The paramount position of Srila Rupa Goswami and his followers.

By Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj

We are told that Jayadev Gowami’s standard is higher than that of Bilvamangal Thakur because his attention was more towards Radharani.

dehi pada-pallavam udaram
(Sri Gita-Govinda: 10:8)

This famous line came from him. He was not venturing to write it, not bold enough to write it. “How can I write this?” But ultimately, he had to submit to the inner flow of his heart. What came into his heart was accepted by Krishna, and that is a higher type of truth. He could not write it down with his own hand, but Krishna came in the form of Jayadev and wrote: “Yes, I am such. Jayadev, you hesitate to write it, but the victory of love is so great.”

aham bhakta-paradhino hy asvatantra iva dvija
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 9.4.63)

“I go to serve the ordinary devotees also, so what about Radharani? I think it My fortune if I get such confidential service.”

So, Srila Prabhupad said, “We are suddha-saktas [pure worshippers of the feminine]. We are saktas, not Vaisnavas, but not vidha-saktas [ordinary saktas]. We are suddha-saktas. We are concerned with Krishna because our mistress Radharani has connection with Him. This is why we want Him, and not otherwise.” This is a clear statement.

Once in Radha Kunda, the Bharatpur Diwan came with his family and circumambulated Radha Kunda by repeatedly lying down, setting a mark, arising, and lying down again. Paramananda Prabhu, an old disciple of Prabhupad, came to intimate this to Prabhupad, “They also have great respect for Radharani. They are circumambulating Radha Kunda in such a way.” Prabhupad said, “Yes, but their angle of vision and our angle of vision about Radha Kunda and Radharani is different. They have recognition for Krishna, they revere Krishna, and because Radharani is the favourite of Krishna, they also have reverence for Radha Kunda. Our angle of vision is the opposite. Our concern is with Radharani, and because She wants Krishna, we have to connect with Him, and not otherwise.”

There are Radharani’s anga-jyoti-gata jivas. Radharani has Her figure and lustre, and there are atomic jivas that come out of this lustre of Radharani. The nature of those who have the possibility of getting the fortune of those whose origin is from that unit of the lustre emanating from Radharani should be like that. They know only Her: only Her and Her concern, Her duty, Her necessity. All these they are ready to serve, never eliminating Her. That is the highest achievement of the Gaudiyas, Mahaprabhu’s party, as announced by Srila Das Goswami:

asa-bharair amrta-sindhu-mayaih kathanchit
kalo mayatigamitah kila sampratam hi
tvan chet krpam mayi vidhasyasi naiva kim me
pranair vrajena cha varoru bakarinapi
(Vilapa-kusumanjali: 102)

When our Prabhupad would begin to explain this verse, his figure would become something else; he would become full of emotion, and his face would turn red. It is an extreme risk: “If I do not get Your favour, then I don’t want all these things. I want You, and only You, along with Your paraphernalia. To eliminate You and get an independent relationship with any other thing is impossible in my life. You must be first and then others. What to speak of any other thing, even Krishna: without You, I can never aspire, even think to aspire, for a separate connection with Krishna. First You, and then any other.

nama-srestham manum api sachi-putram atra svarupam
rupam tasyagrajam uru-purim mathurim gostha-vatim
radha-kundam giri-varam aho radhika-madhavasam
prapto yasya prathita-krpaya sri-gurum tam nato ’smi
(Sri Mukta-charitam: 2)

I have been given all these things from a particular source. My whole obeisance is there from where I have got these hopes, this prospect.

The prospect, the ideal, is the man. A man should be valued by his ideal, and not by other paraphernalia. The ideal, the purity of the ideal, is what is most necessary for us. Where should we go? What will be the candle that will attract me towards the road? The ideal, the conception. One who has the highest ideal is the richest man, and the poorest man is he who in spite of all this desires ordinary things. He is poor in ideal, without any conception of his own goal and destination.

Student: Maharaj, Srila Rupa Goswami also has an effulgence from his body.

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Yes.

Student: So, the living entity can be from the rays of that effulgence also?

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: They may be specially.

Student: And the ones who are of this effulgence of Rupa Goswami will know only Rupa Goswami?

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: They will be classed as Rupanuga. They will have earnestness to look after the order of Rupa Goswami, and he is towards Lalita. In this way, it is going up. Our highest gain is only there: not by our connection with Radharani or Lalita Devi, but in the Rupanuga sampradaya. That means that our highest attainment is in his connection. Whoever has his connection is the highest leader.

