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SRI JIVA GOSVAMI [Gimpses of life]

Sri Jiva Gosvami was born in Ramkeli situated near the kingdom of Hussen Shah, the then king of Gaud (Bengal) most probably be 1530 and 1540 A.D. Hill father was Anupama alias Ballavadeva, the younger brother of India-famous Rupa and Sanatana, the two officials under Hussen Shah and later on, the two pillars of Vaisnava-movement of Sri Krishna Chaitanya. Anupama, the father of S Gosvami, too, was a high official under Hussen Shah.

Sri Jiva inherited not the huge wealth of the royal family but the invaluable spiritual treasure of his parents and two uncles, Rupa a Sanatana. He lost his father in his childhood. After the resignation of Rupa and Sanatana from worldly life and death of Anupama, lost its glamour of wealth and social status. Thereafter, Sri Jiva was brought to Chandradwipa in the District of Barisal (now in Ban Sri Jiva had to live there with his mother in a lonely big old palace. Sri Jiva's mother was a very pious lady and orthodox in perform rituals in the day long. Basically a Bhakta of Mahaprabhu Sri Chaitanya, she did not forget to narrate the details of the glorious live trio Rupa, Sanatana and Anupama to her son; as a result, the boy Sri Jiva grew while playing with mates, with deepest respect parents and uncles and a zest for a life of other worldly happiness.

Sri Jiva was an extraordinarily brilliant and a handsome boy of pleasing and charming personality, and as a result, was loved by age of only twenty (within a very short span of time indeed !), Sri Jiva completed the studies of Sanskrit grammar and other prima of vast Sanskrit language. From the very boyhood days Sri Jiva was docile, indifferent and introvert; his eyes were fixed on the ho was a born denizen of the deep and a citizen of an utterly different world. At this age of twenty Sri Jiva determined to renounce th life and to follow the footprints of his uncles, Rupa-Sanatana. With an intention of higher studies Sri Jiva left for Navadwipa, the th of India. On the way he dressed himself as a conventional Vaisnava monk and reached Navadwipa to meet Sri Nityananda, the righ Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the embodiment of forgiveness, kindness, and faith. Sri Jiva left home for ever.

In Navadwipa he was most welcomed by Vaisnavas and was introduced to Nityananda Mahaprabhu ; Sri Nityananda embraced Sri deep affection and readily recognized him as the future leader of Vaisnavism and founder of theoretical basis of Chaitanya-cult. His no bounds; Nityananda was Sri Jiva's guide and showed him every nook and corner of Navadwipa the sacred site of Mahaprabhu Chaitanya. Then Nityananda Mahaprabhu sent Sri Jiva to Banaras for the studies of Vedanta and other higher treatises of Indian philosophy.

Sri Jiva reached Banaras the greatest centre of Sanskrit culture in India for ages, and went to Madhusudana Vachaspati the then best scholar of Vedanta and the most favourite disciple of Vasudeva Sarbabhauma, another famous scholar and later on a staunch follower and devotee of Mahaprabhu. The Vachaspati admitted him as his student and gave him lessons on Within very short span of time Sri Jiva had the loftiest academic attainment. Soon he became famous in Banaras as a scholar of un talent. He acquired great proficiency in all school of philosophic thought known at that time in India. Also he became well versed in lore of sacred literatures.

After finishing his studies, Sr Jiva went to Vrindavan - the sacred place of divine sports of Lord Sri Krisna. the dreamland of the Va all time. Sri Jiva rubbed the golden dust of Vrindavan on his forehead ; the fond tales of Krisna's sports with cowboys and gopis ca his imagination at this romantic perspective; Sri Jiva observed the sublime beauty of the dancing blue waves of the river Jamuna u azure, the green wood, the flowers, the birds; the Bhakta reached his abode Vrindavan Vrinddvan got her true inhabitant the of Bhaktas and Bhakti.

