sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!
Issue 4, Fortnightly Centennial Edition
Posted: 16 August 2021
In honour of the centennial appearance year of
nitya-līlā-praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Māhārāja
Dedicated to and Inspired by
nitya-līlā-praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Māhārāja
Allegiance to Śrī Rūpa
Excerpts from the writings of
by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Māhārāja
Presented in English for the first time
In Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī has quoted the “priya-svarūpe dayita-svarūpe” verse from Śrī Kavi-karṇapūra’s Śrī Caitanya-candrodaya-nāṭaka, thereby describing Śrīmad Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhu as Śrīman Mahāprabhu’s dvitīya-svarūpa, or second self. It is through Śrī Rūpa in particular that Śrī Gaurasundara has, in a very special manner, revealed the scriptures of bhakti-rasa. Śrī Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas take special pride in introducing themselves as śrī rūpanuga, the followers of Śrī Rūpa. Śrīla Narottama Ṭhākura has also demonstrated anugatya, or allegiance, to Śrī Rūpa in various songs like: “śrī rūpa-raghunātha pade haibe ākuti, kabe hāma bujhabo se yugala pīriti—when will I long for the feet of Śrī Rūpa and Raghunātha? When will I understand that love between the Divine Couple?” and “śuniyāchi sādhu mukhe bole sarva-jana, śrī rūpa-kṛpāya mile yugala-caraṇa—I have heard from the mouths of saints and indeed everyone says that one can obtain the feet of the Divine Couple by the mercy of Śrī Rūpa.” Śrīla Kavirāja Gosvāmī has also revealed profoundly intense attachment and honor for Śrī Rūpa in Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta. Jagad-guru Śrīla Sarasvatī Prabhupāda also, throughout his manifest presence, revealed his utmost allegiance to Śrī Rūpa by always reciting the verse “ādadānas-tṛṇaṁ dantaiḥ”* while performing kīrtana of hari-kathā, giving classes and speeches and bestowing general instructions.
* ādadānas tṛṇaṁ dantair idaṁ yāce punaḥ punaḥ
śrīmad rūpa-padāmbhojau dhuliḥ syāṁ janma-janmani
Clutching a straw between my teeth, I pray this again and again: “May I become the dust on the lotus feet of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, birth after birth. (Dāna-keli-cintāmaṇi 175, Śrī Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī)
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who is imbued with the mood of Śrī Rādhā, appeared in the world to distribute śrī kṛṣṇa-premato human society and relish the sweetness of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s supramundane love. If one is to grasp and cultivate the pastimes of Śrī Caitanya, it is imperative to follow the footsteps of the Six Gosvāmīs in a mood of one-pointed conviction. Śrīla Rūpa Prabhu, chief of the Gosvāmīs, has taught kṛṣṇa-bhakti through Upadeśāmṛta, while Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has imparted teachings on performing kṛṣṇa-bhajana through Śikṣāṣṭakam. In spiritual life, if the mind and senses are not controlled, advancement in bhajana is a far-off prospect. Therefore, in the very beginning of Śrī Upadeśāmṛta, the qualification of a Gosvāmī, or one who has controlled his senses, is described. Should the sādhaka who has taken shelter of a sad-guru (bona fide teacher) follow this in the course of bhakti-sādhana, success in śrī kṛṣṇa-bhajana is inevitable. Only if one studies Śikṣāṣṭaka under the guidance of Upadeśāmṛta imparted by Śrī Rūpa will the essence of Śrī Gaurasundara’s teachings become a matter of realization. There is no doubt in this.
The sad thing is that the lineages of prākṛta-sahajiyās, far from showing allegiance to Śrī Rūpa, keep amassing offenses at the feet of Śrī Rūpa-Sanātana and the foremost of rūpānugas, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, by being rather nefarious in writing and propagating various fanciful stories and parables in opposition of them. “Aprākṛta vastu nahe prākṛta gocara—the supramundane is not accessible to the mundane.” The beautifully conclusive truth of this statement is never intelligible to them. They remain content in admiring their own contrived policies and customs.
Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura has also conveyed the following about allegiance to Śrī Rūpa in Sajjana-toṣaṇī, 18th Year 4thIssue: “Śrī Gaurasundara’s glories only manifest in the living entity’s sleeping heart if he becomes a follower of Śrī Rūpa. This is why I say, ‘O pure devotee readers! Read Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhu’s books, which are the most prominent aids to Śrī Gaurasundara’s preaching of bhakti. You will find all auspiciousness. Whatever you try to do, if you attempt to step over Śrī Rūpa, all your efforts will only bring ruin to you.’
“The main component (mūla-vastu) of sādhana-bhakti is śraddhā. The main component of bhāva-bhakti is rati. And the main component of prema-bhakti is rasa. Do not forget to notice the three states in which bhakti exists. If you have a desire to understand bhakti-rasa as imparted by Śrī Gaura and elaborated by Śrī Rūpa, then build a life of śuddha-bhakti(pure devotion). Avail yourself of the sort of sādhu-saṅga that involves trying to understand the difference between the śrī rūpānuga process coming from Śrīmad Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and the doctrines of others. Surely you will enter into the path of śuddha-bhakti. If you take shelter of the process, śrī rūpānuga Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda practiced and preached in the world, you will not have to enter any deceptive group and learn something else entirely from them in the name of bhakti merely for the sake of gaining prestige.”
Translated from Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Māhārāja’s Prabandhāvalī
By the Rays of The Harmonist team