Today Disappearance day of- Srila Krsna das Kaviraj Goswami, Sri Raghunath Das Goswami, Srila Raghunath Bhatta Goswami

Dear devotees,

Hare Krsna.
Dandvat pranam. Jai Srila Prabhupad.

Today is disappearance day of Srila Krishnadas kaviraj Goswami, Srila Raghunath Das Goswami and Srila Raghunath Bhatta Goswami…3 stalwart devotees of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. They have given us so much and we have used so little. Today is the day to pray to them along with Sri Sanatana Goswami, Sri Rupa Goswami and Sri Jiva Goswami that we get some appreciation of Krsna consciousness that is made available to us by the causeless mercy of Lord Chaitanya and His devotees.

Today as some of us get ready to see the burning of Ravan at Potomac temple…let us pray to these wonderful personalities who are very dear to Lord Chaitanya to mercifully help burn the Ravan within us, who has taken over the temple of our heart. These Vaishnava devotees are our only shelter. Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur writes –

Krsna se tomar, Krsna dite paro, tomar sakti aache
ami to kangal Krsna Krsna boli dhayi tava pache pache

O Vaishnavas, Krsna is your property and you are capable of giving Krsna to anyone….I am a beggar running after you begging for Krsna…please be merciful as you are ocean of mercy (Ohe Vaishnav Thakura doyara sagara, ae dase karuna kori)…and please give some mercy in the form of love for Krsna to me – your servant.

I also wanted to add a note that Srila Krishnadas kaviraj Goswami is the author of Sri Chaitanya Charitamritam…and he was bestowed the title of Kaviraj for his wonderful work of Govindalilamritam.

When will that day come when we will be able to deep dive into the ocean of these nectar that these Goswamis have left for us? Oh how unfortunate we are !!!

(Goswami means – ‘Go’ =sense, ‘swami’ = master…one who has mastered his senses, meaning put it completely in service to SriSri Radha Shyamsundar is Goswami…while we see very few Goswamis…mostly we see Godas…’Go’ = senses, ‘das’ = servant…servant of their senses)

Also one pastime that has touched my heart very much is the pastimes of Srila Raghunath das Goswami eating discarded Jagannath prasadam rice and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu trying to forcefully take the rice from the hands of Srila Raghunath das Goswami…pls try to deep dive into such pastimes and store them in your heart to be refreshed again and again…to at least this way we appreciate the qualities that our Acharyas that we feel proud of our Guru parampara and thus at least resolve to behave in a way befitting to a servant in that Guru parampara. We represent them…24/7. We represent SriSri Radha Shyamsundar 24/7.

Srila Raghunath das Goswami –

Advent: Sakabda 1417 (A.D. 1495)

Disappearance : Sakabda 1493 (A.D. 1571)

Manifest Career: 76 years

Household Career: 19 years

Residence in Vrindaban: 41 years

Residence in Puri 16 Years

Ragunath was born at Sri Krishnapur – two miles away from Saptagram in the Hoogly District, West Bengal, in a Kayastha Zamindar family. His father was Govardhan, the brother of Hiranya Mazumdar. Their yearly income was nearly twenty lakhs from their Zamindary. Both the brothers were well behaved and charitably disposed. They regarded Nilambara Chakravarthl as their Guru. Formerly they served under Misra Purandar also and were thus wellknown to Lord Gauranga.

Ragunath was indifferent to the world from his very childhood. Namacharya Haridas when lived at the house of Balaram Acharya, Raghunath used to hear Krishna’s pastimes from Sri Haridas which helped him to attain Lord Gauranga’s lotus feet. Embracing Sanyasasram, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to Santipur. Then Raghunath fell at his lotus feet and received His blessings as well as the remnants of his dish. Advaita Acharya also blessed Raghunath at Santipur and after a week’s stay he was sent home on the eve of the Lord’s departure for Puri.

