All glories to Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga

A Holy Day

By His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj

From Sermons of the Guardian of Devotion, Volume II, Chapter 7

Part One | Part Two | Part Three

Webpage by Damayanti Dasi

vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau

"I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Six Goswamis, namely Sri Rupa Goswami, Sri Sanatana Goswami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami, Sri Raghunatha Das Goswami, Sri Jiva Goswami and, Sri Gopala Bhatta Goswami."

4. The Appearance of Sri Raghunatha Das Goswami

Then, the fourth personality is Sri Raghunatha Das Goswami. He was born nearly five hundred years ago in Krsnapur village, Hooghly District. He came in the Kayastha caste. His father, Hiranya Majumdar, was a very rich man. His father had one brother, Govarddhana, but Raghunatha was the only child. His father and uncle were state landowners. At that time, they collected 20 lakhs (2,000,000) rupees in taxes. 12 lakhs was to be paid to the king, and their net income was 8 lakhs.

Raghunatha heard about Mahaprabhu after His sannyasa. Hiranya and Govarddhana had association with Advaita Acaryya, and they used to make an annual contribution to all the superior Sanskrit scholars and their schools, in Bengal, of the time.

When Mahaprabhu went back to Sri Advaita Acaryya's house (Advaita-bhavan) after His sannyasa, Raghunatha Das came and saw Him, and became mad with Love of Krsna. His heart was completely melted by Mahaprabhu's beauty and charming Personality, His Devotion and His Teachings of Devotion for Krsna. Mahaprabhu Himself was also aware of this. Raghunatha would not leave Mahaprabhu, but the Lord told him, "Go home. Don't be over-enthusiastic; control yourself. Keep your Divine Love for Krsna within your heart, and don't express it outwardly. Don't advertise it. Very soon the time will come when Krsna will guide you. He will make a way for you. Don't allow any external show but keep it within your heart."

sthira hanya ghare yao, na hao batula
krame krame paya loka bhava-sindhu-kula

    (C.c. Madhya 16.237)

"Compose yourself and go home — don't be a madman. One reaches the shore of the material ocean gradually."

Then, he later came into the association of Nityananda Prabhu in Panihati. Nityananda Prabhu said to him, "Give a feast here for My followers. You are the son of a rich man, so manage to give a feast here for my followers."

Raghunatha did so, and Nityananda Prabhu was very satisfied. He also blessed him, saying, "Very soon your bright day will come." And He addressed His devotees, "See this young boy — he has immense wealth; in abundance he has everything required for a young man's enjoyment, but he does not care for it. Krsna's Grace has come down into his heart, so he does not care for anything of this world; but he's mad to leave his home of

material grandeur and become a street beggar. He has become mad for Krsna. Just see this high ideal — devotion, attraction. Love of Krsna has made him mad. He is very, very fortunate. This royal dignity and prosperity cannot please him."

Anyway, he returned home. But one day Hiranya and the others noticed that he no longer entered the inner section of the house. He began to stay in the outer section only. His father and other guardians thought that his condition had become very grave, so ten men were engaged to keep guard that he may not leave.

One day in the early morning before sunrise, the family Guru, Yadunandana Acaryya, suddenly entered the house. Finding Raghunatha in the outer section of the house, he met him and requested him, "I am going out for some important business, but there is no one to worship my Deity. So please ask one Brahmana disciple in my name to serve the Deity for a day or two during my absence." As Yadunandana Acaryya left, Raghunatha went with him. The guards saw him going with the family Guru, so they did not interfere. On the way, Raghunatha requested the Guru, "You may go ahead with your business, and I shall request the gentleman to do the worship in your absence."

The Guru left. Raghunatha took advantage of the situation. Perhaps he requested that man to do the service, but he started off in the direction away from Puri. He knew that as soon as they realized at home that he wasn't returning, they would send men to search for him on the way to Puri. So for the whole day he walked in the opposite direction. In the evening he stopped at a cowherdsman's house, took a little milk from him and passed the night in the cowshed. Then in the morning he started for Puri.

When his guardians found that Raghunatha had not returned home, they heard from the guards that he had gone with the family Guru. They went to the Guru's house, but Raghunatha was not to be found. Then they thought that he must have left for Puri, and they sent ten men to that side. They returned without finding him. In this way, Raghunatha cleverly managed to escape. For twelve days he walked to Puri, taking food here and there for only three of those days. On the other days no food was necessary. He was helped by Divine Love, surcharged.

He had already heard that Mahaprabhu was at the Gambhira, the Kasi Misra Bhavan. He went there, and in the courtyard fell flat in obeisances unto Mahaprabhu.

Mukunda Datta announced to the Lord,

"Raghunatha has come."

Mahaprabhu said,

"Yes, look after him. He has come with great difficulty, walking and walking without food. Take care of him for a few days. Then, he will manage for himself."

That was the direction of Mahaprabhu. For a few days Raghunatha took Prasadam there. After that he began to beg at the gate of the Jagannath temple.

The parents now thought it was impossible to bring him back, and they did not make any further attempt. But they sent some money with one Brahmana and two servants, instructing them to hire a house and offer Raghunatha a place to stay, and see that their son may not die without food. They tried their best, but Mahaprabhu continued to subsist on alms. Over a period of two years, Raghunatha invited Mahaprabhu to take Prasadam at that house, and the Lord did so for his satisfaction. After that, Raghunatha left that idea, thinking, "This is only to produce some name and fame for me. Mahaprabhu is not pleased with such Prasadam."

Svarupa Damodara was the dearmost Attendant of Mahaprabhu, and a very good scholar as well. Raghunatha was also a scholar — we find that later he left the world beautiful poetry in Sanskrit. Mahaprabhu gave Raghunatha over to the charge of Svarupa Damodara, saying, "I request Svarupa Damodara to take your charge, and he will advise you what will be necessary for your devotional life."

But suddenly one day, Raghunatha approached Mahaprabhu:

"Why have You managed to take me out of my house, and what is my best benefit? If You please tell me in Your own words, my heart will be satisfied."

Mahaprabhu said,

"I have given you over to the charge of Svarupa Damodara. He is more qualified than even Myself. Still, if you want to hear something directly from Me, then I say in brief:

gramya-katha na sunibe, gramya-vartta na kahibe
bhala na khaibe ara bhala na paribe
amani manada hanya krsna-nama sada la'be
vraje radha-krsna seva manase karibe

"Don't indulge in worldly talk, don't hear worldly talk. Try your best to avoid mundane matters. Don't eat delicious dishes, but take whatever ordinary food may come of its own accord; and don't dress luxuriously. Always try to take the Name of Krsna with the attitude of giving respect to others, without expecting respect from anyone. Be humble, but never aspire after respectful dealings from others. In this way, try to take the Name of Krsna constantly. And within, try to serve Sri Sri Radha-Krsna in Vrndavana. Mentally, be in Vrndavana rendering Service to Sri Sri Radha-Krsna-lila."

Mahaprabhu told Raghunatha that this was the essence of His advice to him. Then, He again took Raghunatha's hand and offered it to the hand of Svarupa Damodara. He said, "I am giving you to the charge of Svarupa Damodara. He is the best Spiritual Teacher. He will take care of you."

After Raghunatha's arrival in Puri, Mahaprabhu stayed there continuously for sixteen years. After that, Mahaprabhu departed from the world. Raghunatha left Puri and went to Vrndavana, thinking, "I have what is to be had; now I only want to see Vrndavana Dhama once, and then I shall leave this body by jumping from the highest peak of Govarddhana." With this idea he went to Vrndavana, but there he came into contact with Sanatana Goswami and Rupa Goswami — he found the beginning of a new life. He thought, "What is this? Mahaprabhu has not departed — He is living in them."

Mahaprabhu delegated Rupa and Sanatana with the power to preserve the Devotional Current they had received from Him, and to present it in a new light. They were asked to prove by drawing upon different Scriptures that Mahaprabhu's Teachings are the very gist and purpose of all the Scriptures. As in Bhagavad-gita, vedais ca sarvvair aham eva vedyah: "The attempt of every Revealed Scripture is to show Me as the Highest Centre — I am the Absolute." So Mahaprabhu said, "Krsna is the Absolute. With the help of the different Scriptures and and historical reference — by all means possible — try to prove that Krsna is Svayam Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and that Vraja-lila, Vrndavana-lila, is the highest achievement."

The two brothers had already begun that work when Raghunatha came into their association, and he found, "Oh! Mahaprabhu is here." He abandoned the idea of leaving this world, and joined Rupa and Sanatana as their disciple. Mahaprabhu had already ordered Sanatana Goswami, "My followers are very poor and helpless. You'll have to look after them whenever they come to Vrndavana. You'll have to be the caretaker of all my disciples that come to Vrndavana." So Raghunatha came to Sanatana Goswami, and Sanatana Goswami took care of him.

Raghunatha was so self-forgetful that one day as he was sitting on the banks of Radha-kunda and taking the Name, a tiger came just beside him to drink water, but Raghunatha paid no attention. Suddenly, Sanatana Goswami came upon the scene. He was astonished. Up until then Raghunatha had lived under the shade of a tree, but Sanatana said, "Please construct a hut to live in. Don't disregard my request — I entreat you to do this." Then from that time he managed to construct a small dwelling and stay there. His abnegation, vairagya, was incomparable. Sanatana, Rupa, and all the Goswamis' indifference to worldly enjoyment was extreme, but Raghunatha's abnegation surpassed all.

