Why is Śrī Jīva Goswami important? Why should one study his Sandarbhas? I can think of no better answer to this question than two verses that Śrī Babaji has composed which I reproduce below. They appear at the beginning of each of the Sandarbha books that he has published containing translations and commentaries. The verses are below.
hastāmalakavat-tattvaṁ śrīmad-bhāgavatasya yaḥ
darśayāmāsa jīvebhyas taṁ śrī-jīva-prabhuṁ numaḥ
We bow down to Śrīla Jīva Goswami Prabhupāda who revealed the essential meaning of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam to the people of the world just as plainly as one would display an āmalakī fruit kept on one’s palm.
sandarbhā yena nādhītās tasya bhāgavate śramaḥ
sandarbhā yena cādhītā nāsti bhāgavate bhramaḥ
One who has not undergone comprehensive study of Ṣaṭ Sandarbhas must struggle to assimilate the message of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam . One who has studied Ṣaṭ Sandarbhas , however, will have no misgivings about the essential meaning of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam.
This then is Śrī Jīva’s importance: the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam as explained by Śrī Caitanya will remain beyond the understanding of those who have not studied the Sat Sandarbhas. One can go on studying each of the 18000 verses of the Bhāgavatam or read it three, four or even five times, but will still be guaranteed to remain in the dark about its actual meaning.
It is sad that the Goswamis today have been simply reduced to mere models of renunciation. They are respected today because they seem to have slept under a different tree every night!
In reality, they are important because of their writings. Their books are the foundation of the Caitanya tradition, and must be studied by anyone interested in genuine understanding. Their books are not optional. Nor are their books so esoteric that they should only be studied when one has sufficiently advanced in bhakti. They are actually the means to advance in bhakti. They reveal the mind of Śrī Caitanya. No one else can take their place.