Raghunath made many vain attempts to run away from his house to Puri. At one time his father caught him redhanded and kept him as a prisoner under the custody of eleven persons. Raghunath spent his days with sorrow, till he met the Lord Gauranga again at Santipur with the permission from his father. He stayed there for a week in the company of Lord Chaitanya. The omniscient Lord said, "Raghunath be patient and go home. One can reach the shore of the world-ocean gradually and slowly. Don’t make a show of asceticism. Accept the sense objects in a spirit of real dispassion or renunciation. Cherish steadfast attachment to the Lord Krishna in your heart, while outwardly discharging your wordly affairs. You will soon be delivered by Krishna’s grace. After my return from Vrindaban, meet me at Puri." Implicitly obeying Him, Raghunath returned home. Following the Lord’s advice, without any kind of worldly attachment, he paid his attention to the temporal duties to please his parents. The guards relaxed their control over him.

Thus Raghunath spent some years following Yuktha-Vairagya and rejecting Phalgu or false vairagya.

Once the Muslim Revenue Collector, with the help of Nawab’s vizir charged, Hiranya and Govardhana for defalcation of the Government revenue. Both brothers fled at his approach. But Raghunath was bound and brought before the Vizir for the embezlement of Government money. Ragunath, who was well-behaved and amiable in his conduct, at last succeeded in bringing about an amicable compromise between the Muslim Collector and his uncle and father. Unable to bear the pangs of separation from the Lord, Raghunath ran away from his house to meet the Lord at Puri. But he was brought back by the guards from halfway. His mother advised his father to bind him with ropes. The father said, " How can you tie Him with a rope, where a splendid opulence and matchless beautiful wife failed to captivate him ? A father can not destroy the ‘prarabdha’ of his son, while the Lord is attracting him."

A few days latter, Raghunath met Nityananda Prabhu, seated on an elevated platform with his followers. To feed his followers, Nityananda Prabhu asked him to celebrate "Chuda Dadhi" mahotsava. Receiving the command of Sri Nityananda Prabhu Raghunath procured quintals of flattend rice, litres of milk, large quantities of curd and sugar, lots of bananas and hundreds of pots, in a moment and offered all of them to the Lord amid loud cheers of Harinam. When Nityananda Prabhu invoked, Lord Chaitanya appeared in their mid, accepting offerings smilingly. Their mutual feeding was not visible to anybody except to the devotees. With loud Hari Samkirtan the followers of Nityananda Prabhu accepted Mahaprasad which reminded them of Krishna and Balaram’s feasting on banks of the river Yamuna. Next day Raghunath prostrated at the lotus feet of Sri Nityananda Prabhu and prayed for his blessings to reach Lord Gauranga’s Lotus Feet. Nityananda Prabhu, placed his lotus feet upon Raghunath’s head and blessed him. His followers blessed him too. Then Nityananda Prabhu said to him "Raghunath, because you have intense love for Sri Krishna, the Lord will deliver you to Damodar Swarupa who will be pleased to keep you as his favourite disciple. Go home now, Sri Krishna will liberate you soon." Raghunath honoured Nityananda Prabhu and his men with several hundreds of gold coins.

Raghunath returned home and began to think over the means of escape from the custody of his guards. One day he heard that the Bengal Devotees under the guidance of Sivananda Sen were on their way to Puri. Next Day Yadunandan Acharya, the purohit came to Raghunath’s house and requested him to persuade his Archaka, who was on strike, to resume his duty. Raghunath went to the Archaka’s house and persuaded him to render service to the Deity. Thus, in the night, while returning home, Raghunath thought it a golden opportunity to escape, because he was then left alone. So, immediately he ran-way unguarded, avoiding high road and keeping his mind on the lotus feet of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

The escape of Raghunath from the vigilant guards tilled the hearts of all the members of the family with unique quiet. His father sent a number of his men throughout the country in search of his beloved son. But they returned home with broken hearts as they could not find him even amongst the devotees going to Puri.

