Ramananda Raya's conversation with Lord Caitanya
TLC 32 Conclusion
Lord Caitanya next asked Ramananda Raya, "What is the most valuable
thing in the world?"
Ramananda Raya replied that he who has love for
Radha-Krsna possesses the most valuable jewel and the greatest riches.
One who is addicted to material sense gratification or material wealth
is not really considered to be wealthy. When one comes to the
spiritual platform of Krsna consciousness, he can understand that
there are no riches more valuable than love of Radha-Krsna. It is
recorded in Srimad-Bhagavatam that Maharaja Dhruva sought out the
Supreme Lord because he wanted to get some land, but when he finally
saw Krsna, he said, "I am so pleased, I don't want anything." In
Bhagavad-gita it is also stated that if one takes shelter of the
Supreme Personality of Godhead or is elevated to the supreme state of
love of Godhead, he has nothing more to aspire to. Although such
devotees can attain whatever they desire from the Lord, they do not
ask anything from Him.
When Lord Caitanya asked Ramananda Raya what is considered to be
the most painful existence,
Ramananda Raya replied that separation
from a pure devotee constitutes the most painful existence. In other
words, when there is no devotee of the Lord present, there is great
suffering in society, and association with other people becomes
painful. In ▼Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.30.7) it is stated that if one who
is bereft of the association of a pure devotee tries to become happy
through society, friendship and love devoid of Krsna consciousness, he
is to be considered in the most distressed condition. In the Fifth
Canto of Brhad-bhagavatamrta (5.44) it is stated that the association
of a pure devotee is more desirable than life itself and that in
separation from him one cannot even pass a second happily.
Lord Caitanya then asked Ramananda Raya, "Out of many so-called
liberated souls, who is actually liberated?"
Ramananda replied that he who is actually completely saturated with the devotional love for Radha and Krsna is to be considered to be the best of all liberated
persons. It is stated in ▼Srimad-Bhagavatam (6.14.4) that a devotee of
Narayana is so rare that one can only find him out of millions and
millions of people.
"And out of all songs, what song do you think is the best of all?"
Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked.
And Ramananda replied that any song which
describes the pastimes of Radha and Krsna is the best song. In
conditional life, the soul is captivated by sex. All fictions--dramas
and novels--and material songs describe love between men and women.
Since people are so attracted to this kind of literature, Krsna
appeared in this material world and displayed His transcendental
loving affairs with the gopis. There is an immense literature dealing
with the transactions between the gopis and Krsna, and anyone who
takes shelter of this literature or of the stories about Radha and
Krsna can enjoy actual happiness. In Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.33.36) it
is said that the Lord displayed His pastimes in Vrndavana in order to
reveal His actual life. Any intelligent person who tries to understand
the pastimes of Radha and Krsna is most fortunate. The songs that tell
of those pastimes are the greatest songs in the world.
Lord Caitanya then inquired: "What is the most profitable thing in
the world, the essence of all auspicious events?"
Ramananda Raya replied that there is nothing as profitable as the association of pure
"And what do you recommend a person to think of?" Lord Caitanya
Ramananda replied that one should always think of the pastimes
of Krsna. This is Krsna consciousness. Krsna has multiple activities,
and they are described in many Vedic scriptures. One should always
think of those pastimes; that is the best meditation and the highest
ecstasy. In ▼Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.2.36) Sukadeva Gosvami confirms that
one should always think of the Supreme Personality of Godhead--not
only think of Him, but one should also hear and chant His name, fame
"And what is the best type of meditation?" Lord Caitanya inquired.
"He who always meditates on the lotus feet of Radha and Krsna is
the best meditator," Ramananda Raya answered. This is also confirmed
in ▼Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.14): "It is the Supreme Personality of
Godhead alone who is the master of all devotees, whose name one should
always chant and who should always be meditated upon and worshiped
"Where should a person live, giving up all other pleasures?" Lord
Caitanya next inquired.
Ramananda replied that one should give up all
other pleasures and should live in Vrndavana where Lord Krsna had so
many pastimes. In Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.47.61) Uddhava says that it is
best to live in Vrndavana even if one has to live as a plant or
creeper. It was in Vrndavana that the Supreme Lord lived and it was
there that the gopis worshiped the Supreme Lord, the ultimate goal of
all Vedic knowledge.
"And what is the best subject to hear of?" Caitanya Mahaprabhu next
"The pastimes of Radha and Krsna," Ramananda replied. Actually when
the pastimes of Radha and Krsna are heard from the right source, one
at once attains liberation. Unfortunately it sometimes happens that
people do not hear of these pastimes from a person who is a realized
soul. Thus people are sometimes misguided. It is stated in
Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.33.40) that one who hears of the pastimes of
Krsna with the gopis will attain the highest platform of devotional
service and will be freed from the material lust which overwhelms
everyone's heart in the material world. In other words, by hearing the
pastimes of Radha and Krsna, one can get rid of all material lust. If
one does not become freed from material lust in this way, then he
should not indulge in hearing of the pastimes of Radha and Krsna.
Unless one hears from the right source, he will misinterpret the
pastimes of Radha and Krsna, considering them to be ordinary affairs
between a man and woman. In this way one may be misguided.
