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The Ramanada Samvad Of Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita
By Krishna das Kaviraj Goswami
1. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, also known as Gauranga, is the reservoir of all conclusive knowledge in devotional service. He empowered Shri Ramananda Rai, who may be likened to a cloud of devotional service. This cloud was filled with the conclusive purports of devotional service and was empowered by the ocean to spread this water over the sea. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu himself was the ocean of knowledge of pure devotional service.
2. All glories to Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu! All glories to Lord Nityananda Prabhu! All glories to Advaita Acarya! And all glories to all the devotees of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu!
3. According to His previous program, Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu went forward on His tour and after some days arrived at the place of pilgrimage known as Jiyad-nrsimha.
4. After seeing the Deity Lord Nrsimha in the temple, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu offered His respectful obeisances by falling flat. Then in ecstatic love, He performed various dances, chanted and offered prayers.
5. "All glories to Nrsimhadeva! All glories to Nrsimhadeva, who is the Lord of Prahlada Maharaja and, like the honeybee, is always engaged in beholding the lotus like face of the goddess of fortune."
6. "Although very ferocious, the lioness is very kind to her cubs. Similarly, although very ferocious to nondevotees like Hiranyakasipu, Lord Nirsimhadeva is very, very soft and kind to devotees like Prahlada Maharaja."
7. In this way Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu recited different verses from the sastra. The priest of Lord Nrsimhadeva then brought garlands and the remnants of the Lord's food and offered them to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
8. As usual, a brahmana offered Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu an invitation. The Lord passed the night in the temple and then commenced His tour again.
9. The next morning in the great ecstacy of love, Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu started on His tour with no knowledge of the proper direction, and He continued all day and night.
10. As previously, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu converted to Vaisnavism many people He met on the road. After some days, the Lord reached the banks of the river Godavari.
11. When He saw the river Godavari, the Lord remembered the river Yamuna, and when He saw the forest on the banks of the river, He remembered Shri Vrndavan-dhama.
12. After performing His usual chanting and dancing for some time in this forest, the Lord crossed the river and took His bath on the bank.
13. after bathing in the river, the Lord walked a little distance from the bathing place and engaged in chanting the holy name of Krishna.
14. At that time, accompanied by the sounds of music, Ramananda Rai came there mounted on a palanquin to take his bath.
15. Many brahmanas following Vedic principles, accompanied Ramananda Rai. According to the Vedic rituals, Ramananda Rai took his bath and offered oblations to his forefathers.
16. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu could understand that the person who had come to bath in the river was Ramananda Rai. The Lord wanted so much to meet him that His mind immediately began running after him.
17. Although Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was running after him mentally, He patiently remained sitting. Ramananda Rai, seeing the wonderful sannyasi, then came to see Him.
18. Shrila Ramananda Rai then saw Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as brilliant as a hundred suns. The Lord was covered by a saffron garment. He was large in body and very strongly built, and His eyes were like lotus petals.
19. When Ramananda Rai saw the wonderful sannyasi, he was struck with wonder. He went to Him and immediately offered his respectful obeisances, falling down flat like a rod.
20. The Lord stood up and asked Ramananda Rai to arise and chant the
holy name of Krishna. Indeed, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprahu was very eager to embrace him.
21. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then inquired whether he was Ramananda Rai, and he replied, "Yes, I am Your very low servant, and I belong to the sudra community."
22. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then embraced Shri Ramananda Rai very firmly. Indeed, both the master and the servant almost lost consciousness due to ecstatic love.
23. Their natural love for one another was awakened in them both, and they both embraced and fell down on the ground.
24. When they embraced one another, ecstatic symptoms-paralysis, perspiration, tears, shivering, palpitations and paleness-appeared. The word "Krishna" came from their mouths falteringly.
25. When the stereotyped, ritualistic brahmanas who were following the Vedic principles saw this ecstatic manifestation of love, they were struck with wonder. All these brahmanas began to reflect as follows.
26. These brahmanas began to think, "We can see that this sannyasi has a lister like the effulgence of Brahman, but how is it He is crying upon embracing a sudra, a member of the fourth caste in the social order?"
27. They thought, "This Ramananda Rai is the Governor of Madras, a highly learned and grave person, a maha-pandita, but upon touching this sannyasi he has become restless like a madman."
