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Disappearance Day of Srila Sanatana Gosvami

Yesterday was the very super excellent auspicious day of Guru-purnima, the appearance day of Vyasadeva Gosvami, who manifested all of the Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads and Srimad-Bhagavatam. Yesterday also, was the disappearance day of Sanatana Gosvami, who in our guru-parampara, and amongst the six Gosvamis, was very prominent. Today, I want to speak about Sanatana Gosvamipada’s life history and contributions.

Sanatana Gosvamipada was born in a high-class brahmana family. There were three brothers, Rupa Gosvamipada, Anupama, and Sanatana. They were born in Bakla Chandradvipa, and in later years, went to Ramakeligaon where they served the Muslim king, Hussein Shah. Sanatana Gosvamipada had the role of Prime Minister to King Hussein Shah and Rupa Gosvamipada was the king's Financial Minister.

Some time later, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took sannyasa in Jagannatha Puri. He travelled to South India and then went to Jagannatha Puri, performed a very nice and beautiful Ratha-yatra, and also, mercifully delivered King Prataparudra.

The katha of the mood of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu during Ratha-yatra is so beautiful. Srila Gour Govinda Gosvami Maharaja explained that in Jagannatha Puri you can find two separation moods: ‘radha-viraha-vidura-krishna’ and ‘krishna-viraha-vidura-radha’. Meaning that Krishna is feeling pangs of separation from the Vrajavasis and the gopis, especially Srimati Radhika. And Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is also the same Krishna, but absorbed in the mood of Srimati Radhika, is feeling separation from Krishna. In this way, two viraha murtis are in Jagannatha Puri, ‘radha-viraha-vidura-krishna’ and ‘krishna-viraha-vidura-radha’.

Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, absorbed in this very deep and beautiful separation mood of Srimati Radhika, performed this Jagannatha Ratha-yatra pastime in this mood of Vrindavana. Then, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “I have to go to Vrindavana, and on the way, I especially have to see Ganga-devi and My birthplace in Navadvipa-dhama.” However, His associates said, “Prabhu, not at this time, perhaps next year.”

But two or three years had passed and Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu again said, “I have to go to Vrindavana.” So finally, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu left Jagannatha Puri and proceeded to Vrindavana. When Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu arrived in Ramakeligaon, He met with Sanatana and Rupa Gosvamipada. At that time, Rupa and Sanatana glorified the Lord by reciting this pranama-mantra for the first time:

namo mahā-vadānyāya

kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te

kṛṣṇāya kṛṣṇa-caitanya-

nāmne gaura-tviṣe namaḥ

Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya-lila 19.53)

[O most munificent incarnation! You are Krishna Himself appearing as Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. You have assumed the golden colour of Srimati Radharini, and You are widely distributing pure love of Krishna. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You.]

Previously, Rupa-Sanatana, along with their brother Anupama, were living together in Ramakeligaon. During this time, their names were Amara and Santosha. King Hussein Shah later changed their Hindu names to the Muslim names, Dabir Khas and Sakir Mallik. Then finally, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave them their spiritual names: Rupa and Sanatana.

So now Rupa and Sanatana were performing their bhajana and sadhana in Ramakeli. When they used to visit the Court of Hussein Shah, they would dress in Muslim clothing. However, when they were staying in their home, they wore traditional Vaishnava clothing and performed their bhajana and sadhana. Bhakti-ratnakara very nicely explains how they performed bhajana and sadhana in Ramakeligaon. In their home, they also had many decorations of Sri Radha and Krishna, Radha-kunda and Shyama-kunda.

When Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu arrived in Ramakeligaon, it was night time. Rupa and Sanatana had changed from their Muslim dress into their Vaishnava clothing. They both paid obeisances to the lotus feet of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Then, they very humbly told, “We are very fallen and wretched,” and holding a blade of grass between their teeth, they very humbly paid obeisances again to the lotus feet of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri Chaitanya replied, “O Rupa-Sanatana, you are My eternal servants, give up all of your humility, dainya.

They then discussed krishna-katha with Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Sanatana Gosvamipada told Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, “You are going to Vrindavana, but this is not the process to go to Vrindavana - ‘vṛndāvana-yātrāra e nahe paripāṭī’. You are going to Vrindavana, but You have many people with You. This is not the process. You have to go there alone and concentrate Your mind with Krishna in Vrindavana.”

When Sanatana Gosvamipada said this, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu changed His mind and the Lord returned again to Jagannatha Puri. Then He met with Gadadhara, and after He saw Gadadhara, who had felt pangs of separation from Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord very humbly said, “O Gadadhara, Krishna is very wonderful, He did not allow Me to go to Vrindavana because you felt pangs of separation from Me. So, how will I go to Vrindavana?”

While Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was meeting with Rupa and Sanatana in Ramakeli, He told them, “You have to go to Vrindavana and perform your bhajana and sadhana. Life is very short and who knows when anyone will die. As soon as possible, you should give up your duties and responsibilities and go to Vrindavana.” So according to the instruction of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Rupa Gosvamipada was first to resign from his position of Financial Minister, and he travelled to Vrindavana.

Then Sanatana Gosvamipada, who was the prime minister for King Hussein Shah, had to also give up his responsibilities. To accomplish this, Sanatana Gosvamipada pretended, “I am very sick, I cannot attend the assembly in the king’s court.” So, Hussein Shah sent his raja-vaidya (physician) to check the body of Sanatana Gosvamipada. However at that moment, Sanatana Gosvamipada was speaking hari-katha with devotees.

Then raja-vaidya reported this information back to the king, “Actually, Sanatana has no sickness.” After hearing this, the king forced Sanatana, “You have to come with me to the South, as I want to conquer lands there.” Now Sanatana Gosvamipada thought, “Most of the people in the South are devotees of Krishna. How can I possibly go with him and disturb the Lord's devotees?” For this reason, Sanatana pretended to be sick.

Then, the king said, “You are like my elder brother, if you do not help me, how will I conquer the South? You have to come!” But Sanatana Gosvamipada again responded, “I cannot go with you to the battlefield in the South.” After hearing his response, the Muslim King Hussein Shah became very angry and placed Sanatana in jail. Now, Sanatana needed a way to get out of this imprisonment.

Before leaving for Vrindavana, Rupa Gosvamipada gave some suvarna mudra (golden coins) to his faithful neighbour. And that faithful neighbour gave them to Sanatana and said, “Sanatana you have to come out of this jail and meet with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Navadvipa-dhama.” Rupa Gosvamipada also wrote one letter to Sanatana Gosvami while he was in jail saying, “Kva gatā mathurā-purī kva gatottara-kośalā.” No one could understand the meaning of this letter, only Sanatana Gosvami understood.

The meaning of the shloka Rupa Gosvamipada composed, ‘kva gatā mathurā-purī kva gatottara-kośalā’, is that Lord Ramachandra appeared in Treta-yuga in Ayodhya. ‘Kva gatottara-kośalā’ refers to Ayodhya. However, Ramachandra returned to His own abode, to His transcendental dhama. Then, Sri Krishna appears in Dvapara-yuga, and after performing His lilas, He also returns to His abode or dhama. And now, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has appeared. Meaning, Krishna has come in the form of Shachinandana Gaurahari, who has taken the complexion and mood of Srimati Radhika.

In the letter, Rupa Gosvamipada wrote, “Perhaps Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu will not stay much longer in this material world. So as soon as possible, you have to give up this bondage and come to Vrindavana to meet with Him.” Now, Sanatana Gosvamipada contemplated, “How will I get released from this Muslim jail?” Then Sanatana Gosvamipada, cleverly told the jailer, “Listen, I am giving you these golden coins so you can release me.”

At first, he offered the guard five thousand coins. But the jailer was not happy with this offer, so Sanatana Gosvamipada offered more. The jailer did not accept his offer as he was thinking, “If I release him from jail, when the king returns from the South and finds out, he will surely cut off my head.”

Now, Sanatana Gosvamipada very humbly glorified the jailer, “You are as like jinda-pira, which means you are a direct manifestation of the Lord. Don’t worry, I will not go anywhere, I will only go to Mecca and Medina. And while there, I will do bhajana and sadhana to Allah. You see, if you release me from jail, you will attain two benefits. First, you will receive the boon of allowing someone to perform bhajana and sadhana to Allah— so you will receive the mercy of Allah. And the second benefit is that you will also get a lot of money that will beI offered to you.”

