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Srila Jiva Gosvami's Disappearance Day

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Srila Jiva Gosvami's Disappearance Day

Oahu, Hawaii: Jan. 16, 2002 (Evening)

Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

[Today is a very auspicious day. It is the appearance day of Srila Jiva Gosvami. We don't observe the disappearance days of Lord Krsna, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Lord Rama or any other incarnation of Bhagavan, but we observe the disappearance days of His associates. By such observance we learn many things about their worshipable Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, Sriman Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda Prabhu. We can understand how they practiced bhakti-yoga and how they received the service of Krsna and Mahaprabhu. We can learn from their lives’ examples how they accepted the process of sadhu-sanga, bhajana-kriya and anartha-nivrtti, and how they gradually developed nistha, ruci, asakti and rati. This is more important for us. [Although they are nitya-siddha devotees, they sometimes act as conditioned souls in the beginning, so we can learn how a conditioned soul can become a pure devotee.] Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Svayam Bhagavan Sri Krsna Himself who has taken the beauty and intrinsic mood of Srimati Radhika, came to this world, but it was Srila Rupa Gosvami who established in this world His innermost heart's feelings. If Srila Rupa Gosvami had not come, perhaps we would not have known His identity. Srila Jiva Gosvami served Srila Rupa Gosvami, and the credit for all the publishing of Srila Rupa Gosvami's literatures belongs to him. By publishing Rupa Gosvami's literatures, he established his innermost desire. At that time it was very difficult to publish books because the authors had to write all their books with their own pens, as there were no printing presses. Jiva Gosvami wrote down, in his own handwriting, every copy of every book of Srila Rupa Gosvami.

He was the topmost learned person at that time, and he preserved the legacy of Srila Rupa Gosvami. Because he was always with him, he was able to write many commentaries in pursuance of Rupanuga Vaisnavism. If it were not for him, all of Srila Rupa Gosvami's books would have been lost. He also preached, especially to Sri Syamananda Prabhu, Sri Narottama dasa Thakura, and Sri Srinivasa Acarya. Try to practice serving the cause of Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission as he has done.

So-called gurus hanker to make many disciples. They spend so much money, make so many agents, and tell them, "If you bring five disciples, I will pay you so much." This is going on nowadays, but Srila Jiva Gosvami and the Six Gosvamis did not practice this. How many disciples did Srila Raghunatha Das Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Raghunatha Bhatta have? Srila Jiva Gosvami did not have any formal disciples at all, but the whole world is his disciple. Sri Syamananda Prabhu was initiated by another guru, Sri Hrdaya Caitanya, Srila Narottama dasa Thakura was initiated by Srila Lokanatha dasa Gosvami, and Srila Srinivasa Acarya was initiated by Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, but they all came under the shelter of Srila Jiva Gosvami. He then explained to them the Vedas, Upanisads, and all other sastras, and he also thoroughly explained to them all tattvas, established philosophical truths.

They wanted to be initiated by him, but he refused. He told them, "There are so many elevated Vaisnavas more qualified than I. Please, you should go to Lokanatha Gosvami, and you should go to Gopal Bhatta Gosvami." They had not intended to go to them; they wanted him to be their guru. Yet, they followed his instructions. Srila Narottama dasa Thakura went to Srila Lokanatha Prabhu and Srinivasa Acarya Prabhu went to Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami.

Lokanatha Gosvami refused to give Narottama dasa Thakura initiation, although the Thakura waited for many years. At night, Narottama dasa cleaned the place where Lokanatha Gosvami had passed stool, and finally, seeing his sincerity of purpose, Lokanatha Gosvami was bound to give him initiation. Similarly, Gopal Bhatta Gosvami never wanted to accept any disciples. By the request of Srila Jiva Gosvami he accepted only one disciple – Srinivasa Acarya. However, those two disciples, along with Syamananda Prabhu, went to Bengal and collected thousands and thousands of followers.

