa they travelled and from time to time in ecstasy of love. Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and all of His associates actually appeared before them in their physical forms to allow them to take part in beautiful sankirtan pastimes.
Jiva Goswami in Varanasi
Nityananda Prabhu then ordered Jiva Goswami to go to Vrindavan and take shelter of Rupa and Sanatana Goswami. In fact, Nityananda Prabhu said to Jiva that Vrindavan Dham has been given by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to your family, that is the place you should go. But en route to Vrindavan you should go to Varanasi or Shri Kashi Dham. There you should find one very great disciple of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya whose name is Madhusudan Vachaspati and you should learn the shastras from him. So Jiva went to Varanasi and became the student of Madhusudan Vachaspati. He was so great that Madhusudan Vachaspati was just chanting the glories of his student throughout all of Varanasi.
Within a very short time he became famous not only throughout Varanasi but throughout India as a deeply learned and realized scholar of Vedic literatures and a profound philosopher. After his studies he proceeded to that great goal that he was always longing to achieve, the holy land of Vrindavan and there he met with his beloved uncles. It is described in Bhakti Ratnakar that when Jiva Goswami appeared, Rupa Goswami, Sanatana Goswami, Gopal Bhatta Goswami, Raghunath das Goswami, Raghunath Bhatta Goswami, Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami, Lokanath Goswami, Bhugarbha Goswami, Kashishwar they were all there to greet him, to welcome him to Vrajabhumi. And since Sanatana was the seniormost of all of them, Jiva Goswami surrendered to Sanatana and begged him to accept him as disciple and give him initiation.
Jiva serves Rupa Goswami
But Sanatana entrusted him to take initiation from Shrila Rupa Goswami, which he did. In fact he became so dear to Rupa Goswami that he didn't immediately initiate him. He wanted to properly train him on how to be a disciple and although Jiva Goswami was a pure devotee of the Lord, a brilliant scholar of all the Vedas, and utterly renounced from any material attachment whatsoever, still Rupa Goswami wanted to train him in menial service. So sometimes he would have him prepare the deity paraphernalia of Radha Govindaji, sometimes he would have him make garlands, sometimes he would have him do menial service like cleaning. Sometimes he would prepare pencils for Rupa Goswami for his writing. In those days the Goswamis did not have computers or typewriters or even pencil, pen, paper. They would do all their writings by carving on palm Seaves and the palm leaves had to be specially prepared so that the writing would be permanent. So this was one of the special services of Jiva Goswami. He would prepare palm leaves and pencils for the writings of Rupa Goswami. And sometimes he would massage the lotus feet of Rupa Goswami. Because of his menial service Rupa was very pleased with him and he gave him initiation into the Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya.
Jiva Goswami defeats Roop Narayan
There are several beautiful stories of the reciprocation of love between Rupa and Jiva Goswami. One time it is explained that a pundit named Roop Narayan, came to Vrindavan. He was known as 'Digvijayi' because he had traveled throughout all the places of India. He was a great philosopher and he would challenge all other scholars to debates and defeat them. When defeated they would give something called the Vijaya patra, the certificate that they have been defeated by Roop Narayan. So he approached Rupa and Sanatana. He said, "I am a great scholar. You are nothing before me. 1 challenge you to a debate." Rupa and Sanatana were so humble they didn't care anything about the prestige of this world. They said "Why should you waste your time. You are indeed a great scholar. We are nothing. We hardly know anything. Why should you waste time trying to defeat someone who is really not up to your status. We admit defeat." Roop Narayan demanded "Then you sign this certificate." And they actually signed. He was very happy and exclaimed " I have defeated them"! He didn't consider that they were just being humble. But he heard about Jiva Goswami, that he was an upcoming, very great scholar. So he thought "I should defeat him also," So he went to Jiva and said, "You see, you should sign this paper, your uncles already did." He became very mad, "What nonsense, you are blaspheming them. I will accept your challenge." For seven days they sat on the bank of the Yamuna and on the seventh day it was unanimously agreed that Roop Narayan was defeated by Jiva Goswami. He didn't do it for the sake of defeating some mundane scholar, which is a total waste of time for a Vaishnava. He did it only for one reason - out of his great love for his Gurus, He wanted to preserve the dignity of their names. The people in general will not be illusioned to think that they could be defeated by anyone, especially a mundane scholar.