At this point, Sanatana Gosvamipada offered even more golden coins to the jailer. And the jailer, with saliva falling from his mouth, thought of what to do now. Sanatana Gosvamipada very humbly told the jailer, “Don’t worry. When the king asks, “Where is Sanatana (Sakir Malik)?” You can answer, “He went to take a bath in the river. However, his hands and legs were tied with a chain. Perhaps he sank and drowned in the waters of the Ganges River and will not return.”

So he finally convinced the jailer to release him, and when Sanatana Gosvamipada came out of the jail, he proceeded to Vrndavana. Except, he did not travel through the direct raja path, rather he went to Vrindavana through a very dense forest with many hills and mountains. For a few days, Sanatana Gosvami travelled this way. Then one night, he arrived at a hotel. While Sanatana Gosvami rested there, the owner of the hotel gave so much honour to him by preparing many kinds of foodstuffs.

Meanwhile, Sanatana Gosvamipada was thinking, “I am a completely unknown person. Why is this owner giving so much respect and offering me many kinds of food?” Sanatana Gosvami was a minister and he was very intelligent. He wanted to understand why that man was so attentive to him. Then Sanatana Gosvamipada asked his servant who was travelling with him, “Did you bring any money with you?” “Yes, I brought some money,” replied the servant. “How much?” asked Sanatana. The servant deceitfully answered, “I only brought seven golden coins.”

Sanatana Gosvami, who was displeased to hear this as he asked his servant not to carry any gold with him, chastised him and afterwards said, “The owner has shown me so much honour, in return, I will offer him all of the coins you have with you.” So he came to the owner of the hotel and told him, “Please, take these seven golden coins, please take them.”

The hotel owner, who was also a gang leader and a dacoit, angrily replied, “I know you have golden coins, but not just seven, you have eight! You see, I have a prophet astrologer who told me that you actually have eight golden coins.” Then, Sanatana Gosvamipada asked his servant, “How many golden coins did you bring?” The servant finally admitted, “I have eight coins.” “Why did you only give me seven?” asked Sanatana Gosvami.

“I hid one golden coin myself as we may need it for something along the way,” answered the servant. Sanatana replied, “No, no, give me everything!” Afterwards, the servant gave him the eighth golden coin and Sanatana Gosvami offered it to the owner. After receiving the last coin, the dacoit said, “O Sanatana, you are very honest, you are a sadhu, so I will not accept your coins. Take them back. Actually, I planned to kill you and your servant tonight and rob you of all the coins you travel with. But Allah is very merciful, so now I do not need to perform the sinful activity of killing you. Hence, I will not kill you. Just take these coins and go!”

However, Sanatana Gosvamipada very humbly insisted, “If I keep these golden coins with me, perhaps in another place, some other dacoits will also kill me and take these golden coins. It is better that you take them now.” In this way, Sanatana Gosvamipada offered all of the golden coins to the owner of the hotel, and the owner helped Sanatana Gosvamipada cross over the mountain and through the dense forest. Then Sanatana Gosvamipada told his servant, “You have to return back, I will continue to travel alone.” Eventually Sanatana Gosvamipada arrived in one place where he met with a relative, Srikanta, the husband of Sanatana’s sister. He stayed there for a few days, and before departing, Srikanta gave him a very nice and beautiful bhota-kambala (wool blanket)— it was a very fine and valuable blanket. Sanatana Gosvamipada accepted his gift and proceeded to Kashi to meet with Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Upon his arrival, because of his long and perilous journey, Sanatana Gosvamipada had an unkempt look, with a long beard and moustache and his cloths were very dirty and torn. For this reason, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Bhagavan, and was also staying in Kashi in the house of Chandrashekhara, one day asked, “Oh, perhaps some Vaishnava has come to your front door?” Chandrashekhara went to the door, then said, “No, it is not a Vaishnava, rather a Muslim mendicant is here.”

Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu replied, “No, he is not a Muslim, he is a Vaishnava!” Chaitanya Mahaprabhu called to Sanatana Gosvamipada. They met and discussed hari-katha. However, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu noticed his expensive blanket. Sanatana Gosvamipada also realised, “Oh, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu does not like for me to use this expensive blanket.” Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then told Sanatana, “You have to appear proper and wear Vaishnava clothing.”

So, Sanatana Gosvamipada went to a barber to clean his beard and freshly shave his head. Afterwards, he went to a clothes washer near the Ganges and very humbly requested, “Hey washer, please take this expensive blanket and trade it for one simple cloth.” The surprised washer replied, “Why are you joking with me?”

Sanatana Gosvamipada answered “No, please take this expensive bhota-kambala in exchange for one simple cloth.” The man accepted Sanatana’s offer and gave him an ordinary cloth for the expensive blanket, which Sanatana then tore into two cloths. Now when Sanatana Gosvamipada again met with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord was very pleased. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told him, “Oh, Krishna is very merciful! Because you are a Vaishnava and Vaishnavas are very humble. Why would a Vaishnava use a very expensive wool blanket? Krishna is very merciful.”

In this way, Sanatana Gosvamipada stayed with Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and discussed many tattva-katha— this is called sanatana-shiksha.

Once, Sanatana Gosvami asked the Lord:

‘ke āmi’, ‘kene āmāya jāre tāpa-traya’

ihā nāhi jāni — ‘kemane hita haya’

Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya-lila 20.102)

[Who am I? Why do the threefold miseries always give me trouble? If I do not know this, how can I be benefited?]

Sanatana requested the Lord, “Please discuss krishna-tattva, bhakti-tattva, prema-tattva and all tattvas with me.” So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told Sanatana Gosvamipada about all these tattvas. In this conversation, Sanatana Gosvami asked many questions. But his first questions were, “Ke āmi’, ‘kene āmāya jāre tāpa-traya’ ihā nāhi jāni — ‘kemane hita haya.”

Sanatana Gosvamipada asked Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, “Who am I? Why am I suffering the three folds of maya? What are they? How will I become free from them? And how do I attain Krishna?” The Lord then discussed all krishna-tattva, bhakti-tattva, prema-tattva, rasa-tattva and everything. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu very nicely and elaborately explained all of these philosophies. The Lord specifically said:

jīvera ‘svarūpa’ haya — kṛṣṇera ‘nitya-dāsa’

kṛṣṇera ‘taṭasthā-śakti’ ‘bhedābheda-prakāśa’

Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya-lila 20.108)

[It is the living entity’s constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Krishna because he is the marginal energy of Krishna and a manifestation simultaneously one with and different from the Lord.]

In this way, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explained jiva-tattva, maya-tattva, bhakti-tattva, rasa-tattva, prema-tattva and krishna-tattva; all tattvas. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu discussed with Sanatana, sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana-tattvas. Afterwards, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu instructed Sanatana, “You have to go to Vrindavana and discover the birth place and sweet pastime places of Krishna.” They are called lupta tirtha uddhara. “You have to discover these hidden places of Krishna.”

This is the first instruction that He gave to Sanatana Gosvamipada, called lupta tirtha uddhara. Because five thousand years before, Krishna performed His lilas, and now, so many places have changed. People have even completely forgotten where these sweet pastime places of Krishna took place— Krishna’s lila-sthali.

Secondly, the Lord instructed, “Also, you should manifest sri vigraha-prakasha - manifest the deities of Krishna.” Krishna’s great grandson, Vajranabha had manifested many vigrahas in many places. But at that time, those places were completely changed. And no one then knew where all of the deities now were; many things changed as many Muslim kings had destroyed Hindu temples, and disregarded or threw away all of the deities of the Lord.

