raghunatha-bhatta-goswami

Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami was born in 1505 in East Bengal. His father, Sri Tapan Mishra, was a great devotee of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri Tapan Mishra met Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, first in East Bengal, and then again in Varanasi. While in Varanasi, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu used to dine at Sri Tapan Mishra’s home and Raghunatha would often massage the Lord's feet. He became very attached to the Lord.

As a boy Raghunatha was adept in Sanskrit grammar and rhetoric. He became well versed in the scriptures. Upon coming of age his father sent him to Puri, where he met Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He spent eight months in the service of the Lord.

When Raghunatha's parents passed away, he returned to Jagannatha Puri where he spent a further eight months in the service of the Lord. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then sent Raghunatha to Vrindavana, to study the Srimad-Bhagavatam and other revealed scriptures under the guidance of Sri Sanatana and Sri Rupa Goswami. After some time Raghunatha’s disciples built a temple for Sri Gaura Govinda in Vrindavana.

In the Antya-lila, Chapter Thirteen, it is stated that he was also expert in cooking; whatever he cooked would be nectarean. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was greatly pleased to accept the food that he cooked, and Raghunatha Bhatta used to take the remnants of food left by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Raghunatha Bhattacharya lived for eight months in Jagannatha Puri, after which Lord Chaitanya ordered him to go to Vrindavana to join Sri Rupa Gosvami. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked Raghunatha Bhattacharya not to marry but to remain a brahmachari, and He also ordered him to read Srimad-Bhagavatam constantly.

Thus he went to Vrindavana, where he engaged in reciting Srimad Bhagavatam to Srila Rupa Gosvami. He was so expert in reciting Srimad Bhagavatam that he would recite each and every verse in three melodious tunes. While Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami was living with Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord blessed him by offering him betel nuts offered to the Jagannatha Deity and a garland of tulasi said to be as long as fourteen cubits. Under Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami's order, one of his disciples constructed the Govinda temple. Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami supplied all the ornaments of the Govinda Deity. He never spoke nonsense or worldly matters but always engaged in hearing about Krishna twenty-four hours a day. He never cared to hear blasphemy of a Vaishnava. Even when there were points to be criticized, he used to say that since all the Vaishnavas were engaged in the service of the Lord, he did not mind their faults.

Later Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami lived by Radha-kunda in a small cottage. In the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, verse 185, it is said that Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami was formerly the gopi named Raga-manjari.

His worshipable Deity of ‘Srimad-Bhagavatam’ is still being worshipped at ‘Gadadhar Bhatta Pith’ within Madan Mohan temple which is near the Radha-Vallabha Mandir in Vrindavan. There is also a very beautiful painting of Sri Sri Gaur-Gadadhar here. Raghunatha Bhatta was the disciple of Sri Gadadhar Pandit.

Raghunatha was full of humility and meekness. He was permanently engaged in remembrance of the Lord. He passed away in 1579 on the 10th day of the bright fortnight of Jyeshtha.