The contribution of Srila Jiva Goswami.

By Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Today is Srila Jiva Goswami’s appearance day. Mayavad, sankhyavad, buddhavad, he defeated every vad [ism] there was and established the achintya bhedabhed siddhanta [principle of inconceivable different and nondifference] through the Sat-sandarbhas.

All the light, all the strength, all the beauty, and all the beautiful conceptions of Krishna consciousness have come through Srila Jiva Goswami Prabhu to us. That is our wealth. It is the wealth of our life and the wealth of the spiritual world. No one else has given what Jiva Goswami Prabhu gave.

When Baladev Vidyabhusan went to defeat the acharya of the Sri sampradaya, under whom was the Ramanandi section of Vaisnavas, he was challenged, “You have no commentary of Vedanta.” In response to this, Baladev Vidyabhusan wrote the Govinda-bhasya.

Neither Mahaprabhu nor Jiva Goswami composed a  Vedanta-bhasya as such. Bhasya means an explanation and interpretation. A bhasya was given by Jiva Goswami through Sat-sandarbhas, made up of the Tattva-sandarbha, Bhakti-sandarbha, Priti-sandarbha, Paramatma-sandarbha, Bhagavat-sandarbha, and Krama-sandarbha. After reading the Sat-sandarbhas, Baladev Vidyabhusan wrote a pranam mantra for Jiva Goswami to start the Govinda-bhasya:

yah sankhya-pankena kutarka-pamsuna
vivarta-gartena cha lupta-didhitim
suddham vyadhad vak-sudhaya mahesvaram
krsnam sa jivah prabhur astu me gatih

“Jiva is the super-protector of our sampradaya from all disturbances. I bow down to his lotus feet.”

He established Krishna, who is the Paramesvara [the Supreme Lord], who is the sach-chid-ananda vigraha [the embodiment of eternity, consciousness, and joy], who is anadi [beginningless], who is adir [the beginning], whose name is Govinda, and who is the cause of all causes. Jiva Goswami Prabhu established in this world what was written in Brahma-samhita.


yah sankhya-pankena kutarka-pamsuna
vivarta-gartena cha lupta-didhitim
suddham vyadhad vak-sudhaya mahesvaram
krsnam sa jivah prabhur astu me gatih
(Srila Baladev Vidyabhusan)


jivah–Sri Jiva prabhuh–Prabhu, yah–who sudhaya–through the nectar vak–of [his] words vyadhad–made suddham–clear mahesvaram–the Supreme Lord krsnam–Krishna [whose] didhitim–effulgence [had been] lupta–hidden pankena–by the mud sankhya–of calculation, pamsuna–the dust kutarka–of fallacious logic [nyaya], cha–and gartena–the ditch vivarta–of illusionism [mayavad]. [May] sah–he astu–be me–my gatih–shelter.

With his nectarean teachings, Srila Jiva Goswami Prabhu revealed the the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna, whose effulgence had been hidden by the mud of calculation, the dust of fallacious logic, and the ditch of illusionism. May he be my shelter.

Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj is the foremost modern representative of the teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Both definitive and progressive, his exemplary life, practice, and teachings brilliantly illuminate the path of divine love. For more information on Srila Govinda Maharaj, please visit his biography page.

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