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The Way

In honour of the disappearance of Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu today, we are presenting a verse from the Temple of Love and Affection that expresses the heartfelt prayer of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur and the Rupanuga Vaisnavas.
When the verses for the Temple of Love and Affection were chosen, care was taken to avoid engraving verses already present on the Temple of Union in Separation. Because the song Sri-Rupa-manjari-pada was already present on the Temple of Union in Separation it was not engraved on the Temple of Love and Affection and instead a short verse expressing the gist of this prayer was engraved.

In this post we are presenting this verse as well as the song Sri Rupa-manjari-pada and a discussion of this song by Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj. Every year he would sing this song on this day, as well as other special days, and so we feel it is befitting to present a collection of his expressions about this song on this special, most worshippable day.

Temple of Love and Affection Verse 11

ādadānas tṛṇaṁ dantair idaṁ yāche punaḥ punaḥ
śrīmad rūpa-padāmbhoja-dhūliḥ syāṁ janma-janmani
(Śrīla Raghunāth Dās Goswāmī)

“Taking a blade of grass between my teeth, I pray again and again, “May I be a speck of dust at the lotus feet of Śrī Rūpa birth after birth.”

The Anthem of the Gaudiya Sampradaya

From Prārthanā by Śrīla Narottam Dās Ṭhākur

śrī-rūpa-mañjarī-pada    sei mora sampada
sei mora bhajana-pūjana
sei mora prāṇa-dhana sei mora ābharaṇa
sei mora jīvanera jīvana

The lotus feet of Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī are my fortune. They are my service and my worship. They are the wealth of my heart. They are my ornaments. They are the very life of my life.

sei mora rasa-nidhi sei mora vāñchhā-siddhi
sei mora vedera dharama
sei vrata sei tapa sei mora mantra japa
sei mora dharama karama

They are my ocean of nectar. They are the fulfilment of my desires. They are my religious duty, my vows, my austerities, my chanting of mantras and my pious activities.

anukūla habe vidhi se-pade ha-ibe siddhi
nirakhiba e dui nayane
se rūpa-mādhurī-rāśi prāṇa-kūvalaya-śaśī
praphullita habe niśi-dine

When Providence favours me, I will attain those feet and see them with these two eyes. Śrī Rūpa’s abounding beauty is the moon of the lotus of my heart, which will bloom night and day.

tuyā adarśana-ahi- garale jārala dehi
chira-dina tāpita jīvana
hā hā prabhu! kara dayā deha more pada-chhāyā
narottama la-ila śaraṇa

Afflicted by the poison of the snake of separation from you, my body wastes away, and my heart constantly burns. Alas! O mistress! Be merciful. Give me the shade of your feet. Narottam Dās has taken shelter of You.

An integrated collection of expressions
explaining Śrī Rūpa-mañjarī-pada by
Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

We have got our divine master … that is our great fortune. Mercifully Narottam Ṭhākur has given this clue to us:

śrī rūpa-mañjarī-pada      sei mora sampada
      sei mora bhajana-pūjana
sei mora prāṇa-dhana      sei mora ābharaṇa
      sei mora jīvanera jīvana
        (Prārthanā: 16.1)

We cannot believe how dependent the disciple is upon his Gurudev. We can understand the position of Gurudev through this song. Narottam Dās Ṭhākur has actually showed us the way, the path of our line and life. That is, if we are surrendered to our Guru, everything will be set right, and we will get everything by his divine mercy.

śrī rūpa-mañjarī-pada      sei mora sampada
      sei mora bhajana-pūjana

This is Narottam Ṭhākur’s supreme song and supreme expression. Through this song, he has given us the indication, “Go that way.”

It is always necessary to remain under guidance of Śrī Gurudev. All the Āchāryas in our sampradāya have shown us this process. Specially, Śrīla Narottam Dās Ṭhākur has very clearly given this instruction. And he has not only given it, he has shown his own position also—that without the mercy of Rūpa Goswāmī, he has nothing to get from Rādhārāṇī or Kṛṣṇa. He said that Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī is the leader of all the mañjarīs, and if Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī is merciful to us, then we will get everything in the service world. This is the situation.

Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī is a very close servitor of Lalitā Devī. She is junior to Lalitā Devī, and she is very, very dear to Lalitādevī. She does not know anything except Lalitā Devī. Without the consent of Lalitā Devī, she does not do anything for Rādhārāṇī’s service. We can understand this type of chastity through Narottam Ṭhākur’s song about Rūpa Mañjarī.

śrī rūpa-mañjarī-pada      sei mora sampada
      sei mora bhajana-pūjana

The gist of Narottam Ṭhākur’s expression is, “My everything, my existence, is the service of Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī. I can leave everything, but I can never leave the lotus feet of Rūpa Goswāmī.”

Śrī Rūpa-mañjarī-pada, sei mora sampada, sei mora bhajana-pūjana: the lotus feet of Rūpa Mañjarī are my wealth, my service, and my worship. I worship Rūpa Mañjarī’s lotus feet, not Rādhārāṇī, not Kṛṣṇa. Sei mora prāṇa-dhana, sei mora ābharaṇa, sei mora jīvaner jīvan: the lotus feet of Rūpa Mañjarī are my ornament, the life of my life. Sei mora rasa-nidhi, sei mora vāñchhā siddhi, sei mora vedera dharam. Sei vrata sei tapa sei mora mantra jāpa: the lotus feet of Rūpa Mañjarī are my vows and my religious austerity. They are my mantram: “I shall worship the lotus feet of Rūpa Mañjarī.” Anukūla habe vidhi se pade haiibe siddhi: by the grace of my fortune, I shall join those lotus feet. This is the expression of that song.

Śrī Rūpa-mañjarī-pada is the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava sampradāya’s chief, most honourable song, and it is very, very dear to the devotees because every devotee wants to serve Lalitā Devī under guidance of Rūpa Mañjarī and be engaged by Lalitā Devī and Rūpa Mañjarī in the service of Rādhārāṇī.

Our Param Gurudev, Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur, always follows the line and order of Rūpa Goswāmī and focuses on the satisfaction of Rūpa Goswāmī. The target is Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s service, but service exclusively under the order of Rūpa Goswāmī Prabhu and with the full consent of Lalitā Devī. That is our line.

śrī rūpa-mañjarī-pada      sei mora sampada
      sei mora bhajana-pūjana

Who knows the meanings of this song, he can understand what is inside there. There is given all the property of devotion in madhura-rasa. If we want to enter in madhura-rasa, then must we follow the proper guidelines, and Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī is giving that to us. And without Rūpa Mañjarī’s mercy, we will not get it. Narottam Ṭhākur has told us this.

That is the main preceptorial line of Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu. Mahāprabhu established Rūpa Goswāmī in His big assembly in the presence of Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭāchārya, Advaita Āchārya, Svarūp Dāmodar, Rāmānanda Rāy, Sanātan Goswāmī, and other. So many qualified principle pillars were there, the Pañcha Tattva and so on. There, in front of everyone, He blessed Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī. It is written in Chaitanya-charitāmṛta. You will see it. He Himself blessed Rūpa Goswāmī no doubt, but He also told the others—Svarūp Dāmodar, Rāmānanda Rāy, and the other Vaiṣṇavas who were His extreme followers, “You all give your blessings to Śrī Rūpa.”

In this way, Rūpa Goswāmī became enriched with Mahāprabhu’s property, principle conception, and everything. Rūpa Goswāmī Prabhu gave everything to Jīva Goswāmī and others. In this way, the preceptorial line came down up to Śrīla Guru Mahārāj, and we are all followers of Śrīla Guru Mahārāj. So, we are so fortunate. This is the super position in spiritual life. And when you all will read or you all will hear from qualified Vaiṣṇavas, you will understand that. You are newcomers at least I can say, but with the association of Vaiṣṇavas you will become more qualified day by day, and your faith, attachment, love, and dedication will increase day by day. This is the principle of Śrī Chaitanya Sāraswat Maṭh.

Our preceptorial line is the Rūpānuga line. We are all so fortunate that we have got connection with Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī—Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī in Kṛṣṇa-līlā—through Śrīla Guru Mahārāj and Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur.

When Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur was going to disappear, he gave us this property of the devotional world, this property in the line of pure devotion, by ordering Śrīla Guru Mahārāj to sing Śrī Rūpa-mañjarī-pada sei mora sampada. Before joining the Pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, Prabhupād Saraswatī Ṭhākur wanted to remember very clearly his position in those Pastimes. For that he asked Śrīla Guru Mahārāj to sing, and he was very happy to hear Guru Mahārāj sing that song.

Through Śrī Rūpa-mañjarī-pada, Prabhupād Saraswatī Ṭhākur transmitted his power to Śrīla Guru Mahārāj. Later, Śrīla Guru Mahārāj himself would sing that song every year, and when he could not sing, he would order me, “Govinda Mahārāj, you sing this song.” That is my good fortune, no doubt, and I am feeling blessed by him through this song when we are singing this song every year. Today is a very special day for singing Śrī Rūpa-mañjarī-pada. I am singing by the order of Guru Mahārāj every time in Chaitanya Sāraswat Maṭh year after year ,and today also I want to sing that song with you all and try to satisfy Śrīla Guru Mahārāj, Om Viṣṇupād Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī.

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