Disappearan​ce Day of Srila Jiva Goswami

JivaGoswami

As today marks the disappearan​ce of Srila Jiva Goswami, who was one the Six Goswami’s of Vrndavan, we honor this day with a short biography of his life.

Srila Jiva Goswami (1513–1598)

Jiva Goswami was the nephew of Rupa Goswami and Sanatana Goswami. He received initiation from Rupa Goswami and became the acharya (spiritual master) after Rupa and Sanatana. Jiva Goswami was a Sanskrit scholar par excellence. Some contemporary Sanskritists call him the greatest philosopher and scholar who ever lived. The youngest among the six Goswami followers of Lord Chaitanya, Jiva Goswami was also the most prolific writer. He wrote some twenty-five books, including the Sat-sandarbha, Gopala-champu, and Hari-namamrita-vyakaranam. In 1542, Sri Jiva Goswami established the worship Shri-Sri Radha-Damodara in Seva Kunja, Vrindavana. His samadhi stands in the Temple compound.

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With Srila Prabhupada in Vrndavana

“We should try to make Krsna happy like the gopis of Vrndavana. In Vrndavana everyone is trying to please Krsna—the birds, trees, cows, the river and all His associates. It is not that Vrndavana is only here. We can have Vrndavana everywhere. Krsna is not limited. We should not think that Krsna is far away in Goloka Vrndavana and cannot accept food from us. If you offer food with love, Krsna eats. Krsna does not leave Goloka Vrndavana, but His expansion goes and accepts food. This Vrndavana, which so happens to appear in India, is as worshipable as Krsna. As Krsna is worshipable, His dhama [residence] is also worshipable. So we cannot offend His dhama. If we live in Vrndavana, we are living with Krsna, for Vrndavana is nondifferent from Krsna. There is no difference between the original Vrndavana and this Vrndavana. Vrndavana is so powerful.”

With Srila Prabhupada in Vrndavana
By Hayagriva Dasa

Vrndavana, India, the land of Krsna five thousand years after the disappearance of the Supreme Person, is invaded by eighty American and European disciples of Srila Prabhupada. The white and saffron robed pilgrims arrive in Vrndavana for Karttika, a celebration of Krsna’s rasa dance with the cowherd girls (gopis) of Vrndavana. Yearly, Vrndavana is crowded with Karttika pilgrims from October 15th to November 15th, the best time of year for Vrndavana, a month of clear, pleasant days and cool nights.

Vrndavana is approached by train from Delhi to Mathura, about ninety miles to the Southeast of Delhi. From Mathura, one takes a bus some eight miles to the village of Vrndavana bordered on three sides by the holy River Yamuna. As a cowherd boy, Krsna sported in the Yamuna, and Vaisnavas consider its waters more purifying than the Ganges itself. In Krsna’s time, Vrndavana was a forest, as its name indicates. Today it is a congested holy-town forgotten by the tourist maps, a town of crumbling temples, memories, chanting devotees, filth and poverty-stricken masses. Tourists whiz by it on the Delhi-Agra Express, unaware of passing Krsna’s old abode. Vrndavana was rediscovered by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His disciples Rupa and Sanatana Gosvami in the early 16th Century. Many magnificent temples were built in honor of Lord Krsna, but despite the sanctity of the place, it has not been kept up.

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The Books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


Originally published in Back to Godhead No. 52 Bhaktivedanta Book Trust 1973
By Brahmananda Swami ISKCON East Africa

This will be an eleven part series, as it is a rather legenthy article, but very good source for historical information on Srila Prabhupada, Radha-Damodara Temple, and the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

The Books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

“My books are more important than myself.” This was Srila Prabhupada’s instruction to one of his disciples who was being sent from his personal service to open a temple in a distant place. When one considers how much time, energy and intelligence Srila Prabhupada has utilized to single-handedly begin and spread the Krsna Consciousness Movement to an international scale, it is even more astonishing that he has written a score of unique books. Despite his responsibilities in guiding thousands of disciples who operate almost a hundred different centers, that he has produced these books-at substantial sacrifice-proves that the most important factor to the Krsna Consciousness Movement is the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

While still in India, His Divine Grace inhabited two ordinary rooms in India’s most historic literary temple. This Radha-Damodara temple was built almost 500 hundred years ago by Srila Jiva Goswami in the holy site of Vrndavan, where Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appeared to display His transcendental pastimes 5,000 years ago. The Radha-Damodara temple, which has since fallen into disrepair, houses the samadhi (burial place) of Jiva Goswami, one of the six prime disciples of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Caitanya gave His disciples in Vrndavan three important instructions: first, to discover the exact locations where Krsna displayed His pastimes, as revealed in the sastras (scriptures); then, to build temples where the Lord could be suitably worshiped; and finally, to write books fully explaining the real science of devotional service to God. Lord Caitanya Himself wrote only eight slokas (stanzas), but the six goswamis of Vrndavan have left a vast body of literature for the inestimable benefit of all humanity.

When only ten years old, Jiva Goswami wanted to join Lord Caitanya’s sankirtan movement, but first he prepared himself by becoming fully versed in Sanskrit in Benares. He was then able to write volumes of books, which have prompted one Indian authority to declare Jiva Goswami the greatest philosopher that has ever lived. It is lamentable that due to the lack of qualified translators, the English-knowing world may never be able to take advantage of these books.

The Radha-Damodara temple is also the site of the Samadhi of Krsnadasa Kaviraja, the most important biographer of Lord Caitanya. Krsnadas Kaviraja appeared after Lord Caitanya but was contemporary to the six Goswamis. Directly inspired by Lord Nityananda, one of Lord Caitanya’s principal associates, he wrote his Caitanya-caritamrta at the age of ninety. This book recounts the teaching of Lord Caitanya more vividly than the biographical details which have been preserved by other authors.

…to be continued

108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

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July 9th Letter

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Reference Material/Study Guide

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