Life sketch of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī
– By Her Grace Śītalā Mātāji
[Maṅgala Caraṇa Prayers]
Here we are in one of the most extraordinary places in whole world. Although it is a little bit late, and we have been going on, it would be very good if we could all try as hard as possible to be very present in this special place.
We are here in Śrī Vṛndāvan Dhām which is described by Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur. He says that, the whole Dhām is Cintāmaṇi—it’s touchstone. It yields all desires. This Dhām is full of knowledge and bliss and is completely spiritual. The water, the land, the trees—everything in the Dhām is spiritual, unlike the dull matter of this material world. Always present in the Dhām are Kṛṣṇa’s three spiritual energies—Sandhinī, Samvit and Āhlādinī. The Dhām acts eternally as a support for the Lord’s appearance and activities. All this is an action of the inconceivable energy of the Lord which is anti-material and completely transcendental. Just think of that, for a moment, being present in this situation where we are, and really deeply considering where we sit. Because in the Dhām, not only are we in this Cintāmaṇi Dhām, as described by Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur, but we are in a very, very special section of that Dhām.
It is actually described that there are five types of Dhām:
- Of course we know the original Goloka Vṛndāvan Dhām.
- And then there is Bhaum Vṛndāvan Dhām. Bhaum Vṛndāvan refers to when Kṛṣṇa was actually present here at that time; it’s absolutely non-different from Goloka.
- But after Kṛṣṇa leaves, then there is a Dṛṣyamān Dhām. This is a Dhām that most of us are a little more familiar with. It’s a Dhām that has a little filter over it, little covering. It’s the same Dhām, but depending on our consciousness, we may get some dim rays reflecting through that film that covers the Dhām.
- Another type of Dhām is where the pure devotee resides.
- And the fifth type of Dhām is the heart of a pure devotee. That’s why we come to these Bhajan places. Although Vṛndāvan Dhām is so special, even more special are these places where Bhajan by great souls like Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī have been performed. This is where Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī spent so much time and poured his heart, which is a Dhām, into his writings and into this whole environment here. It’s still here; it ripples through time and space and continues to touch our heart. This environment is so special.
People are really interested in cleaning up the environment nowadays, which is a good thing. But even if they got rid of every last bit of garbage in this world, it would still be a completely polluted place. Because of the sound vibrations and activities of the living entities that are permeating everywhere, especially now in these days when the internet is going on everywhere, and everything is contaminated even when it looks pretty. But here we should absorb in this environment because this is as clean as it gets. This pure environment where such a great saint performed his Bhajan, we need to just absorb it. Absorb the environment, let it go into ourselves so that we become clean inside and out.
Of course, it is not only the place of Bhajan, but it is a place of incredible, amazing daily pastimes of the Lord. It’s actually the first meeting place in the morning of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Every morning, this is still going on. This is it. Like in the old days, every morning the meeting happens first here. As we heard the other day, it was explained how Mother Yaśodā really wanted Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī to cook for her Kṛṣṇa, because of those special blessings and benedictions from Durvāsā Muni. Every morning, She passes this way with Her Sakhīs and Her girlfriends on the way to Pāvan Sarovara where She cooks Kṛṣṇa’s breakfast every morning. Meanwhile Kṛṣṇa wakes up and He comes out before breakfast with His cows and His cowherd friends. They come here to frolic and wrestle and milk the cows, and graze the cows—right here every day, in this beautiful area, under these trees here. This is a moment when it’s just the opportunity to get quick sidelong glances at each other.
Kṛṣṇa would be milking the cows, apparently oblivious to those ankle-bells that are starting to get louder and louder as they approach where He is. Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and Her friends are feigning indifference. They just happen to be walking by, but glancing over—Lord Kṛṣṇa’s milking. Sometimes Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī notices there is a bit of a mischievous look on Kṛṣṇa’s face. But He is just milking, “Tush, Tush, Tush, Tush” [sound of milking], but He hears the ankle-bells closer and closer and just at the right moment turns the teat, “Tusheee….” [sound of sprinkling of milk], right on Rādhārāṇī’s face [Laughter]. As all the Gopīs start scattering, Kṛṣṇa takes the opportunity to jump up and plant a kiss on Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s cheek that nobody sees; only the parrots are very happy. But Lalitā, she is saying, “You scandal!” These are the kind of things that go on here, every morning and also in the evening.
