Sri Raya Ramananda Samvada

The ultimate goal of life and how it can be attained

The Conversation between Sriman Mahaprabhu and Raya Ramananda(popularly knows as Raya Ramananda samvad) found in the 8th chapter of Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya is considered the crest jewel of Gaudiya Vaishnava siddhanta . Here we can see how by means of a conversation Sriman Mahaprabhu , the supreme personality of Godhead Krishna had made Sri Ramanada Raya discuss the advancement of the human being in various stages . There are different goals according to the adhikar(qualification) of jivas. When one becomes guadually purified by Sadhana in a course of various lifetimes,the goal also becomes higher and purer. By gradual means of purification the jiva can attain the highest goal ever acheived by Jiva. What is that ? To merge with the impersonal brahman ? Nope. Then what ? The conclusive statements in this Raya Ramananda Samvad states this highest goal.

CC Madhya 8.224: “‘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 gopīs, being attracted by the beauty of Kṛṣṇa, simply wanted to embrace Him and His arms, which are like serpents. Thus the gopīs 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 gopīs.'”

CC Madhya 8.228: “Therefore one should accept the mood of the gopīs in their service. In such a transcendental mood, one should always think of the pastimes of Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.

Thus in this way of performing raganuga bhajan one can attain Sri Krishna and Srimati Radharani in Goloka Vrindavan

The conversation begins by Sriman Mahaprabhu’s general enquiry about the ultimate goal of life. In the course of discussion we can see the discussion becomes deeper and deeper and gradually reaches the epitome of the goal of life i.e.  to associate with Lord in madhurya rasa and the process to attain gopi bhava.

It is requested to the readers to be patient as it is a long conversation.
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CC Madhya 8.56: Rāmānanda Rāya approached Lord Śrī Caitanya and offered his respectful obeisances, and the Lord embraced him. Then they began to discuss Kṛṣṇa in a secluded place.

CC Madhya 8.57: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu ordered Rāmānanda Rāya, “Recite a verse from the revealed scriptures concerning the ultimate goal of life.”Rāmānanda replied, “If one executes the prescribed duties of his social position, he awakens his original Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

CC Madhya 8.58: “‘The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Viṣṇu, is worshiped by the proper execution of prescribed duties in the system of varṇa and āśrama. There is no other way to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One must be situated in the institution of the four varṇas and āśramas.'”

CC Madhya 8.59: The Lord replied, “This is external. You had better tell Me of some other means.”Rāmānanda replied, “To offer the results of one’s activities to Kṛṣṇa is the essence of all perfection.”

CC Madhya 8.60: Rāmānanda Rāya continued, “‘My dear son of Kuntī, 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, Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.'”

CC Madhya 8.61: “This is also external,” Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said. “Please proceed and speak further on this matter.”Rāmānanda Rāya replied, “To give up one’s occupational duties in the varṇāśrama system is the essence of perfection.”

CC Madhya 8.62: Rāmānanda Rāya 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.’

CC Madhya 8.63: “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.'”

CC Madhya 8.64: After hearing Rāmānanda Rāya speak in this way, Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu again rejected his statement and said, “Go ahead and say something more.”Rāmānanda Rāya then replied, “Devotional service mixed with empiric knowledge is the essence of perfection.”

CC Madhya 8.65: Rāmānanda Rāya continued, “According to the Bhagavad-gītā, ‘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.'”

CC Madhya 8.66: After hearing this, the Lord, as usual, rejected it, considering it to be external devotional service. He again asked Rāmānanda Rāya to speak further, and Rāmānanda Rāya replied, “Pure devotional service without any touch of speculative knowledge is the essence of perfection.”

CC Madhya 8.67: Rāmānanda Rāya continued, “Lord Brahmā 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 āśrama or social status. Indeed, You are conquered by such persons, although You are always unconquerable.'”

CC Madhya 8.68: At this point, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied, “This is all right, but still you can speak more on the subject.”Rāmānanda Rāya then replied, “Ecstatic love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the essence of all perfection.”

CC Madhya 8.69: Rāmānanda Rāya 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.’

CC Madhya 8.70: “‘Pure devotional service in Kṛṣṇa 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.'”

CC Madhya 8.71: Hearing up to the point of spontaneous love in servitude , the Lord said, “This is all right, but if you know more, please tell Me.”In reply, Rāmānanda Rāya said, “Spontaneous loving service in servitude — as exchanged by master and servant — is the highest perfection.

CC Madhya 8.72: “‘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?’

CC Madhya 8.73: “‘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?'”

CC Madhya 8.74: Hearing this from Rāmānanda Rāya, the Lord again requested him to go a step further. In reply, Rāmānanda Rāya said, “Loving service to Kṛṣṇa rendered in fraternity is the highest perfection.

CC Madhya 8.75: “‘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 Māyā, 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.'”

CC Madhya 8.76: The Lord said, “This statement is very good, but please proceed even further.”Rāmānanda Rāya then replied, “Loving service to the Lord in the parental relationship is the highest perfectional stage.”

CC Madhya 8.77: Rāmānanda Rāya continued, “‘O brāhmaṇa, what pious activities did Nanda Mahārāja perform by which he received the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa as his son? And what pious activities did mother Yaśodā perform that made the Absolute Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa call her “Mother” and suck her breasts?’

CC Madhya 8.78: “‘The favor mother Yaśodā obtained from Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the bestower of liberation, was never obtained even by Lord Brahmā or Lord Śiva, nor even by the goddess of fortune, who always remains on the chest of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Viṣṇu.'”

CC Madhya 8.79: 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.”Rāmānanda Rāya then replied, “Conjugal attachment for Kṛṣṇa is the topmost position in love of Godhead.

CC Madhya 8.80: “‘When Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa was dancing with the gopīs in the rāsa-līlā, the gopīs 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?’

CC Madhya 8.81: “‘Suddenly, due to their feelings of separation, Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared among the gopīs dressed in yellow garments and wearing a flower garland. His lotus face was smiling, and He was directly attracting the mind of Cupid.’

CC Madhya 8.82: “There are various means and processes by which one may attain the favor of Lord Kṛṣṇa. All those transcendental processes will be studied from the viewpoint of comparative importance.

CC Madhya 8.83: “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.

CC Madhya 8.84: “‘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.’

CC Madhya 8.85: “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.

CC Madhya 8.86: “As the qualities increase, so the taste also increases in each and every mellow. Therefore the qualities found in śānta-rasa, dāsya-rasa, sakhya-rasa and vātsalya-rasa are all manifested in conjugal love [mādhurya-rasa].

CC Madhya 8.87: “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.

CC Madhya 8.88: “Complete attainment of the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa is made possible by love of Godhead, specifically mādhurya-rasa, or conjugal love. Lord Kṛṣṇa is indeed captivated by this standard of love. This is stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

CC Madhya 8.89: “Lord Kṛṣṇa told the gopīs, ‘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.’

CC Madhya 8.90: “Lord Kṛṣṇa has made a firm promise for all time. If one renders service unto Him, Kṛṣṇa correspondingly gives him an equal amount of success in devotional service to the Lord.

CC Madhya 8.91: “[According to Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā (4.11):] ‘As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pṛthā.’

CC Madhya 8.92: “In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [10.32.22] it is said that Lord Kṛṣṇa cannot proportionately reciprocate devotional service in the mādhurya-rasa; therefore He always remains a debtor to such devotees.

CC Madhya 8.93: “When the gopīs were overwhelmed with dissatisfaction due to Lord Kṛṣṇa’s absence from the rāsa-līlā, Kṛṣṇa returned to them and told them, ‘My dear gopīs, 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.’

CC Madhya 8.94: “Although Kṛṣṇa’s unparalleled beauty is the topmost sweetness of love of Godhead, His sweetness increases unlimitedly when He is in the company of the gopīs. Consequently Kṛṣṇa’s exchange of love with the gopīs is the topmost perfection of love of Godhead.