28. While the brahmanas were thinking in this way about the activities of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Rai, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhy saw the brahmanas and restrained His transcendental emotions.
29. When they regained their sanity, they both sat down, and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu began to smile and speak as follows.
30. "Sarvahbauma Bhattacarya has spoken of your good qualities, and he has made a great endeavor to convince Me to meet you.
31. "Indeed, I have come here just to meet you. It is very good that even without making an effort I have gotten your interview here".
32. Ramananda Rai replied, "Sarvahbauma Bhattacarya thinks of me as his servant. Even in my absence he is very careful to do me good.
33. "By his mercy I have received Your intervew here. Consequently I consider that today I have become a successful human being.
34. "I can see that You have bestowed special mercy upon Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. Therefore You have touched me, although I am untouchable. This is due only to his love for You.
35. "You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana Himself, and I am only a government servant interested in materialistic activities. indeed, I am the lowest amongst men of the fourth caste.
36. "You do not fear the Vedic injunctions stating that You should not associate with a sudra. You were not contemptuous of my touch, although in the Vedas You are forbidden to associate with sudras.
37. "You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself; therefore no one can understand Your purpose. By Your mercy, You are touching me, although this is not sanctioned by the Vedas.
38. "You have come here specifically to deliver me. You are so merciful that You alone can deliver all fallen souls.
39. "It is the general practice of all saintly people to deliver the fallen. Therefore they go to people's houses, although they have no personal business there.
40. "My dear Lord, sometimes great saintly persons go to the homes of householders, although these householders are generally low-minded. When a saintly person visits their homes, one can understand that it is for no other purpose than to benefit the householders.'
41. "Along with me there are about a thousand men-including the brahmanas-and all of them appear to have had their hearts melted simply by seeing You.
42. "I hear everyone chanting the holy name of Krishna. Everyone's body is thrilled with ecstasy, and there are tears in everyone's eyes.
43. "My dear sir, according to Your bodily features and Your behaviour, You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such behaviour and features are impossible for ordinary living beings, for they cannot possess such transcendental qualities."
44. The Lord replied to Ramananda Raya: "Sir, you are the best of the topmost devotees; therefore upon seeing you everyone's heart has melted.
45. "Although I am a Mayavadi sannyasi, a nondevotee, I am also floating in the ocean of love of Krishna simply by touching you. And what to speak of others?
46. "Knowing this, in order to rectify My heart, which is very hard, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya asked Me to meet you."
47. In this way each of them praised the qualities of the other, and both of them were pleased to see one another.
48. At this time, one brahmana Vaishnava, following the Vedic principles, came and offered obeisances. He fell flat before Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and invited Him for lunch.
49. Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu accepted the brahmana's invitation knowing him to be a devotee, and slightly smiling, spoke as follows to Ramananda Rai.
50. "I wish to hear from you about Lord Krishna. Indeed, My mind is inclined to desire this; therefore I wish to see you again."
51. Ramananda Rai replied, "My Lord, although You have come to correct me, a fallen soul, my mind is not yet purified simply by seeing You. Please stay for five or seven days and kindly cleanse my polluted mind. After that much time, my mind will certainly be pure."
53. Although neither could tolerate the other's separation, Ramananda Rai nonetheless offered his obeisances to Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabju and departed.
54. Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then went to the house of the brahmana who had invited Him and took His lunch there. When the evening of that day arrived, both Ramananda Rai and the Lord were eager to meet one another again.
55. After finishing His evening bath, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sat down and waited for Ramananda Rai to come. Then Ramananda Rai, accompanied by one servant, cane to meet him.
56. Ramananda Rai approached Lord Shri Chaitanya and offered his respectful obeisances, and the Lord embraced him. Then they noth began to discuss Krishna in a secluded place.
57. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ordered Ramananda Rai to recite a verse from the revealed scriptures concerning the ultimate goal of life. Ramananda replied that if one executes the prescribed duties of his social position, he awakens his original Krishna consciousness.
58. "The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vishnu, is worshiped by the proper execution of prescribled duties in the system of verna and asrama. There is no other way to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One must be situated in the institution of the four varnas and asramas.
59. The Lord replied, "This is external. You had better tell Me of some other means." Ramananda replied, "To offer the results of one's activities to Krishna is the essence of all perfection."
60. Ramananda Rai continued, "'O son of Kunti, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerieies that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me.'"
61. "This is also external," Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said. "Please proceed and speak further on this matter." Ramananda Rai replied, "To give up one's occupational duties in the varnasrama is the essence of perfection."
62. Ramananda Rai continued,"'Occupational duties are described in the religious scriptures. If one analyzes them, be can fully understand their qualities and faults and then give them up completely to render service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. such a person is considered a first-class man.'
63. "As stated in scripture (Bg.l8.66): 'After giving up all kinds of religious and occupational duties, if you come to me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and take shelter, I will give you protection from all of life's sinful reactions. do not worry.'"
64. After hearing Ramananda Rai speak in this way, Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, "Go ahead and say something more." Ramananda Rai then replied, "Devotional service mixed with empiric knowledge is the essence of perfection."
65. Ramananda Rai continued, "According to Bhagavad-gita: "One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments nor desires to have anything; he is equally disposed to every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me.'"
66. After hearing this, the Lord, as usual, rejected it, considering it to be external devotional service. He again asked Ramananda Rai to speak further, and Ramananda Rai replied, "Pure devotional service without any touch of speculative knowledge is the essence of perfection."
67. Ramananda Rai continued, "Lord Brahma said, 'My dear Lord, those devotees who have thrown away the impersonal conception of the Absolute Truth and have therefoe abandoned discussing empiric philosophical truths should hear from self-realized devotees about your holy name, form, pastimes and qualities. They should completely follow the principles of devotionasl service and remain free from illicit sex, gambling, intoxication an animal slaughter. Surrendering themselves fully with body, words and mind, they can live in any asrama or social status. Indeed, You are conquered by such persons, although You are always unconquerable.'"
68. At this point, shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu replied, "This is all right, but still you can speak more on the subject." Ramananda Rai then replied, "Exstatic love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the essence of all perfection."
69. Ramananda Rai continued, "As long as there is hunger and thirst, eating and drinking make one feel very happy. When the Lord is worshiped with pure love, transcendental bliss is awakened in the heart of the devotee.'
70. "Pure devotional service in Krishna consciousness cannot be had even by pious activity in hundreds and thousands of lives. It can be attained only by paying one price-that is, intense greed to obtain it. If it is available somewhere, one must purchase it without delay.'"
71. Hearing up to the point of spontaneous love, the Lord said, "This is all right, but if you know more, please tell Me." In reply, Ramananda Rai said, "Spontaneous loving service in servitude-as exchanged by master and servant-is the highest perfection.
72. "'A man becomes purified simply by hearing the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose lotus feet create the holy places of pilgrimage. Therefore what remains to be attained by those who have become His servants?'
73."'By serving You constantly, one is freed from all material desires and is completely pacified. When shall we engage as Your permanent eternal servants and always feel joyful to have such a perfect master?'"
74. Hearing this from Ramananda Rai, the Lord again requested him to go a step further. In reply, Ramananda Rai said, "Loving service to Krishna rendered in fraternity is the highest perfection.
75. "'Those who are engaged in self-realization, appreciating the Brahman effulgence of the Lord, and those engaged in devotional service, accepting the Supremen Personality of Godhead as master, as well as those who are under the clutches of maya, thinking the Lord an ordinary person, cannnot understand that certain exalted personalities - after accumulating volumes of pious activities-are now playing with the Lord in friendship as cowherd boys.'"
76. The Lord said, "This statement is very good, but please proceed even further." Ramananda rai then replied, "Loving service to the Lord in the parental relationship is the highest perfectional state."
77. Ramananda Rai continued:"'O brahmana, what pious activities did Nanda Maharaja perform by which hge received the supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna as his son, and what pious activities did mother Yasoda perforn that made the Absolute Supreme Personalit of Godhead Krishna call her mother and suck her breasts/'
78. "'The favor mother Yasoda obtained from Shri Krishna, the bestower of liberation, was never obtained even by Lord Brahma or Lord Siva, nor even by the goddess of fortune, who always remains on the chest of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Vishnu.'"
79. The Lord said, "Your statements are certainly getting better and better one after the other, but surpassing all of them is another transcendental mellow, and you can speak of that as the most sublime." Ramananda Rai then replied "Conjugal attachment for Krishna is the topmost position in love of Godhead.
