Sri Raguhantha Bhatta Goswami

While Raghunath Bhatta was walking from Benarasi to Puri, he was thinking, “I wonder if Mahaprabhu will remember me? I was a small child then, and here at Puri He was so many devotees, I doubt if he would remember such a worthless wretch as me. And even if He does I wonder if he will still show the same affection to me as He did at our house in Kasi.” But when he arrived in Puri and was about to offer his dandavats to Mahaprabhu, Sri Gaurasundor called out, ” Raghunath” and before Raghunath could offer his obeisances, Mahaprabhu embraced him very firmly. Raghunath’s eyes filled with tears of joy and as he cought hold of the lotusfeet of Mahaprabhu he spoke to Him, “Oh most merciful Lord, You still remember me.” Mahaprabhu, “What to speak of this life! I remember the affection that you and your mother and father have showed to Me life after life. How your mother lovingly fed Me everyday when I stayed at Kasi.”

Then Mahaprabhu introduced Raghunath to the other devotees who were very pleased to meet him. Raghunath conveyed his mother’s and fathers obeisances and the news of Candrashekara vaidya and the other devotees in Kasi to Mahaprabhu. Then he accepted what His mother had prepared for Sri Gaurasundor. Mahaprabhu was very pleased and called Govinda to come and store everything away carefully.

Raghunath’s father’s name was Sri Tapan Misra. when Nimai Pandit travelled to East Bengal as a teacher he had met with Tapan Misra at that time. Though Tapan Misra was a learned schlar and had discussed the conclusions of the scriptures with many other pandits still he was uncertain as to the actual goal and how to achieve it. One night after having thought on these matters for some time, he saw a dream in which one divine person was telling him, “Misra! Don’t worry yourself on this subject anymore. Nimai Pandit is coming here very soon. If you can, you should meet Him and He will be able to explain to you life’s goal and how to attain it.”

“He is not an ordinary human being. But an incarnation of Nara-Narayana. He has come into this world as a human being to perform His pastimes but He is actually the cause of the universe.” [C.B Adi 14/123] Saying this much that demigod disappeared.

In the morning after finishing his bath and puja, Tapan Misra set out to meet Nimai Pandit. Having arrived at the place where he was staying, he saw that the Pandit was seated on the bedstead, the whole house being illuminated by His bodily effulgence. His eyes were like the petals of the full blown lotus, His head was covered with curly hari, on His chest was a white brahmana thread, and he was wearing yellow cloth. All around Him were seated His disciples like various constellations surrounding the full moon. Tapan Misra paid his dandavats and with folded hands spoke to Mahaprabhu, “Oh You who are full of compassion! I am very lowly and fallen. Please bestow your mercy on me.” Mahaprabhu smiled and, seating Tapan Misra next to Him, requested his introduction. After introducing himself Tapan Misra inquired about the goal of life and how to attain it.

Mahaprabhu replied that, “In every age the Supreme Lord advents Himself, and for the welfare of the living entities he gives instructions how to attain His association. In Satya-yuga the process was meditation, in Treta-yuga sacrificial rituals, in Dvapara-yuga worship of the Deity and in Kali-yuga congregational chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord – Harinam sankirtan. [C.B. Adi 14/137]

Considering the strengh, prowess and longetivity of the living beings, the Supreme Lord accepted the form of the Acarya and ascertained these various processes for various ages. If anyone follows any other process than the authorised one he achieves no result. Therefore in the age of Kali, the essence of all the scriptual processes is the chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord. Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna, Krsna, Hare, Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare. These are the Holy Names of the Lord and are to be chanted at all times. By this process you will be able to understand what is the goal of life and how to achieve it. There is no difference between these names and whom they indicate.

There is no other way than Sri Nama-sankirtan. Giving up all other processes one should always chant the Holy Name of Sri Krsna.

By the influence of this mantra you will be able to understand everything about the goal of life and how to attain it. Sri Nama is Himself what we are striving to realise and repeating this Name is the process for realising what the name is. There is no difference between the Holy Name of the Lord and Himself.

Having received these invaluable instructions from Nimai Pandit, Tapan Misra offered his dandavats at the lotusfeet of the Pandit and asked if he might accompany Him on his return to immediately go to Kasi where they would again meet together in the future. “At that time I will particularly describe all of these transcendental topics regarding the Absolute Thruth in complete detail.” Thus Nimai Pandit began His return journey to Navadwip while Tapan Misra set out for Kasi Dham, accompanied by his wife.

Some years thereafter when the Incarnation of Mercy, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was proceeding to Brindavan on the path through the jungles of Jharikhanda by way of Choto Nagpur, He arrived at Sri Kasi Dham. While Tapan Misra was bathing at Manikarnika ghat, a sannyasi arrived there and began to make the heavens resound with the sounds of “Hari bol! Hari bol!” Tapan Misra was startled to suddenly hear the sound of the Holy Name. In the middle of the desert, to hear the sound of rushing flow of water is uncommon; so to hear the Holy Name of Hari admist so many Mayavadis was not an ordinary occurance. Then standing behind so many sannyasis, Tapan Misra sighted one especially tall and handsome sannyasi, whose effulgence made everything around Him glow. He began to think, “Who could that be?” I have heard that Nimai Pandit accepted sannyasa but could that be Him?” Coming out from the water he became convinced that it mus be the same Nimai Pandit that he had met with in East Bengal and thus falling at His lotusfeet he began to shed tears of ecstasy. Mahaprabhu picked him up and embraced him in great love and then Tapan Misra very affectionately led Mahaprabhu to his house. After so many days they had once again been able to meet together. Arriving at his house Tapan Misra washed Mahaprabhu’s lotusfeet and along with his familymembers drank that water in great ecstacy. The pastimes that took place at that time with Raghunath are nicely described in the ‘Caitanya caritamrta’.

Mahaprabhu gave Raghunath Bhatta His own neckbeads and later on a Tulasi garland of Lord Jagannath’s, 14 hands in length, as well as the betel and pan prasad remnants of Lord Jagannath. [C.C. Ant. 13/126]

Unlike the other Gosvamis it is not known if Raghunath Bhatta Gosvami worshipped any particular Sri Vigraha if the Lord or not. His worshippable Deity of ‘Srimad-Bhagavatam’ however is still being worshipped at ‘Gadadhar Bhatta Pith’ within another Madan Mohan temple which is nearby the Radha-Ballabha Mandir in Brindaban. There is also a very beautiful painting of Sri Sri Gaur-Gadadhar here. Raghunatha Bhatta was the disciple of Sri Gadadhar Pandit.

In the Gaur-Ganoddesa-Dipika it is described that Raghunath Bhatta was Raga Manjari in Krsna lila. His birth was in 1427 (Saka), 1505 (Christian) on the 12th day of the bright fortnight of Aswin. His disappearance was in 1501 (Saka), 1579 (Christian) on the 10th day of the bright fortnight of Jyestha.

 

Inspired by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada,
Founder-Acarya of The International Society for Krsna Consciousness