The driving force behind Rupa Gosvami’s acts, including his vast literary repertoire, was Caitanya Mahāprabhu, renowned as the initiator of the Gaudiya Vaisnava lineage in 16th-century India. In the eyes of his followers, Sri Caitanya descended to earth to enact a specific redemptive mission. Indeed, his bhakti movement changed the hearts and faith of uncountable people, both in the India of his day and worldwide in the modern era, by instilling in them the path of pure love of God.
Like many who were touched by Mahaprabhu and his teachings, Rupa Gosvami left behind his worldly life and dedicated himself to the mission of his master. The significance of Rupa Gosvami in Gaudiya Vaisnavism is implicitly accepted even by the present-day devotees of Lord Caitanya. It is so much so that they often refer to themselves as *rūpānugas *– the followers of Rupa – instead of Gaudiya Vaisnavas, using the two terms practically as synonyms. But what made Rupa Gosvami so outstanding?
By dedicating an entire volume exclusively to the acarya, The Mission of Rupa Gosvami is nearly unique; and it is definitely unique in terms of its approach to the subject. The book does not simply intend to provide a biography; it is an attempt to reveal Rupa Gosvami’s prominent position by exploring the instructions and orders he received from Caitanya Maharabhu and how he accomplished his mission. All the while, as the theme unfolds, the reader is given an extensive overview of Sri Rupa’s literature.
The Anthology of Essays, Verses, Excerpts following the main text of the book, includes a collection of verses praising and elaborating upon Rupa Gosvami both in his 16th-century identity and as Rupa-manjari, his eternal female form in the spiritual world; glorious narrations about Rupa Gosvami’s life in Vrndavana and his work in refurbishing its sacred environment, and much more, all to give a complete picture of Sri Rupa, who is arguably the most important of all acaryas.