In the first verse of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila chapter 8, Srila
Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has given the essence of the entire chapter.
gaurabdhir etair amuna vitirnais
[Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is known as Gauranga, is the ocean
of all conclusive knowledge in devotional service. He empowered Sri
Ramananda Raya, who may be likened to a cloud of devotional service.
This cloud was filled with the water of all the conclusive purports
of devotional service and was empowered by the ocean to spread this
water over the sea of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself. Thus the ocean
of Caitanya Mahaprabhu became filled with the jewels of the knowledge
of pure devotional service. (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is also known as Sacinandana Gaurahari,
is an ocean of all established philosophical truths (tattva and siddhanta),
especially krsna-tattva, jiva-tattva, maya-tattva, radha-tattva, rasa-tattva,
and vilasa tattva (the conclusive truths about Lord Krsna, the eternal
living being, the Lord's deluding potency, His pleasure potency, the
mellow taste of a relationship with Him, His pastimes and so on).
This is because He is Lord Krsna Himself. Krsna is the nectarean ocean
of conclusive truths, but when He is combined with Radhika, having
accepted both Her beauty and Her intrinsic mood of madanakhya-bhava,
you cannot imagine the height of His glory. Now, in this form, He
is an endless ocean of all kinds of philosophical truths.
Raya Ramananda is a pure devotee. Inwardly in an unseen way
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu inspired all these truths in the heart
of Raya Ramananda, just as an ocean gives water to clouds. Although
no one sees or understands the process by which the ocean gives purified
water not salt water there is a process. A beautiful
cloud, like Krsna in color, manifests in the sky. Then, during the
svati constellation, if that water rains down on the same ocean, so
many beautiful pearls manifest there.
This only occurs during the svati constellation. Similarly, in an
unseen way, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu inspires only devotees like Raya
Ramananda not others. (In Sri Krsnas pastimes, Raya Ramanda
is Visakha-devi, one of Srimati Radhika's most intimate gopi companions.)
Many oysters reside in their shells in the ocean. When the cloud showers
its rain, pearls manifest in their shells, some smaller and some bigger,
and all the pearls are extremely valuable. The ocean is then called
ratnakara, because pearls are ratna (jewels). These pearls represent
the five kinds of rasas (transcendental relationships with Sri Krsna):
santa (neutral), dasya (servitorship), sakhya (friendship), vatsalya,
and above all, madhurya (conjugal).
Within madhurya-rasa, there is also a variety of gopi moods, such
as Candravali's mood, Syamala's mood and Bhadra's mood. In other words,
there are all varieties of paksa ( parties or supporters): vipaska,
svapaksa, tatastha and suhrt moods.*[See endnote 1]
These moods are likened to so many valuable pearls.
In a sense, all these pearls originally came from the ocean itself.
In this connection the ocean is Sri Krsna, having the mood and complexion
of Radhika and now filled with Radha-bhava, who is now known as Gauracandra
and He internally sent inspiration to the cloud
of Raya Ramananda. Then, when rain poured from that cloud of Raya
Ramananda, Caitanya Mahaprabhu became ratnakara (the ocean of jewels).
He then returned to Jagannatha Puri with those jewels.
At the end of His conversation with Raya Ramananda, Mahaprabhu requested
him, Please remain with Me. Raya Ramananda at once agreed
to give up his post as the governor general of king Prataparudra,
and the king himself was very happy. The king told Raya Ramananda,
Now you will remain with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and I will
share in the mercy you receive. He continued to give Raya Ramananda
his full salary and all facilities of the governor general. He also
told him to keep his palatial building.
Later, in Jagannatha Puri, along with Raya Ramananda and Svarupa Damodara,
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would keep those pearls in His heart and realize
Sri Radha's mood, sometimes weeping bitterly. All Radhika's moods,
including those which are not disclosed even in the Srimad-bhagavatam,
were experienced and exhibited by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Sukadeva
Gosvami could not even utter Radhikas name*[See
endnote 2], so how would he be able to explain all else? In Sacinandana
Gaurahari we see all the symptoms of Srimati Radhika that have not
been told anywhere yet were present in Her.