Raghunath walked fast and reached Pun in twelve days, without proper food. He offered his prostrated obeisances at the lotus feet of Lord Gauranga. The Lord embraced him saying, "Sri Krishna’s strongest mercy has delivered you from the foul sink of worldlines. Your father and uncle, though the supporters of the Brahmins, are not in a par with Vaishnavas but are stepped in the gloom of worldly "ignorance". Then the Lord delivered him to Sri Swarupa Damodar, who accepted him as his most intimate disciple. Mahaprabhu asked Govinda, his attendant, to serve Raghunath with nutritious food as he came walking without food. Raghunath took Prasad, only for five days from Govinda. He lived a life of severe asceticism living entirely upon alms, un-asked from people, at the Lions Gate in front of Jagannath Temple. Mahaprabhu was very much pleased with the asceticism of Raghunath. One day Swarupa Damodar said to Mahaprabhu "Raghunath desires to have some enlightment from your lotus feet. He says, he does not know his duty or the goal of his life. Therefore, please give him instructions personally from your transcendental mouth." Smiling, the Lord told Raghunath, "Swarupa Damodar is your instructor, you may learn the means and end of the philosophy from him. He knows better than Me. Still if you are faithful in following my instructions, do not hear or talk worldly matters; do not eat palatable food nor should you wear costly dress. Always chant the holy name without expecting honour from others; render service within your mind to Radha Krishna of Vrindaban. My instructions are brief, you can hear in detail from Swarupa Damodar. On hearing from Sivananda Sen, Raghunath’s father sent a large sum of money, two servants and a cook to his son, so that they might look after his health giving him timely meals. But Raghunath refused to accept them. On the other hand he used to invite Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to his lodge twice a month, and serve Him with Jagannath Prasad bought with a small amount of his father’s money. Thus he continued to invite the Lord for two years and then discontinued inviting Him, thinking that it would rather add premium to his worldly name and fame than satisfy the Lord. When Mahaprabhu asked Swarupa about the termination of the invitation by Raghunath, Swarupa said, "Raghunath must have thought over the matter that his invitation Your Holiness for dinner, accepting the money from materialistic people does not give You happiness in any way. He also might have thought that You are accepting the dinner only to please a fool like him !" Mahaprabhu expressed His delight saying. "It is true that food accepted from the worldly minded, contaminates even the mind ofa Holy-man and such a mind can not meditate on Lord Krishna. It becomes an invitation which results in Rajoguna, polluting the mind of both the giver and the Receiver.

Some days after, Raghunath gave up the habit of begging at the Lions Gate at which the Lord said, "I am glad to hear that Raghunath has abandoned begging at the Lions Gate and took recourse to un-solicited Prasad at the Chaatra(Choultry), for begging at the Lions Gate is no less than a harlot’s mode of living", so saying Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave Raghunath, His Own Govardhan Sila and Gunja Mala. With Govardhan sila, the Lord consecrated Raghunath to the lotus feet of Govardhan, the very self of Sri Krishna and with Gunjamala the Lord dedicated him to the lotus feet of Sri Radha. The very thought of these two divine gifts from the hands of the Lord, threw him into a rapture of Divine love with which he began to worship the Sila in a transcendental Satwika mood. Such was his spirit of renunciation, that he began to live upon the rejected Prasad of Lord Jagannath with a little salt. This moved the heart of not only Sri Swarupa Damodar but also that of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who partook a morsal or two of that Holy food and extolled it saying that he had never tasted such an excellent Prasadam before. Such was the mode of his stern ascetic life, that he rendered confidential loving service to the Lord for sixteen years under the guidance of his divine master Sri Damodara Swarup, the second self of the Lord. After disappearance of the Lord in 1534. AD, Raghunath arrived at Vrindaban and resolved to make end of himself by falling from Govardhan giri. He met the two brothers Sri Rupa and Sanatana, who saved him from his intended suicide and kept him by their side in the place of their deceased brother. The two brothers were very much pleased to listen to his talks on the Inner and External Leelas of the Supreme Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu with rapt attention.

Amongst the most favourite and intimate followers of the lord, Raghunath was one who had taken absolute shelter at His lotus feet leaving everything behind. In the last days of his Bhajan, he gave up even food and lived upon only one fourth litre of butter-milk a day. His daily performance of "Sadhan" was to chant the Holy name, a Lakh times, to do two thousand of prostrated obeisances to the Vaishnavas, to recite the Divine career of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu for three hours, to worship Sri Radha Krishna in his real unalloyed-self, to bathe thrice in Sri Radha Kunda,to embrace vrajavasi Vaishnavas whenever he would come accross and to be deeply absorbed in his worship. Thus he spent only one hour and a half for sleep and the rest of twenty two and half hours in His service. There were days, that were spent with complete sleeplessness too. Such was the wonderful mode of devotional practices of Sri Raghunath Goswami.

