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More than five hundred years ago, the Supreme Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu sat with His intimate devotee Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya on the banks of the river Godāvarī. For the benefit of all living beings, the Lord inquired from him about the ultimate goal of life, as if ignorant.
Śrī Rāmānanda’s initial response did not satisfy Lord Caitanya, who probed for a deeper answer. Again and again He rejected the goal Śrī Rāmānanda put forth, calling it external. Finally, when Śrī Rāmānanda touched upon the natural, eternal religion of the soul, the Lord was somewhat satisfied. His subsequent inquiries continued to depths that astounded and delighted His devotee, who replied wonderfully to each of them.