This is Ter Kadamba, so these beautiful trees here are Kadamba trees and all these Kunjas are here. Kṛṣṇa comes here in the evening, and this is where He calls His cows. He has a name and He has a sound in His flute and He has a call for every single cow. He calls, and sees, “Are they there?” Every cow recognizes when Kṛṣṇa is calling just them, mooing, “I am here.” This is available to every living entity. We each have a relationship with Kṛṣṇa and He wants to call us. He is calling us but we are silent—not listening. That’s why we have to try to hear more in Kīrtana—hearing and hearing and hearing and eventually we will wake up and we will hear Kṛṣṇa. He is always calling His cows and He is also always calling all of His living entities to come home, come to Him—Time to come home.
This is an extraordinary place, where Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes are going on every day; but we can’t focus on these pastimes. It is a bit over our heads, so better we hear more about Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, because through the mercy of these devotees, there is some slim chance that some lifetime we may actually understand something about Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Every year we talk about these personalities and little by little, we start to feel affection, appreciation, and feel, “How awesome it is that we have any connection with such personalities!” It takes time to understand, because we are so covered. Just like even we were there with Prabhupāda and Prabhupāda was doing miracles and magic, but somehow as the time goes by we realize more and more, “Wow! Look what Prabhupāda did!” Similarly for these Gosvāmīs, as we hear about them, we become more and more amazed by what they have done and what that has done to our life.
Just to give a sense of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, the kind of family and culture that he came from: he came from a highly aristocratic extraordinary family. Their lineage goes way back—very exalted devotees. Both Rūpa and Sanātana, they were very highly qualified people in every field and in every way. Very highly educated, studied in music, in so many languages—Persian, Sanskrit, Bengali, Arabic, Urdu, so many languages. They were musicians, poets—just the list goes on and on. These people were so qualified and that is why Nawāb wanted them in his government.
At this time Bengal was two to three times larger than what it is now. It included Bāṅgālādesh; that was east Bengal. It was a very large area and so as a political move, the Muslim ruler, the Nawāb said, “These people are so respected and they are so smart and everyone really appreciates them, loves them. If I can get them in my government then I will have control over this huge Bengal.” To enter into this government, running the government—and that too for the Nawāb—this was a huge sacrifice for Rūpa and Sanātana. Yet some may wonder, “Why did they do that? Such highly qualified people, great devotees, so intelligent, what are they doing with Muslim government and becoming chief ministers?” But they did that because they wanted to protect all of the people in that area. This is an indication of their character just right from the beginning. Because they gave up their cast, they gave up all prestige, everything, to do this for protecting the people in that area. They gave up all respectability. I mean nowadays, we probably may not understand. We don’t have these kinds of systems, but understand what it means just to completely lose your high cast and your position in society. In India, this is the most important thing, “Save your cast, save your family prestige, your reputation,” but they gave it all up for the benefit of the people.
Of course they had been hearing about Lord Caitanya and it was their heart’s desire to live with Him. They sent a number of letters, but no reply. But eventually Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu arrived in Rāmakeli and that was a major turning point in the life of Rūpa, Sanātana and also little Jīva. It was a very emotional meeting, and Mahāprabhu said, “Finally, I have found My eternal servants.” Apparently Śrī Jīva, the nephew of Rūpa and Sanātana was there as a very small toddler, but somehow he watched this meeting from a distance, and he saw how his father and his uncles were bowing and crying and loving Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. So even he was tiny, he was also finished at that point, “I want to be with Mahāprabhu”.
