The all merciful Lord Sri Gaur Hari, as He travelled from village
to village throughout the south of India, continued to distribute
love of Godhead wherever He went. Hearing the nectarean names of
Hari from His lotus mouth, thousands and thousands men and women
felt relief from the blazing fire of material existence. Various
wretched, miserable and fallen souls lives were completely
rejuvenated and thus they became virtuous and happy. While causing
rains of love of God to fall anywhere and everywhere, without
consideration of time or place, Sri Gaurasundor came to the ancient
holy place of Sri Rangakshetra on an island in the middle of the
The temple of Sri Ranga Kshetra was extremely large, the crest of
the temple tower pierced the sky. Throughout the day and night
hundreds and thousands of pilgrims were going and coming to take
darsan of Lord Ranganath. The temple hall resounded with the sounds
of hundreds and thousand of brahmanas chanting Vedic hymns. In the
midst of this scene from Vaikuntha, entered Sri Gaurasundar
chanting the names of Krsna in his sweet voice that defeated the
voices of 10 million gandharvas. Everyone in the temple became
dumbstruck, amazed and thrilled with wonder. What unprecedented
beauty; His bodily effulgence makes molten gold appear lack-lustre.
From His eyes which are like the full blown petals of a lotusflower
trickled down tears of ecstatic love. Every limb, every part of His
body was filled with such exquisite grace that even the mind of
cupid gets stolen away. The brahmanas began to consider, "Is this a
demigod? Can such symptoms and emotions be found in human beings?"
Again resounding the halls with the transcendental vibrations of
Sri Hari's name, when He came before the Deity and fell down as a
tree is blown down by the wind, some people thought that a mountain
of gold was rolling on the ground. Sri Vyenkata Bhatta seeing this
divine personage became restless with ecstasy. His heart being
flooded with devotion he got up and began to move the crowds away
so that the Lord could engage in chanting and dancing. When the
Lord had regained His external consiousness after engaging in
sankirtan, Vyenkata Bhatta approached Him and took the dust of His
lotusfeet. Mahaprabhu gazed towards him and saying, "Krsna! Krsna!"
embraced him firmly. Sri Vyenkata Bhatta invited Mahaprabhu to come
to his house and having brought Him there, very reverantly washed
His lotusfeet and along with the other family members, he drank the
water. Sri Bhattaji's house became filled with joy.
Mahaprabhu came to Ranga Kshetra in the Christian year 1511.
Vyenkata Bhatta had two brothers, Tirumalla Bhatta and
Prabodhananda Sarasvati. They all belonged to the Ramanuja
sampradaya and Prabodhananda Sarasvati was a tridandi sannyasi of
that order. Vyenkata Bhatta had a son named Gopal, who was then
just a child. When the boy came to offer his obeisances at the
lotusfeet of Mahaprabhu picked him up and very affectionately
seated him in His lap. Mahaprabhu would call Gopal after He had
finished His meal and offer His remnants to the boy. In this way He
prepared him for the positon of Acarya.
After remaining at Vyenkata Bhatta's house during the four months
of the rainy season (Chaturmasya) Mahaprabhu prepared to continue
His journey of the South. Vyenkata Bhatta's house began to ebb in a
tide of tears in anticipation of His departure. Gopal fell at His
lotusfeet in a dead faint. Therefore Mahaprabhu remained for a
couple of more days in order to con-sole the boy. Being pleased
with Gopala Bhatta Gosvami's sincere service and devotion, Sri
Caitanya Mahaprabhu initiated him, and ordered him to move to
Vrndavana after the disappearance of his parents and perform bhajan
and write. He instructed him to serve his mother and father and
always engage in chanting Krsna's glories and thereafter to come to
Very quickly Gopal became expert in grammar, poetry and rhetoric
and then began his study of Vedanta. His uncle Prabodhananda,
specifically began to instruct him from the devotional scriptures
(Bhakti - shastra).
Gopal Bhatta always remained thinking of the lotus feet of
Mahaprabhu and when he might again be able to meet Him. At the same
time however he couldn't leave his aged mother and father. Finally
having reached their final days they called their son Gopal and
instructed him to go to the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu in Vrindavan.
Then while meditating on His lotus feet themselves they went to
join Him in His eternal lila.
At the age of thirty Gopala Bhatta Gosvami came to Vrindavana, and
having missed Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu this saddened him.
Thus Gopal set out for Vrindavan and when he arrived there Rupa
Gosvami immediately sent word to Mahaprabhu to inform Him of
Gopal's arrival there.
Mahaprabhu had previously indicated to Rupa and Sanatan that Gopal
Bhatta would one day come there to Brindavan, so upon his arrival
they treated him with the same care and affection they would their
own brother. They immediately became life long companions.