For this reason, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu instructed Sanatana, “You have to manifest the vigraha-prakashas.” Thirdly, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told Sanatana, “You must also manifest granthas— grantha-prakasha. Especially on raganuga-bhakti and vaidhi-bhakti. You have to manifest these books and clearly explain everything. Explain what vaidhi-bhakti is, raga-bhakti is and also what vraja-prema-bhakti is— you have to explain all of these things.” Fourthly, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu instructed, “You have to manifest a vaishnava-shuddha-sadachara grantha - a book detailing the good behaviour of Vaishnavas.” This is called Hari-bhakti-vilasa.

sańkhyā-pūrvaka-nāma-gāna-natibhiḥ kālāvasānī-kṛtau

nidrāhāra-vihārakādi-vijitau cātyanta-dīnau ca yau

rādhā-kṛṣṇa-guṇa-smṛter madhurimānandena sammohitau

vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau

Sri Shad-gosvami-ashtaka (verse 6)

[I offer my respectful obeisances unto the six Gosvamis, namely Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami and Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, who were engaged in chanting the holy names of the Lord and bowing down in a scheduled measurement. In this way they utilised their valuable lives and in executing these devotional activities they conquered over-eating and sleeping and were always meek and humble enchanted by remembering the transcendental qualities of the Lord.]

Srinivasa Acharya composed this very nice and beautiful verse from Sri Shad-gosvami-ashtaka, which glorifies the Six Gosvamis and how they performed their sadhana in Vrndavana. So now Sanatana Gosvami arrived in Vrindavana and met with his brother Rupa Gosvamipada. There, both brothers performed bhajana and sadhana, while day and night remembering Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krishna, and they both fulfilled all of the desires of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Sanatana Gosvamipada also took a vow that every day he would perform parikrama of Giriraja Govardhana. Sanatana Gosvamipada performed his daily bhajana and sadhana in Madana-gira, which was very close to the Yamuna— that place is currently known as Madana-Mohana gira. Despite the long distance, he would each day travel from Vrindavana to Giriraja Govardhana to keep his vow of performing parikrama of Govardhana.

Then, after performing Giriraja Govardhana parikrama, he would go to Mathura, where he humbly collected foodstuffs— called madhukari. He would beg and collect these alms from the houses of the Vrajavasis, especially from brahmanas’ homes. During those times, sannyasis and sadhus would not accept grains from here and there. They mostly would collect madhukari from the houses of brahmanas.They would collect raw materials or food and not accept anything already cooked. While in Mathura begging for alms from mathura-chaturvedi-brahmanas, Sanatana Gosvamipada noticed how Vrajavasis had so much love and affection for thehisthe deity Madana-mohana. After a while Sanatana Gosvami took this Thakuraji in Vrindavana and served Madana-mohana. Still, he would everyday, early in the morning, go and perform Giriraja Govardhana parikrama. We cannot realise how hard this was, not to mention that Sanatana Gosvami was now very old. But, he still remained very attentive to his vow.

Thus, every day he performed Giriraja Govardhana parikrama, even during the months of June and July, called Jyaishtha masa, which are the hottest months of the year— the rays of sun are very hot during these months! And during these hot days, the sand of Giriraja Govardhana is so hot that it burns your skin. Despite these difficulties, Sanatana Gosvamipada continued to perform his daily Govardhana parikrama. Even when his feet and toes were riddled with blisters, he kept performing daily Giriraja Govardhana parikrama.

One day, the conditions were so bad that he could not walk the path. It became so hot that day, the path to Giriraja Govardhana was like walking on burning stones. Still attempting to tread the path, Sanatana Gosvamipada could not walk and fell down. Then, Giriraja Govardhana manifested His form and held Sanatana Gosvamipada up. Sanatana was soothed just by the Lord touching his body, as the Lord’s hand was very cool to touch.

Sanatana Gosvamipada realised what had occurred and the Lord told him, “Hey Sanatana, now you are very old, there is no longer any need to very eagerly attend to your vow.” However, Sanatana Gosvamipada replied, “O my Lord, I have already taken a vow that everyday I must perform Govardhana-parikrama.” The Lord answered, “Hey Sanatana, do not worry. I will just give you this shalagrama-shila stone with My footprint on it.”

Then, the Lord placed His footprint onto a Giriraja Govardhana shila. This shila is so beautiful, Krishna’s footprint can still be seen there; you can visit our Radha-Damodara temple to see this shila. But this is not the original shila; the original one currently resides in Karoli. If you go to Karoli, you can still see Madana-mohana’s original footprint there. So, the vigraha in Radha-Damodara temple is called pratima-vigraha, and the original vigraha is actually in Karoli.

