Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī
[October 26, 2023 is the disappearance day of Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, in Vṛndāvana, India. The following is an excerpt of a bhāva anuvāda of the kathā given by Śrīla Bhakti Vijñāna Bhāratī Gosvāmī Mahārāja on March 17, 2016 on Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī Socaka. Editors’ input: Additional text has been included in square brackets to facilitate the flow of content.]
NAME DIFFERENT THAN HIS FATHER
Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa [or Bhaṭṭācārya] Gosvāmī was the son of Śrī Tapana Miśra. One who has thoroughly understood just one of the four Vedas, and can fully repeat all mantras without referring to the text [book] is referred to as Bhaṭṭācārya. This term has nothing to do with family lineage but is a title of honor for one’s learning. Therefore, those who don’t possess knowledge about these titles are confused as to how Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī could have a surname differing from his father’s.
ORDERED NOT TO MARRY
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu ordered Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī not to marry and to take care of his elderly parents, as they were Vaiṣṇavas. Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī came twice to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and each time he stayed for a period of 8 months, so overall he had the direct association of Mahāprabhu for 16 months.
STUDY ŚRĪMAD-BHĀGAVATAM UNDER A VAIṢṆAVA
Because one cannot understand the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [or any other scripture] if it is not studied under a Vaiṣṇava, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu also ordered Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī to study the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam under a Vaiṣṇava.
yāha, bhāgavata paḍa vaiṣṇavera sthāne
ekānta āśraya kara caitanya-caraṇe
caitanyera bhakta-gaṇera nitya kara ‘saṅga’
tabeta jānibā siddhānta-samudra-taraṅga
(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Antya, 5.131-132)
Each verse in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam can be explained in two to three different ways. Hence how, can the deep imports be understood without a [pure] Vaiṣṇava’s mercy? Without studying the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam under Vaiṣṇavas, one can even get the opposite understanding.
A GIFTED COOK
Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī was very expert in cooking. While Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī was in Purī, he would invite Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu from time to time to honor prasādam at his place. He would cook himself, preparing many items for Mahāprabhu. Whatever he would cook was like nectar (just as Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s cooking) and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu would relish it with great satisfaction. Afterwards, Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī would honor Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s remnants.