So Jiva Goswami very happily went to announce to Rupa and Sanatana that the dignity of their good names has been preserved. When Rupa heard - "You defeated him? What nonsense is this? He is a mundane scholar. We don't waste our time with mundane scholars. Why you wasted your time arguing with him for seven days? It means you wanted to establish yourself, which is a sign of pride and no one with even a drop of pride can live in Vrindavan Dham. Therefore you must leave this place."
Jiva Goswami's heart was broken, thinking that he had offended his Guru Rupa Goswami. He bowed down and with tears of love and shame, he left Vrindavan and went to Mathura. Many days he was fasting, trying to atone for his offense and at that time it is explained that Sanatana felt very sorry for him so he went to Rupa. He said "Rupa, 1 believe there is something about Mahaprabhu's philosophy that you do not understand." Rupa Goswami asked in extreme humility, "Oh please tell me which part of Mahaprabhu's philosophy I do not understand. Please explain it to me." Then he never leave the hole. They would just give him some raw flour and he would mix that raw flour with little Yamuna water everyday, or sometimes every three days he would just eat some of that. On account of the darkness, dampness and this type of diet, he became very sickly and there was an ulcer in his stomach. But he was just lying there crying in separation from the Lord. Of all the Goswamis, Sanatana Goswamis was very popular among Brijbasis, because he had such love for Brijbasis that he would go from village to village in Brajabhumi and he would just stay at some Brijwasi's house and he would just talk all things with them. "How is your dada? How is your wife? How are your crops growing this year?" He considered that any thing a Brijbasi speaks is Krishna Katha, it doesn't matter what it is.
In fact Shri Raghunath das Goswami in his Braja lila stava - he says like this - "I am simply longing to hear the utter gossip of Brijbasis, because that is all Krishna Katha. It is like nectar to my ears." Sanatana Goswami knew everyone and everyone knew him throughout all of Brajabhumi, if there was any problem they went to Sanatana Goswami. They all trusted him so much that whatever he said, they would just do that and their problems would get solved. Even if husbands and wives did not get along the husband would ask - "Sanatana, she said this. I said this. What are we supposed to do?" Sanatana said - "Do like this" and their problems got solved. They would just do it every step. This is the stature he had, very loving and very gentle and very caring for everybody. Sanatana would come in the guise of doing Madhukari, begging some roti and take it back to Madanmohana. When he went to the village, people said - 'There is a very, very saintly person here, so renounced that he is living in a crocodile hole and he drinks little Yamuna water and eats raw flour." Shrila Sanatana was thinking - 'No one knew where Jiva Goswami was. Everybody knew he had left with a broken heart, crying in agony that he had offended his Guru and transgressed Vaishnava etiquette. Though we should know, he did not transgress any etiquette. He was establishing the highest, most perfect etiquette because he didn't do it out of pride. He did it to defend the dignity of his spiritual master.
Shrila Prabhupada explains that this incident of Jiva Goswami is often criticized by mundane scholars and even Vaishnavas who do not understand the real conclusions of the shastras. They said that by this act of pride he transgressed Vaishnava etiquette. We should understand, it wasn't like that. It is like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Jagai and Madhai. He could bear any insult to himself but he could not bear the insult of exalted Vaishnavas especially his Gurus, Rupa and Sanatana. So when Sanatana Goswami heard about the unparalleled tapasya of this person he understood that this must be Jiva Goswami. So he came there and Jiva Goswami could not even come out of the crocodile hole because he had been crouched in there for so long. Sanatana had to go into the hole himself and personally carry him out. He was emaciated, he was physically very deteriorated and Sanatana Goswami brought him back to Vrindavan. He brought Jiva Goswami to Rupa Goswami and again told Rupa Goswami - 'There is a principle called 'Jiva Daya' - you know, kindness to Jiva. There is Jiva, be kind to him please." When Rupa Goswami saw him, he embraced him with tears of love in his eyes, gave him nice prasad and nursed him back to health. So we may think we have explained why Rupa Goswami did like this. Jiva Goswami was perfectly situated in the highest platform of devotion by defending his Guru.
