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By the mercy of Shri Krishna Chaitanya, Nityananda Prabhu, Advaitacandra, and all the devoted disciples of Gaura, I shall now discuss some unrevealed theories and episodes which may be beneficial for the listeners. I shall first attempt to describe the glories of Ramacandra whose generosity knew no bounds.
One day my spiritual master, Shri Hemalata, revealed the glories of Ramacandra to me. After hearing her description of his exalted character, I was filled with divine pleasure. Prabhu Ramacandra was a very grave men, yet his heart was filled with love and kindness. He was a famous psychiatrist and also known for his sweet and loving disposition.
Once Shrinivasa was sitting with his two wives in his house in Vishnupura. His wives considered themselves the most fortunate to have such an exalted and attractive husband. At that time Shrinivasa became talking about the pastimes of Lord Krishna, which attracted the minds of his wives. While speaking, Prabhu suddenly fell into an ecstatic state. Overwhelmed with emotion, he fell on the ground and fainted, calling out the name of Shri Gaurachandra. In this ecstatic condition he sometimes cried out the name of Shri Rupa, Sanatana, and sometimes the name of Shri Bhatta Gosvami. After a long time, he composed himself and went to take his bath. After bathing he put on a fresh white cloth and sat before the Deity. Wearing a scarf printed with manakshana, he marked his forehead with tilak and began to recite prayers in a sweet voice. Shrinivasa happily worshiped Shri Vamshivadana with sadalwood paste and Tulasi leaves, then sat absorbed in deep meditation. In this state he was able to witness the transcendental pastimes of Radha and Krishna. With great pleasure he saw Radha and Krishna taking bath on the banks of the Jamuna. Surrounded by the gopis, Krishna appeared like a cloud surrounded by lightning. The gopis decorated Krishna's body with many ornaments... Krishna entered the water. Shri Rupa Manjari, Shri Lavanga Manjari, Shri Guna Manjari, and Shri Rati Manjari remained standing on the bank of the river in order to observe the beautiful pastimes of Krishna. With their wet saris tightly clinging to their bodies, the other gopis began to splash water on Krishna's face.
Observing this scene, Shrinivasa was completedly enchanted by the beauty of the gopis, the movement of their bodies, the swinging of their hips, hands, and legs. Even when they frowned they were gorgeous. He was amazed to hear their sweet talks with Krishna, and to see them splashing water directly in the eyes of Krishna. They all laughed loudly and fought with Krishna, sometimes in knee-deep water, sometimes in hip-deep water, sometimes breast deep, and sometimes in neck-deep water. They would fight with Krishna sometimes face to face, sometimes breast to breast, sometimes eye to eye, and sometimes nail to nail. Due to their fighting the water of the river overflowed its banks. Lord Krishna then stole the garments of the gopis and climbed up in a tree, from where he could observe the beauty of gopis' bodies in the blue water of the Jamuna. The transcendental nectar of these divine pastimes cannot be understood by ordinary persons. Kaviraja Gosvami has further explained this pastime in his book Shri Govinda Lilamrta.
After finishing her bath, Shrimati Radharani left the water. However, in doing so, she did not notice that her nose stud had fallen out. The gopis followed her, and Krishna returned all of their garments and ornaments. Beautifully dressed, they all entered into the kunjavana. Vrinda brought various types of fruit, sweets, and numerous preparations and they dined together happily. The gopis were captivated by the beauty of Radha and Krishna, and lovingly served Them attentively.
Suddenly they noticed that Shri Radha had lost her nose-stud. Thinking that it had most probably been lost in the water, they became distraught. Shri Rupa Manjari and Shri Guna Manjari winked at Shri Mani Manjari, and told her that since she knew the mind of Shri Radha very well and was accustomed to searching out Radha's lost ornaments, she should go in search of the lost nose-stud. Since Shri Radha was in the habit of losing her ornaments, sometimes in the water of a kunda or in the Yamuna, sometimes at day and sometimes at night, Mani Manjari was frequently sent to search for the lost item.
Mani Manjari happily went to the bank of the Yamuna in search of the lost nose-stud, but she could not find it there. She then entered into the water of the Yamuna river, which glittered in the sunshine like a shining mirror, yet to her disappointment she did not find it their either. The nose-stud had actually fallen on the footprints of Radha Krishna and had been covered by the leaf of a lotus, thus Mani Manjari was unable to find it.
