Sri Bhugarbha Gosvami was a disciple of Sri Gadadhara Pandit. In Radha Gopinatha’snitya-nikunjalila he is Prema-manjari or Bhadra Rekhika.
He shared an intimate friendship with Sri Lokanatha Gosvami so much that Bhakti-ratnakara 1.317 says –
“Lokanatha’s affection for Bhugarbha was well known everywhere. They only had different bodies, in spirit they were one.”
According to the Sadhana-dipika, Bhugarbha was Lokanatha’s paternal uncle.
Whatever may be the relation between Lokanath Goswami and Bhugarbha Goswami, inspired by Lord Chaitanya, they were the first and most senior devotees to settle in Vrndavana. Before the arrival of Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana Gosvamis they tried to uncover the lost holy places of Radha-Govindaji.
Bhugarbha and Lokanatha Gosvamis found Sri Krishna’s pastime forests by the humble method of surrender. They simply wandered around Vrndavana calling out the names of her twelve forests, “Bhandiravan, Kamyavan, Mahavan, Talavan …” And Srimati Vrnda Devi (the maintainer of the forests and an expansion of Krishna’s pastime potency) revealed the exact location of each and every forest.
His samadhi stands near Sri Rupa Gosvami’s Samadhi in the Radha Damodara temple courtyard.
Some believe that to avoid material distractions Bhugarbha Goswami would perform his bhajana underground. So, he received the name Bhugarbha (bhu means earth, garbha means cave, womb, hidden place) but yet the Shakha-nirnayamrita adds the following comments on Bhugarbha Goswami:
gosvaminam ca bhugarbhambhugarbhotthamsuvishrutam
I offer my reverence to the illustrious Bhugarbha Prabhu, who is said to have been born from the bowels of the earth. He bestows love of Krishna; he takes pleasure in the service of Govinda Deva, is compassionate, simple and always joyful.