When he was in Puri, sometimes he would beg Prasadam at the gate of the Jagannath Temple, and sometimes he would take Prasadam at a chatram or free kitchen where rich men distribute Prasadam for beggars. But then he thought, I am taking what is due to other to others' karmma."

The unsold Jagannatha Prasadam is given to the cows of Jagannath Puri. But when it becomes so stale that it emits a bad odour, even the cows cannot eat it. So now Raghunatha would wash that Prasadam with sufficient water, and adding a little salt he would eat that. Mahaprabhu heard about this, and one day when Raghunatha was taking that Prasadam Mahaprabhu approached and suddenly took some and ate it. He said, "Oh! I have tasted so many times the Prasadam of Jagannath, but such sweet Prasadam I have never taken anywhere!"

So what is the taste in Prasadam? It is not mundane. Raghunatha had such intense faith in Prasadam that he lived on apparently rotten things with a little salt — and he was the son of a family of kingly opulence. So much indifference was in him. And in his last days in Vrndavana, he would pass each day taking only a pot of ghol, buttermilk. This is not possible for a man of flesh and blood. Great souls like the Goswamis are really personalities come down from the other world, and so it was possible for them to show the ideal of abnegation. It is not possible for ordinary humans of flesh and blood to observe such a degree of abnegation without dying. But the Goswamis created the standard and ideal by such vairagya. At the same time, Raghunatha studied Rupa Goswami's presentation of the highest type of Rasa or Devotional Sentiment — Madhura-rasa.


The Acme of Divine Service

Srila Raghunatha Das Goswami appreciated the acme of Divine Service, the culminating point of Divine Service — Radha-dasya, which is Servitude unto Srimati Radharani. Therefore he is the Prayojanacaryya. Srila Sanatana Goswami is generally conceived of by his successors as the Acaryya of Sambandha-jnana. Sambandha refers to 'what is what' — 'what is my position in the spiritual hierarchy.' That was explained most clearly by Sanatana Goswami. And Abhideya — what we should cultivate in order to attain to our objective — was mainly given by Srila Rupa Goswami. He taught us how we can attain fulfilment of our life in the Domain of Love. And what is particularly the highest point of our attainment, or Prayojana, was very vividly shown by Srila Raghunatha Das Goswami. In his famous sloka he says:

asabharair amrta-sindhumayaih kathancit
kalo mayatigamitah kila sampratam hi
tvan cet krpam mayi vidhasyasi naiva kim me
pranair vraje na ca baroru bakarinapi

This sloka has given us the highest conception of our attainment in the school of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. What is that? Srila Raghunatha Goswami is addressing Srimati Radharani: "O Queen of my heart, for a long, long time I am waiting with great patience to have Your Mercy, which is so sweet to me that I cannot avoid it. It is heart-melting, heart-attracting, heart-crushing. It is so deeply touching me — I can't avoid Your Service Connection. Somehow I have managed to come such a long way, to endure such a long time, but I am impatient now. Be gracious; if You are not gracious upon me, I have got no hope. I will come to the end of my patience.

The Gaudiya Vaisnavas are a class of Vaisnava that only need the mercy of Srimati Radharani and nothing else. This final conclusion has been given to us by Srila Raghunatha Das Goswami and Srila Rupa Goswami.

— Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

"My life will end here. So much so, that, what shall I do with this Vrndavana? Vrndavana is of no use to me! What is the utility of living my life? It is useless — it will end with no utility. I can't love even Vrndavana, which is associated with the Lila of Krsna. To say nothingof Vrndavana, I can't relish the company of even Krsna, without You. Without You, even Krsna is meaningless to me. I can't tolerate, I can't relish either my own life, or this environment, or even Krsna — if He Himself comes to grace me I can't relish that, without Your connection.

"So please be gracious upon me. You are all-in-all. Without You, Krsna consciousness is not Krsna consciousness. Your position is so great, so beautiful in Krsna-lila — You are the centre of all the Lila of Krsna. Without You I can't conceive of any life worth living. I utterly surrender unto You, my Queen."

This is Radha-dasya. Our best fulfilment is in the Service of Sri Radha, because only she can

fully attract the Grace of Krsna. She is the other Half who can draw the maximum Rasa, Ecstasy from Krsna — in quantity as well as in quality. So those who are serving Srimati Radharani get the highest type of qualitative

Rasa from Krsna in reciprocation for their Service. That cannot be had through any other channel. Service that comes through Srimati Radharani is of the highest quality, so Her Service should be our summum bonum of life.

This was announced clearly by Srila Raghunatha Das Goswami who is considered to be Prayojanacaryya, the Guide to show us our highest fulfilment of life. By our association with this day and by our humble attempt to discuss all these matters, we may be benefited in the achievement of our goal. This is the day of the advent of such great personalities.

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