The Meeting Of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu And Sri Ramananda Raya by Srila Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami
Sri Chaitanya 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 conclusions of devotional service and was empowered by the ocean to spread this water over the sea of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself. Thus
the ocean of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu became filled with the jewels of the knowledge of pure devotional service.
As per His usual schedule, Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu continued His tour and after some days arrived at the place of pilgrimage known as Jiyada nrsimha. Upon seeing the Deity of Lord Narsimha in the temple, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu offered His obeisance by falling flat before Him. Then, in ecstatic love, He chanted, offered prayers and performed various dances. “‘All glories to Narsimhadeva! All glories to Narsimhadeva, 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.’ “‘Although very ferocious, the lioness is very kind to her cubs. Similarly, although very ferocious to non-devotees like Hiranyakashipu, Lord Narsimhadeva is very, very soft and kind to devotees like Prahlada Maharaja.’” In this way Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu recited various verses from the śāstra. The priest of Lord Narsimhadeva then brought garlands and the remnants of the Lord’s food and offered them to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu . As is customary, a brāhmaṇa offered Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu an invitation for His midday meal. The Lord passed the night in the temple and then resumed His tour. The next morning, in the great ecstasy of love, Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu started on His tour with no clear idea of where He was going. He walked the whole day and night.
As previously, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu converted to Vaishnavism the many people He met on the road. After a few days, the Lord reached the banks of the river Godavari. When He saw the Godavari, the Lord remembered the 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 side. Subsequently the Lord walked a little distance from the bathing place and began to chant the holy name of Krishna. At that time, accompanied by the sounds of music, Sri Ramananda Raya came there on a palanquin to take his bath. Many brāhmaṇas adhering to the Vedic principles accompanied Ramananda Raya. Following the Vedic rituals, Ramananda Raya bathed and offered oblations to his forefathers. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu understood that the person who had now come to bathe was Ramananda Raya. The Lord wanted to meet him so much that His mind immediately began “ running “ to him. Although Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was “ running “ after him mentally, externally He remained patiently sitting. Seeing the wonderful sannyāsī Ramananda Raya, , approached Him. To Srila Ramananda Raya Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared to be as brilliant as a hundred suns.
The Lord was wearing a saffron coloured garment. He was large in body and very strongly built, and His eyes were like lotus petals. When Ramananda Raya saw the wonderful sannyāsī, he was struck with wonder. He went to Him and immediately offered his respectful obeisance, falling flat before Him. The Lord stood up and asked Ramananda Raya to arise and chant the holy name of Krishna. Indeed, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was very eager to embrace him. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then inquired whether he was Ramananda Raya, and he replied, “Yes, I am Your very low servant, and I am a member of the śūdra community.”Sri Chaitanya 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, and they embraced and fell to the ground. As they embraced each other, ecstatic symptoms such asparalysis, perspiration, tears, shivering, paleness and standing up of the bodily hairsappeared on their person. The word “Krishna” came from their mouths falteringly.
When the orthodox, ritualistic brāhmaṇas saw this ecstatic manifestation of love, they were struck with wonder and began to reflect as follows: “We can see that this sannyāsī has a luster like the effulgence of Brahman, but how is it He is crying upon embracing a low born śūdra?” They thought, “This Ramananda Raya is the Governor of Madras (now Chennai ), a highly learned and grave person, a great paṇḍita, but upon touching this sannyāsī he has become unstable like an uncouth madman.” While the brāhmaṇas were thinking in this way, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu became conscious of their presence and restrained His transcendental emotions. When they regained their sobriety, they both sat down, and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu smiled and began to speak as follows. “Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya spoke of your good qualities, and he earnestly endeavored to convince Me to meet you. In fact, I have come here just to meet you. It is very good that even without making an effort I have been granted your company here.” Ramananda Raya replied, “Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya thinks of me as his son or family servant. Even in my absence he is very careful to do me good. By his mercy I have gotten Your blessed company here. Consequently, I consider that today I achieved the gial of life. I can see that, because of his love You have bestowed special mercy upon Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya (by accepting his advice). Therefore You have met me, eventhough I am an outcaste. You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana Himself, and I am merely a government servant interested in material activities. Indeed, I am the lowest among śūdras. You do not fear the Vedic injunctions stating that You, a brāhmaṇa should not associate with men of the fourth caste. You are not contemptuous of my company, although in the Vedas You are forbidden to associate with śūdras. You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself; therefore no one can understand Your purpose. By Your mercy You are associating with me, although this is not sanctioned by the Vedas. I think that You have come here specifically to deliver me. You alone can deliver all fallen souls because You are so merciful. 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.
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam says ‘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 these homes, one can understand that it is for no other purpose than to benefit the householders.’ In my entourage there are about a thousand men—including the brāhmaṇas—and all of them appear to have had their hearts melted simply by seeing You. I can 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 the symptoms of Your behaviour and bodily features, You are certainly the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is impossible for an ordinary men to possess such transcendental qualities.” The Lord replied to Ramananda Raya, “Sir, you are the cream of the topmost devotees; therefore simply by the sight of you everyone’s heart has melted. Although I am a Mayavadi sannyāsī, a non-devotee, I am also floating in the ocean of love of Krishna simply by meeting you. And what to speak of others?
Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya knew this would happen, and thus to rectify My heart- which is very hard- he asked Me to meet you.” In this way both praised the qualities of the other, and both were very pleased to see each other.
— Sri Chaitanya-caritamrta » Madhya-lila » Chapter 8: Talks Between Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya »Verses 1-47