SRI RAMANANDA RAYA

A MOST CONFDENTIAL ASSOCIATE OF LORD SRI CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU

Sri Ramananda Raya was the Governor of the Rajamahendri (present day Rajahmundry of Andhra Pradesh at the bank of river Godavari), Godavari Province of Kalinga-Utkala Empire under the King Prataparudra. When Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was setting out on his tour of South India, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya humbly requested his plea to Lord to meet Ramananda Raya. Ramananda Raya was one of the most intimate associates of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu would discuss with him the most confidential topics of Krishna consciousness, and in his company Lord Caitanya would relish the deepest feelings of devotional service.

 

In Caitanya-Caritamrta Madhya lila 8.23, Srila Prabhupada mentions: 'Srila Ramananda Raya was an incarnation of the gopi Visakha. Since Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was Lord Krishna Himself, there was naturally an awakening of love between Visakha and Krishna. Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the combination of Srimati Radharani and Krishna, and the gopi Visakha is a principal gopi assisting Srimati Radharani. Thus the natural love between Ramananda Raya and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu awakened and they embraced.'

 

In Lord Caitanya's final pastimes, both Ramananda Raya and Sri Svarupa Damodara were always engaged in reciting suitable verses from Srimad-Bhagavatam to pacify the Lord in His ecstatic feelings of separation from Krishna.

 

While touring South India Lord Caitanya met Ramananda on the bank of the Godavari. There they had a long discourse in which the Lord took the role of a student and Ramananda Raya instructed the Lord. During their ten day meeting in, Lord Gauranga and Ramananda Raya discussed all points of Krishna consciousness. Empowered by the Lord, Ramananda answered all questions posed by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. After finishing his talk, Ramananda Raya saw something never seen before. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu revealed Himself as both Srimati Radharani and Sri Krishna. Seeing this, Ramananda fell unconscious in transcendental bliss.

 

Lord Caitanya concluded these discourses by saying, "My dear Ramananda Raya, both you and I are madmen, and therefore we met intimately, on an equal level." Lord Caitanya advised Ramananda Raya to resign from his government post and come to Jagannatha Puri to live with Him. It was Ramananda Raya who tactfully arranged a meeting between Lord Caitanya and King Prataparudra of Orissa. Lord Caitanya advised Pradyumna Misra to learn the science of Krishna from Ramananda Raya. As Subala always assisted Krishna in His dealing with Radharani in Krishna-lila, so Ramananda Raya assisted Lord Caitanya in His feelings of separation from Krishna. Sri Ramananda Raya was the author of Jagannatha-vallabha-nataka.

 

Lord Caitanya's discussion with Raya Ramananda is fully described in Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta Madhya lila Chapter 8 “Talks between Lord and Ramananda Raya” as below.

 

RAJAHMUNDRY YATRA

The following places in and around Rajahmundry are covered below where transcendental pastimes took place by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Ramananda Raya, Lord Nrsimhadeva, Prahlad Maharaja, Lord Sri Kurmadeva and visiting of Vaishnava-acaryas Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

(1) Meeting of Lord Caitanya and Sri Ramananda Raya - Sri Ramananda Gaudiya Math, Kovvur;

(2) Sri Ghosapada - where sage Gautama Rsi lived; Lord Caitanya visited this place;

(3) Sri Varada Gopal Temple - Lord Caitanya visited this place;

(4) Sri Lakshmi Nrsimha Swamy Temple, Antarvedi - important temple of Lord Nrsimhadeva;

(5) Antarvedi-Godavari sangam;

(6) Lord Sri Jagan Mohini Keshava Swamy Temple, Ryali - important pastime of Lord Sri Krishna as Jagan Mohini and Lord Siva took place here as described in Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 8 Chapter 12. Lord Caitanya visited this temple;

(7) Sri Kurma Ksetra - temple of Sri Kurma deva, the second incarnation of Lord Sri Krishna. Lord Caitanya visited this temple;

(8) Sri Varaha-Nrsimha Temple, Simhachalam - important pastime of Prahlad Maharaja took place here. Lord Caitanya visited here, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura visited here in 1905 and 1930 and Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada visited this Temple in 1972;

(9) Sri Sri Radha-Gopinatha Dashavatara Temple, ISKCON Rajahmundry

 

1. Meeting of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

and Sri Ramananda Raya

Sri Ramananda Gaudiya Math, Kovvur, Rajahmundry

Sri Ramananda Gaudiya Math at Kovvur, Rajahmundry was established by His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura on 10 July 1932. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura installed the Foot Prints of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu marking Lord’s meeting with Sri Ramananda Raya on the banks of Godavari river. At this very spot there is a small Temple room were Lord Caitanya and Sri Ramananda Raya are sitting and discussing topics of Krishna Consciousness. Godavari river currently flows approx. 200 meters from the Math. Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha-Nayanabhirama and Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu are the presiding Deities at the Temple. Math has nice dioramas displaying pastimes of Lord Caitanya and Lord Sri Krishna. There is also a small Goshala at the Math.

 

Sri Ramananda Gaudiya Math is located in a small village named Kovvur, which comes just after crossing 4km long road and rail bridge over mighty Godavari River connecting East and West Godavari, about 20mins from ISKCON Rajahmundry Temple. It is easily assessable by hiring taxi or auto rickshaw from Rajahmundry.

 

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Sri Ramananda Raya and Lord Caitanya Meeting Place - Sri Ramananda Gaudiya Math established by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura in 1932

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Sri Ramananda Raya and Lord Caitanya Meeting Place

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Corner stone: Sri Ramananda Gaudiya Math was established by Sri Simad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupada on 10th July 1932 at 6:00am

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Spot where Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Ramananda Raya met in year 1512 when Lord visited Godavari Ghat

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Foot Prints of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu installed by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura in 1930

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Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited Godavari Ghat in 1512 AD.

Lord Caitanya’s Foot Prints installed by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura in 1930.

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THEIR LORDSHIPS SRI SRI RADHA-NAYANA ABHIRAMA,

the presiding Deities at Sri Ramananda Gaudiya Math

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HIS DIVINE GRACE SRILA BHAKTISIDDHANTA SARASVATI THAKURA

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GOSHALA at Sri Ramananda Gaudiya Math

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Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu embraced Sri Ramananda Raya very firmly and they both almost lost consciousness out of ecstatic love

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When Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu revealed to Sri Ramananda Raya His real form as Sri Sri Radha and Krishna combined, Ramananda fainted in transcendental bliss

 

2. SRI GHOSHAPADA

In Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya Lila Ch. 9 verse 14 purport Srila Prabhupada mentions: The Gautami-Ganga is a branch of the river Godavari. Formerly a great sage named Gautama Rsi used to live on the bank of this river opposite the city of Rajahmundry, and consequently this branch was called the Gautami-Ganga.

 

The Descent of River Godavari

Just like the king Bhagiratha brought the river Ganges to this material world by performing severe austerities, the sage Gautama also brought the river Godavari to this world by doing rigorous penance in order to deliver himself from the sin of “Gohatya”. History says that sage Gautama once upon a time lived in his hermitage with his disciples. And at that time as there was intense drought, people were confronted with famine and poverty. Sage Gautama provided food and shelter by utilising his spiritual power to all of them. Many saints came to the ashrama of Gautama and stayed there peacefully by attending their regular devotional activities for some time. When the situation was improved they wanted to leave for their respective places. But Gautama Rsi did not allow them to go due to his affection towards them.

 

As the sages wanted to leave, they played a tick by creating a false cow and allowed it into the field to eat. Having seen this, Gautama Rsi angrily threw a straw upon the cow and as a result the cow immediately died, showing its original form. Then all the inmates of the hermitage began to scold him that, he has killed the innocent cow and thereby liable for sin of Go-hatya (killer of cow). Gautama Rsi was astonished at this and by his spiritual insight he came to know that it was the pre-determined plan of his inmates. Then he cursed them that they will forget all their Vedic knowledge.

 

The place where the cow died is known as “Goshpada Ksetra”. The place where the cow suffered is called Pasuvedana, in course of time “Pasivedala”. Sri Kumara Swamy and Ganesh protected the ashrama of Gautama Rsi from both sides and those places are known as Kumaradevam and Vijjeswaram today.

 

Later Gautama Rsi carried rigorous penance to get rid of the said sin. Lord Siva, having pleased with the penance of Gautama asked him to have his boon. Then Gautama Rsi humbly requested Lord Siva to be pleased with him and allow Ganga to this earth, so that it can deliver him from the sin of Gohatya by flowing on the dead cow. This is how sage Gautama brought the river Godavari to this world. As this has been achieved by Gautama Rsi it is called with the name “Gautami-Ganga” or river Godavari. The river Godavari is flowing from Nasik to Dhowleswaram as “Akhanda Godavari” and from there it is divided into 7 branches (Sapta Godavari) finally entering the sea at different places.

 

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GAUTAMA RSI at SRI GHOSHAPADA

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SRI GHOSHAPADA GHATA

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GODAVARI RIVER AT SRI GHOSHAPADA

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RAJAHMUNDRY BRIDGE, about 4km long road and rail bridge across majestic Godavari river connecting East and West Godavari

 

3. SRI VARADA GOPAL TEMPLE, KOVVUR

Sri Varadha-Gopal Temple is 2kms from the Sri Ramananda Gaudiya Math where Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Ramananda Raya met. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited this temple.

 

Appearance of Sri Varadha-Gopal: After Gautama Rsi pleased Lord Siva and requested him to allow Ganga to the earth (pastime above), the saints who previously lived at Gautama Rsi’s hermitage came and submitted themselves to him. They deeply regretted about their misdeed and requested him to pardon him of their offence of creating a false cow and playing trick with him. Gautama Rsi pardoned them. The saints then requested that they would like their hermitages to be near Gautama Rsi hermitage. At this, Gautama Rsi said, he desired Deity of Lord Krishna to be installed, before constructing the hermitages in the village. While taking the dip in the river, the Deity of Lord Sri Krishna manifested. Lord asked Gautama Rsi in a dream: ‘to perform a yajna and keep Him on a plantain leaf and wander around during the yajna. Where ever the Deity fell from the plantain fell, that is place Gautama Rsi should install the Deity, and construct the village.’ This very place, where currently Sri Varadha-Gopal Temple is presently located is the exact spot where the Deity fell from the plantain leaf and the Deity was installed by Gautama Rsi. Later the village by name ‘Govvur’ was constructed here.  

 

Change of name of village by British: The present name of this village is Kovvur. Originally this village was known as “Govvur”- “Go” means cow and “vvur” means village i.e. “Cow’s village”. When British ruled here, they asked the locals the meaning of “Govvor”. Locals explained village is named “Govvur” as “Gow” means cow and “vvur” means village and it is “Cow’s village”. British then changed the name of village to “Kovvur” as in English “Go” is cow. Since then the village is called Kovvur.

 

Attack by Mughals: During the time of Mughals when they were dismantling the temples and places of worship, they also came here. The locals were deeply attached to the Sri Varadha-Gopal Deity and didn’t want any harm to the Deity. Knowing that Mughals were coming to break the Deity, they constructed a strong wall across the Sri Varadha-Gopal Deity. At another place besides the wall they prepared an altar placed another Deity there. When Mughals came they mistook this as Varadha-Gopal and smashed the Deity. Sri Varadha-Gopal Deity was saved. After a month when Mughals left the place locals again started the worship Sri Varadha-Gopal at this very place. Upon visit to the temple, one can see the Deity which Mughals broke.

 

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SRI VARADHA-GOPAL, KOVVUR

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SRI VARADHA-GOPAL TEMPLE, KOVVUR

 

4. SRI LAKSHMI NRSIMHA SWAMY TEMPLE, ANTARVEDI

Sri Lakshmi Nrsimha Swamy temple at Antarvedi is ancient and very important temple of Lord Nrsimhadeva. It is situated at the confluence of the Bay of Bengal and the Vasishta Godavari, one of the seven branches of the Godavari River, about 2 hour’s drive from Rajahmundry. Antarvedi is one among the 32 most reputed Nrsimha Kshetras of Andhra Pradesh, and is one of 108 Nrsimhadeva shrines in the area. It is famous for the temple of Sri Lakshmi Nrsimha Swamy, which was built during the 15th-16th centuries A.D. It's sometimes called an island temple because Antarvedi has a tributary of River Godavari meeting the sea (Sagara Sangamam), whereas the Sri Lakshmi Nrsimha Swamy temple is located on the other side, closer to the bank of Godavari, which is also called Vasishta Godavari. One of the unique aspects of the Sri Lakshmi Nrsimha Swamy temple is that the Deity is facing towards West instead of East, the usual direction. Main temple has a five-storey vimana (gopuram) and apart from the presiding Deity, Lord Nrsimhadeva, there are also Deities of Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheswara.

 

History of this temple dates back to Lord Brahma performing the rudra yaga Vedic austerities here for purification, and it is therefore called 'Antarvedi'. Sage Vasishta established his ashrama here.