It was a matter of time before Rūpa Gosvāmī was able to, was the first one who was able to run away from all this political involvement. It was a big thing. I mean you imagine a president of some country just like runs or disappears and becomes a renunciate. It was a major event. It was Rūpa Gosvāmī’s desire that he could go with Caitanya Mahāprabhu to Vṛndāvan. That didn’t happen, but they met at Prayāg, and for ten days Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu instructed Rūpa Gosvāmī. There is a place there called Rūpa Shiksha Sthahli, the place that Rūpa received all his instructions for ten solid days by just sitting with the Lord and getting instructions.
There is some popular book nowadays with new age people: “Conversations with God”; but this is the real conversations with God. It was actually the very beginning of the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement, that Mahāprabhu was investing everything into Rūpa Gosvāmī. It was something like Kṛṣṇa talking to Brahmā at the creation or even more: Kṛṣṇa speaking to Arjuna on the battlefield. It was even above that. Rūpa received from Lord Caitanya the whole of Prema Dharma—what is that? At the end of the ten days Caitanya Mahāprabhu gave Rūpa Gosvāmī His mission and His instructions. A lot of people you know, hanker for you know, “I wish my Spiritual Master would give me some specific instruction or some mission.” But we have to be able to take it, if it comes. What Rūpa Gosvāmī got instructions about what to do in the future – Wow! It’s awesome.
Lord Caitanya told them four things. He wanted to do four things:
- First was to identify, “Go to Vṛndāvan and identify the lost places of pilgrimage and excavate them.” Now just think what that means; how do you do that? He just left everything, gave all his wealth—everything, he has nothing left. He just goes as a mendicant and Vṛndāvan, too, is a very large place. Lord Caitanya said, “So just find all those places”, but how do you find them? There was no science, there was no technology. How do you find [them]? This is so difficult.
- Then not only that, you have to find a second thing: “Find all these lost Deities that used to be there.” Again, I mean, just wandering around in the forest, how do you find these lost Deities? Then, “Don’t just find Them but build temples for Them also.” He is a mendicant, he has given away everything. There is nobody here; Vṛndāvan was a desolate place, so pretty major instruction there.
- Third instruction, then, was to write transcendental literature. “Write the transcendental literature under these trees here.” No fans, no computers, no paper. How do you even write? Just think about the complications of each of these things. How difficult! How did they make the pens? How did they make that palm-leaf paper? As they live under the trees, where did they store these papers when it rained? How did they do these things? These are unbelievable, but they did it. He was supposed to write, having heard all of this from Mahāprabhu, but not just write, as Mahāprabhu further said, “You should extract the essence of all scripture and establish pure devotional service.” That means here under these trees. How does he extract the essence of all scriptures? Also, then firmly establish pure devotional service as a goal. These are very impossible, difficult tasks that he is being asked. Even just one of them. It would be hard for anyone to take up one of these things.
- The fourth thing that he had been asked: “Preach the glories of the holy name and flood everywhere with Prema.”
He really got major instructions there. But they say along with the instructions comes the ability to do so. There are different ways that people become empowered to do something. Like Mahārāja was explaining the other day, how Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākur got empowered directly by Padmāvatī Devī, who gave him the Prema of Mahāprabhu. Śrīla Prabhupāda of course, he was empowered by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī himself, that he actually stayed in Rādhā Dāmodara and he looked out his window and He just meditated on Rūpa Gosvāmī day and night: “How to establish this movement? How to establish this movement?” He was empowered by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī to do so. My husband took the opportunity one time when he was with Śrīla Prabhupāda, he said, “You know Prabhupāda, everybody says that Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī appeared to you and he empowered you. Is that true?” Prabhupāda just went on to say, “Oh, everybody knows that.” What a great mission they had! Thus empowerment was necessary; without these instructions, it was impossible.
It is said that Caitanya Mahāprabhu empowered Rūpa Gosvāmī by entering his heart, because he had to assimilate all of these teachings and he had to remember everything. I mean I can’t remember what I said a second ago. He was sitting and listening for ten days and he was not taking notes. He had to assimilate and he had to remember everything and so Mahāprabhu entered his heart in order to make this task possible.
