Murwillumbah, Australia: April 28, 2005 [Part 1]
(The second class in the lecture series on Raya Ramananda Samvad)
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
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 8.1)
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 Krsna’s 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 Radhika’s 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 1.4)]
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 Sri Radha.
Sva-bhakti is Radhika’s 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 can think that all the audience that are hearing are of manjari-bhava? But we 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. Don’t 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 Lord’s 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 1.1.3)]
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 Lord’s 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 Adi 4.15-16)]
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 constellation’s showered down into the ocean. In other words, Raya Ramananda’s 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 siddhanta.
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 don’t 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 Mahaprabhu’s 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 emotions.
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)]
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Transcriber: Vasanti dasi
Typist: Anita and Nilambari dasi