martes, 14 de junio de 2011

Śrī Rāya Rāmānanda Saṁvāda - The Final Evening

Śrī Rāya Rāmānanda Saṁvāda

The Final Evening


iṣṭa-goṣṭhī kṛṣṇa-kathā kahi’ katakṣaṇa
prabhu-pada dhari’ rāya kare nivedana

“‘kṛṣṇa-tattva’, ‘rādhā-tattva’, ‘prema-tattva-sāra’
‘rasa-tattva’, ‘līlā-tattva’  vividha prakāra

eta tattva mora citte kaile prakāśana
brahmāke veda yena paḍāila nārāyaṇa

antaryāmī īśvarera ei rīti haye
bāhire nā kahe, vastu prakāśe hṛdaye

That evening, when Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya came to meet Śrīman Mahāprabhu, they discussed topics of Śrī Kṛṣṇa for some time. After this, Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya caught hold of the lotus feet of the Lord and prayed with great humility: “You have manifested within my heart the truths about Kṛṣṇa, Rādhā, prema, rasa, and varieties of pastimes. This is exactly how Śrī Nārāyaṇa imparted the Vedas to Lord Brahmā. The Supersoul, or the supreme controller within everyone’s heart, always speaks internally, not externally, thus granting a manifestation of the desired object within. This is His general practice.”

As the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (6.8) describes, Śrī Bhagavān manifested and compiled the Vedas, which were disclosed within the
heart of Brahmā:

yo brahmāṇaṁ vidadhāti pūrvam
yo vai vedāṁś ca prahiṇoti tasmai
taṁ ha devam ātma-buddhi-prakāśaṁ
mumukṣur vai śaraṇam ahaṁ prapadye

“I accept the shelter of that Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who in the beginning of creation inspired, or manifested, the Vedic knowledge within the heart of Brahmā, and who manifests knowledge of the self (ātma-buddhi).”

It is also said:

prāha bhāgavataṁ nāma
purāṇaṁ brahma-sammitam
brahmaṇe bhāgavat-proktaṁ
brahma-kalpa upāgate
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 2.8.28)

“Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī spoke this Śrīmad-Bhāgavata Mahā Purāṇa, which is equal to the Vedas, in the same manner that Bhagavān Himself spoke to Lord Brahmā at the beginning of the creation.”

kālena naṣṭā pralaye
vāṇīyaṁ veda-saṁjñitā
mayā ’dau brahmaṇe proktā
dharmo yasyāṁ mad-ātmakaḥ
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.14.3)

“O My dear Uddhava, with the passage of time, this message of Vedic knowledge was lost when the annihilation took place. Thus when the time of creation came again, I took it upon Myself to instruct Brahmā, and in these instructions I indeed described devotional service to Me (bhāgavata-dharma).”

līlā-kathās te kathitāḥ samāsataḥ
kārtsnyena nājo ’py abhidhātum īśaḥ
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 12.4.39)

“O best of the Kurus, I have given a brief exposition of Śrī Bhagavān’s pastimes. Even Lord Brahmā himself would be incapable of describing these pastimes in their entirety.”

kasmai yena vibhāsito ’yam atulo jñāna-pradīpaḥ purā
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 12.13.19)

“This Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the best manifestation of knowledge of the truth of the Supreme Lord. Bhagavān Nārāyaṇa had previously manifested it to Lord Brahmā”

Śrī Rāya’s purpose here is to show the similarity between the way that the original poet Śrī Brahmā received complete Vedic knowledge within his mind, simply by the will of Śrī Bhagavān, and the way that Śrīman Mahāprabhu manifested all these truths in the heart of Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya and then had him reveal these same truths by speaking them.

The next verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.1.1) gives evidence for Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya’s statement:

janmādy asya yato ’nvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ svarāṭ
tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ
tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ yathā vinimayo yatra tri-sargo ’mṛṣā
dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi

“‘We meditate on that Paramātma, that form of eternality and truth, by whom this world is created, maintained, and destroyed; He who pervades all spiritual substances. From that transcendental Being come the spiritual world and the individual living being, both of which are similar in nature to Him. The temporary material creation, however, is different from Him: He is not inert matter, He is conscious; He is not dependent, He is self-manifest; He is not Hiraṇyagarbha Brahmā (who appeared from the navel of Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu), rather He bestowed the Vedic knowledge upon Brahmā. He causes even greatly learned scholars to become bewildered, in the way that illusion creates mirages, such as the so-called appearance of water in the effulgent sunrays, land in water, and water on dry land. This material creation consisting of the states of sleep, dreaming, and deep dreamless sleep, is brought about by the three modes of material nature. By His illusionary potency, this material creation appears eternal, although temporary. By His own self-manifest effulgence, He remains always and in every condition liberated from the illusory potency named māyā, and her activities.’”

