Following the line of Sri Rupa.

By Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

We have got our divine master. That is our great fortune. Mercifully, Srila Narottam Thakur has given us this clue:

sri rupa-manjari-pada sei mora sampada
sei mora bhajana-pujana
sei mora prana-dhana sei mora abharana
sei mora jivanera jivana
(Prarthana: 16.1)

We cannot believe how dependent the disciple is upon their Gurudev. We can understand the position of Gurudev through this song. Narottam Das Thakur has actually showed us the way, the path of our line and life. That is, if we are surrendered to our Guru, everything will be set right and we will get everything by his divine mercy.

sri rupa-manjari-pada sei mora sampada
sei mora bhajana-pujana

This is Narottam Thakur’s supreme song and supreme expression. Through this song, he has given us the indication, “Go that way.”

It is always necessary to remain under the guidance of Sri Gurudev. All the Acharyas in our sampradaya have shown us this process. Specially, Srila Narottam Das Thakur has very clearly given this instruction. And he has not only given it, he has shown his own position also: that without the mercy of Rupa Goswami, he has nothing to get from Radharani or Krishna. He said that Sri Rupa Manjari is the leader of all the manjaris, and if Sri Rupa Manjari is merciful to us, then we will get everything in the service world. This is the situation.

Sri Rupa Manjari is a very close servitor of Lalita Devi. She is junior to Lalita Devi, and she is very, very dear to Lalita Devi. She does not know anything except Lalita Devi. Without the consent of Lalita Devi, she does not do anything for Radharani’s service. We can understand this type of chastity through Narottam Thakur’s song about Rupa Manjari.

sri rupa-manjari-pada sei mora sampada
sei mora bhajana-pujana

The gist of Narottam Thakur’s expression is, “My everything, my existence, is the service of Srila Rupa Goswami. I can leave everything, but I can never leave the lotus feet of Rupa Goswami.”

Sri Rupa-manjari-pada, sei mora sampada, sei mora bhajana-pujana: the lotus feet of Rupa Manjari are my wealth, my service, and my worship. I worship Rupa Manjari’s lotus feet, not Radharani, not Krishna. Sei mora prana-dhana, sei mora abharana, sei mora jivaner jivana: the lotus feet of Rupa Manjari are my ornament, the life of my life. Sei mora rasa-nidhi, sei mora vanchha siddhi, sei mora vedera dharama. Sei vrata sei tapa sei mora mantra japa: the lotus feet of Rupa Manjari are my vows and my religious austerity. They are my mantram: “I shall worship the lotus feet of Rupa Manjari.” Anukula habe vidhi se pade ha-ibe siddhi: by the grace of my fortune, I shall join those lotus feet. This is the expression of that song.

Sri Rupa-manjari-pada is the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya’s chief, most honourable song, and it is very, very dear to the devotees because every devotee wants to serve Lalita Devi under guidance of Rupa Manjari and be engaged by Lalita Devi and Rupa Manjari in the service of Radharani.

Our Param Gurudev, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, always follows the line and order of Rupa Goswami and focuses on the satisfaction of Rupa Goswami. The target is Radha-Krishna’s service, but service exclusively under the order of Rupa Goswami Prabhu and with the full consent of Lalita Devi. That is our line.

sri rupa-manjari-pada sei mora sampada
sei mora bhajana-pujana

One who knows the meanings of this song can understand what is inside there. There is given all the property of devotion in madhura-rasa. If we want to enter madhura-rasa, then we must follow the proper guidelines, and Sri Rupa Manjari is giving that to us. And without Rupa Manjari’s mercy, we will not get it. Narottam Thakur has told us this.

