The Samadhi of Srila Gopala Bhatta Goswami

gopala-bhatta-goswami-samadhiSri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami was the son of Venkata Bhatta, a resident of Sri Rangam. Gopala Bhatta formerly belonged to the disciplic succession of the Ramanuja-sampradaya but later became part of the Gaudiya-sampradaya.

In the year 1433 Sakabda (A.D. 1511), when Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was touring South India, He stayed for four months during the period of Chaturmasya at the house of Venkata Bhatta, who then got the opportunity to serve the Lord to his heart’s content. Gopala Bhatta also got the opportunity to serve the Lord at this time. Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami was later initiated by his uncle, the great sannyasi Prabodhananda Sarasvati. Both the father and the mother of Gopala Bhatta Gosvami were extremely fortunate, for they dedicated their entire lives to the service of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. They allowed Gopala Bhatta Gosvami to go to Vrindavana, and they gave up their lives thinking of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

When Lord Chaitanya was later informed that Gopala Bhatta Gosvami had gone to Vrindavana and met Sri Rupa and Sanatana Gosvami, He was very pleased, and He advised Sri Rupa and Sanatana to accept Gopala Bhatta Gosvami as their younger brother and take care of him. Sri Sanatana Gosvami, out of his great affection for Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, compiled the Vaishnava smriti named Hari-bhakti-vilasa and published it under his name.

Under the instruction of Srila Rupa and Sanatana, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami installed one of the seven principal Deities of Vrindavana, the Radharamana Deity. The sevaits (priests) of the Radharamana temple belong to the Gaudiya-sampradaya.

When Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami took permission from all the Vaishnavas before writing Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami also gave him his blessings, but he requested him not to mention his name in the book. Therefore Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has mentioned Gopala Bhatta Gosvami only very cautiously in one or two passages of the Chaitanya-charitamrita. Srila Jiva Gosvami has written in the beginning of his Tattva-sandarbha, “A devotee from southern India who was born of a brahmana family and was a very intimate friend of Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami has written a book that he has not compiled chronologically. Therefore I, a tiny living entity known as jiva, am trying to assort the events of the book chronologically, consulting the direction of great personalities like Madhvacharya, Sridhara Swami, Ramanujacharya and other senior Vaishnavas in the disciplic succession.” In the beginning of the Bhagavat-sandarbha there are similar statements by Srila Jiva Gosvami.

Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami compiled a book called Sat-kriya-sara-dipika, edited the Hari-bhakti-vilasa, wrote a foreword to the Sat-sandarbha and a commentary on the Krishna-karnamrita, and installed the Radharamana Deity in Vrindavana. In the Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika (184) it is mentioned that his previous name in the pastimes of Lord Krishna was Ananga-manjari. Sometimes he is also said to have been an incarnation of Guna-manjari. Srinivasa Acharya and Gopinatha Pujari were two of his disciples. (Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila 10.105)

Situated in the west of the courtyard of the temple, is the Samadhi of Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. Devotees keep performing sankirtana continuously in the Samadhi mandir.

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