Ideal Grhasta & Acharya_Sri Ananda Gopala Gosvami
Srila Ananda Gopala Gosvami Prabhupada, the 12th generation direct descendant from Sri Advaita Acharya, appeared in Vrindavana Dhama on Padmanabha Ekadasi October, 1897. At the age of fourteen he and his parents moved to Navadvipa Dhama, where he passed his life.
The bhajana life of Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami was very exemplary and fruitful. Every day he got up at 3 am, took a bath and sat down for bhajana. Tears would stream from his eyes while he was immersed in meditation. By performing purashcarana he attained mantra darshana. Purashcarana is a nonstop marathon recital of a large number of diksha mantras in order to attain darshana of the mantra Devata.
Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami would not eat until he finished his daily quota of japa. No family member or disciple could disturb him until 8 a.m. At 10 a.m. he would take some of Sri Madangopalji’s prasadi fruits and sweets. Afterwards, he would meet with his family and disciples.
Ananda Gopala Goswami was totally averse to the principle of a professional Guru. In fact, he never asked his disciples for donations even though many were wealthy. He and his wife were completely renounced and full of devotion.
Even though they had no bank account, no land and no house, they continually served their family deities, Sri Sri Radha Madana Gopala. Whenever donations did come, he would immediately spend them to serve Sri Krishna and the Vaisnavas. When he heard someone singing Radha’s name, he would embrace him and say, “This person has purchased me!”
In Vrindavana 1954, he gave wonderful lectures for one fortnight on Vilapa Kusumanjali and Radharasa Sudhanidhi in Radha Damodara Mandira. Everyone was astonished to hear his sweet and essential explanations of each verse. Where the rasa-stream of other lectures stopped, Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami began. In each verse, he led the listeners through the course of the Radha-Krishna’s eight-fold daily pastimes.
Whatever problems or questions that the manjari bhava sadhakas had in their sadhana, he would clearly answer by drawing live pictures of manjari bhava with every discourse. By his mercy, sadhakas forevermore can easily depict the sequence of beautifully sweet and intimate sevas to perform in Priya-Priyatama’s Vraja nikunja-lilas. In the 1970’s, Sri Ananta das Panditji gave lectures on Vilapa Kusumanjali based on a transcript of these lectures.
Regarding the disputed authorship of Radha Sudhanidhi (Hit Harivamsa or Prabhodhananda Sarasvati), Ananda Gopala Goswami told the audience in Radha Damodara Mandira: “Some person may come to a mango grove and inquire: ‘How many fruits are in these trees? Who constructed this grove? How are the fruits sold and who is the owner?’ Yet another person will just come, purchase the mangoes, offer them, sit under a tree and say: ‘Aha, how sweet are these mangoes!’
“So similarly, Radharasa Sudhanidhi is a wonderful book, born by the grace of Sri Radharani, whoever may have composed it. What matters is the relish of its contents. We need to become qualified to extract the rasa from this book. Radha dasya is the goal of our lives. And Madan Gopala becomes subdued by us if we can meditate on the foot soles of Radharani. Radha dasya is our only shelter.”
What follows are some the direct words of Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami revealing his nistha in manjari bhava as Radharani’s loyal maisdservant:
“Prabhupada Ananda Gopala Goswami, cherishing Srimati Radharani’s lotus-feet within his heart, used to proudly say, ‘If necessary for Radha’s seva, I will go to hell. I don’t want anything else but Radha. I will not accept Krishna alone. If Krishna comes to me alone, I will send Him back.
‘If such an attitude would ruin me, then let it be. I will accept Krishna neglectfully, and only then if He comes along with Radha! Because I am Radha’s maidservant, I will wander around being proud of Radha. If, however, the Divine Pair comes then I will offer myself to Them. I always sing Radha’s name with tears in my eyes and thrill bumps on my body.’” (Suchaka Kirtana (v.16-18) of Radha-Govinda das)
When Ananda Gopala Goswami passed away, his son Srila Nikunja Gopala Goswami said, “There was no question of any inheritance talks. My father was only saying: ‘Ha Radhe! Ha Radhe!’’ Remembering that moment, his disciple Giriraja Baba said, “He would just cry out two names of Radha: ‘Ha Svamini! Ha Karunamayi!’” (adapted from hagiography of Sri Advaita dasji)
Sri Advaita Prabhu Parivara ki jai! Thakuraji Sri Sri Madana Gopala ki jai!
Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami ki jai! Radhe Radhe! Radhe Radhe! Radhe Radhe! Radhe!
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