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Raghunatha Dasa Goswami

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Krishna Maheshwari

Srila Raghunatha Dasa Goswami was an associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

From his childhood, he had little interest in worldly things, even though he was born to a rich landholder, Raghunatha Dasa. His sole desire was to gain the association of Lord Caitanya and dedicate himself to the Lord's service. His family recognized his inclination for Sanyaas and attempted to keep him at home by all means, including by hiring guards. Raghunatha managed to escape their vigilance, and made his way to Jagannatha Puri to serve Lord Chaitanya.

Raghunatha's life in Puri showed him how to be absorbed in transcendental consciousness. In the Caitanya-caritamrta, Krsnadasa Kaviraja Goswami writes: "Who could list the unlimited transcendental attributes of Raghunatha Dasa? His strict regulative principles were exactly like the lines on a stone." Raghunatha Dasa spent more than twenty-two hours out of every twenty-four chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and remembering the lotus feet of the Lord. He ate and slept for less than an hour and a half.

Throughout his life he never allowed his tongue to indulge in sense gratification by eating sumptuous foods. His clothing consisted of a small torn cloth and a patchwork wrapper. Whatever he ate was only to keep his body and soul together, and when he ate he would reproach himself thus:

"If one's heart has been cleansed by perfect knowledge and one has understood Krsna, the Supreme Brahman, he then gains everything. Why should such a person act like a debauchee by trying very carefully to maintain his material body?"

Raghunatha Dasa Goswami served Lord Caitanya for sixteen years at Jagannatha Puri. After the Lord departed this world, Raghunatha went to Vrindavana, where he lived for many years at the sacred lake Radha-kunda. His bhajana-kutir still exists there.