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The Gift of Srila Sanatana Goswami

(Harmonist) – by Harmonist staff

Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj summarises the contribution of Srila Sanatana Goswami.

Srila Sanatana Goswami has given us what he received from Mahaprabhu directly. Mahaprabhu infused his wealth into Sanatana for two months in Benares, and thereafter Sanatana gave that wealth to us. Who is Sanatana? Who is Mahaprabhu? What is Vrndavan? Who are Radha and Krishna? We can understand all of these things through Sanatana Goswami.

Sanatana lived with Mahaprabhu in Benares for two months, and Mahaprabhu taught him sambandha-jnana. Thereafter, Mahaprabhu gave Sanatana four directions as to how he should serve the purpose of Sri Krishna-sankirtan: (1) “You must discover the old places of Krishna’s Pastimes in Vrndavan, (2) install Deities to be worshipped there, (3–4) compile scriptures to establish bhakti-siddhanta [the principles of pure devotion] and Vaisanva-achar, the regular practices of a pure Vaisnava. I request you to make these four things ready for the coming sampradaya. Also, look after and protect the persons who accept this creed.” In this way Mahaprabhu sent Sanatana, and Sanatana wandered throughout the length and breadth of the Vraja Mandal performing his service.

Raghunath Das Goswami has written a pranam to Sanatana Goswami.

vairagya-yug-bhakti-rasam prayatnair
apayayan mam anabhipsum andham
krpambudhir yah para-duhkha-duhkhi
sanatanas tam prabhum asrayami

“With great care, Sanatana made me drink me—forced me to drink—vairagya-yug-bhakti-rasam: the juice of divine love and affection mixed with a tinge of indifference [to the world]. I was blind and also unwilling to drink it. I was not qualified, I did not know what was what, and my propensity was to avoid it. Yet he managed to force me to drink the sweetness of the Lord’s loving service mixed with a tinge of indifference. So I offer my obeisance to Sanatana Prabhu, the great well-wisher of mankind.”

Baladeva Vidyabhusan also wrote:

govindabhidham indirasrita-padam hastastha-ratnadivat
tattvam tattvavid-uttamau ksiti-tale yau darsayan chakratu

“I offer my obeisance to Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana. Who are they? They have shown Govinda, whom Laksmi Devi carefully serves, to this world as though He is a jewel within their hands. They have shown this side, that side, above, and below—everything about him. As though he is a jewel within their palms, they have shown the public he whom all resources and majesty seek to serve, he who is unavailable, unknown, and unknowable. So clearly they have described he who is indescribable. They have made everyone understand He who is unknowable. They have dealt that the highest principle as though he is an ordinary thing. That is the position of Rupa and Sanatana. Virachitascharyau: what they have done is simply wonderful, and thus I bow down to them.”

The six goswamis, lead by Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana, did so much for the propagation of Sri Chaitanyadev’s divine cult of love. They revealed true love. And they did not do so for any mundane purpose. They did so for the highest gain and the Absolute Master. They revealed the Krishna conception in full and all five rasasmadhurya, vatsalya, sakhya, dasya, and santa—in a new color. They elaborately depicted the highest Lord in a new color, in a new land, and in a new hue.

Once, a gentleman said that twenty-four-hour engagement with the Supreme Lord cannot be imagined within any of the existing conceptions of religion in the world. Nowhere can the possibility of twenty-four-hour engagement in service to divinity be imagined. The most comprehensive divine service, in which every atom of one’s existence is utilized in the service of every corresponding atom within the Lord, such wholesale, inconceivable service has been given by Rupa, Sanatana, and their group. So we pray for their mercy.

aradhananam sarvesam visnor aradhanam param
tasmat parataram devi tadiyanam samarchanam

Of all sorts of worship, the worship of Visnu is the highest. Yet more important than Visnu’s worship is the worship of his servants. So, if we can show our sincere, heartfelt appreciation for Sanatana Goswami, Rupa Goswami, and the direct associates of Mahaprabhu, Mahaprabhu will be more pleased than if we try to offer our obeisance to him.

We are needy in every respect, but our hope, our prospect in life, is this: that our masters are so gracious, so magnanimous, and so high. Somehow we have fortunately come in connection with such great masters. This is our wealth. This is our fortune. This is our everything.

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