Today is Srila Rupa Gosvami’s disappearance day. Srila Gurudeva and our Gaudiya sampradaya exist to fulfill the desire of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and serve Him again and again. They try to please Him and to make Him happy. But Mahaprabhu does not accept just anybody’s service. Srila Rupa Gosvami has been given the adhikara to serve Mahaprabhu. If anybody is under his guidance, then Mahaprabhu will accept that service. Without his guidance, Mahaprabhu will never accept that service.
We pray: adadanas trnam dantair idam yace punah punah
srimad rupa padambhuja dhuli syat janmani janmani.” Before, this prayer of Uddhava was recited: “vande nanda vrajestrinam pada renum abhiksnasah”, and “asam aho carana renum jusam aham,” but Vaisnavas in our line specifically pray: “adadanas trnam dantair idam yace punah punah.”
After millions of lives we have received this human birth, come to this world, and only have a desire for the dust of the feet of Srila Rupa Gosvami. There is nothing more I need. The bhaktas are pleased with the understanding that, “I am rupanuga”.
After taking sannyasa, Mahaprabhu Himself went to meet Rupa, Sanatana, and their brother Anupama or Sri Vallabha, and He gave blessings to the child that would become Srila Jiva Gosvami. He told them to go to Vrndavan. After that, by Mahaprabhu’s desire they came to Vrndavan.
What is the svarupa of Srimati Radharani? What is the svarupa of Krsna? What is the svarupa of prema? Mahaprabhu wanted to reveal these truths. He spoke about this with Raya Ramananda, and then later inspired Srila Rupa Gosvami to reveal all thes truths in his writings. He taught how the love and mood in Dvaraka with Laksmi Narayana is stunted by the opulence there. And how the svakiya-lila, married pastimes, of the Divine Couple, are also limited. The parakiya pastimes of paramour love in Vrindavan are the highest! So Mahaprabhu inspired and instructed Srila Rupa Gosvami to spread vraja-bhakti-rasa.
Previously, nobody had manifested the bhakti-svarupa, the intrinsic nature of vraja-bhakti. By Mahaprabhu’s instruction, Rupa Gosvami gave the definition of uttama-bhakti.
anyabhilasita sunyam jnana karmadi anavrtam
anukulyena krsnanusilanam bhakti uttama
Two words that he writes in this verse are very important—anukula and anusilana. How will our bhakti be anusilanam, continuously flowing? Whom shall I follow? Srila Rupa Gosvami writes krsnanusilanam, not Krsna only as isa-sakti, the Supreme Controller, but as the Beloved of svarupa-sakti, hladini-sakti, Srimati Radharani. Radharani’s near and dearest! They themselves are not saying to follow me directly. But in this verse, there is Mahaprabhu’s secret advice, order, instruction, and inspiration. The meaning of anulkulyena is, something that is very tasteful. Krsna will be pleased with whom? With His Vraja-devis, Gopis, and Srimati Radharani. Therefore it is written, anukula, favourable, but this also means tasteful. How will it be tasteful, and who is serving in the most relishable mood (rasa)? Therefore, Raghunatha das Gosvami prayed:
sri rupa manjari kararcita-pada-padma
ha modatah kanaka-gauri padaravinda
samvahanani sanakais tava kim karisye
(Sri Vilapa-kusumanjali, text 72)
“O golden-complexioned girl, when You are laying with Your head in Krsna’s lap and Your feet are in the lap of Rupa-manjari, and she is massaging Your feet, will Rupa-manjari, with the corners of her eyes, offer me her mahaprasadam seva of gently massaging Your feet while she fans You?”
“Oh! Only this Rupa Manjari has entrance to these kunjas, and she is massaging Srimati Radharani’s lotus feet. Her head is resting on Krsna’s lap, and Krsna is fanning her. It is not possible that anybody can take the fan, but Rupa Manjari takes the fan and gives it to Rati Manjari to fan Radharani. Rupa Manjari is massaging so nicely. By telling this, it shows how close her near and dearest are.