There are a couple of reasons. One, to establish the principle of how important it is to be totally humble to live in Vrindavan for all the world to follow. But the second, which is most important, is that he wanted to show the world the unlimited glories of the humility and devotion of Jiva Goswami by putting him through this predicament.
Jiva Goswami worships Radha Damodar
Rupa Goswami personally worshipped a set of beautiful deities called Radha Damodara which he had himself carved. As a gift of love, he presented them to Jiva Goswami, who made the worship of Radha Damodara his life and soul. It is believed that Emperor Akbar, once when he came to Vrindavan Dham, had the darshan of Jiva Goswami and the darshan of Jiva Goswami transformed his heart. He was given such a vision of appreciation of Vrindavan, that under Jiva Goswami's instruction, he as well as his many generals and ministers became very active in developing Vrindavan as a very great holy place. They helped with the construction of Radha Govindji Mandir, Radha Damodara mandir, Jugalkishor Mandir and others, Radha Gopinath Mandir I believe. So Jiva Goswami was living in this temple of Radha Damodara.
Jiva Goswami’s literary contribution
One of his great contributions is that he wanted a very safe and prominent place to store all the Goswamis' literature. So he built a library and there all the writings of Rupa, Sanatana, Raghunath das, Krishnadas Kavira], Gopal Bhatta were kept safely. Jiva Goswami's library was in the Radha Damodara temple and of course Jiva Goswami's major contribution were his own philosophical writings. It has been approximated that he has written more than 400,000 Sanskrit shiokas and over 25 beautiful books like the Satsandarbha, Gopal Champu and others. Under the instruction of Rupa and Sanatana, Jiva Goswami took the principles of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's philosophy and like no one had ever done before, he established those principles on the basis of such undefeatable sound philosophy and such strong evidences from authorized vedic scriptures that he was actually the one that really established the philosophic base for this movement.
The Gaudiya Vaishnava acharyas claim that the Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy is the greatest of all the philosophies of the world and in all histories of mankind - Jiva Goswami is first and foremost. After Shrila Rupa Goswami and Shrila Sanatana Goswami departed from their earthly lila to return to the eternal abode of Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu, Shri Shri Radha Krishna approved Jiva Goswami to be their successor. Although there were many Gurus in Bengal, many acharyas in Vrindavan, Jiva Goswami was accepted by all to be the most prominent. He was the leader of all Gaudiya Vaishnavas.
Jiva Goswami becomes the most eminent shiksha guru of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas
At that time, one great acharya of the name Hrdaya Chaitanya who lived in a village called Kama which is very close to Navadvipa, sent his foremost disciple, whose name was Krishnadas to study under Jiva Goswami. Gopal Bhatta Goswami initiated Shrinivas Acharya and sent his foremost disciple Shrinivas to study under Jiva Goswami. Lokanath Goswami sent his only initiated disciple Narottama das Thakur to study under Jiva Goswami. So he became the Shiksha Guru for three most exalted Vaishnavas, Narottama das, Shrinivas and Shyamananda. In fact he gave him the name Shyamananda under the instruction of Shrimati Radharani, which later became a controversy but it was settled very nicely by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself. So these three devotees took shelter of Shrila Jiva Goswami.
