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Sri Ramananda Ray's Answers

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Godavari, Kovvur, Andhra Pradesh
5 January 2019, part 5


[His Divine Grace continues and concludes reading from Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, chapter 8:]

Later, Mahaprabhu again met with Ramananda Ray, and this time Mahaprabhu asked Ramananda Ray questions and Ramananda Ray gave answers:

prabhu kahe,—"kon vidya vidya-madhye sara?"
raya kahe,—"krsna-bhakti vina vidya nahi ara"

The Lord inquired, "Of all types of education, which is the most important?" Ramananda Ray replied, "No education is important other than the transcendental devotional service of Krishna."

Krishna-bhakti is the highest transcendental education (para-vidya).

'kirti-gana-madhye jivera kon bada kirti?'
'krsna-bhakta baliya yanhara haya khyati'

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then asked Ramananda Ray, "Out of all glorious activities, which is the most glorious?" Ramananda Ray replied, "That person who is reputed to be a devotee of Lord Krishna enjoys the utmost fame and glory."

Kirti means glory. Mahaprabhu asks, "What is the highest glory? Who is the most famous?" Ramananda Ray replied, "One who is a devotee of Krishna is the highest person."

'sampatira madhye jivera kon sampati gani?'
'radha-krsne prema yanra, sei bada dhani'

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked, "Of the many capitalists who possess great riches, who is the topmost?" Ramananda Ray replied, "He who is richest in love for Radha and Krishna is the greatest capitalist."

Sampati means property, wealth. What is the proper, the greatest wealth? Who is rich? One who has love and devotion for Radha-Krishna.

'duhkha-madhye kona duhkha haya gurutara?'
'krsna-bhakta-viraha vina duhkha nahi dekhi para'

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked, "Of all kinds of distress, what is the most painful?" Sri Ramananda Ray replied, "Apart from separation from the devotee of Krishna, I know of no unbearable unhappiness."

What is the greatest sadness in life? Sometimes we think, "Oh, my parents have died," "My wife has died," "My husband has died," "My son has died"—we think this is very sad, but actually it is not sad. The greatest sadness is separation from a devotee.

Next question is who is the liberated soul? One who is Krishna-premik—who has love and devotion—is the greatest liberated soul.

'mukta-madhye kon jiva mukta kari' mani?'
'krsna-prema yanra, sei mukta-siromani'

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then inquired, "Out of all liberated persons, who should be accepted as the greatest?" Ramananda Ray replied, "He who has love for Krishna has attained the topmost liberation."

'gana-madhye kona gana—jivera nija dharma?'
'radha-krsnera prema-keli'—yei gitera marma

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu next asked Ramananda Ray, "Among many songs, which song is to be considered the actual religion of the living entity?" Ramananda Ray replied, "That song describing the loving affairs of Sri Radha and Krishna is superior to all other songs."

Next question is what is 'sreyo'? 'Sreyo' means 'auspicious'. Auspiciousness is the association of a devotee of Krishna.

'sreyo-madhye kona sreyah jivera haya sara?'
'krsna-bhakta-sanga vina sreyah nahi ara'

Then Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked, "Out of all auspicious and beneficial activities, which is best for the living entity?" Ramananda Ray replied, "The only auspicious activity is association with the devotees of Krishna."

Next question. What should we remember every day? Krishna is the only object of daily, eternal remembrance. Krishna also gives the injunction, "Remember Me, and do not forget Me."

'kanhara smarana jiva karibe anuksana?'
'krsna'-nama-guna-lila—pradhana smarana'

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked, "What should all living entities constantly remember?" Ramananda Ray replied, "The chief objects of remembrance are always the Lord's Holy Name, qualities and pastimes."

'dhyeya-madhye jivera kartavya kon dhyana?'

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu further inquired, "Out of many types of meditation, which is required for all living entities?" Srila Ramananda Ray replied, "The chief duty of every living entity is to meditate upon the lotus feet of Radha and Krishna."

What is the greatest meditation (dhyan)? Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur told,

মাতল হরিজন কীর্ত্তন-রঙ্গে ।
পূজল রাগপথ গৌরব-ভঙ্গে ॥

matala hari-jana kirtana-range
pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange

"From afar we shall worship the raga-patha, the path of spontaneous affectionate service, while we ourselves shall live within the Vedic guideline."

Then, next question is what is the greatest place of residence?

'sarva tyaji' jivera kartavya kahan vasa?'
'vraja-bhumi vrndavana yahan lila-rasa'

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked, "Where should the living entity live, abandoning all other places?" Ramananda Ray replied, "He should live in the holy place known as Vrndavana or Vrajabhumi, where the Lord performed His rasa dance."

But do not think that you must now leave Vijayawada and go stay in Vrindavan. Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur told that Vrindavan is where the sadhu is.

যে দিন গৃহে ভজন দেখি ।
গৃহেতে গোলোক ভায় ॥

ye dina grhe bhajana dekhi
grhete goloka bhaya

On the days when I see devotional service taking place in my home, I feel that Goloka has manifested there.

('Suddha-bhakata-charana-renu' by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)

If you stay in Vrindavan, Mathura, or Govardhan for your own enjoyment, for own interest, that is not residence in Govardhan, that is not staying in Mathura. That is why Mahaprabhu said,

vrndavane giya na thakiya chira kala
govardhane uthiya na dekhiya gopala

"When you go to Vrindavan, do not stay there for a long time and do not climb the Govardhan Hill to see Gopal."

You can only stay in Vrindavan for service; without service, you cannot stay there because Vrindavan is a place of Radhanuga-bhakti (devotion under the guidance of Srimati Radharani), and if you try to imitate what all the Vraja gopis do, you will go to hell.

'sravana-madhye jivera kon srestha sravana?'
'radha-krsna-prema-keli karna-rasayana'

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked, "Out of all topics people listen to, which is best for all living entities?" Ramananda Ray replied, "Hearing about the loving affairs between Radha and Krishna is most pleasing to the ear."

Once, a disciple of Gurudev wanted to hear Radha-Krishna's pastimes from Gurudev, but Gurudev replied, "If you hear it, you will get pregnant."

'upasyera madhye kon upasya pradhana?'
'srestha upasya—yugala 'radha-krsna' nama'

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked, "Among all worshipable objects, which is the chief?" Ramananda Ray replied, "The chief worshipable object is the Holy Name of Radha and Krishna, the Hare Krishna mantra."

You must keep this in your heart, do not show it to others.

মাতল হরিজন কীর্ত্তন-রঙ্গে ।
পূজল রাগপথ গৌরব-ভঙ্গে ॥

matala hari-jana kirtana-range
pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange

"From afar we shall worship the raga-patha, the path of spontaneous affectionate service, while we ourselves shall live within the Vedic guideline."

You must practise sravanam and kirtanam, but as for worshipping Radha-Krishna's lotus feet, you must keep that in your heart.

'mukti, bhukti vanchhe yei, kahan dunhara gati?'
'sthavara-deha, deva-deha yaichhe avasthiti'

"And what is the destination of those who desire liberation and those who desire sense gratification?" Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked. Ramananda Ray replied, "Those who attempt to merge into the existence of the Supreme Lord will have to accept bodies like those of trees. And those who are overly inclined toward sense gratification will attain the bodies of demigods."

What is the destination of those who want liberation and enjoyment? They get another body or a demigod's body.

Then, Ramananda Ray said,

arasa-jna kaka chuse jnana-nimba-phale
rasa-jna kokila khaya premamra-mukule

Ramananda Ray continued, "Those who are devoid of all transcendental mellows are like the crows that suck the juice from the bitter fruits of the nimba tree of knowledge, whereas those who enjoy mellows are like the cuckoos who eat the buds of the mango tree of love of Godhead."

eka samsaya mora achhaye hrdaye
krpa kari' kaha more tahara nischaye

Ramananda Ray then said that he had but one doubt within his heart, and he petitioned the Lord, "Please be merciful upon me and just remove my doubt."

pahile dekhilun tomara sannyasi-svarupa
ebe toma dekhi muni syama-gopa-rupa

Ramananda Ray then told Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, "At first I saw You appear like a sannyasi, but now I am seeing You as Syamasundara, the cowherd boy.

tomara sammukhe dekhi kanchana-panchalika
tanra gaura-kantye tomara sarva anga dhaka

"I now see You appearing like a golden doll, and Your entire body appears covered by a golden luster.

