Friday, February 23, 2007

Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami

Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami was born in 1505 in Eastern Bengal. His father, Sri Tapana Misra, was a great devotee of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri Tapana Misra met Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, first in Eastern Bengal, and then again in Varanasi. While in Varanasi, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to dine at Sri Tapana Misra's home and Raghunatha would often massage the Lord's feet. He became very attached to the Lord.

As a boy Raghunatha was adept in Sanskrit grammar and rhetoric. He became well versed in the scriptures. Upon coming of age his father sent him to Puri, where he met Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He spent eight months in the service of the Lord. He would cook for him on a regular basis. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu insructed Raghunatha never to marry and to study the scriptures. He ordered him to return to Varanasi and to care for his ageing parents. He further told him that he would see Him again in Jagganatha Puri. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave Raghunatha a tulasi garland from his neck.

When Raghunatha 's parents passed away, he returned to Jagganatha Puri where he spent a further eight months in the service of the Lord. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then sent Raghunatha to Vrindavana, to study the Srimad-Bhagavatam and other revealed scriptures under the guidance of Sri Sanatana and Sri Rupa Goswami. After some time Raghunatha's disciples built a temple for Sri Gaura Govinda in Vrindavana.

Raghunatha was full of humility and meekness. He was permanently engaged in remembrance of the Lord. He passed away in 1579.

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