At one time Jhanava devi sent a message to Shri Jiva Goswami that, "You are the leader of all the Vaishnavas. Ever since the disappearance of Nityananda Prabhu, my eternal consort, and Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu most of the intimate associates of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu have left their bodies due to separation and those who are left are immersed in such a feeling of separation that, they can hardly preach. Rupa, Sanatana, Raghunath das and Krishnadas Kaviraj have written all the most important spiritual literatures which establish the profound teachings of Mahaprabhu. They are very much required here in Bengal and Orissa. Please send some preachers and send those books for us to copy." The idea was, they would copy the books there and then send them back to Vrindavan, because there was no one to copy in Vrindavan since there were few of them living in jungles, which was what Vrindavan was in those days. So Jiva Goswami arranged ox carts with beautiful boxes to carry all the books of the Goswamis of Vrindavan and he appointed Narottama das, Shrinivas Acharya and Shyamananda Prabhu to take those books to Jhanava devi in Bengal, to print those books, to distribute them and to preach widely and deliver the great mercy of Mahaprabhu. So it was Jiva Goswami who began this divine book distribution program which was so dear to great souls like Bhaktivinod Thakur. Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur and Shrila Prabhupada. This was the service that he established in our parampara.
In fact it is very important to remember that our Gurudev Om Vishnupada Paramhansa Bhaktivedanta Swam! Prabhupada went to Vrindavan to prepare himself to fulfill the order of his spiritual master, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur which was to take the teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and spread them throughout the world in the English language. Shrila Prabhupada knew that Radha Damodara temple established by Jiva Goswami was the special place where Shrila Rupa Goswami. Sanatana Goswami, Gopal Bhatta Goswami, Raghunath das Goswami, Raghunath Bhatta Goswami and other intimate associates like Bhugarbha Goswami, Lokanath Goswami would meet on a regular basis. That was their meeting place, their headquarters. They would take prasam there together, they would study the books together and they would also discuss the writings and beautiful kirtans and so on.
At the disappearance of Shrila Rupa Goswami, arranged by Jiva Goswami they made Rupa Goswami's samadhi in the courtyard just behind Radha Damodara temple. Sanatana Goswami's disciples made his samadhi just behind the temple of Shri Radha Madanmohana. So in many ways Shrila Prabhupada was thinking, 'What more holy place is there in all of creation, to be inspired, to prepare myself for this great preaching mission than at the temple of Radha Damodara. He was thinking that 'Rupa Goswami's samadhi is here and we are all Rupanugas, followers of Rupa Goswami. If 1 pray at his samadhi and receive his blessings. 1 will be empowered to do this great mission of my Gurudev and Jiva Goswami was the most prominent of all writers of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas. So by receiving his mercy and besides residing at the place of his samadhi, bhajan kutir, by receiving his blessings, he will empower me to translate and give purports of Shrimad Bhagavatam in the English language.' Especially Prabhupada lived in Jiva Goswami's temple for six full years. It was his bhajan kutir. He lived his simple life chanting the holy names associating with bri|basis absorbed always in prayers. He would regularly attend the arti of Shri Shri Radha Damodara each day. In fact, just the last year 1 met two Goswamis. one was the senior most Goswami of the Radha Vallabha sampradaya which is very prominent in Vrindavan, another was one of the very senior Goswamis of Radha Raman sampradaya, Radha Raman Mandir and 1 met them at separate times but they both told me the same exact experience they had with Prabhupada-
When Prabhupada was there in Vrindavan from about 1960-61 upto 1965, he was immersed in translating St.mad Bhagavatam and giving his Bhaktivedanta purports. At that time these men were not old, they were children and they explained that they used to play - one of their favorite places being the courtyard of Radha Damodara temple, because the Goswamis were not very strict for the children to play there. Even the head Goswami of Radha Damodara, he used to play in those days too. He was a young boy and all these different Goswami children of different families they would all come together often and play and play with balls and whatever they do. They used to always remember this great sadhu who would be sitting in that room, always sitting translating Shrimad Bhagavatam and they said - when everyday they would go and play there Prabhupada-used to come out and distribute to these children prasad, cooked with his own hands and offered to the lord. He said we loved him so much because he would always come and give us niceiy cooked prasad like halwa, ladoos and nice sweet balls. In this way Shrila Prabhupada took shelter and inspiration of Shri Jiva Goswami and Shrila Rupa Goswami at Radha Damodara temple and when he got the blessings of Shri Rupa and Shrila Jiva he left Vrindavan to come here to Bombay. Then he was trying to make his arrangements for going to America and beginning this great International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Vande Rupa Sanatana Raghuyagau Shri Jiva Gopalakau!