In His Vrindaban Leela he is Rasa Manjari. He wrote three famous books : (1) Sthava Mala or Stavavali, (2) Sri Dana Charita and (3) Muktavali. In his 76th year he disappeared on the banks of the Radha Kunda, where his Samadhi is still being worshipped by the devotees.

Srila Raghunath Bhatta Goswami –

ADVENT 1427.

Ascension Sakabda. 1501 (A. D. 1505)

Duration of manifest Career 74 Years

Duration of Household Career 28 Years

Duration of Residence at Puri 1 Year

Duration at Vrindaban 45 Years.

Raghunath Bhatta was the son of Tapana Misra. When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, as a preceptor, was in the East Bengal imparting sacred knowledge to students, Tapana Misra approached Him to discuss spiritual advancement. Then he was favoured by the Lord with Harinam Initiation. After that He ordered Tapana Misra to proceed to Varanasi and settle there with family. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu on His return from Vrindaban stayed at Varanasi for two months in the house of Chandra Sekhar, accepting Bhikshya (Food) for two months in the house of Tapana Misra. Raghunath Bhatta who was then a child used to wash the dishes of the Lord and massaged His legs. Gopala Bhatta used to listen to the teachings of the Lord that were being delivered to Sanatana Goswami at Varanasi.

Having grown up, the young Raghunath Bhatta, being followed by a servant, started from Varanasi to Puri, travelling along the path leading through Bengal. In Bengal he met Ramdas Viswas, the learned Pandit in all the revealed scriptures. He used to teach the boys Kavya-Prakas. He was an advanced devotee of Lord Ramachandra. Renouncing every thing he was going to see Lord Jagannath at Puri. On the way he met Raghunath Bhatta. Accompanying him, he carried Raghunath’s baggage and followed him. On the way Ramadas served Raghunath in various ways even by massaging his legs. Raghunath felt ashamed of it and said, "You are a respectable learned scholar and a great devotee. As such I wish, you should follow me without rendering any kind of service to me". To this, said Ramadas, "I am a Sudra and a fallen soul. To serve a Brahmin is my duty or Dharma. Therefore please do not be hesitant to accept my service. I am your servant, and when I serve you my heart becomes jubilent." So saying, Ramadas, repeating the Ramatarak Mantra day and night, carried the baggage of Raghunath Bhatta till they reached Jagannath Puri. Raghunath Bhatta saw Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and immediately offered prostrated obeisances at His Lotus Feet. Mahaprabhu embraced him. Raghunath Bhatta offered respectful obeisances to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu on behalf of Tapana Misra and Chandra Sekhar. The Lord also inquired about them. The lord said, "Very good that you have come here." Now go and see the lotus eyed Lord Jagannath. Accept Prasad today at my place."

The lord asked Govinda to arrange for Raghunath Bhatta’s accommodation and then introduced him to all the devotees headed by Swarupa Damodara Goswami. Raghunath Bhatta lived with Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu continuously for eight months and by the Lord’s mercy he felt his transcendental happiness increasing day to day.

As he was an expert in cooking, he used to cook, now and then, rice with various vegetables and invite Sni Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to his lodge. As whatever he prepared for Naivedya, it tasted just like nectar. Mahaprabhu would accept with great satisfaction the food prepared by him. After the Lord was satisfied Raghunath Bhatta would eat the remnants.

After eight months, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu bade farwell to Raghunath Bhatta warning him not to marry. He said, "When you return home, serve your aged, devout parents and also read Srimad Bhagavatam with a Pure Vaishnava. Come again to Nilachala (Jagannath Puri). So saying the Lord put his own necklace of beads on Raghunath’s neck and again embraced him. Taking permission from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and all the other devotees under Swarupa Damodar, he returned to Varanasi. According to the instructions of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he continuously rendered service to his parents for four years. He also regularly studied the Srimad Bhagavatam with a Vaishnava Pandit.

When his parents died at Varanasi he became indifferent and returned to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at Puri. Keeping Raghunath for some months with Him, the Lord said, "My dear Raghunath go to Vrindaban and place yourself under the care of Sri Rupa and Sanatana Goswami. There, you chant Krishna Nam always and read Srimad Bhagavatam continuously. The Supreme Lord Krishna will very soon bestow His mercy upon You. The Lord’s grace and his embrace made Raghunath Bhatta mad with ecstatic love for Krishna. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave him garland, fourteen cubits long, worn by Lord Jagannath along with some betel leaves at the time of his departure to Vrindaban. Preserving the garland carefully Raghunath Bhatta arrived at Vrindaban and put himself under the care of Sri Rupa and Sanatana.