Here in Raya Ramananda Samvad we will try to explain the discussion
between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Raya Ramananda, from the beginning.
This discussion is very beautiful. I do not believe that I have explained
it in quite this way before. My Hindi classes on this topic, in Puri
this past August and previously in other places, were transcribed
and compiled, and the manuscript was given to me. When I read it I
thought, Who has written this? While I was giving those
classes I had prayed to my Gurudeva, and by his grace new thoughts
came to me.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura received special mercy from Sri Svarupa
Damodara in a similar way. He was inspired by Svarupa Damodara to
explain the verses of Srimad Bhagavatam, with the help of other Bhagavatam
verses. Sri Svarupa Damodara had told him to make a garland of these
verses, and he did so. His book, Bhagavat-arca-marici-mala, was originally
written by him in Bengali, and it will soon be printed in Hindi with
further explanation by me. I cannot explain in words how beautiful
this book is.
Now we are in the process of readying Raya Ramananda Samvad for publication.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has given a commentary called
Anubhasya and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has given a commentary called
Amrta-bhasya. My commentaries have drawn from theirs getting
inspiration from their commentaries and from what I have heard from
my Gurudeva. I have tried to explain everything in such a way that
the world would clearly know the meaning of Raya Ramananda Samvad.
I would like a qualified person to translate this into English, as
Gita-Govinda and Bhajana-rahasya were translated. An ordinary person
cannot do it; only someone who has knowledge of all these topics.
I will now give an explanation of the words sva-bhakti siddhanta
caranmrtani in the above-mentioned first verse of this chapter.
You should know the definition of sva-bhakti, according to the understanding
given by Srila Rupa Gosvami:
anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam
sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah
[May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Srimati Saci-devi
be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart.
Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the
Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has
ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional
service, the mellow of conjugal love. (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila
Sva means Her own. Her own means Srimati Radhika
and Her own special moods of sneha, maan, pranaya, raga, anuraga,
bhava, mahabhava, adiruddha, mohan, and then up to madan.*[See
endnote 2] Even Lord Krsna has no madan; He has only up to mahabhava
and not even adiruddha mahabhava. Only Lalita, Visakha and
other gopis like them have these moods, although they do not have
madan. But Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is a combination of Sri Krsna and
Sva-bhakti is Radhikas bhakti to Krsna, the love of Radhika
for Sri Krsna. Kamatmika-bhakti (madhurya-rasa) has two divisions.
One division is called ullasa-mayi-rati, and that is the mood of the
manjari, a maidservant of Sri Radha. A jiva can never have the mood
of Radhika* [See endnote 3]. If Lalita and Visakha
cannot have Her mood, and Sri Krsna cannot have Her mood, how can
a jiva have it? By constitution, a jiva who has a relationship with
Krsna in madhurya rasa has the eligibility only for this manjari-bhava.
You should think that practically all those in this audience, those
of you who are hearing of manjari-bhava, have that bhava in your constitution.
You should think that those who are attracted to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu
are very fortunate. Those who have come to His line have done so because
of Srila Rupa Gosvami, and Rupa Gosvami is internally Rupa Manjari.
How many are you? In number, you are practically nothing. In this
entire creation, all of you together are not even one drop. One drop
has so many particles, and those particles can be divided into still
more particles. So your number is almost nothing. Dont doubt
this. You are very fortunate that you are attracted to this line.
Otherwise, you could have gone to Ramanuja, Madhavacarya, Visnusvami
or Nimbarka. In India there are also thousands of apa-sampradayas
(groups outside the four authorized disciplic successions), and you
could have gone there as well.
Only Caitanya Mahaprabhu could have brought this understanding to
the world. Before Him there was no bhakti-rasa (raganuga-bhakti and
rupanuga-bhakti). Bhakti was there, but it was vaidhi-bhakti, not
bhakti-rasa. Mahaprabhu especially ordered Sri Svarupa Damodara and
Sri Raya Ramananda to sprinkle their mercy upon Srila Rupa Gosvami,
so that he could be qualified to realize the Lords mood and
establish it in the world and Rupa Gosvami did establish it.
The stayi-bhava (permanent transcendental emotion or relationship)
discussed herein is of the manjaris, and it is called bhava-ullasa-rati
*[See endnote 4]. It is not directly in relation
to Sri Krsna. The manjaris have more inclination towards Srimati Radhika.
radhika-dasi yadi haya abhimana
sigrai milai taba gokula-kana
[If you develop pride in being Srimati Radhika's exclusive maidservant,
then you will very quickly meet Gokula Kana (Sri Krsna). (Sri
Radha-Bhajana Mahima, Glorification of Worship to Sri Radha by Srila
Bhaktivinoda Thakura, verse 5)]
If Srimati Radhika is unhappy, in a mood of lamenting and crying,
Sri Rupa Manjari will also be crying. At that time Lalita and Visakha
can console Radhika, but Rupa Manjari cannot. The same moods relished
by Srimati Radhika will manifest in the heart of Rupa Manjari. Seeing
her master, she will weep like her master, so how can she console
Her? Rupa Manjari, Rati Manjari and Lavanga Manjari cannot console
Her. Their moods are very exalted.
Srila Sukadeva Gosvami brought the news of all the rasas to this world:
nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam
pibata bhagavatam rasam alayam
muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhavukah
[O expert and thoughtful men, relish Srimad-Bhagavatam, the
mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emanated
from the lips of Sri Sukadeva Gosvami). Therefore, this fruit has
become even more tasteful, although its nectarean juice was already
relishable for all, including liberated souls. (Srimad-Bhagavatam
However, only Caitanya Mahaprabhu brought this manjari mood. It is
written in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, fourth chapter:
prema-rasa-niryasa karite asvadana
raga-marga bhakti loke karite pracarana
rasika-sekhara krsna parama-karuna
ei dui hetu haite icchara udgama
[The Lords desire to appear was born from two reasons:
the Lord wanted to taste the sweet essence of the mellow of love of
God, and He wanted to propagate devotional service in the world on
the platform of spontaneous attraction. Thus He is known as supremely
jubilant and as the most merciful of all. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
The glory of Sriman Mahaprabhu is expressed in this verse. He gave
the process to attain the highest goal attainable by a jiva, but it
is very rare that one will be able to enter it. How did He do it?
He first inspired the heart of Raya Ramananda, just as the ocean water
becomes a cloud in an unseen way. If that cloud touches the top of
any mountain, or if it touches the many trees in a forest or jungle,
it melts. In this connection Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is compared with
the forest and the mountain. In this comparison, He may be compared
to these two, along with the ocean. He may be compared to all three.
The cloud of Raya Ramananda melted, and the drops of water
during the svati constellations showered down into the ocean.
In other words, Raya Ramanandas words entered the ears of Sri
Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and Mahaprabhu was now extremely satisfied. Ramananda
Raya was then given the darsana of Rasaraja-mahabhava (Krsna and Radha
as one), and he fainted.
This mood is called raganuga and rupanuga as well. Rupanuga was included.
All raganuga devotees are not rupanuga but all rupanuga devotees are
truly raganuga. The nectar coming from the cloud of Raya Ramananda
was very sweet more so than nectar. It was rupanuga
especially the mood of Rupa Manjari, Rati Manjari and Lavanga Manjari.
Bhakti is the embodiment of eternal bliss, and it is tasteful to the
utmost extent. Now Mahaprabhu has become ratnakara, realizing all
What kind of ocean is Caitanya Mahaprabhu compared with? That ocean
is endless, with great waves of transcendental moods, like sancari,
sattvik and vyabacari. *[See endnote 5] Its waves
are not like those of the salty sea, that drag you beneath the surface
of the water and kill you. The waves of this ocean do not roll like
those in the mundane ocean. They are very sweet, like nectar. The
material ocean is not endless. It ends somewhere, because it is on
the Earth. Nearby here (Murwillumbah) is the Gold Coast ocean, and
on the other side there must be an island or continent. But Mahaprabhu's
ocean is endless. There is no bottom, no end, no sides; no west, east,
north nor south.
In the material ocean there are so many crocodiles, sharks, whales,
poisonous snakes and other creatures that we dont even know
about. These large creatures can take elephants in their mouths and
turn over large ships. We only know up to whales, but I have heard
that bigger than whales are timingilas, and they can swallow those
whales. None of these creatures are in Mahaprabhus ocean.
In other words, there is no worship of jnana (mental speculation and
knowledge leading to impersonal liberation), karma and yoga, which
swallow your existence. There are no crocodiles of mayavadism and
voidism. There is only the sweet desire to serve Sri Sri Radha and
Krsna, and especially the desire to serve Srimati Radhika. There are
so many specialities of mellows in that ocean 360 kinds of
mellows in madhurya-rasa. Each sakhi is an embodiment of a particular
mellow, and there are so many that we cannot count them. This ocean
is so endless that even Sri Krsna, the Supreme Lord, can drown in
it; and even He will find no end to it.
There are no big roaring waves here only the waves of vipralambha
(separation) and sambhoga (meeting) moods are here. Sambhoga and vipralambha
are very sweet. When seen from the neutral point of view, sometimes
the mood of separation appears sweeter than that of meeting. It dances
on the head of sambhoga-rasa. However, if we examine this from the
point of view of persons in that pastime, we see that they never accept
vipralambha-rasa to be higher. They will think it like a poison.
No sakhi of Radhika desires that Radha and Krsna should be separated.
We don't want Radha to lament and feel separation from Krsna. This
mood of the maidservant of Radhika, or that of Her intimate sakhis,
is so grave and deep that Raya Ramananda, as a devotee, and Sri Caitanya,
as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, will drown in it. This is such
beautiful and tasteful nectar.
A question may arise: Caitanya Mahaprabhu was already an ocean of
all kinds of conclusive truth, as stated in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu.
As Sri Krsna, He is the embodiment of all transcendental mellow relationships.
Why has it been told that He did not know all the truths presented
by Raya Ramananda? If He did not have full knowledge, how could He
have inspired that knowledge in Raya Ramananda's heart? He already
knew everything, so what extraordinary or special thing did he get
from Raya Ramananda?
Svapaksa - those gopis who take the side of Srimati Radhika or are
in Her group
Vipaksa - those gopis in the rival group of Candravali
Tatastha - neutral gopis like Bhadra, who lean towards Candravali
Suhrd - those who favor Srimati Radhika, like Syamala
*Endnote 2: sneha that stage when prema,
attaining a state of excellence, intensifies one's perception of the
object love and melts the heart. When sneha is enkindled in the heart,
there is no quenching of the ever-new thirst for seeing the beloved.
Maan that stage of prema in which sneha reaches exultation,
thus causing one to experience the sweetness of the beloved in ever
new varieties (Ujjvala-nilamani 14.96), and when the nayika assumes
an outward demeanor of pique which turns into transcendental anger
and indignation arising out of jealous love.
Pranaya that intensified stage of prema when maan assumes a
feature of unrestrained intimacy known as visrambha, or confidence
devoid of any restraint or formality. This confidence causes one to
consider one's life, mind, intelligence, body, and possessions to
be one in all respects with the life, mind, intelligence, and body
of the beloved.
Raga 1) an intensified stage of prema in which an unquenchable
loving thirst (prema-mayi trsna) for the object of one's affection
(Sri Krsna) gives rise to spontaneous and intense absorption in one's
beloved, so much so that in the absence of the opportunity to please
the beloved, one is on the verge of giving up his life; 2) when pranaya
is experienced in the heart as immense pleasure. If by accepting some
misery there is a chance to meet with Krsna, then that misery becomes
a source of great happiness. And where happiness affords no opportunity
to meet with Krsna, that happiness becomes the source of great distress.
anuraga an intensified stage of prema as defined in Ujjvala-nilamani
(14.146): Although one regularly meets with and is well-acquainted
with the beloved, the ever-fresh sentiment of intense attachment causes
the beloved to be newly experienced at every moment, as if one has
never before had any experience of such a person.
bhava 1) loving emotions; a particular mood of love in which
the devotee serves Krsna. 2) an intensified stage of prema which in
Ujjvala-nilamani has been equated with maha-bhava, which occurs when
anuraga attains a certain stage of exhilaration and relish. This can
be experienced and relished only by anuraga itself and by no other
bhava. When anuraga is adorned with the inflamed and exciting sattvika
passions like molten gold and reaches its climax in Srimati Radhika,
becoming identical with Her very temperament and dispositions, it
is called bhava.
mahabhava the most mature stage of prema.
*Endnote 3: bhava-ullasa rati Generally,
devotees of the same mood and who are enriched with similar desires
naturally share suhrd-bhava, intimate friendship, with each other.
That is why the love and affection that Lalita and the other sakhis
have for Srimati Radhika is called suhrd-rati. When their suhrd-rati
is the same as or slightly less than their Krsna-rati (affection towards
Sri Krsna), this is called sancari-bhava (a temporary emotion that
is compared to the waves that swell and then return to the ocean of
their permanent emotion of the mood of Krsna's beloveds). In other
words when this suhrd-rati becomes equal to the waves in the ocean
of their prominent affection for Krsna, it is a sancari-bhava. However,
in the case of the manjari-sakhis, their suhrd-rati (for Sri Radha
and everything connected with Her), which abundantly exceeds their
krsna-rati and which constantly increases by the moment due to their
full absorption in it, is called bhava-ullasa-rati. This is a special
feature of madhura-rasa. Of the five types of sakhis, only the nitya
sakhis and prana sakhis, who are known as manjaris, have this bhava-ullasa-rati
as their permanent emotions (sthayi-rati). It is no longer just a
sancari-bhava. These manjaris nurture an abundance of sneha, tender
affection, for Radhaji.
It is seen that creepers are always endeavoring to embrace trees,
but the leaves, flowers and buds (manjaris) of the creepers do not
even slightly try to embrace the trees directly. When a creeper embraces
a tree, the joy of those flowers, leaves, and manjaris automatically
increases. In Sri Vrndavana Srimati Radhika stands supreme among all
gopis. She is famous as the kalpa-lata (the creeper that fulfills
every desire) of love for Sri Krsna. Some of Her sakhis have the nature
of leaves, some are like flowers, and some like manjaris. That is
why they are always eager for Srimati Radhika to meet with Krsna,
and are carried away by the bliss of Their union. (Srila Narayana
Maharaja's commentary on Venu-gita, verse 7)
Sancari-bhavas - also known as vyabhicari; thirty-three internal emotions
which emerge from the nectarean ocean of sthayibhava, cause it to
swell, and then merge back into that ocean. These include emotions
such as despondency, jubilation, fear, anxiety, and concealment of
Sattvika-bhavas - that which causes perturbation to be aroused within
the heart. They are of eight kinds: stambha, becoming stunned; sveda,
perspiration; romanca, standing of the hairs on end; svara-bhanga,
faltering of the voice; kampa, trembling; vaivarna, palor or change
of color; asru, tears; pralaya, fainting or loss of consciousness.
vyabacari-bhavas - also known as sancari bhavas.
The vyabhicari-bhavas are thirty-three in number. Because they are
specifically directed towards and offer special assistance to the
sthayibhava, they are known as vyabhicari-bhavas. The word vyabhicari
here has a special technical meaning. It can be broken down into three
parts: vi (distinction or intensification), abhi (towards) and cari
(going). In other words an emotion that moves distinctively in the
direction of the sthayibhava and that serves to intensify it is called
vyabhicari-bhava. The vyabhicari-bhavas are made known by one's speech,
by the limbs such as the eyes and eyebrows, and by sattva, or in other
words, by the anubhavas arising from sattva. All these vyabhicari-bhavas
move towards the sthayibhava; therefore they are also called sancari-bhavas.
The word sancarin means moving. The vyabhicari-bhavas are like waves
which emerge from the nectarean ocean of the sthayibhava and cause
it to swell. Then they merge back into the ocean and disappear. (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu)]
[Endnote 5 was omitted in the final editing and will be added to this
lecture soon. We apologise for any inconvenience.]
Editorial advisors: Pujyapada Madhava Maharaja and Sripada Brajanatha
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Transcriber: Vasanti dasi
Typist: Anita and Nilambari dasi