However, the all knowing Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri
Caitanya Mahaprabhu received word that Gopal Bhatta had come to
Vrindavan, He was very pleased and sent with that messenger with
the Lord's personal wooden sitting plank (hoki) which He had used
along with a pair of His undergarments and one of His upper cloths
- uttara or chaddar. "Having received these gifts Gopal Bhatta was
in ecstasy and he worshipped them as the prasad (tadiya) of
When he would worship his Deities he would sit on that wooden
plank. This piri (wooden seat) and Mahaprabhus clothes are still
being worshipped at Radha-Ramana Mandir. Gopala Bhatta, like Rupa
and Sanatana, had no fixed residence and would spend the night in
various kunjas (forest groves). He spent his time studying the
scriptures and composing various literatures.
After Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's disappearance Gopala Bhatta Gosvami
felt intence separation from the Lord. To relieve his devotee, the
Lord instructed Gopala Bhatta in a dream :"If you want my darsan
then make a trip to Nepal".
In Nepal, Gopala Bhatta bathed in the famous Kali-Gandaki River.
Upon dipping his waterpot in the river, he was surprised to see
several Shaligrama Shilas enter his pot. He dropped the shilas back
into the river, but the shilas re-entered his pot when he refilled
After emptying and refilling his waterpot for the third time,
Gopala Bhatta Gosvami found twelve Shaligrama shilas sitting there.
Thinking this must be the Lords mercy, he kept all the shilas and
returned to Vrndavana.
Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami used to worship twelve Shaligram silas.
Wherever he would go he would bring them with him in a piece of
cloth tied at the corner. One day a wealthy man (Seth) came to
Vrndavana and offered Gopala Bhatta a variety of clothing and
ornaments for his Shaligrams. Being very impressed with the Gosvami
he wanted his darshan and to render some service which he presented
in the form of some valuable cloths and ornaments. However, Gopala
Bhatta couldn't use these for his round-shaped Shaligrams, so he
advised the donor to give the Deity decorations to someone else,
but the Seth insisted. Gopala Bhatta kept the cloths and ornaments
with his shilas. While Gopala Bhatta Gosvami was absorbed in
remembering how the half-man, half-lion form of the Supreme Lord
had manifested from the pillar in Hiranyakasipu's palace, he prayed
in transcendental lamentation to the Lord: "Oh my Lord, you are
very merciful and always fulfill the desires of your devotees. I
wish to serve you in your form, having arms and legs and blissful
smiling face, with lotus eyes.... If I had a Deity then I would be
able to decorate Him so nicely with these clothes and
In the evening after offering some bhoga and arotika to his
Shalagram shilas, Gopala Bhatta put them to rest, covering them
with a wicker basket. Late in the night, Gopala Bhatta took a
little rest and then, in the early morning went to take bath in the
Yamuna river. Returning from his bath, he uncovered the Shalagramas
in order to render the puja for Them, and saw amongst Them a Deity
of Krishna playing the flute. There were now eleven shilas and this
Deity. The "Damodara shila", had manifested as the beautiful
three-fold bending form of tri-bhangananda-krishna. Floating in the
ocean of ecstasy, he fell to the ground in order to offer his
dandavats and then recited various prayers and hymns. This
wonderful event of the appearance day of RadhaRaman happened on the
day after Sri Nrisimha Chaturdasi, and is celebrated on that day
accordingly. That day they offer 500 liters of milk for the Lord's
pleasure and many other sweets and different things. The RadhaRaman
temple has the highest standard of Deity worship in all of
When Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis as well as many other devotees
received news of this miraculous event they came running to see the
Lord. Gazing on the Lord's transcendental form, which bewildered
all the living entities of the many various planets, they all
bathed Him with their tears. This Deity whom the Gosvamis named,
"Sri Radha-raman Deva" made His appearance on the full moon day of
Vaisakha in the year 1542. Except for Vrindadevi, Sri
Radha-Ramanaji is the only one of the original Deities of
Vrindavana who never left to go to Jaipur. Sri Sri Radha-raman-ji
is still being worshipped in Vrindavana near Nidhuban kunj in the
compound of the temple.
The Deity is called Radha-raman although physically there is no
apparent Deity of Radha there. As one can see from the picture at
the top of this page, that to the right of the picture (to
Ramanji's left) is a place setting for Srimati Radhika. In this way
the pujaris worship Sri Radha and Ramanji together.
Sri Radha-ramana Deva, unlike other Deities, has very intricate
features, including fingernails and even teeth. On the back side of
His body parts of the original Shalagram shila from which He
manifested Himself can be seen. There is a story that the small son
of one of the sevaits was playing with the Deity once and put a
small stick in one ear of the Deity and pushed it through out the
other ear. The stick however, had blood on it, and that boy died
vomiting blood that very day.