While reciting Srimad Bhagavatam in the assembly of Sri Rupa and Sanatana Goswami, Raghunath Bhatta used to overwhelm with ecstatic love for Krishna. By the mercy of the Lord he experienced the symptoms of ecstatic love with tears, and the trembling and faltering of the voice. His eyes filled with tears, his throat became choked and thus he could not recite Srimad Bhagavat. His voice was as sweet as a cuckoo and he would recite each verse of Srimad Bhagavatam in three or four tunes. Thus his recitations were very sweet to hear. When he recited or heard about the beauty and sweetness of Krishna, he would be overwhelmed with eestacy and become oblivious to every thing. Raghunath Bhatta fully surrendered at the lotus feet of Lord Govinda and these lotus feet became his life and soul. Subsequently he ordered his disciples to construct a temple for lord Govinda. He prepared various ornaments for Govinda including a flute and earrings shaped like sharks.

Raghunath Bhatta would neither hear nor speak about anything of the material world. He would simply discuss upon Krishna and would worship Him only, day and night. He wouJd not listen to blasphemy of a Vaishnava nor would he listen to talk of a Vaishnava’s misbehaviour. He knew only this much that every human being was carrying on Krishna’s orders. He did not understand anything else. When he was absorbed in meditation of Lord Krishna, he would take the Tulasi and the Prasada garland of Lord Jagannatha given to him by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, bind them together and wear them on his neck.

He disappeared at Vrindaban at the age of 74. He is Ragamanjari in Vrajaleela.

Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami –

Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami is the author of the Chaitanya Charitamrita, but has given us very little autobiographical information there. In his introduction to the Gaudiya Math’s edition of Chaitanya Charitamrita, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur has written the following about Krishnadas’s antecedents: “We do not know the names of Krishnadas’s parents. Recently their names have been discovered, [FN: According to Ashutosh Deb’s Bengali Dictionary and Haridas
Das’s Gaudiya Vaishnava Abhidhana, Krishnadas’s parents’ names were
as Bhagiratha and Sunanda.] but no concrete evidence can be found to substantiate these claims. Krishnadas is his spiritual, not his family, name. He has given some autobiographical information in the fifth chapter of the Adi-lila, from which we learn that he was born in Jhamatpura, near the Salara railway station. Jhamatpura lies four miles west of Naihati in the Katwa block of Burdwan district. To this day, Krishnadas’s Gaura-Nitai deities are still worshiped in his home town, but there do not seem to be any descendants of his family still living there. He was ordered by Nityananda Prabhu in a dream to go to Vrindavan which is where he spent the remainder of his life. His samadhi tomb is on the grounds of the Radha-Damodar temple.” (Bhumika, ii.)

Nityananda Prabhu appeared to me in a dream in Jhamatpur, near Naihati. (1.5.181).

Srila Prabhupada Saraswati Goswami has established Krishnadas’s dates by collating information from several sources. He concludes that he was probably born in about 1520 AD and died in about 1616 or 1617. Vrindavan Das Thakur appeared sometime after 1510 AD. Krishnadas’s magnificent biography of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was meant to serve as an appendix to his work.

Krishnadas’s Varnashrama Status
There is some difference of opinion about Krishnadas’s caste. Once again, Srila Prabhupada, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur has discussed this point: “Supporters of different ideas claim that Krishnadas was born in one of the three upper castes (Brahmin, kayastha or vaidya). Kaviraj is a title given to those who have proven themselves by composing literary works which have achieved renown for their quality in learned circles. Since this title is also given to Ayurvedic physicians, some people hold that Krishnadas was a vaidya. It is difficult to contradict those who claim that he is a Brahmin on the basis of his extraordinary mastery of the scriptures and other branches of learning, of which Chaitanya Charitamrita is an eloquent testimonial. Nor is the view that he was a kayastha altogether illogical, as he reveals a soft spot for that caste when he praises its intelligence and managerial talents in the chapters about Raghunath Das Goswami’s early life.” (Bhumika, iii.)