This explanation is based on the commentary by Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī. Our Gosvāmī lineage has also presented the following explanation of this verse:

“All evidence ascertains that it is that Supreme Truth which creates, maintains, and destroys this universe. Upon deliberating on both the apparent and hidden meanings, one sees that only He is to be known, as He is the original form of all existence. It is He alone who is the self-manifest and independent master of this world that we see. It is He who, as the indwelling Supersoul, gave teachings to ādi-kavi (the original poet) Lord Brahmā on that all-pervading truth. Contemplating Him, all greatly learned scholars and paṇḍitas fall into illusion again and again. The five material elements seem to exist in Him, but this is like a mirage in the desert. In Him the three types of creative potency – jīva-śakti, which manifests the jīvas, māyā śakti, which manifests the temporary universe, and cit-śakti, which manifests the spiritual world – are present in a real form. By the potency generated from His own svarūpa, not from another agent, or His ātma-śakti, He remains eternally beyond ignorance. We meditate upon that Absolute Truth Śrī Kṛṣṇa.”

Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has given another translation of this verse in his book Śrī Bhāgavat-arka-marīci-mālā: A minute portion of the internal potency (svarūpa-śakti) is the taṭasthā-, or jīva-śakti, and the shadow portion of that internal potency is called the external potency, or māyā-śakti. From the taṭasthā-, or jīva-śakti of Bhagavān, the individual spirit souls are manifest, and from māyā-śakti, the material world has manifested. Due to having a consciousness of separatism, and thus being opposed to the service of Bhagavān since time immemorial, the soul is put into a condition whereby he is illusioned into thinking that he is controlled by material nature. Bewildered by the false ego and mistaking an object for something else altogether, he considers the material body to be the real self. The soul thus remains connected to this material world. The conclusion is that the material world, full of both moving and non-moving entities, is manifested both directly and indirectly from Bhagavān.

Mixing together puruṣa, prakṛti, and the maha-tattva, (23) there are a total of twenty-eight ingredients in the creation. From these twenty-eight tattvas all of the other moving and non-moving groups of living entities are said to be manifest; and of all these tattvas, the omniscient Supreme Person is the knower and the embodiment of real knowledge. Scholars have described the method by which one may differentiate between two objects, even though their intrinsic natures may be identical. Among the twenty-eight elements of the creation, there are two types of puruṣas, or conscious entities. One is pūrṇa-puruṣa, the Supreme Controller, He who is the Lord of the illusory potency called māyā, and the second is aṇu-puruṣa, or the infinitesimal conscious entity, the jīva, who can be controlled by māyā. Thus Bhagavān (the Complete Consciousness) is He who knows both the created and the uncreated.

That Bhagavān, who is perfectly served by the strength of His own svarūpa-śakti, is situated in His own svarūpa even before the creation. Thus He is complete and self-manifesting.

After bestowing mercy upon the heart of the original poet, Śrī Brahmā was able to manifest the real meaning of the Vedas, which due to being exceedingly difficult to understand even for vastly learned persons, are the cause of their bewilderment.

There are three types of creation, namely, that pertaining to spirit, that pertaining to the jīva, and that pertaining to dull matter. There are some examples of creation pertaining to spirit, such as fire. Just as fire stays unmanifest until forced to appear, upon the rubbing of two sticks, in the same way even though the entire spiritual creation is eternally present, it only manifests according to the desire of Bhagavān.

There are other examples pertaining to the creation of the jīva, such as water. Upon becoming excessively cold, water becomes hard like stone, and upon being excessively heated it becomes vaporous. The jīva emanates as a tiny particle of spirit (cit-kaṇa) from the sun-like Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Upon becoming opposed to the service of Bhagavān, the jīva takes shelter of a transformation of his original dharma and becomes bound by the deluding potency called māyā. When the jīva becomes inclined towards Bhagavān and takes shelter of bhagavat-prema, his heart melts and becomes exceedingly soft and affectionate. The fruit of this is the inclination to engage in the service of Bhagavān.

Pertaining to the creation of inert matter the example of the element earth is given. By fashioning clay we can make pots and earthen bowls. In the same way, the material creation is simply a transformation of the sum total of the material elements (pradhāna). By Bhagavān’s inconceivable potency (acintya-śakti), the creation is certainly a reality; it is not false, because it has emanated from satya-svarūpa Bhagavān (the very form of truth) even though it is temporary and destructible by nature.

Śrī Bhagavān, the object of His devotees’ love, mercifully performs all types of activities by His potencies (jīva-śakti and māyā-śakti), but He always remains separate from these activities. Immutable, He is situated in His supreme abode, in His own svarūpa, resplendent with His full potency [Śrī Rādhā].

The moving and non-moving material creation is manifested directly and indirectly from Śrī Bhagāvan, who is endowed with complete potencies, and who is all-knowing, complete, self-manifest, and beyond any transformation. It is by His mercy that the factual meaning of the Vedas was manifested in the heart of Lord Brahmā, and by His inconceivable potency He remains unchanged even though performing the creation of the spiritual world, the jīvas, and the material world. I worship that Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of Goloka, whose spiritual form is true and eternal. We will worship Him by remembering and chanting His name, form, qualities, and pastimes, which are all spiritual, being composed of sat, cit, and ānanda.

The sublime philosophy of inconceivable simultaneous oneness and difference between Bhagavān and His potencies (acintya-bhedābheda) as preached by Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu, is established in the explanation of this verse.

Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya, in quoting all of the above mentioned evidence, intentionally attests that Śrī Gaurasundara alone is factually the controller and instigator of intelligence, to which the Gāyatrī mantra refers with the word bhargo. He reveals that none other than Śrī Gaurasundara has given this kṛṣṇa-tattva, rādhā-tattva, prema-tattva, and vilāsa-rasa-tattva, as spoken from his, Rāya’s, mouth.

pracoditā yena purā sarasvatī
vitanvatājasya satīṁ smṛtiṁ hṛdi
sva-lakṣaṇā prādurabhūt kilāsyataḥ
sa me ṛṣīṇām ṛṣabhaḥ prasīdatām
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 2.4.22)

“At the time of creation, in order to awaken within Brahmā remembrance of the previous kalpa, He inspired the presiding goddess of knowledge, who manifested herself through the mouth of Brahmā in the form of the Vedas and as the different limbs of knowledge. May Śrī Bhagavān (Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu), who is the root cause of all knowledge, be merciful upon me, and manifest Himself within my heart.”

Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī says that the word satyam indicates jñānam-anantaṁ brahma, or the Supreme Truth. This para-tattva is – in terms of His svarūpa, His energy, His thinking, feeling strength, and willing – completely independent and eternally all-pervading. The para-tattva is sarva-śaktimān (omnipotent), sarva-avatārī (the source of all incarnations), sarveśvara (the Supreme Controller), param-satya (the Supreme Truth), and para-brahma (the Supreme Soul) – He is Vrajendra-nandana Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

In his commentary, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura explains that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is directly and indirectly the upādāna-kāraṇa, or the ingredient cause of creation, and also nimitta-kāraṇa, the efficient cause. The universe is created, maintained, and destroyed by Him. He has complete knowledge of matter and spirit. He is self-manifest and independent; He does not rely on anyone or anything. By Him, even learned persons are bewildered. Solely by virtue of His desire, He manifested the Vedic knowledge in the heart of Brahmā. One may confuse the three elements of water, fire, and earth, considering any one to be the other – seeing water in earth [a mirage], earth in water [a reflection], or fire in water [the sunrise]. In the same manner, by dint of one’s faulty intelligence created from the three modes of material nature, one might consider the body of that Supreme Controller to be false, or knowledge of Him also to be falsehood. Consequently, any object resulting from the mixing together of earth, water, fire, and air is a product of māyā’s creation, and as such is also false or temporary. He, who directs the creative potency of māyā, is not false or temporary. He who by His own potency (svarūpa-śakti) dispels the influence of māyā, or the illusory energy, and is forever present in His eternal abode. I meditate upon that Supreme Controller.

The verse janmādasya yataḥ also depicts the pastimes of Śrī Gaurāṅga:

Śrī Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu, who descended to this world, is Kṛṣṇa covered by His āśraya-svarūpa [Śrī Rādhā] in order to taste His [Kṛṣṇa’s] own sweetness [ādasya]. He manifested His pastimes of birth [janma] in the house of Śrī Śacī-devī and Śrī Jagannātha Miśra [yataḥ], from Navadvīpa-dhāma [tataḥ], and He later travelled [anvayāt] to Śrī Nīlācala-dhāma [itaraśca]. He is expert [abhijñaḥ] in the subject matter of the wealth of prema [artheṣu], and He [yaḥ] expanded [tene] the essence of the Vedas, kṛṣṇa-tattva [hṛdā] before the best of poets Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya [ya ādi-kavaye]. In front of Him, even learned scholars [sūrayaḥ] are placed into bewilderment [muhyanti]. When the five material elements – earth, water, fire, air, and ether [tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ](24) – interact in the right proportions in the presence of Mahāprabhu, then an astonishing level of bhakti arises which allows those proud scholars, the fools, the poor, forest tribes, hunters, aboriginals, bears, trees, creepers, etc., to attain the mercy of prema-bhakti and become inclined towards Bhagavān. By the effect of His own [svena] internal potency [dhāmnā], He dispelled the illusion [nirasta-kuhakaṁ] of jñānī-sādhakas such as Śrī Vāsudeva Sārvabhauma. He [yatra] manifested His opulence and glories in the three blissful dhāmas of Navadvīpa, Nīlācala, and Śrī Vṛndāvana [trisargaḥ]; He is always true and eternal [amṛṣā]. I always meditate [dhīmahi] upon that para-tattva Śrī Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu, who is satya-svarūpa, whose form and nature are eternal and true [satyaṁ paraṁ].

eka saṁśaya mora āchaye hṛdaye
kṛpā kari’ kaha more tāhāra niścaye

pahile dekhiluṅ tomāra sannyāsi-svarūpa
ebe tomā dekhi muñi śyāma-gopa-rūpa

tomāra sammukhe dekhi kāñcana-pañcālikā
tāṅra gaura-kāntye tomāra sarva aṅga ḍhākā

tāhāte prakaṭa dekhi sa-vaṁśī vadana
nānā bhāve cañcala tāhe kamala-nayana

ei-mata tomā dekhi’ haya camatkāra
akapaṭe kaha, prabhu, kāraṇa ihāra”

Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya asked: “O Lord! I have but one more doubt remaining within my heart. Please be merciful upon me and reconcile this. At first I saw Your form as a sannyāsī, but now I am seeing Your dark-complexioned form as a cowherd boy (Śrī Śyāmasundara) and also before You I see a golden doll, by whose golden bodily effulgence Your entire body appears now covered. A flute rests upon Your lips, and varieties of ecstatic emotions are causing Your lotus eyes to restlessly rove about. After seeing Your svarūpa in this manner, a most astonishing bhāva awoke within my heart. O Prabhu, please abandon Your deception and explain the factual cause of this.”

Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya is witnessing both the sannyāsī-svarūpa of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and also His rasarāja-mahābhāva-svarūpa. His sannyāsī form is Śrī Kṛṣṇa, eternally in separation from Himself, performing austerities; and His mahābhāva-svarūpa is a manifestation of the special, eternal mood of adhirūḍha-mahābhāva. Being supremely merciful, Śrīman Mahāprabhu now desires to reveal the truth of His identity. Thus, a mood of majesty is manifesting here to some degree. Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya uses the word sandeha (doubt), which should be taken to mean “astonishment” in this context. Śrī Kṛṣṇa, standing in His threefold-bending pose, with a flute to His lips, and covered by a golden complexion, is the actual svarūpa of Mahāprabhu.

prabhu kahe,—“kṛṣṇe tomāra gāḍha-prema haya
premāra svabhāva ei jāniha niścaya

mahā-bhāgavata dekhe sthāvara-jaṅgama
tāṅhā tāṅhā haya tāṅra śrī-kṛṣṇa-sphuraṇa

sthāvara-jaṅgama dekhe, nā dekhe tāra mūrti
sarvatra haya tāṅra iṣṭa-deva-sphūrti

Keeping His true self concealed, Śrīman Mahāprabhu said to Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya: “You possess an exceedingly deep love for Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and it is the nature of a mahā-bhāgavata who has such deep ecstatic love for the Lord to not see everything simply as movable or inert; rather he sees Śrī Kṛṣṇa manifest everywhere. He does not see the moving or non-moving living entities or their forms. He only sees his worshipful Lord everywhere.”

The pure devotee possessing unalloyed love for the Lord does not see the forms of the moving and non-moving living entities; rather, everything is a reminder (uddīpana) of the sweet pastimes of His worshipful Master. In the same manner, the jñānīs see the whole world as the all-pervading Brahman, and the yogīs see the presence of the Paramātmā everywhere, and everything within the Paramātmā:

yo māṁ paśyati sarvatra,
sarvaṁ ca mayi paśyati
tasyāhaṁ na praṇaśyāmi,
sa ca me na praṇaśyati
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā 6.30).

“For one who sees Me in all beings and sees all beings in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me”

What, then, will a loving, pure devotee who is expert in tasting the rasa of devotional service be capable of perceiving?!
His heart melts and he realizes that everything, everywhere, awakens the special ecstasies of remembrance of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes.

sarva-bhūteṣu yaḥ paśyed
bhagavad-bhāvam ātmanaḥ
bhūtāni bhāgavaty ātmany
eṣa bhāgavatottamaḥ
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.2.45)

“The second amongst the nine Yogendras, namely Śrī Havi Mahārāja, said to Nimi Mahārāja, ‘O King, he who sees in all living entities and all forms of life, Śrī Kṛṣṇa as the very soul of all souls, and who sees all living entities as parts and parcels of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, is the topmost amongst all devotees, a mahā-bhāgavata.’”

Essentially, the parama-bhāgavata sees his beloved Lord within all living entities, and sees that same prema which he has for his worshipful deity present within all living entities. Only those great devotees like Vyāsa, who know tattva fully and who are expert in spiritual attainment, are able to understand Bhagavān. They make the incarnations of Bhagavān, His personal character, form, activities, and His supremely pure ecstatic transformations, their one true goal; consequently, they can genuinely understand His tattva. However, it is completely impossible for the demonic jīvas, covered by the modes of passion and ignorance, to understand Bhagavān.

The Lord keeps Himself hidden too, just as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is doing here, but when it comes to the mahā-bhāgavatas, the Lord cannot fool them. Every object is limited, or bound, by the three confines of time, place, and circumstance. Yet Bhagavān’s nature, which is of unparalleled depth, crosses beyond all of the restrictions presented by these three limits. By His potency known as the yogamāyā-śakti, Bhagavān conceals His own form; nevertheless, His exclusive devotees are always able to have His darśana.

Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda describes how Mahārāja Nimi, the king of Videha, inquired from Śrī Havi Mahārāja, one of the nine Yogendras, about the vision, behaviour, characteristics, and speech of each of the three levels of devotees, namely, the uttama (topmost), madhyama (middle class), and the kaniṣṭha (neophyte). Śrī Havi Mahārāja replied:

Ātmanaḥ – One who is free from material desires, and transcendentally situated;bhagavad-bhāvam – and who has attained a spiritual body (siddha-deha) appropriate for the service of Bhagavān, paśyet – sees; ātmany bhāgavaty – one’s own eternal transcendental spiritual body (siddha-deha); bhūtāni paśyed – in all living entities, [and who sees]; yaḥ sarva-bhūteṣu – all conscious entities contained within the moving and non-moving species of life, [within Bhagavān]; eṣaḥ bhāgavatottamaḥ – [is] the topmost devotee, the mahā-bhāgavat, who always sees the mood of sevya, (the one who is to be served, i.e., Śrī Kṛṣṇa), and sevaka (the who serves, i.e., the Vrajavāsīs) in everything because he possesses profuse sentiments of devotion and is not subject to external vision.

vana-latās tarava ātmani viṣṇuṁ
vyañjayantya iva puṣpa-phalāḍhyāḥ
praṇata-bhāra-viṭapā madhu-dhārāḥ
prema-hṛṣṭa-tanavo vavṛṣuḥ sma
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.35.9)

“The gopīs, afflicted by separation and sunk deeply in the remembrance of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, said, ‘The trees and creepers, heavily laden with flowers, and fruit, are bowing down with their branches. These creepers are horripilating on the pretext of bringing forth blooming flowers and are revealing that Viṣṇu is present in their hearts. In manifesting this, their happiness is flowing as a stream of honey, and the trees, who are the husbands of those creepers, are showing their happiness in a similar manner.’”

This verse is spoken by the lovely maidens of Vraja, who are afflicted by separation from Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Their love and affection for Him is immensely deep. On seeing the trees and creepers of the forest, the gopīs think, “These trees and creepers of the forest are supremely attached to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, as we are. Just as the tears flow effortlessly from our eyes when we see Śrī Kṛṣṇa, so these trees and creepers are weeping streams of sweet honey.”

The gopīs are exhibiting the symptom of mahābhāva, superimposing their own moods upon others. They are extolling others’ good fortune, and out of humility, considering themselves to be worthless and destitute. It is not that Bhagavān’s qualities are not revealed in the heart of the gopīs; rather, they are attributing their own sweet and most desirable bhāvas upon the trees and creepers, and describing that.

rādhā-kṛṣṇe tomāra mahā-prema haya
yāṅhā tāṅhā rādhā-kṛṣṇa tomāre sphuraya”

rāya kahe,—“prabhu tumi chāḍa bhāri-bhūri
mora āge nija-rūpa nā kariha curi

rādhikāra bhāva-kānti kari’ aṅgīkāra
nija-rasa āsvādite kariyācha avatāra

nija-gūḍha-kārya tomāra—prema-āsvādana
ānuṣaṅge premamaya kaile tribhuvana

āpane āile more karite uddhāra
ebe kapaṭa kara,—tomāra kona vyavahāra”

Śrīman Mahāprabhu continued: “My dear Rāmānanda, you have great prema for Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa within your heart, and therefore, you see Them manifested everywhere.”

Hearing this Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya replied: “My dear Lord, please give up all this cleverness. Do not conceal Your real form from me. In order to taste rasa, You have assumed the ecstasy and bodily complexion of Śrī Rādhikā. Savouring prema is Your supremely confidential business. Automatically, You have also filled the three worlds with prema. You have come here to deliver me.
Why, then, are You still acting with cunning?
What is this behaviour of Yours?”

tabe hāsi’ tāṅre prabhu dekhāila svarūpa
‘rasarāja’, ‘mahābhāva’—dui eka rūpa

dekhi’ rāmānanda hailā ānande mūrcchite
dharite nā pāre deha, paḍilā bhūmite

prabhu tāṅre hasta sparśi’ karāilā cetana
sannyāsīra veṣa dekhi’ vismita haila mana

āliṅgana kari’ prabhu kaila āśvāsana
“tomā binā ei-rūpa nā dekhe anya-jana

After hearing Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya’s statements, Mahāprabhu laughed and revealed His svarūpa.
What was the nature of that svarūpa?
It was the combined form of the personification and king of the amorous mellow (śrṅgāra-rasarāja), Śrī Kṛṣṇa, together with the personification of mahābhāva, Śrīmatī Rādhikā. Upon seeing this unprecedented form, Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya lost consciousness due to excessive transcendental bliss and fell to the ground. With the touch of His lotus hand, Śrīman Mahāprabhu revived him. Upon regaining consciousness, and again seeing His sannyāsī form, Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya became exceedingly astonished. After embracing and pacifying Rāmānanda Rāya, Śrīman Mahāprabhu said: “Rāya, apart from you, no one else can see this form.”

mora tattva-līlā-rasa tomāra gocare
ataeva ei-rūpa dekhāiluṅ tomāre

gaura aṅga nahe mora—rādhāṅga-sparśana
gopendra-suta vinā teṅho nā sparśe anya-jana

tāṅra bhāve bhāvita kari’ ātma-mana
tabe nija-mādhurya kari āsvādana

tomāra ṭhāñi āmāra kichu gupta nāhi karma
lukāile prema-bale jāna sarva-marma

Śrīman Mahāprabhu again said: “You know everything concerning My internal identity and the truth of My ambrosial activities. Therefore I have shown My special form to you. Actually, My complexion is not golden, but by the touch of the body of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, it has become golden, and apart from the son of the king of Vṛndāvana, Vrajendra-nandana Śrī Kṛṣṇa, She never touches another person. I am able to taste My own sweetness by making My mind and soul one with the mood of Śrīmatī Rādhikā. Before you, I am not able to conceal anything about My true identity. I definitely tried to conceal Myself from you, but because of the extremely powerful nature of your prema, I was unable to succeed in this. You have understood My internal form – you know who I am.”

Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya could understand very well that Śrīman Mahāprabhu was certainly Vrajendra-nandana Śrī Śyāmasundara. In Vraja, Śrī Kṛṣṇa could not taste the mādanākhya-bhāva of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, and for this reason, He became Śrī Gaurāṅga by taking Her bhāva and complexion, and came to this world. By Śrī Gaurāṅga’s mercy, Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya now remembered his factual position, or his previous birth as Śrī Viśākhā Sakhī, who is qualified for the darśana of rasarāja Śrī Kṛṣṇa and mahābhāva Śrī Rādhā. Bhagavān is the crest jewel of the clever, but the devotee is more clever still. It does not please Bhagavān to defeat His devotee; rather He is very pleased to be defeated by the devotee. Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya detected Mahāprabhu’s deception in concealing Himself and defeated Him, thus forcing Him to reveal His form as Gopendra-suta, the son of the king of the cowherds, Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

Śrīman Rāmānanda Rāya did not fall unconscious upon seeing the sannyāsī form of Mahāprabhu, or upon seeing His form as Śrī Vrajendra-nandana playing upon the flute. But He did fall into a swoon when he saw the combined form of rasarāja Śrī Kṛṣṇa and mahābhāva Śrī Rādhā. This is as it should be; Śrī Viśākhā becomes exceedingly blissful upon seeing the form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, as well as the form of Śrī Rādhā. However, seeing Their combined form caused her to be so overwhelmed with bhāva that it became extremely difficult for her to maintain her equanimity, and she lost consciousness. In fact, this form as rasarāja-mahābhāva is the essence of all the qualities of all the incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

It is said that both Vrajendra-nandana Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Śrī Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu are the very essence of Godhead, but how has this duality come about in the Supreme Lord?
Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Śrī Gaura are not separate tattvas, rather they are one. Externally Śrī Gaura is golden due to accepting Śrī Rādhā’s sentiments and complexion, but internally He is Kṛṣṇa. In much the same way that in His manifest pastimes, Śrī Kṛṣṇa assumed various disguises such as a lady florist, a doctor, and a lady bangle peddler, thus performing His pastimes of disguised identity, likewise, He has assumed the form of Śrī Gaurasundara, concealing His internal form in order to taste mahābhāva. He covered His opulence and displayed His sannyāsī form. The mood of the viṣaya (the enjoyer, the object of the devotees’ prema) is prominent in Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the king of the transcendental amorous mellow; whereas in Śrīman Mahāprabhu, where the blackish body of Śrī Kṛṣṇa is covered by the golden complexion of Śrī Rādhā, whose very nature consists of the highest ecstasy of mādanākhya-mahābhāva, the prominent mood is of the āśraya (the enjoyed, the receptacle of prema for Bhagavān).

Without mādanākhya-mahābhāva, it is not possible to taste Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s unparalleled sweetness. Each and every one of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s limbs is covered by the limbs of Śrī Rādhā. Factually, the complexion of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s body is not golden; it is simply because each one of His limbs is covered by the golden limbs of Śrī Rādhā that He is seen as having a fair complexion. Both Śrī Gaura and Śrī Kṛṣṇa are the self-same Kṛṣṇa, and both are the enjoyers of sambhoga-rasa (the happiness of meeting), which means that both are the enjoyers, or viṣaya-vigraha. Furthermore, taking shelter of the golden complexion and sentiments of the āśraya-vigraha Śrī Rādhā, in the mood of separation, or vipralambha-rasa, then Śrī Kṛṣṇa is Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya.

Dhīra-lalita-nāyaka (25) Śrī Nanda-nandana, the original Godhead, is the only form of Śrī Viṣṇu able to enjoy Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s svarūpa-śakti, Śrī Rādhā, who is the complete cit-śakti. No other form of Viṣṇu, only Gopendra-suta Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the son of the king of the cowherd community, partakes of śṛṅgāra-rasa (the mellow of amorous love) and is dhīra-lalita-nāyaka. All others have strong feelings of aiśvarya.

Therefore, Śrī Rādhā alone is described thus:

govindānandinī, rādhā, govinda-mohinī
govinda-sarvasva, sarva-kāntā-śiromaṇi
(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Ādi-līlā 4.82)

“Śrī Rādhā gives pleasure to Govinda. She is His enchantress, His all-in-all, and the crown jewel of all His sweethearts.”

gupte rākhiha, kāṅhā nā kariha prakāśa
āmāra bātula-ceṣṭā loke upahāsa

āmi—eka bātula, tumi—dvitīya bātula
ataeva tomāya-āmāya ha-i sama-tula”

Śrīman Mahāprabhu said: “O Rāmānanda Rāya, please keep My actual identity, the axiomatic truths, and what I have shown you, secret. Do not reveal them to anyone. People may laugh, since I always act like a madman. Actually, I am a madman, and you are also. Therefore both of us are on the same platform.”

