Its defining characteristics.
When Sriman Mahaprabhu disappeared, Srila Raghunath Das Goswami became like a madman and wanted to leave his body. Then, he remembered that Mahaprabhu’s very dear devotees Sri Rupa and Sanatan were living in Vrndavan and decided, “First I shall meet them. Then I shall leave my body by jumping from Govardhan Hill.”
With this in mind, Raghunath Das went to Vrndavan. When he met Rupa and Sanatan, he got new life. Seeing their devotional practice and Mahaprabhu’s preaching programme fully established in Vrndavan, Raghunath decided not to leave his body.
Under the guidance of Rupa and Sanatan, he lived in Vrndavan for a long time, but after Rupa Goswami’s disappearance, he became extremely shocked. He was living on the banks of Radha Kunda and worshipping Giriraj Govardhan every day, but when Rupa Goswami left this world, he felt extreme pain. He expressed his feelings in a verse,
sunyayate maha-goshtham girindro ’jagarayate
vyaghra-tundayate kundam jivatu-rahitasya me
(Sri Prarthanasraya-chaturdasaka: 11)
“I no longer see Radha Kunda: I see the mouth of a tiger coming to take me away. I no longer see Giriraj Govardhan: I see a python coming to take me away.”
He felt very deep separation and stopped taking prasadam. He began to take only a cup of buttermilk once a day. By the grace of Mahaprabhu and the will of Rupa and Sanatan, Raghunath lived eighty or eighty-two years in this mundane world. He composed many prayers to Radha-Krishna and descriptions of Their Pastimes: the Vraja-vilasa-stavaka and others. Sometimes, we find that his verses give us more life than Rupa Goswami’s. He wrote many verses, but we are very enlightened by a few of them.
asa-bharair amrita-sindhu mayaih kathanchit
kalo mayati-gamitah kila sampratam hi
tvan chet kripam mayi vidhasyasi naiva kim me
pranair vraje na cha varoru bakarinapi
“I am living in Radha Kunda by the grace of my Gurus Rupa and Sanatan. Why? I need Radharani’s exclusive service. I do not want Krishna alone. I want the Krishna who is served by Srimati Radharani.”
radhara dasi krsna sarva vede bale
(Gitavali: Radhastakam, 1.5)
“I need the service of that Radharani’s lotus feet. I do not need the service of Krishna. Asa-bharair: this is my only hope. I am maintaining the hope that one day I must get the service of Radharani’s lotus feet. Kalo mayati-gamitah kila sampratam hi: I have been waiting so long for that, and I am thinking: ‘Will I attain that in this life? O Radharani! If not, then I do not want to serve Krishna. What shall I do with Krishna? Without You, Krishna is simply a killer of demons.’”
The line of Raghunath Das Goswami is the proper line for us. We heard this from Srila Guru Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj. If we want Rupa Goswami’s grace, then we must follow the line of Srila Raghunath Das Goswami. In that way, we must reach Srila Rupa Goswami’s lotus feet, and when we get Rupa Goswami’s mercy, then Radha-Krishna’s service is very easy to get.
Raghunath Das Goswami’s mood was very high. His life’s goal was exclusive service to Radharani, but under the guidance of Rupa Goswami. In another verse, Srila Das Goswami showed us how the relationship between Guru and disciple is maintained in the highest stage. That is our fortune, and we have got that from our Guru Maharaj.
tvam rupa-manjari sakhi prathita pure ’smin
pumsah parasya vadanam na hi pasyasiti
bimbadhare ksatam anagata-bhartrikaya
yat te vyadhayi kim u tach chhuka-pungavena
(Sri Vilapa-kusumanjali: 1)
The expression in this verse is very high. When we receive Srila Guru Maharaj’s mercy, it will appear in our heart and show its divine form in our service life.
Spoken on 1 October 1990.