Hare Krsna!

There is some question among scholarly circles whether or not Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī met Mahāprabhu as a small child, when the Lord came to Rāmakeli. In regard to this, we find the following statements by our prominent ācāryas.

In the Navadvipa-dhama Mahatmya, by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Jīva Gosvāmī describes his good fortune to have met Mahāprabhu and received his life’s mission from Him directly.

jabe rāmakeli-grāme śrī-gaurāṅga-rāya
āmāra pitṛvya-dvaye lailena pāya (38)
sei-kāle śiśu āmi sajala nayane
herilāma gaura-rūpa sadā jāge mane (39)

“In my childhood, Śrī Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu visited the village of Rāmakeli and gave my two uncles shelter at His lotus feet. Since that time, when my tear-filled eyes first beheld the form of Śrī Gaura, this same form has appeared constantly within my heart.

śrī-gaurāṅga-pade paḍi’ karinu praṇati
śrī-aṅga sparśiyā sukha pāilāma ati (40)

“I fell at Śrī Gaurāṅga’s lotus feet and offered my obeisances. Touching His divine body, I became filled with great happiness.”

sei-kāle gaura more kahilā vacana
ohe ‘jīva’ kara tumi śāstra adhyayana (41)
adhyayana samāpiyā navadvīpe cala
nityānanda-śrī-caraṇe pāibe sakala (42)

“At that time Śrī Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu instructed me, ‘O Jīva, study the holy scriptures. When you have finished, go to Śrī Navadvīpa, where you will receive everything at the lotus feet of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu.’ ”

sei ājñā śire dhari’ āmi akiñcana
yathāsādhya vidyā kariyāchi upārjana (43)

“Being destitute, I took His [Mahāprabhu’s] order to heart and learned as much as I could.”

The Bengali periodical of the Gauḍīya-maṭha, titled the Gaudiya (5.6.3), published by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, states:

It is described (in the Bhakti-ratnakara) that when Mahāprabhu came to Rāmakeli, Śrī Jīva, who was an infant at the time, had His darśana.

Srila Gurudeva, Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, states the following in his book on Navadvipa-dhama parikrama, in Part 3, Sri Gauda-mandala:

Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī was the son of Śrī Anupama (Vallabha). As a young boy he took darśana of Mahāprabhu when He came to the village of Rāmakeli. Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī placed Jīva at the feet of Mahāprabhu, who placed His lotus hands on Jīva’s head. (Sri Navadvipa Dhama: Part 3, Sri Gauda-mandala)

Thus, in line with our Guru-varga, in our publications on the lives and teachings of the Gosvāmīs, we have included the detail of Jīva Gosvāmī having the darśana of Mahāprabhu as a small child.