 

Raktavilochana, the son of Hiranyaksha, did tremendous penance for 10,000 years to please Lord Siva and get his mercy. Lord Siva was very much pleased with Raktavilochana's penance and appeared before him. He promised to bless him with whatever he desired, and Raktavilochana asked for a boon wherein the number of sand particles drenched by the blood drops falling from his body onto the ground at war would produce an equal number of rakshasas as strong and vigorous as himself. The demons would then assist him at war and become one with him after killing all the enemies. Lord Siva was astonished at the demon's uncommon desire, but impressed by his penance he granted the demon's desires. Raktavilochana then began harassing the brahmins, the demigods, the saints and the cows, and obstructed the yagas and Vedic rituals.

Sage Viswamitra later found an opportunity to take vengeance against the sage Vasishta, and provoked Raktavilochana to kill Vasishta's hundred sons in his absence. The demon did so, causing an irreparable loss to Arundhati and Vasishta. Arundhati, Vasishta's wife, wept terribly over the death of her sons and prayed to Vasishta, who was then at Brahmaloka. The sage, by his divine vision, came to know of all that had happened at this hermitage. He returned to his ashram and prayed for Lord Nrsimhadeva's grace, imploring the Lord to prevent Raktavilochana from wreaking further destruction.

 

To save his devotees, Lord Nrsimhadeva appeared along with Goddess Lakshmi, and carried on Garuda Vahana, they appeared before Vasishta. After singing the Lord's glories, Vasishta appealed to Him about the arrogance of the demon and his cruelty in killing his sons. He then prayed to the Lord to descend at his ashram after killing the demon, so that he could worship Him always there. Lord Narahari blew the Panchajanya, inviting the demon to war. Raktavilochana heard the thundering noise of Panchajanya and like a cyclone, enveloped the Lord and engulfed Him in battle. The demon shot all types of weapons at the Lord, but Lord Narahari could attack and smash them with His only weapon, the Sudarsana Chakra. In this way He wounded the sensitive parts of the demon's body.

As a result of the bloodshed, the soil particles drenched by the blood drops falling onto the ground from Raktavilochana's body produced an equal number of demons as strong and vigorous as Raktavilochana, just as the earlier boon from Lord Siva had promised. The demons having been thus generated they began hurting Garuda, who attacked them in such a way that they could not withstand him. The demon-king saw this and threw his weapons, one after another, at Sri Garuda but they could not harm him, as Lord Narahari destroyed them on the way with his Sudarsana Chakra.

The Lord also manifested Maya shakti to help prevent the blood of the demon falling onto the ground. The Lord eventually chopped off the hands of Raktavilochana with Sudarshana Chakra and killed him, along with his asura fighters. The blood was stopped by Maya shakti and was then released by her as a reddish river, which is known as the Raktakulya. This river cannot be crossed over, even by the demigods and demons. Maya Shakti rode a horse, and so she is called Aswarudhamba, or Gurralakka. After killing the demons, the place where the Lord washed his chakra-yudha become known as Chakrateertham. A dip at that holy place will wash away all sins. There are five important spots at this holy shrine namely, the Sea, the Sagar Sangam, the Vasishta River, the Raktakulya River, and the Chakrateertham. Joyous at the victory, Vashista consecrated the Deity of Lord Nrsimha at Antervedi, and all the demigods came to sing of the Lord's glories. The Lord told them about the significant greatness of the shrine in future.

 

The temple is managed by priests from Srila Ramunujacarya Vaishnava descent. Every morning at around 7am abhishek is performed of Lord Lakshmi Nrsimha Swamy. From around 9am Lord Sri Lakshmi Nrsimhadeva maha-prasadam is served at the Prasadam hall just behind the main temple.

 

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ENTRANCE TO SRI LAKSHMI NRSIMHA SWAMY TEMPLE, ANTERVEDI

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SRI LAKSHMI NRSIMHA SWAMY TEMPLE, ANTERVEDI

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LORD SRI LAKSHMI NRSIMHA SWAMY AT ANTARVEDI

 

5. ANTARVEDI GODAVARI-SAMUDRA SANGAM

This is the place where sacred river Godavari meets with the sea. The place is known as end of material existence. “Antar” means end, “vedi” means material existence. The sea is very rough at this place. Locals warn to keep away from the sea as this place is extremely unsafe from swimming.

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GODAVARI-SAMUDRA SANGAM, ANTARDEVI

Place where Godavari river and Samudra (sea) meet at Antarvedi

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ANTARDEVI

 

6. LORD SRI JAGAN MOHINI KESHAVA SWAMY TEMPLE, RYALI

"Ryali" in local telugu language means falling. According to the Srimad-Bhagavatam when the Demigods and Rakshas were quarrelling over sharing of holy Devine nectar. Seeing this, "Sri Maha Vishnu" came to the rescue of Demigods in the guise of Mohini (a beautiful woman) and convinced both the rivalry groups promising to distribute holy Devine nectar in equal share to Demigods and Rakshas. But in the interest of universal peace the Devine nectar was distributed among Demigods alone and after which Mohini disappeared. Lord Siva happened to see the fascinating beauty of Mohini. He chased Her for getting for a while. As he was chasing Her, a flower from the plait of Mohini fell down and was smelt by Lord Siva. He surprisingly found "Sri Maha Vishnu" in the form of Mohini and felt shy for his behaviour. The place where the flower from the plait of Mohini fell was named as RYALI the telugu language meaning of “Fall”.

 

The Ryali temple is known as Lord Jagan Mohini Keshava Swamy temple. The most unique feature of this temple is the presiding deity of Sri Keshava Swamy Varu “Sri Maha Visnu” in front side and Sri Jaganmohini on back side. Deity is 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide and has been beautifully and gracefully carved out of a single black Saligrama Sila. The miracle and rare feature is that Ganga always flows from the lotus feet of Sri Maha Visnu is the origin of Akasa Ganga. Water keeps sprouting from the underground at the Deity's feet. This water wets the flowers at the Lord's feet and the water from these flowers is sprinkled on devotees. The Deity has the carving of ten incarnations (Dashavatara) along with consorts of Maha Visnu, Sridevi, Bhudevi, sage Narada with his musical instrument thumbura, Rambh, Urvasi, Kinnera, Kimpurusha, Lord Sri Krishna with Giri Govardhana, Adiseshu, Garuda and Ganga. Lord Maha Vishnu who is shown here in the form of Keshava Swamy Varu has four hands. He is shown holding "Shankha" (conch) and "Chakra" (disc) in two hands while the other two hands hold "Gadha" and "Manthara" mountain. The temple’s art and architecture are very unique. The priests at the temple show the Deity in the light of burning camphor and explain the significance of the Deity in detail.

 

Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 8 Chapter 12 describes pastime of how Lord Siva was bewildered upon seeing the beautiful Mohini-murti incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and how he later came to his senses. When Lord Siva heard about the pastimes performed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, in the form of an attractive woman, he mounted his bull and went to see the Lord. Accompanied by his wife, Uma, and his servants, the bhuta-gaṇa, or ghosts, he approached the lotus feet of the Lord. Lord Siva offered obeisances to the Supreme Lord as the all-pervading Lord, the universal form, the supreme controller of creation, the Supersoul, the resting place for everyone, and the completely independent cause of all causes. Thus he offered prayers giving truthful descriptions of the Lord. Then he expressed his desire. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is very kind to His devotees. Therefore, to fulfil the desire of His devotee Lord Siva, He expanded His energy and manifested Himself in the form of a very beautiful and attractive woman. Upon seeing this form, even Lord Siva was captivated. Later, by the grace of the Lord, he controlled himself. This demonstrates that by the power of the Lord's external energy, everyone is captivated by the form of woman in this material world. Again, however, by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one can overcome the influence of maya. This was evinced by Lord Siva, the topmost devotee of the Lord. First he was captivated, but later, by the grace of the Lord, he restrained himself. It is declared in this connection that only a pure devotee can restrain himself from the attractive feature of maya. Otherwise, once a living entity is trapped by the external feature of maya, he cannot overcome it. After Lord Siva was graced by the Supreme Lord, he circumambulated the Lord along with his wife, Bhavani, and his companions, the ghosts. Then he left for his own abode. Sukadeva Gosvami concludes this chapter by describing the transcendental qualities of Uttamasloka, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna, and by declaring that one can glorify the Lord by nine kinds of devotional service, beginning with sravaṇam kirtanam.

 

Situated between the rivers Vashishta and Gautami, tributaries of River Godavari, village, Ryali is only an hours’ drive (40kms) from Rajahmundry. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited this Lord Jagan Mohini Keshava Swamy temple during His tour to South India.

 

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LORD SRI JAGAN MOHINI KESHAVA SWAMY TEMPLE, RYALI

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LORD SRI JAGAN MOHINI KESHAVA SWAMY TEMPLE, RYALI

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Courtyard of Lord Sri Jagan Mohini Keshava Temple

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LORD SRI JAGAN MOHINI KESHAVA SWAMY TEMPLE, RYALI

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LORD KESHAVA (left) and LORD JAGAN MOHINI (right)

 

7. SRI KURMA KSETRA

Near Sri Srikulam (110 km from Visakhapatnam)

Sri Kurma Ksetra is an ancient and very important temple of Sri Kurmadeva, the second incarnation of Lord Sri Krishna. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited this temple in year 1512 during His tour to South India. The famous pastime related to leper Vasudeva took place here, when Lord Caitanya touched the leper Vasudeva, both his leprosy and his distress went far away. [Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya lila chapter 7, 113-150] Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura established the Lotus Footprints of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at the temple in 1930s.

 

Appearance of Sri Kurma at Sri Kurmum

According the Mahatmya of this place, it is described that Vedavyas was telling one great muni that this place of Kurmakshetra is very, very sacred and he told the story of this temple. There is a mountain called Shwetacala Parvat. And near that mountain lived a king. His name was Shweta Chakravarti, and his wife’s name was Vishnupriya. Vishnupriya was very chaste, very pure in heart, and had great devotion to Lord Krishna. On an Ekadasi day she was performing pooja in her temple room. At that time her husband had very great lusty desires. He went to her room to enjoy his lusty desires with his wife. So being a chaste woman she greeted him with great hospitality, had him sit on a golden throne. Then, she went back into her pooja room to continue her devotional service. She started to pray very helplessly to Vishnu, that today is Ekadashi, I have made vow that I will not engage in any type of sinful activity. I will completely immerse my mind only in devotional service. But my husband is approaching me with lusty desires. Please save me, please protect my vows to you on this holy Ekadashi day. This is a great lesson for any of the ladies whoever get put in this situation. The Lord always protects His devotees. As she prayed to Lord Vishnu, Kurmadeva who protects the stability and the foundation of devotee’s vows, He ordered Gangadevi that this king wants to violate the chastity of the vows of my devotee, go stop him. So Gangadevi appeared in the temple and then with a terrible, terrible violent current, she came flowing out of the temple room, and right after King Shweta Chakravarti. When he saw the river Ganges just flooding forward, rushing towards him, he became very frightened and ran away. He was running and running and running but everywhere he went, the Ganges was chasing after. He was running, running, but it was chasing after and finally he climbed to the top of the Shweta mountain. And there he asked his minister what’s happening? Why? His chief minister told him, that your wife is a very great devotee of Lord Vishnu, and you had lusty desires for her on Ekadashi. She prayed to Vishnu to save her, and Kurmadev, just to protect His devotee send the river Ganges, just to stop you. When the king heard this he felt so guilty, terrible, he was thinking that I am such a sinful person. He began to repent, but worse then that, he was thinking that I made an offense to my wife, and what kind of great devotee is she, that Lord Kurmadeva personally arranged to protect her? He decided, he had to perform great, great tapasya to purify himself from this offense. So he was repenting so much. He was just getting down on himself so bad, and finally he fell unconscious. Then Narada Muni appeared. Narada Muni said, “How can I serve you?” He said, “Please grant me a benediction, grant me the benediction that I can have darshan of the great deity of Kurmadeva.” So Narada Muni taught him a Kurma Mantra and sat on the shores of the ocean of the sea, and explained him the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness very nicely.

 

As he was chanting this Mantra Lord Siva appeared and then he was even more encouraged. So he came to a place called Chakratirtha which is in the area of Kurmakshetra, and there Shweta Chakravarti for 300 years stood on one toe with his arms raised. Then during the summer, he stood in the center of a burning hot fire. In the rainy season, he stood in the rains and the cold. Then he started sitting on knives for a long time. Finally his body was so completely exhausted because of this tapasya that he fell down. At that point Narada Muni saw, how serious he was, because Narada Muni was standing next to him. And he prayed to Lord Vishnu: “Please come and give him your darshan.”

 

Upon the request of Narada Muni, this great king received the holy darshan of Lord Kurmadeva, who stood before him with four arms. They went to one Rishi’s house together, Narada Muni, Kurmadev and the king. And the rishi was so happy, “Because of you King I am getting the darshan of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” So the king was getting so many auspicious blessings. They came to this place. Actually the king was still was so tired, and they were climbing this high mountain. Kurmadeva was so pleased by the king’s endeavours to try to serve Him and please Him that He chanted the mantra ‘Om’ and immediately the mountain became flat. They came to Chakratirtha and the king said, “I want to make a nice kund to bathe in.” The kund is very close by here, and with His chakra Kurmadev made a beautiful kund.