Meanwhile the wives of Shrinivasa found that their husband was remaining in a state of deep meditation for a long time. Evening had arrived, but still Shrinivasa did not break his meditation. The wives saw that the body of their husband had become stiff, his breath seemed to have stopped, and there was no quivering in his belly. Seeing Shrinivasa's extraordinary state, they were reminded of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Fearing for the life of their beloved husband, the wives began to loudly chant the holy name into his ear, yet still he did not return to external consciousness. When Prabhu continued to remain in this state until the late hours of the night, his wives began to think about many bad omens and wept loudly, rolling on the ground in grief. After a few hours they pacified themselves and began to fan him.
When the king heard about the condition of Shrinivasa, his heart was filled with grief and he hurried to Prabhu's house. He fell flat before Shrinivasa, then tried to feel the breath of Prabhu by placing his hand near Shrinivasa's nostrils, but he could not find any sign of life. When Thakurani explained to him that he had been in this condition since early in the day, the king became filled with anxiety and tried to figure out a method to bring him back to his senses. Disciples such as Shri Vallavi Kaviraja, Shri Vyasacarya, Shri Krishna Vallava, Janaki Dasa, and Prasada Dasa rushed to see their master. They also tried their best to revive Shrinivasa Prabhu. When they all failed, they lost all hope for the life of their guru. When the first three hours of the night passed, Prabhu's wives began weeping loudly. They fell on the ground and rolled in grief. The disciples of Prabhu tried their best to give them solace, explaining that Prabhu was simply absorbed in a highly spiritual state and would certainly regain his senses after some time. This pacified the wives to some extent and sat down by the side of their husband, trying to think of some way to revive their lord. In this way the night passed and the dawn appeared, still Shrinivasa did not returned to consciousness.
The king and all the disciples also sat anxiously waiting for Shrinivasa to regain consciousness. In this way the first three hours of the day passed. As time passed Prabhu's disciples began to think that they had lost their master forever. Thinking that they would never again have the opportunity for such exalted association, they began to weep loudly. Thakurani then placed some cotton balls under the nose of Shrinivasa to detect his breath. When they did not even slightly quiver, she pulled at her hair and fell to the ground in despair. In their grief, sometimes they wept and sometimes they fainted on the ground.
Suddenly Shrimatiji remembered something which gave her encouragement and immediately calmed her down. Seeing Shri Iswari's change of mood everyone inquired curiously as to what had calmed her mind. She gladly told them that a long time ago Shrinivasa Prabhu had told her about Shri Ramacandra Kaviraja, who was capable of understanding everything about Shri Acarya. She said that she was sure that Kaviraja would arrive there that day, as this had been foretold to her previously in a dream.
Just as she was speaking Ramacandra Kaviraja suddenly arrived at the spot. He fell at the feet of Shrinivasa, reciting prayers with folded hands. At once Shrinivasa regained external consciousness. He embraced Kaviraja and asked about his well-being. Kaviraja replied, "Without your darsana how can I be in a good state of mind?" Prabhu took him in hands and placed him on a seat beside himself. Together they happily discussed Lord Krishna's pastimes. After they both took bath, they discussed more transcendental subject matter. Overcome with emotion they both wept, calling out the names of Rupa, Sanatana, Shri Bhatta Gosvami and Radha Krishna.
Shrinivasa bowed before the Deity of Shri Vamsivadana. He changed his dress and painted tilak on his forehead. Repeatedly he called out the name of Shri Kunda and Govardhana. After watering the Tulasi plant, he worshiped the Salagrama sila and offered various types of sweets. He then offered betel leaf to the Deity and performed arati. Again and again he humbly bowed before the Deity. Returning to his house he ate the prasada and gave the rest of it to Kaviraja.
The wives of Shrinivasa cooked and offered it to their dear husband. Prabhu first offered the food to the Salagrama sila. He then put the Lord to rest and fanned Him slowly for some time. Afterwards Shrinivasa came out from the temple and bowed before the Deity, stretching himself out flat on the ground. Thereafter he invited all the devotees who were waiting in his house to dine with him. He requested them to take their seats and he personally served them. After satisfying them with profuse prasada, Prabhu offered them betel leafs and requested them to take rest. He then entered into his room and was pleased to find Kaviraja waiting for him there.
His wives cleaned the place where he would take his seat to dine and requested Prabhu to take his seat along with Kaviraja. But Shrinivasa said that Kaviraja would take his food after he had finished. Kaviraja then began to fan Shrinivasa while he respected prasada. After Shrinivasa finished, Kaviraja sat down and ate from the plate of Prabhu. While eating, Kaviraja became filled with spiritual emotions. After completing his meal, Kaviraja sat down near Prabhu and Shrinivasa offered him his chewed betel leaf. Shrinivasa then laid down to rest and Ramacandra massaged his legs.