Sri Jiva met his uncles. They embraced their affectionate Sri Jiva the only son of their family, who in time would be the only heir spiritual wealth and kingdom of Bhakti, Sri Jiva gradually became acquainted with all the fellow travellers on the way, the dwellers Vrindavan the Messiahs in the world. All became highly pleased with his scholarship, simplicity, renunciation and determination a him from the core of their heart. Sri Jiva began the new chapter of his life. Rupa set the ideals and gave the initiation, Sanatana and Raghunatha provided the supp encouragement - of kindred soul. Sri Jiva began Sadhana (religious practice) the practice of blossoming of self and realizing the Ananda', with keenness and determination. Soon he became an expert on Vaisnava theology. The spiritual wealth and experience o and Sanatana was added to the inborn talent of Sri Jiva.

This was the golden age of Vrinddvan. She soon became famous with her galaxy of saints and scholars. Students and scholars from parts of the country began to come there seeking instructions, knowledge, spiritual guidance and discussion and debate on differen

There was a popular practice amongst the Indian scholars in those days that a scholar wishing to establish himself as the best scho invite other scholars in a debate. The defeated one used to admit the winner's victory in black and white. Rupa Gosvami, the then Vaisnava scholars of Vraja would never accept such invitation from any proud Scholar; he was rather used to admit the supremacy scholar in writing without any debate and hesitation. Rupa, a rare combination of a philosopher and a poet, fully blossomed beyond the love and light of Krisna and a dweller of mystic world, was usually underestimated by the proud. Scholars. But Sri Jiva knew th of scholarship of Rupa and he became aggrieved to see that the most ,substandard egoistic scholars underestimated Rupa. This wa unbearable to him, but he could do nothing before nothing his master. When Sri Jiva found such pedants in the absence of Rupa, h teach them good lessons ; and they were astonished at the sparkling talent of Sri Jiva. This attempt of Sri Jiva caused a melodram incident in his life. When Rupa Gosvami was composing his celebrated book 'Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu', Sri Jiva was his greatest he work ; a south-Indian Vaisnava preacher (Vallava Bhatta) came to Vrindavan and expressed his willingness to read 'Bhakti Rasdmr Sindhu'. Rupa welcomed him and read out from his book. Sri Jiva was nearby. Vallava Bhatta talked about some mistakes committ Rupa. Both Sri Jiva and Rupa knew that they were correct, and Vallava was wrong ; still Rupa, being a true exponent of Vaisnavism egolessness, immediately conceded to it. But as soon as Rupa went out of the cottage, Sri Jiva invited the conceited man and imm disappointed him by his superhuman talent. Ballava understood that his arguments were baseless and became ashamed of his igno action before such scholars. He immediately went to Rupa to repent for his action. Rupa understood that Sri Jiva was responsible f became highly displeased to see that Sri Jiva was not behaving properly like a true Vaisnava. A real Vaisnava, in his estimation, sh forbearance, or perfect indifference even to irreparable loss or unexpected gain in worldly affairs, no desire for public esteem and s himself as the worst of all, though perhaps, the best. Knowledge is for intellectual conviction and firmness of devotion, and not for gain whatsoever.

But what Sri Jiva was doing ? ... Rupa Gosvamin took stern measure to rectify their loving Sri Jiva and scolded him severely and or to leave Vrajadham immediately, because Sri Jiva had not yet acquired the citizenship of that place. Sri Jiva realized his mistakes i of hearts ; egoism, pride, name and fame, and other passions are the rocks where a Vaisnava monk may be shipwrecked. So, Sri J determined to purge himself of egoism and entered a deep forest, built a hut and decided to offer himself in the pure flame of the (ahuti)total and unconditionalcomplete replacement of the ego by Krisna's will. By virtue of his total renunciation and pure dev Jiva's whole being was set on fire with the love of Krisna. Sri- Jiva passed day and night by chanting the name of Hari with the firm his heart that Krisna would be merciful. He was completely indifferent to his body which dwindled down gradually. Because of that Sadhana, Java's whole being underwent a total transformation; his whole self was divinised. He got Bhakti the concrete love of manifestation of God and became a Bhakta an associate of Krisna and a true citizen of Vrindavan.

Rupa Gosvami, after banishing Sri Jiva, was not passing his days happily. It was very difficult to replace a disciple like Jivahis rig composing 'Bhakti Rasararita Sindhu'. Sanatana knew the story of Sri Jiva's Sadhana and Rupa's feeling of separation from Sri Jiva request and Information, Rupa condoned Sri Jiva who had already been a new man ; the re-union was happy. Rupa presented his idol (Vigraha) of Krisna to Sri Jiva. Sri Jiva worshipped the holy idol as the manifestation of Supreme Reality-- "Archavatara" accor Ramanuja. This holy idol is still lying in Jaypur.

After a few years Rupa and Sanatana, and other Vaisnava apostles left this mundane plane, and the leadership of Vaisnava movem the shoulder of Sri Jiva. The Asrama was now his, and he had to take the responsiblity of being a Guruthe beginning of a new Dh (duty) and appearance of new Karma (work)a new man had come to birth. It was his mission then to induce people to turn their mind t

Sri Jiva was not only a scholar-monk but also a good administrator and organiser. He sent throughout the country a trained group Vaisnava monks to propagate Vaisnava theology and philosophy and to give a systematic process of Sadhana to the common man established a big library of old Sanskrit literature in Vrindvan. He managed for the first time to collect paper from the Moghul capit copying and propagation of Vaisnava literature. It was due to his ardent effort and desire that King Mansingh constructed the Temp Govindaji in Vrindavan.

Along with his constructive and organisational work, he maintained his literary and intellectual activity. He composed a number of which placed the Chaitanya-cult for the first time on a philosophical basis with a systematized process of Sadhana (religious practic well-defined goal. The major work of Sri Jiva is known as 'Sat Sandarbha', which means six treatises on philosophy. They are as fo 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Tattva Sandarbha (Discourses on Truth) Bhdgavata Sandarbha (Discourses on God) Paramatma Sandarbha (Discourses on the Absolute) Bhakti Sandarbha (Discourses on Devotion) Priti Sandarbha (Discourses on Love) Krisna Sandarbha (Discourses on the Lord Krisna)

Besides these writings, he has left about a dozen of minor works. His best work is the 'Bagavata Sandarbha'which placed him in

assembly of great philosophers of the world.

There is a great good deal of difference of opinion among the philosophers regarding the relation between the Jiva (monads) and B In one view, there is no difference whatsoever ; in another view, there is ; and yet in a third view, there are bothdifference (bhe non-difference (abheda).

Sri Jiva established that God is Personal, and the relation between jiva and Brahman is one of "achintya-bhedabheda" (inexplicable and non-difference). By "achintya" he means 'incapable of being considered under either of the categories of absoute difference an non-difference'as in the case of fire and heat. This is known as the "Achintya-BhedabhedavAda" (theory of inexplicable difference nondifference) of Bengal School. The Bhakti-cult or Vaisnavism based on the doctrine of "Grace" and germinated from the Upanisa announce that "the Self cannot be realized by the study of the Vedas, nor by intelligence, nor by deep learning ; It can be realized only whom It chooses or favours, to him the Self reveals Its own nature" was developed into a full-grown system of Philosophy a Theology of its own. The Upanisads call Him Rasa, the most relishable and Ananda (absolute bliss) being the essence of Brahman. could not remain satisfied with inert impersonal Bhahman but converted Him to Personal God. Sri Jiva's work made a thorough syn the Upanisadic thought sporadically segregated with apparently contradictory ideas but intrinsically inclined towards a doctrine of a absolute reality, Ananda or Rasa-Brahma. Now it is our duty to understand and appreciate the Philosophy of Sri Jiva and divert our and passions towards the infinitely relishable all-merciful Krisna with full knowledge that Krishna is the dearest to us.

After long many years of activities, the philosopher cum religious teacher left this mundane plane for his eternal Abodethe eterna Vrindavan. By: Dulal Chandra Ghosh Presidency College Calcutta 15th August, 1974 Source : Vaishnava Vedanta By Dr. Mahanambrata Brahmachari