Srila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji also never wanted to accept any disciples. Only by the special request of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura did he initiate his son, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami. He saw in his own heart that if he did not initiate Srila Sarasvati Thakura, he would die. Srila Babaji Maharaja was therefore bound to give him initiation, but he gave no initiation to anyone else. His disciple, Srila Sarasvati Thakura, performed a miracle. He made disciples in all of Bengal, all over India, and after that all over the world. Thus, who is more merciful: the guru or the disciple? We see that disciples are more merciful than their gurus. This is because they go out to everyone, to invite them to experience the mercy of their guru.

Once, when Srila Lokanatha Gosvami and his disciple Srila Narottama dasa Thakura were both engaged in bhajana, a thirsty person came to them desiring water. He went to Lokanatha Gosvami, who was chanting and absorbed, oblivious to his presence. Then, when he went to Narottama dasa Thakura, that 'baby sadhu' procured some water and gave it to him. Lokanatha Gosvami understood this and later told him, "You are not qualified. You should go at once to your village. I don't want a disciple like you, who has no faith in Sri Krsna Bhagavan’s name. Krsna's name is Krsna Himself. He has manifested all His power, beauty and opulence in His name. That name is more powerful than He Himself, but you have no faith in this truth." [srila Maharaja explained on another day that in real bhajana, the devotee is personally serving Srimati Radha and Sri Krsna while chanting. Srila Lokanatha dasa Gosvami told Srila Narottama dasa that he was not qualified because he had interrupted his service to Radhika and Krsna, and went to serve an ordinary man. Had Srila Narottama dasa Thakura continued his bhajana, Krsna would have been pleased and the man also would have been pleased. By Lord Krsna's arrangement, he would have gotten water from another source] Srila Narottama dasa Thakura was so faithful that he followed his guru's instructions, and he also initiated thousands and thousands of disciples in the course of his preaching on his guru's behalf.

I think that Srila Narottama dasa Thakura is so much more merciful than his gurudeva. Although Lokanatha Gosvami is a manjari and Narottama dasa Thakura is also a manjari, it appears that Narottama dasa Thakura is more merciful. He had mercy for all, as shown by his extensive preaching. In another way, however, we can see that Lokanatha Gosvami is extremely merciful because he parted with his only disciple, who served him so intimately, just so the people of Bengal could benefit.

There are many teachings to contemplate in this regard. Srila If Jiva Gosvami had not written Sad-Sandarbha, if he had not written Sri Gopala Campu, if he had not revealed his commentaries on Sri Ujjvala Nilamani, Sri Bhakti-rasamrita-sindu and so many other books, we would not be able to know the mercy of Srila Rupa Gosvami. We therefore offer our obeisances today unto the lotus feet of Srila Jiva Gosvami. We pray that we may serve our gurudeva as he served Srila Rupa Gosvami. He manifested both Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Sri Radha-Krsna. It is very rare for anyone to be like him.

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Appearance Day of Srila Jiva Goswami

a talk by Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

at the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Seva Ashram, Soquel, California

September 25, 2004

Today is a very auspicious day. It is the Appearance Day of Srila Jiva Goswami Prabhu, who is the protector of our Sampradaya and a great Acharyya. Srila Guru Maharaj said, Jivadyair abhiraksitam, our whole Sampradaya with so much wealth came from Jiva Goswami Prabhu. Rupa-Sanatan gave so much and Jiva Goswami Prabhu protected them from the other schools of religion like Sankaracharyya and (the atheist) Kapila's sankhya philosophy. They wanted to establish nirakara, nirvisesa, brahma (impersonalism, non-variagatedness), but Jiva Goswami Prabhu very authentically and wisely defeated them. He established achintya bhedabheda siddhanta of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

He was born in Bakla Chandradwip as a son of Anupama. Anupama was the brother of Rupa-Sanatan. After he was maybe twelve years old, Jiva Goswami came to Nabadwip and met with Nityananda Prabhu, and Nityananda Prabhu showed him everything, all the Pastime places of Mahaprabhu Chaitanyadev. Vishnupriya Devi took him as a son and gave him so much affectionate nourishment. Nityananda Prabhu took Jiva Goswami around the whole of Nabadwip Dham and ordered him: "Mahaprabhu Chaitanyadev has given Vrindavan Dham to you all, then you go to Vrindavan. I am giving my mercy, my blessings, affection, love, everything to you. You establish Mahaprabhu's Sampradaya."