After some time Shrinivasa awoke from sleep. His wives then asked him, "Oh lord, previously you often spoke with great admiration about Kaviraja. Now we have observed how he ate from your plate and drank water from your glass without any hesitation. Please explain this to us." Shrinivasa explained that Ramacandra is an exceptional devotee, beyond their understanding, and that in time they would come to know all about him. The wives were very pleased to hear this, and requested Prabhu to give them the remnants of his chewed betel leaves.
The next day when Shrinivasa entered into the compound of his house with Kaviraja, they saw what appeared to be a snake and jumped across it in fear. Kaviraja searched for the snake but was unable to find it, rather he discovered that Prabhu had mistaken a coil of straw to be a snake. Nevertheless he did not contradict his master. When Shrinivasa himself discovered that it was a coil of straw and pointed it out, Ramacandra at once accepted his opinion. Prabhu and Kaviraja then sat down in the room to converse.
Later, when the wives of Shrinivasa were resting, Shri Acarya came to them and began to explain the exalted characteristics of Ramacandra. He compared Ramacandra to Arjuna by citing one story form the Mahabharata:
Once upon a time Dronacarya was engaged in teaching the art of using weapons to Duryodhana and his hundred brothers, along with Yudhisthira and his four brothers. Dronacarya put a bird on the highest branch of a tree and ordered them all to hit the eye of the bird with one arrow. Duryodhana and his brothers took up their weapons and happily aimed at the mark. Dronacarya then asked them what they were seeing at that moment, and they replied that they saw the tree, its branches, and the bird. Drona was angry and dissatified with their answer and rebuked them, saying that they would never be able to learn the art of using weapons. He then called Arjuna to aim at the bird, then asked him the same question. Arjuna replied that he say nothing other than the eye of the bird. Drona ordered him to shoot and Arjuna's arrow perfectly hit the eye of the bird. Greatly satisfied, Drona explained to all that Arjuna never diverted his attention from the eye of the bird. That is why he passed the test. Arjuna bowed to the feet of his master and took his seat among the other disciples. With content Drona told Arjuna that he would be the only person who could be parallel to his master and that he was his best disciple. Duryodhana was deeply unhappy to hear these words of praise.
Shrinivasa took great pleasure in describing this incident and comparing Kaviraja with Arjuna, because Ramacandra never disobeyed his master. He always sincerely listened to Prabhu even when the latter ordered him to take his food after everyone else. Shrinivasa further described Ramacandra's faithfulness by citing explaining about the time when Prabhu had mistaken the coil of straw to be a snake, and although Ramacandra knew this, he nevertheless tried to find out the snake in the courtyard as ordered by Shrinivasa. Yet when Prabhu told him that it was a coil of straw, not a snake, Ramacandra at once accepted his master's opinion. Ramacandra humbly submitted to Shrinivasa, saying that without the favor of his master how could he know what was right or wrong. Thus Shrinivasa openly declared that as Arjuna was the dearest disciple of Dronacarya, so Ramacandra was most dear to him. "From now on," Shrinivasa said, "everyone should take it for granted that Ramacandra's opionion is the same as mine." Shrinivasa explained that Ramacandra and Narottama were his two eyes, thus both of them were identical. Kaviraja Govinda and Chakravarti Govinda were the two persons who understood the characteristics of Ramacandra and Narottama. Shrinivasa said, "He who receives the favour of Ramacandra, he also attains the blessings of Lord Krishna." In this way Shri Acarya took great pleasure in glorifying Ramacandra.
In this regard, once Shrinivasa's wife narrated a story to the disciples. Once Shrinivasa was eating with Ramacandra seated on one side of him, and Narottama on the other side. They happily talked about Lord Krishna, while Prabhu took food from his two disciples after it had been touched by their hands. Shrinivasa's wives were surprised to see this behavior as they could not understand how it was possible for a disciple to offer food to his master after touching it with his own hand. Thus they decided to wait for an opportunity to ask him about this. After eating and washing their hands and mouths, Shrinivasa and his two disciples became absorbed is discussions about Krishna. All three of them became extremely emotional and shed tears of joy.
When the opportunity arose, Iswari questioned her husband about the question which had arisen in her mind in regards to how he accepted food which had been touched by his disciples. Shrinivasa explained that Ramacandra and Narottama were exactly like his two hands and two eyes. Since they were like parts of his own body, it did not matter if the food had been touched by Ramacandra and Narottama.
While discussing this topic, the left eye of Iswari suddenly began to dance. Her left thigh and left side also began to quiver. She took this to indicate that Ramacandra would soon arrive there. Similarly the right eyes of the men present began to quiver. Thus they were not surprised when Ramacandra arrived at their place. Everyone happily received them including the wives of Shrinivasa, who rushed forward to greet him. Upon meeting Iswari, Ramacandra fell at her feet. Seeing her face dark with grief, he inquired as to the cause of her distress. Iswari explained that Shrinivasa had been lost in deep meditation for three long days which caused her great anxiety, but now, upon seeing Ramacandra, her anxieties had disappeared. Speaking to him like a son, Iswari explained that Shrinivasa had?. Hearing this Ramacandra fell at Iswari's feet and then stood before her humbly with folded hands. He then went to see Shrinivasa, who laid in a state of deep meditation. His body was stiff and no sign of breathing could be detected. Ramacandra tried to feel his breath by placing his hand under Shrinivasa's nostril, but he felt nothing. Turning to Iswari, he explained that Shrinivasa was immersed in a deep state of meditation, similar to the ecstatic absorbtion Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu formerly manifested. Calling the name of Shri Radha and beseeching Her blessings, Ramacandra covered the body of Shrinivasa with a cloth and slid under the cover along with Prabhu. By exercising the powers given to him by the grace of Shrinivasa, Ramacandra also entered into a deep trance and in his perfected spiritual body he came to understand everything about Shrinivasa's trance. Ramacandra then assured Thakurani that if after two hours Shrinivasa did not regained consciousness, she should chant the holy name loudly in his ear.
Thereafter, Ramacandra, in his original spiritual body, went to the bank of the Yamuna where Shri Mani Manjari was searching for the nose-stud of Radha which was dropped on the footprints of Radha Krishna under the water and was covered by the leaf of a lotus. Mani Manjari happily greeted her confidante, and together they continued the search for the nose-stud. They both entered the water and eventually picked up the lotus leaf which had been concealing the nose-stud. Mani Manjari praised him profusely for helping her to find the nose-stud. They then rushed to the spot were Radha and Krishna were taking rest. All of the confidantes of Radha were anxiously waiting for Mani Manjari to return with the nose-stud. When they caught sight of Mani Manjari and Ramacandra, they happily received them, relieved to hear that the lost ornament had been recovered. Shri Rupa Manjari took the nose-stud and skillfully placed it through the hole on Radha's nose. Back in its rightful position, the nose-stud throbbed slowly along with the breathing of Shri Radha.
Shri Rupa Manjari gently grasped one of Radha's legs and began to massage it. After some time, Shri Guna Manjari requested Mani Manjari to massage the other leg of Shri Radha. With great ecstasy, Mani Manjari accepted this service. Later Shri Guna Manjari told her that she had kept for her the remnants of Shri Radha's chewed betel leaf. Mani Manjari happily accepted it and was most pleased to see that she had also kept a portion of it for her confidante (Ramacandra).
At this time, Shrimati, the wife of Shrinivasa, peered behind the cloth curtain and found that her husband was still lost in meditation. Thus she instructed all the disciples to chant the holy name. Shrimati personally chanted loudly into the ear of her husband, while the others waiting outside began a boisterous kirtana. Peering behind the cover again, Shrimati found that both Shrinivasa and Ramacandra remained in deep trance. However, after a long time, the Harinama penetrated the ear of Shrinivasa, and he immediately awoke. Prabhu looked around him, here and there, as if he were searching for someone. His disciples eagerly pulled the cloth aside and where charmed by the divine beauty of their beloved master. Shrinivasa, however, appeared rather disturbed, sometimes he looked grave, while at other times he seemed restless. After some time he controlled his emotions and began to converse with his disciples. The atmosphere finally became peaceful, and the disciples heaved a sigh of relief, enjoying the company of Shrinivasa. After some time, Shrinivasa took Ramacandra to a secluded place where they discussed privately.
Observing the intimate relationship between Shrinivasa and Ramacandra, Iswari remarked that Ramacandra was the dearmost associate of Shrinivasa, just as Ramananda was dear to Mahaprabhu, and Subal was dear to Shri Krishna. Intrigued by this intimate relationship, she inquired how it was possible for Ramacandra to revive Shrinivasa when he had been engrossed in meditation for three long days. With folded hands Ramacandra humbly explained to Iswari that in his meditation Shrinivasa enjoyed the company of Radha and Krishna while They bathed at the Yamuna river, and described everything which took place. Iswari listened to Ramacandra with great appreciation. Weeping with joy, she blessed Ramacandra from the core of her heart, feeling most fortunate to have son like Ramacandra.