Full of humility, Sri Caitanya Mahāprabhu is explaining that in this world of mundane logic and dry speculative knowledge, one should not present these talks before the unqualified non-devotees. Such persons, who are subject to mundane material intelligence, and addicted to logic, argument, and word jugglery, cannot understand the value of such topics, and by laughing at such topics, they will become offenders. We should properly understand the word pāgala, or madman, to mean premonmāda, or one maddened by the influence of prema.

One whose every endeavour is performed under the influence of prema, for the happiness of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and who is intoxicated by the nectar of the path of rāgānuga-bhakti, cannot be understood by persons absorbed in the rasa of material enjoyment. The materialists will consider the prema-filled endeavours of the devotees to be a form of madness. When someone is attracted by kṛṣṇa-prema, he abandons all material endeavours and is said to be divinely intoxicated, or transcendentally maddened.

Śrīman Mahāprabhu declared: “O Rāmānanda, you are seeing Me as a separate golden person, but I am not. I am Vrajendra-nandana Śrī Kṛṣṇa. My mood as Gaura has come about by the touch of the body of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, and it is eternal. Whoever is able to understand the basic truth of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya and of Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa can, by the mercy of Śrī Svarūpa Gosvāmī, be enabled to obtain eternal service, according to his actual eternal form.”

ei-rūpa daśa-rātri rāmānanda-saṅge
sukhe goṅāilā prabhu kṛṣṇa-kathā-raṅge

nigūḍha vrajera rasa-līlāra vicāra
aneka kahila, tāra nā pāila pāra

tāmā, kāṅsā, rūpā, sonā, ratna-cintāmaṇi
keha yadi kāṅhā potā pāya eka-khāni

krame uṭhāite seha uttama vastu pāya
aiche praśnottara kaila prabhu-rāmarāya

Śrīman Mahāprabhu spent ten nights like this with Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya, happily discussing topics of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. The pastimes in Vṛndāvana are very confidential. They described these pastimes at great length, but still they could not exhaust the subject matter. Consider a person who digs and extracts from a mine many varieties of valuable substances such as copper, bell-metal, silver, gold, jewels, and wish-fulfilling jewels, and in the process he extracts items of increasing value one after the other. Exactly thus, by the method of questions and answers, Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu extracted higher and higher axiomatic truths.

In the current verses, Śrī Kavirāja Gosvāmī has given copper, bell-metal, silver, etc., as examples to describe a variety of sādhyas, each one superior to the previous. The descriptions begin with varṇāśrama-dharma and conclude by revealing the topmost limit of sādhya, which is mādanākhya-mahābhāva. All of this is accomplished by the stratagem of questions and answers.

Śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya, and mādhurya rasas are compared to copper, bell-metal, silver, gold, and cintāmaṇi jewels, respectively. In Vṛndāvana, the water of Yamunā, the sand of the riverbanks, the kadamba trees, cows, sticks, and flutes are all manifestations of śānta-rasa. Citraka, Patraka, Raktaka, and others are embodiments of dāsya-rasa. Dāma, Śrīdāma, Subala, and others are embodiments of sakhya-rasa, and Śrī Nanda and Yaśodā are the embodiments of vātsalya-rasa. Lastly, Śrī Rādhā, Lalitā, and the other gopīs of Vraja are wealthy in their own respective bhāvas in mādhurya-rasa. Starting from copper, the succeeding metals increase in value through bell-metal and silver to gold, etc. In the same way, from the initial sādhya of varṇāśrama-dharma there is an incremental scale of bhakti, in terms of superiority.

There is a gradation in the examples given. Copper is like following varṇāśrama-dharma. As copper is common, of little value, and considered not worth keeping, it is thus rejectable. This varṇāśrama-dharma is within the category of āropa-siddhā-bhakti (an activity which is not in itself composed of bhakti, but is termed bhakti). Bell-metal (bronze) is a mixture of the two metals: copper and tin, and is equivalent to jñāna-miśrā-bhakti, which is not the topmost sādhya. Pure silver is like svarūpa-siddhā-bhakti, which is superior to an alloy (a mixed metal). Gold is compared with prema-bhakti in the mood of dāsya; it is better and more developed than svarūpa-siddhā-bhakti. Jewels correspond to sakhya- and vātsalya-prema-bhakti, by which Śrī Kṛṣṇa is controlled. The ultimate jewel is the cintāmaṇi, or the wish-fulfilling jewel, representing the mādanākhya-mahābhāva of Śrīmatī Rādhikā. This is extremely rare and fulfils each and every one of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s desires.