Jiva Goswami went, and on the way he received some education in Benares, Kasi. He became highly educated in all the Scriptures: Veda, Vedanta, Upanishads, Purana, nyaya. Within five years he learned and finished his education because he knew if he went to Rupa-Sanatan, only service would be waiting for him. He received education so he could do that service more expertly, beautifully and authentically.

Then from Benares he went to Rupa-Sanatan in Vrindavan, took shelter and stayed with Rupa Goswami Prabhu. He took diksa mantram from Rupa Goswami and was always serving Rupa Goswami. All the Vaisnavas, all of the Goswamis — especially Rupa-Sanatan, Bhatta Raghunath, Gopal Bhatta, Das Goswami — everyone gave him much nourishment and affection. Jiva Goswami also served the whole Sampradaya by staying in Vrindavan. By the order of Rupa Goswami, he manifested and established the Radha Damodar Temple, and when Rupa Goswami Prabhu became aged, he took Rupa Goswami to stay there at the Radha Damodar Temple. There in the Radha Damodar Temple we can see the bhajan kutir of Rupa Goswami and the samadhi of Rupa Goswami, and the samadhi of Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami, the samadhi of Jiva Goswami and others.

Once Radha Damodar wanted to give me some service but I had not taken it because I had no manpower who will serve with their heart and full devotion. That kind of person is very rare to get. Only instead of money, as a financial transaction, I could not take that, but Rupa Goswami is so merciful and Srila Jiva Goswami is so merciful, they gave one piece of land adjoining Rupa Goswami. That land is also Radha Damodar's land. And very critically but legally I got that land through my dead telephone! The telephone did not ring, but I picked up the receiver to see if it was still dead and suddenly one person from Vrindavan, Krishna Vallabha, is talking on the line and telling me, "Maharaj, fifteen days are given by the order of the Magistrate, that if you take this land within fifteen days you will get that land of Jiva Goswami Prabhu."

Then I was surprised! But within fifteen days where shall I get so much money? Within fifteen days who will deal with the legal documents? And Krishna Vallabha said, "You don't worry for money. Money I shall arrange but you send your person." I sent Purnananda and I told him to legally transfer it in the name of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. Jiva Goswami is very merciful and Rupa Goswami is very merciful to have given that land. I immediately started service there. Now there is a three storey building and a very beautiful temple of Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Radha Rasabiharijiu. Srila Guru Maharaja's pushpa samadhi is inside the temple. You will see when you go.

Jiva Goswami Prabhu's character was very strong, and he was very highly educated in Sanskrit and Scripture. Sometimes he even corrected the writings of Rupa Goswami. Rupa Goswami told him many times, "Jiva, you see if it is perfect or not."

Jiva Goswami helped to make the Sat-Sandharbas, super-authentic Scripture in Mahaprabhu's Sampradaya. Jiva Goswami said, "It was in a disordered form, so I am making it in an ordered form." That way he gave explanation, but actually he made everything.

Once it happened that Vallabha Bhatta, who was very learned, saw there was a little fault in one sloka of Rupa Goswami, and he told Rupa Goswami, "Rupa, here is a little fault, you can correct it this way." Rupa Goswami was always giving honour to everyone, and he gave honour to Vallabha Bhatta and corrected that. But Jiva Goswami knew that what Rupa Goswami wrote was correct. Then he went to take water from the Jamuna, and there he met Vallabha Bhatta. He told him, "The sloka you tried to correct is already correct, I think."

Then Vallabha Bhatta debated with Jiva Goswami about that sloka and he was very happy to see what Jiva Goswami said was perfect. Then he came back to Rupa Goswami and said, "Rupa, I said to correct that sloka, but it was not necessary to corrected it. It was perfect. You can keep it." Then he asked, "Who is that young boy, that seventeen or eighteen year-old boy?"

Rupa Goswami said, "He is my nephew and he is staying with me. He is my disciple."

