Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to Rangakshetra in South India in the year 1511 A.D. Vyenkata Bhatta of Rangakshetra had a young son named Gopal. When the boy came to offer his obeisances, Mahaprabhu picked him up and very affectionately seated him in His lap. Mahaprabhu would call Gopal after His meal and offer the remnants to the boy.
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 was filled with His impending departure. Gopal fell at His lotus feet in a dead faint. Mahaprabhu remained for a couple of more days in order to console the boy. Being pleased with Gopala Bhatta Goswami's sincere service and devotion, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu initiated him, and ordered him to move to Vrindavana after the disappearance of his parents and perform bhajans and write.
Gopal Bhatta always remained thinking of the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu and when he might again be able to meet Him. Having reached their final days, his parents called him and instructed him to go to meet Mahaprabhu in Vrindavan. Gopal set out for Vrindavan and when he arrived there, Rupa Gosvami immediately sent word to Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu had previously indicated to Rupa and Sanatana that Gopal Bhatta would one day come there to Vrindavana, so upon his arrival they treated him as their own brother.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sent with that messenger His personal sitting plank (hoki) along with a pair of His undergarments and one of His chaddars. Having received these gifts, Gopal Bhatta was in ecstasy and he worshipped them as the prasad (tadiya) of Mahaprabhu. When he would worship his Deities he would sit on that wooden plank. This piri (wooden seat) and Mahaprabhu's 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 Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's disappearance, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami felt intense separation from the Lord. To relieve His devotee, the Lord instructed Gopala Bhatta in a dream: "If you want my darshan then make a trip to Nepal". In Nepal, Gopala Bhatta bathed in the famous Kali-Gandaki River. Upon dipping his water pot in the river, he was surprised to see several Shalagrama Shilas enter his pot. He dropped the shilas back into the river, but the shilas re-entered his pot when he refilled it. Gopala Bhatta found twelve Shalagrama Shilas sitting there. Thinking this must be the Lord’s mercy; he kept all the shilas and returned to Vrindavana. He would carry them with him in a piece of cloth tied at the corner.
One day a wealthy man came to Vrindavana and offered Gopala Bhatta a variety of clothing and ornaments for his Shalagramas. However, he couldn't use these for his round-shaped Shalagramas, so he advised the donor to give the Deity decorations to someone else, but the man insisted. Gopala Bhatta prayed in transcendental lamentation to the Lord: "Oh my Lord, I wish to serve you in your form, having arms and legs and blissful smiling face… If I had a Deity then I would be able to decorate Him so nicely with these clothes and ornaments."
In the evening after offering some bhoga and arati to his Shalagrama Shilas, Gopala Bhatta put them to rest. Next day returning from his bath, he uncovered the Shalagramas to do puja and saw amongst Them a Deity of Krishna playing the flute. The Damodara shila had manifested as the beautiful three-fold bending form of tri-bhangananda-krishna. This wonderful event of the appearance day of Radha Raman happened on the day after Sri Narasimha Chaturdashi, and is celebrated on that day accordingly.
When Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis as well as many other devotees received news of this miraculous event they came running to see the Lord. This Deity whom the Gosvamis named, "Sri Radha-Raman Deva" made His appearance on the full moon day of Vaishaka 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.
Sri Gopala Bhatta was the initiating guru of Srinivasa Acharya Prabhu. Gopala Bhatta Gosvami resided for forty-five years in Vrindavana, but out of great humility he requested Srila Krishna das Kaviraja not to mention his name in the classic work Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita.
In the Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika, it is mentioned that in the eternal pastimes of Radha and Krishna, 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 A.D.
His disappearance was on the sixth day of the dark fortnight of the month of Shravan in the year 1578 A.D.