āra dina rāya-pāśe vidāya māgilā
vidāyera kāle tāṅre ei ājñā dilā

“viṣaya chāḍiyā tumi yāha nīlācale
āmi tīrtha kari’ tāṅhā āsiba alpa-kāle

dui-jane nīlācale rahiba eka-saṅge
sukhe goṅāiba kāla kṛṣṇa-kathā-raṅge”

eta bali’ rāmānande kari’ āliṅgana
tāṅre ghare pāṭhāiyā karila śayana

prātaḥ-kāle uṭhi’ prabhu dekhi’ hanumān
tāṅre namaskari’ prabhu dakṣiṇe karilā prayāṇa

‘vidyāpūre’ nānā-mata loka vaise yata
prabhu-darśane ‘vaiṣṇava’ haila chāḍi’ nija-mata

rāmānanda hailā prabhura virahe vihvala
prabhura dhyāne rahe viṣaya chāḍiyā sakala

saṅkṣepe kahiluṅ rāmānandera milana
vistāri varṇite nāre sahasra-vadana

The next day, Śrīman Mahāprabhu begged Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya to permit Him to leave. When departing the Lord ordered him: “Give up all material business and go to Nīlācala (Śrī Jagannātha Purī). I will quickly finish touring the holy places and return there. The two of us shall remain together at Nīlācala and happily pass our time discussing topics of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.”

Saying this Śrīman Mahāprabhu then embraced Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya, and after sending him back to his home, the Lord also left there in order to take rest. After rising from bed the next morning, Mahāprabhu had darśana of Hanumān, and after offering him obeisances, the Lord departed for South India to continue His tour of the holy places.

After this He arrived in Vidyāpura, where all the residents followed different religious persuasions, but after seeing Śrīman Mahāprabhu, they gave up their own philosophies and became Vaiṣṇavas. On the other hand, Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya was so overwhelmed in separation from the Lord that he gave up all his material affairs, and became completely immersed in meditation upon Him. Śrīla Kavirāja Gosvāmī explains here, “I have briefly described the meeting between Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Rāmānanda Rāya. No one can actually describe this meeting completely. It is even impossible for Bhagavān Śrī Śeṣa Nāga, who has thousands of mouths.”

Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura describes that the worship of Hanumān is performed in Vidyānagara. He is the deity of that village, and after offering His respects to him, Śrīman Mahāprabhu continued on His tour of the holy places in South India.

sahaje caitanya-caritra—ghana-dugdha-pūra
rāmānanda-caritra tāhe khaṇḍa pracura

rādhā-kṛṣṇa-līlā—tāte karpūra-milana
bhāgyavān yei, sei kare āsvādana

ye ihā eka-bāra piye karṇa-dvāre
tāra karṇa lobhe ihā chāḍite nā pāre

‘rasa-tattva-jñāna’ haya ihāra śravaṇe
‘prema-bhakti’ haya rādhā-kṛṣṇera caraṇe

caitanyera gūḍha-tattva jāni ihā haite
viśvāsa kari’ śuna, tarka nā kariha citte

The character and activities of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu are just like condensed milk, and the character of Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya is like sweet sugar candy. Mixing them together produces a supremely sweet substance. The pastimes of Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa are like adding camphor. One who is able to taste this substance is most fortunate. Anyone who even once receives this through the doorway of the ears becomes greedy to relish it further still, and His ears will never want to stop hearing it. By hearing the talks between Rāmānanda Rāya and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu one becomes enlightened with the complete transcendental knowledge of rasa-tattva (the mellows of Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes), and he can achieve prema-bhakti for the Divine Couple’s lotus feet. The activities of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu are supremely confidential, and this confidential knowledge is received only by submissive hearing. Do not allow your mind to make any type of speculation in this regard, and hear these talks with full faith.

alaukika līlā ei parama nigūḍha
viśvāse pāiye, tarke haya bahu-dūra

yāṅhāra sarvasva, tāṅre mile ei dhana

rāmānanda rāye mora koṭī namaskāra
yāṅra mukhe kaila prabhu rasera vistāra

dāmodara-svarūpera kaḍacā-anusāre
rāmānanda-milana-līlā karila pracāre

śrī-rūpa-raghunātha-pade yāra āśa
caitanya-caritāmṛta kahe kṛṣṇadāsa

This part of Śrīman Mahāprabhu’s pastimes is most deep and confidential. One who has faith can achieve this, while it remains very far from those subject to faulty mundane logic. He who has accepted the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu and Śrī Advaita Ācārya Prabhu as his all-in-all can attain this transcendental treasure of rasa.

I (Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī) am offering millions of obeisances to the lotus feet of Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya, from whose lotus mouth Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has spread the wealth of prema-rasa. This pastime of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s meeting with Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya has been described in accordance with the notebooks of Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara. Desiring the mercy of the lotus feet of Śrī Rūpa and Śrī Raghunātha Gosvāmīs, I, Kṛṣṇadāsa, narrate this Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta.

(23) Puruṣa – conscious being; prakṛti – material nature; maha-tattva – the total material elements.

(24) The five elements represent Mahāprabhu’s experiencing aṣṭa-sāttvika-bhāvas. For example, when śuddha-sattva takes the shelter of water, an incessant flow of tears comes from His eyes, when it takes shelter of fire there is perspiration on His body, when it takes shelter of earth He becomes stunned; air – trembling; ether – pallor. The manifestation of His sāttvika-vikāras suffuses bhakti into the whole atmosphere.

(25) Śrī Kṛṣṇa is portrayed as dhīra-lalita-nāyaka. This hero is characterized by skill in amorous pastimes, fresh youthfulness, expertise in humour, the absence of anxiety, and submission to his beloveds.

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