This year, 2018, Shrila Jiva Gosvami Prabhupada’s Appearance Day is September 21 and 22 around the world.. Please accept these two lectures of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, given in honor of Shrila Jiva Gosvami:]
[Today is a very auspicious day. It is the disappearance day of Shrila Jiva Gosvami. We don't observe the disappearance days of Lord Krishna, Lord Chaitanya 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 Shri Shri Radha-Krishna, Shriman Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda Prabhu. We can understand how they practiced bhakti-yoga and how they received the service of Krishna 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.]
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Svayam Bhagavan Shri Krishna Himself who has taken the beauty and intrinsic mood of Shrimati Radhika, came to this world, but it was Shrila Rupa Gosvami who established in this world His innermost heart's feelings. If Shrila Rupa Gosvami had not come, perhaps we would not have known His identity. Shrila Jiva Gosvami served Shrila Rupa Gosvami, and the credit for all the publishing of Shrila 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 Shrila Rupa Gosvami.
He was the topmost learned person at that time, and he preserved the legacy of Shrila 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 Shrila Rupa Gosvami's books would have been lost. He also preached, especially to Shri Syamananda Prabhu, Shri Narottama dasa Thakura, and Shri Shrinivasa Acarya. Try to practice serving the cause of Chaitanya 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 Shrila Jiva Gosvami and the Six Gosvamis did not practice this. How many disciples did Shrila Raghunatha Das Gosvami, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Raghunatha Bhatta have? Shrila Jiva Gosvami did not have any formal disciples at all, but the whole world is his disciple. Shri Syamananda Prabhu was initiated by another guru, Shri Hrdaya Chaitanya, Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura was initiated by Shrila Lokanatha dasa Gosvami, and Shrila Shrinivasa Acarya was initiated by Shrila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, but they all came under the shelter of Shrila 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. Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura went to Shrila Lokanatha Prabhu and Shrinivasa Acarya Prabhu went to Shrila 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 Shrila Jiva Gosvami he accepted only one disciple – Shrinivasa Acarya. However, those two disciples, along with Syamananda Prabhu, went to Bengal and collected thousands and thousands of followers.
Shrila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji also never wanted to accept any disciples. Only by the special request of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura did he initiate his son, Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami. He saw in his own heart that if he did not initiate Shrila Sarasvati Thakura, he would die. Shrila Babaji Maharaja was therefore bound to give him initiation, but he gave no initiation to anyone else. His disciple, Shrila 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 Shrila Lokanatha Gosvami and his disciple Shrila 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 Shri Krishna Bhagavan’s name. Krishna's name is Krishna 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." [Shrila Maharaja explained on another day that in real bhajana, the devotee is personally serving Shrimati Radha and Shri Krishna while chanting. Shrila Lokanatha dasa Gosvami told Shrila Narottama dasa that he was not qualified because he had interrupted his service to Radhika and Krishna, and went to serve an ordinary man. Had Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura continued his bhajana, Krishna would have been pleased and the man also would have been pleased. By Lord Krishna's arrangement, he would have gotten water from another source] Shrila 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 Shrila 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. Shrila If Jiva Gosvami had not written Sad-Sandarbha, if he had not written Shri Gopala Campu, if he had not revealed his commentaries on Shri Ujjvala Nilamani, Shri Bhakti-rasamrita-sindu and so many other books, we would not be able to know the mercy of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. We therefore offer our obeisances today unto the lotus feet of Shrila Jiva Gosvami. We pray that we may serve our gurudeva as he served Shrila Rupa Gosvami. He manifested both Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Shri Shri Radha-Krishna. It is very rare for anyone to be like him.
Transcriber: Yasoda Gopi dasi
Editor: Rsabhadeva dasa Adhikari
Ass't editor: Syamarani dasi
Typists: Malati dasi and Radhika dasi