 

From the place where the chakra entered the ground, Mahalaxmi came out. Mahalaxmi said to the Lord, “What are You doing in this crazy world where people are so sinful, addicted to intoxications and so many materialistic activities? What are You doing here?” Then the Supreme Personality of Godhead said, “Wherever my devotees are serving me I want to be with them. My life is to give favour to My devotees.” So it is a beautiful story that Kurmadev appeared here, on this place.

 

And Narada Muni and the king decided that they wanted to have installation for the Kurma deity. So they went to Bramhaloka, because the king asked, “Do you know the Mantras to install the deity of Kurma?” and Narada said,” Lord Bramha knows the mantra. Let us go.” So they went to the abode of Lord Brahma and Lord Bramha said, “I will come down and I will personally install this deity.” And while he came, Lord Siva came, Lord Indra came, Vayu came, Agnidev came, Surya came. All the principal gods, they all came to this place and Lord Brahma performed the glorious installation ceremony of Sri Kurmadev and from that time this has been one of the great holy places of pilgrimage for Vaishnavas.

 

Pastime with Sripad Ramanujacharya

In fact Sripad Ramanujacharya, he visited Jagannatha Puri. And when he saw the way the pujaris were worshipping the deity, he was thinking that it was not correct. He explained to them what are the rules and regulations according to Pancaratrika Vidhi. They were doing different Tantra-Mantra-Yantras and other traditional ways. So that night after he instructed them, Lord Jagannath appeared to Ramanujacharya in his dream, right there in Puri and told him, “I am very satisfied with the love and devotion in which my pujaris are worshipping Me. I don’t want you to change it.” And therefore that night Lord Jagannatha personally threw Ramanujacharya to Kurmakshetra. But according to Bhakti Vinod Thakur, first He threw him to Navadvipa. He was thrown to Navadvipa and there he had darshan of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave him very wonderful darshan and instructions of how to go on with the particular devotional service of establishing the Vishishta Dvaita philosophy, Siddhanta. In this way Jagannatha took him from Puri to Navadvipa, and then to Kurmakshetra.

 

So when Ramanujacharya woke up, here he was in front of the deity of Kurmadev. He thought, it was the deity of Siva because you have all seen the darshan; He would look like a Shivalingam. When Ramanujacharya was thinking, he was Lord Siva in great gravity of devotion, he began to fast. But then he recognised that there was a head and a tail, little feet. It was Kurmadev. It was Vishnu. So he established very gorgeous worship of the deity, and sent his own disciples and followers here to maintain a very high standard of worship, to this very day. When Ramanujacharya was here, he installed next to the deity of Kurmadev, you saw the deity of Sridevi and Bhudevi.

 

When Sripad Madhvacharya came here in his pilgrimage he worshiped Kurmadeva and he installed these deities of Sri Sri Sita Ram inside. And Sripad Shankaracharya when he came here to worship the deity, he also installed a deity of Sudarshan Chakra. And when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came here, He also installed the congregational chanting of the Holy Names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare. The supreme most accessible deity, in this age of Kali-yuga. So we are very, very grateful and fortunate to be here today. (ref: www.narasimhalila.com/deitypastimes.html )

 

How to reach Sri Kurma Ksetra:

Sri Kurmam, situated on the shores of Bay of Bengal, is easily accessible by Road, Rail and Air. It is about 13 Km from the district Head Quarters town of Srikakulam, which is conveniently located on the National Highway 5 from Chennai to Kolkata. Visakhapatnam City is about 110 Km from the Temple. Nearest Railway Station is called Srikakulam Road which is on Chennai Kolkata Trunk Route and most Express/ Mail/ Special Trains have halts. It is about 12 Km from Srikakulam town. Regular city Buses/Auto Rickshaws/ Taxis are available. Visakhapatnam Airport is the nearest and is about 115 Km from the Temple. Many airlines have frequent flights and connect to major cities in India.

 

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WAY TO SRI KURMUM TEMPLE

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SRI KURMUM TEMPLE

SRI KURMA SWAMY and SRI MAHA LAKSHMI DEVI AT SRI KURMUM TEMPLE

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SRI KURMA SWAMY AT SRI KURMUM TEMPLE

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THE SECOND INCARNATION OF LORD KRISHNA - SRI KURMA DEVA

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LORD SRI CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU VISITED SRI KURMUM TEMPLE DURING HIS SOUTH INDIA TOUR IN YEAR 1512. The Foot Prints of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu were installed by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura in 1930’s.

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LOTUS FOOT PRINTS OF LORD SRI CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU AT SRI KURMA KSETRA

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When Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu touched the leper Vasudeva, both his leprosy and his distress went far away. Indeed, his body became very beautiful, to his great happiness.

 

8. SRI VARAHA-NRSIMHA SWAMY (JIYAD NRSIMHA)

Temple, Simhachalam at Visakhapatnam

Simha means “lion” and chalam means “hill”. So this is lion’s hill, the hill of Lord Narasimhadeva. The Deity here, Varaha Laxmi Nrsimha Swamy, is popularly known in Sanskrit as Simhadrinatha or in Telugu as Simhadri Appanna (“the Lord of the Lion Hill”). The Sthala Purana of Simhachalam recounts the history of the great devotee Prahlada Maharaja and his demonic father, Hiranyakashipu. After many unsuccessful attempts to kill Sri Prahlada, Hiranyakashipu orders, as a last resort, to hurl Sri Prahlada into the sea and place a huge mountain over him. The servants chose to do this at Simhachalam. But before they could finish, Narayana rescued Prahlada by jumping over the hill and lifting him from the sea. Simhachalam, therefore, is the place where the Lord rescued Prahlada. It is also said that since the Lord jumped at once to rescue Prahlada, the Lord’s lotus feet went into Patala. The local Sthala Purana says that the Darshana of Lord’s lotus feet is available only to inhabitants of Patala Loka.

 

At Prahlada’s request, the Lord then assumed the form of the Varaha-Nrsimha Deity, so that Prahlada could see both aspects of the Lord - the one by which He had already killed Hiranyaksha and the one by which He would soon kill Hiranyakashipu. After the death of Hiranyakashipu, Prahlada built a temple around the Deity. It is said that after Prahlada handed over the kingdom to his son, he worshipped the deity personally.  However at the end of Satya Yuga, owing to neglect perhaps, a huge anthill gathered around the Deity. But at the beginning of another yuga the Deity was rediscovered by Pururava, the king of the lunar dynasty, who is mentioned in the Ninth Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam.

 

Riding with his wife, Urvashi, in an aerial chariot over the hills of the South, Pururava was drawn by a mysterious power to Simhachalam. Some say that Nrsimhadeva had appeared in Pururava’s dream and then he went to Simhachalam and he discovered the deity in a Garden of Malati trees. Nonetheless, he discovered the Deity and cleared the earth around Him. Pururava then heard a voice from the sky which told him to cover the Deity with sandal paste, worship the Lord in this form, and expose Him only once a year, on the day of Chandana Yatra. Following this instruction, Pururava covered the Deity with sandal pulp equal to the earth he had removed, worshiped the Deity, and rebuilt the temple, which has flourished ever since.

 

Temple’s position

The Simhachalam Temple faces west unlike others which face east, it is said that a west facing temple brings in victory. It is said that when the Muslims during one of their invasions were about to destroy and plunder the temple, a poet by name Kurmanatha implored Lord Varaha Narasimha to save his temple and the Hindus. In response to his fervent prayers, a huge swarm of copper hornets suddenly appeared and attacked the invading army and drove them out of the city. The swarm disappeared behind a hillock after driving out the Muslim armies. That hillock is now known as Tummedala Metta (Tummedala=of hornet, Metta=hillock).

 

Uniqueness of the Sri Varaha Nrsimha Swamy

The Deity of the temple Sri Varaha Nrsimha Swamy is worshiped always in the form of a shila, except for on the day of Akshaya Tritiya. On the day of Akshaya Tritiya, the Lord’s original form of Varaha Nrsimha Swamy is unveiled. This festival is known as Chandanotsvam or Chandan Yatra.

 

The original form of the Lord (Nija roopam) is open for darshan on that day for 12 hours only. On the night before the Akshaya Tritiya, the old Chandanam (sandal) paste is removed and in the early hours of Akshaya Tritiya the Lord is offered Sahasra Ghatabhiskekam (Abhishekam / Bathing of the Lord with thousand sacred pots) and followed by special items like incense and lamps. After that the devotees are allowed to view the Nija roopam of the Lord. After the 12 hours darshan Sandal would be again applied to the Lord immediately.

 

On every Thursday the deity is adorned in the alankara of Nrsimha Deva and every day in the morning there is Suprabhata seva, followed by Aradhana and pallakki utsava of the utsava murtis of the Lord. One who can reach early in the morning at 3:30 A.M., can definitely have the darshan of all these daily festivities of the Lord.

 

LORD CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU’S VISIT TO SIMHACHALAM

Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited Simhachalam in year 1510, during His tour to South India. The famous Darshan Arati Song of “Sri Nrsimha Jaya Nrsimha….” was sung by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in this place. In Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya Lila 8.3-8.9 we find a great deal of information about Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s visit to Jiyada-Narasimha Kshetra or Simhachalam.

 

Madhya 8.3: “According to His previous program, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went forward on His tour and after some days arrived at the place of pilgrimage known as Jiyada-Nrsimha.”

 

Madhya 8.4: “Upon seeing the Deity of Lord Nrsimha in the temple, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu offered His respectful obeisances by falling flat. Then, in ecstatic love, He performed various dances, chanted, and offered prayers.”

sri-nrsimha, jaya nrsimha,

jaya jaya nrsimha

prahladesa jaya padma-mukha-padma-bhrnga

Madhya 8.5: “‘All glories to Nrsimhadeva! All glories to Narasimhadeva, who is the Lord of Prahlada Maharaja and, like a honeybee, is always engaged in beholding the lotus like face of the goddess of fortune.’”

ugro 'py anugra evayam

sva-bhaktanam nr-kesari

kesariva sva-potanam

anyesam ugra-vikramah

Madhya 8.6: “‘Although very ferocious, the lioness is very kind to her cubs. Similarly, although very ferocious to non-devotees like Hiranyakashipu, Lord Nrsimhadeva is very, very soft and kind to devotees like Prahlada Maharaja.’”

 

Madhya 8.7: In this way Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu recited different verses from the sastra. The priest of Lord Nrsimhadeva then brought garlands and the remnants of the Lord’s food and offered them to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

 

Madhya 8.8: As usual, a brahmana offered Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu an invitation. The Lord passed the night in the temple and then commenced His tour again.

 

Madhya 8.9: The next morning, in the great ecstasy of love, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu started on His tour with no knowledge of the proper direction, and He continued the whole day and night.

 

SRILA BHAKTISIDDANTA SARASVATI THAKURA’S VISIT TO SIMHACHALAM

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura visited Simhachalam in 1905 and again in 1930. In order to commemorate the visit of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to Simhachalam, on 27 December 1930, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaj had footprints of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu made there. Footprints are at the main entrance of the temple.

 

SRILA PRABHUPADA’S VISIT TO SIMHACHALAM

Srila Prabhupada visited Simhachalam during his stay at Visakhapatnam between 17th February 1972 and 22nd February 1972. The following is an excerpt from Srila Prabhupada-lilamrita.

 

“One day Srila Prabhupada took his disciples to see a famous temple of Lord Nrsimha, Sri Simhachalam, on top of a hill about five miles north of Visakhapatnam. Thousands of stone steps led up the hill to the temple, which was situated in a natural amphitheatre on the side of the hill. Prabhupada said the temple, which was now run by followers of the Ramanuja sect, was particularly important because Lord Caitanya had visited there on His tour of South India.

 

Srila Prabhupada chose to approach the temple by car, riding up the winding road past orchards of mango, jackfruits, and cashew, and fields of pineapple. On arriving at the temple, Srila Prabhupada and his disciples met one of the temple brahmanas, who showed them around the grounds. The temple buildings were of black granite, and carved into the rock were the forms and pastimes of Vishnu, especially in His incarnation of Lord Nrsimha. As Prabhupada moved from place to place, building to building, he sometimes rode up steep stairs on a palanquin carried by four men.

 

When Prabhupada came upon an immense banyan tree at the lower end of the temple grounds, he said that the tree must be thousands of years old. As he stood beneath the tree, his servant, Nanda-kumara, handed him a small champaka flower. Extending his thumb and forefinger from his bead bag, Prabhupada held the champaka flower and looked fondly at it. "This flower," he said, "is the color of Lord Caitanya. And this flower is the most loved all over India. This flower is beautiful to look at and beautiful to smell." He carried the small saffron-gold flower between his fingers throughout the rest of the morning.

 

When Prabhupada and his group entered the inner sanctum, where the Deity of Lord Nrsimha resided, their guide explained that the murti dated back to the time of Prahlada Maharaja. An ancient king named Pururava and his consort Urvashi had once visited this hill, and at the request of Urvashi, the murti, who appeared to her in a dream, had been excavated. The Lord had ordained that He should be worshiped in this place but that He would give darshana only one day a year, during the month of Vishakha. The rest of the year He would be entirely covered with ground sandalwood pulp mixed with camphor and other scents. Therefore, the Deity now appeared to be only a lump covered with a layer of sandalwood. Prabhupada commented that the sandalwood was to keep the Deity "cool-headed."

