What’s So Great About Rupa Gosvami?
By Dhruva Maharaja dasa (ACBSP)
When Caitanya Mahaprabhu returned to Puri after His South Indian tour, He attended His first Ratha-yatra. While dancing before the chariot of Lord Jagannatha, Mahaprabhu entered a unique mood of divine love and began chanting a mysterious verse that no one but Svarupa Damodara could understand. This mystery continued annually for three more years, and still the inner meaning of Mahaprabhu’s verse remained hidden.
During the fourth year, however, Srila Rupa Gosvami arrived from Vrndavana, having met Mahaprabhu in Prayag some months earlier. When he heard Mahaprabhu chanting this verse, Rupa Gosvami understood its inner meaning and later composed a similar verse by which the original verse’s actual intentions were revealed.
Sometime later, Mahaprabhu saw that verse written on a palm leaf stuck into Rupa Gosvami’s grass roof, and was overwhelmed with ecstatic love when He read it. Showing the verse to various devotees, He inquired, “How could Rupa Gosvami have understood My heart?” “It is only because You must have bestowed Your causeless mercy upon him,” Svarupa Damodara answered. Mahaprabhu then confirmed that He had met Rupa Gosvami in Prayag earlier, and had indeed bestowed His mercy upon Him.
Days later, Mahaprabhu gathered some of His intimate devotees, and in their presence asked Rupa Gosvami to read from his writings. After some loving coaxing, Rupa Gosvami quoted: “I do not know how much nectar the two syllables ‘Krsna’ have produced. When the holy name of Krsna is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We then desire many, many mouths. When that name enters the holes of the ears, we desire many millions of ears. And when the holy name dances in the courtyard of the heart, it conquers the activities of the mind, and therefore all the senses become inert..”
When the devotees—especially Ramananda Raya—heard this verse, they were filled with transcendental bliss. Everyone admitted that although they had heard many statements glorifying the holy name of the Lord, they had never heard such sweet descriptions as those of Rupa Gosvami.
In his Preface to Nectar of Devotion, Srila Prabhupada writes: “The present Krsna consciousness movement is also based on the authority of Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada. We are therefore generally known as rupanugas, or followers in the footsteps of Srila Rupa Gosvami.”
Another famous verse describes: “Before the creation of this cosmic manifestation, the Lord enlightened the heart of Lord Brahma with the details of the creation and manifested Vedic knowledge. In exactly the same way, the Lord, being anxious to revive the Vrndavana pastimes of Lord Krsna, impregnated the heart of Rupa Gosvami with spiritual potency. By this potency Srila Rupa Gosvami could revive the activities of Krsna in Vrndavan, activities almost lost to memory. In this way, He spread Krsna consciousness throughout the world.”
Not for the Light at Heart
Rupa Gosvami compiled many books covering a wide range of topics to fulfill the desire of the Lord mentioned above. One of those literatures touching upon very intimate topics and feelings of love in separation is called Hamsaduta — the story of Lalita-devi sending a message through a swan messenger to Krsna in Mathura after His cruel departure from Vrndavana.
Sadhusanga.com has recorded this wonderful book and is offering it for only a $1 download in honor of Srila Rupa Gosvami’s disappearance day, Sunday, August 6 (Vrndavana Time Zone). To take advantage of this offer, go to www.Sadhusanga.com click on the Choose An Author dropdown, then click Rupa Gosvami.
This offer will expire Monday, August 7th and will be our final $1 offer of 2006.