Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Oct 19 13:20:05 CDT 1998

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.

Perhaps a reason for that is during the 15th century there seems to have
been a great movement of Krishna Bhakti amongst Bengali Dashanamis both in
Bengal and Kashi.  Swami Madhusudana Sarasvati is a famous example of
this.  He remained in the Advaita camp but several of the intellectual
ancestors of Chaitanya (according to them anyway) have Dashanami names and
Chaitanya himself took sannyasa in that order.  On the Pushti  Margi side,
Vallabha originally comissioned a Bengali sannyasi to perform the puja of
Shri Govardhananathji (one of their main murtis.) and his son Vitthalanath
is supposed to have studied under Swami Madhusudana Sarasvati.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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