 

Madhavananda: When Prabhupada was at the Narasimha temple in Visakhapatnam, it was the same as when he was in Vrindavana. When he got out of the car, he was very grave. We went into the temple, and there was a chamber. Then we went down. The walls were four feet thick, and it seemed like hundreds of feet of tunnels before we got into the inner sanctum. There was the Deity with just a mound of sandalwood paste on Him. As soon as we entered, Prabhupada said, "Begin chanting the Nrsimha mantra." So we started singing tava kara-kamala-vare nakham adbhuta-srngam. And we circumambulated the Deity. Then we stood before the Deity, and Prabhupada offered obeisances.

 

Gurukripa: When we came into the Deity room, Prabhupada had us sing the Nrsimha prayers. He always manifested such devotion. That was what separated him from us - not only his learning or his knowledge, but his devotion. In these places we would see him become very silent, very grave, and when he would speak, such peace would fill us from within. When he would speak, you could feel it. He was constantly convincing us of Krishna consciousness. Not purposely, but he was just being himself. In these places it would come out.

 

When Prabhupada stood with us before the Deity, we couldn't even see. There was just a mound of sandalwood. There was one brahmana with big earlobes, and he had a ring in his ear. We offered some money. But it was a very devotional time. Prabhupada didn't say much and the main reason was that these places are appreciated according to one's spiritual advancement. The details and facts and the history are not really that important. There is nothing really to say. Prabhupada would just make sure we had the proper respect and didn't commit any offense.”

 

So on this very, very special place of the special time -same time of the year Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came here, let us pray to Lord Nrsimhadeva to kindly remove the obstacles, the obstacles of lust, envy, anger, pride, greed and illusion within our hearts. It is not the external circumstances of the world that can block our progress in Krishna Consciousness, but it is Lust, Envy, Anger, Pride, Greed and Illusion. The circumstances of this world, the only way they can harm us is, if they somehow or other aggregate and strengthen these anarthas within our heart. Let us pray to Lord Varaha Nrsimha to remove these obstacles, because that is our only hope. Not only from our own life, but to remove the obstacles from our god brother, god sisters, form all Vaishanavas and ultimately from all living beings, so that everyone can make real progress, back home back to Godhead, and offenselessly chant holy names of the Lord - HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE, HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE.

 

The priests of the Simhachalam temple belong to the Sri Sampradaya, the line that follows the revered devotee and philosopher Ramanuja. Simhachalam is one of the 108 places recognized by the Sri Sampradaya asdivya-desams, spiritual places in this material world. The temple functions are performed by Sri Vaisnava priests as they have been since Ramanuja visited here nine centuries ago.

 

The hilltop road and the location of the eastern ghat ranges are beautiful and picturesque. The hills are densely populated with trees like pineapple, cashew, shrubs and mango groves. Simhachalam is situated 16km from the city of Vishakhapatnam and is easily accessible by local transport. Vishakhapatnam is about 3 hours from Rajahmundry. (ref: www.narasimhalila.com/deitypastimes.html )

 

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SRI VARAHA-NRSIMHADEVA SWAMY TEMPLE, Simhachalam

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NITYAROOPA of Sri Sri Varaha Nrsimhadeva Swamy (regular form for darshan covered with Chandan for 364 days a years) and NIJAROOPA (true form darshan available only on Akshaya Trithiya at start of Chandan Yatra, when all the Chandan removed from the transcendental body of the Lord and then freshly smeared again)

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NITYAROOPA of Sri Sri Varaha Nrsimhadeva Swamy

(regular form for darshan covered with Chandan for 364 days a years)

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NIJAROOPA (true form darshan available only on Akshaya Trithiya at start of Chandan Yatra, when all the Chandan removed from the transcendental body of the Lord and then freshly smeared again)

 

9. SRI SRI RADHA-GOPINATH DASAVATAR TEMPLE

ISKCON RAJAHMUNDRY

Sri Sri Radha-Gopinath Dasavatar, ISKCON Rajahmundry Temple is situated on the banks of Godavari river. Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha-Gopinath, Sri Sri Jagannatha Baladeva Subhadra, Sri Sri Gaura Nitai and Lord Bala Ji are presiding Deities. Around the temple are the Dasavatar deities which one can have darshan while doing the Parikrama of the Temple. There are beautiful gardens around the temple - Srila Prabhupada Udyanam. On the ground floor there is wonderful Vedic exhibition and auditorium. Temple has wonderful FFL Mid-Day meal program distributing Krishna prasadam to government schools. Temple also has a Goshala - Sri Sri Krishna-Balarama Temple Dakshina Giri Govardhana Ksetram, which is about 25km from the temple at place called Dontamuru. Temple has a Guest House.

 

ISKCON Rajahmundry is about 2kms from Railway station and 16 km from airport. Rajahmundry is well connected by railway on Kolkata-Chennai line. Frequent daily flights are available from Hyderabad to Rajahmundry, which is connected to rest of India.

 

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SRI SRI RADHA-GOPINATH DASHAVATARA TEMPLE, ISKCON Rajahmundry

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THEIR LORDSHIPS SRI SRI RADHA-GOPINATHA

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SRI SRI JAGANNATHA, BALADEVA, SUBHADRA

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SRI SRI GAURA-NITAI

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LORD BALA JI

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HIS DIVINE GRACE A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA

Founder-Acarya of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)

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SRILA PRABHUPADA GARDENS AT ISKCON RAJAHMUNDRY

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SRILA PRABHUPADA GARDENS

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SRILA PRABHUPADA GARDENS

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SRILA PRABHUPADA

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COW PROTECTION: Cow protection is meant for protecting humanity. 30 million demigods reside in the body of a cow. Cow is the representative symbol of mother earth. Killing the cows leads to natural calamities like earthquakes etc. Modern technology can’t protect the humanity from such calamities.

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Human being is a rational animal. By bad habits he looses his rationality and becomes an animal. There is no peace in the society of animals.

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MEAT EATING: Meat eaters are taken to the hell named ‘Kumbhipaka’ where they are fried in hot oil. For the maintenance of their bodies and the satisfaction of their tongues, cruel persons cook poor animals and birds alive. Such persons are condemned even by man-eaters. In their next lives they are carried by the Yamadutas to the hell known as Kumbhipaka, where they are cooked in boiling oil. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.26.13)

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Illicit Sex breaks the principle of Purity. Presently more and more people are suffering from many incurable diseases like Aids etc. Most cases of murders and suicide are due to illicit sex.

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ILLICIT SEX: Those who are addicted to illicit sex are taken to the hell named ‘Taptasurmi’ where they are made to hug red hot molten statues of their opposite sex. A man or woman who indulges in sexual intercourse with an unworthy member of the opposite sex is punished after death by the assistants of Yamaraja in the hell known as Taptasurmi. There such men and women are beaten with whips. The man is forced to embrace a red-hot iron form of a woman, and the woman is forced to embrace a similar form of a man. Such is the punishment for illicit sex. (Srimad Bhagavatam 5.26.20)

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Intoxication breaks the principle of Austerity. 90% of crimes are done in the influence of intoxication. In the influence of intoxication people are behaving badly, forgetting the difference between wife, mother and sister.

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INTOXICATION: Drunkards are taken to the hell named “Ayahpanam” where they are forcibly made to drink molten iron. Any brahmaṇa or brahmaṇa's wife who drinks liquor is taken by the agents of Yamaraja to the hell known as Ayahpana. This hell also awaits any kṣatriya, vaisya, or person under a vow who in illusion drinks soma-rasa. In Ayaḥpana the agents of Yamaraja stand on their chests and pour hot melted iron into their mouths. (Srimad Bhagavatam 5.26.29)

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Gambling breaks the principle of Truthfulness. In modern society due to losing money in betting’s they are kidnapping innocent children and killing them for money.

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GAMBLING: Gamblers are taken to the hell named ‘Sandamsa’ where their bodies are peeled off from their skin and cut into pieces by using tongs and red hot iron balls. My dear King, a person who in the absence of an emergency robs a brahmaṇa - or, indeed, anyone else - of his gems and gold is put into a hell known as Sandamsa. There his skin is torn and separated by red-hot iron balls and tongs. In this way, his entire body is cut to pieces. (Srimad Bhagavatam 5.26.19)

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The four pillars of Dharma are destroyed by four bad habits. The principle of Non-violence is destroyed by meat eating. Intoxication destroys Austerity, Illicit Sex destroys Purity. Gambling destroys Truthfulness. Those who are addicted to these bad habits, loose their moral values and behave as animals. For example if we put 20 dogs in a room and tell them to keep quiet, love each other, Is there any use? …they will fight. In the same way how can there be peace in a society where people are with such animal consciousness.

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When we are staying in a house, if we don’t pay electricity bill, they will cut the power supply. If we don’t pay water tax, they will cut water supply. Similarly as nature is supplying everything to us, we have to pay taxes to nature. This is not currency. Lord says in Bhagavad-Gita that it is yagna. Yagna means not putting up fire. Yagna means following prescribed duties or dharma. When we don’t follow dharma nature will react negatively in the form of drought, tsunami, earth quakes and horrible diseases.

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Dharmantu sakshad Bhagavath praneetham” Dharma has been given by the Supreme Lord Krishna Himself. The four principles of dharma are mercy, purity, austerity and truthfulness. When one follows Dharma he is protected and when one breaks Dharma he is punished in hell and degraded to animal life in his next life.

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Food For Life - Mid Day Meals Service to Schools program

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SRI PANCHA-TATTVA - Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu (centre) surrounded (from left to right) by

His avatara (Sri Advaita Acarya), His expansion (Lord Nityananda),

His manifest internal energy (Sri Gadadhara Pandita) and His perfect devotee (Sri Srivasa Pandita)

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If you break the laws of government, government will punish you. Ignorance of law is no excuse. All the calamities in human society are due to breaking nature’s laws. Morden technology can’t protect you from nature’s punishment.

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Man invented many machines and is running them. But nobody knows how his machine of the human body works. That is why he is facing many crisis. Bhagavad-Gita is the manual book which guides us how to use human machine. If we use this human machine accordingly then we can lead a steady life free from any problems - economically, socially, healthily, mentally, etc.

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SRI SRI SITA RAMA LAKSHMANA and HANUMAN

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There can be peace in a society only when one considers Women other than his wife as mother, thinks other’s property as dirt and believes that all living entities have the right to live as much as he himself has.

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SAMSARA: CYCLE OF BIRTH and DEATH

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Effects of watching television

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Among all 84 million species of life, human form is the highest. Why is a highly posted government officer given better facilities for a comfortable life than an ordinary clerk? This is because the important officer has to discharge duties of a more responsible nature. And this duty is to know the absolute Truth: Who am I? Who is God? What is my relation with the God? Is there any way of escaping from birth, death, old age and diseases? Is such a valuable life only meant for eating, sleeping, mating and defending, which are common in all the animals also?

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According to the results of our material activities the Super Soul is present in our hearts, and permits us to take birth in any of 84 lakhs of species.

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A fish when taken out of water even if given the most delicious dishes, drinks, beautiful sights to see, it dies WHY? Because it is naturally conditioned to live in water. Similarly the natural state of any living entity is to be connected to the God. This is called Yoga. Here we should understand two things, our body is a vehicle and the driver is the living entity. If the driver feels hungry, it is meaningless to fill petrol in the vehicle tank. Similarly all material activities are like food for external body, but food for soul is service to God Krishna. And he who engages in such devotional service derives natural joy.

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Lord’s form is youthful eternally (navayauvana). Scriptures completely reveal all the information of all the incarnations of Lord Sri Krishna. Any incarnation which is not in accordance with the revealed scriptures is bogus.

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An instrument does not appear by chance. There is a brain working behind it. Similarly there is a supreme brain working behind this unlimited universe. Only a person, who has created any instrument can give its manual. Similarly the God who has created this universe has given the manual in the form of Bhagavad-Gita and other scriptures. And most importantly these scriptures should be accepted only in a bonafide disciplic succession. Otherwise some selfish people may change the real essence of the scriptures for their ulterior motivations.

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A bonafide succession should begin with Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. Even material degree certificate also should be obtained in a bonafide university. Only then it has value. Similarly Spiritual knowledge should be obtained only through a bonafide disciplic succession. In any university for teaching any science only a qualified teacher is appointed. Unfortunately for teaching spiritual science every person without having any qualifications starts telling his personal opinions and because of this a common man is confused. There are four bonafide disciplic successions. They are: (1) Sree Sampradaya (Ramanujacharya), (2) Madhva Sampradaya (Madhvacharya) (3) Rudra Sampradaya (Vishnu Swamy) (4) Kumara Sampradaya (Nimbaraka).

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According to the revealed scriptures the original identity of all living entities is that all of us are part and parcels of God. The God is all independent and we, his Parts and Parcels have minute independence and because of this with a desire to enjoy devoid of the God the living entity enters into the material world. As a pure drop of rain water transforms into muddy water in contact with earth, similarly the living entity which is eternally full of knowledge and bliss comes in contact with the modes of material nature.

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In the mode of Goodness a person performs pious activities and thereby leads a happy life. In the mode of Passion and Ignorance, people commit sinful acts and thereby suffer from miseries. As only a mango tree comes from a mango seed, only miseries come from sinful acts and good results come from pious acts. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

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Due to association we acquire the modes of Trigunas. And because of those material gunas, we act and then get the results of those actions. By the association of material nature whatever qualities we acquire, accordingly, we act and Paramatma who is seated in our hearts witnesses them. Within the material body which is like a tree and two birds sit. One bird is the living entity and the other is the Supersoul. And the Supersoul observes all the good and bad activities performed by the living entity.

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Lord Krishna has two kinds of energies. One is Spiritual the other Material. Material energy consists of Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether, Mind, Intelligence and Ego. The individual is the passenger in the car of the material body and intelligence is the driver. Mind is the driving instrument and the senses are the horses. The self is thus the enjoyer or sufferer in the association of the mind and senses. When one properly sees that in all activities no other performer is at work than there modes of nature and he knows the Supreme Lord, who transcends to all these modes, he attains spiritual nature.

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There are four Yugas. And in each Yuga depending upon the situations and circumstances four types of of Yuga Dharmas have been prescribed in the scriptures. Meditations was the process of self-realization in the age of Satya Yuga. But in scriptures like Patanjali it is mentioned that even to get right posture for meditation it takes 8 years. In Treta Yuga the process was performing sacrifices. In Dvapara Yuga it was worshipping the Deity form of God and Kali Yuga the only process of self-realization is chanting the Holy Names of Lord Krishna - Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare | Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare ||

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In Kali Yuga the Lifespan of anyone is very less, Memory and Patience are very negligible. Besides, above all, mind is always disturbed. When Lord Brahma was asked by Sri Narada Muni for the process of self-realization, he replied, “Harer Nama Harer Nama Harer Namaiva Kevalam, Kalav Nastyeva Nastyeva Nastyeva Gatiranyataha”. This means “In the age of quarrel and hypocrisy there is no other means of self-realization except Chanting the Holy Names of Lord Hari.” In spite of committing so many sinful activities, at the death time only because of chanting the holy name “Narayana”, Ajamila was stopped by Vishnudutas from taken to hellish planets by Yamadutas. Ignorance of the value of medicine doesn’t reduce the potency of it. Even though he called his son’s name Narayana, he was protected by the holy name.

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The Supreme Lord Krishna has already appeared in many Avatars. He is also going to appear in many avatars, the information of whom is already given in bonafide scriptures. A scripture is something which is given by God Himself. Those incarnations, which are not in accordance with scriptures are not bonafide. Information of Kalki Avatar which is going to come: At the end of Kali Yuga (i.e. after 4,27,000 years) the Supreme Lord will appear as Lord Kalki, in the country of Nepal in the village of Sambala. He would appear as the son of Vishuyashu.

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). At the advanced age of 70 years, he travelled all the way to America and just within a span of 10 years he travelled 14 times around the globe and convinced the whole world to chant the Holy Name of Lord Sri Krishna and develop devotion.

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Now the Holy Name is being Chanted in many countries like: America! Russia! Africa! England! Germany! China! Japan! Australia! South America! India! And all around the world. ISKCON has over 700 huge temples all around the world.

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SRIMATI TULSI MAHARANI at ISKCON Rajahmundry

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ISKCON Rajahmundry

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Beautiful outskirts of Rajahmundry

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TALKS BETWEEN LORD SRI CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU and SRI RAMANANDA RAYA

Sri Caitanya-Caritamṛta Madha-lila Chapter 8

While Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was departing to the tour of South India, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya submitted the following at His lotus feet: "My Lord, I have one final request that I hope You will kindly fulfil. In the town of Vidyanagara, on the bank of the Godavari, there is a responsible government officer named Ramananda Raya. Please do not neglect him, thinking he belongs to a sudra family engaged in material activities. It is my request that You meet him without fail. Ramananda Raya is a fit person to associate with You; no other devotee can compare with him in knowledge of the transcendental mellows. He is a most learned scholar as well as an expert in devotional mellows. Actually he is most exalted, and if You talk with him, You will see how glorious he is. I could not realize when I first spoke with Ramananda Raya that his topics and endeavours were all transcendentally uncommon. I made fun of him simply because he was a Vaisnava. By Your mercy I can now understand the truth about Ramananda Raya. In talking with him, You also will acknowledge his greatness.” Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya's request that He meet Ramananda Raya. [Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya Lila 7.61-68]

 

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.

 

All glories to Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu! All glories to Lord Nityananda! All glories to Advaita Acarya! And all glories to all the devotees of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

 

The next morning, in the great ecstasy of love, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu started on His tour with no knowledge of the proper direction, and He continued the whole day and night. As previously, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu converted to Vaiṣṇavism many people He met on the road. After some days, the Lord reached the banks of the river Godavari. When He saw the river Godavari, the Lord remembered the river Yamuna, and when He saw the forest on the banks of the river, He remembered Sri Vrindavana-dhama. After performing His usual chanting and dancing for some time in this forest, the Lord crossed the river and took His bath on the other bank. After bathing in the river, the Lord walked a little distance from the bathing place and engaged in chanting the holy name of Krishna.

 

At that time, accompanied by the sounds of music, Ramananda Raya came there on a palanquin to take his bath. Many brahmanas following the Vedic principles accompanied Ramananda Raya. According to the Vedic rituals, Ramananda Raya took his bath and offered oblations to his forefathers. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu could understand that the person who had come to bathe in the river was Ramananda Raya. The Lord wanted so much to meet him that His mind immediately began running after him. Although Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was running after him mentally, He patiently remained sitting. Ramananda Raya, seeing the wonderful sannyasi, then came to see Him.

 

Srila Ramananda Raya then saw Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to be as brilliant as a hundred suns. The Lord was covered by a saffron garment. He was large in body and very strongly built, and His eyes were like lotus petals. When Ramananda Raya saw the wonderful sannyasi, he was struck with wonder. He went to Him and immediately offered his respectful obeisances, falling down flat like a rod.

 

The Lord stood up and asked Ramananda Raya to arise and chant the holy name of Krishna. Indeed, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was very eager to embrace him. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then inquired whether he was Ramananda Raya, and he replied, "Yes, I am Your very low servant, and I belong to the sudra community." Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then embraced Sri Ramananda Raya very firmly. Indeed, both the master and the servant almost lost consciousness due to ecstatic love.

 

Their natural love for each other was awakened in them both, and they embraced and fell to the ground. When they embraced each other, ecstatic symptoms - paralysis, perspiration, tears, shivering, paleness and standing up of the bodily hairs - appeared. The word "Krishna" came from their mouths falteringly.

 

When the stereotyped, ritualistic brahmanas who were following the Vedic principles saw this ecstatic manifestation of love, they were struck with wonder. All these brahmanas began to reflect as follows. The brahmanas thought, "We can see that this sannyasi has a luster like the effulgence of Brahman, but how is it He is crying upon embracing a sudra, a member of the fourth caste in the social order?" They thought, "This Ramananda Raya is the Governor of Madras, a highly learned and grave person, a maha-paṇḍita, but upon touching this sannyasi he has become restless like a madman."

 

While the brahmanas were thinking in this way about the activities of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw those outsiders and restrained His transcendental emotions. When they regained their sanity, they both sat down, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu smiled and began to speak as follows.

 

"Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya spoke of your good qualities, and he made a great endeavor to convince Me to meet you. Indeed, I have come here just to meet you. It is very good that even without making an effort I have gotten your interview here."

 

Ramananda Raya replied, "Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya thinks of me as his servant. Even in my absence he is very careful to do me good. By his mercy I have received Your interview here. Consequently I consider that today I have become a successful human being. I can see that You have bestowed special mercy upon Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. Therefore You have touched me, although I am untouchable. This is due only to his love for You.

 

“You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana Himself, and I am only a government servant interested in materialistic activities. Indeed, I am the lowest among men of the fourth caste. You do not fear the Vedic injunctions stating that You should not associate with a sudra. You were not contemptuous of my touch, although in the Vedas You are forbidden to associate with sudras.

 

"You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself; therefore no one can understand Your purpose. By Your mercy You are touching me, although this is not sanctioned by the Vedas. You have come here specifically to deliver me. You are so merciful that You alone can deliver all fallen souls. 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.

 

"'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.' Along with me there are about a thousand men - including the brahmanas - and all of them appear to have had their hearts melted simply by seeing You. I hear everyone chanting the holy name of Krishna. Everyone's body is thrilled with ecstasy, and there are tears in everyone's eyes. My dear Sir, according to Your behaviour and bodily features, You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is impossible for ordinary living beings to possess such transcendental qualities."

 

The Lord replied to Ramananda Raya, "Sir, you are the best of the topmost devotees; therefore simply the sight of you has melted everyone's heart. Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya knew this would happen, and thus to rectify My heart, which is very hard, he asked Me to meet you." In this way each of them praised the qualities of the other, and both of them were pleased to see each other.

 

At this time a brahmana Vaisnava following the Vedic principles came and offered obeisances. He fell flat before Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and invited Him for lunch. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted the invitation, knowing the brahmana to be a devotee, and slightly smiling, He spoke as follows to Ramananda Raya: "I wish to hear from you about Lord Krishna. Indeed, My mind is inclined to desire this; therefore I wish to see you again."

 

Ramananda Raya replied, "My Lord, although You have come to correct me, a fallen soul, my mind is not yet purified simply by seeing You. Please stay for five or seven days and kindly cleanse my polluted mind. After that much time, my mind will certainly be pure." Although neither could tolerate separation from the other, Ramananda Raya nonetheless offered his obeisances to Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and departed. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then went to the house of the brahmana who had invited Him and took His lunch there. When the evening of that day arrived, both Ramananda Raya and the Lord were eager to meet each other again.

 

After finishing His evening bath, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu sat down and waited for Ramananda Raya to come. Then Ramananda Raya, accompanied by one servant, came to meet Him. Ramananda Raya approached Lord Sri Caitanya and offered his respectful obeisances, and the Lord embraced him. Then they began to discuss Krishna in a secluded place.

 

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu ordered Ramananda Raya, "Recite a verse from the revealed scriptures concerning the ultimate goal of life." Ramananda replied, "If one executes the prescribed duties of his social position, he awakens his original Krishna consciousness. 'The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Viṣṇu, is worshiped by the proper execution of prescribed duties in the system of varṇa and asrama. There is no other way to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One must be situated in the institution of the four varṇas and asramas.'"

 

The Lord replied, "This is external. You had better tell Me of some other means." Ramananda replied, "To offer the results of one's activities to Krishna is the essence of all perfection." Ramananda Raya continued, "'My dear son of Kunti, whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer in sacrifice, whatever you give in charity, and whatever austerities you perform, all the results of such activities should be offered to Me, Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.'"

 

"This is also external," Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said. "Please proceed and speak further on this matter." Ramananda Raya replied, "To give up one's occupational duties in the varṇasrama system is the essence of perfection." Ramananda Raya continued, "'Occupational duties are described in the religious scriptures. If one analyzes them, he can fully understand their qualities and faults and then give them up completely to render service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such a person is considered a first-class man.' As stated in scripture [Bg. 18.66], 'After giving up all kinds of religious and occupational duties, if you come to Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and take shelter, I will give you protection from all of life's sinful reactions. Do not worry.'"

 

After hearing Ramananda Raya speak in this way, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu again rejected his statement and said, "Go ahead and say something more." Ramananda Raya then replied, "Devotional service mixed with empiric knowledge is the essence of perfection." Ramananda Raya continued, "According to the Bhagavad-Gita, 'One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments or desires to have anything. He is equally disposed toward every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me.'"

 

After hearing this, the Lord, as usual, rejected it, considering it to be external devotional service. He again asked Ramananda Raya to speak further, and Ramananda Raya replied, "Pure devotional service without any touch of speculative knowledge is the essence of perfection." Ramananda Raya continued, "Lord Brahma said, 'My dear Lord, those devotees who have thrown away the impersonal conception of the Absolute Truth and have therefore abandoned discussing empiric philosophical truths should hear from self-realized devotees about Your holy name, form, pastimes and qualities. They should completely follow the principles of devotional service and remain free from illicit sex, gambling, intoxication and animal slaughter. Surrendering themselves fully with body, words and mind, they can live in any asrama or social status. Indeed, You are conquered by such persons, although You are always unconquerable.'"

 

At this point, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu replied, "This is all right, but still you can speak more on the subject." Ramananda Raya then replied, "Ecstatic love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the essence of all perfection." Ramananda Raya continued, "'As long as there is hunger and thirst within the stomach, varieties of food and drink make one feel very happy. Similarly, when the Lord is worshiped with pure love, the various activities performed in the course of that worship awaken transcendental bliss in the heart of the devotee. Pure devotional service in Krishna consciousness cannot be had even by pious activity in hundreds and thousands of lives. It can be attained only by paying one price - that is, intense greed to obtain it. If it is available somewhere, one must purchase it without delay.'" Hearing up to the point of spontaneous love, the Lord said, "This is all right, but if you know more, please tell Me."