Sri Radha-dasya has been said to be the highest attainment. Why? The quality and quantity of rasa that Radharani can draw from Krishna can never be found anywhere else. So, if you array just behind Radharani, you’ll be able to taste not only the highest quantity, but also the highest quality of rasa. No other person can draw such high rasa from Krishna, rasa of the fullest, highest type. Krishna gives Himself there fully, wholly, and deeply. So, if you are in Her group, then you can have a taste of that sort of rasa. Similarly, in Radharani’s camp, when Radha and Krishna are engaged in very secluded Pastimes, the grown-up sakhis can’t venture to enter the room and help in the Pastimes. Rather, the younger manjaris are sent there. So, the leader of that younger group that can enter where both are very closely connected—where the sakhis also do not venture to go because there will be interruption—there Sri Rupa and the manjaris can go due to their young age. So, this highest of all types of rasa, which we cannot get even through the sakhis, can be had only through the manjaris.

jayatam suratau pangor mama manda-mater gati
mat-sarvasva-padambhojau radha-madana-mohanau

When Radha and Madana Mohan alone and none of the sakhis are present, the manjaris are allowed to enter into such private meetings. So, the sakhis cannot expect to have a taste of the sort of rasa that the manjaris can come in touch with. So, to serve through the manjaris will be very, very profitable. That quality rasa is never found anywhere else. It is present only in the close, very private, intimate Pastimes. So, Rupanuga. We are to become Rupanuga. Even Sanatan Goswami, who is Guru of Rupa Goswami from a formal consideration, has also written somewhere that he wants to appreciate Rupanuga-vichara [the position of Sri Rupa].

Also, our Guru Maharaj was always Rupanuga, Rupanuga, Rupanuga, Rupanuga. Also, raganuga and then Rupanuga in particular. Generally, raganuga, and then particularly Rupanuga. That is our parichaya, our identity, our nature.

In his Rupanuga-bhajana-darpana, Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur says, “Rupanuga haite sei dhaya: he runs to get admission under the administration of Rupa Goswami.” Who? Who runs? Those who have such aspiration, who seek such prospect, run to become enlisted in the group of Rupa.

Source

Spoken on 14 May 1982.

References

smara-garala-khandanam mama sirasi mandanam
dehi pada-pallavam udaram
(Sri Gita-Govinda: 10.8)

[Krishna says to Srimati Radharani:] “Please place Your tender, gracious feet, the antidote for Cupid’s poison, atop My head as an ornament.”

aham bhakta-paradhino hy asvatantra iva dvija
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 9.4.63)

“I am controlled by My devotees. It is as though I have no independence, O brahman.”

asa-bharair amrta-sindhu-mayaih kathanchit
kalo mayatigamitah kila sampratam hi
tvan chet krpam mayi vidhasyasi naiva kim me
pranair vrajena cha varoru bakarinapi
(Vilapa-kusumanjali: 102)

“Filled with an abundance of hope, an ocean of nectar, somehow or other I have passed the time. If You do not bestow Your mercy upon me now, O Radha, then what is the use of my life, or Vraja, or even that demon killer?”

nama-srestham manum api sachi-putram atra svarupam
rupam tasyagrajam uru-purim mathurim gostha-vatim
radha-kundam giri-varam aho radhika-madhavasam
prapto yasya prathita-krpaya sri-gurum tam nato ’smi
(Sri Mukta-charitam: 2)

“I offer my obeisance unto Sri Gurudev, by whose celebrated mercy I have received the best of the Lord’s Names, the mantra, Sriman Mahaprabhu, Sri Svarup Damodar, Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu, Srila Sanatan Goswami Prabhu, the supreme abode of Mathura, Vrndavan, Radha Kunda, Giri Govardhan, and the aspiration to serve Radhika and Madhava.”

jayatam suratau pangor mama manda-mater gati
mat-sarvasva-padambhojau radha-madana-mohanau

“All glory to the most merciful Sri Sri Radha–Madan Mohan! Although I am lame and wicked, They are my sole shelter, and Their lotus feet are everything to me.”

Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj is the foremost modern exponent of the conception of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the school of Srila Rupa Goswami. Subtle and profound yet vivid and practical, his representation of both the broadest and deepest spiritual truths has and continues to fortify and nurture the faith of spiritual aspirants the world over. For more information on Srila Sridhar Maharaj, please visit his biography page.

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