Then, although Rūpa Gosvāmī didn’t want to leave Lord Caitanya’s sight, but Lord Caitanya said, “No! Now you go to Vṛndāvan,” and He was going to Purī. “You go to Vṛndāvan and then come and see me in Purī after some time.” It takes a few months to walk there and a few months to walk back, you know, it wasn’t a little thing. It was going to take some time before he saw Him again. But Rūpa Gosvāmī did go to Vṛndāvan for the first time, and really there was just Lokanātha Gosvāmī, Bhugarbha Gosvāmī and also there was a Subuddhi Rāya, and Subuddhi took Rūpa Gosvāmī around whatever they did know. Lokanātha Gosvāmī and Bhugarbha had been trying to find some places, some of the sacred places. Then Rūpa Gosvāmī went to see Mahāprabhu in Purī and while he was in Jagannātha Purī, he stayed with Haridāsa Ṭhākur. You picture that—what kind of Bhajan that was going on there. Haridāsa Ṭhākur and Rūpa Gosvāmī living together! That’s also why the Siddha Bakul place is such an auspicious place to go, to chant and sit, because these two great souls were doing their Bhajan there. Although both of them were so elevated, neither one of them went to the Jagannātha temple. They were both so humble and they were just always, “We are so fallen! We won’t go!” They followed the social custom at that time. Thus, the Lord came out of the temple in the form of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and came to their house every day; so taking the humble position is never a loss, you are never the loser.
Indradyumna Mahārāja told this pastime maybe in the Kurukśetra, where Mahāprabhu showed the glories of Rūpa Gosvāmī when he found that leaf that was stuck into the roof at Haridāsa Ṭhākur’s house. It was after the Ratha-Yātrā celebration, when Mahāprabhu had been singing the song. No one could understand [it], but Rūpa Gosvāmī understood and he wrote a beautiful verse that Mahāprabhu found. He said, “Oh! Who has written this? Who has understood My heart,” and Swaroop Dāmodara said, “Only You must have allowed him to understand Your heart.” Therefore, there is this verse:
śrī-caitanya-mano-‘bhīṣṭaṁ sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale
svayaṁ rūpaḥ kadā mahyaṁ dadāti sva-padāntikam
This verse is in glorification of Rūpa Gosvāmī, where ‘mano-‘bhīṣṭaṁ’ indicates, “He is the one that understood the mind, the heart of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.” In Caitanya Caritāmṛta where this verse is found, there is a purport, Śrīla Prabhupāda writes something quite interesting that I would like to read.
Śrīla Prabhupāda said [CC Antya 1.117 Purport]:
“The special function of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī is to establish the feeling of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. These feelings are His desires that His special mercy be spread throughout the world in this Kali-yuga.
prithivite achhe yata nagarādi gram
sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma
The desire of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is that all over the world, everyone, in every village and every town, know of Him and His Saṅkīrtana movement.”
Here Śrīla Prabhupāda is making it very clear—what are these feelings? He further says, “These are the inner feelings of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī committed to writing all these feelings of the Lord.”
Then Prabhupāda further said, “Now again by the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu the same feelings are being spread all over the world by the servants of the Gosvāmīs.” So indirectly Śrīla Prabhupāda is telling us that the desires of Mahāprabhu came to Rūpa Gosvāmī, they came to Prabhupāda, and now he is distributing it. Prabhupāda went on to say that, “And devotees who are pure and simple will appreciate this attempt. As concluded by Kavirāj Gosvāmī however, those on the level of hogs and dogs never appreciate such a great attempt. Yet this does not matter to the preachers of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s cult, for all over the world they will continue to perform this responsible work, even if persons like cats and dogs do not appreciate them.”
Anyway, from Purī, Rūpa Gosvāmī then went to back to Vṛndāvan to begin this extraordinary mission of these four things that he was supposed to do and this was a very huge task. There were no books, there was no successor, there was no institution, there was nothing. It was up to Rūpa Gosvāmī to start to give form and some shape to this Hare Kṛṣṇa mission and it was actually very miraculous. It was a very wonderful and glorious time in Vṛndāvan. It was a desolate area and in a short period of time it was trying to be a flourishing Vaiṣṇava center.
