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Gopala Bhatta Goswami Appearance Day

Srila Gopala Bhatta Goswami is one of the six foremost direct disciples of Sri Caitanya prabhu, the six Goswamis of Vrindavana. Here is a compilation from the lotus lips of Srila Prabhupada regarding this great personality.


At Rangakshetra, He (Lord Chaitanya) stayed for four months in the

house of one Venkata Bhatta in order to spend the rainy season. There He converted the whole family of Venkata from Ramanuja Vaishnavism into Krishna-bhakti, along with the son of Venkata, a boy of ten years named Gopala, who afterwards came to Vrindaban and became one of the six Gosvamins or prophets serving under their leader Sri Krishna Chaitanya. Trained up in Sanskrit by His uncle Probodhananda Saraswati, Gopala wrote several books on Vaishnavism.


Teachings of Lord Caitanya introduction.

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Thus, at the end of His twenty-fourth year the Lord accepted the sannyasa order of life in the month of Magha. After accepting this order He became a full-fledged preacher of the Bhagavata-dharma. Although He was doing the same preaching work in His householder life, when He experienced some obstacles to His preaching He sacrificed even the comfort of His home life for the sake of the fallen souls. In His householder life His chief assistants were Srila Advaita Prabhu and Srila Srivasa Thakura, but after He accepted the sannyasa order His chief assistants became Srila Nityananda Prabhu, who was deputed to preach specifically in Bengal, and the six Gosvamis (Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Jiva Gosvami, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami), headed by Srila Rupa and Sanatana, who were deputed to go to Vrndavana to excavate the present places of pilgrimage. The present city of Vrndavana and the importance of Vrajabhumi were thus disclosed by the will of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. SB Introduction

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Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu explained this mode of devotional service in three stages, and therefore these worshipable Deities were installed in Vrndavana by different Gosvamis. They are very dear to the Gaudiya Vaisnavas there, who visit the temples at least once a day. Besides the temples of these three Deities, many other temples have been established in Vrndavana, such as the temple of Radha-Damodara of Jiva Gosvami, the temple of Syamasundara of Syamananda Gosvami, the temple of Gokulananda of Lokanatha Gosvami, and the temple of Radha-ramana of Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. There are seven principal temples over four hundred years old that are the most important of the five thousand temples now existing in Vrndavana.


Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 1.19


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sri-rupa, sanatana, bhatta-raghunatha

sri-jiva, gopala-bhatta, dasa-raghunatha

Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, the forty-seventh branch, was one of the great and exalted branches of the tree. He always engaged in discourses about love of Godhead in the company of Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami.

Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami was the son of Venkata Bhatta, a resident of Srirangam. Gopala Bhatta formerly belonged to the disciplic succession of the Ramanuja-sampradaya but later became part of the Gaudiya-sampradaya. In the year 1433 sakabda (A.D. 1512), when Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu was touring South India, He stayed for four months during the period of Caturmasya at the house of Venkata Bhatta, who then got the opportunity to serve the Lord to his heart's content. Gopala Bhatta also got the opportunity to serve the Lord at this time. Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami was later initiated by his uncle, the great sannyasi Prabodhananda Sarasvati. Both the father and mother of Gopala Bhatta Gosvami were extremely fortunate, for they dedicated their entire lives to the service of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. They allowed Gopala Bhatta Gosvami to go to Vrndavana, and they gave up their lives thinking of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When Lord Caitanya was later informed that Gopala Bhatta Gosvami had gone to Vrndavana and met Sri Rupa and Sanatana Gosvami, He was very pleased, and He advised Sri Rupa and Sanatana to accept Gopala Bhatta Gosvami as their younger brother and take care of him. Sri Sanatana Gosvami, out of his great affection for Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, compiled the Vaisnava smrti named Hari-bhakti-vilasa and published it under his name. Under the instruction of Srila Rupa and Sanatana, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami installed one of the seven principal Deities of Vrndavana, the Radharamana Deity. The sevaits (priests) of the Radharamana temple belong to the Gaudiya-sampradaya.

When Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami took permission from all the Vaisnavas before writing Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami also gave him his blessings, but he requested him not to mention his name in the book. Therefore Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has mentioned Gopala Bhatta Gosvami only very cautiously in one or two passages of the Caitanya-caritamrta. Srila Jiva Gosvami has written in the beginning of his Tattva-sandarbha, "A devotee from southern India who was born of a brahmana family and was a very intimate friend of Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami has written a book that he has not compiled chronologically. Therefore I, a tiny living entity known as jiva, am trying to assort the events of the book chronologically, consulting the direction of great personalities like Madhvacarya, Sridhara Svami, Ramanujacarya and other senior Vaisnavas in the disciplic succession." In the beginning of the Bhagavat-sandarbha there are similar statements by Srila Jiva Gosvami. Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami compiled a book called Sat-kriya-sara-dipika, edited the Hari-bhakti-vilasa, wrote a forword to the Sat-sandarbha and a commentary on the Krsna-karnamrta, and installed the Radharamana Deity in Vrndavana. In the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, verse 184, it is mentioned that his previous name in the pastimes of Lord Krsna was Ananga-manjari. Sometimes he is also said to have been an incarnation of Guna-manjari. Srinivasa Acarya and Gopinatha Pujari were two of his disciples.


Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 10.105 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In this connection it may be mentioned that sometimes the sahajiya class of devotees opine that Prakasananda Sarasvati and Prabodhananda Sarasvati are the same man. Prabodhananda Sarasvati was a great Vaisnava devotee of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, but Prakasananda Sarasvati, the head of the Mayavadi sannyasis in Benares, was a different person. Prabodhananda Sarasvati belonged to the Ramanuja-sampradaya, whereas Prakasananda Sarasvati belonged to the Sankaracarya-sampradaya. Prabodhananda Sarasvati wrote a number of books, among which are the Caitanya-candramrta, Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi, Sangita-madhava, Vrndavana-sataka and Navadvipa-sataka. While traveling in southern India, Caitanya Mahaprabhu met Prabodhananda Sarasvati, who had two brothers, Venkata Bhatta and Tirumalaya Bhatta, who were Vaisnavas of the Ramanuja-sampradaya. Gopala Bhatta Gosvami was the nephew of Prabodhananda Sarasvati. From historical records it is found that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu traveled in South India in the year 1433 sakabda (A.D. 1511) during the Caturmasya period, and it was at that time that He met Prabodhananda, who belonged to the Ramanuja-sampradaya. How then could the same person meet Him as a member of the Sankara-sampradaya in 1435 sakabda, two years later? It is to be concluded that the guess of the sahijiya-sampradaya that Prabodhananda Sarasvati and Prakasananda Sarasvati were the same man is a mistaken idea.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 1.36

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