Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī is Vilāsa Mañjarī in vraja-līlā. He is also known as Bhānumatī-sakhī by some authorities. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī’s real glory is that he is the disciple of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. He is his true follower in this world and in the spiritual world as well.
If a person listens to Guru and Vaiṣṇavas being criticized, and tolerates such insults, then his inclination to engage in bhajana and bhakti will be lost. He will lose taste in mantra and nāma.
Therefore, Jīva Gosvāmī Prabhu taught that one should never tolerate criticism of Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. He never tolerated such blasphemies, instead, he refuted them. He made everyone free of such tendencies. Kavirāja Gosvāmī has written:
siddhānta baliyā citte nā kara alasa
ihā ha-ite kṛṣṇe lāge sudṛḍha mānasa
Caitanya-caritāmṛta Adi 2.117
A practicing devotee should not neglect the discussion of siddhānta, considering it controversial, for such discussions strengthen the mind. Thus one’s mind becomes deeply attached to Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura wrote:
śrī jīva gosvāmī kabe siddhānta-salile
nivaibe tarkanala, citta jahe jvale
When will Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, with the waters of conclusive truth, extinguish the fire of false arguments, which are burning my heart?
“When will I have the shelter of Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī’s lotus feet?” By offering this prayer sincerely, tattva-siddhānta will automatically be obtained. The sādhaka will become free of jaḍa-siddhānta, materially concocted opinions, and become established in the rūpānuga-dhārā, the line of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī.
Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī never left Vraja to go anywhere else. There, he performed continuous kīrtana of the granthas and glories of Rūpa and Sanātana Gosvāmī. While constantly remembering bhāgavata-līlā, Jīva Gosvāmī gave everyone the adhikāra for vraja-sevā. He manifested temples and pastime places of Vraja. He would diligently engage all the bhaktas in nāma-saṅkīrtana and bhāgavata-sevā. Thus, he instilled bhakti in the hearts of everyone.
By practicing the limbs of śuddha-bhakti, the eligibility to render service to Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa will be achieved. Through Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī’s divine association, everyone in Vraja became eligible to transcendentally serve Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇā. Vraja-sevā cannot be attained by miśra-bhakti, mixed devotion, or gauṇa-bhakti, bhakti eclipsed by karma, jñāna, and yoga.
During his later pastimes, following Śrīla Rūpa and Sanātana Gosvāmī’s order, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī stayed at the Rādhā Dāmodara temple, where he served Rādhā-Dāmodara. He continuously spoke hari-kathā and invigorated the lives of thousands of Vaiṣṇavas with kṛṣṇa-bhakti.
Jīva Gosvāmī fulfilled the heart’s desires of Mahāprabhu and the Guru-varga by manifesting the glories of Girirāja-Govardhana, the Yamunā, and all the residents of Vraja.
He manifested trees, creepers, ponds, and lakes in Vraja. Performing the true role of an ācārya, he restored Vraja to its pristine glory.
After his disappearance pastime, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī was placed in samādhi at the Rādhā Dāmodara temple.
Śrīla Kṛṣṇa dāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmīpāda summarizes some of the works and life of his śikṣā-guru Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī in his Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta:
tāṅra bhrātuṣ-putra nāma—śrī-jīva-gosāñi
yata bhakti-grantha kaila, tāra anta nāi
bhakti-siddhāntera tāte dekhāiyāchena pāra
nitya-līlā sthāpana yāhe vraja-rasa-pūra
ei mātā nānā grantha kariyā prakāśa
goṣṭhī sahite kailā vṛndāvane vāsa
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 1.42-45
Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī’s nephew, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī, has written so many devotional books that there is no counting them. In Śrī bhāgavata-sandarbha, he has written extensively about the ultimate conclusion of devotional service. The most widely known and formidable scripture of his is the book called Gopāla-campū. In this book the Lord’s eternal pastimes and the abode of vraja-rasa, Vṛndāvana are completely described. In this way, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī and Jīva Gosvāmī, and all of their close followers, lived in Vṛndāvana and manifested spiritual books on loving devotion.
tāṅra putra mahā-paṇḍita—jīva-gosāñi nāma
sarva tyaji’ teṅho pāche āilā vṛndāvana
teṅha bhakti-śāstra bahu kailā pracāraṇa
’bhāgavata-sandarbha’-nāma kaila grantha-sāra
bhāgavata-siddhāntera tāhāṅ pāiye pāra
’gopāla-campū’ nāma grantha sāra kaila
’ṣaṭ sandarbhe’ kṛṣṇa-prema-tattva prakāśila
cāri-lakṣa grantha teṅho vistāra karila
jīva-gosāñi gauḍa haite mathurā calilā
nityānanda-prabhu-ṭhāñi ājñā māgilā
prabhu prītye tāṅra māthe dharilā caraṇa
rūpa-sanātana-sambandhe kailā āliṅgana
ājñā dilā,—“śīghra tumi yāha vṛndāvane
tomāra vaṁśe prabhu diyāchena sei-sthāne
tāṅra ājñāya āilā, ājñā-phala pāilā
śāstra kari’ kata-kāla ‘bhakti’ pracārilā
ei tina-guru, āra raghunātha-dāsa
iṅhā-sabāra caraṇa vandoṅ, yāṅra muñi ‘dāsa’
Caitanya Caritāmṛta, Antya 4.227-236
The son of Śrī Vallabha, or Anupama, Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī’s junior brother, was the vastly learned scholar named Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī. After giving up everything, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī came to Vṛndāvana. There he wrote many devotional books and preached these books everywhere.
Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī compiled the book named bhāgavata-sandarbha, which is the essence of all scriptures. From this grantha one obtains a concrete understanding of bhāgavata-siddhānta. He also compiled the scripture called Gopāla-campū, which is the essence of all knowledge. Within it he has shown the essence of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa’s vraja-līlā and the mellows of their loving exchanges. In the Ṣaṭ-sandarbha Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī manifested the truth of kṛṣṇa-prema. In total he wrote 400,000 verses in all his books.
When Jīva Gosvāmī left for Mathurā from Bengal, he begged permission from Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu. Because of Jīva Gosvāmī’s relationship with Rūpa and Sanātana, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu placed His feet on the head of Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī and embraced him. Nityānanda Prabhu ordered, “Yes, quickly to Vṛndāvana. That place has been given for your family lineage by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.”
By the order of Nityānanda Prabhu, Jīva Gosvāmī went to Vṛndāvana and attained the result of His order, for he wrote many books for many years and preached bhakti from there. I offer prayers at the lotus feet of my three gurus—Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī and Jīva Gosvāmī—as well as Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī, for I am their servant.
[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]
Excerpted from the Bhakta Bandhav Publication “The Life and Teachings of Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī”