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The disappearance day of Shrila Rupa Gosvami

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Vrndavana-04AUG17.jpgVrindavan, India: August 17, 2005
Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaj

At 6:30 am, on Shrila Rupa Gosvami's Disappearance Day, Shrila Narayana Maharaj took about two-hundred devotees to Shri Rupa-Sanatana Gaudiya Matha for darsana of Shri Shri Radha-Vinodabihari. Along with all those devotees in the form of a kirtana party, he then went to Shri Radha-Damodara temple. Everyone present circumambulated the temple, first visiting the samadhis of Shrila Jiva Gosvami and Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, and then, led by Shrila Maharaj, offering arati at the puspa-samadhi of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura while singing Shri Prabhupada-Padma Stava.

After that, they all went to the samadhi of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, where Shrila Maharaj led them in the performance of arati and then showered them with the nectarean glorification of Rupa Gosvami and his unique contribution. After that, Shrila Maharaj led them in worship of Rupa Gosvami's place of bhajana.

In the evening there were about four hundred devotees present at Shri Rupa-Sanatana Gaudiya Matha. Shrila Narayana Maharaj had invited a panel of Mathura devotee-scholars, and after they each glorified Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Narayana Maharaj himself spoke.

Shrila Maharaj expressed his appreciation of the wisdom shared by the various speakers, and he illuminated their main points. He especially appreciated Bhuti Krishna Gosvami's explanation. Simultaneously summarizing and expanding on the Gosvami's words, Shrila Maharaj explained that all the commentaries and writings of Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami and Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura were all manifest by Shrila Rupa Gosvami's mercy. Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami gave us Radha-Krishna's asta-kaliya-lila (daily pastimes) in the form of Govinda-lilamrta, and Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura gave it in the form of Shri Krishna-bhavanamrta. All of their work was inspired by Shrila Rupa Gosvami, in whom they took shelter.

Shrila Maharaj explained how Shrila Rupa Gosvami gave Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami Radha and Krishna's tax pastimes in the form of his book, Dan-keli-kaumudi, and that inspired Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami to write his own Dan-keli-cintamani.

“Whatever Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura wrote was inspired by Shrila Rupa Gosvami. He wrote the commentary of Shrila Rupa Gosvami's Bhakti-rasamrta sindhu in the form of his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu-bindhu. He wrote Prema-samput and Camatkara-candrika. Without Shrila Rupa Gosvami, the other acarayas could not have given the world what they did. Shri Krishnacandra and Shrimati Radhika are merciful, and Lalita and Visakha are merciful, but without Shrila Rupa Gosvami's mercy we would not be able to get their mercy. Without Shrila Rupa Gosvami, no one would have known what Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to give, and what He came to taste – madanakya-mahabhava. Our entire disciplic succession is coming from Shrila Rupa Gosvami, and the entire universe gets from him the root of all moods and philosophy of bhakti-rasa.”

Shrila Narayana Maharaj then glorified the discussion of Vasudeva Krishna Caturvedi, and expanded on one of Caturvedi's important points – his expression of Shri Vithalacarya's song, Shri Radha-prarthana.

Shrila Maharaj quoted the song and explained its verses. He began with the first words: “Krpayati yadi radha…”

krpayati yadi radha badhitasesa-badha
kim apara-visistam pusti-maryadayor me
yadi vadati ca kincit smera-hasodita-Shrir
dvija-vara-mani-panktya mukti-suktya tada kim (1)

[“If Shrimati Radhika is merciful to me, then all obstacles to my devotion will be removed. There will be nothing more for me to attain because I will have received the fruits offered by the paths of both vaidhi-marga and raga-marga. And if She will speak to me while smiling gently, I will see Her brilliant rows of teeth which are like lines of priceless jewels. Having seen them one time, the goal of gaining liberation from material existence will be rendered insignificant.” (Shri Radha-Prarthana, verse 1)]

Shrila Maharaj then began his glorification of the song: Where did Shri Vithilacarya get this idea? He got it from his association with Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, who received his ultimate realizations from Shrila Rupa Gosvami.

syamasundara sikhanda-sekhara
smera-hasa murali-manohara
radhika-rasika mah krpa-nidhe
sva-priya-carana-kinkarim kuru

[“O Syamasundara! O Sikhanda-sekhara (whose head is adorned with peacock feathers)! Your face is always graced with a playful smile, Your flute-playing is enchanting, and You are so expert in relishing rasa with Shrimati Radhika. Because You are an ocean of mercy, I am appealing to You to please make me a kinkari (maidservant) at the feet of Your beloved.” (Shri Radha-Prathana, verse 2)]

Shrila Maharaj continued: “We are so fortunate, because now Shrila Rupa Gosvami's disciplic succession is here and we have come to it.

Shrila Rupa Gosvami has given us Shri Upadesamrta. From there we learn not to criticize. We learn to only criticize our own mind.”

krsneti yasya giri tam manasadriyeta
diksasti cet pranatibhis ca bhajantam isam
susrusaya bhajana-vijnam ananyam anya-
nindadi-sunya-hrdam ipsita-sanga-labdhya

[“One should mentally honor the devotee who chants the holy name of Lord Krishna, one should offer humble obeisances to the devotee who has undergone spiritual initiation and is engaged in worshiping the Deity, and one should associate with and faithfully serve that Pure devotee who is advanced in undeviated devotional service and whose heart is completely devoid of the propensity to criticize others.” (Upadesamrta, verse 5)]

We should surrender our entire lives to one who is ninda-sunya, who never commits any offenses. This is all explained by Shrila Rupa Gosvami, whose culmination verse in this book is:

smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya
tisthan vraje tad-anuragi jananugami
kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram

[“The essence of all advice is that one should utilize one's full time-twenty-four hours a day-in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord's divine name, transcendental form, qualities and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging one's tongue and mind. In this way one should reside in Vraja and serve Krishna under the guidance of devotees. One should follow in the footsteps of the Lord's beloved devotees, who are deeply attached to His devotional service.” (Upadesamrta, verse 8)]

All Gaudiya acaryas fall at Shrila Rupa Gosvami's lotus feet and take shelter there. I pray to his lotus feet that he will give all of you his mercy.

Tomorrow is Baladeva Purnima, and we will meet again. My thanks to all who have come here.

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