In the first verse of Vilapa Kusamanjali, Ragunnatha das Gosvami teaches how Krsna may sometimes forget Himself and mistake other kisoris for His beloved Srimatiji, even though he is only thinking of Srimati Radharani. Krsna is God, the Lord and Supreme Authority, He never forgets anything or makes any mistake. But in Vraja dhama He is bewildered, who is Rupa, who is Rati, and who is Srimati Radharani. He cannot understand. He is thinking, this is Radharani, so He is running and kissing Rupa Manjari in front of her. Rupa Manjari is shocked, wondering how it is possible that Krsna touched her. She is sad, but Krsna cannot understand what He is doing. The svarupa of Rupa is described:
priya svarupe dayita svarupe prema svarupe sahaja bhirupe
nijanurupa prabhur eka rupa tatanurupa sa vilasa rupe
These are all the forms of Rupa Manjari’s svarupa. Priya svarupe, like the same as Srimati Radharani, non-different, not less. Also, all Her qualities are there. Nobody could understand this previously, that Srimati Radharani’s qualities manifested in this way. But by Mahaprabhu’s desire, Rupa Gosvami explained everything, what is Radharani’s svarupa, Krsna’s svarupa, prema’s svarupa, rasa’s svarupa. So not everybody can follow Rupa Gosvami’s footsteps, not everybody can understand this bhakti rasa. Most are very far away from this, it is not possible for them to approach these conceptions.
Rupa Gosvami wrote: “anyabhilasta sunyam…” He taught, “Don’t go near any others, don’t look at any others, don’t follow any other instructions or rules. Only vraja-bhakti, only Radharani’s service!” Mahaprabhu reserved all of His rules and instructions with Rupa Gosvami, therefore Narottama das Thakura glorified Srila Rupa Gosvami as follows:
sri caitanya mano abhistam sthapitam yena bhutale
svayam rupah kada mahyam dadati sva-padantikam
Without the shelter of Rupa Gosvami, if you are going anywhere else, that will be anyabhilasa. If you say you are following Sanatana Gosvami, he is also following Rupa Gosvami. Wherever you are going, everybody is following Rupa Gosvami. This is called anukula and anusilana. If you are going in any other direction it will not be cid-anusilanam, pure spiritual cultivation. Then it is pratikulanusilanam and jnana-karmadi will catch hold of you. Then anyabhilasa will come, many unfavourable desires will arise in your heart. But by staying close to Rupa Manjari, close to Sanatana Gosvami, these unwanted desires, anyabhilasa will not arise. Everything will be anukulyena, very tasteful, very favourable and very sweet.
And then, krsna-anusilanam. (This anu is a suffix of Krsna, meaning Srimati Radharani, Krsnaa, not a prefix of silanam – Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja, Bhubaneswar 1993). It means that the mercy of all of Srimati Radharani’s followers will come to you. If you follow all of Srila Rupa Gosvami’s recommendations, then everything will be easy for you in spiritual life. And if you don’t accept, don’t follow, then you are not practicing anusilanam. It will be against. It will be pratikula-anusilanam, against bhakti. Also, Krsna will not accept, Mahaprabhu will not accept. Therefore, this is our most cherished mood, not only that, this love nourishes and feeds our soul to the highest extent.
Mahaprabhu’s desire was to distribute this understanding and the moods of bhakti through Srila Rupa Gosvami. After Rupa Gosvami manifested this, all of our parampara, who are under the guidance of the Six Gosvamis, distributed his teachings. They are all rupanuga. All rupanugas are raganuga, but not all raganugas are rupanuga. Somebody may have some other anuraga, and if so, they will not be rupanuga.
Rupa Gosvami came in this world only by Mahaprabhu’s desire to manifest the special parakiya mood of the Vraja-devis. Parakiya service tendency means that some person may have everything, but they cannot be pleased with anything else but this service mood of the manjaris. They will cross everything, to the last degree, because of a desire to taste love for Krsna in this mood. This is very hidden, they will not show this externally. They may have everything, there is no shortage for them, but they cannot be happy and pleased. Independently they cannot accept anything for themselves. They always offer everything to Srimati Radharani’s Beloved. That is Krsna, but not in a direct way, always indirect. Always remaining at a distance. They will never go close, if they go directly, then a mood like Dvaraka will come, svakiya mood will come.
For Krsna’s happiness, manjaris are collecting flowers and making garlands. They will never go and offer on Krsna’s neck directly. Under Her guidance, slowly, slowly, step by step, first they will go to Rupa Manjari. Rupa Manjari then gives the garlands to Lalita devi, then she gives them to Srimati Radharani, but also not directly. Lalita devi first passes them to Subala. Then Subala is placing the flower garlands around Krsna and Radharani’s necks. Krsna is then smiling, “Ahhhh, in these flower garlands, how many manjaris’ moods, flowers and buds, how many sakhis’ moods and tendencies are there? Where has this come from?”