"And who is the most worshipable Deity?" Caitanya Mahaprabhu next
Ramananda Raya immediately replied that the transcendental
couple, Sri Radha and Krsna, is the ultimate object of worship. There
are many worshipable objects--the impersonalists worship the
brahmajyoti, for instance--but by worshiping objects other than Radha
and Krsna, one becomes bereft of life's symptoms and becomes just like
a tree or other nonmoving entity. Those who worship the so-called void
also attain such results. Those who are after material enjoyment
(bhukti) worship the demigods and achieve their planets and thus enjoy
Lord Caitanya next inquired about those who are
after material happiness and liberation from material bondage. "Where
do they ultimately go?" He asked.
Ramananda Raya replied that ultimately some turn into trees and others attain the heavenly planets where they enjoy material happiness.
Ramananda Raya went on to say that those who have no taste for
Krsna consciousness or spiritual life are just like crows who take
pleasure in eating the bitter nimba fruit. It is the poetic cuckoo
that eats the seeds of the mango. The unfortunate transcendentalists
simply speculate on dry philosophy, whereas the transcendentalists who
are in love with Radha and Krsna enjoy fruit just like the cuckoo.
Thus those who are devotees of Radha and Krsna are most fortunate. The
bitter nimba fruit is not at all eatable; it is simply full of dry
speculation and is only fit for crowlike philosophers. Mango seeds,
however, are very relishable, and those in the devotional service of
Radha and Krsna enjoy them.
Thus Ramananda Raya and Caitanya Mahaprabhu talked for the entire
night. Sometimes they danced, sometimes sang and sometimes cried.
After passing the night in this way, at dawn Ramananda Raya returned
to his place. The next evening he returned to see Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
After discussing Krsna for some time, Ramananda Raya fell at the feet
of the Lord and said, "My dear Lord, You are so kind to me that You
have told me about the science of Krsna and Radharani and Their loving
affairs, the affairs of the rasa dance and Their pastimes. I never
thought that I should be able to speak on this subject matter. You
have taught me as You formerly taught the Vedas to Brahma."
Being very satisfied, Lord Caitanya smiled and showed Ramananda His
real form as the combination of Sri Radha and Krsna. Thus Lord
Caitanya was Sri Krsna Himself with the external features of Srimati
Radharani. His transcendental ability to become two and then to become
one again was revealed to Ramananda Raya. Those who are fortunate
enough to understand Lord Caitanya as well as the Vrndavana pastimes
of Radha and Krsna can be able, by the mercy of Sri Rupa Gosvami, to
know about the real identity of Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Upon seeing this unique feature of Lord Caitanya, Ramananda Raya
fainted and fell on the floor. Lord Caitanya then touched him, and he
came to his senses. Ramananda Raya was then surprised to see Lord
Caitanya again in His mendicant dress. Lord Caitanya embraced and
pacified him and informed him that he was the only one to have seen
this form. "Because you have understood the purpose of My incarnation,
you are privileged to have seen this particular feature of My
personality," the Lord said. "My dear Ramananda, I am not a different
person with a fair complexion known as Gaurapurusa. I am the selfsame
Krsna the son of Maharaja Nanda, and due to contact with the body of
Srimati Radharani I have now assumed this form. Srimati Radharani does
not touch anyone but Krsna; therefore She has influenced Me with Her
complexion, mind and words. In this way I am just trying to understand
the transcendental flavor of Her relationship with Krsna."
The fact is that both Krsna and Lord Caitanya are the original
Personality of Godhead. No one should try to eliminate Lord Caitanya
from Sri Krsna. In His form of Sri Krsna, He is the supreme enjoyer,
and in His form of Lord Caitanya, He is the supreme enjoyed. No one
can be more superexcellently attractive than Sri Krsna, and but for
Sri Krsna, no one can enjoy the supreme form of devotion, Srimati
Radharani. But for Sri Krsna, all Visnu forms are lacking this
ability. This is explained in the description of Govinda in
Caitanya-caritamrta. There it is said that Srimati Radharani is the
only personality who can infuse Sri Krsna with transcendental
pleasure. Thus Srimati Radharani is the chief damsel of Vraja in love
with Govinda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna.
You can understand this yourself and keep it to yourself. From
a materialistic point of view, a devotee becomes mad in his ecstasy of
love for Krsna. Both you and I are just like madmen. So please don't
disclose these facts to ordinary men. If you do, they will surely
laugh at Me."
Lord Caitanya then passed ten nights with Ramananda Raya, enjoyed
his company and discussed the pastimes of Krsna and Radha. The
discussions between them were on the highest level of love for Krsna.
Some of these talks are described, but most of them could not be
In Caitanya-caritamrta this has been compared to
metallurgic examination. The metals compared are discussed in the
following sequence: first copper, then bronze, then silver, gold and
at last touchstone. The preliminary discussions between Lord Caitanya
and Ramananda Raya are considered to be like copper, and the higher
discussions are considered to be like gold. The fifth dimension of
their discussions, however, is considered to be like touchstone. If
one is eager to attain the highest understanding, he must begin with
an inquiry into the differences between copper and bronze, then silver
and gold and so on.
footnote--these last statements comparing different metals to sucessively higher understandings
refer to an earlier discussion between Ramananda Raya and Lord Caitanya where
5 basic ideas for Dharma were presented by Ramananda Raya beginning with- how one should
just perform his occupational duty;;next was give up all results to Krsna, then renunciation
without fruitive result; then brahman realization without fruitive work or mental speculation until finally he came to hearing from the lips of a pure devotee-which Lord Caitanya accepted as the
correct process for this age of Kali, since none of the previous methods are feasible due the implications and impurity of the age and its inhabitants..