Radhanath Swami describes the meeting of Lord Chaitanya with Raghunath Bhatta Goswami’s father.
“Raghunath Bhatta Goswami had such a beautiful voice; it was just like cuckoo bird, and when he would sing the Bhagavatam verses, he would sing each sloka in three to four different melodies; it was so pleasing to hear.”- Radhanath Swami
Raghunath Bhatta Goswami was born of a great devotee of the name Tapan Mishra. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is none other than the yuga avatar, the divine prophesized incarnation of Lord Sri Krishna who appeared to spread the yuga dharma of chanting the holy name of God in this age of Kaliyuga. While he was living as a student in Navadvip Dham of Bengal, at one time he took a pilgrimage to Bangladesh or East Bengal. While he was there he was demonstrating such inconceivable scholarship in the way he was teaching Sanskrit grammar that he was getting hundreds and hundreds, and even thousands of people coming to be his students. Just when he was about to leave, one very sincere seeker of the truth of the name Tapan Mishra approached him.
For years and years and years this man was searching through various religious scriptures and philosophical doctrines for the highest goal of life and the way to attain it. He was dissatisfied with all material pursuits; he was dissatisfied with mundane education; unless he understood what the goal of life was, he considered his life was a useless waste. He was so sincere and he was praying; he was praying to the Lord with such deep intensity that one day the Lord – one evening the Lord – appeared to him in a dream and explained to him, “I have incarnated in this world and I am just now waiting for you.” And he told him where to meet him.
So Tapan Mishra came to the place where Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was sitting with his students, and he fell at the lotus feet of the Lord and told him, “There is no meaning, purpose or satisfaction in my life unless I understand the goal. Please instruct me.”
“And Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, in such a simple, such a clear manner he told him (Tapan Mishra) that the goal of life was to love Krishna and to serve Krishna with your body, mind, words and soul. And the means of developing that love in this age is to chant his holy name.” – Radhanath Swami
And then Chaitanya Mahaprabhu specifically and directly told him, “You chant this sixteen word mantra that is given in the Kalisantarana Upanishad. It is the Mahamantra and it is the greatest and most powerful of all mantras.
HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE”
Then Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave him a very mysterious instruction. He told him, “You go and you live in Varanasi.”
Now in those days there were no devotees of God in Varanasi; there were only impersonal philosophers, but he accepted that strange order as his life and soul, and he moved to Varanasi. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told him, “I will be coming to Varanasi in the near future and at that time I will explain in more detail about this chanting of Harinaam and the goal of life.”
So he moved to Varanasi and there was one other Vaishnav who was living there at that time; his name was Chandrashekhar Vaidya.
Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, after he had taken sannyas, he went to Vrundavan dham. And on his return visit, on his return from Vrindavan, he stopped and he stayed in Varanasi for two months. During that time he stayed at the house of Chandrashekhar and he would take his prasad at the home of Tapan Mishra. By that time Tapan Mishra had a young son; his name was Raghunath Bhattacharya and this young boy, how much love he had for Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu! How much attentive he was to hear every word! He would take great pleasure in massaging the legs of the Lord after the Lord would spend hours and hours in a day dancing while he would be chanting in the kirtan of the holy name. And he would accept the most menial humble services. Although Raghunath Bhattacharya was very learned and he was a brahman, he would take great pleasure in washing the dishes of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and doing such simple little services. But through doing this, he became very intimately favored by the Lord.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu returned to Jaganath Puri, his residence. And soon after this, Raghunath Bhatta Goswami decided – when he was a young man – that he was going to give up everything of the world and simply surrender his life to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, to be his servant. So with the blessings of his family members, he left Varanasi and began the long walk to Sri Prurushottam Kshetra, Jagannath Puri dham.
Radhanath Swami describes the pastimes of Raghunath Bhatta at Puri.
Raghunath Bhatta lived in Jagannath Puri with Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu for eight months. During that eight months, he would often invite Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to his home to take Prasad. Raghunath Bhatta Goswami used to cook for Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu; he was a very excellent cook; it is explained by Kaviraj Goswami that whatever he cooked tasted like nectar, he was a master cook and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would take great pleasure to honor his Prasad.
“Of course, we must know that from the point of view of God, what it means to be a master cook. It means to know how to spice each preparation with pure love, with bhakti, because Krishna tastes not the external form of a food, he tastes our devotion. If we cook for the Lord in an agitated state of mind, if we cook for the Lord because we have to, that’s what our food tastes like to Krishna. But if we cook because we want to please him, we want to please his devotees that food will taste like nectar to the Lord.” – Radhanath Swami
So Raghunath Bhatta Goswami, he would prepare this food with such affection, with such love. And because he had such affection and such love, the Lord did empower him even on the external level; whatever he made tasted like nectar. He would also massage the legs of the Lord after he would have nice kirtans.
Radhanath Swami describes the pastimes of Raghunath Bhatta at Varanasi and Vrindavana
When Raghunath Bhatta was feeling the imminent separation of the Lord after eight months in his intimate association, he began to weep and cry.
“Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, out of such intense affection for his devotee, he took off his own neck beads and he put them on the neck of Raghunath Bhatta Goswami.” – Radhanath Swami
Srila Raghunath Bhatta Goswami returned to Varanasi and for the next four years he was immersed in hearing the Bhagavatam and he was immersed in serving his parents. And then both of his parents were taken by Krishna back home back to Godhead. After they left this world, Raghunath Bhatta completely detached himself from all worldly affairs and he returned to Jagannath Puri. There he remained with Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu for eight months again, rendering him loving service. At the end of this eight months, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he gave him another instruction. He told him, “Raghunath Bhatta! I want you to go to Vrindavan. And I want you to take shelter of my two most intimate associates – Rupa and Sanatana Goswamis. You live under their care and you serve with them. And my instruction to you is that you chant the Hare Krishna Maha mantra:
HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE
throughout the day. Chant twenty four hours a day the Maha mantra and I want you to hear and recite the Srimad Bhagavatam. In the company of Rupa and Sanatana, you become their servant.”
At that time Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he gave two beautiful gifts: Prasad of Jagannath he himself received at the festival, a garland of Tulsi leaves that was fourteen cubits long, and some betel nuts that were also the Maha-prasad of Jagannath. He gave them to Raghunath Bhatta; and he kept them in a very special place and he proceeded to Vrindavan.
When he arrived in Vrindavan, he was so joyously greeted by Rupa Goswami and Sanatana Goswami. In fact he became one of the great and famous Six Goswamis of Vrindavan. While he was in Vrindavan, he became a dear and intimate associate of Rupa and Sanatana Goswamis, and in their company he was constantly immersed in the chanting the Hare Krishna mantra and throughout the day he would recite Srimad Bhagavatam. He had such a beautiful voice; it was just like cuckoo bird, and when he would sing the Bhagavatam verses, he would sing each sloka in three to four different melodies; it was so pleasing to hear. He would also cook wonderful, delicious preparations for the Goswamis and for the Govinda Murti. He dedicated and surrendered his life to Rupa Goswami’s deity of Radha Govinda.