Transcendental Competition Between Lord Jagannatha And Lord Chaitanya By Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur
After giving up the company of the gopis in Vrindavana, Sri Krishna, the son of Maharaja Nanda, engaged in His pastimes at Dwaraka. When Krishna went to Kuruksetra with His brother and sister and others from Dwaraka, He again met the inhabitants of Vrindavana. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is rādhā-bhāva-dyutisuvalita, that is, Krishna Himself assuming the part of Srimati Radharani in order to understand Krishna. Lord Jagannatha-deva is Krishna, and Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Srimati Radharani. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s leading Lord Jagannatha toward the Gundica temple corresponded to Srimati Radharani’s leading Krishna toward Vrindavana. Sri Ksetra, Jagannatha Puri, was taken as the kingdom of Dwarka, the place where Krishna enjoys supreme opulence. But He was being led by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to Vrindavana, the simple village where all the inhabitants are filled with ecstatic love for Krishna. Sri Ksetra is a place of aiśvarya-līlā, just as Vrindavana is the place of mādhurya-līlā. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s following at the rear of the ratha indicated that Lord Jagannatha, Krishna, was forgetting the inhabitants of Vrindavana. Although Krishna neglected the inhabitants of Vrindavana, He could not forget them. Thus in His opulent Ratha-yatra, He was returning to Vrindavana. In the role of Srimati Radharani, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was examining whether the Lord still remembered the inhabitants of Vrindavana. When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu fell behind the Ratha car, Jagannatha-deva, Krishna Himself, understood the mind of Srimati Radharani. Therefore, Jagannatha sometimes fell behind the dancing Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to indicate to Srimati Radharani that He had not forgotten. Thus Lord Jagannatha would stop the forward march of the ratha and wait at a standstill. In this way Lord Jagannatha agreed that without the ecstasy of Srimati Radharani He could not feel satisfied. While Jagannatha was thus waiting, Gaurasundara, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, in His ecstasy of Srimati Radharani, immediately came forward to Krishna. At such times, Lord Jagannatha would proceed ahead very slowly. These competitive exchanges were all part of the love affair between Krishna and Srimati Radharani. In that competition between Lord Chaitanya’s ecstasy for Jagannatha and Jagannatha’s ecstasy for Srimati Radharani, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu emerged successful.
—Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta » Madhya-līlā » Chapter 13: The Ecstatic Dancing of the Lord at Ratha-yātrā » From Anubhāṣya commentary of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura.