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Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami Appearance



Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is a very prominent Vaishnava amongst the six Gosvamis: Sri Rupa, Sri Sanatana, Sri Bhatta Raghunatha, Sri Jiva, Sri Gopala Bhatta, Sri Dasa Raghunatha. 


ei chay gosāir kori caraṇa vandanjāhā hoite bighna-nāś abhīṣṭa-pūraṇ 


Hari Haraye Namah (verse 5) by Narottama Dasa Thakura

 

[I offer my obeisances to the feet of these six Gosvamis. By bowing to them, all obstacles to devotion are destroyed and all spiritual desires are fulfilled.]


This kirtana of Vaishnava-vandana glorifies the six Gosvamis and among them, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is one of the prominent Vaishnavas. His danda-mahotsava lila is also called chida-mahotsava lila. In English, the Sanskrit word chida means ‘flat rice’. Nityananda Prabhu gave this benediction to Raghunatha dasa Gosvami to serve the Vaishnavas.


I very briefly want to speak on Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami’s life history. In Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s lila, he showed us how to perform bhajana and sadhana and attain the mercy of Sriman Mahaprabhu.


Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was born in Bengal, his families’ surname was Majumdar and his father’s name was Hiranya Majumdar. They were a very rich jamindara (landlord) family. Also, they showed love and affection to sadhus, and especially towards namacharya Srila Haridasa Thakura, who used to visit their home. However, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami’s parents were not shuddha-vaishnavas, although they served Vaishnavas. Our shastra explains that there are two kinds of Vaishnavas— one is called vaishnava-praya and the other one is vishayi-praya. 


Vishayi-praya means, externally they appear materialistic, yet, their heart is completely covered with krishna-bhakti or krishna-prema. Then, there is vaishnava-praya, which means, externally, they display activities of a Vaishnava, but their hearts are completely covered with material sense gratification. For this reason, our shastras have clearly defined who is to be called vaishnava-praya. Still, some devotees become confused over this philosophy of vaishnava-praya and vishayi-praya— vishayi-praya is higher than the vaishnava-praya


Association of Haridasa Thakura


So, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami’s parents and family may have appeared like Vaishnavas, but their hearts are completely covered with material sense gratification. Anyhow, they still served Vaishnavas, and sometimes Srila Haridasa Thakura would come to their house and discuss hari-katha. In this way, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, in his childhood, received the association of namacharya Haridasa Thakura. Our shastras state that without the association of a pure devotee, bhakti will not manifest. 


'sādhu-saṅga', 'sādhu-saṅga'—sarva-śāstre kaya

lava-mātra sādhu-saṅge sarva-siddhi haya


Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya-lila 22.54) 


[The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment’s association with a pure devotee, one can attain all success.] 


What do the scriptures glorify regarding sadhu-sanga? If you get the association of a sadhu for one moment, even for just half a moment, your life will be successful and you will attain the highest perfection. In the same way, as a very small boy, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami got the association of Haridasa Thakura. And he had so much love and affection for harinama. He chanted the holy names, and he received his diksha-mantras from his Guru, Sri Yadunandana Acharya. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami very nicely glorified his Guru, Yadunandana Acharya, in his high class grantha, Mukta-charita. Notably, he wrote many granthas that are all very nice and beautiful: Vilapa-kusumanjali, Stavavali, Mukta-charita and others. 


nāma-śreṣṭhaṃ manum api śacīputram atra svarūpaṃ śrī-rūpaṃ tasyāgrajam uru-purīṃ māthurīṃ goṣṭhavāṭīm

rādhā-kuṇḍaṃ girivaram aho rādhikā-mādhavāśāṃ

prāpto yasya prathita-kṛpayā śrī-guruṃ taṃ nato'smi


Sri Mukta-charita 

by Raghunatha dasa Gosvami 


[I am fully indebted to Sri Gurudeva, because he is giving me so many things. He is giving me the holy name containing the highest form of thought, aspiration, and ideal, and he is giving me the service of that great saviour, the son of Mother Saci, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is like the golden mountain indicating the way to krishna-lila. And Sri Gurudeva has brought me to Svarupa Damodara, who is Lalita-devi, Srimati Radhika's closest friend. Then he has brought me to Sri Rupa, who was ordered to distribute rasa-tattva, and then to Sri Sanatana Gosvami, who adjusts our position in relation to raganuga-bhakti. Gurudeva has brought me to Mathura Mandala, where Radha and Govinda have their pastimes, where the forest, hills and every creeper, shrub and grain of sand are uddipana to help me remember Radha and Govinda. He has given me Radha-kunda and Giriraja Govardhana, and aho! He has given me assurance of all these, so I bow my head with deep respect unto his lotus feet.] 


Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvamis Respect For Diksha and Shiksha Guru


In this shloka, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami glorifies his diksha-guru  Yadunandana Acharya by saying, “By the causeless mercy of my diksha-guru Yadunandana Acharya, I received harinama - nāma-śreṣṭhaṃ manum api.” He also received his gopala-mantra and other mantras from him. “And by the causeless mercy of my Guru, I also attained the lotus feet of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, Rupa Gosvamipada and Sanatana Gosvamipada. Also, by the causeless mercy of Guru, I am staying on the bank of Radha-kunda and Shyama-kunda in Vrindavanа,” wrote Raghunatha dasa Gosvami.