The writing began on this attempt to fill up what Mahāprabhu had taught into words. Besides that, actually amongst the Gosvāmīs, when they were writing, they were really kind of writing for each other. They’d write something and then they’d show it to each other, “What you think?” It wasn’t that they were thinking now that, “There is going to be a printing press and we can go all over the world.” They were just following the instructions and sharing it with each other; that’s how it was there.
At one time Rūpa Gosvāmī gave his Vidagdha Mādhava to Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī to read. There is so much a mood of separation in that book, that Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī just couldn’t stop crying and being in this mood where he can hardly eat. He was already only taking a little pot of butter and now wasn’t even taking that. He was just immersed so much in separation that everyone became worried, so some devotees came to Rūpa Gosvāmī and said, “Please, you must do something, maybe Raghunātha Dāsa will die in separation.” Then Rūpa Gosvāmī took one of his other books, that book was more in a jolly spirit. Somehow he convinced Raghunātha, “Now I need to take that manuscript back, because I need to do little editing here. You can read this in the meantime.”
Apart from these four things that needed to be done there, actually Rūpa Gosvāmī had to do quite a few other things. The first thing that he had to do beyond those four things was to reveal the nature and the mission of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. It really wasn’t fully comprehended and understood amongst all the devotees: “Who exactly is Lord Caitanya, and exactly what is He doing here?” Because Lord Caitanya was just acting as a devotee, so anytime anyone would say anything else about Him, except Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya and Rāmānanda Rāya, who tried to glorify Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead—and He would always silence them immediately, “No, no, stop!” But he allowed Rūpa Gosvāmī to reveal:
nāmne gaura-tviṣe namaḥ
[Cc. Madhya 19.53]
He said that, and Mahāprabhu was silent; so he allowed. He was the one, he had to show—who is Mahāprabhu?
And then of course, then an even more famous verse in which he reveals the purpose of Mahāprabhu’s descent. That’s now there in Caitanya Caritāmṛta:
anarpita-carīṁ cirāt karuṇayāvatīrṇaḥ kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasāṁ sva-Bhakti-śriyam
sadā hṛdaya-kandare sphuratu vaḥ śacī-nandanaḥ
[Cc. Ādi 1.4]
“May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Śrīmatī Śacī-devī be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in this age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.”
That is one of the 14 seed verses of Caitanya Caritāmṛta. From those 14 verses, the rest of the Caitanya Caritāmṛta is elaborated. So Rūpa Gosvāmī came to reveal this, the nature and the mission of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. It was a big part that he played and he also was to reveal Rādhā Bhāva, to really give Her service to the world. Now think about that, “What if he didn’t do that? What if he didn’t have service to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī?” Horrifying! Because although Rādhārāṇī was known, but not necessarily valued, appreciated. Even in that story we told in Jaipur, some of you know, the Rāmānandīs didn’t want Rādhārāṇī on the altar with Govinda. Thus Rūpa Gosvāmī has to reveal the Rādhā Bhāva and he has to act as the Abhidheya Ācārya; and that means, how to act in devotional service. It is the whole foundation of our movement—“How to be engaged in devotional service?” We think these things are just like a no-brainer, but because they have been so expertly given to us. We say “Yeah of course, devotional service!” But this was established by Rūpa Gosvāmī.
He was so good at writing that he could put very difficult concepts into just very simple form; like just in one verse he explains, “What is pure devotional service?”
Śrīla Prabhupāda quoted this again and again and again and so it is one of his favorite verses:
śīlanaṁ Bhaktir uttamā
Perfect description of Bhakti: no karma, no jñāna, no material desires, just pure unalloyed uninterrupted service to the Supreme Lord. Apart from being the Abhidheya Ācārya he also had to manifest the Abhidheya Murti which is Śrī Govinda-Deva. We heard that story in Jaipur, amazing story of how he found Govindaji.