tahate prakata dekhon sa-vamsi vadana
nana bhave chanchala tahe kamala-nayana

"I see that You are holding a flute to Your mouth, and Your lotus eyes are moving very restlessly due to various ecstasies.

ei-mata toma dekhi' haya chamatkara
akapate kaha, prabhu, karana ihara

"I actually see You in this way, and this is very wonderful. My Lord, please tell me without duplicity what is causing this."

prabhu kahe,—krsne tomara gadha-prema haya
premara svabhava ei janiha nischaya

Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu replied, "You have a deep love for Krishna, and one who has such deep ecstatic love for the Lord naturally sees things in such a way. Please take this from Me to be certain.

maha-bhagavata dekhe sthavara-jangama
tahan tahan haya tanra sri-krsna-sphurana

"A devotee advanced on the spiritual platform sees everything movable and inert as the Supreme Lord. For him, everything he sees here and there is but a manifestation of Lord Krishna.

sthavara-jangama dekhe, na dekhe tara murti
sarvatra haya nija ista-deva-sphurti

"The maha-bhagavata, the advanced devotee, certainly sees everything mobile and immobile, but he does not exactly see their forms. Rather, everywhere he immediately sees manifest the form of the Supreme Lord."

radha-krsne tomara maha-prema haya
yahan tahan radha-krsna tomare sphuraya

Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu continued, "My dear Ray, you are an advanced devotee and are always filled with ecstatic love for Radha and Krishna. Therefore whatever you see—anywhere and everywhere—simply awakens your Krishna consciousness."

raya kahe,—prabhu tumi chhada bhari-bhuri
mora age nija-rupa na kariha churi

Ramananda Ray replied, "My dear Lord, please give up all these serious talks. Please do not conceal Your real form from me."

Ramananda Ray said, "Prabhu, do not hide from me! Do not try to deceive me!"

radhikara bhava-kanti kari' angikara
nija-rasa asvadite kariyachha avatara

Ramananda Ray continued, "My dear Lord, I can understand that You have assumed the ecstasy and bodily complexion of Srimati Radharani. By accepting these, You are tasting Your own personal transcendental humor and have therefore appeared as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

nija-gudha-karya tomara—prema asvadana
anusange prema-maya kaile tribhuvana

"My dear Lord, You have descended in this incarnation of Lord Chaitanya for Your own personal reasons. You have come to taste Your own spiritual bliss, and at the same time You are transforming the whole world by spreading the ecstasy of love of Godhead.

apane aile more karite uddhara
ebe kapata kara,—tomara kona vyavahara

"My dear Lord, by Your causeless mercy You have appeared before me to grant me liberation. Now You are playing in a duplicitous way. What is the reason for this behavior?"

Then Mahaprabhu laughed,

tabe hasi' tanre prabhu dekhaila svarupa
'rasa-raja', 'mahabhava'—dui eka rupa

Lord Sri Krishna is the reservoir of all pleasure, and Srimati Radharani is the personification of ecstatic love of Godhead. These two forms had combined as one in Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Smiling, Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu revealed His real form to Ramananda Ray.

dekhi' ramananda haila anande murchchhite
dharite na pare deha, padila bhumite

Upon seeing this form, Ramananda Ray lost consciousness in transcendental bliss. Unable to remain standing, he fell to the ground.

prabhu tanre hasta sparsi' karaila chetana
sannyasira vesa dekhi' vismita haila mana

When Ramananda Ray fell to the ground unconscious, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu touched his hand, and he immediately regained consciousness. But when he saw Lord Chaitanya in the dress of a sannyasi, he was struck with wonder.

alingana kari' prabhu kaila asvasana
toma vina ei-rupa na dekhe anya-jana

After embracing Ramananda Ray, the Lord pacified him, informing him, "But for you, no one has ever seen this form."

mora tattva-lila-rasa tomara gochare
ataeva ei-rupa dekhailun tomare

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu confirmed, "All the truths about My pastimes and mellows are within your knowledge. Therefore I have shown this form to you.

gaura anga nahe mora—radhanga-sparsana
gopendra-suta vina tenho na sparse anya-jana

"Actually My body does not have a fair complexion. It only appears so because it has touched the body of Srimati Radharani. However, She does not touch anyone but the son of Nanda Maharaj..."


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