Part Two: Sri Sanatana Goswami

The books of Sanatana Goswami

Among the important books compiled by Sanatana Goswami is the Hari-Bhakti-Vilasa, which explains the proper duties and correct behavior for Vaishnavas.
In the Caitanya-caritamrita, Krishna dasa Kaviraja Goswami records Mahaprabhu's instructions to Sanatana on compiling Hari-Bhakti-Vilasa.
Kaviraja Goswami writes (CC ML 29.326-345): "Folding his hands, Sanatana Goswami said, ³My Lord, you ordered me to write a directory about the activities of Vaishnavas. I am a most lowborn person. I have no knowledge of good behavior. How is it possible for me to write authorized directions about Vaishnava activities?²
Sanatana Goswami then requested the Lord, ³Please personally tell me how I can write this difficult book about Vaishnava behavior. Please manifest yourself within my heart. If you would please manifest yourself within my heart and personally direct me in writing this book, then, although I am lowborn, I may hope to be able to write it. You can do this because You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead Yourself, and whatever You direct is perfect.²
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu replied, ³Whatever you want to do you will be able to do correctly by Lord Krishna's favor. He will manifest the real purport. Because you asked me for a synopsis, please hear these few indications. In the beginning one must take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master. In your book there should be the characteristics of the bona fide guru and the bona fide disciple. Then, before accepting a spiritual master, one can be assured of the spiritual master's position. Similarly the spiritual master can also be assured of the disciple's position.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, should be described as the worhsipable object, and you should consider the bija-mantra for the worship of Krishna, Rama or any other expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You should discuss the qualifications necessary for receiving a mantra, the perfection of the mantra, the purification of the mantra, initiation, morning duties, remembrance of the Supreme Lord, cleanliness, and washing the mouth and other parts of the body. In the morning one should regularly brush his teeth, take his bath, offer prayers to the Lord and offer obeisances to the spiritual master. One should render service to the spiritual master and paint one's body in twelve places with tilaka. One should stamp the holy names of the Lord on his body, or one should stamp the symbols of the Lord, such as the disc and club. After this, you should describe how one should decorate his body with gopicandana, wear neck beads, collect tulasi leaves from the tulasi tree, cleanse his cloths and the altar, cleanse one's own house or apartment and got to the temple and ring the bell just to draw the attention of Lord Krishna.
Also describe Deity worship, wherein one should offer food to Krishna at least five times daily. One should in due time place Krishna on a bed. You should also describe the process for offering arati and the worship of the Lord according to the list of five, sixteen, or fifty ingredients.
The characteristics of the Deities should be discussed as well as the characteristics of the salagrama sila. One should also discuss visiting the Deities in the temple and touring holy places like Vrindavana, Mathura and Dvaraka.
You should glorify the holy name and explain the importance of carefully giving up offenses when chanting the holy name. You should explain the symptoms of a Vaishnava and how to give up all kinds of seva-aparadha, offenses in Deity worship. The items of worship, such as water, conchshell, flowers, incense and lamp, should be described. You should also mention chanting softly, offering prayers, circumambulating, and offering obeisances. All these should be carefully studied. Other items to be considered are the method of performing purascharana, taking Krishna-prasada, giving up the eating of unoffered food and not blaspheming the Lord's devotees. One should know the symptoms of a devotee and how to associate with devotees. One should know how to satisfy the devotee by rendering service, and one should know how to give up the association of nondevotees. One should also regularly hear the recitation of Srimad-Bhagvatam.
You should describe the ritualistic duties of every day, and you should describe the fortnightly duties - especially observing Ekadashi fast, which comes every fortnight. You should also describe the duties of every month, especially the observance of cermonies like Janmastami, Ramanavami and Nrsimha-caturdasi. You should recommend the performance of pure Ekadashi.
Whatever you say about Vaishanva behavior, the establishment of Vaishnava temples and Deities and everything else should be supported by evidence from the Puranas. You should give general and specific instructions of the behavior and activities of a Vaishnava. You should outline things that are to be done and things that are not to be done. All this should be described as regulations and etiquette. I have thus given a synopsis of the Vaishanva regulative principles. I have given this in brief just to give you a little direction. When you write on this subject, Krishna will help you by spiritually awakening you."

Hari-Bhakti-Vilasa is based on notes collected by Gopal Bhatta Goswami and is known as a vaishnava smriti. If one examines its content, one will see that its content closely conforms to the instructions given Sanatana Goswami by Sri Caitanya.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami summarizes its contents as follows:
This vaishnava-smriti-grantha was finished in twenty chapters, known as vilasas. In the first vilasa there is a description of how a relationship is established between the spiritual master and the disciple, and mantras are explained.
In the second vilasa, the process of initiation is described.
In the third vilasa, the methods of Vaishanva behavior are given, with emphasis on cleanliness, constant remembrance of the Supreme Personality fo Godheaed, and the chanting of the mantras given by the initiating spiritual master.
In the fourth vilasa are descriptions of samskara, the reformatory method; tilaka, the application of twelve tilakas on twelve places of the body; mudra, marks on the body; mala, chanting with beads; and guru-puja, worship of the spirtiual master.
In the fifth vilasa, one is instructed on how to make a place to sit for meditation, and there are descriptions of breathing exercises, meditation and worship of the salagram-sila representation of Lord Vishnu.
In the sixth vilasa, the required practices for inviting the transcendental form of the Lord and bathing Him are given.
In the seventh vilasa, one is instructed on how to collect flowers used for the worship of Lord Vishnu.
In the eight vilasa, there is a description of the Deity and instructions on how to set up incense, light lamps, make offerings, dance, play music, beat drums, garland the Deity, offer prayers and obeisances and counteract offenses.
In the ninth vilasa, there are descriptions of the devotees of the Lord (Vaishnavasa or saintly persons).
In the eleventh vilasa, there are elaborate descriptions of Deity worship and the glories of the holy name of the Lord. One is instructed on how to chant the holy name of the Deity, and there are discussions about offenses committed while chanting the holy name, along with methods for getting relief from such offenses. There are also descriptions of the glories of devotional service and the surrendering process.
In the twelfth vilasa, Ekadashi is described.
In the thirteenth vilasa, fasting is discussed, as well as observance of the Maha-dvadashi ceremony.
In the fourteenth vilasa, different duties for different months are outline.
In the fifteenth vilasa, there are instructions on how to observe Ekadashi fasting without even drinking water. There are also descriptions of branding the body with the symbols of Vishnu, and discussions of Caturmasya observations during the rainy season, and discussions of Janmasthami, Parsviakadashi, Shravana-dvadashi, Rama-navami, and Vijayi-dashami.
The sixteenth vilasa discusses duties to be observed in the month of Karttika (October-November), or the Damodara month, or Urja, when lamps are offered in the Deity room or above the temple. There are also descriptions of the Govardhana-puja and Ratha-yatra.
The seventeenth vilasa discusses preparations for Deity worship, maha-mantra chanting and the process of japa.
In the eighteenth vilasa the different forms of Sri Vishnu are described.
The nineteenth vilasa discusses the establishment of the Deity and the rituals observed in bathing the Deity before installation.
The twentieth vilasa discusses the construction of temples, referring to those constructed by the great devotees.

Sri Santana Goswami's commentary on Hari-Bhakti-Vilasa is called the Dig-Darhsini-Tika. Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada writes of Hari-Bhakti-Vilasa: "Another famous book by Sanatana Goswami is the Hari-bhakti-vilasa, which states the rules and regulations for all divisions of Vaishnavas, namely Vaishnava householders, Vaishnava brahmacaris, Vaishnava vanaprasthas and Vaishnava sannyasis." Srila Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada notes, "This book was especially written, however, for Vaishnava householders."

Among the most important books compiled by Sanatana Goswami is the Brihad-Bhagavatamritam. Whereas the Hari-Bhakti-Vilas expands on Mahaprabhu's teachings to Sanatana regarding Vaishnava behavior and ritual, Brihad-Bhagavatamrita analyses the ontology and metaphysics of Mahaprabhu's teachings.
In Brihad-Bhagavatamritam, Sanatana Goswami records the conversation that took place between Pariksit Maharaja and his mother Uttara after he had heard the Bhagavata from Shukadeva. She asks him to explain the gist of the Bhagavatam, and Pariksit Maharaja begins by telling the story of Narada's search for the most fortunate and intimate devotee of Krishna. This part of the conversation reveals the gradation of intimacy in devotional service. Progressing from those devotees whose bhakti is mixed with karma (Brahma) and jnana (Shiva), Narada progresses to shanta-rasa (Prahlada) dasya-rasa (Hanuman) sakhya-rasa (Arjuna) and finally to Krishna's dearmost devotee Uddhava, who aspires for a position in Vrindavana and who reveals the love of the gopis for Krishna as the last word in bhakti.

Part Two of Brihad-Bhagavtamrita reveals the story of gopa-kumara, an errant cowherd boy who, having received mantra initiation from a resident of Vrindavana, passes through one planetary system after the next, exploring different levels of consciousness in a spritual odyssey that takes him from earth, through the heavenly planets to Brahmaloka, Viraja, the brahmajyoti, Shivaloka, Vaikuntha, Ayodhya, Dwarka, Mathura, and finally Goloka, where he realizes his eternal position in the pastimes of Krishna in sakhya rasa.

In Brihad-Bhagavatamritam there are descriptions of devotees, intimate devotees, most intimate devotees and complete devotees. About this book, Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada writes (CC Adi 5.203), "Sri Santana Gosvami Prabhu, the teacher of the science of devotional service, wrote several books, of which the Brihad-Bhagavatamrita is very famous; anyone who wants to know about the subject matter of devotees, devotional service and Krishna must read this book."
According to Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami, "The second part describes the glories of the spiritual world, known as Goloka-mahatmya-nirupana, as well as the process of renunciation of the material world. It also describes real knowledge, devotional service, the spiritual world, love of Godhead, attainment of life's destination and the bliss of the spiritual world. In this way there are seven chapters in each part, fourteen chapters in all."

Sanatana Goswami Prabhu also represents the teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in his commentary on Srimad-Bhagavatam. Of this commentary, Sri Bhaktivedanta Swami writes, "Dasama-tippani is a commentary on the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Another name for this commentary is Brihad-vaishnava-toshani-tika. In the Bhakti Ratnakara it is said that Dasama-tippani was finished in 1476 Sakabda...Sanatana Goswami gave his [Brihad] Vaishanva-tosani commentary to Srila Jiva Goswami for editing, and Srila Jiva Goswami edited this under the name of Laghu-tosani. Whatever he immediately put down in writing was finished in the year 1476 Saka. Jiva Goswami completed Laghu-tosani in the year Sakabda 1504. Sanatana Goswami also composed Krishna-lila-stava which is known as Dashama-charit and describes the pastimes of Krishna up to Mathura."
Elsewhere (CC Adi 5.203) Srila Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada writes of Dasama-tipanni, "Sanatana Goswami also wrote a special commentary on the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam known as the Dasama-tipanni, which is so excellent that by reading it one can understand very deeply the pastimes of Krsna in His exchanges of loving activities."

After meeting with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and receiving the instructions that would form the basis for the scriptures he would later compile, Sanatana Goswami went to Vrindavana by the main road, and when he reached Vrindavana he met Subuddhi Raya. When he arrived in Vrindavana, he found that Rupa Goswami had already left. He then went to Jagannatha Puri through Jharikhanda, the Uttara Pradesh jungle. After contracting a skin disease he felt to be offensive to the Lord's touch, he decided to give up his life by falling beneath the wheels of the Jaganatha Ratha-Yatra cart, but Caitanya Mahaprabhu expressed his disapproval of suicide and saved Sanatana through his mercy. Later Sanatana Goswami met Haridasa Thakura and heard from him of the disappearance of his brother Anupama.

The Caitanya Caritamrita records how, while in Jagannatha Puri, Sanatana Goswami described the glories of Haridasa Thakura. When Jagadananda Pandit granted Sanatana permission to leave for Vrindavana, Sri Caitanya disapproved, and glorified the qualities of Sanatana Goswami, ordering Sanatana Goswami to remain in Jagannatha Puri for a year.
Later, when Jagadananda Pandit went to Vrindavana, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu put him under the guidance of Sanatana Goswami. At that time, Jagadananda Pandit became angry with Sanatana for wearing a turban made from a piece of red cloth given him by a sannyasi other than Sri Caitanya, but was pacified by Sanatana's deep devotion. (At that time, Sanatana remarked that red cloth is unfit for Gaudiya Vaishnava Sannyasis, since it is worn by the Mayavadi followers of Shankaracarya's impersonal school. Since that time, out of respect for the words of Sanatana Goswami, Gaudiya Vaishnava Sannyasis have adopted the color saffron for the dress of renunciation.) When Sanatana Goswami finally returned to Vrindavana, he was reunited with Rupa Goswami, and the two of them remained there to execute the orders of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Sanatana Goswami and Madana Mohan

The Bhakti-Ratnakara describes how Sanatana began the worship of his Madana-Mohan deity. Among Mahaprabhu's orders to Sanatana was his instruction to establish the worship of the Deity of Krishna. The Bhakti Ratnakara describes how Sri Sanantana Goswami, when he was staying in Vrindavana, began the worship of Sri Madana-Mohan.
In Mahavana, nearby Krishna's birthplace in Vrindavana, Sanatana Goswami made a hut of grass. There he would perform his daily bhajan. One day, as he went out begging, he came to a small village on the banks of the Yamuna. At that time Madana Mohana Deva was playing on the side of the river with some small gopa boys. When he saw Sanatana, he cried out, "O Father! Baba!" With this, he came running after Sanatana Goswami and grabbed hold of his hand, saying, "Take me with you. I want to go with you."
"Little boy, why do you want to go with me?"
"I want to stay with you."
"If you stay with me, what will you eat?"
"What do you eat?"
"Only some dry chapatis and coarse rice."
"Then I will also eat that, Baba."
"Even if you could eat like that, you can't stay with me. You must stay with your mother and father."
"But, Baba! I want to stay with you."
Making the boy understand his wishes, Sanatana sent him home, and then continued his begging rounds.

That night, the boy appeared to him in a dream. In the dream, the boy was laughing again and again. He took hold of Sanatana's hand and told him, "Baba! My name is Madana Mohana. Tomorrow I shall come to you."
Saying this, Madana Mohana disappeared, and with this Sanatana awoke. He was so overcome by ecstasy that he felt as if his soul had been stolen from his body. He thought, "What have I seen? I have never seen such a beautiful boy."
His mind was filled with remembrance of Sri Hari. When he opened the door to his kutir, he found that standing in the doorway was a wonderful murti of Sri Madana Mohana. That deity was so beautiful that it filled the four directions with its effulgence.

Sanatana Goswami was stunned for some time, but after a while, he came to his senses, and at that time, his eyes filled with tears of ecstasy which gradually wet the earth beneath him. After this, he began the worship of the deity by performing an abhisheka ceremony. When Rupa Goswami saw that wonderful deity, he was filled with prema.
Sri Sanatana used to serve that deity in his own humble grass hut. Sri Rupa Goswami sent word of these auspicious events to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Jagannatha Puri by messenger.

After begging all day, Sri Sanatana Goswami would return to his grass hut in the evening and offer some dry chapatis to his deity, Madana-Gopala. Sometimes he would also prepare some shak or other vegetables to go with it. In any case, he would never prepare any vegetables with oil or salt. Most of the time he could only offer chapatis. As a result, Sanatana would become sorrowful, thinking himself unfit to properly worship the deity. But he couldn't afford it, because Caitanya Mahaprabhu had given him a service: to compose devotional scriptures. At the same time he had to spend all day collecting alms. When could he find the time to go out and beg for oil and salt? Sri Sanatana Goswami's mind was filled with grief. As Paramatma, the Lord knew Sanatana's mind. Madana Mohana thought to himself, "I am eating dry chapatis, and Sanatana's mind is very unhappy as a result. He wants to serve me in royal style. As a result he feels that his service is of no use."

At that time there was a wealthy merchant of the kshatriya caste named Sri Krishna Dasa Kapoor. He was on his way to Mathura to do some business. He was coming down the Yamuna in a big boat. When his boat became stuck on a sandbar, and he could see no way to continue, he began to think "What can we do now?"
At that time Krishna Dasa Kapoor heard from the local people that there was a big sadhu living in Vrindavana who could help. His name was Sanatana Goswami. When Krishna Dasa Kapoor came to see him, Sanatana was sitting in his hut, writing, wearing only a loincloth, his body lean from austerity and renunciation. Sanatana offered his visitor a grass mat as a seat, and touching Krishna Dasa Kapoor with his hand, bade him sit.
At this, Krishna Dasa Kapoor said, "Baba! Give me your mercy."
Sanatana said, "I am only a beggar. What kind of mercy can I give you?"
"I only pray for your blessings. My boat is stuck on a sandbar in the Yamuna river and I can see no way to free it."
"I know nothing about it. Explain it all to Madana Mohana."
Krishna Dasa Kapoor offered his dandavats before the Madana Mohana deity and said, "O Madana Mohana Dev! If you give me your mercy and free my boat, then whatever profit I make from this business I will give it to you for your seva."

With this prayer, Kapoor asked permission to leave.

That day a big storm came and rain poured from the heavens, raising the level of the Yamuna's waters. As the waters grew higher and higher, Kapoor's boat was freed from the sandbar and began making its way down the Yamuna. Krishna Dasa Kapoor could understand that this was all the mercy of Madana Mohana. He had made a handsome profit on his cargo, and donated it all to build a lavish temple for Sri Madana Mohana, including a bhogashala where first-class edibles could be stored for the pleasure of the Lord.

From that time on, Madana Mohana was served in royal style. Seeing this royal service of Madana Mohana, Sanatana Goswami became very happy. Soon after this, Sanatana Goswami accepted Krishna Dasa Kapoor as his disciple and gave him initiation.
The Madana Mohan temple still stands today, and is an important place of pilgrimage for all Gaudiya Vaishnavas.

In discussing the importance of the Madana Mohan Deity, Bhaktivedanta Swami writes, "Srila Sanatana Goswami is the ideal spiritual master, for he delivers one the shelter of the lotus feet of Madana Mohana. Even though one may be unable to travel on the field of Vrindavana due to forgetfulness of his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he can get an adquate opportunity to stay in Vrindavana and dreive all spiritual benefits by the mercy of Sanatana Goswami."

Similarly, Krishna Dasa Kaviraj Goswami prays,

jayatam suratau pangor
mama manda-mater gati

"Glory to the all merciful Radha-Madana-Mohana! I am lame and ill-advised, yet they are my directors, and Their lotus feet are everything to me."

Kaviraja Goswami also says, "These three Deities of Vrindavana (Madana-mohana, the Deity of Sanatana Goswami, Govinda, the deity of Rupa Goswami, and Gopinatha, the Deity of Raghunatha Dasa Goswami) have absorbed the heart and soul of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, (followers of Lord Chaitanya). I worship their lotus feet, for they are the Lods of my heart." (CC AL 1.19)

Translating the commentary of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami writes: "The author of Sri Caitanya Caritamrita offers his respectful obeisances unto the three Deities of Vrindavana named Sri Radha-Madana-Mohana, Sri Radha-Govinda-Deva, and Sri Radha-Gopinathaji. These three Deities are the life and soul of the Bengali Vaishnavas, or Gaudiya Vaishnavas, who have a natural aptitude for residing in Vrindavana.
The Gaudiya Vaishnavas who follow strictly in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahrapabhu worship the Divinity by chanting transcendental sounds meant to develop a sense of one's transcendental relationship with the Supreme Lord, a reciprocation of mellows (rasas) of mutual affection, and ultimately, the achievement of the desired success in loving service. These three Deities are worshiped in three different stages of one's development. The followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu scrupulously follow these principles of approach.
Gaudiya Vaishnavas perceive the ultimate objective in Vedic hymns composed of eighteen transcendental letters that adore Krishna as Madana-Mohan, Govinda, and Gopijanavallabha.
Madana-Mohana is He who charms Cupid, the god of love, Govinda is He who pleases the senses and the cows, and Gopijanavallabha is the transcendental lover of the gopis. Krishna Himself is called Madana-Mohana, Govinda, Gopijanavallabha and countless other names as He plays in His different pastimes with His devotees.
The three Deities - Madana-Mohana, Govinda, and Gopijanavallabha - have very specific qualities. Worhsip of Madana-Mohana is on the platform of reestablishing our forgotten relationship with the Personality of Godhead. In the beginning of our spiritual life we must worship Madana-Mohana so that He may attract us and nullify our attachment for material sense gratification. This relationship with Madana-Mohana is necessary for neophyte devotees. When one wishes to render service to the Lord with strong attachment, one then worships Govinda on the platform of transcendental service. Govinda is the reservoir of all pleasures. When by the grace of Krishna and the other devotees one reaches perfection in devotional service, he can appreciate Krishna as Gopijanavallabha [Gopinatha], the pleasure Deity of the damsels of Vraja.
Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu explained this mode of devotional service in three stages, and therefore these worshipable Deities were installed in Vrindavana by different Goswamis. They are very dear to the Gaudiya Vaishnavas there, who visit the temples at least once a day."

Bhaktivedanta Swami gives further understanding on this subject in his introduction to the Caitanya Caritamrita: "In Caitanya Caritamrita, Krishnadas first offers his obeisances to Madana-mohana-vigraha (Santana Goswami's Deity), the Deity who can help us progress in Krishna consciousness. In the execution of Krishna consciousness, our first business is to know Krishna and our relationship with Him. To know Krishna is to know one's self and to know one's self is to know one's relationship with Him. Since this relationship can be learned by worhsiping Madana-mohana-vigraha, Krishnadas Kaviraj first establishes his relationship with Him.
When this is established, Krishnadas begins to worship the functional Deity, Govinda (Rupa Goswami's Deity).
Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami maintains that the Radha and Krishna Deities (Radha-Govinda) show us how to serve Radha and Krishna. The Madana-mohana Deities simply establish that ³I am your eternal servant.² With Govinda, however, there is actual acceptance of service, and therefore he is called the functional Deity.
The Gopinatha Deity is Krishna as master and proprietor of the gopis. He attracted all the gopis or cowherd girls by the sound of his flute, and when they came, he dance with them... Krishna is therefore called Gopinatha because He is the beloved master of the gopis."

This progression - Krishna or Madana-Mohana, Radha-Govinda, Radha-Gopinatha - is also found in the three key words of the eighteen syllable Krishna gayatri. This is explained in Jiva Goswami's remarks on the Gayatri mantram, found in his commentary on the Brahma-Samhita which is translated by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura.
There, Jiva Gosami explains that the mantram has six elements, and that "Krishnaya," in the mantram refers to Krishna-svarupa, or in Srila Bhaktisiddhanta's language, "the proper self of Krishna." (Madana-Mohana).
The second element in the mantram, or the second aspect of Krishna to be revealed (Govinda) is "krishnasya chinmaya vraja-lila-avilasa-svarupa": "the true nature of Krishna's pastimes in Vrindavana."
The third aspect of Krishna is Gopijanavallabha, (Gopinatha) Krishna who is dear to the gopis.
It is therefore said that in the mantram "Klim Krishnaya, Govindaya, Gopijanavallabhaya, etc...", "Krishnaya" is Madana-Mohana, the first object of worship represented in sambandha-jnana, whose acharya is Sri Sanatana Goswami. "Govindaya" is the Lord who is surrounded by his intimate serving group. Because Govinda accepts one's service, He is the deity of abidheya-tattva, whose acharya is Rupa Goswami. "Gopijanavallabhaya" in the mantram refers to Gopinatha, the master of the great rasa dance in which all the gopis take part. This represents the ultimate goal, or prayojana, whose acharya is Raghunatha Dasa Goswami. Raghunatha Dasa Goswami, the acharya of the highest goal of life, accepts the lotus feet of Sri Rupa (the abidheaya acharya) as his highest aspiration and thus shows us the path to the highest goal. Rupa Goswami in his turn always offers his respects to Sanatana Goswami (the sambandha acharya), whom he considered to be his spiritual master.

In his commentary on the talks between Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya, Bhaktivinoda Thakura elaborates further on this theme. Bhaktivedanta Swami translates his commentary as follows: "In the mantra: klim kamadevaya vidmahe pushpabanaya dhimahi tan no nangah prachodayat, Krishna is called Kamadeva or Madana-mohana, the Deity who establishes our relationship with Krishna. Govinda, or pushpa-bana, who carries an arrow made of flowers, is the Personality of Godhead who accepts our devotional service. Ananaga or Gopijanavallabha, satisfies all the gopis and is the ultimate goal of life."

Bhaktivinoda Thakura, in his Anubhashya commentary on Caitanya Caritamrita, further explains this version on the basis of Jiva Goswami's comments on the Brahma-samhita verse: atha venuninadasya trayimurtimayi gatih, sphuranti praviveshashu mukhabjani sarojajah. This verse describes how the flutesong of Sri Krishna was heard by Brahma as the Gayatri mantram.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura translates "trayimurti gatih" to mean that the gayatri is "the mother of the three Vedas."
Bhaktivinoda explains that in this verse, the words "trayimurti gatih" means that the sound emanating from the flutesong of Sri Krishna, or Gayatri is the basis of sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana. He says that "trimurtimayi" also indicates the three murtis Madana-Mohana, Govinda, and Gopinatha. Upon hearing this sound, Brahma became initiated as a twice-born, and became acquainted with the ocean of truth (sambandha, abhidheya, prayojana), after which he uttered the famous "Govinda" prayers beginning with "chintamani prakara-sadmasu."
Bhaktivinoda Thakura supports this view by quoting at length from Brahma-Samhita, Jiva Goswami's commentary, Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakrua, and the Gopal Tappani Upanishad, which all corroborate the above version.

It is clear from the above that Sanatana Goswami occupies a special position in the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya. He is the acharya of sambandha-jnana, or knowledge of our proper devotional relationship with Krishna. Moreover his deity, Madana-Mohana, helps us to overcome the influence of the senses and fix our minds in devotional service.

Sanatana Goswami's literatures are a storehouse of nectar. His personal example of humility is beyond description. He is an intimate associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krishna, and the guru of Srila Rupa Goswami. Let us all pray for the shelter of his lotus feet.

Part Three

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