He also wrote that famous verse which is one of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s favorites, about the beauty of Govinda. The verse said [that] if you have any material desire, if you want to enjoy family, society, love, then just don’t go and see that beautiful face of Govinda; just don’t go. Because you will forget all your material desires.” But fortunately although Rūpa Gosvāmī tries to warn us, but Indradyumna Mahārāja already took us there [laughter] and so we saw His face. So it’s too late for all of us, at least the lucky ones that went to Jaipur. They are permanently infected with a disease that can’t be cured.
Actually Girirāja Mahārāja told us a really nice story about himself, when he was young and was in Bombay. He got very ill and Prabhupāda told him, “You better go back to America, it doesn’t seem like you can sustain here.” He was really sick, so he went back to America and he went to his parent’s home. He stayed there for three days, and while he was there, his parents brought the psychologist to talk to him. She said, “Glen, when you were a young boy, did you feel your parents didn’t love you?” Glen said, “What parents, which parents? I had so many parents, so many lifetimes.” Like in this way, he answered all her questions. Then he overheard the psychologist telling the parents, “I really don’t think there is anything I can do,” and so then he went away and he told Prabhupāda about what happened. Prabhupāda was so pleased, and he said, “You can never be cured now. This is very good!”
I was thinking about also the first time that I came into the Hare Kṛṣṇa temple. I actually didn’t want to come so much, but if I wanted to get a ride to that pop festival, I had to stop there first, for the Sunday feast. So then I took lots of Prasāda. I loved the Prasāda, and I heard the chanting and then I went to the pop festival. When I got to the pop festival, everything was horrible. It sounded like all of the music was off and everything looked dysphonic and I couldn’t understand. I was trying so hard to have fun and I couldn’t have fun anymore. That’s the principle there; we are not into false renunciation, but we get a higher taste.
Apart from being the Abhidheya Ācārya and also bringing the Abhidheya Murti, he also was the Rasācārya—a specialist in Rasa. He did so many things; you can’t even get down to the bottom of the list. But this is important. I want to tell this about the term ‘Rasācārya’; that means he synthesized Vedānta with Rasa. He established the flavors of devotion. He brought the emotions in. In other words he really brought in the “love.” This is such a cheap word in our world today. People have no idea what that word is, what that means. In Sanskrit, there are hundreds of names for different levels of loving experience and this is what Rūpa Gosvāmī explains in Bhakti-Rasāmṛta-Sindhu, so many levels of real love. It’s said that the Vedas speak in the language of a king; and the Purāṇas speak in the language of a friend; and the Rasa-Śāstra, those Śāstras from our Gosvāmīs, especially from Rūpa Gosvāmī—they speak in the language of a lover. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī really explains the whole science of love. A category of people have such shallow, gross, tiny—little concept of what love means. In this world, what they think is love? It’s just like nothing. Like when we look at a hog wallowing, we think why does he do that? But Rūpa Gosvāmī explains that we have much higher, much broader potential than what we are going for. We are settling for nothing, although the potential is so great. There is Bhāva, Mahābhāva, Prema, Sneha so many things. So why go for the cheap material pleasure; it’s nothing but imitation.
These writers like Rūpa Gosvāmī, they are explaining the concepts which don’t exist in any other language. Like that, I was told in Chinese, they don’t even have a word for God. They just have like “above the emperor.” That’s as far as the concept can go for them. In English, there is no word for Dhām, because they don’t really have the concept of “soul” or the nature of the soul, so how could you really translate that? But Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has explained these things, concepts that are just way beyond what people know of, in this world. He can even put them into poems that turn into forms: lotuses, wheels—Inconceivable, what is the capacity? For you know, it’s just like in the spiritual world, you don’t have these restrictions, so even a poem can have taste, can have everything and much more, it’s not flat—one dimensional.
