Srila Sanatana Goswami


Srila Sanatana Goswami was born in the year 1488 A.D. He lived for 70 years. His disappearance was on the full moon day of Asar in the year 1558. His name in Braja-lila is Rati-manjari. He was the elder brother of Sri Rupa Goswami.

Badsha Hussain Shah, having heard of their profound scholarship wanted to engage the two brothers as his ministers. They came to live at Ramakeli, the capital of Gaura-desha and were presented much wealth by the Badsha.

These brothers were from childhood greatly devoted to the Lord. Once Mahaprabhu decided to come to Bengal to have darshana of His mother. After spending a few days with Advaita Acharya in Santipura, He came to Ramakeli. Sakara Mallik (Sanatana) and Dabir Khas (Rupa), along with their brother Sri Ballabha (Anupama), who had a son who was just a small child (Sri Jiva), offered salutations at the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu. After Mahaprabhu had left Ramakeli to return to Puri, the brothers began to observe some vows and rituals in order to obtain shelter at His lotus feet. Sri Rupa and Anupama loaded a boat with their accumulated wealth and left Ramakeli.

Meanwhile, Sanatana neglected his duties as a minister, and the Badsha had Sanatana imprisoned. Sanatana received a letter from Sri Rupa, stating that he had deposited eight hundred gold coins with one grocer. With the help of this money, Sanatana should immediately arrange his release.

Sanatana Gosvami lived for some time at Mahabon, the birth place of Sri Krishna. It is described in the Prema-vilas that the Madana Mohana Deity resided at the home of a Mathura brahmana, Damodar Chaube. One night Sanatana Gosvami and Damodar Chaube’s wife both had a dream in which Madana Gopala requested to be able to come and live with Sanatana Gosvami. Sanatana received Madana Gopala from the family and took Him to a hillock, where he constructed a small hut and began to serve Madana Gopala.

Within a few days a merchant named Sri Krishna dasa Kapoor came to Mathura to engage in business. His boat got stuck on a sand bar in the Yamuna and he could not free it. He met Sanatana and offered his dandavats and appealed to him to free it. Sanatana Goswami asked him to pray to Madana Gopala.

Krishna das offered his dandavats to Madana Mohanji and spoke to Him, “If, by Your mercy my boat is freed, then whatever profit is realized from the sale of its cargo, I will give to this Gosvami to be engaged in Your service.”

That afternoon there was such a downpour of rain that the boat very easily floated off the sand bar. His goods were sold at a handsome profit and with this money he made all arrangements for the execution of Sri Madana Gopal’s worship.

Sri Sanatana Gosvami compiled many scriptures. These include: Sri Brihat-bhagavatmrita, Sri Hari-bhakti-vilas and its Dig-darsani-tika, Sri Krishna-lilastava (dasam charit), Sri Bhagavata-tipani, (commentary on Srimad Bhagavatam) and Brihat-vaishnava-tosani.