On this shalagrama-shila, you can still see Krishna’s melted footprint, the imprint of His flute, of His cow herding stick and also cow footprints. Then Krishna said, “Now, if you just perform parikrama of this Giriraja Govardhana shila four times every day, you will attain the same benefit as performing the full parikrama of Giriraja Govardhana.” In this way, Sanatana Gosvamipada kept his daily vows and continued performing his bhajana and sadhana in Vrindavana.

Sanatana Gosvamipada would also meet with Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu every year in Jagannatha Puri, especially during the times of Ratha-yatra. For around four months, Rupa and Sanatana would stay with Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Jagannatha Puri. However, Rupa-Sanatana were very humble and did not want to enter the temple of Lord Jagannatha as they thought, “Oh, we have associated with Muslims, perhaps our bodies are completely contaminated.”

Because of their humility, Rupa and Sanatana did not enter Lord Jagannatha’s temple. Despite being born in a high-class brahmana family, because they associated with the Muslim king they thought, “Our bodies are completely contaminated because of our association with the Muslim.” For this reason, they did not go into the temple of Lord Jagannatha. Instead, they would stay with Haridasa Thakura in Siddha-bakula.

When Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamipada used to go meet with Gadadhara, they would not go into the temple and instead would circumambulate quite far from Lord Jagannatha’s temple. As they circumambulated the temple, Rupa and Sanatana Gosvami would even reach as far as the beach and the sand would be very hot, enough to sometimes completely burn Rupa and Sanatana Gosvami’s feet.

They met with Gadadhara and also Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Tota-gopinatha. As mentioned, Rupa and Sanatana Gosvami very humbly did not go into the temple of Jagannatha. They even remained very far from pandas— those who worship Lord Jagannatha. They thought, “Oh, our bodies are contaminated, we should not touch the svarupa of Lord Jagannatha or nor even enter the temple of Lord Jagannatha.”

As Sanatana Gosvamipada would travel from Vrndavana to Jagannatha Puri, he drank and bathed in impure waters from different places. Because of this, a skin disease appeared on his body which produced many wet sores. Now, Sanatana Gosvami thought, “If I meet with Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, He will embrace me, then Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s body will become contaminated with my disease. I cannot go close to Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Since this body is useless, it is better if I take only darshana of Lord Jagannatha during Ratha-yatra.”

At that moment it was very close to the time of Lord Jagannatha’s Ratha-yatra. So in his travels, Sanatana Gosvamipada decided, “I will not directly meet with Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Rather, I will take one last darshana during Lord Jagannatha’s Ratha-yatra. And when Jagannatha’s Ratha-yatra cart is moving, I will give up my body by throwing myself under the wheel of Jagannatha’s chariot, then I will attain Vaikuntha.”

So this was his plan. However, when Sanatana Gosvamipada arrived in Jagannatha Puri, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ran to him and tried to catch Sanatana. Sanatana was running away while saying, “No, no, Mahaprabhu, do not touch my body. My body is completely contaminated with this disease, and Your body is ‘tapta kanchana gaurangi’ and will also become contaminated.” Chaitanya Mahaprabhu very humbly said, “Hey Sanatana, you are a Vaishnava, if I do not touch your body, then Krishna will not give Me mercy as Vaishnava’s bodies are transcendental.” Then, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu embraced him by force. And immediately, all of the sores caused by Sanatana Gosvamipada skin disease disappeared!

The entire time he suffered, Sanatana Gosvamipada only thought of committing suicide, but he never actually spoke of it to anyone. However one day, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sat down with all of His associates: Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, Kashi Mishra, etc.— all of His high-class exalted devotees were there. Suddenly, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “O Svarupa Damodara, do you know? There is one person here, who wants to destroy My parakiya.” Do you understand what the Lord meant when He said parkiya? He meant, paramour.

Now, everyone was surprised and asked, “Who can destroy your parakiya? Prabhu, You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” ‘Namo maha vadanyaya krishna prema pradayate krishnaya krishna chaitanya namne gaura tvishe namaha’. Krishna has come in this Kali-yuga in the form of Shachinandana Gaurahari. And He especially took Srimati Radhika’s mood and complexion, and established parakiya-bhava— vraja-parakiya-bhava.