 

In reply, Ramananda Raya said, "Spontaneous loving service in servitude - as exchanged by master and servant - is the highest perfection. A man becomes purified simply by hearing the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose lotus feet create the holy places of pilgrimage. Therefore what remains to be attained by those who have become His servants? By serving You constantly, one is freed from all material desires and is completely pacified. When shall I engage as Your permanent eternal servant and always feel joyful to have such a perfect master?'"

 

Hearing this from Ramananda Raya, the Lord again requested him to go a step further. In reply, Ramananda Raya said, "Loving service to Krishna rendered in fraternity is the highest perfection. Neither those engaged in the self-realization of appreciating the Brahman effulgence of the Lord, nor those engaged in devotional service while accepting the Supreme Personality of Godhead as master, nor those under the clutches of Maya, thinking the Lord an ordinary person, can understand that certain exalted personalities, after accumulating volumes of pious activities, are now playing with the Lord in friendship as cowherd boys.'" The Lord said, "This statement is very good, but please proceed even further." Ramananda Raya then replied, "Loving service to the Lord in the parental relationship is the highest perfectional stage."

 

Ramananda Raya continued, "'O brahmana, what pious activities did Nanda Maharaja perform by which he received the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna as his son? And what pious activities did mother Yasoda perform that made the Absolute Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna call her "Mother" and suck her breasts? The favor mother Yasoda obtained from Sri Krishna, the bestower of liberation, was never obtained even by Lord Brahma or Lord Siva, nor even by the goddess of fortune, who always remains on the chest of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Viṣṇu.'"

 

The Lord said, "Your statements are certainly getting better and better one after the other, but surpassing all of them is another transcendental mellow, and you can speak of that as the most sublime." Ramananda Raya then replied, "Conjugal attachment for Krishna is the topmost position in love of Godhead.

 

'When Lord Sri Krishna was dancing with the gopis in the rasa-lila, the gopis were embraced around the neck by the Lord's arms. This transcendental favor was never bestowed upon the goddess of fortune or the other consorts in the spiritual world. Nor was such a thing ever imagined by the most beautiful girls in the heavenly planets, girls whose bodily luster and aroma resemble the beauty and fragrance of lotus flowers. And what to speak of worldly women, who may be very, very beautiful according to material estimation?'

 

'Suddenly, due to their feelings of separation, Lord Krishna appeared among the gopis dressed in yellow garments and wearing a flower garland. His lotus face was smiling, and He was directly attracting the mind of Cupid. There are various means and processes by which one may attain the favor of Lord Krishna. All those transcendental processes will be studied from the viewpoint of comparative importance.

 

"It is true that whatever relationship a particular devotee has with the Lord is the best for him; still, when we study all the different methods from a neutral position, we can understand that there are higher and lower degrees of love. 'Increasing love is experienced in various tastes, one above another. But that love which has the highest taste in the gradual succession of desires manifests itself in the form of conjugal love.'

 

"There is a gradual order of improvement in transcendental mellows from the initial ones to the later ones. In each subsequent mellow the qualities of the previous mellows are manifested, counting from two, then three, and up to the point of five complete qualities.

 

"As the qualities increase, so the taste also increases in each and every mellow. Therefore the qualities found in santa-rasa, dasya-rasa, sakhya-rasa and vatsalya-rasa are all manifested in conjugal love [madhurya-rasa]. The qualities in the material elements - sky, air, fire, water and earth - increase one after another by a gradual process of one, two and three, and at the last stage, in the element earth, all five qualities are completely visible.

 

Complete attainment of the lotus feet of Lord Krishna is made possible by love of Godhead, specifically madhurya-rasa, or conjugal love. Lord Krishna is indeed captivated by this standard of love. This is stated in Srimad-Bhāgavatam.

 

"Lord Krishna told the gopis, 'The means of attaining My favor is loving service unto Me, and fortunately you are all thus engaged. Those living beings who render service unto Me are eligible to be transferred to the spiritual world and attain eternal life with knowledge and bliss.

 

"Lord Krishna has made a firm promise for all time. If one renders service unto Him, Krishna correspondingly gives him an equal amount of success in devotional service to the Lord. [According to Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita (4.11):] 'As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pṛthā.'

 

"In Srimad-Bhagavatam [10.32.22] it is said that Lord Krishna cannot proportionately reciprocate devotional service in the madhurya-rasa; therefore He always remains a debtor to such devotees. When the gopis were overwhelmed with dissatisfaction due to Lord Krishna's absence from the rasa-lila, Krishna returned to them and told them, 'My dear gopis, our meeting is certainly free of all material contamination. I must admit that in many lives it would be impossible for Me to repay My debt to you because you have cut off the bondage of family life just to search for Me. Consequently I am unable to repay you. Therefore please be satisfied with your honest activities in this regard.'

 

"Although Krishna's unparalleled beauty is the topmost sweetness of love of Godhead, His sweetness increases unlimitedly when He is in the company of the gopis. Consequently Krishna's exchange of love with the gopis is the topmost perfection of love of Godhead. Although the son of Devaki, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the reservoir of all kinds of beauty, when He is among the gopis He nonetheless becomes more beautiful, for He resembles a marakata jewel surrounded by gold and other jewels.'"

 

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu replied, "This is certainly the limit of perfection, but please be merciful to Me and speak more if there is more." Raya Ramananda replied, "Until this day I did not know anyone within this material world who could inquire beyond this perfectional stage of devotional service. Among the loving affairs of the gopis," Ramananda Raya continued, "Srimati Radharani's love for Sri Krishna is topmost. Indeed, the glories of Srimati Radharani are highly esteemed in all revealed scriptures.

 

'Just as Srimati Radharani is most dear to Sri Krishna, Her bathing place [Radha-kuṇḍa] is also dear to Him. Among all the gopis, Srimati Radharani is supermost and very dear to Lord Krishna.' [When the gopis began to talk among themselves, they said:] 'Dear friends, the gopi who has been taken away by Krishna to a secluded place must have worshiped the Lord more than anyone else.'"

 

Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "Please speak on. I am very happy to hear you because a river of unprecedented nectar is flowing from your mouth.

 

"During the rasa dance Sri Krishna did not exchange loving affairs with Srimati Radharani due to the presence of the other gopis. Because of the dependence of the others, the intensity of love between Rādhā and Krishna was not manifest. Therefore He stole Her away. If Lord Krishna rejected the company of the other gopis for Srimati Radharani, we can understand that Lord Sri Krishna has intense affection for Her."

 

Ramananda Raya continued, "Please therefore hear from me about the glories of Srimati Radharani's loving affairs. They are beyond compare within these three worlds. "Finding Herself treated equally with all the other gopis, Srimati Radharani displayed Her tricky behaviour and left the circle of the rasa dance. Missing Srimati Radharani's presence, Krishna became very unhappy and began to lament and wander throughout the forest to search Her out.

 

'Lord Krishna, the enemy of Kamsa, took Srimati Radharani within His heart, for He desired to dance with Her. Thus He left the arena of the rasa dance and the company of all the other beautiful damsels of Vraja. Being afflicted by the arrow of Cupid and unhappily regretting His mistreating Srimati Radharani, Madhava, Lord Krishna, began to search for Her along the banks of the Yamuna River. When He failed to find Her, He entered the bushes of Vrindavana and began to lament.'

 

"Simply by considering these two verses one can understand what nectar there is in such dealings. It is exactly like freeing a mine of nectar. Although Krishna was in the midst of hundreds of thousands of gopis during the rasa dance, He still kept Himself in one of His transcendental forms by the side of Srimati Radharani. Lord Krishna is equal to everyone in His general dealings, but due to the conflicting ecstatic love of Srimati Radharani, there were opposing elements.

 

"'The progress of loving affairs between a young boy and a young girl is like the movement of a snake. On account of this, two types of anger arise between a young boy and girl - anger with cause and anger without cause. When Radharani left the rasa dance out of anger and resentment, Lord Sri Krishna became very anxious because He could not see Her. Lord Krishna's desire in the rasa-līlā circle is perfectly complete, but Srimati Radharani is the binding link in that desire. The rasa dance does not shine in the heart of Krishna without Srimati Radharani. Therefore, He also gave up the circle of the rasa dance and went out to search for Her. When Krishna went out to search for Srimati Radharani, He wandered here and there. Not finding Her, He became afflicted by the arrow of Cupid and began to lament. Since Krishna's lusty desires were not satisfied even in the midst of hundreds of thousands of gopis and He was thus searching after Srimati Radharani, we can easily imagine how transcendentally qualified She is."

 

After hearing this, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu said to Ramananda Raya, "That for which I have come to your residence has now become an object of truth in My knowledge. Now I have come to understand the sublime goal of life and the process of achieving it. Nevertheless, I think that there is something more ahead, and My mind is desiring to have it. Kindly explain the transcendental features of Krishna and Srimati Radharani. Also explain the truth of transcendental mellows and the transcendental form of love of Godhead. Kindly explain all these truths to Me. But for yourself, no one can ascertain them."

 

Sri Ramananda Raya replied, "I do not know anything about this. I simply vibrate the sound You make me speak. I simply repeat like a parrot whatever instructions You have given me. You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. Who can understand Your dramatic performances? You inspire me within the heart and make me speak with the tongue. I do not know whether I am speaking well or badly."

 

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "I am a Mayavadi in the renounced order of life, and I do not even know what transcendental loving service to the Lord is. I simply float in the ocean of Mayavada philosophy. Due to the association of Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, My mind became enlightened. Therefore I asked him about the truths of transcendental loving service to Krishna. Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya told me, 'I do not actually know about the topics of Lord Krishna. They are all known only to Ramananda Raya, but he is not present here.'"

 

Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu continued, "After hearing about your glories, I have come to your place. But you are offering Me words of praise out of respect for a sannyasi, one in the renounced order of life. Whether one is a brahmana, a sannyasi or a sudra - regardless of what he is - he can become a spiritual master if he knows the science of Krishna."

 

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu continued, "Please do not try to cheat me, thinking of Me as a learned sannyasi. Please satisfy My mind by just describing the truth of Radha and Krishna."

 

Sri Ramananda Raya was a great devotee of the Lord and a lover of God, and although his mind could not be covered by Krishna's illusory energy, and although he could understand the mind of the Lord, which was very strong and intense, Ramananda's mind became a little agitated.

 

Sri Ramananda Raya said, "I am just a dancing puppet, and You pull the strings. Whichever way You make me dance, I will dance. My dear Lord, my tongue is just like a stringed instrument, and You are its player. Therefore I simply vibrate whatever arises in Your mind."

 

Ramananda Raya then began to speak on Krishna-tattva. "Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead," he said. "He is personally the original Godhead, the source of all incarnations and the cause of all causes.

 

"There are innumerable Vaikuṇṭha planets, as well as innumerable incarnations. In the material world also there are innumerable universes, and Krishna is the supreme resting place for all of them.

 

"The transcendental body of Sri Krishna is eternal and full of bliss and knowledge. He is the son of Nanda Maharaja. He is full of all opulences and potencies, as well as all spiritual mellows. "'Krishna, who is known as Govinda, is the supreme controller. He has an eternal, blissful, spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin, for He is the prime cause of all causes.'

 

"In the spiritual realm of Vrindavana, Krishna is the spiritual, ever-fresh Cupid. He is worshiped by the chanting of the Kama-gayatri mantra, with the spiritual seed klim.

 

"The very name Krishna means that He attracts even Cupid. He is therefore attractive to everyone - male and female, moving and inert living entities. Indeed, Krishna is known as the all-attractive one.

 

"'When Krishna left the rasa-lila dance, the gopis became very morose, and when they were grieving, Krishna reappeared dressed in yellow garments. Wearing a flower garland and smiling, He was attractive even to Cupid. In this way Krishna appeared among the gopis.'

 

"Each and every devotee has a certain type of transcendental mellow in relation to Krishna. But in all transcendental relationships the devotee is the worshiper [asraya] and Krishna is the object of worship [viṣaya].

 

"'Let Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, be glorified! By virtue of His expanding attractive features, He subjugated the gopis named Taraka and Pali and absorbed the minds of Syama and Lalita. He is the most attractive lover of Srimati Radharani and is the reservoir of pleasure for devotees in all transcendental mellows.'

 

"Krishna is all-attractive for devotees in all mellows because He is the personification of the conjugal mellow. Krishna is attractive not only to all the devotees, but to Himself as well.

 

"'My dear friends, just see how Sri Krishna is enjoying the season of spring! With the gopis embracing each of His limbs, He is like amorous love personified. With His transcendental pastimes, He enlivens all the gopis and the entire creation. With His soft bluish black arms and legs, which resemble blue lotus flowers, He has created a festival for Cupid.'

 

"He also attracts Narayana, who is the incarnation of Sankarṣaṇa and the husband of the goddess of fortune. He attracts not only Narayana but also all women, headed by the goddess of fortune, the consort of Narayana.

 

"[Addressing Krishna and Arjuna, Lord Maha-Viṣṇu (the Mahapuruṣa) said:] 'I wanted to see both of you, and therefore I have brought the sons of the brahmana here. Both of you have appeared in the material world to re-establish religious principles, and you have both appeared here with all your potencies. After killing all the demons, please quickly return to the spiritual world.'

