Why Did Srila Ramananda Raya Faint? by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
rādhā-kṛṣṇe tomāra mahā-prema haya
yāhāṅ tāhāṅ rādhā-kṛṣṇa tomāre sphuraya
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said: 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—it simply awakens your Krishna consciousness.”
rāya kahe,—prabhu tumi chāḍa bhāri-bhūri mora āge nija-rūpa nā kariha curi Ramananda Raya replied, “My dear Lord, please desist from these deceptions. Please do not conceal Your real form from me.”
rādhikāra bhāva-kānti kari’ aṅgīkāra
nija-rasa āsvādite kariyācha avatāra
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 mellow and have therefore appeared as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
nija-gūḍha-kārya tomāra—prema āsvādana
ānuṣaṅge prema-maya kaile tribhuvana
You have descended in this incarnation of Lord Chaitanya 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.
āpane āile more karite uddhāra ebe kapaṭa kara,—tomāra kona vyavahāra
“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 behavior?”
tabe hāsi’ tāṅre prabhu dekhāila svarūpa
‘rasa-rāja’, ‘mahābhāva’—dui eka rūpa
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 Chaitanya Mahaprabhu . This being the case, Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu revealed His real form to Ramananda Raya.
rādhā-bhāva-dyuti-suvalitaṁ naumi kṛṣṇasvarūpam. Lord Sri Krishna was absorbed in the features of Srimati Radharani. This was disclosed to Ramananda Raya when he saw Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu . An advanced devotee can understand śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya, rādhā-kṛṣṇa nahe anya. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu , being a combination of Krishna and Radha, is nondifferent from Radha Krishna combined. This is explained by Svarupa Damodara Goswami:
rādhā kṛṣṇa-praṇaya-vikṛtir hlādinī śaktir asmād
ekātmānāv api bhuvi purā deha-bhedaṁ gatau tau
caitanyākhyaṁ prakaṭam adhunā tad-dvayaṁ caikyam āptaṁ rādhā-bhāva-dyuti-suvalitaṁ naumi kṛṣṇasvarūpam
[Cc. Ādi 1.5]
Radha Krishna are one. Radha Krishna is Krishna and Krishna’s pleasure potency combined. When Krishna exhibits His pleasure potency, He appears to be two — Radha and Krishna. Otherwise, Radha and Krishna are one. This oneness may be perceived by advanced devotees through the grace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. This was the case with Ramananda Raya. One may aspire to attain such a position, but one should not try to imitate the mahā-bhāgavata.
dekhi’ rāmānanda hailā ānande mūrcchite
dharite nā pāre deha, paḍilā bhūmite
Upon seeing this form, Ramananda Raya lost consciousness in transcendental bliss. Unable to remain standing, he fell to the ground.
prabhu tāṅre hasta sparśi’ karāilā cetana
sannyāsīra veṣa dekhi’ vismita haila mana
When Ramananda Raya fell to the ground unconscious, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu touched his hand, and he immediately regained consciousness. But when he saw Lord Chaitanya in the dress of a sannyāsī, he was struck with wonder.
āliṅgana kari’ prabhu kaila āśvāsana
tomā vinā ei-rūpa nā dekhe anya-jana
After embracing Ramananda Raya, the Lord pacified him, informing him, “But for you, no one has ever seen this form.”
The Lord always reserves the right of not being exposed to everyone. The devotees, however, are always engaged in the service of the Lord, serving with the tongue by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra and tasting mahā-prasādam. Gradually the sincere devotee pleases the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the Supreme Lord reveals Himself. One cannot see the Supreme Lord by his personal efforts. Rather, when the Lord is pleased by the service of a devotee, He reveals Himself.
mora tattva-līlā-rasa tomāra gocare
ataeva ei-rūpa dekhāiluṅ tomāre
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu confirmed, “All the truths about My pastimes and mellows are within your knowledge. Therefore I have shown this form to you.
gaura aṅga nahe mora—rādhāṅga-sparśana
gopendra-suta vinā teṅho nā sparśe anya-jana
“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.
tāṅra bhāve bhāvita kari’ ātma-mana
tabe nija-mādhurya kari āsvādana
“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.”
Gaurasundara here informed Sri Ramananda Raya, “My dear Ramananda Raya, you were actually seeing a separate person with a fair complexioned body. Actually I am not fair. Being Sri Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaja, I am blackish, but when I come in touch with Srimati Radharani I become fair-complexioned externally. Srimati Radharani however does not touch the body of anyone but Krishna. I taste My own transcendental features by accepting the complexion of Srimati Radharani. Without Radharani, one cannot taste the transcendental pleasure of Krishna’s conjugal love.” In this regard, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura comments on the prākṛta-sahajiyā-sampradāya, which considers Krishna and Lord Chaitanya to possess different bodies. They misinterpret the words gaura aṅga nahe mora. From that verse and the present verse we can understand that Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is non-different from Krishna. Both are the same Supreme Personality of Godhead. In the form of Krishna, the Lord enjoys spiritual bliss and remains the shelter of all devotees, viṣaya-vigraha. And in His Gauranga feature, Lord Krishna tastes separation from Himself in the ecstasy of Srimati Radharani. This
ecstacy-tasting form is Sri Krishna Chaitanya. Sri Krishna is always the transcendental reservoir of all pleasure, and He is technically called dhīralalita. Srimati Radharani is the embodiment of the spiritual energy, personified as ecstatic love for Krishna; therefore only Krishna can touch Her. The dhīra-lalita aspect is not seen in any other form of the Lord, including Vishṇu and Narayana. Srimati Radharani is therefore known as Govinda-nandinī and Govinda-mohinī, for She is the only source of transcendental pleasure for Sri Krishna and the only person who can enchant His mind.
— Sri Chaitanya-caritamrita » Madhya-lila » Chapter 8: Talks Between Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya » Verses 277-289.