Everyone then understood that Ramacandra Kaviraja was the most intimate disciple of Shrinivasa. Thus Shrimati happily sang the glories Ramacandra. The other devotees also noted that Ramacandra's good qualities were as deep as the ocean. They greatly appreciated the value of his priceless association.
Shrimati approached Shrinivasa and very humbly submitted that being ignorant and unqualified she was complely dependent on the mercy of her husband to understand what was right and what was wrong. Dedicating herself fully to Shri Acarya, she begged that her husband take her into his confidence as he had done with Ramacandra.
Pleased by her submissive spirit, Shrinivasa took her and Rmacandra to a secluded place and told them that he had kept tied up in the edge of his cloth a piece of betel leaf which had been chewed by Shri Radha. He took out the betel leaf and gave it first to Ramacandra and them to his wives. The taste and sweet smell of it swept them away into a state of divine ecstasy. They were unable to control their emotions and tears of joy flowed profusely from their eyes. Shrinivasa reminded his wives how extraordinarily fortunate they were to have obtaining the chewed betel leaf, a boon which even Lord Brahma is desirous of achieving. He further explained that they were now elevated to the platform of devotion equal to that of Ramacandra. Shri Acarya stated that Ramacandra was his life, as was Narottama. These two disciples he could not be separated from.
When Shrinivasa's other disciples heard about this statement made by their guru, they fell at the feet of their guru requesting him to favour them as he did Ramacandra. Hoping to achieve the mercy of Shrinivasa, his disciples endeavored very sincerly to please him. In their eyes Shrinivasa was the only one who could rescue them from materialistic sinful life. Seeing the sincerity of his disciples, Shri Acarya's heart melted and he assured them that they were all his dearly beloved disciples.
Cheered by Shrinivasa's words, the disciples requested him to tell them what happened when he was in meditation for three long days. Shrinivasa replied that Ramacandra knew everything and he could tell them. Turning to Ramacandra, Shrinivasa requested him to narrate the story. Everyone eagerly stayed in the house of Shrinivasa and listened with divine joy to the extraordinary pastimes of their guru. Thereafter, being ordered by Prabhu, Shrimati took her bath and went to the kitchen to cook. Meanwhile Ramacandra and others went to the river to bathe.
After bathing, Shrinivasa worshiped Lord Krishna, offered Him food, then served the prasada to the Vaishnavas. Shrinivasa and Ramacandra then sat down to eat. The wives of Shrinivasa brought the prasada and served them. Thus Shri Acarya broke his three day fast. As he ate, his wives stretched their palms out to gather the remnants of his meal. Whatever they gathered they happily ate and distributed to the disciples. After eating, they washed their mouths, took betel leaves, and Shrinivasa lay down to rest, while Ramacandra sat by his side massaging his legs. Meanwhile, Shrinivasa's wives relished the rest of the remnants left on the plate of their husband.
When Shrinivasa fell asleep, Ramacandra left the room and took his seat amongst the other disciples of Prabhu. Shrimati, being requested by the followers of Shrinivasa, then began to narrate the stories she had heard from Ramacandra. At first she confessed that it was beyond her capacity to describe the wonderful pastimes of Shri Radha and Krishna at the Yamuna river, yet with the blessing of Shrinivasa she began to describe how Radha had lost her nose-stud while bathing in the Yamuna, and how Guna Manjari had sent Shri Mani Manjari (Shri Acarya) to trace it out. Since the nose-stud was covered by a lotus leaf Mani Manjari was unable to locate it. Ramacandra, being the closest associate of Prabhu, went to help Mani Manjari in the search. This was the reason that Shrinivasa had remained in trance for three days. Who but Ramacandra could realize it? After listening to this narration the disciples of Shrinivasa had even greater appreciation of Ramacandra. Overcome with emotion, they glorified the great spiritual prowess of Ramacandra, admitting that certainly none of them possesed such great potency. Thus they humbly surrendered to Ramacandra. At that time Shrinivasa got up from his bed, taking the name of Shri Krishna Chaitanya, and all his disciples ran to his side. After some time they took their leave with the permission of Shrinivasa.
Those who listen attentively to the glories of Ramacandra as described by the wives of Shri Acarya will certainly be blessed by Lord Krishna and their hearts will be filled with pure devotional love. Those who even once hear such descriptions, can never forget it in their life. Thus the thirst for reading Karnananda will help every Vaishnava to attain divine love. Taking shelter at the lotus feet of Shri Hemalata, the daugher of Shri Acarya Prabhu, I, Yadunandana dasa narrate Karnananda.