Raghunatha dasa Gosvami always offered proper respect to his diksha-guru and he gave the same respect to his shiksha-gurus. His shiksha-gurus were: Rupa Gosvamipada, Sanatana Gosvamipada, Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, and he also received the association of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. 


Mahaprabhu offered him to the hand of Svarupa Damodara. For this reason, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was also known as Svarupera Raghu, meaning, he belongs to Svarupa Damodara. In krishna-lila, Svarupa Damodara is known as Lalita-sakhi. This means, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took the hand of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and offered him to the hand of Lalita-devi, Svarupa Damodara. This is very confidential to our bhajana and sadhana: how one can serve the Divine Couple, Radha and Krishna under the guidance of Svarupa Damodara, Lalita-sakhi, and also under the guidance of Rupa Manjari, Rupa Gosvamipada.


Fruit of Proper Association with Sadhu


From an early age, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was completely detached from all kinds of material sense gratification and was attached to chanting the holy names. This was the result of sadhu-sanga. If you properly receive the association of a sadhu, your vairagya (renunciation) will automatically come. Meaning, detachment from enjoying sense gratification will come, because this is the nature of bhakti. Once bhakti manifests, one’s heart spontaneously becomes detached from material sense gratification, and simultaneously becomes attached to krishna-bhakti or krishna-prema


In this way, during his early years, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami attained the association of Srila Haridasa Thakura. From him, he heard the glories of the holy names, as Haridasa Thakura always glorified harinama and nama-mahatmya. Because of this, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu awarded Haridasa Thakura the title, namacharya (most exalted teacher of the holy names). Therefore, he is known as namacharya Srila Haridasa Thakura. 


From this association in his early life, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami developed so much love and affection with harinama, and became detached from all material sense gratification, vairagya. Day and night, he would think, “How will I give up my household life and attain the lotus feet of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu?” Since Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was the only son in his family, his father and uncle and all other family members were so attached to him. Still, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami’s mind was completely covered with prema for Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. 


Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Instruction


When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu accepted sannyasa, He came to the house of Advaita Acharaya in Shantipura with some devotees. At that time, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami met with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and held onto His lotus feet while saying, “Prabhu, I do not want to stay in my house. I want to go with You to Jagannatha Puri.” However, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu replied, “O Raghunatha, do not become mad!” 


markaṭa-vairāgya nā kara loka dekhāñā

yathā-yogya viṣaya bhuñja’ anāsakta hañā

antare niṣṭhā kara, bāhye loka-vyavahāra

acirāt kṛṣṇa tomāya karibe uddhāra


Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya-lila 16.238-239) 


[You should not make yourself a showbottle devotee and become a false renunciant. For the time being, enjoy the material world in a befitting way and do not become attached to it." Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu continued, “Within your heart you should keep yourself very faithful, but externally you may behave like an ordinary man. Thus Krishna will soon be very pleased and deliver you from the clutches of maya.] 


Antare niṣṭhā kara’ — first fix your mind and then, [being internally detached to everything] externally behave [as a normal person] in your home, this is known as yukta-vairagya. Yukta-vairagya means while residing in your home, accept whatever is favourable for your bhakti and you have to reject those things which are unfavourable. 


‘Acirāt kṛṣṇa tomāya karibe uddhāra’ — Krishna will very quickly deliver you from the ocean of material existence. This is the instruction of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. ‘Nā hao vātula’do not become mad. 

‘Markaṭa-vairāgya nā kara loka dekhāñā’ — do not externally show people renunciation like a monkey, this is called markata-vairagya. Markata means ‘monkey’, vairagya means ‘renounced order’. Monkeys are showing renunciation externally, while their hearts are still completely full of desires to enjoy material sense gratification. 


In the same way, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu instructed Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, “Do not show your renunciation as a monkey. ‘Antare niṣṭhā kara’ — first fix your mind and perform your bhajana and sadhana. Then, the time will come, and Krishna will arrange for you to reject your household life.” 


According to the instruction of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami stayed in his home. Nevertheless, his mind was completely absorbed, day and night, with Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He even attempted to run away from his house a couple of times, but his father always brought him back. Eventually, his father arranged for his marriage ceremony with a very nice and beautiful young lady and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami married her. However, he still remained completely absorbed with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. 


[For those of us aspiring for raganuga-bhakti, the life of Raghunatha Gosvami is very instructive, and if we can assimilate into our lives even one iota of his eagerness for bhajana, we will surely become successful. Regardless of whether we are renunciates or householders, we should have some of the eagerness for bhajana that he did. If we have that eagerness, all of our endeavours will automatically be crowned with success.]1


Bolo Srila Gurudeva ki jaya!Jaya Nityananda Prabhu ki jaya!Jaya Raghunatha dasa Gosvami ki jaya!Danda-mahotsava-lila ki jaya!Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!


[Reference: Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, Prabandhavali]1



Date: 16 June 2016 Location: Skype

 

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



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