Disappearance Day Of Srila Jiva Goswami

by B.A. Paramadvaiti Swami

Srila Jiva Gosvami instructed the disciples of other spiritual masters such as Gopal Bhatta, Lokanath Gosvami and many others. We see they were the outstanding names and he was also the indirect founder of the Visva Vaisnava Raja Sabha. They could understand, that if the Vaisnava family would grow, there would be many different little families (groups) and they would all learn how to relate to each other. Because of that, they said they needed some forum, where they could relate to each other. And they designed the Visva Vaisnava Raja Sabha and actually the Radha Damodar temple, were Srila Prabhupada was personally translating the Srimad Bhagavatam.

There was the meeting to decide where the Visva Vaisnava Raja Sabha would meet in those days. It is often mentioned in Bhakti Ratnakara that great devotees from different missions used to come to Vrindaban and the first thing they would do, they would go to Radha Damodar temple and meet Srila Jiva Gosvami or Krishna Das Kaviraja Gosvami who was also there in those days. He was living very close by and many devotees, specifically the 5th wave of Bhakti Ratnakara, deal extensively with that meeting in Radha Damodar. Srila Jiva Gosvami as a writer defended the sampradaya in a very extraordinary way by publishing his different sandarbhas. These books are authoritative and they are extracts from all the vedic literature as sources of nectar. So Srila Jiva Gosvami was extremely austere, extremely truthful, extremely enthusiastic for the glory, the victory and the superiority of his spiritual masters.

I would like to tell you one story of Srila Jiva Gosvami that comes to my mind. It is a little bit heavy, so you would better hold your breath. Once there was a devotee who came to Srila Rupa Gosvami. He said 'Oh, Sri Rupa, you made a mistake in the Bhakti Rasamrta Sindu. I found something there and I wanted to point out a mistake to you.' Rupa Gosvami very humbly said, 'Thank you very much, Vallabhar, for showing that mistake in my writing, I am very grateful to you. Please leave the note here.'

Jiva Gosvami was sitting nearby and he could not tolerate that. When Vallabhar left Rupa Gosvami, Srila Jiva Gosvami came after him and said, 'Wait a second Vallabhar, I have an objection to your comment to my guru. His writing is perfect and rather you did not understand it, so your critical remark is actually not right. So Jiva Goswami defeated Vallabhar and he and Vallabhar went back to Rupa Gosvami and said, 'Excuse me Rupa Gosvami I was impudent, but your dear disciple Jiva told me better and he chastised me for criticizing your writing. I apologize and I withdraw my note. What you have written is perfect. Then he left and afterwards Srila Rupa Gosvami called Jiva Gosvami and told him , 'I don't want to see you in Vrindaban any more.' Jiva Govami was astonished.

"If you instruct a senior man about Krishna consciousness, you mix with that. This was not an important subject and you made him feel bad, so I do not want to see you in Vrindaban anymore", and that was all that Rupa Gosvami has said. Jiva Gosvami was heartbroken and said, "How can he kick me out from Vrindaban? If my Guru does not want to see me, than I have no more mercy in Vrindaban." So Srila Jiva Gosvami actually left Vrindaban and nobody knew where he was for a while... until one day devotees said to Sanatan Gosvami, "Sanatan Gosvami, there is a crocodile hole in Yamuna and there is an ascetic on its bank. We do not know who he is, but he does not move from there." Sanatan Gosvami became curious to find out who is that ascetic and he went.

There he found Jiva Gosvami who has been doing austerities, taking only Yamuna mud and Yamuna water and living in a crocodile hole. He has been living there and he thought, "If I won't be able to live outside of Vrindaban with my Gurudeva, my life is useless, so I will wait here until I receive a pardon for my offensive mentality." When Sanatan Gosvami heard the story he went to Rupa, because Rupa is the guru of Jiva and Sanatana is the guru of Rupa. He went and he chastised him, "Why do you deal so harshly with him? Look what you have done now, he is almost dying from starvation! Will you immediately call him back, please?" And then Rupa Goswami said, "Yes, Gurudeva, whatever you tell me, I will do", and then he called Jiva Gosvami back to Vrindaban to continue with his important service of defending the sampradaya.

That story shows us how subtle and how fine Vaisnava relations are. One should be very careful about doing things right and not be so self-righteous and think, "Oh, I already know what is the best way to do everything", because if you are wrong then everything is destroyed. So these are just few words in a memory of Srila Jiva Gosvami. Of course, many more things could be said, but this is what comes to my mind in this moment Thank you for reminding me of Srila Rupa Gosvami and Jiva Goswami.

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