The Disappearance Day of Srila Rupa Gosvami


Offering arati to Srila Rupa Gosvami

Vrndavana, India: August 17, 2005
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja


[This year, 2006, the Disappearance Day of Srila Rupa Gosvami is observed on August 6th]

At 6:30 am, on Srila Rupa Gosvami's Disappearance Day, Srila Narayana Maharaja took about two-hundred devotees to Sri Rupa-Sanatana Gaudiya Matha for darsana of Sri Sri Radha-Vinodabihari. Along with all those devotees in the form of a kirtana party, he then went to Sri Radha-Damodara temple. Everyone present circumambulated the temple, first visiting the samadhis of Srila Jiva Gosvami and Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, and then, led by Srila Maharaja, offering arati at the puspa-samadhi of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura while singing Sri Prabhupada-Padma Stava.

After that, they all went to the samadhi of Srila Rupa Gosvami, where Srila Maharaja led them in the performance of arati and then showered them with the nectarean glorification of Rupa Gosvami and his unique contribution. After that, Srila Maharaja led them in worship of Rupa Gosvami's place of bhajana.

In the evening there were about four hundred devotees present at Sri Rupa-Sanatana Gaudiya Matha. Srila Narayana Maharaja had invited a panel of Mathura devotee-scholars, and after they each glorified Rupa Gosvami, Srila Narayana Maharaja himself spoke.

Srila Maharaja expressed his appreciation of the wisdom shared by the various speakers, and he illuminated their main points. He especially appreciated Bhuti Krsna Gosvami's explanation. Simultaneously summarizing and expanding on the Gosvami's words, Srila Maharaja explained that all the commentaries and writings of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura were all manifest by Srila Rupa Gosvami's mercy. Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami gave us Radha-Krsna's asta-kaliya-lila (daily pastimes) in the form of Govinda-lilamrta, and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura gave it in the form of Sri Krsna-bhavanamrta. All of their work was inspired by Srila Rupa Gosvami, in whom they took shelter.

Srila Maharaja explained how Srila Rupa Gosvami gave Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami Radha and Krsna's tax pastimes in the form of his book, Dan-keli-kaumudi, and that inspired Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami to write his own Dan-keli-cintamani.

“Whatever Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura wrote was inspired by Srila Rupa Gosvami. He wrote the commentary of Srila Rupa Gosvami's Bhakti-rasamrta sindhu in the form of his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu-bindhu. He wrote Prema-samput and Camatkara-candrika. Without Srila Rupa Gosvami, the other acarayas could not have given the world what they did. Sri Krsnacandra and Srimati Radhika are merciful, and Lalita and Visakha are merciful, but without Srila Rupa Gosvami's mercy we would not be able to get their mercy. Without Srila Rupa Gosvami, no one would have known what Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to give, and what He came to taste – madanakya-mahabhava. Our entire disciplic succession is coming from Srila Rupa Gosvami, and the entire universe gets from him the root of all moods and philosophy of bhakti-rasa.”

Srila Narayana Maharaja then glorified the discussion of Vasudeva Krsna Caturvedi, and expanded on one of Caturvedi's important points – his expression of Sri Vithalacarya's song, Sri Radha-prarthana.

Srila Maharaja quoted the song and explained its verses. He began with the first words: “Krpayati yadi radha…”

krpayati yadi radha badhitasesa-badha
kim apara-visistam pusti-maryadayor me
yadi vadati ca kincit smera-hasodita-srir
dvija-vara-mani-panktya mukti-suktya tada kim (1)

[“If Srimati Radhika is merciful to me, then all obstacles to my devotion will be removed. There will be nothing more for me to attain because I will have received the fruits offered by the paths of both vaidhi-marga and raga-marga. And if She will speak to me while smiling gently, I will see Her brilliant rows of teeth which are like lines of priceless jewels. Having seen them one time, the goal of gaining liberation from material existence will be rendered insignificant.” (Sri Radha-Prarthana, verse 1)]

Srila Maharaja then began his glorification of the song: Where did Sri Vithilacarya get this idea? He got it from his association with Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, who received his ultimate realizations from Srila Rupa Gosvami.

syamasundara sikhanda-sekhara
smera-hasa murali-manohara
radhika-rasika mah krpa-nidhe
sva-priya-carana-kinkarim kuru

[“O Syamasundara! O Sikhanda-sekhara (whose head is adorned with peacock feathers)! Your face is always graced with a playful smile, Your flute-playing is enchanting, and You are so expert in relishing rasa with Srimati Radhika. Because You are an ocean of mercy, I am appealing to You to please make me a kinkari (maidservant) at the feet of Your beloved.” (Sri Radha-Prathana, verse 2)]

Srila Maharaja continued: “We are so fortunate, because now Srila Rupa Gosvami's disciplic succession is here and we have come to it.

Srila Rupa Gosvami has given us Sri Upadesamrta. From there we learn not to criticize. We learn to only criticize our own mind.”

krsneti yasya giri tam manasadriyeta
diksasti cet pranatibhis ca bhajantam isam
susrusaya bhajana-vijnam ananyam anya-
nindadi-sunya-hrdam ipsita-sanga-labdhya

[“One should mentally honor the devotee who chants the holy name of Lord Krsna, one should offer humble obeisances to the devotee who has undergone spiritual initiation and is engaged in worshiping the Deity, and one should associate with and faithfully serve that Pure devotee who is advanced in undeviated devotional service and whose heart is completely devoid of the propensity to criticize others.” (Upadesamrta, verse 5)]

We should surrender our entire lives to one who is ninda-sunya, who never commits any offenses. This is all explained by Srila Rupa Gosvami, whose culmination verse in this book is:

tan-nama-rupa-caritadi-sukirtananu-
smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya
tisthan vraje tad-anuragi jananugami
kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram

[“The essence of all advice is that one should utilize one's full time-twenty-four hours a day-in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord's divine name, transcendental form, qualities and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging one's tongue and mind. In this way one should reside in Vraja and serve Krsna under the guidance of devotees. One should follow in the footsteps of the Lord's beloved devotees, who are deeply attached to His devotional service.” (Upadesamrta, verse 8)]

All Gaudiya acaryas fall at Srila Rupa Gosvami's lotus feet and take shelter there. I pray to his lotus feet that he will give all of you his mercy.

Tomorrow is Baladeva Purnima, and we will meet again. My thanks to all who have come here.

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