That is the main preceptorial line of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu established Rupa Goswami in His big assembly in the presence of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, Advaita Acharya, Svarup Damodar, Ramananda Ray, Sanatan Goswami, and others. So many qualified principal pillars were there, the Pancha Tattva and so on. There, in front of everyone, He blessed Srila Rupa Goswami. It is written in Chaitanya-charitamrta. You will see it. He Himself blessed Rupa Goswami, no doubt, but He also told the others, Svarup Damodar, Ramananda Ray, and the other Vaisnavas who were His extreme followers, “You all give your blessings to Sri Rupa.”

In this way, Rupa Goswami became enriched with Mahaprabhu’s property, principle, conception, and everything. Rupa Goswami Prabhu gave everything to Jiva Goswami and others. In this way, the preceptorial line came down up to Srila Guru Maharaj, and we are all followers of Srila Guru Maharaj. So, we are so fortunate. This is the super position in spiritual life. And when you all will read or you all will hear from qualified Vaisnavas, you will understand that. You are newcomers at least I can say, but with the association of Vaisnavas you will become more qualified day by day, and your faith, attachment, love, and dedication will increase day by day. This is the principle of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math.

Our preceptorial line is the Rupanuga line. We are all so fortunate that we have got connection with Srila Rupa Goswami—Sri Rupa Manjari in Krishna-lila—through Srila Guru Maharaj and Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur.

When Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur was going to disappear, he gave us this property of the devotional world, this property in the line of pure devotion, by ordering Srila Guru Maharaj to sing Sri Rupa-manjari-pada sei mora sampada. Before joining the Pastimes of Krishna, Prabhupad Saraswati Thakur wanted to remember very clearly his position in those Pastimes. For that he asked Srila Guru Maharaj to sing, and he was very happy to hear Guru Maharaj sing that song.

Through Sri Rupa-manjari-pada, Prabhupad Saraswati Thakur transmitted his power to Srila Guru Maharaj. Later, Srila Guru Maharaj himself would sing that song every year, and when he could not sing, he would order me, “Govinda Maharaj, you sing this song.” That is my good fortune, no doubt, and I am feeling blessed by him through this song when we are singing this song every year. Today is a very special day for singing Sri Rupa-manjari-pada. I am singing by the order of Guru Maharaj every time in Chaitanya Saraswat Math year after year, and today also I want to sing that song with you all and try to satisfy Srila Guru Maharaj, Om Visnupad Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami.

References

Sri Rupa-manjari-pada

From Prarthana by Srila Narottam Das Thakur

sri-rupa-manjari-pada sei mora sampada
sei mora bhajana-pujana
sei mora prana-dhana sei mora abharana
sei mora jivanera jivana

The lotus feet of Sri Rupa Manjari are my fortune. They are my service and my worship. They are my wealth and heart. They are my ornaments. They are the very life of my life.

sei mora rasa-nidhi sei mora vanchha-siddhi
sei mora vedera dharama
sei vrata sei tapa sei mora mantra japa
sei mora dharama karama

They are my ocean of nectar. They are the fulfilment of my desires. They are my Vedic dharma, my vows, my austerities, and my chanting of mantras. They are my duty and actions.

anukula habe vidhi se-pade ha-ibe siddhi
nirakhiba e dui nayane
se rupa-madhuri-rasi prana-kuvalaya-sasi
praphullita habe nisi-dine

When Providence favours me, I will reach those feet and see them with these two eyes. Sri Rupa’s abounding beauty is the moon of the lotus of my heart which will then bloom night and day.

tuya adarsana-ahi-garale jarala dehi
chira-dina tapita jivana
ha ha prabhu! kara daya deha more pada-chhaya
narottama la-ila sarana

Afflicted by the poison of the snake of separation from you, my body wastes away and my heart constantly burns. Alas! O master! Be merciful. Give me the shade of your feet. Narottam Das has taken shelter of You.

adadanas trnam dantair idam yache punah punah
srimad rupa-padambhoja-dhulih syam janma-janmani
(Srila Raghunath Das Goswami)

“Taking a blade of grass between my teeth, I pray again and again, ‘May I be a speck of dust at the lotus feet of Sri Rupa birth after birth.’”

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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