So everyone thought, “Who is this person that can destroy Your parakiya-bhava?” Then, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu directly said, “Svarupa, this person! It is Sanatana!” Now everybody’s mind was very disturbed as they thought, “How can this be possible? Sanatana is a very prominent person, a pandita, who has composed many prominent granthas. Like Sri Brihad-bhagavatamrita grantha and other granthas, which all deeply explain the same, parakiya-bhava, paramour mood of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. How is it possible that Sanatana would want to destroy Mahaprabhu’s parakiya-bhava?”

No one could understand the Lord’s statement. Except Svarupa Damodara: only he understood as Svarupa Damodara knows everything that is in the heart of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Svarupa Damodara just laughed at what was occuring. Everybody asked, “Tell us, how can Sanatana want to destroy Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s parakiya-bhava?”

Then Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told Sanatana, “Sanatana, listen. What is the relationship between you and Me?” Sanatana Gosvamipada very humbly replied, “O, You are my guru, and I am Your disciple.” Mahaprabhu then said, “Okay, what is the duty of the disciple?” Sanatana Gosvamipada answered, “Being a disciple means one who has completely surrendered to the lotus feet of one’s guru. And the disciple believes ‘atma-nivedana’, meaning, I offer everything - mānasa, deho, geho, jo kichu mor/ arpilū tuwā pade, nanda-kiśor - my mind, body, everything to my guru.

ātma-nivedana, tuwā pade kori’,

hoinu parama sukhī

duḥkha dūre gelo, cintā nā rohilo,

caudike ānanda dekhi

Atma-nivedana tuva pade (verse 1),

by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

[I have become supremely joyful by surrendering myself at Your holy feet. Unhappiness has gone away, and there are no more anxieties. I see joy in all directions.]

What does atma-nivedana mean? It means that I offer everything, my body, mind, everything, I offer to my guru. After hearing his response, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “Sanatana, okay, you offer everything to me?” “Yes!” quickly answered Sanatana. “So, who does your body belong to, is it your body or My body?” Sanatana Gosvamipada replied, “Prabhu, this body does not belong to me.”

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “That means that this is not your body, so this is My body, yes? Then why did you do this to someone else’s property? You are saying this is not my body, and that this body belongs to Me. That means your body is not your body, it is My body. So without My permission, how can you possibly destroy My body? This is parakiya. And here, parakiya means another’s property, and you want to destroy someone else’s property.

“You want to commit suicide, but by committing suicide you will destroy this body. And who does this body belong to? This body does not belong to you. Your body belongs to Me. Your body belongs to another. So, why do you want to destroy another person’s property?”

Finally, everybody realised the Lord’s internal meaning. This very beautiful lila which took place in Jagannatha Puri nicely explains how one must fully surrender to guru and Krishna. In Chaitanya-charitamrita, Krishnadasa Kaviraja also very nicely explained:

dīkṣā-kāle bhakta (śikṣā) kare ātma-samarpaṇa

sei-kāle kṛṣṇa tāre kare ātma-sama

Chaitanya-charitamrita (Antya-lila 4.192)

[At the time of initiation, when a devotee fully surrenders unto the service of the Lord, Krishna accepts him to be as good as Himself.]

sei deha kare tāra cid-ānanda-maya

aprākṛta-dehe tāṅra caraṇa bhajaya

Chaitanya-charitamrita (Antya-lila 4.193)

[When the devotee's body is thus transformed into spiritual existence, the devotee, in that transcendental body, renders service to the lotus feet of the Lord.]

When a disciple completely surrenders to the lotus feet of guru, at that time everything belongs to guru, also at that time, his body is called ‘chid-ananda-mayi sharira’— a transcendental body. In this verse from Madhurya-kadambini, this topic is very nicely and elaborately explained:

dīkṣā-kāle bhakta (śikṣā) kare ātma-samarpaṇa

sei-kāle kṛṣṇa tāre kare ātma-sama

Here, the meaning of perfect initiation, diksha, is very clearly explained. There are two forms of diksha, one is called formal diksha, and the other is called paramarthika-diksha. In paramarthika-diksha, spiritual initiation means how one can completely and absolutely surrender to guru and Krishna. And this is the teaching of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu: how one should completely surrender to guru and Krishna:

sei deha kare tāra cid-ānanda-maya

aprākṛta-dehe tāṅra caraṇa bhajaya

If you want to perform bhajana and sadhana you need aprakrita-deha (transcendental body). ‘Na devo devam arcayat’. If you do not acquire the knowledge and qualities of the devatas, you cannot worship the devatas or demigods and demigoddesses. In the same way, if you want to properly perform bhajana and sadhana to the Lord, you have to acquire good qualities. This verse very beautifully explains:

yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā

sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ

harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā

manorathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ

Srimad-Bhagavatam (5.18.12)