80. "'When Lord shri Krishna was dancing with the gopis in the rasa-lila, the gopis were embraced by the arms of the Lord. This transcendental favor was never bestowed upon the goddess for fortune or the other consorts in the spiritual world. Indee, never was such a thing even imagined by the most beautiful girls in the heavenly planets whose bodily luster and aroma resemble the lotus flower. And what to speak of worldly women who are very beautiful according to the material estimation?'
81. "'suddenly, due to the gopis' fellings of separation, Lord Krishna appeared among them dressed in yellow gardents and wearing a flower garland. His lotus face was smiling, and He was directly attracting the mind of Cupid.'
82. "There are various means and processes by which one may attain the favor of Lord Krishna. All those transcendental processes will be studied from the viewpoint of comparative importance.
83. "It is true that whatever relationship a particular devotee has with the Lord is the best for him; still, when we study all the different methods from and neutral position, we can understand that there are higher and lower degrees of love.
84. "'Increasing love is ecxperienced in various tastes, one above another. But that love which has the highest taste in the gradual succession of desires manifests itself in the form of conjugal love.'
85. "There is a gradual order of improvement in transcendental mellows from the initial ones to the later ones. In each subsequent mellow the qualities of the previous mellows are manifest, counting from two, then three and up to the point of five complete qualities.
86. "As the qualities increase, so the taste also increases in each and every mellow. therefore the qualities found in santa-rasa, dasya-rasa, sakhya-rasa and vatsalya-rasa are all manifest in conjugal love(madhurya-rasa).
87. "The qualities in the material elements-sky, air, fire, water and earth-increase one after another by a gradual process of one, two and three, and the last stage, in the element earth, all five qualities are completely visible.
88. "Complete attainment of the lotus feet of Lord Krishna is made possible by love of Godhead, specifically madhurya-rasa or conjugal love. Lord Krishna is indeed captivated by this standard of love. This is also stated in Shrimad-Bhagavatam.
89. "Lord Krishna told the gopis:'The means of attaining My favor is loving service unto Me, and fortunately you are all thus engaged. Those living beings who render service unto Me are eligible to be transferred to the spiritual world and attain eternal life with knowledge and bliss.'
90. "Lord Krishna has made a firm promise for all time. If one renders service unto Him, Krishna correspondingly give him an equal amount of success in devotional service to the Lord.
91. "According to Lord Krishna in Bhagavad-gita (4.11), 'All of them-as they surrender unto Me-Ireward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prtha.'
92. "In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (l0.32.22) it is said that Lord Krishna cannot proportionately reciprocate devotional service in the madhurya-rasa; therefore He always remains a debtor to such devotees.
93. "When the gopis were overwhelmed with dissatisfaction due to Lord Krishna's absence fro the rasa lila, Krishna returned to them and told them, 'My dear gopis, our meeting is vertainly free from all material contamination. I must admit that in many lives it would be impossible for Me to repay My debt to you because you have cut off the bondage of family life just to search for Me. consequently I am unable to repay you. Therefore please be satisfied with your honest activities in this regard.'
94. "Although Krishna's unparelleled beauty is the topmost sweetness of love of Godhead, His sweetness increases unlimitedly when He is in the company of the gopis. Consequently Krishna's exchange of love with the gopis is the topmost perfection of love of Godhead.
95. "'Although the son of Devaki, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is also the reservoir of all kinds of beauty, when He is among the gopis He nonetheless becomes more beautiful, for He resembles a marakata jewel surrounded by gold and other jewels.'"
96. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu replied, "This is certainly the limit of perfection, but please be merciful to Me and speak more if there is more."
97. Rai Ramananda replied, "Until this day I did not know anyone within this material world who could inquire beyond this perfectional stage of devotional service.
98. "Among the loving affairs of the gopis," Ramananda Rai continued,"the love of Shrimati Radharani for Shri Krishna is topmost. Indeed, the glories of Shrimati Radharani are highly estimated in all revealed scriptures.
99. "'Just as Shrimati Radharani is most dear to Shri Krishna, Her bathing place known as Radha-kunda is also dear to Him. Among all the gopis, Shrimati Radhjarani is supermost and very dear to Lord Krishna."
100. "When the gopis began to talk among themselves, they said, 'Dear friends, the gopi who has been taken away by Krishna to a secluded place must have worshiped the Lord more than anyone else.'"
101. Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, "Please speak on. I am very happy to hear you bacause a river of unprecedented nectar is flowing from your mouth.