So this is anugatyamayi-seva. If you are doing directly or independently it will be like svakiya mood. Some love will come, some affection will come, but no such taste, sweetness and happiness as this anugatyamayi-seva of the manjaris. There is no such sweetness and happiness anywhere else.
You may give something to Krsna, you may do something for Him, thinking I am offering it directly, as sometimes happens in this world. It is like if one person is serving Gurudeva directly. But Gurudeva is looking and thinking, “Oh, he came near me because he needs something, he gave me something, but he has other desires. Now that person has become so proud.” That person wants to be the next guru. If you are serving guru like this, then this guru mood will come, if you are serving God like this, then God mood will come. No anugatya mood will come. “I will be guru, acarya.” That mood will come. But if anugatyamayi mood comes, then only the thought will arise, “Oh, I love my Guru-pada-padma, how will he be most pleased!” A person in this mood is guru’s nearest and dearest, he is pleasing Gurudeva. You will see he stays at a distance and does everything that needs to be arranged.
Srila Gurudeva gives the example of Shabari, she was never coming near Matanga Rsi. She was always remaining at a distance. She was collecting wood and not going near the asrama, but putting the wood nearby. When Matanga Rsi needed dry wood, he came out and saw that very nice, dry firewood had been stacked nearby. She also quietly cleaned outside the asrama at midnight, in a hidden way. Also, she was hearing hari-katha from very far away. So under Rupa Gosvami Prabhu’s guidance, if anybody starts serving, they will understand what is anukula, favourable, and what is anusilanam, continuous.
Otherwise, Krsna is not teaching this. Krsna is not saying, “Oh, you are serving Me like your lover, it is not possible.” Krsna is not teaching this. But if you remain close to rupanuga-vaisnavas, then the mood of the manjaris will come, an automatic change will come. There will be no more stress and distress, no distance, nothing. Then you can share this heartfelt affection and touch. That complete touch is cooling, and that meeting there will never be finished. Then it will not be possible for Krsna to cheat you, to give something else.
In the Stava Mala, by Rupa Gosvami Prabhu, he has written everything: Govardhana-astakam, Krsna-astakam, Kesava-astakam. He also wrote Mathura-astakam, Yamuna-astakam, Caitanya-astakam, Radharani’s 1008 names, Prema-sagara-stotram, he wrote many, many things. How did Rupa Gosvami begin writing all of this, with no house or room, with no electricity, no ghee lamp? He wrote all this just on palm leaves. He wrote and collected all theses astakams and prayers in this way, with practically no facility. He did not go out preaching, and he did not go out distributing anything. He was only staying in Vraja dhama, by Mahaprabhu’s order. In this way he manifested everything, by the will of the panca-tattva. How will this be understood afterwards? Who will preach these writings? Who could say how it would be distributed and spread everywhere? But Rupa Gosvami began this process, even though it is eternal by nature. By svarupa sakti’s mercy it manifested and was distributed everywhere. Previously, Vyasadeva glorified everybody like Dhruva and Praladha and many others, but he could not clearly glorify all the manjaris, gopis, and gopas. He could not glorify Vraja-bhumi and the Vrajavasis. Also, Sridama and Sudama could not be glorified. Without svarupa sakti’s mercy, it is not possible to enter into this holy Vraja dhama.
It was Mahaprabhu’s desire that the glories of the Vrajavasis would be glorified by Srila Rupa Gosvami. It was reserved for him, and he manifested and wrote everything very carefully. Rupa Gosvami Prabhu’s teachings continue to be spread to the present day. If we take shelter of his teachings, there is no distance between him and us. By Radharani’s desire, by Mahaprabhu’s desire, he came to this world.
He disappeared during the festival of Jhulan-Yatra. If this Jhulan Yatra where to start without Rupa Manjari, then this swing festival would not be sweet. Krsna was looking, Srimati Radharani was looking, why have you gone to this brahmanda? Radharani could not wait any longer and called him back. Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself was calling and begging, “You come, you come, no more waiting, do everything quickly and come back.