[All the demigods and their exalted qualities, such as religion, knowledge and renunciation, become manifest in the body of one who has developed unalloyed devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva. On the other hand, a person devoid of devotional service and engaged in material activities has no good qualities. Even if he is adept at the practice of mystic yoga or the honest endeavour of maintaining his family and relatives, he must be driven by his own mental speculations and must engage in the service of the Lord’s external energy. How can there be any good qualities in such a man?]

After some time, Sanatana Gosvami departed from this material world on the day of Guru-purnima. All of the Vrajavasis shaved their head in remembrance of Sri Sanatana Gosvami, and performed Giriraja Govardhana parikrama, a tradition which still goes on until this day. The Vrajavasis have so much love and affection for Sanatana Gosvamipada. For this reason, in Vraja language, this Purnima is called Mudiya-purnima.

Here, mudya means they shave their heads and perform Giriraja Govardhana parikrama. Everybody called him, “Bare Baba,” and all the Vrajavasis think, “Sanatana is our family member.” Because of this, they always remember Sanatana Gosvamipada and on this day, they shave their head and nicely perform Giriraja Govardhana parikrama. This is a very sweet pastime which still takes place now. And Sanatana Gosvamipada had so much laukika-sad-bandhuvat priti, love and affection with Vrajavasis as if they were his family members.

In Brihad-bhagavatamrita Sanatana Gosvamipada showed us and explained to us this simple philosophy: if you want to attain the Lord in a very simple way, make friendships with Vrajavasis like they are your family members:

aho bhāgyam aho bhāgyaṁ


yan-mitraṁ paramānandaṁ

pūrṇaṁ brahma sanātanam

Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.32)

[How greatly fortunate are Nanda Maharaja, the cowherd men and all the other inhabitants of Vrajabhumi! There is no limit to their good fortune, because the Absolute Truth, the source of transcendental bliss, the eternal Supreme Brahman, has become their friend.]

Brahma-stuti also explains how Vrajavasis have spontaneous love and affection with Krishna. And Krishna also thinks that the Vrajavasis are His family members.

Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika also explains that in krishna-lila, Sanatana Gosvamipada is eternally Lavanga Manjari, Rupa Gosvamipada is Rupa Manjari and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is Rati Manjari.

rūpa-raghunātha-pade rahu mora āśa

prārthanā koroye sadā narottama-dāsa

Gauranga Bolite Habe (verse 5)

by Narottama dasa Thakura

[My only aspiration is to attain the lotus feet of the Six Gosvamis headed by Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Narottama dasa constantly prays to attain their lotus feet.]

Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami also explained:

ei chay gosāir kori caraṇa vandan

jāhā hoite bighna-nāś abhīṣṭa-pūraṇ

Sri Nama Sankirtana (verse 5)

by Narottama dasa Thakura

[I bow to the feet of these six Gosvamis. By their grace, our obstacles can be destroyed and all desires are fulfilled.]

Thus, Sanatana Gosvamipada is one of the very nearest and dearest of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and in Goloka Vrindavana, Lavanga Manjari serves as the eternal associate of Srimati Radhika.

My heartly blessings to all of you!

Jaya Srila Sanatana Gosvamipada ki jaya!

Jaya Lavanga Manjari ki jaya!

Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Gaura Premanande! Hari Hari Bol!

Date: 6 July 2020 Location: Zoom


Transcriber: Mohini dasi (UK) Editor: Sanatana dasa (USA) Integrity check: Divya-premamayi dasi (Slovakia) Proofreader: Chandrika dasi (UK) Image: Navina-krishna dasa (Holland)

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