From this above discussion, we can see that Krishnadas may have been born in any of these three castes. Whatever the case, a Vaishnava is a superior human being no matter in what caste he takes his birth.

All scriptures state that a Vaishnava is still the best of humankind. It it does not matter in which caste he takes birth. That most sinful person who judges a Vaishnava in terms of his race or his caste will repeatedly be born in the lowest forms of life. (Chaitanya Bhagavat 2.10.100-2)

There is no unanimous opinion about Krishnadas’s marital status, either. Some say that he was a lifelong brahmachari when he went to Vrindavan, for if he had left a wife and family he would likely have mentioned it when telling of his renunciation. Srila Prabhupada writes in this connection, “After arriving in Vrindavan, Krishnadas became indifferent to talk about his previous family life and totally absorbed in Hari-katha. This behavior is appropriate for someone in the third or fourth station and completely committed to the devotional life. The Chaitanya Charitamrita is the composition of someone who has reached the status of a paramahamsa and is completely beyond the four ashramas. He was known as Kaviraj Goswami to his spiritual family. His spiritual identity in Vraja lila is Ratnarekha Manjari, or Kasturi Manjari according to others.

From Krishnadas’s statements in the Chaitanya Charitamrita, we also learn that he had a brother. Krishnadas does not give his name, but Hari Das Das writes in the Gaudiya Vaishnava Abhidhana that he was called Shyama Das Kaviraj.

Krishnadas’s Vision of Nityananda Prabhu
In the course of his glorification of Nityananda Prabhu in the Chaitanya Charitamrita, Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami describes the crucial event in his life. Krishnadas had organized a 24-hour kirtan at his house and amongst those invited was Lord Nityananda’s dear associate, Minaketan Rama Das, who also lived in Jhamatpura.

Minaketan was a great Vaishnava who was in a constant state of devotional trance as he chanted the name of Nityananda Prabhu. In his ecstatic mood, he would sometimes hit people with his flute and sometimes slap them. In general, his ecstatic behavior was the cause of some astonishment amongst Krishnadas’s guests and most came to pay their obeisances and offer him their respects. Only Gunarnava Mishra, who had been engaged at the festival as a pujari, did not demonstrate a respectful attitude. This behavior was an indication that Gunarnava Mishra had no faith in Nityananda Prabhu. Rama Das became angry and criticized Mishra, saying,

”Just look! A second Romaharshana Suta who did not come forward to show respect when he saw Balaram!” (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.5.170)

Gunarnava Mishra was pleased to have been chastised by Rama Das and simply continued in the performance of his service to the Deity. At the end of the kirtan festival, when Gunarnava Mishra had left, however, Krishnadas Kaviraj’s brother got into an argument with Minaketan Rama Das about what had happened. Krishnadas’s brother had strong faith in Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, but lacked similar faith in Nityananda. Upon hearing this, Rama Das was deeply wounded and he became so angry that he broke his flute and left. The result of this curse was that Krishnadas’s brother was doomed to completely losing any devotional attitude whatsoever. Krishnadas Kaviraj, however, took the side of Nityananda Prabhu’s associate and rebuked his brother:

”These two brothers [Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
and Nityananda Prabhu] are like one body; they are equal in their spiritual manifestation. If you do not accept the divinity of Lord Nityananda, you will fall down. To have faith in one but to disrespect the other is as logical as accepting half a hen. Better you should be an atheist by denying the divinity of both than a hypocrite who believes in one and not the other.” (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.5.175-7)

The Lord is influenced by his devotees and he gives great importance to even the slightest display of attachment, bestowing upon them all that they desire. Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami writes that by taking the part of Nityananda Prabhu’s associate and chastizing his brother, he won the blessings of Nityananda Prabhu himself. Nitai came to him in a dream and ordered him to go to Vrindavan.

”O Krishnadas! Have no fear. Go to Vrindavan, for there you will attain all things.” After saying this, he indicated the way to Vrindavan by waving his hand and then disappeared with his associates. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.5.195-6)

By way of contrast, a person who holds devotees in contempt, though he show all the customary virtues is eternally deprived of the Lord’s blessings. The example is the zamindar Ramachandra Khan, who committed offenses to Hari Das Thakur, as a result of which he incurred Nityananda Prabhu’s displeasure. Not only did he lose everything, but his house was razed completely, leaving no remnants. Only a foolish person who lacks discrimination would be so bold as to behave unjustly toward a saintly person.

