By Swami Harshananda
Rupagosvāmi (A. D. 1493-1568)
Rupagosvāmī, his elder brother Sanātanagosvāmī (A. D. 1481-1558) and Jīvagosvāmī (d. A. D. 1609) were the three jewels of Bengal Vaiṣṇavism, a movement started by Srīkṛṣṇa Caitanya (A. D. 1486-1533) on devotion to Krṣṇa as the sole means of redemption.
Hailing from South India, he and
Sanātanagosvāmī went to Bengal and were working as very high state officials under
Hussain Shāh, the then ruler of Bengal. They were called Dabīr Khās and Sākar Mallik. Whether these terms meant the designations of the positions they occupied or that they had become Muslims with these names, is not clear.
When Śrīkṛṣṇa Caitanya, about whom the brothers had heard much and had been completely fascinated by him, visited them, they renounced the world and became his ardent disciples. They then went to and settled down at Vṛndāban (now in Uttar Pradesh) as per his directions.
Rupagosvāmi was a great scholar and has left 31 treatises on bhakti or devotion. Out of them the following works may be considered as more important: Bhakti-rasāmrtasindhu, Lalitamādhava, Ujjvala-nīlamani and Vidagdhamādhava.
Both Rupa and Sanātana Gosvāmīs along with their nephew Jivagosvāmī (See JĪVAGOSVĀMĪ for details.) worked hard at Vṛndāban to recognise and reclaim the many places associated with Kṛṣṇa and restore them as places of pilgrimage.
See also ŚRĪKRSNACAITANYA.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore