Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami
Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami
After Caitanya Mahāprabhu took sannyāsa, He went to South India on pilgrimage. In due course, He arrived at Śrī Rangam. There, worship is performed by the process of arcana and it is very congenial for worshiping the Lord of Vaikuntha in a mood of reverence for His opulence.
The Lord taught, “aiśvarya-śithila preme nāhi mora prita-I am not attracted by love that is weakened by awe and reverence.” (Sri Caitanya-caritāmrta, Adi-līlā 3.16)
Sri Krsna comes under the control of those who worship in a mood of spontaneous love and devotion. The Lord mercifully accepted the hospitality of the three brothers: Trimalla Bhatta, Venkata Bhatta, and Prabhodānanda Sarasvati, and performed His Cāturmāsya-vrata in their company.
Mahāprabhu would daily dance, perform sankirtana, and distribute nāma-prema. He told them that by the performance of prema-nāma-sankirtana, God and His associates quickly appear before one and bestow a place in Vraja.
Śrī Gopāla Bhatta, the blessed son of Venkata Bhatta, served Mahāprabhu for four months and performed nāma-sankirtana in His company. He prayed from the core of his heart, “I eternally want to serve the Lord.”
The all-knowing Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu told him: “The holy name and its possessor are non-different, and it is the embodiment of rasa. Chant the holy name, and the all-merciful Lord in His original form, full of sweetness and rasa, will manifest before you and accept your service eternally.”
Later, when Gopāla came to Vịndāvana, he always remembered Mahāprabhu’s words and thus chanted harināma in a loud voice and performed sankirtana. One time, Gopāla became absorbed in bhāva while doing sankirtana and remembering Caitanya Mahāprabhu. That night, Mahāprabhu Himself came to Vịndāvana and manifested as Rādhā-ramana. It was the year 1599 Samvat, on Vaišākha Pūrnimā. Gopāla Bhatta kept that rasa laden Deity nearby at all times and continuously served Him. The feet of Rādhā-ramaņa are like Śrī Madana-mohana, the chest like Śrī Gopinātha, and the face like Śrī Govinda.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu instructed Gopāla to go to Vrndāvana and manifest vaisnava-smrti. By the Lord’s desire, Gopāla edited the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa, wrote the Krsnakarņāmsta-tippani, was the original compiler of the Satsandarbha, and composed the Sat-kriya-sara-dipikā and Samskāra-dipikā, both of which are included in this book.
Gopāla Bhatta Gosvāmī was very humble and renounced, without any material possessions. He offered all his works into the hands of Sanātana Gosvāmī. By Rūpa and Sanātana’s order, Jiva Gosvāmī edited and published the Sat-sandarbhas in a proper sequence. Gopāla Bhatta Gosvāmī requested Kavirāja Gosvāmī not to mention his name in the Caitanya-caritāmrta. In this way, he was very humble.
Remembering his lotus feet awards the highest perfection in life. We pray to always remain under his guidance.