With words of profound humility, Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami proclaims the glories of Nityananda Prabhu:

I am more sinful than Jagai and Madhai and lower than a maggot in stool. Whoever hears my name loses the results of his virtuous deeds, and whoever utters my name commits a sin. Other than Nityananda, could anyone in this world show mercy to one as abominable as me? Nityananda is the incarnation of mercy; he is so intoxicated by ecstatic love that he does not discriminate between the good and the bad. He delivers anyone who fall down before him. Therefore he has delivered such a sinful and fallen person as me. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.5.205-9)

Krishnadas Writes the Final Pastimes of the Lord
Without the mercy of Vishnu and the Vaishnavas, it is impossible to describe their glories. It is for this reason that Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami begins each chapter of the Chaitanya Charitamrita with invocations to Mahaprabhu and his associates like Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita Acharya, and concludes each chapter with a prayer for the service to the feet of Rupa and Raghunath Goswamis. He thus showed how important it is to avoid any disrespect or offense to the Vaishnavas.

The activities of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are by nature wonderful and sweet. When described by Vrindavan Das Thakur, they become a shower of nectar. To describe them again would not only be repetition, but a display of arrogance, for I do not possess his powers. I shall thus only present a synopsis of those events already described fully by Vrindavan Das in his Chaitanya Mangala. I shall do my best to fully describe in this book only those incidents mentioned in his outline which he did not develop. I therefore offer respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of Vrindavan Das Thakur, praying that I will not offend his lotus feet by my action. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.4.5-9)

Just as Vyasadeva compiled Lord Krishna’s pastimes in Srimad Bhagavatam, Thakur Vrindavan Das depicted Lord Chaitanya’s pastimes…. I offer millions of obeisances unto the lotus feet of Vrindavan Das Thakur who has delivered the entire universe through his book. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.8.35,40)

Vrindavan Das the authorized biographer of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and equal to Srila Vyasadeva. He has described the Lord’s pastimes in such a way as to make them sweeter and sweeter. I shall try as far as possible to fill in descriptions he left out due to his fear of his book’s becoming too voluminous. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.13.48-9)

In his foreword to the edition of the Chaitanya Charitamrita published by the Sri Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, the president of the editorial board of Chaitanya Vani magazine, H. H. Bhakti Pramoda Puri Goswami Maharaj, has written: “Vrindavan Das Thakur wrote an elaborate outline of Mahaprabhu’s lila at the beginning of the Chaitanya Bhagavat, but as he became absorbed in describing Nityananda’s activities, many events mentioned in the outline were left out of the final version of the book. Mahaprabhu’s Vrindavan devotees approached Krishnadas Kaviraj, asking him to write down a full version of these pastimes, for if it were not done, they would be forgotten. Krishnadas then went to the deity of Madana Mohana and asked him for permission to do as he had been asked. In front of all the prominent contemporary members of the Gaudiya community in Vrindavan, the garland fell from Madana Mohana’s neck. This was taken by all who were present as a sign of the Lord’s approval and they let out a joyous cheer. Madana Mohana’s pujari picked up the garland and placed it on Krishnadas’s chest. Joyfully taking the garland as a symbol of the Deity’s wishes, Krishnadas began to write his biography of the Lord. Thus he has written in great humility.

Chaitanya Charitamrita is being dictated to me by Madana Mohana. My writing is like the repetition of a parrot. I write as Madana Gopal orders me, just as a wooden marionette is made to dance by a puppeteer. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.8.78-9)

In writing Chaitanya Charitamrita, Krishnadas made use of Svarupa Damodar’s notes, which Raghunath Das Goswami had memorized. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur has described this as follows: “Sri Svarupa Damodar Goswami wrote an outline in Sanskrit (karica) of Mahaprabhu’s later activities. He had Raghunath memorize these verses and told him to preach them throughout the world. These verses were not written down anywhere else, however. The Chaitanya Charitamrita is the gist of Svarupa Damodar’s karica.

