Santana Goswami was the foremost of the Six Goswamis of Vrindavana. At the command of Sriman Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Sanatana Goswami spent his time in the forests of Vrindavana in Bhajana and the discovery of the Leela Sthali (Pastime locations of the Lord). He used to survive on madhukari (attaining dry bread for survival from the houses of local brajawasis). One such location for attaining madhukari was the house of the Chaubes who stayed in far-off Mathura considering the fact that the forests of Vrindavana hardly had any house-holds those days. Sanatana Goswami was enamoured by the deity of Madana Gopala who was served by the house-hold in the mood of Vatsalya or the mood of parenthood. The lady of the house looked after the deity as much as she cared for her own son.
Santana developed a liking for the deity and in one such dream that the lady of the house had, the deity instructed itself to be given to Santana Goswami for seva. The lady parted with the deity with a heavy heart while Sanatana was thankful to the Lord that his desire came to fruition. Sanatana served the deity with immense devotion and attachment. However the bhoga for Madana Gopala usually was dry bread, boiled forest leaves and roots. Sanatana usually survived with this and so he made it a point that he first offered this bhoga to Madana Gopala before partaking it. Sanatana Goswami spent a major portion of his bhajana time in Leela Smaranam or mental contemplation of oneself in the service of the Lord. The process of Chintana or Smaranam is the most important limb of the Bhajana process. In this the aspirant assumes a mentally conceived spiritual form as given to him by his spiritual master and in that form and mood serves the divine couple in the spiritual dimension.
The most important criterion for this process is abnegation of worldly desires and surrender of one’s mind to the Sadhguru who is from the disciplic succession that practice this mode of spiritual service. Only when this method is accompanied by purity of purpose, intention and adherence to the system does this process translate into spiritual reality. The main ingredients that make up the enter process are the three spiritual ingredients of transcendental flavour. These are made up of the potencies called hladini, samvit and sandhini. In the physical world the word “water” and the actual experience of water are two different things but in the spiritual context, the name of an object and its experience is the same thing and it is a combination of the three potencies of hladini, samvit and sandhini. The hladini potency is the pure bliss aspect which causes the knowledge (samvit) of a particular spiritual object to happen and the knowledge of that spiritual object brings into existence (sandhini) that spiritual object itself. This is the basis of all movements in the spiritual realm. When bhajana is carried out in a spiritually conceived form, both the subject (The Lord) and the object (the eternal form of the aspirant) appear in the transcendental world eternally in the life of the aspirant at the time of perfection.
Madana Gopala was tired of eating dry bread and boiled leaves and started demanding better food to Sanatana Goswami in his dream. The main instruction given to Sanatana Goswami by Sriman Mahaprabhu was to perform Bhajana and serve the Vaishnavas, hence Sanatana Goswami mentally suggested Madana Gopala to make his own arrangements. It is during those days that a merchant named Kapoor who happened to be sailing in a boat along the Yamuna found him trapped in a mound of sand as the boat ferried across. Unable to sail further Kapoor looked for help and in hapless condition arrived at the door of Sanatana Goswami’s hut. To this Sanatana Goswami asked the merchant to pray to Madana Gopala. Kapoor did accordingly and as he descended from the hillock where Sanatana Goswami was positioned, he saw that a favourable wind blew across the sail that released the boat from the mound of sand. Kapoor happily proceeded to his destination. That year Kapoor saw his profits swell like never before and he knew in his heart that it was by the mercy of Madana Gopala that he saw such unprecedented gains. He decided to donate the entire share to the cause of Madana Gopala. Madana Gopala was now no more an ordinary deity; He ascended a high throne and had a mighty temple for Himself. Sanatana Goswami supervised the proceedings in the new environment for some time. He thought “Oh Madana Gopala, you had it your way. Now you have rich food and great people who serve you. I am a poor devotee of yours and am obliged to follow the instructions of my master Sriman Mahaprabhu”.
So saying Sanatana Goswami deserted Madana Gopala with a heavy heart knowing well that his bhajana will not go well in the pompous atmosphere and went to places like Goverdhana and Nandagaon where he continued his austerities. The temple of Madana Gopala has now the deity of Radha Rani also installed and today it is one of the most famous temples , one of the seven main temples of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas ; known by the name “The temple of Radha Madana Mohan jiu”