Vallabha Bhatta said, "Oh, he is highly educated and a very big pandit. He defeated me about this."

Rupa Goswami Prabhu was a little angry with Jiva Goswami: "He is your Guru. Why you went to correct him? This type of mentality cannot stay with me. You get out from my kunja. Go back to your father's house, Bakla Chandradwip. Go back."

Jiva Goswami Prabhu was very sad. He thought, "What shall I do with my life if I cannot serve my Guru Maharaj?"

In maybe Vamsivata, under a tree, Jiva Goswami Prabhu was writing one book, Sri Gopal-champu. Sri Gopal was his good friend, and Sri Gopal was addicted with sakhya-rasa in Krishna-lila. Jiva Goswami had said, "I shall keep within our form your sakhya-rasa, and I shall write one book for you, for your happiness." Jiva Goswami remembered that and he wrote Gopal-champu.

In the meantime, Sanatan Goswami met with Jiva Goswami and saw that he was doing praya-upavesam, not taking even water, and wanting to leave his body. Sanatan Goswami went to Rupa Goswami and asked, "Rupa, what are Mahaprabhu's teachings, can you say?"

Rupa Goswami said, "Yes: Jive-doya Name-ruchi Vaisnava-seva, service to the Vaisnavas, and jive-doya means being kind to the jiva souls and giving them Krishna consciousness, and Name-ruchi means take the Holy Name, take Hari Nama always. That is service. Mahaprabhu's teaching is this."

Then Sanatan Goswami said, "You told jive-doya but Jiva is leaving his body. It is not good what you have done. Do not throw Jiva out. He is a good boy."

Then Rupa Goswami went to Jiva Goswami and said, "Jiva, you come back." He gave full service to him, not only full service but service charge — everything. That Jiva Goswami's avirbhava is today. Mayavad, sankhyavad, buddhavad, whatever 'vad' was there, all he defeated, and he established achintya bhedabheda tattva through the Sat-sandarbha.

Many books Jiva Goswami composed. One very beautiful book, I like that book very much, is Hari-namamrita-vyakaran, the grammar of Sanskrit. And that Sanskrit grammar is unique, we cannot conceive that the grammar of every word indicates Krishna. Grammar is grammar, but he made grammar in Krishna consciousness. It is inconceivable. But every Name is inside the grammar, every matter, all is built by Krishna consciousness. I read that grammar, and I was very happy. I felt my life is successful, and that happened also. I do not actually know Sanskrit but by the grace of Jiva Goswami and the mercy of Guru Maharaj, I am famous in Sanskrit. But actually I am not so qualified. More qualification is necessary to understand. But Guru Maharaj gave the vital point to me and I can relish with that.

Guru Maharaj engaged Dr. Dolgobinda Sastri as my teacher. He is a very good teacher. He is still alive in Cuttak, Orissa, India. Anyhow, that Jiva Goswami Prabhu's Appearance Day is today. That means all the light, all the strength, all the beauty and all the beautiful conception of Krishna consciousness has come through Jiva Goswami Prabhu to us. That is our wealth. The wealth of life, the wealth of the spiritual world — what Jiva Goswami Prabhu gave, no one else has given that. For that, Baladeva Vidyabushan went to defeat the acharya of the Sri Sampradaya, and under that is also the Ramanandi section. They challenged Baladeva Vidyabushan, "You have no Vedanta-bhasya." In response, Baladeva Vidyabhusan made Govinda-bhasya.

Mahaprabhu did not compose Vedanta-bhasya and Jiva Goswami did not compose Vedanta-bhasya as such. Bhasya means explanation, interpretation. However it was given by Jiva Goswami through Sat-sandarbha made up of the Tattva-sandarbha, Bhakti-sandarbha, Priti-sandarbha, Paramatma-sandarbha, Bhagavat-sandarbha, and Krishna-sandarbha. After reading those Sat-sandarbhas Baladeva Vidyabhusan made the pranam mantra for Jiva Goswami there at the start of the Govinda-bhasya:


yah sankhya-pankena kutarka-pamsuna

vibartta-garttena cha luptadidhitim

staddham vyabhadhak-sudhaya mahesvaram

krsnam sa jivah prabhurastu me gatim


"He is the super-protector of our Sampradaya from other disturbances, then I bow down to his lotus feet." This way he wrote. He established Krishna, who is Paramesvara sat-chid-ananda vigraha, who is anadi, who is anadi adir whose name is Govinda, who is the cause of all causes. What was written in Brahma Samhita was established in this world by Jiva Goswami Prabhu.

