srila-jiva-gosvamiSrila Jiva Gosvami Prabhupada Avirbhava tithi [appearance day] – September 21, 2018 

"Vamana Dvadasi means the advent of Lord Vamanadeva. Therefore we have fast, Ekadasi fasting, and we observe two fastings in one day, Ekadasi and Vamanadeva, Vamana Dvadasi. The same process as we observe Ekadasi, and the evening there should be a meeting discussing on the life and work of Srila Jiva Gosvami. He is one of the very important acharyas in our sampradaya, so especially his Sandarbhas should be discussed.

If there is no such book, then the following discussion may be, take place. Srila Jiva Gosvami was a brahmachari, he left his home at the age of 10 to 12 years. His father and two elder uncles, they left home. His father was Vallabha, and his elder uncles, Sanatana and Rupa, or Sakara Mallika and Dabira Khasa. So, they were all government servants, but after meeting Chaitanya Mahaprabhu they decided to retire from the service, and three of them retired. Out of that, Sanatana Gosvami was very important officer.

The Nawab did not like his retirement so he interned him, not allowed him to go out of home. But Rupa Gosvami and his younger brother, Vallabha, they left home, and they left instruction also to Sanatana Gosvami, that there is some money for his release, he could utilize that money. So Rupa Gosvami and Vallabha left home prior to Sanatana Gosvami's leaving home. So, Rupa Gosvami and Vallabha met Lord Chaitanya at Prayaga – these things are mentioned in our Teachings of Lord Chaitanya – you can read, teachings to Sanatana Gosvami and Rupa Gosvami and their meeting with Lord Chaitanya at Allahabad, Prayaga.

So this boy, Jiva Gosvami, when he saw that his father and uncles all left home, why he should remain at home? So he also left, and he first of all went to Benares, which is called Varanasi. It is a great center for learning Sanskrit. So he finished his education in Sanskrit grammar, specifically, he was a great scholar in Sanskrit grammar. According to Vedic system, the students are first of all taught the Sanskrit grammar, because it is very difficult subject. 

Usually one has to study grammar for 12 years, and when one is very much conversant with grammatical rules, he can read any literature. That means after studying grammar, the door is open for any other subject matter, just like philosophy, medicine, then military art, there are so many Vedic knowledges. Generally they read literature, the Puranas, the Vedantas and saipa(?), saipa(?) means general literature. So Srila Jiva Gosvami became a great scholar in grammar and then he studied all Vedic literatures, and after that he approached his uncle Rupa Gosvami in Vrindavana. He became a disciple of his uncle by proper initiation and remained with him. He was assisting his uncle and after hearing from him he composed very scholarly books know as Sat-Sandarbha.

These Sat-Sandarbha are recognized as the most scholarly work in the world. There is no comparison of his philosophical approach to the Vaisnava school. Generally, the impersonal Brahman is discussed there, then Krishna is discussed there, Bhagavata is discussed there, love of Krishna is discussed there. In this way, all subject matter, very elaborately discussed in Sat-Sandarbha. That is his, the greatest gift (of) Sri Jiva Gosvami. And one of the Sandarbha thesis is Karma(?) Sandarbha, his comment on Srimad-Bhagavatam.

So Jiva Gosvami was so big scholar but sometimes one ordinary scholar, he approached Rupa Gosvami that 'I want to discuss with you about sastra'. Rupa Gosvami could understand that this man is not a devotee, he will simply waste my time. He inquired from him, 'What is your purpose of discussing with me about sastras? He said that 'I have discussed sastras with many big scholars and I have come victorious, so if I come victorious by discussing with you, then I will have very good fame and name.' So Rupa Gosvami could understand his view or his ambition, that 'this man is a materialistic man, he wants some name and fame,' so he told him, 'All right, without discussing, if I give you certificate that I am defeated, will that do?' So, he said, 'Yes, that will do.'

So he gave him in writing that 'I had sastric discussion with this man, and I found myself very much inferior and defeated.' So he was very glad to take that certificate, but when he was going, Jiva Gosvami saw, 'My dear sir, what is that paper you have taken?' 'No your uncle has agreed that he was defeated, so I have got this certificate, I am going.'

So he said, 'All right, let me see what he has written.' So he gave him, and he kept that paper, and then he invited that 'you have defeated my uncle, but you can discuss with me also.' So he agreed. So he was defeated. He was defeated and the matter was informed to Rupa Gosvami, that 'Your nephew and your disciple, Jiva Gosvami has defeated that learned scholar.' So Rupa Gosvami became a little angry superficially, that 'Why did you bother? He was taking…'

So some people say that Jiva Gosvami was rejected on this ground by Rupa Gosvami, but that is not a fact. He was very glad that Jiva Gosvami defeated him, but he superficially said, 'Why should you take so much trouble and bother? He might have gone with that certificate.' But it is the duty of the disciple that even the spiritual master, or senior acharya, they agree to be defeated, it is the duty of the disciple to see that his spiritual master and superior is not defeated.

That is the instruction we get from Jiva Gosvami's behavior. This is one of the important… and later on when Jiva Gosvami established the Radha-Damodara temple in Vrindavana, but he had no sons because he was brahmachari, so some of his grhastha devotee was entrusted with the management of the Radha-Damodara temple, and they are still going on by their descendants."

(Srila Prabhupada Discussion, Vrindavan, March 11, 1972)