Srila Rupa Gosvami


Srila Rupa Gosvami was extremely dear to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu disseminated His teachings through him and his elder brother, Sri Sanatana. In the Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika, Kavi Karnapura has stated that Sri Rupa Gosvami was known as Sri Rupa Manjari during Krishna lila.

The brothers were ministers of the king of Gauda-desha, Hussain Shah Badsha. At a very young age they had learned all of the scriptures. The Badsha’s teacher recommended him to appoint them as his ministers to attain a very opulent kingdom. Sri Rupa had written a letter to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu praying for His darshan. In His reply Mahaprabhu explained to him, “As a woman who is attached to another man, makes a show of being devoted to her husband, so you should, while being internally attached to the lotus feet of Sri Krishna, externally make a show of being engaged in your worldly duties. Krishna will bestow His mercy on you very soon.”

They lived in opulent surroundings at Ramakeli. They were studying the shastras and always absorbed in the service of Sri Madana Mohana.  Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had instructed the Gosvamis to re-discover the holy places of Krishna’s pastimes in Vraja and to establish worship of His Sri Vigraha. One day Sri Rupa was sitting on the banks of the Yamuna, lamenting that they hadn’t been able to properly carry out His instructions. As he was sitting and thinking in this way a very beautiful cowherd boy came along and asked him, “Why do you look so sad?” He replied that he hadn’t been able to follow Mahaprabhu’s instructions properly. The cowherd boy told him, “Please come with me. I will show you where it is.” Then the boy brought him to Gomatila and explained, “Everyday a cow comes on top of this hill and pours down her milk here. There is a good chance you will find what you are looking for inside.”

The next morning he again came to Gomatila and after a little while a Surabhi cow came there and poured milk down on top of the hill. Sri Rupa was now positive that Sri Govinda Deva must be within the earth here. He narrated this to the cowherd men at a village nearby and they came running to Gomatila. Digging where Sri Rupa indicated they saw the all enchanting form of Sri Govinda. He sent word to Mahaprabhu in Puri about this. Mahaprabhu sent Kashishvar Pandit from Puri to assist in worshiping the Deity.

Sri Rupa and Sanatana began to compose the Bhakti-shastras, in compliance with Mahaprabhu’s further instructions. After completing Vidagdha-madhava, Lalita-madhava, etc., Sri Rupa began to work on Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu.

Appearance: 1493 AD.  Disappearance: 1564 AD. Disappearance day: 12th day of the bright fortnight of Shravana. He was 73 years old.