Though I am an insignificant living being, through the blessings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu I have summarized in writing everything that Svarupa Damodar recorded in his notes about the Lord’s pastimes, as well as everything that I heard from the mouth of Raghunath Das. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.3.269-70)

Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s glorious name, form, qualities and activities all manifest in Krishnadas Kaviraj’s heart, which he then published in the Chaitanya Charitamrita. He himself stated this fact in various places throughout the book:

I am now an old man and an invalid. My hand trembles as I write and my memory fails me. I am going blind and deaf, but still I manage to write and this is a great wonder. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.2.90)

While Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur was once glorifying the superlative character of Chaitanya Charitamrita to his disciples, he instructed them as follows: “If it were to happen that all the books in the world were destroyed, leaving only Srimad Bhagavatam and Chaitanya Charitamrita, then the people of this world would still be able to achieve the ultimate goal in life. Even if the Srimad Bhagavatam were lost, leaving only the Chaitanya Charitamrita, there would be no loss to humanity, for that which has not been revealed in the Bhagavat is found in Chaitanya Charitamrita. The supreme absolute truth is Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the combined form of Radha and Krishna. The Chaitanya Charitamrita is his sound incarnation. The divine mystery of Radharani’s divine status and glories are found therein. Can there be any doubt, therefore, of the supreme status of this piece of transcendental literature?”

This statement underscores the supremely special status of Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami himself. His three books, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Govinda-lilamrita and a commentary on Krishna-karnamrita, are all priceless works. Govinda-lilamrita describes in detail Lord Krishna’s activities over a twenty-four-hour period. Narottama Das Thakur has therefore stated:

krishnadasa kaviraja, rasika bhakata majh
jenho kaila caitanya-carita
gaura-govinda-lila, shunite galaye shila
tahate na haila mora cita

Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami stands out amongst the devotional literati, for he is the author of the biography of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He described both Gaura and Govinda’s lila, hearing which even a stone would melt. Alas, even so, my mind has not been attracted by these works. (Prema-bhakti-candrika)

Krishnadas was honored with the title kaviraja (“king of poets”) for his Govinda-lilamrita. He is also respected in the Vaishnava world as the best amongst the followers of Rupa Goswami.

The Authoritativeness of the Chaitanya Charitamrita
From the illustrious commentator Vishvanath Chakravarti’s tika to the Chaitanya Charitamrita, we can understand a little better just how dear Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami was to Radharani, and by the same token, how the deepest and most esoteric truths of the Divinity were revealed to him, showing that every word he wrote is to be taken as the supreme spiritual truth. H. H. Bhakti Pramoda Puri Maharaj has recounted the following anecdote in his foreward to the Chaitanya Gaudiya Math edition of the Chaitanya Charitamrita: “While Vishvanath Chakravarti was writing his commentary on the Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila 21.125, he was unable to understand why Kaviraj Goswami had written that the kama-gayatri mantra consists of 24_ syllables rather than 25. He became so distraught by his inability to comprehend that he finally took a vow to starve to death by the banks of Radha Kund. As he dozed off in the middle of the night, the daughter of Vrishabhanu appeared to him in a dream and said to him, ‘O Vishvanath! Get up. Krishnadas has indeed written correctly. He is my dear girlfriend, who brings me much pleasure. I have blessed him so that he can understand the most intimate truths about myself. Do not doubt anything he has written. In the book named Varnagama-bhasvat, it is written that whenever the syllable ya is followed by the syllable vi, it is considered to be only half a syllable.’”

In the Bhakti-ratnakara it is mentioned that Srinivas Acharya met Krishnadas Kaviraj, Raghunath Das Goswami and Sri Raghava when he arrived in Vrindavan (Bhakti-ratnakara 4.392).

On the grounds of Krishnadas Kaviraj’s home in Jhamatpura is a small temple containing Nityananda’s footprints. Local legend has it that Krishna-Das received Nityananda’s mercy, i.e., initiation into the mantra, at this very spot. According to the Prema-vilasa, however, Krishnadas took initiation from Raghunath Das Goswami. In the temple there is a wooden sandal which is said to have been Krishnadas’s. His cottage and samadhi tomb are in Radha Kund. His disappearance took place after that of Raghunath Das Goswami, on the Shukla Dvadashi tithi of the month of Ashvina.

your servant,
Padmanabh das

Prashant Patel
Program Manager, Lenovo WW Maint Inventory
2020 Technology Parkway,
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
Phone: (717) 610-2140, T/L: 471-2140


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