We better cut it short. These all are the reasons to understand why we are Rūpānugas. Of course we can’t go or I think we will offend the local people if we don’t say one last thing very briefly that happened here. While Rūpa Gosvāmī was performing his Bhajan here, he had a deep desire to serve his Spiritual Master, brother—Sanātana Gosvāmī—on his Vyasapuja day. But he had nothing, so sitting here under the tree he thought, “What can I give him?” Tears were flowing onto his manuscript making it wet, and Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, understanding his desire, facilitated so that he could serve Sanātana Gosvāmī. She came in the very beautiful form of a little local village girl and she brought all the ingredients for a feast and said “Bābā.” “What?” “Why don’t you cook?” Rūpa Gosvāmī was so excited by the arrival of his ingredients, that he just quickly took the ingredients and started to cook, so that he could fulfill his desire to serve Sanātana Gosvāmī, who is living over in Pāvan–Sarovara. Then when Sanātana Gosvāmī came, he was so surprised, “Wow! How did you get these ingredients?” Sanātana Gosvāmī took some taste of that feast—sweet rice.
[Mahānta at Ter Kadamba had prepared sweet rice for the pleasure of all the devotees, and he took it out.]
When Sanātana Gosvāmī tasted, he said, “I have never tasted like this before. I am feeling this great ecstasy.” When he tasted this sweet rice again he asked, “Oh, who is that lady who brought?” Sanātana Gosvāmī inquired from Rūpa, “Where did you get these ingredients? How did they come here? From which girl? From which village? Who is this?” Talking together, they understood that that was none other than Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.
Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe………..
Drama by Mahānta/Bābāji of Ter Kadamba:
[Included translations of Bābāji]:
Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe……………………. Śyāma!
The name of this place is Ter Kadamba. Ter—means we call God from the heart; Kadamba means Kadamba tree, it is the form of Rādhārāṇī. So one of its names is Kṛṣṇa-Priya. For this there is one poem:
व्रज के लता पता मर्म न जाने कोई
डाल डाल पाथ पाथ राधे राधे होई
vraja ke latā patā maram na jane koi
dāl-dāl pāth-pāth rādhe-rādhe hoi
[Translation:] “The leaves and everything of the Kadamba tree, they all call Rādhā, Rādhā.”
In the morning Kṛṣṇa goes to herd the cows. It was only forest everywhere. He comes from Nandagaon. You also please come to participate in the drama. Let’s have one minute of chanting and dancing—that’s it. You can also chant and dance but dance by sitting.
Now let us call to Kṛṣṇa for coming to have lunch.
[Bhajan in call and response:]
Govinda Jaya-Jaya – Gopala Jaya-jaya!
Govinda Jaya-Jaya – Gopala Jaya-jaya!
Rādhā Ramana Hari – Govinda Jaya-Jaya!
Rādhā Ramana Hari – Govinda Jaya-Jaya!
Jay Kṛṣṇa Balarāma, Jaya Kṛṣṇa Balarāma.
Bolo Rādhe Śyāma, Jaya Rādhe Śyāma.
[Drama begins with narration]:
Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma have come now. Not all of the cowherd boys have come yet. Kṛṣṇa is calling to all the boys. Kṛṣṇa’s mobile/telephone is the flute, but for this telephone there is no problem. The telephones that we possess have big problems, because we have to pay money first (pre-paid). We have to charge a phone; we have to recharge it; we have to repair it; we have to dial the number. With flute, there is no number; all numbers are zero indicated by the holes of the flute… Our hero is Kṛṣṇa.
Now Kṛṣṇa is going to call out to the boys. Assume Indradyumna Swami Mahārāja now be one cowherd boy. Here everyone is a cowherd boy. He is going to call the cowherd boys now.
[Mahānta plays flute.]
“Dam, Śrīdāma, Vasudam, Indradyumna Swami, cowherd boys! I am Kṛṣṇa calling.” [Laughter]
“Please come soon.” He is calling all the cowherd boys.
All the boys are running and coming.
[Some action, laughter]
“Indradyumna Mahārāja: take your lunch!”
Bābāji: “Indradyumna Mahārāja (as cowherd boy) says “Now, no lunch time, early morning.” So all the kids they have their lunch with them, and they will not eat here because it is not the time for lunch.
