Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at CCO.CALTECH.EDU
Tue Oct 20 01:09:11 CDT 1998

On Mon, 19 Oct 1998, Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:

> On Fri, 9 Oct 1998, Guy Werlings wrote:
> > Namaste !
> >
> > Thank you for your info. One more small question for which I need a
> > clarification from you : I had remained under the impression that
> > Goswamis were the descendants and followers of SrI Caitanya, not of
> > Vallabha. Have I dreamt that also ?
> No you're correct.  Interestingly enough the word Goswami (in Gujarati,
> the prakritized form Gosai) originally refered to a Dashanami sannyasi.
> In Gujarati it is still used this way.  But now it also means a
> householder descendant of one of the seven grandsons of Vallabha or six
> major disciples of Chaitanya.

The word Goswami is used in a generic sense to refer to Vaishnava leaders.
Some of them are householders and others are monks. For example, the Hindi
poet Tulsidas is often called Goswami Tulsidas. Among the followers of
Caitanya, one counts Rupa and Jiva Goswamis, but I'm not aware of a
lineage of Goswamis in this Vaishnava group. The descendents of Vallabha
are called Goswamis too, and they have a continuing lineage into
contemporary times.


"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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