Today is also Vamandeva's aviribhava also. You know Vamandeva? He appeared to teach Bali Maharaja. Bali Maharaja started a big fire sacrifice and there were so many big personalities. If he was successful then he could defeat everyone and permanently conquer the heavens and other places. For that, by the order of Sukracharyya, Bali Maharaja started to make that big fire sacrifice. But at that time all the demigods were very much afraid. They went to Lord Krishna, and Krishna took the form of Vamandeva. Aditinandan. His name is Aditinandan. He went that day to Sukracharyya's disciple, Bali Maharaja, who was making a big fire sacrifice.

He went there in the form of a brahmin beggar with a short figure. Seeing that, Bali Maharaj said, "I have promised that in this period, if anyone wants anything from me, I will give it to him. Then you tell me, brahmin boy, what you want." Sukracharyya is a highly qualified brahmin and he understood that the brahmin boy was Vishnu and not a brahmin boy, and that He wants to take everything from Bali Raja. Then he told Bali Raja, "This boy is not a brahmin boy. He is really Vishnu coming to you to pray for something. But if you give that, you will lose everything."

Then Bali Maharaja said, "I promised that in this period, whoever will ask for anything, I will give it to him." Then he said, "Oh brahmin, tell me what you want." And Vamana said, "I want land — three steps of land by my feet."

"Yes, I promise I shall give you." He took the kamandalu water pot, and wanted to say the sankalpa mantram (a vedic formality then prevalent ). At that time Sukracharyya was very disturbed and went inside of the kamandalu's spout and choked it by staying there. He put his head there so water could not fall.

"What happened?"

Vamana replied, "Nothing happened, I am making it clear." Then he took a kusa grass and pushed it down the spout, and one eye of Sukracharyya was poked out. Then Sukracharyya came out and left. The water fell for the sankalpa and he gave it to Vamanadeva.

Vamanadeva then said, "Now I can put my feet on the land. Which land will you give?"

"Whether on this earth or not, anywhere you can take."

"I want swarga, martya, patala," the heavens, material worlds, and the underground worlds, patala. When Bali Maharaja gave his steps, he conquered with his first step swarga-loka, and with his next step martyaloka. Bali Maharaja then asked, "Where is your other step?" Nothing was in the hand of Bali Maharaj because swarga and martya were taken. Then he gave patala-loka. When Vamandeva took swarga-martya-patala, then Vamandeva asked him, "Give daksina!"

Bali Maharaja responded, "What daksina I will give? I have nothing. Swarga-martiya-patala already I have given you."

Then Vamandeva said, "You bow down, and I'll put my foot on your head." He gave blessings to Bali Maharaja and told him, "I am very happy with you. You go to patala-loka and stay there. Do not to stay here in swarga-loka. I have selected patala-loka for you. Go and stay there."

Then Bali Maharaja said, "Okay, as your order, I shall do."

Vamanadeva said, "I am very happy with you. You take some boon from me." And Bali Maharaja said, "If You are satisfied and very happy with me, then You stay as my doorkeeper in that place, in patala, the abode you selected for me. Then forever You will be there." Vamandeva accepted.

That Vamandeva's avirbhava (appearance) is today, Vaman dvadasi. Every time this is a very critical type of dvadasi because sometimes Vishnu-srinkala-yoga is happening, and at that time Ekadasi is going down and Vishnu-srinkala is getting that dvadasi day. Anyhow yesterday was Vishnu-srinkala, and today is Vaman dvadasi, so we have both: Vishnu-srinkala-dvadasi and Jiva Goswami's Appearance Day. All these auspicious things happen today.

Jay Om Visnupad Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jaya!

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