After Mahaprabhu left this world, then slowly all His associates began disappearing, but the Gosvamis were still present. But Srimati Radharani Herself then called, “No, you come! Now, no more. Why are you staying when all others have left?”
Who was teaching this ragamarga-mayi-seva, this seva that is described in Ujvalla Nilamani, Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu and all the other books he wrote? It is not possible that this writing could be manifested by Vyasadeva or any other acaryas. They could not directly glorify these types of relationships. Whenever we touch and glorify these granthas, Rupa Gosvami is present there. Now there is no taste, no anusilanam. It is all anyabhilasa, therefore no one can touch these books (only one who has continuous taste can touch them). You can read them, but without anukula-anusilanam taste, you will not understand. But by praying to Rupa Gosvami Prabhu and being in anugatya, then everything will appear in your heart. All cooling and soothing feelings will come in your heart.
So over the next few days during Jhulan Yatra try to speak about and glorify his philosophy. Soon Baladeva Purnima will come, then after that Janmastami. How will we be completely engaged in anukulyena krsnaanusilanam? We will have to go to Rupa Gosvami and pray and take diksa. But he is not giving diksa, he is reserving and saving everything. But if somebody has a strong desire, “No, I desire Rupa-anugatya” then that reality will manifest. Some people are approaching a guru, like making a joke and drama. That person won’t understand what is the meaning of diksa. Mantra will be given, but there will be no relation with the mantra. Gopal-mantra is explained to them, but they have no desire for purascarana, taking a sincere vow to chant. How will you explain purascaran to such a person? Not just for one year, but for a long time, you must chant these mantras with such dedication! If every day you are chanting Gopal mantra thousands of times, ten thousand times, one lakh times, with a strong vow, this will bring you closer.
By begging and praying to Rupa Gosvami, power and taste will come, then it is possible this taste will be continuous. Otherwise how will relation and siddhi, perfection in chanting come? By chanting other names and mantra? How many mobile numbers does everybody have stocked in their phones? I can’t understand how they can remember all these numbers, not just three or four but many, many. Why don’t we chant Gopal-mantra continuously, doing purascarana? Srila Rupa Gosvami practiced and taught us this. He performed purascaran. He left his position and post and went to Vrndavan. Then he chanted Gopal mantra continuously and Gopal arranged everything. He set him free and then called and pulled him to Vrndavan. So this is not too easy. If you are not doing austerity, then nothing will come easily, no taste will come. Therefore, how will we become followers of Rupa Gosvami and follow in his footsteps? How to take his foot dust? Dhuli syad janmane janmane. Not just for one life! Srimad-rupa-padambhoja dhuli syad janmane janmane. Life after life, may we take the dust of Srila Rupa Gosvami’s lotus feet on our heads. This is our constant prayer.
These days some people are saying, “Hey! Are you chanting 16 rounds.” No! Now there is a new fashion, just chant only four rounds. Not 16 rounds, only four rounds. And for mantras, no need. So how is it possible people like this are performing any austerity?
So the first step is to increase your desire and taste in chanting the mantras. Then, develop relationship with the mantra devata and learn to please Him. For example, if you have one lover, how will you continue to increase your love for that lover more and more. Therefore again and again cry for this. There are many processes to follow to achieve this.
But if I don’t do this, how will my love and affection for Krsna increase? One day I like God, next day I like dog. What is my love, where has it gone? It has gone to the dogs. This means I have no guru, guardian, or authority. Therefore, Mahaprabhu and His followers teach us, “Only follow this: srimad-rupa padambhoja dhuli syan janmani janmani.” Sri caitanya mano ‘bhistam sthapitam jena bhutale, then it is possible everything will come.” We are all under the guidance of Rupa Gosvami and the Vaisnavas, remembering, praying, crying, and begging for his mercy, then it may be possible that one particle of his footdust will come to us. Develop this desire to beg, and then it may be possible that this taste will come. First anusilanam, practicing continuously, otherwise taste will never come. I will have no guardian and helper, I am an orphan, nobody is there for me. Nobody will say, “I am taking responsibility for you and will take care of you, you are mine.” You may say, “I am free” but you are only an orphan, you have freedom, like a free dog, a street dog. So try to take shelter of Srila Rupa Gosvami, by coming under guidance of rupanuga-vaisnavas in this line, and by practicing anukula-anusilanam.