In the year 1510, while Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was on tour of South India, the family of Vyenkata Bhatta had the great fortune of hosting the Lord during the four months of the rainy season. Gopala, Vyenkata Bhatta's seven-year-old son, served Lord Caitanya continuously and developed an intense love for Him.

When Lord Caitanya was about to leave, Vyenkata Bhatta fainted and Gopala Bhatta's eyes filled with tears of love. For Gopala Bhatta's sake, Lord Caitanya agreed to stay a few more days.

During this time, Gopala Bhatta had a spiritual vision in which Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu revealed Himself as Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and said that Gopala would someday meet in Vrndavana two jewellike devotees Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami, leaders in Lord Caitanya's movement.

When Gopala Bhatta awoke from trance, he wanted to leave for Vrndavana at once. Lord Caitanya told him to stay and serve his parents.

Gopala Bhatta then studied rhetoric, poetry, Vedanta, and Sanskrit grammar from his uncle Prabodhananda Sarasvati, a great devotee of Lord Caitanya.

After the passing of his parents, Gopala Bhatta traveled to Vrndavana, where he was lovingly met by Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami. When Lord Caitanya heard that Gopala Bhatta was in Vrndavana, He was extremely pleased. The Lord sent some of His personal belongings to Gopala Bhatta, who worshiped them. The Lord also sent a letter instructing Gopala Bhatta to help Rupa and Sanatana compile transcendental literature. Gopala Bhatta accepted this instruction from the Lord as his life and soul, and he later engaged his disciple Srinivasa Acarya in carrying the writings to Bengal.

Once, on a trip to the Gandaki River, in Nepal, Gopala Bhatta obtained twelve salagrama-silas.(A sila is a special Deity of the Lord in the form of a stone.) The silas entered his waterpot as he filled it with water from the river. When he tried to return them to the river and refill his pot, they again entered the pot. Accepting this as the Lord's mercy, Gopala Bhatta decided to bring the silas back to Vrndavana.

One day, Gopala Bhatta felt the need to worship a Deity of Krsna in His humanlike form. The next morning he saw that one of his silas had transformed into a beautiful Deity of Lord Krsna. Gopala Bhatta named the Deity Radha-Ramana, "Krsna, who brings pleasure to Radharani." He established the worship of Radha-Ramana, and the Radha-Ramana temple is still one of the main places of pilgrimage in Vrndavana.

Gopala Bhatta is one of the renowned six Gosvamis of Vrndavana.


Research by Sarasvati Dasi, Girls Vaisnava Academy, Alachua, Florida