Srila Rupa Gosvami

The topmost maidservant of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna is Sri Rupa Manjari who appeared as the head of the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya, Srila Rupa Goswami (1489-1588). Sri Rupa appeared in East Bengal, the son of a pious brahmana named Kumaradeva along with his brothers, Sanatana and Anupama. The three brothers later moved to Ramakeli where they were solicited by the powerful Nawab Hussein Shah to join his government. Due to their association with the Muslim king, Rupa and Sanatana became known by the Muslim names Dabir Khas and Sakir Mallik.

When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to Ramakeli, the three brothers petitioned the Lord to alleviate their suffering condition and grant them His mercy. Mahaprabhu pacified them and told them that Krsna would deliver them very soon.

Not long afterwards, an intense feeling of renunciation awakened in the hearts of Rupa and Sanatana. Finally Rupa resigned from the Nawab’s service and sent messengers to Puri to find out when Mahaprabhu planned to travel to Vrndavana. When the messengers returned with the news that Mahaprabhu had left already for Vrndavana, Rupa wrote to Sanatana and requested him to extricate himself from the Nawab’s service as soon as possible and meet him in Prayaga. Rupa and Anupama then traveled to Prayaga where they met Sri Caitanyadeva who was staying at the house of a South Indian brahmana.

While in Prayaga, Mahaprabhu taught Sri Rupa the esoteric teachings of Vaisnava philosophy at the Dasavamedha Ghata and requested him to go to Vrndavana to uncover Sri Krsna’s pastime places and write literatures on bhakti

On the order of Mahaprabhu, Rupa Goswami traveled to Vrndavana and stayed for one month. On the way to Puri, where they were to meet the Lord again, Anupama left his body on the banks of the Ganga.

Rupa Goswami Arriving in Puri, he was greeted by the Lord as well as Sri Svarupa Damodar Goswami, Raya Ramananda and the other associates of the Lord. All the Lords devotees considered that he was the beneficiary of the Lord’s special mercy, thus he knew the heart of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. All the devotees delighted in hearing his divine compositions.

Returning to Vrndavana to carry out the order of the Lord, he was joined by his elder brother Sanatana Goswami whom he had not seen for more than a year. In Vrndavana, the two brothers led an exemplary life of devotion and austerity, writing transcendental literatures, visiting the Lord's places of pastimes, and chanting the Holy Name. They would sleep for only an hour and a half every day, and some days not at all. Their food was meager and consisted of only a few fried chickpeas or a dry chapatti just to keep body and soul together.

He was later joined by his nephew Jiva whom he initiated and to whom he gave the Deity of Sri Damodar.

Some of his works are Hamsa-duta, Uddhava-sandesa, Krsna-janma Tithi Vidhi, Ujjvala-nilamani, Lalita-madhava, Vidagdha-madhava, Laghu Radha-Krsna Ganodesa-dipika, Brhad Radha-Krsna Ganodesa-dipika, Stavamala, Dana-keli Kaumaudi, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Laghu Bhagavatamrta, Mathura-mahima, Padyavali, Nataka-candrika, Prayuktakhyata-candrika, Upadesamrta, Siddhanta-ratna and Kavya-kaustubha.