31st July 2020

Let's become true 'Rupanugas'

Hare Krsna! We have 840 participants today.

sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu-nityananda sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare

All you Gaudiya Vaisnavas are welcome. You are aware that you are all Gaudiya Vaisnavas?

Today is the disappearance day of Rupa Goswami and Sri Gauri Das Pandit. Tirobhav is the disappearance day, the day on which they returned to the Lord's abode. The other is the appearance day, when they appeared in this world.

Both of them were our acaryas, who were there at the time of the manifest pastimes of Lord Caitanya. They were His associates during His manifest pastimes. Where had they come from? Or had Caitanya Mahaprabhu brought them here from Goloka Vrindavan? They assisted Mahaprabhu during His pastimes. Then on today’s day …

je ānilo prema-dhana koruṇā pracur heno prabhu kothā gelā ācārya-ṭhākur

Translation He, who brought the treasure of divine love and who was filled with compassion and mercy--where has such a personality as Advaita Acarya gone? (Swa Parsada Bhagavad Viraha Janita Vilapa Song 1 by Narottama Dasa Thakura . Book - Prarthana)

They had brought the wealth of love of Godhead by being the associates of Mahaprabhu. O! Where has that Rupa Goswami Thakur disappeared? Where has that Gauri das Pandit gone? Narottam das Thakur is inquiring in this song, where they have gone? Actually, he knows where they have gone, but the feelings while writing this are, 'I will be deprived of their association, their physical presence. They have gone now. Where have they gone? Why have they gone?'

Rupa Goswami is Rupa Manjari before appearing in the manifest pastimes of Lord Caitanya. Rupa Goswami was Rupa Manjari in Goloka Dhama. Lord Caitanya had gone to Ramkeli to meet Rupa, Sanatana and Anupam. There was no other objective of going to Ramkeli. Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to Jagannatha Puri and from there he went to Bengal and then to Ramkeli, to meet Rupa and Sanatana. It was at that time that the initiation of Rupa and Sanatana took place. Manjaris of Goloka have appeared here, so Mahaprabhu named them Rupa and Sanatana. Earlier they were Nawab Hussain Shah’s finance ministers who were named Dabir Khas and Sakar Malik by him. They were waiting long to meet and be with their Lord again.

sri krsna caitanya radha krsna nahi anya

Their first meeting took place in Ramkeli. Caitanya Mahaprabhu told them that He will be going to Vrindavan and that they should also come there. He had met them there in Prayag and then Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to Vrindavan and Rupa and Sanatan followed him after a few days. Caitanya Mahaprabhu performed Vraja-mandala Parikrama and he was waiting for Rupa and Sanatana to come as He wanted to give them some special service. He had already informed them that when they arrive in Vrindavan their service will be explained. Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu was returning to Jagannatha Puri as Rupa and Sanatana had not arrived in Vrindavan.

On His way Caitanya Mahaprabhu reached Allahabad which is now known as Prayag. Then Rupa Goswami along with his brother Anupama Mallika reached Prayag. Sanatana Goswami was imprisoned by the Nawab and was not allowed to go. He stayed there. That was around January when there is a festival in Prayag. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was doing kirtan and dancing over there. All the residents of Prayag were totally attracted by the beauty, dance and kirtan of Mahaprabhu. As Caitanya Mahaprabhu was going to Veni-Madhava temple at the confluence of the three rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati, Rupa and Anupama observed the huge crowd which was led by Mahaprabhu. They kept taking darsana of Mahaprabhu from a distance.

The second meeting of Rupa and Anupama with Mahaprabhu took place after this procession was over and Mahaprabhu went back to his place of residence. Both these brothers reached there. As soon as they got there and Caitanya Mahaprabhu glanced at them, they fell flat on the ground to offer their obeisances. Then when they stood in front of Him for a while they offered obeisances again and again. It is at this place that Rupa Goswami compiled the pranam mantra of the Lord:

namo maha-vadanyaya krishna-prema-pradaya te krishnaya krishna-chaitanya- namne gaura-tvishe namah

Translation O! most munificent incarnation! You are Krishna Himself appearing as Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. You have assumed the golden colour of Srimati Radharani, and You are widely distributing pure love of Krishna. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You. ( Lord Caitanya pranam mantra)

This is the famous pranam mantra which we keep repeating. Rupa Goswami was the first one who compiled this and who offered obeisances to Mahaprabhu while singing this. If we understand this pranam mantra then we can understand that Rupa Goswami had really understood the glories of Mahaprabhu. This is his experience of who Mahaprabhu really is. He has also included His name in this mantra. Caitanya Mahaprabhu 's qualities, pastimes and complexion are also glorified in this. This pranam mantra includes name, form, qualities and pastimes of Lord Caitanya. This is the introduction, the glories of Rupa Goswami, who had compiled such a complete pranam mantra.

Then Mahaprabhu bestowed more mercy on Rupa Goswami. He kept meeting him for 10 days and kept instructing him on various subjects at the Dasasvamedha Ghata in Prayag. At the same time many teachings and orders were given to Rupa Goswami. From there Caitanya Mahaprabhu then returned to Jagannatha Puri and Rupa Goswami went to Vrindavan where he stayed for the next 50 years. During these 50 years it was only once or twice that he went to Jagannatha Puri to meet Caitanya Mahaprabhu, but mostly his stay was in Vrindavan. Then along with other Sad-Goswamis he executed the orders of Mahaprabhu. Rupa Goswami is the principal acarya of our sampradaya. Because of this we Gaudiya Vaisnavas are termed 'Rupanuga'. Anuga means one who follows someone in behaviour.

Mahajano yen gataha sa pantha

Walk on the path which has been shown by the great acaryas. For us our principal acarya who is the crest jewel of all Gaudiya Vaisnavas is Rupa Goswami, who searched for the Deities of Radha-Govinda and then established Their worship by constructing a temple for Them. He established the Vrinda Devi temple also. There are innumerable contributions from him. He compiled many, many scriptures. The most prominent among them is Bhakti-rasmrit Sindhu. These books are based on the teachings which he received from Mahaprabhu in Prayag. By his causeless mercy, Prabhupada has translated two of them - Bhakti-rasmrit Sindhu (Nectar of Devotion) and Upadeshamrit (Nectar of Instruction). On today's tithi Rupa Goswami entered into samadhi.

In Vrindavan in the courtyard of Sri Sri Radha Damodar Temple, the samadhi of Rupa Goswami is situated along with his bhajan Kutir. When I went to Vrindavan for the first time this was the first temple I visited. The second mandir I visited over there was the samadhi of Rupa Goswami. This was in 1972, when Prabhupada had stayed in Radha-Damodar mandir and everyday he gave lectures on Bhakti-rasmrit Sindhu. We were around 40 devotees at that time. I was also there. Prabhupada was explaining teachings of Rupa Goswami to us. He also initiated me in front of the Samadhi mandir of Rupa Goswami and in this way I also became a Rupanuga. In this way he connected me with him.

sri-caitanya-mano-‘bhistam sthapitum yena bhtu-tale svayam rupah kada mahyam dadati sva-padantikam

Translation When will Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?( Sri Rupa pranam mantra)

Let us all get the association of such a Rupa Goswami. May we all take benefit of his teachings by studying his books. Let him make us all real Rupanugas and Prabhupadanugas.

We offer such prayers at the feet of Rupa Goswami. All glories to the disappearance day of Rupa Goswami!

Hare Krsna!