Raghunatha das Gosvami

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The Appearance Day of Srila Raghunatha das Gosvami


Today is also the birthday of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. If you want to become pure devotees, you will have to follow Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. You want to follow, but you are weak – as Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja says, “Mr. Dog, Mr. Hog, Mr. Pig.” – and some are like camels, tigers or bears. We must try to follow Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. He was wealthy and he was situated in a high position, but he left everything for Krsna and continually cried, “O Krsna, O Sacinandana Gaurahari.” By the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu he quickly received the shelter of Mahaprabhu. Hardly eating anything but somehow maintained his life, He went to Vrndavana after Mahaprabhu departed, and he lived at Radha-kunda.

Without the mercy of the guru you cannot have love and affection for Krsna or Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Guru-krpa (guru’s mercy) is essential, and guru-nistha (faith in guru) is the backbone of all kinds of bhakti. When Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami received the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, all his problems and obstacles quickly disappeared, and he was able to leave home to be with Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Performance of bhajana in one’s house, while still living with one’s father, mother, wife, and husband, is one kind of bhajana, but that kind of bhajana cannot give the fruit of love and affection for Krsna. One day you will have to thoroughly give this up.

The first symptom of real bhakti, achieved by the austerities of chanting and remembering Krsna, is causeless knowledge and detachment from this world. You will surely become renounced, whether you are in worldly life or in the renounced order. If you are chanting seriously and perfectly, renunciation is bound to come. We have heard that when Guru Nanak (the saint in India who founded the Sikh religion) was young, his father told him, “Go to the market and bring back the ingredients we need to sell at our shop.” On the way to the market he came upon many Vaisnavas and sadhus. Seeing that there was no management of prasadam for them, he quickly went to the market and bought all the paraphernalia needed to make a festival for them, and for that purpose he spent all his father’s money. He later returned home empty-handed, and his father asked, “Where are the ingredients I told you to buy – the rice, dahl, ghee and other things?”

Guru Nanak replied, “I did the shopping, but I have given all the goods for the service of Vaisnavas. In this way I have done some very good shopping for my future life and for the benefit of my whole dynasty.” He had so much strong belief in Krsna; he knew that if one serves Krsna, Krsna will give him everything he needs. We do not have this same belief, and therefore it is even very hard for us to give a penny. Some persons can give some of their wealth, but he gave everything.

Because Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was chanting and remembering Krsna, having been spiritually brought up by Srila Haridasa Thakura and initiated by Sri Yadunandana Acarya, some good effect was bound to come. He became detached from the world, and he considered Krsna to be his father, his mother, and his everything. All tattvas (established philosophical truths) came in his heart, and he quickly left his home and beautiful wife. He was the only son of his father, who was as wealthy as a king, and his wife was as beautiful as Miss Universe. It would have been very hard for an ordinary person to give up such luxuries.

After leaving home, Raghunatha dasa did not travel on the main road. Hiding, he went on the village route, not eating anything except some puffed rice and some milk, and a journey of one month passed quickly in 12 days. At that time there were no trains or cars, but he ran quickly, without taking any time to bathe.

When he came in Jagannatha Puri he did not go to see Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra. He came directly to the assembly of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who was surrounded by many associates like Svarupa Damodara and Raya Ramananda. Someone told Mahaprabhu, “Raghunatha has come,” and Mahaprabhu quickly embraced him and said, “O Raghunatha, you have just come from the ditch of stool.” Some time before, Mahaprabhu had told him to return home, but now He said, “All worldly life is like stool, and Krsna is so merciful that He delivered you and you have come out from that house.” Mahaprabhu then placed him in the hands of Sri Svarupa Damodara, and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami thus began a transcendental life; always hearing from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Svarupa Damodara, Srila Rupa Gosvami, Sri Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Sri Vakresvara Pandita, Sri Gopal Guru, and Srila Haridasa Thakura.

The life history of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is one of the jewels in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, and moreover, much of what Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja wrote in Caitanya-caritamrta he had heard from the lotus mouth of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Try to remember his life and character. If you do, a power will enter within you and you will be able to become a devotee like him – whether you are in worldly life or renounced life. Try to be like him. We cannot be like him without help, and therefore we pray to Nityananda Prabhu to help us.

Gaura premanande.

[Endnote 1– Bhagavan has three potencies – Sri (Laksmi), Bhu (the Goddess of the Earth), and Lila (the Goddess of pastimes). Bhu is the energy that creates the cosmic manifestation (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 5.27-28 purp.). Bhu-sakti also assists in manifesting Krsna’s pastimes in Bhauma-Vrndavana, the place of His pastimes as they are displayed on the Earth planet in this universe and innumerable other universes. The goddess of this Earth, Pritivi devi, is also included within this potency. Without this Bhu potency, Krsna will have no place in which to perform His pastimes.] [Endnote 2 – In Vedic culture, sannyasis are given honor] [Endnote 3 – The confidential, innermost region of Goloka, Krsna’s own transcendental planet, is divided into two sections: Vrndavana (also known as Vraja and Gokula) and Navadvipa (also known as Svetadvipa).

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