If you ever have the great good fortune to attend the Snan-yatra
festival in Sri Vrindavan Dham, then it is a must that you visit
the Radha-Raman temple on this day. The temperatures are hot and
dry in the 40+ centigrade and much anticipation of seeking out
cooling water pervades the thoughts in Vrindavan's hot summer. At
the temple, the merciful Ramanji has made a provision so that first
He takes His transcendental bath right at the front of the altar
for all to see - BUT THEN, after He has taken in His expanded
kindness the pujaris turn on the sprinkler system that surrounds
the open court-yard - the fan in the middle is even equipped with
pipes to pour out cooling water as it rotates at a high speed,
inundating all the devotees taking the darshan of the Lord, with
It is truly my favourite place in the world for snan-yatra. Sri Sri
Radha Ramaji ki jaya.
In some discussion with the present day guardians of the temple and
Deity, they told me that some scientists had come to examine the
Deity and propound their doubts that He was self manifested, as the
devotees state. They examined the Deity under the supervision of
the devotees, but could find no evidence of carving.
About todays descendents:
Once Sri Gopala Bhatta went to Haridwar. As he was returning,
suddenly a downpour started and thus he took shelter in the house
of one brahmana. This brahmana was very devoted and he very
carefully began to serve Sri Gopala Bhatta, who thus became very
pleased. As this brahmana had no children Sripad Gopal Bhatta
Goswami blessed him that he might have a son who would be a devoted
follower of Lord Hari. The brahman replied out of gratitude that,
"My first son I will send to you in order to serve you."
Approximately ten years later when Gopala Bhatta returned from
bathing in the Yamuna one day, he saw a young boy sitting at the
door of his kutir. When the boy saw the Gosvamiji approaching, he
got up and then fell down to offer his dandavats (obeisances like a
stick on the floor before him). Sripada Gopala Bhatta Goswami
enquired who the boy was, to which he replied, "My home was in
Devandyagram within Saharanpur near Haridwar. My father has sent me
here to serve you. My name is Gopinatha."
Then Gopal Bhatta could remember the time when he went to Haridwar
many years ago. So this boy remained with him and very carefully
began to serve him. Eventually he became known as Sri Gopinatha
Pujari Gosvami as he served Sri Radha-ramana Deva through his life
as an unmarried brahmachari. His younger brother Sri Damodara dasa,
along with his family, accepted iniation from Sri Gopinathaji and
also became engaged in the service of the Deity. Sri Damodara
dasa's three sons were named Harinatha, Mathuranatha and Harirama.
It is from these family members of Gopinath's brother that todays
guardians the Radha-Raman Gosais so nicely maintain and serve Sri
Sri Gopala Bhatta's devotion was so special, his devotion so
profound that the Lord appeared for him in this special form - but
not only that as if in confirmation of the pastimes of the Lord,
and Mahaprabhu's being directly Radha Krishna (sri krishna
chaitanya radha krishna nahi anya), in his worship of Sri
Radha-ramana would sometimes see that He had taken the form of Sri
Gaurasundara - Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, "Becoming subservient to
the love of Sri Gopala Bhatta, Sri Radha-ramana would sometimes
accept the form of Sri Gausundara."
Sri Gopala Bhatta was the initiating guru of Srinivasa Acarya
Prabhu. Sripad Gopal Bhatta Goswami was very learned, trained in
pancharatra, coming in the learned family of Vyenkata Bhattar in
the Sri Vaishnava line - he wrote many books including:
Sat-sandarbha karika, Sri Krsna-vallabha (Krsna karnamrtatika), Sat
kriya sara dipika (a brilliant work on Vaishnava samkara viddhi),
and Laghu Hari-bhakti vilasa with Dig darshini tika. From this
work, Sri Sanatana Gosvami compiled the Hari-bhakti-vilasa now
followed by all Gaudiya Vaishnavas. It is said, "Out of affection
for Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami compiled
the famous Vaishnava smriti titled Hari Bhakti Vilas, and published
it under Gopala Bhatta Gosvami's name.
Gopala Bhatta Gosvami resided for forty-five years in Sri Dham
Vrndavana, but out of great humility he requested Srila Krsna das
Kaviraja not to mention his name in the classic work Sri Chaitanya
Gopala Bhatta Gosvami serves as Guna Manjari. In the
Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika too, it is mentioned that in the eternal
pastimes of Radha and Krsna, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami's name in
Vraja-lila has been given as Guna manjari.
His birth was on the day of the dark fortnight of the month Pausa
in the year 1503 (Christian), 1425 (Saka).
His disappearance was on the sixth day of the dark fortnight of the
month of Sravon in the year 1578 (Christian - A.D.), 1500 (Sakabda
era) Age: 75 years
To see photo