1. Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami’s life is so glorious

    Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami, there is no fasting, but we should have discussion of Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami. Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami happened to be the only boy of his father and his uncle. He was a very rich man’s son, but he left home for Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. His life should be discussed as follows, that from the beginning he was very much detached to worldly life. So his father and mother saw that this boy is very much detached, he should be immediately married with a beautiful wife.

    So that was done — he was given a very nice house and beautiful wife — but still he was very much detached. So when he was a householder he met Nityananda at Panihati and he prayed Lord Caitanya to take him with Him. At that time Caitanya was sannyasi. Lord Caitanya instructed him, that “Don’t be in a hurry, gradually Krsna will give you a chance to be aloof from these worldly affairs.” He was very intelligent even though he was detached from worldly affairs, but from his activities it appears that he was very intelligent also in worldly affairs.

    While somehow or other, for political reasons, his father and uncle were to be arrested by the minister of the then, Muslim government, and his father and uncle hided themselves to avoid the arrest. Then the agent of the Nawab, he arrested Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami. So “Tell, where is your father and uncle, otherwise you shall be tortured.” So he did not answer anything, but after some time when he was in arrest, he very politely presented his case to the minister, “My dear sir, I know my uncle, father and yourself, you are very intimate friends and treat each other as brothers.

    So sometimes there is some quarrel between brothers, that I can understand. But so far I am concerned, I am equally affectionate to my father, uncle as well as to yourself. I am also your son.” In this way, when he very politely presented, the minister became very much affected, and he began to cry, “Yes, this boy is very nice.” So he immediately released him and told him that “Yes, we are brothers. Now if you settle up our disagreement that will be very nice.” So he was released and he made a settlement between the minister and his father and uncle, so in that settlement he showed his worldly intelligence very nicely. He was not a, ah, less politician; his management was so nice.

    So that means a Vaisnava is not less intelligent, he can manage anything. But that does not mean that he is attached to anything. This example we get from Sri Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami. Even in his household life he managed things very intelligently, but later on he left home. He was guarded by the watchman of his father and uncle, but he somehow or other got out of their watch [indistinct], and directly went to see Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and when Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw him coming to His shelter, He very much welcomed him, and He said, “Raghunatha, you have been saved by Krsna from the hole of stool. Your father and uncle happened to be friend of my grandfather.”

    Lord Caitanya’s grandfather was Nilambara Cakravarti, and he was a very well-known learned brahmana, so all the big men were known to him. So this father and uncle of Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami used to call him as elder brother. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu took this opportunity that “Your father and uncle is in brotherly relation with my grandfather. Therefore, your father and uncle happens to be my grandfather.

    Generally, the grandfather and the grandson, they treat themselves joking, so I can joke your father and uncle, you do not be sorry.” Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami did not reply anything, he was very submissive. So in that connection He said that “Your father and uncle is a worms of the stool. They are very much fond of material enjoyment, and Krsna has saved you from that hole of stool.” So in this way he criticized his father and uncle. Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami did not reply.

    Then he entrusted him to His secretary, Svarupa Damodara, for his teaching, and in this way Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was known as Svarupa’s Raghunatha. So, his father became very sorry that the boy has left home, and he has gone to Caitanya, they are mendicants, very hard life, how this boy will live? So immediately he sent some servants and 400 rupees. Four hundred rupees in those days was a hundred times valuable than at the present moment.

    So he was sending 400 rupees regularly per month and Ragunatha Dasa Gosvami was accepting them, but he was spending the money by prasada distribution to the saintly persons of Jagannatha Puri, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu was also invited, and He also used to go. But after some time, he stopped that invitation. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu inquired, “So why Raghunatha does not nowadays invite us? What is the matter? So Svarupa Damodara informed Him, that “He is no more accepting the rupees sent by his father”.

    “Oh, he has left it?”

    “Yes, sir.”

    “Very nice, then how he is living?”

    “Now he stands on the staircase of Jagannatha temple at night, and when the pujaris go away they give some foodstuff, and he eats that.”

    “Oh, that’s nice.”

    So one day Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to see how Raghunatha… This means Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu had good attention on Raghunatha’s activities although he was entrusted to His secretary for teaching. So one day He went to that staircase, He did not find Raghunatha Dasa there, so He inquired, “I did not find Raghunatha Dasa there.” So His secretary informed, “So he has left that also, practice.”

    “Why? Then how he is eating?”

    “No, he does not go anywhere, ask anybody, but he stands on the outside of the kitchen of Jagannatha and whatever rice is thrown from the outlet of that kitchen, while the kitchen is washed, he collects some rice and eats those rice.”

    So Caitanya Mahaprabhu became very much glad to hear that Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami is practicing so much renunciation. So all of a sudden one day He went to his room, “Raghunatha, I did not see you for so many days.” Then He found out in a pot those collected rice were kept and immediately He took it, “Oh, you have got very nice rice here,” and began to eat. Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami immediately caught His hand, “Sir, it is not fit for Your eating.” “Oh! I am eating so nice, you say it is not fit for Me?”

    That means Lord Caitanya encouraged him that “Don’t be discouraged that this is bad, or this is not fit. I can eat, anyone can eat.” In this way Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami was elevated to a very exalted position amongst the Gosvamis. He is known as Dasa Gosvami because he belonged to the kayastha family and other Gosvamis, they belonged to brahmana families. Therefore, in order to keep his position as subordinate to the brahmanas, he was known as Dasa Gosvami. But it does not make any difference whether a brahmana is a Gosvami or a non-brahmana is a Gosvami, he is equally respected.

    This Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami later on, after Lord Caitanya’s disappearance he went to Vrndavana to associate with the other Gosvamis, and he remained mostly at Radha-kunda, and he passed his days at Radha-kunda. His tomb is there still in Radha-kunda and he has got established a temple, that is Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami’s temple. All the Gosvamis established some temple, separately. That temple is also there.

    [break] …some of the instructions that such exalted personalities used to keep regular routine vow. Another thing that is also very difficult. At Radha-kunda Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami did not eat every day. He would eat every alternate day, or maybe after two days, he would take a little butter, say about ten grains or twenty grains, and that was his foodstuff, and the whole day and night he would engage himself in chanting, in writing books.

    He did not write many books, but some of his prayers are very famous. Some prayers, mostly he was engaged in chanting, and offering obeisances, circumambulating. Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami’s life is so glorious. This should be discussed on that day.

    Srila Prabhupada; Vaisnava Calendar Description — September 2, 1970, Calcutta