 

"'O Lord, we do not know how the serpent Kaliya attained such an opportunity to be touched by the dust of Your lotus feet. For this end, the goddess of fortune performed austerities for centuries, giving up all other desires and observing austere vows. Indeed, we do not know how this serpent Kaliya got such an opportunity.'

 

"Lord Krishna's sweetness is so attractive that it steals away His own mind. Thus even He wants to embrace Himself.

 

"'Upon seeing His own reflection in a bejewelled pillar of His Dwarka palace, Krishna desired to embrace it, saying, "Alas, I have never seen such a person before. Who is He? Just by seeing Him I have become eager to embrace Him, exactly like Srimati Radharani."'"

 

Sri Ramananda Raya then said, "I have thus briefly explained the original form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Now let me describe the position of Srimati Radharani.

 

"Krishna has unlimited potencies, which can be divided into three main parts. These are the spiritual potency, the material potency and the marginal potency, which is known as the living entities. In other words, these are all potencies of God - internal, external and marginal. But the internal potency is the Lord's personal energy and stands over the other two.

 

"'The original potency of Lord Viṣṇu is superior, or spiritual, and the living entity actually belongs to that superior energy. But there is another energy, called the material energy, and this third energy is full of ignorance.'

 

"Originally Lord Krishna is sac-cid-ananda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1], the transcendental form of eternity, bliss and knowledge; therefore His personal potency, the internal potency, has three different forms. Hladini is His aspect of bliss; sandhini, of eternal existence; and samvit, of cognizance, which is also accepted as knowledge.

 

"'My dear Lord, You are the transcendental reservoir of all transcendental qualities. Your pleasure potency, existence potency and knowledge potency are actually all one internal spiritual potency. The conditioned soul, although actually spiritual, sometimes experiences pleasure, sometimes pain and sometimes a mixture of pain and pleasure. This is due to his being touched by matter. But because You are above all material qualities, these are not found in You. Your superior spiritual potency is completely transcendental, and for You there is no such thing as relative pleasure, pleasure mixed with pain, or pain itself.'

 

"The potency called hladini gives Krishna transcendental pleasure. Through this pleasure potency, Krishna personally tastes all spiritual pleasure. Lord Krishna tastes all kinds of transcendental happiness, although He Himself is happiness personified. The pleasure relished by His pure devotees is also manifested by His pleasure potency. The most essential part of this pleasure potency is love of Godhead [prema]. Consequently, the explanation of love of Godhead is also a transcendental mellow full of pleasure.

 

"The essential part of love of Godhead is called mahabhava, transcendental ecstasy, and that ecstasy is represented by Srimati Radharani. Among the gopis of Vrindavana, Srimati Radharani and another gopi are considered chief. But when we compare the gopis, it appears that Srimati Radharani is most important because Her real feature expresses the highest ecstasy of love. The ecstasy of love experienced by the other gopis cannot be compared to that of Srimati Radharani.'

 

"The body of Srimati Radharani is a veritable transformation of love of Godhead; She is the dear most friend of Krishna, and this is known throughout the world. 'I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who resides in His own realm, Goloka, with Radha, who resembles His own spiritual figure and who embodies the ecstatic potency [hladini]. Their companions are Her confidantes, who embody extensions of Her bodily form and who are imbued and permeated with ever-blissful spiritual rasa.'

 

"That supreme ecstasy of Srimati Radharani is the essence of spiritual life. Her only business is to fulfil all the desires of Krishna.

 

"Srimati Radharani is the topmost spiritual gem, and the other gopis - Lalita, Visakha and so on - are expansions of Her spiritual body. Srimati Radharani's transcendental body is brilliant in luster and full of all transcendental fragrances. Lord Krishna's affection for Her is like a perfumed massage. Srimati Radharani takes Her first bath in the shower of the nectar of compassion, and She takes Her second bath in the nectar of youth. After Her midday bath, Radharani takes another bath in the nectar of bodily luster, and She puts on the garment of shyness, which is Her black silk sari. Srimati Radharani's affection for Krishna is Her upper garment, which is pinkish in color. She then covers Her breasts with another garment, composed of affection and anger toward Krishna. Srimati Radharani's personal beauty is the reddish powder known as kunkuma, Her affection for Her associates is sandalwood pulp, and the sweetness of Her smile is camphor. All these, combined together, are smeared over Her body. Conjugal love for Krishna is an abundance of musk, and with that musk Her whole body is decorated.

 

"Craftiness and covered anger constitute the arrangement of Her hair. The quality of anger due to jealousy is the silk garment covering Her body. Her attachment for Krishna is the reddish color of betel nuts on Her brilliant lips. Her double-dealings in loving affairs constitute the black ointment around Her eyes. The ornaments decorating Her body are the blazing ecstasies of goodness and the constantly existing ecstasies, headed by jubilation. All these ecstasies are the ornaments all over Her body.

 

"Also ornamenting Her body are the twenty kinds of ecstatic symptoms beginning with kila-kiscita. Her transcendental qualities constitute the flower garland hanging in fullness over Her body. The tilaka of good fortune is on Her beautiful broad forehead. Her various loving affairs are a gem, and Her heart is the locket.

 

“Srimati Radharani's gopi friends are Her mental activities, which are concentrated on the pastimes of Sri Krishna. She keeps Her hand on the shoulder of a friend, who represents youth. Srimati Radharani's bedstead is pride itself, and it is situated in the abode of Her bodily aroma. She is always seated there thinking of Krishna's association.”

 

"Srimati Radharani's earrings are the name, fame and qualities of Lord Krishna. The glories of Lord Krishna's name, fame and qualities are always inundating Her speech. Srimati Radharani induces Krishna to drink the honey of the conjugal relationship. She is therefore engaged in satisfying all the lusty desires of Krishna.

 

"Srimati Radharani is a mine filled with valuable jewels of love for Krishna. Her transcendental body is complete with unparalleled spiritual qualities. 'If one asks about the origin of love of Krishna, the answer is that the origin is in Srimati Radharani alone. Who is the most dear friend of Krishna? The answer again is Srimati Radharani alone. No one else. Srimati Radharani's hair is very curly, Her two eyes are always moving to and fro, and Her breasts are firm. Since all transcendental qualities are manifested in Srimati Radharani, She alone is able to fulfil all the desires of Krishna. No one else.'

 

"Even Satyabhama, one of the queens of Sri Krishna, desires the fortunate position and excellent qualities of Srimati Radharani. All the gopis learn the art of dressing from Srimati Radharani, and even the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmi, and the wife of Lord Siva, Parvati, desire Her beauty and qualities. Indeed, Arundhati, the celebrated chaste wife of Vasiṣṭha, also wants to imitate the chastity and religious principles of Srimati Radharani.

 

"Even Lord Krishna Himself cannot reach the limit of the transcendental qualities of Srimati Radharani. How, then, can an insignificant living entity count them?"

 

Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu replied, "Now I have come to understand the truth of the loving affairs between Radha and Krishna. Nonetheless, I still want to hear how both of Them gloriously enjoy such love."

 

Raya Ramananda replied, "Lord Krishna is dhira-lalita, for He can always keep His girlfriends in a subjugated state. Thus His only business is enjoying sense gratification.

 

"'A person who is very cunning and always youthful, expert in joking and without anxiety, and who can keep his girlfriends always subjugated, is called dhira-lalita.'

 

"Day and night Lord Sri Krishna enjoys the company of Srimati Radharani in the bushes of Vrindavana. Thus His pre-youthful age is fulfilled through His affairs with Srimati Radharani. 'Thus Lord Sri Krishna spoke of the sexual activities of the previous night. In this way He made Srimati Radharani close Her eyes out of shyness. Taking this opportunity, Sri Krishna painted various types of dolphins on Her breasts. Thus He became a very expert artist for all the gopis. During such pastimes, the Lord enjoyed the fulfilment of His youth.'"

 

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "This is all right, but please continue." At that time Raya Ramananda replied, "I don't think my intelligence goes beyond this."

 

Raya Ramananda then informed Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu that there was another topic, known as prema-vilasa-vivarta. "You may hear of this from me," Ramananda Raya said, "but I do not know whether You will be happy with it or not."

 

Saying this, Ramananda Raya began to sing a song he had composed, but Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, out of the ecstasy of love of Godhead, immediately covered Ramananda's mouth with His own hand.

 

"'Alas, before We met there was an initial attachment between Us brought about by an exchange of glances. In this way attachment evolved. That attachment has gradually grown, and there is no limit to it. Now that attachment has become a natural sequence between Ourselves. It is not that it is due to Krishna, the enjoyer, nor is it due to Me, for I am the enjoyed. It is not like that. This attachment was made possible by mutual meeting. This mutual exchange of attraction is known as manobhava, or Cupid. Krishna's mind and My mind have merged together. Now, during this time of separation, it is very difficult to explain these loving affairs. My dear friend, though Krishna might have forgotten all these things, you can understand and bring this message to Him. But during Our first meeting there was no messenger between Us, nor did I request anyone to see Him. Indeed, Cupid's five arrows were Our via media. Now, during this separation, that attraction has increased to another ecstatic state. My dear friend, please act as a messenger on My behalf, because if one is in love with a beautiful person, this is the consequence.'

 

"'O my Lord, You live in the forest of Govardhana Hill, and, like the king of elephants, You are expert in the art of conjugal love. O master of the universe, Your heart and Srimati Radharani's heart are just like shellac and are now melted in Your spiritual perspiration. Therefore one can no longer distinguish between You and Srimati Radharani. Now You have mixed Your newly invoked affection, which is like vermilion, with Your melted hearts, and for the benefit of the whole world You have painted both Your hearts red within this great palace of the universe.'"

 

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu confirmed these verses recited by Sri Ramananda Raya, saying, "This is the limit of the goal of human life. Only by your mercy have I come to understand it conclusively.

 

"The goal of life cannot be achieved unless one practices the process. Now, being merciful upon Me, please explain that means by which this goal can be attained."

 

Sri Ramananda Raya replied, "I do not know what I am saying, but You have made me speak what I have spoken, be it good or bad. I am simply repeating that message. Within these three worlds, who is so undisturbed that he can remain steady as You manipulate Your different energies?

 

"Actually You are speaking through my mouth, and at the same time You are listening. This is very mysterious. Anyway, kindly hear the explanation of the process by which the goal can be attained.

 

"The pastimes of Radha and Krishna are very confidential. They cannot be understood through the mellows of servitude, fraternity or parental affection.

 

"Actually, only the gopis have the right to appreciate these transcendental pastimes, and only from them can these pastimes be expanded.

 

"Without the gopis, these pastimes between Radha and Krishna cannot be nourished. Only by their cooperation are such pastimes broadcast. It is their business to taste the mellows.

 

"Without the help of the gopis, one cannot enter into these pastimes. Only one who worships the Lord in the ecstasy of the gopis, following in their footsteps, can engage in the service of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna in the bushes of Vrindavana. Only then can one understand the conjugal love between Radha and Krishna. There is no other procedure for understanding.

 

"'The pastimes of Sri Radha and Krishna are self-effulgent. They are happiness personified, unlimited and all-powerful. Even so, the spiritual humors of such pastimes are never complete without the gopis, the Lord's personal friends. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is never complete without His spiritual potencies; therefore unless one takes shelter of the gopis, one cannot enter into the company of Radha and Krishna. Who can be interested in Their spiritual pastimes without taking their shelter?'

 

"There is an inexplicable fact about the natural inclinations of the gopis. The gopis never want to enjoy themselves with Krishna personally.

 

"The happiness of the gopis increases ten million times when they serve to engage Sri Sri Radha and Krishna in Their transcendental pastimes.

 

"By nature, Srimati Radharani is just like a creeper of love of Godhead, and the gopis are the twigs, flowers and leaves of that creeper.

 

"When the nectar of Krishna's pastimes is sprinkled on that creeper, the happiness derived by the twigs, flowers and leaves is ten million times greater than that derived by the creeper itself.

 

"'All the gopis, the personal friends of Srimati Radharani, are equal to Her. Krishna is pleasing to the inhabitants of Vrajabhumi, just as the moon is pleasing to the lotus flower. His pleasure-giving potency is known as ahladini, of which the active principle is Srimati Radharani. She is compared to a creeper with newly grown flowers and leaves. When the nectar of Krishna's pastimes is sprinkled on Srimati Radharani, all Her friends, the gopis, immediately appreciate the pleasure a hundred times more than if they were sprinkled themselves. Actually this is not at all wonderful.'

 

"Although the gopis, Srimati Radharani's friends, do not desire to enjoy themselves directly with Krishna, Srimati Radharani makes a great endeavour to induce Krishna to enjoy Himself with the gopis. Presenting various pleas for the gopis, Srimati Radharani sometimes sends the gopis to Krishna just to enable them to associate with Him directly. At such times, She enjoys a happiness ten million times greater than that enjoyed through direct association.

 

"The transcendental mellow is nourished by that mutual behaviour in transcendental love of Godhead. When Lord Krishna sees how the gopis have developed pure love for Him, He becomes very satisfied. It is to be noted that the natural characteristic of the gopis is to love the Supreme Lord. Their lusty desire is not to be compared to material lust. Nonetheless, because their desire sometimes appears to resemble material lust, their transcendental love for Krishna is sometimes described as lust.

 

"'Although the dealings of the gopis with Krishna are on the platform of pure love of Godhead, such dealings are sometimes considered to be lusty. But because they are completely spiritual, Uddhava and all the other dearmost devotees of the Lord desire to participate in them.' Lusty desires are experienced when one is concerned with his own personal sense gratification. The mood of the gopis is not like that. Their only desire is to satisfy the senses of Krishna.

 

"Among the gopis, there is not a pinch of desire for sense gratification. Their only desire is to give pleasure to Krishna, and this is why they mingle with Him and enjoy with Him.

 

"[All the gopis said:] 'Dear Krishna, we carefully hold Your delicate lotus feet upon our hard breasts. When You walk in the forest, Your soft lotus feet are pricked by small bits of stone. We fear that this is paining You. Since You are our life and soul, our minds are very much disturbed when Your lotus feet are pained.'

 

"One who is attracted by that ecstatic love of the gopis does not care about popular opinion or the regulative principles of Vedic life. Rather, he completely surrenders unto Krishna and renders service unto Him.

 

"If one worships the Lord on the path of spontaneous love and goes to Vrindavana, he receives the shelter of Vrajendra-nandana, the son of Nanda Maharaja.

 

"In his liberated stage the devotee is attracted by one of the five humors in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. As he continues to serve the Lord in that transcendental mood, he attains a spiritual body to serve Krishna in Goloka Vrindavana.

 

"Those saintly persons who represent the Upaniṣads are vivid examples of this. By worshiping the Lord on the path of spontaneous love, they attained the lotus feet of Vrajendra-nandana, the son of Nanda Maharaja.

 

"'Great sages conquer the mind and senses by practicing the mystic yoga system and controlling the breath. Thus engaging in mystic yoga, they see the Supersoul within their hearts and ultimately enter into impersonal Brahman. But even the enemies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead attain that position simply by thinking of the Supreme Lord. However, the damsels of Vraja, the gopis, being attracted by the beauty of Krishna, simply wanted to embrace Him and His arms, which are like serpents. Thus the gopis ultimately tasted the nectar of the lotus feet of the Lord. Similarly, we Upaniṣads can also taste the nectar of His lotus feet by following in the footsteps of the gopis.'"

 

"The word 'sama-dṛsaḥ,' mentioned in the fourth line of the previous verse, means 'following the mood of the gopis.' The word 'samaḥ' means 'the śrutis' attainment of bodies like those of the gopis.'

 

"The word 'anghri-padma-sudha' means 'associating intimately with Krishna.' One can attain such perfection only by spontaneous love of God. One cannot obtain Krishna in Goloka Vrindavana simply by serving the Lord according to regulative principles. 'The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, the son of mother Yasoda, is accessible to those devotees engaged in spontaneous loving service, but He is not as easily accessible to mental speculators, to those striving for self-realization by severe austerities and penances, or to those who consider the body the same as the self.' Therefore one should accept the mood of the gopis in their service. In such a transcendental mood, one should always think of the pastimes of Sri Radha and Krishna.

 

"After thinking of Radha and Krishna and Their pastimes for a long time and after getting completely free from material contamination, one is transferred to the spiritual world. There the devotee attains an opportunity to serve Radha and Krishna as one of the gopis.

 

"Unless one follows in the footsteps of the gopis, he cannot attain the service of the lotus feet of Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaja. If one is overcome by knowledge of the Lord's opulence, he cannot attain the Lord's lotus feet, even though he is engaged in devotional service.

 

"The unspoken example in this connection is the goddess of fortune, who worshiped Lord Krishna in order to attain His pastimes in Vrindavana. But due to her opulent life-style, she could not attain the service of Krishna in Vrindavana.

 

"'When Lord Sri Krishna was dancing with the gopis in the rasa-lila, the gopis were embraced around the neck by the Lord's arms. This transcendental favor was never bestowed upon the goddess of fortune or the other consorts in the spiritual world. Nor was such a thing ever imagined by the most beautiful girls in the heavenly planets, girls whose bodily luster and aroma resemble the beauty and fragrance of lotus flowers. And what to speak of worldly women, who may be very, very beautiful according to material estimation?'"

 

After hearing this, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu embraced Ramananda Raya, and both of them, embracing shoulder to shoulder, began to cry. The entire night was passed in this way, in ecstatic love of Godhead. In the morning they both departed to tend to their respective duties. Before departing from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Ramananda Raya fell to the ground and caught hold of the Lord's lotus feet. He then spoke submissively as follows.

 

Sri Ramananda Raya said, "You have come here just to show me Your causeless mercy. Therefore stay here for at least ten days and purify my polluted mind. But for You, there is no one who can deliver all the living entities, for You alone can deliver love of Krishna."

 

The Lord replied, "Having heard about your good qualities, I have come here. I have come to hear about Krishna from you and thus purify My mind. Now that I have actually seen your glories, what I heard about you is confirmed. As far as the pastimes of Radha and Krishna in a loving mood are concerned, you are the limit of knowledge."

 

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu continued, "To say nothing of ten days, as long as I live I shall find it impossible to give up your company. You and I shall remain together at Jagannatha Puri. We shall pass our time together in joy, talking about Krishna and His pastimes."

 

In this way they both departed to perform their respective duties. Then, in the evening, Ramananda Raya returned to see Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Thus they met time and time again, sitting in a secluded place and jubilantly discussing devotional service by the question-and-answer process.

 

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked the questions, and Sri Ramananda Raya gave the answers. In this way they were engaged in discussion throughout the night.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked, "What should all living entities constantly remember?" Ramananda Raya replied, "The chief objects of remembrance are always the Lord's holy name, qualities and pastimes."

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked, "Among all worshipable objects, which is the chief?" Ramananda Raya replied, "The chief worshipable object is the holy name of Radha and Krishna, the Hare Krishna mantra."

 

"And what is the destination of those who desire liberation and those who desire sense gratification?" Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked. Ramananda Raya 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."

 

Ramananda Raya 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."

 

Ramananda Raya concluded, "The unfortunate empiric philosophers taste the dry process of philosophical knowledge, whereas the devotees regularly drink the nectar of love of Krishna. Therefore they are the most fortunate of all."

 

In this way Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya passed the whole night relishing the mellows of Krishna-katha, topics about Krishna. While they were chanting, dancing and crying, the night ended. The next morning they both departed to perform their respective duties, but in the evening Ramananda Raya returned to meet the Lord again.

 

That evening, after discussing the topics of Krishna for some time, Ramananda Raya caught hold of the lotus feet of the Lord and spoke as follows.

 

"There is a variety of transcendental truths - the truth about Krishna, the truth about Radharani, the truth about Their loving affairs, the truth about transcendental humors, and the truth about the Lord's pastimes.

 

"You have manifested all these transcendental truths in my heart. This is exactly the way Narayana educated Lord Brahma."

 

Ramananda Raya continued, "The Supersoul within everyone's heart speaks not externally but from within. He instructs the devotees in all respects, and that is His way of instruction."

 

"'O my Lord, Sri Krishna, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Sri Krishna because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmaji, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Sri Krishna, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth.'"

 

Ramananda Raya 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."

 

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

 

"I now see You appearing like a golden doll, and Your entire body appears covered by a golden luster. I see that You are holding a flute to Your mouth, and Your lotus eyes are moving very restlessly due to various ecstasies. I actually see You in this way, and this is very wonderful. My Lord, please tell me without duplicity what is causing this."

 

Lord Sri Caitanya 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. 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. 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."

 

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu continued, "'A person advanced in devotional service sees within everything the soul of souls, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. Consequently he always sees the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the cause of all causes and understands that all things are situated in Him.'

 

"'The plants, creepers and trees were full of fruits and flowers due to ecstatic love of Krishna. Indeed, being so full, they were bowing down. They were inspired by such deep love for Krishna that they were constantly pouring showers of honey. In this way the gopis saw all the forests of Vrindavana.'"

 

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu continued, "My dear Raya, 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."

 

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

 

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

 

"My dear Lord, You have descended in this incarnation of Lord Caitanya 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. 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 behaviour?"

 

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 Caitanya Mahaprabhu. This being the case, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu revealed His real form to Ramananda Raya.

 

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

 

When Ramananda Raya fell to the ground unconscious, Caitanya Mahaprabhu touched his hand, and he immediately regained consciousness. But when he saw Lord Caitanya in the dress of a sannyasi, he was struck with wonder. After embracing Ramananda Raya, the Lord pacified him, informing him, "But for you, no one has ever seen this form."

 

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

 

"I have now converted My body and mind into the ecstasy of Srimati Radharani; thus I am tasting My own personal sweetness in that form."

 

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu then admitted to His pure devotee, Ramananda Raya, "Now there is no confidential activity unknown to you. Even though I try to conceal My activities, you can understand everything in detail by virtue of your advanced love for Me."

 

The Lord then requested Ramananda Raya, "Keep all these talks a secret. Please do not expose them anywhere and everywhere. Since My activities appear to be like those of a madman, people may take them lightly and laugh."

 

Caitanya Mahaprabhu then said, "Indeed, I am a madman, and you are also a madman. Therefore we are on the same platform."

 

For ten nights Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya spent a happy time discussing the pastimes of Krishna. The conversations between Ramananda Raya and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu contain the most confidential subject matters, touching the conjugal love between Radha and Krishna in Vrindavana [Vrajabhumi]. Although they talked at great length about these pastimes, they could not reach the limit of discussion.

 

Actually, these conversations are like a great mine where, from a single place, one can extract all kinds of metals - copper, bell metal, silver and gold - and also touchstone, the basis of all metals. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya worked like miners, excavating all kinds of valuable metals, each one better than the other. Their questions and answers are exactly like that.

 

The next day Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu begged Ramananda Raya to give Him permission to leave, and at the time of farewell the Lord gave him the following orders. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu told him, "Give up all material engagements and come to Jagannatha Puri. I will return there very soon after finishing My tour and pilgrimage. The two of us shall remain together at Jagannatha Puri and happily pass our time discussing Krishna."

 

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then embraced Sri Ramananda Raya, and after sending him back to his home, the Lord took rest. After rising from bed the next morning, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited the local temple, where there was a deity of Hanuman. After offering him obeisances, the Lord departed for South India. All the residents of Vidyanagara were of different faiths, but after seeing Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, they abandoned their own faiths and became Vaisnavas. When Ramananda Raya began to feel separation from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he was overwhelmed. Meditating on the Lord, he gave up all his material business.

 

I [Krishnadasa Kaviraja] have briefly described the meeting between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya. No one can actually describe this meeting exhaustively. It is even impossible for Lord Seṣa Naga, who has thousands of hoods.

 

The activities of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu are like condensed milk, and the activities of Ramananda Raya are like large quantities of sugar candy. Their meeting is exactly like a mixture of condensed milk and sugar candy. When they talk of the pastimes of Radha and Krishna, camphor is added. One who tastes this combined preparation is most fortunate. This wonderful preparation has to be taken aurally. If one takes it, he becomes greedy to relish it even further.

 

By hearing the talks between Ramananda Raya and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, one becomes enlightened with the transcendental knowledge of the mellows of Radha and Krishna's pastimes. Thus one can develop unalloyed love for the lotus feet of Radha and Krishna.

 

The author requests every reader to hear these talks with faith and without argument. By studying them in this way, one will be able to understand the confidential truth of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. This part of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's pastimes is most confidential. One can derive benefit quickly only by faith; otherwise, by arguing one will always remain far away. He who has accepted as everything the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu and Advaita Prabhu can attain this transcendental treasure.

 

I [Krishnadasa Kaviraja] offer ten million obeisances unto the lotus feet of Sri Ramananda Raya because from his mouth much spiritual information has been expanded by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. I have tried to preach the pastimes of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's meeting with Ramananda Raya in accordance with the notebooks of Sri Svarupa Damodara. Praying at the lotus feet of Sri Rupa and Sri Raghunatha, always desiring their mercy, I, Krishnadasa, narrate Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta, following in their footsteps.   [Sri Caitanya-Caritamṛta Madha-lila Chapter 8]

 

Talks between Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Ramananda Raya [Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya lila ch. 8]: http://vedabase.net/cc/madhya/8

 

Lord Caitanya’s visit to Sri Kurma Ksetra [Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya lila ch 7, 113-115]: http://vedabase.net/cc/madhya/7/113

 

Lord Caitanya’s visit to Sri Varaha-Nrsimha Temple, Simhachalam [Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya lila ch 8, 3-9]: http://vedabase.net/cc/madhya/8/3

 

ISKCON Rajahmundry: www.iskconrajahmundry.com  /  ISKCON Tirupati: http://www.iskcontirupati.net/main/home.html 

ISKCON Guntur: www.iskconguntur.com  /  ISKCON Visakhapatnam: http://iskconvizag.com/

 

Fainting of Sri Ramananda Raya: http://www.gopaljiu.org/excerpts/teos_27-31.pdf (Gopal Jiu publication)

 

MAYAPUR TV: http://Mayapur.tv

 

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