Hari-katha Articles A Life of Service. Disappearance of Srila Jiva Gosvami

A Life of Service. Disappearance of Srila Jiva Gosvami

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
Viṣaya-vāsanā-rūpa 6

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
śrī-bhāgavata-sandarbha-nāma grantha-vistāra
bhakti-siddhāntera tāte dekhāiyāchena pāra
gopāla-campū-nāme grantha-mahāśūra
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 laghu-bhrātā—śrī-vallabha-anupama
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
vraja-prema-līlā-rasa-sāra dekhāila
’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”

Must Read

Did Jiva Gosvami Meet Mahaprabhu?

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...


How can a person in this world achieve perfection and a spiritual form in the transcendental world? The path of spontaneous love and affection, rāga-mārga, is the means to achieve this svarūpa-siddhi as described in our Gauḍīya scriptures, such as Rāga-vartma-candrika. By following the guidance and example of rāgānugā-bhaktas, we can transcend this world and our material karma, saṁskāras and form, and take birth in transcendental Vraja. By the association of the eternally perfect associates of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa in Vraja, we will imbibe all the processes of loving service. Many people think they have no qualification to follow the rāgānugā-bhaktas or to even hear their teachings. This is like a meat-eater saying he cannot give up flesh and become a vegetarian because he will not have any strength. Or it is like a drug addict saying he cannot give up his addiction because it will drive him mad. We should not be afraid of giving up a lower path for a higher one. Some initial difficulty may be there, but in time, we will feel hundreds of times better than we did under the grip of our vices. Before the awakening of divine love, we are all under the spell of māyā. We are intoxicated by the illusions of material life. To become free of this, we must follow the footsteps of the rāgānugā-bhaktas on the rāga-mārga path. Svarūpa-śakti Śrīmatī Rādhārānī sends Her dear associates to this world. They appear and illumine their teachings on the path of spontaneous love and affection. They are the ācāryas in the Bhāgavata-paramparā. We cannot cross māyā and enter Vraja without their help, mercy, and guidance. By following them, first an affectionate familial feeling towards the ācāryas and their associates develops. As we gradually develop in our affection and faith, we will realize, “My home is in Vraja.” And we will pray, “When I will be amidst the Vrajavāsīs in my own spiritual form?” People come to Śrī Guru from many countries, but over time, they begin to consider themselves as members of guru’s family, giving up their own self-identification with their material family and nationalities. As their love increases, they feel that the Vrajavāsīs are their own family and friends. They forget all the relations of this world. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura prays (Prārthanā Song 12): hari hari! āra ki emana daśā haba kabe vṛṣabhānu-pūre āhīrī gopera ghare, tanayā haiyā janamiba yāvaṭe āmāra kabe e-pāṇi-grahaṇa habe, vasati kariba kabe tāya sakhīra parama śreṣṭha je tāhāra haya preṣṭha, sevana kariba tāṅra pāya teṅha kṛpāvān haiñā rātula caraṇe laiñā, āmāre karibe samarpaṇa saphala haibe daśā pūribe manera āśā, sevi duṅhāra yugala-caraṇa vṛndāvane dui-jana caturdike sakhī-gaṇa, sevana kariba avaśeṣe sakhī-gaṇa cāribhite nānā jantra laiñā hate. dekhiba manera abhilāṣe dūṅhu cāṅda-mukha dekhi’ juḍābe tāpita āṅkhi, nayane bahibe aśru-dhāra vṛndāra nideśa pāba doṅhāra nikaṭe jāba, hena dina haibe āmāra śrī-rūpa-mañjarī sakhī more anāthinī dekhi, rākhibe rātula duṭī pāya narottama dāsa bhaṇe priya-narma-sakhī-gaṇe, kabe dāsī karibe āmāra O Hari Hari! Will this ever happen to me that in Vṛṣabhanu-pura I will take birth as a daughter in the house of Ahirī Gopa? When will my hand be accepted in marriage at Yāvaṭa and when will I begin to reside there? I will serve the lotus feet of a parama-preṣṭha-sakhī for she is an intimate friend of Rādhā. Being merciful she will offer me into the service of Śrī Yugala’s lotus feet. My life will be successful, and all my aspirations will be fulfilled. In this way I will serve Their lotus-feet. I will ultimately serve the Divine Couple surrounded by the sakhīs in Vṛndāvana. I will watch the Divine Couple to my heart’s content, surrounded by sakhīs with various instruments in their hands. Looking at the moonlike faces of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, my burning eyes will be cooled and tears will begin to flow. When will that day be mine when I receive Vṛṇda-devī’s order to approach Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa? Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī, seeing that I am alone without protection, will keep me at her reddish lotus feet. Narottama dāsa prays to the priya-narma-sakhīs, “When will you make me your maidservant?” The sādhaka prays in this way, “When will that day come that I will be born in the town of Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja, in the home of the gopas. When will I be present in Yavata with Śrīmatī Rādhikā and Her sakhīs. When will they bestow upon me some small service? When will they shelter me and offer me at the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa?” While chanting harināma, we should pray, “Lalitā, Viśākhā, Rūpa, Rati, and Lavaṅga mañjarīs, and all the Vraja-devīs. Please help me, otherwise I will drown in māyā. Without your shelter and mercy, I will certainly be lost.” Pray for service from your Gurudeva. prātaḥ śrīman navadvīpe dvi-netraṁ dvi-bhujaṁ gurum varābhaya-pradaṁ śāntaṁ smaret tan nāma-pūrvakam Guru-dhyāna-mantra Early in the morning, chant Śrī-Gurudeva’s name, while meditating on him being situated in Śrī Navadvīpa or Śrī Vṛndāvana-dhāma, and having two eyes and two arms. He bestows fearlessness and is peaceful. (see more)

Srila Gurudeva BV Narayana Goswami Maharaja Anointed as Ācārya

You will have to help me with this burden. The time has come. Pūjyapāda Trivikrama Mahārāja and I completely support you. You will preach all over the world for many years. We will be with you wherever you go. You will be an unparalleled Ācārya; very few will be able to understand the extent of your glories...

Govinda Damodara Madhaveti

A gopi goes from one house to another carrying a pot of butter. She sings, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti,” and doesn’t notice the pot slipping from her hands. The pot falls on the ground and breaks. Her anchala falls from her head and the gopi doesn’t notice this. The gopi doesn’t know where she is going. Thinking about Krsna, she has forgotten everything. Her consciousness has become fixed on dark Krsna. Thus, she sings, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti...”

Lectures on Prema Vivarta

Now, Prema-vivarta. If anyone is sincerely trying to follow the instructions of Sri Jagadananda Pandit Prabhu, it is sure that he will receive suddha-bhakti very soon. One should not have any doubt about this. In this book...

More Articles Like This