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Ragunath Goswami’s “Sva Niyama Dashakam” Verse 8: Love in separation

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Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: While Srila Raghunath, in sādhakāveśa, takes his vows in this Sva Niyama Daśakam, the ocean of his love-in-separation is suddenly agitated. Burning in the fire of separation from Radha Madhava, Shri Gaurasundara and Sripāda Swarup Damodar he came to Vraja, planning to commit suicide by jumping from Govardhana hill. Shri Rūpa and Sanatan Goswami pacified his burning heart somewhat and advised him to settle down on the bank of Shri Radha Kund and do bhajana there. In this way they saved his life.


parityaktaḥ preyo-jana-samudayair bāḍham asudhīr
durandho nīrandhraṁ kadana-bhara-vārdhau nipatitaḥ
tṛṇaṁ dantair daṣṭvā caṭubhir abhiyāce’dya kṛpayā
svayaṁ śrī-gāndharvā-sva-pada-nalināntaṁ nayatu mām

Abandoned by my beloveds (Srila Rupa Goswami and Shri Swarup Damodar) I have become completely blinded and bereft of intelligence. Even though they have disappeared I am still alive and I’m immersed in an ocean of great misery. Holding a blade of grass between my teeth I humbly and anxiously pray that Shri Gāndharvā (Radha) herself may now take me to her lotus feet.”

Translation and purport by Ananta Das and Adwaita Das

When Shri Rūpa and Sanatan Goswami passed away, the fire of Raghunath Das’ love-in-separation increased a hundredfold and burned up his heart. Rasika, soft-hearted and like-minded devotees are able to relieve Each other from the burning fire of separation from the Lord, but when these devotees also disappear the pain of separation becomes intolerable.

kṛṣṇa bhakta viraha vināduḥkha nāhi āra (CC) “There’s no other suffering than separation from the devotees of Krishna.” Separation from the Lord is still somewhat tolerable, but there’s no greater anguish than separation from his devotees. When separation from the Lord is experienced, then this can be somehow relieved by speaking kṛṣṇa-kathā with loving, like-minded devotees, but when such devotees are absent, it is as if the whole world becomes void. By reading this verse, one can get some idea of what Srila Raghunath Das Goswami’s state of mind was.

Likewise, Krishnadāsa Kavirāja Goswami has written: raghunāthera niyama yeno pāṣāṇera rekhā (CC): “Raghunath’s discipline was like a line carved in a stone.” Such lines can never be wiped out.

While taking all these different vows, Raghunath suddenly remembered Shri Rūpa and Sanātana, and this made him greatly upset. Their personal mercy was the very foundation of Raghunath’s worship and now that they had disappeared, the whole world became dark for him. What to speak of continuing his worship, without them it was impossible for him even to stay alive!

Shri Raghunath Das, the embodiment of love-in-separation, humbly says: “Being abandoned by my beloved Shri Swarup Damodar and Shri Rūpa-Sanātana, I’ve become completely oblivious of what is beneficial and what isn’t.” Once he gave up his vast regal opulence like a straw, just to come running to Shri Chaitanya’s lotus feet, and the Lord became placed him into the care of Srila Swarup Damodar, who is the embodiment of Vraja-rasa.

Shri Swarup Damodar was the only one who could keep him alive and teach him the intricacies of bhajana. Shri Raghunath Das stayed under Swarup Damodar’s shelter for sixteen long years and became like a bumblebee, intoxicated by the highly delectable divine honey that trickled from Shri Chaitanya’s lotus feet.
1287521003_eaf04c3a2e_b-300x225.jpg&key=The Govardhan Shila gifted to Raghunath Das Goswami by Lord Chaitanya, now kept at Gokulananda TempleSince he was always able to associate with the Lord, he attained the great fortune of witnessing the Lord’s extraordinary pastimes and thus became fully blessed. When Sriman Mahaprabhu and Swarup Damodar left their bodies, Raghu’s world became void. Desiring to give up his afflicted life of suffering the pangs of separation, he went to Vraja, where he met Shri Rūpa and Sanatan Goswami, who were at that time Vraja’s most influential examples of prema bhakti and Vraja-rasa.

Their consoling words saved Raghu’s life and awakened the desire in him to do bhajana at Shri Radha Kund, where he remained for the rest of his life (about 50 years), deeply absorbed in the most confidential pastimes. In the end, he forgot everything external and realized his identity as Radha’s maidservant, crying day and night out of separation from his mistress and her loving service.

While he showered himself day and night with his tears of love and performed his internal worship, he simultaneously maintained a firm discipline in his external body. This Raghunath, who suffers great pain when he remembers Shri Swarup Damodar, Srila Rupa Goswami and Srila Sanatan Goswami, says: “I’m a great fool, for even though they have become unmanifest, I’m still keeping myself alive, drowning in an ocean of agony! There’s only one way out of this ocean of anguish, and that is Gāndharvā Shri Radharani’s personal mercy! Therefore I’m holding a straw between my teeth and I humbly and anxiously pray that Shri Radhika herself will be merciful to me and take me towards her lotus feet!”


svarūpa rūpa sanātana,
ye mora bāndhava-gaṇa,
eke eke hoilo adarśana
viraha samudra jale,
phele more gelo cole,
śūnya hāṭe koriye krandana

“My friends Svarūpa, Rūpa and Sanātana have passed away, one after the other, throwing me into an ocean of love-in-separation and leaving me crying in an empty marketplace.”

hitāhita jñāna-śūnya,
tribhuvana dekhi śūnya,
dante tṛṇa kori nivedana.
adya mora gāndharvikā,
mad īśvarīśrī rādhikā,
pādapadme koruna grahaṇa

“I’m bereft of insight of what is beneficial and what not. Seeing the whole world as empty I’m taking a straw in-between my teeth and I pray: May my mistress Gāndharvikā Shri Radhika take me to her lotus feet now!”


he rādhe dāsi boli,
kātarete ei boli,
pada sevāya niyukta koribe.
vrajendra-nandana yini,
vraje indranīla-maṇi,
kṛṣṇa-prāpti anāyāse hobe

“O Rādhe! I anxiously pray to you: Make me your maidservant and engage me in the service of your lotus feet! Then I will easily be able to attain the prince of Vraja, the blazing sapphire Krishna!”


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