Vrindavan, 2017.06.20 (VT): The upcoming festival of Mudiya Puno celebrates the life of Shri Sanatan Goswami, a saint of the Gaudiya Sampradaya who lived in Braj almost 500 years ago. Last week we published a story about Mudiya Puno and Sanatan Goswami’s love for Madanmohan.
The following excerpt from Bhakti Ratnakar shows Sanatan Goswami’s great love for the Brajwasis (the people of Braj-Vrindavan) and the Brajwasis’ love for him.
“Whenever Sanatan Goswami moved from one village to another, all the villagers would run behind him. All the people, young and old alike, were overwhelmed with feelings of separation from him. They cried, and tears fell from Sanatan Goswami’s eyes too, as he asked them to go back to their houses. As the villagers walked home, weeping, Sanatan Goswami would hurry off to the next village. And when the villagers from the new village saw him coming, all the people would say with delight, ‘Look! It’s Roop-Sanatan!” (1346-1351)
The great saint Shri Roop Goswami was Sanatan Goswami’s younger brother. They were so spiritually connected, that the Brajwasis called Sanatan Goswami ‘Roop-Sanatan”
“When they saw only Roop Goswami, the Brajwasis would also call him “Roop-Sanatan.” Such a wonderful love they had! When they saw Sanatan coming, they would run to greet him, like a poor man who had found a treasure of jewels. The old ladies and men cuddled him like a child, and asked, ‘Oh my son! For so long you have forgotten us. But how did you pass your days without our love and care? We die to think of it!’ Speaking thus, they would look at Sanatan’s face in joy, considering themselves blessed. (1352-1357)
The young adults, men and women alike, thought of Sanatan Goswami as their brother. Some would tease, with tears flowing from their eyes, “How have you been, brother? I can understand you never think of us! That’s why we have not seen you in so long! Why are you so merciless towards us?” Meanwhile, the little boys and girls would touch his feet. The newly-married young wives of the village would watch him happily from some distance.” (1358-1362)
“When they saw Sanatan, no one thought of bowing to him or acting formal. The villagers would hold his hand and embrace him tightly. They would seat him at the base of a tree, and sit down in a circle around him. They would feed him milk, yoghurt and butter from their homes, and after he had finished eating, they would talk with him in bliss. (1363-1367)
Although Sanatan Goswami was very renounced, his love for the Brajwasis transcended all his rules of renunciation. Out of great love for them ,he would speak about worldly subjects with them all night long.
“With great affection, Sanatan Goswami would ask the Brajwasis about their welfare. ‘How many sons and daughters do you have?’ he would ask. ‘What are their names, and how are they doing? How much harvest have you brought in this year, and how much ploughing have you done? Do you have any health problems? How do you feel mentally?” The Brajwasis felt very happy when Sanatan Goswami asked about their lives, and they answered his questions in detail. Any pain or stress they felt was healed by talking with Sanatan Goswami. Sanatan Goswami and the Brajwasis would pass the whole night talking in this way.” (1368-1373)
“As the sun rose, Sanatan Goswami would quickly go to do his morning practice. After bathing, the villagers fed him a delicious breakfast of homemmade milk products. First they served him, then he made them sit Like before, the Brajwasis were very upset when he left their village. It is impossible to fully describe how much they loved Sanatan Goswami, and Sanatan addressed each one sweetly, according to their relationship.” (1374- 1378)
“The village folk would follow him for a long time, until he promised to return. In this way, Sanatan Goswami wandered from village to village until he arrived at Baithan. Sanatan asked the villagers about their welfare and spent one day and night there with a happy heart. Everyone knew that Sanatan had taken a vow to stay for only one day and night in any place. But still they begged him, ‘Everyone would be so happy if you just stay with us for some days more. Please stay; don’t be cruel. According to your vow you have to go, but please give up your vow to save our lives!’ When the villagers spoke this way and cried, Sanatan Goswami agreed to stay on for some days. All the villagers of Baithan and the surrounding area were always immersed in the glories of Sanatan Goswami.’ (1379-1387)