Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj summarises the contribution of Śrīla Sanātan Goswāmī.
Yesterday was the day of Śrīla Sanātan Goswāmī’s departure. But he has not departed. He has given us what he received from Mahāprabhu directly. Mahāprabhu infused His wealth into Sanātan for two months in Benares, and thereafter Sanātan gave that wealth to us. Who is Sanātan? Who is Mahāprabhu? What is Vṛndāvan? Who are Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa? We can understand all of these things through Sanātan Goswāmī.
Sanātan lived with Mahāprabhu in Benares for two months, and Mahāprabhu taught him sambandha-jñān. Thereafter, Mahāprabhu gave Sanātan four directions as to how he should serve the purpose of Śrī Kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtan: (1) “You must discover the old places of Kṛṣṇa’s Pastimes in Vṛndāvan, (2) install Deities to be worshipped there, (3–4) compile scriptures to establish bhakti-siddhānta [the principles of pure devotion] and Vaiṣānva-āchār, the regular practices of a pure Vaiṣṇava. I request you to make these four things ready for the coming sampradāya. Also, look after and protect the persons who accept this creed.” In this way Mahāprabhu sent Sanātan, and Sanātan wandered throughout the length and breadth of the Vraja Maṇḍal performing his service.
Raghunāth Dās Goswāmī has written a praṇām to Sanātan Goswāmī.
apāyayan mām anabhīpsum andham
kṛpāmbudhir yaḥ para-duḥkha-duḥkhī
sanātanas taṁ prabhum āśrayāmi
“With great care, Sanātan made me drink me—forced me to drink—vairāgya-yug-bhakti-rasam: the juice of divine love and affection mixed with a tinge of indifference [to the world]. I was blind and also unwilling to drink it. I was not qualified, I did not know what was what, and my propensity was to avoid it. Yet he managed to force me to drink the sweetness of the Lord’s loving service mixed with a tinge of indifference. So I offer my obeisance to Sanātan Prabhu, the great well-wisher of mankind.”
Baladev Vidyābhūṣaṇ also wrote:
govindābhidham indirāśrita-padaṁ hastastha-ratnādivat
tattvaṁ tattvavid-uttamau kṣiti-tale yau darśayāñ chakratu
“I offer my obeisance to Śrī Rūpa and Śrī Sanātan. Who are they? They have shown Govinda, whom Lakṣmī Devī carefully serves, to this world as though He is a jewel within their hands. They have shown this side, that side, above, and below—everything about Him. As though He is a jewel within their palms, they have shown the public He whom all resources and majesty seek to serve, He who is unavailable, unknown, and unknowable. So clearly they have described He who is indescribable. They have made everyone understand He who is unknowable. They have dealt that the highest principle as though He is an ordinary thing. That is the position of Rūpa and Sanātan. Virachitāścharyau: what they have done is simply wonderful, and thus I bow down to them.”
The six goswāmīs, lead by Śrī Rūpa and Śrī Sanātan, did so much for the propagation of Śrī Chaitanyadev’s divine cult of love. They revealed true love. And they did not do so for any mundane purpose. They did so for the highest gain and the Absolute Master. They revealed the Kṛṣṇa conception in full and all five rasas—madhura, vātsalya, sakhya, dāsya, and śānta—in a new colour. They elaborately depicted the highest Lord in a new colour, in a new land, and in a new hue.
Once, a gentlemen said that twenty-four hour engagement with the Supreme Lord cannot be imagined within any of the existing conceptions of religion in the world. Nowhere can the possibility of twenty-four hour engagement in service to divinity be imagined. The most comprehensive divine service, in which every atom of one’s existence is utilised in the service of every corresponding atom within the Lord, such wholesale, inconceivable service has been given by Rūpa, Sanātan, and their group. So we pray for their mercy.
ārādhanānāṁ sarveṣāṁ viṣṇor ārādhanaṁ param
tasmāt parataraṁ devi tadīyānāṁ samarchanam
Of all sorts of worship, the worship of Viṣṇu is the highest. Yet more important than Viṣṇu’s worship is the worship of His servants. So, if we can show our sincere, heartfelt appreciation for Sanātan Goswāmī, Rūpa Goswāmī, and the direct associates of Mahāprabhu, Mahāprabhu will be more pleased than if we try to offer our obeisance to Him.
We are needy in every respect, but our hope, our prospect in life, is this: that our masters are so gracious, so magnanimous, and so high. Somehow we have fortunately come in connection with such great masters. This is our wealth. This is our fortune. This is our everything. With this, I conclude.
vāñchhā-kalpa-tarubhyaś cha kṛpā-sindhubhya eva cha
patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