Now everyone came for lunch, Kṛṣṇa is not yet arrived. So Indradyumna Swami Mahārāja—cowherd boy—is calling Kṛṣṇa, but no mobile connection like airtel, no reliance, no tata-indicom; not even bansi (flute). But his telephone is his loud voice. Now let’s all call out, so that Kṛṣṇa must come. It’s only a five minute drama. Chant in loud sound. No problem!
Everyone is calling to Kṛṣṇa: (everyone together with Bābāji in loud and long response)
Kṛṣṇa replied, “I am coming…………………………………”
Kṛṣṇa is now coming.
[Made one devotee act as Kṛṣṇa, with attire of a black blanket/kambal]
काली कम्बली वाले की, जय कन्हैया लाल की
‘kāli kambali vāle ki, jaya kanhaiyā lāla ki’
This is one type of Śrīngāra where they put a black shawl (kambali) for Kṛṣṇa.
Kṛṣṇa came and is sitting in front of everyone. So everyone is thinking they want to eat first. But Indradyumna Swami—cowherd boy—says, “No, I am first offering.” So Indradyumna Swami is taking his lunch bag.
“Very tasty food, prepared by my Mom, take.” Mahārāja offers it to Kṛṣṇa. [Action, laughter, applause].
“Does it taste good? “Yes.”
Kṛṣṇa is telling, “Your Mom has made very good food.”
One day, someone’s stomach is only half-full. Only when you eat butter it becomes full.
[Called one Mātāji]
What’s your name?—“Shardiya”.
Shardiya Gopī went early in the morning to make butter. “Kṛṣṇa come here!” Actually she offered him butter; Kṛṣṇa is very happy. On Gopāṣṭamī day, he doesn’t goes to Gopīs’ house; so all the Gopīs are so sad on Gopāṣṭamī.
Kṛṣṇa is calling to Gopīs. [Mahānta plays flute.]
Kṛṣṇa: “Lalitā, Viśākā, Champakalata, Citrā, Shardiya Gopīs—my dear girlfriends, I am very hungry. Please come to this place.”
Then all these Gopīs said, “Okay, we are coming.”
Shardiya Gopī has come now. Kṛṣṇa is on that side of the forest, so [that] Gopī wanted to meet to Kṛṣṇa. But our Kṛṣṇa is looking angrily, with wide open eyes.
So one more time let us make a ‘Ter,’ which means call; calling loudly with pure hearts. All are ready? So let’s call one time.
(Everyone together with Bābāji in loud and long response)
So Kṛṣṇa came. “Shardiya”.
Shardiya has to feed Kṛṣṇa now.
“So tasty!” He wants more.
Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe.
“We have a sacred code name called—’ATB bank’”.
“Do you know, what is ATB bank? ATB Bank means ‘ALL TIME BHAKTI’ bank.”
[Applause]. The ATM of this material world’s banks does not work properly many times and it has some limitations. But our ATB bank, anybody can come, take more and more, there is no limitation, no checking. Rūpa Gosvāmī who is a beautiful manager of this bank, had given facility to unlimited withdrawal of Bhakti, more and more, without any limits. But there is one little condition—one should purely chant the holy name of Lord which should be ‘lineless’ chanting (continuous, uninterrupted chanting). Why? Kṛṣṇa at a time calls—nine lakhs cows who then assemble near Him. So let us all together, one time, purely chant. Close your eyes; see in your heart Govinda and Guru sitting:
It’s a blessing of Rūpa Gosvāmī on all of you.
Indradyumna Swami Mahārāja:
Bābā has been taking care of this place very nicely from many years. When I first came here, 30 or 40 years ago, it was in disrepair and for so many years, he has built up this beautiful property, made it very organized and very clean. Even in his old age, he is doing it so nicely. As a result, we can come here and have a very ecstatic time and hear the glories of Rūpa Gosvāmī and his writing of Upadeśāmṛta, etc. We must reciprocate with Bābā’s efforts to preserve this place for many future generations and we should give some “Bakshish.” We should give some donations, so he can keep this place running nicely, so that we can come back year after year here with our Parikramā party. You can see he is keeping nothing for himself, living like a humble Sādhu. So whatever money you give will be used for the service of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī.