[Respected Readers, Obeisances to you all.
Srila Narayana Maharaja has just completed a successful two-week preaching
tour of California, giving classes in Los Angeles, San Diego, Badger
and San Francisco. We recently sent one of the lectures from Los Angeles,
as well as two tour-photo reports, and you will be receiving the rest
of the California classes soon. Right now though, while we are in
the process of preparing those classes, today and tomorrow we are
sending Part 1 and 2 of Srila Narayana Maharajas recent class
We are now discussing Raya Ramananda Samvad. It was for this reason
so that Sri Krsna as Krsna Caitanya could relish the topics
of Sri Radhas divine love that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu
told Raya Ramananda to come to Puri. Raya Ramananda then resigned
from his post as a government officer and came to Puri.
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta is based on Svarupa-kadaca. Kadaca is a diary
composed of verses. Srila Svarupa Damodara used to express in his
diary what he realized while being with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila
Raghunatha dasa Gosvami also has a diary, in which he expressed his
development under the guidance of Svarupa Damodara. Svarupa Damodara
used to tell Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami what he had heard from
Mahaprabhu, and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami would include that also
in his diary. Both diaries combined and became the basis of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta.
Thus, in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta we find Srila Svarupa Damodaras
verse as follows:
sri-radhayah pranaya-mahima kidrso vanayaiva-
svadyo yenadbhuta-madhurima kidrso va madiyah
saukhyam casya mad-anubhavatah kidrsam veti lobhat
tad-bhavadhyah samajani saci-garbha-sindhau harinduh
[ Desiring to understand the glory of Radharanis love,
the wonderful qualities in Him that She alone relishes through Her
love, and the happiness She feels when She realizes the sweetness
of His love, the Supreme Lord Hari, richly endowed with Her emotions,
appeared from the womb of Srimati Saci-devi, as the moon appeared
from the ocean. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 1.6)]
Why has this verse been quoted here? What is the need? It has been
quoted especially to show the three topics that were realized by Sri
Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu had inspired this in the heart of
Raya Ramananda, and that is why Raya Ramananda was able to repeat
it to Him. Without mercy, no one can know these topics. Sri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu had sprinkled His mercy on Raya Ramananda not outwardly
but inwardly unseen by others.
In the scripture Brhad-Bhagavatamrta, we find another example of this.
(*See endnote 1) The brahmana Jana Sarma intellectually
understood all the philosophical truths he had heard from his guru,
but he could not realize them. Then, at one point his guru, Gopa Kumara
who was sent by Srimati Radhika placed his hands on
Jana Sarma's head and said: You will now realize everything
I have taught you. Jana Sarma at once realized everything and
saw, I am going to Goloka Vrndavana! He immediately reached
Vrndavana and saw Sri Krsna.
This history illustrates the effect of sadhu-sanga. Sadhu-sanga is
very, very powerful but the standard of sadhu-sanga should
be there. The sadhu must be real. In other words, he must be a perfect,
self-realized soul. In addition, the student or disciple must be surrendered
to that sadhu.
I have told you how Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu crossed the river Godavari
and took His bath on its other bank. After bathing, He walked a little
distance from the bathing place and did his ahnika (utterance of the
diksa-mantras). Always try to follow the instructions given by sri
guru regarding the chanting of the diksa-mantras. Srila Raghunatha
dasa Gosvami has written in his prayer, Sri Manah-siksa (verse 1):
O my dear brother, my foolish mind! Taking hold of your feet,
I humbly pray to you with sweet words. Please give up all pride and
quickly develop sublime and incessant attachment for Sri Gurudeva,
Sri Vraja-dhama, the residents of Vraja, the Vaisnavas, the brahmanas,
my diksa-mantras, the holy names of the Supreme Lord, and the shelter
of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, the eternally youthful divine couple of Vraja.
So don't fail to meditate on your mantras three times a day. If you
are a married person you may have so many things to do. Therefore,
if you cannot do your meditation at noon, you may do it twice in the
morning and the third time in the evening. As for sannyasis and brahmacaris
(renunciates and celibate students) those who have left home
they should do it at three separate times morning, noon
and evening. You must utter the mantras given by your guru. Chant
your mantras daily, very respectfully and with one-pointed attention.
At that time, your mind must not be upset. Don't be in a hurry; be
calm and quiet, and chant. Even Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was doing
this, so why should you not do so?
At the beginning of His conversation with Ramananda Raya, Sri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu said, I am a mayavadi (impersonalist) sannyasi.
Someone once quoted this statement, saying that it is certain that
Mahaprabhu was a mayavadi sannyasi because He had taken sannyasa from
the mayavadi sannyasi named Kesava Bharati. But this is not true.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu took harinama initiation and diksa (brahminical
initiation) from Sri Isvara Puripada. Isvara Puripada is His gurudeva
and Kesava Bharati is His sannyasa-guru. Moreover, before receiving
the sannyasa-mantra from Kesava Bharati, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu told
him: Oh, you are going to give me THIS mantra? At that
moment Mahaprabhu uttered the sannyasa mantra in his ear and thus
cleverly gave it to him first. What mantra was that? Tat tvam
asi. What is the meaning? I am an eternal servant of Sri
Krsna. Kesava Bharati had taken sannyasa in the line of the
leader of the mayavada philosophy, Sripad Sankaracarya. Madhvacarya
(*See endnote 2) also took sannyasa in the line of Sankaracarya, but
neither he nor Kesava Bharati were mayavadis. Mayavadi means nirvisesa-vadi,
one who thinks that the Absolute Truth is without qualities and personality.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu defeated all the arguments of the mayavada
scholar Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, whereas he used to pay great respect
to his gurudeva, Isvara Puripada. After Isvara Puripada's physical
disappearance from this world, He went to his birthplace and took
some earth from there. He put this earth very carefully in a bag tied
to His outer garment, wept, and uttered no word other than Isvara
Puri . He used to eat a small portion of this earth daily, saying,
This earth is from the birthplace of Isvara Puri. It is My wealth.
It is My life-breath.
If Caitanya Mahaprabhu is not a mayavadi, why did He tell Ramananda
Raya, I am a mayavadi sannyasi ? It is because He
was humble, more so than a blade of grass. He followed the principles
of the following verse, and all Vaisnava devotees should be like Him
in this regard.
trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena kirtaniya sada harih
[ Thinking oneself to be even lower and more worthless than insignificant
grass which has been trampled beneath everyone's feet, being more
tolerant than a tree, being prideless, and offering respect to all
others according to their respective positions, one should continuously
chant the holy name of Sri Hari. (Sri Siksastakam, verse 3)]
Especially sannyasis should be like this. All Vaisnavas should give
honor to others. Don't worry about what others are doing. Don't see
whether others are doing nonsense or whatever else. Don't criticize.
Ask yourself: How well am I developing in Krsna Consciousness?
Am I following trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina
manadena? We should also be aware of Lord Sri Krsna's
statement in the Bhagavad-gita: Api cet su duracaro bhajate
mam ananya bhak. [Even if one commits the most abominable
action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered
saintly because he is properly situated in his determination.
(Bhagavad-gita 9.30)] Don't worry about a sincere devotee's temporary
material contamination otherwise your own life will be spoiled.
Our constitutional religion is bhakti. If someone is beginning to
develop one-pointed bhakti, but there is still some impurity in his
being, do not criticize him. Do not quarrel with him. You should know
that kala (the Time factor) is very powerful, but those who have taken
shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Krsna can walk on the head of personified
Time and all other obstacles. (Time is one of the biggest obstacles.)
So we should try to be surrendered, always one-pointed, and also helping
Now, Ray Ramananda is telling Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, I am
a sudra. I belong to the sudra community. Why did he say
this? He was also humble trnad api sunicena. Actually he was
not a sudra. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada has
said that those who think he was a sudra are offenders and they will
not attain bhakti. Srila Haridasa Thakura was not a Muslim, although
by social consideration he appeared to be. In the consideration of
constitutional religion he is a pure maha-bhagavata. He was nama-acarya,
the great teacher and great example of pure chanting of the holy names
of Sri Krsna, and he gives shelter to fallen souls. Srila Rupa Gosvami
and Srila Sanatana Gosvami said about themselves, We are Muslims.
Vaisnavas are not Mohammedans or Muslims. They are not in any materially
designated religion. They are jagad-guru, gurus for the entire universe.
When they say, We are Muslims, we should consider they
are simply being humble trnad api sunicena.
As the dialogue continued between Raya Ramananda and Sri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu, Raya Ramananda told the Lord, If you have come to
reform me, please do so. You are patita pavana, the deliverer of the
fallen. You are parama-dayalu, most merciful. You, a sannyasi, have
touched me, although I am untouchable. He then quoted a verse:
mahanta-svabhava ei tarite pamara
nija karya nahi tabu yana tara ghara
[ It is the general practice of all saintly people to deliver
the fallen. Therefore they go to people's houses, although they have
no personal business there. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya
He also quoted:
nanyatha kalpate kvacit
[ My dear Lord, sometimes great saintly persons go to the homes
of householders, although these householders are generally low-minded.
When a saintly person visits their homes, one can understand that
it is for no other purpose than to benefit the householders.
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 8.40 / Srimad Bhagavatam 10.8.4)]
The background behind the utterance of this verse is as follows: when
Sri Krsna and Balarama Prabhu were about six months old, Vasudeva
Maharaja (who was imprisoned in King Kamsa's jail in Mathura) requested
the sage Gargacarya, Please go to Vrndavana. There, my two sons
Krsna and Balarama are living with Nanda Maharaja. The appropriate
time to do their nama-samskara (sacred name-giving ceremony) has come
now, so please go there and perform that ritual. Gargacarya
went there in disguise; in other words no one knew he would be going
there. If anybody would have known that Vasudeva Maharaja had sent
him, King Kamsa, Sri Krsna's sworn enemy, would have at once taken
serious steps. He would have come to know Krsna's whereabouts and
would have tried to kill Him. Therefore, Gargacarya went there in
a stealthy way.
When he arrived at Nanda Baba's palace, Nanda Baba uttered the above-mentioned
verse in great humility. Mahad-vicalanam refers to the movement of
great personalities. Who is mahad? Who is the great soul? Srila Sanatana
Gosvami explains: those who have a desire to serve Krsna, and are
actually serving Him they are truly great. Others are not.
So Nanda Maharaja told Gargacarya, You are a great transcendentalist.
You have no personal business here. You have come here for two reasons.
The first reason is that I am always engaged in household life, absorbed
in a relationship with my wife and children. I am absorbed in looking
after my home and properties. Who is telling this? Nanda Baba
the direct father of Lord Sri Krsna. His son is Sri Krsna,
the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself and HE is saying,
I am a fallen soul, solely engaged in lowly household affairs.
Actually Nanda Baba is not telling this for himself. He is telling
it for us; because it is we who are always engaged in mundane household
life. We forget Sri Krsna, we forget sri guru and the Vaisnavas, and
instead of serving them we always engage in mundane affairs.
Still, somehow you are somewhat fortunate, for you are in good association.
You are now realizing something about spiritual and material matters,
but there are some weaknesses also. Try to drive out all these weaknesses.
As Nanda Baba addressed Gargacarya as a great soul, so Ramananda Raya
addressed Mahaprabhu as maha-purusa, a great, self-realized soul.
Mahaprabhu is not only a maha-purusa. He is maha-maha-maha purusa.
He is the source of all incarnations, the original Supreme Personality
of Godhead. He is Krsna Himself. In fact, He is even greater than
Krsna. He is Radha and Krsna combined. He is Sri Krsna Himself. Yet,
we can also see Him as a maha-bhagavata because He has played
A parallel verse was told by Maharaja Yudhisthira to his uncle, the
self-realized soul Vidura, My Lord, devotees like your good
self are verily holy places personified. Because you carry the Personality
of Godhead within your heart, you turn all places into places of pilgrimage.
Some time before the Mahabharata battle was fought, Vidura had left
his position, his prime ministry, his home, relatives and property.
Viduras brother King Dhritarastra was blind, both internally
and externally. He was actually the fallen materialistic householder.
Vidura tried hard to convince him to reject his son Duryodhana who,
due to envy, had been trying in various ways to kill his cousins,
the Pandavas. Vidura advised him to call the Pandavas and give them
proper respect. At that moment Duryodhana came and said, You
are ungrateful. On one hand you are maintained by us, and on the other
hand you sabotage us. Srimad Bhagavatam quotes Duryodhana: Who
asked him to come here, this son of a kept mistress? He is so crooked
that he spies in the interest of the enemy against those on whose
support he has grown up. Toss him out of the palace immediately and
leave him with only his breath. (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.1.15) Hearing
this, Vidura at once gave up his crown, his ministry and home, and
left that place.
After that the battle of Kuruksetra was fought, almost all were dead,
including Duryodhana and all his brothers. Of the few warriors who
survived, on one side were the five Pandavas and Krsna, and on the
other side Asvathama, Krpacarya and Krtavarma. Actually, though, no
one on the opposite side remained because they were defeated.
After the war Vidura returned to the palace. He knew that Krsna had
left this world, and that the entire Yadu dynasty had gone, but he
did not reveal all these facts. During his visit, Yudhisthira Maharaja
spoke this verse: Oh, a Vaisnava like you is a personified holy
place (tirtha), because you keep Lord Gadadhara in your heart.
There, Lord Krsna holds a club (a translation of the word gada, and
in Vraja He holds a flute (another meaning of gada). Gadadhara ultimately
means He who holds a flute to his lips that very Gadadhara.
Now the tirthas are worried. All kinds of sinful persons are
taking bath there, and the devotees desire that their waters be pure
again. Sri Krsna therefore sends persons like you, O Vidura. Wherever
you go to take bath, that place becomes a tirtha.
At the end of the initial meeting of Ramananda Raya and Mahaprabhu,
Raya Ramananda returned to his palace. Before he left, however, Mahaprabhu
told him, I will wait for you in the evening, so please come.
We will speak about the philosophy and pastimes of Lord Sri Krsna
In the evening Mahaprabhu waited there. Mahaprabhu Himself eagerly
waited there. And Raya Ramananda was also waiting for that moment
when they would again meet. He came there, with only one servant and
wearing very simple garments. He had come in a hidden way in
a secret way. Upon his arrival, he saw that Mahaprabhu had been waiting,
and he offered his obeisances. He wanted to fall at the Lord's lotus
feet, but Mahaprabhu at once embraced him. Both experienced asta-sattvika-bhavas,
the eight transcendental symptoms of ecstasy (inertness, perspiration,
standing of hairs on end, faltering of the voice, trembling, paleness
of the body, tears in the eyes and finally trance). Then they sat
down and began to discuss hari-katha. Mahaprabhu began asking questions
and Ramananda Raya was answering.
When Vaisnavas meet, there is no question of asking, How are
you? They know all this. Rather they will ask, How is
your bhajana (devotional practice) going on? You should try
to ask questions like this: How is your bhajana? How are you
developing in your hearing, chanting and remembering Krsna?
* [Endnote 1 In Brhad-Bhagavatamrta, 2.7.14,
Srila Sanatana Gosvami has written:
krtartho yena vipro 'sau
sadyo 'bhut tat-svarupavat
The glory of mahat-sanga is super-astounding. By the influence
of that glory, Jana Sarmas life immediately became successful,
like that of his Guru, Svarupa. He became a personal friend of Sri
Krsna by the association of Svarupa, who was known as Gopa Kumara
in this world. That he immediately attained bhagavat-prema demonstrated
the immense value of association with a great personality. Just like
Svarupa, within an instance that brahmana felt fully gratified.
*[Endnote 2 Srila Madhvacarya is the
original acarya for those who belong to the Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya.
(Srimad Bhagavatam, 6.1.40.purport) This Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya
is also known as the Brahma-sampradaya because the disciplic succession
originally began from Brahma. Brahma instructed the sage Narada, Narada
instructed Vyasadeva, and Vyasadeva instructed Madhva Muni, or Madhvacarya.
Editorial Advisors: Pujyapada Madhava Maharaja and Sripad Brajanatha
Transcriber and typist: Janaki dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Proofreader: Vasanti dasi