CC Madhya 8.95: “‘Although the son of Devakī, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the reservoir of all kinds of beauty, when He is among the gopīs He nonetheless becomes more beautiful, for He resembles a marakata jewel surrounded by gold and other jewels.'”

CC Madhya 8.96: Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied, “This is certainly the limit of perfection, but please be merciful to Me and speak more if there is more.”

CC Madhya 8.97: Rāya Rāmānanda replied, “Until this day I did not know anyone within this material world who could inquire beyond this perfectional stage of devotional service.

CC Madhya 8.98: “Among the loving affairs of the gopīs,” Rāmānanda Rāya continued, “Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s love for Śrī Kṛṣṇa is topmost. Indeed, the glories of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī are highly esteemed in all revealed scriptures.

CC Madhya 8.99: “‘Just as Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is most dear to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Her bathing place [Rādhā-kuṇḍa] is also dear to Him. Among all the gopīs, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is supermost and very dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa.’

CC Madhya 8.100: “[When the gopīs began to talk among themselves, they said:] ‘Dear friends, the gopī who has been taken away by Kṛṣṇa to a secluded place must have worshiped the Lord more than anyone else.'”

CC Madhya 8.101: Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “Please speak on. I am very happy to hear you because a river of unprecedented nectar is flowing from your mouth.

CC Madhya 8.102: “During the rāsa dance Śrī Kṛṣṇa did not exchange loving affairs with Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī due to the presence of the other gopīs. Because of the dependence of the others, the intensity of love between Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa was not manifest. Therefore He stole Her away.

CC Madhya 8.103: “If Lord Kṛṣṇa rejected the company of the other gopīs for Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, we can understand that Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa has intense affection for Her.”

CC Madhya 8.104: Rāmānanda Rāya continued, “Please therefore hear from me about the glories of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s loving affairs. They are beyond compare within these three worlds.

CC Madhya 8.105: “Finding Herself treated equally with all the other gopīs, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī displayed Her tricky behavior and left the circle of the rāsa dance. Missing Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s presence, Kṛṣṇa became very unhappy and began to lament and wander throughout the forest to search Her out.

CC Madhya 8.106: “‘Lord Kṛṣṇa, the enemy of Kaḿsa, took Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī within His heart, for He desired to dance with Her. Thus He left the arena of the rāsa dance and the company of all the other beautiful damsels of Vraja.

CC Madhya 8.107: “‘Being afflicted by the arrow of Cupid and unhappily regretting His mistreating Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, Mādhava, Lord Kṛṣṇa, began to search for Her along the banks of the Yamunā River. When He failed to find Her, He entered the bushes of Vṛndāvana and began to lament.’

CC Madhya 8.108: “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.

CC Madhya 8.109: “Although Kṛṣṇa was in the midst of hundreds of thousands of gopīs during the rāsa dance, He still kept Himself in one of His transcendental forms by the side of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.

CC Madhya 8.110: “Lord Kṛṣṇa is equal to everyone in His general dealings, but due to the conflicting ecstatic love of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, there were opposing elements.

CC Madhya 8.111: “‘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.’

CC Madhya 8.112: “When Rādhārāṇī left the rāsa dance out of anger and resentment, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa became very anxious because He could not see Her.

CC Madhya 8.113: “Lord Kṛṣṇa’s desire in the rāsa-līlā circle is perfectly complete, but Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is the binding link in that desire.

CC Madhya 8.114: “The rāsa dance does not shine in the heart of Kṛṣṇa without Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Therefore, He also gave up the circle of the rāsa dance and went out to search for Her.

CC Madhya 8.115: “When Kṛṣṇa went out to search for Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, He wandered here and there. Not finding Her, He became afflicted by the arrow of Cupid and began to lament.

CC Madhya 8.116: “Since Kṛṣṇa’s lusty desires were not satisfied even in the midst of hundreds of thousands of gopīs and He was thus searching after Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, we can easily imagine how transcendentally qualified She is.”

CC Madhya 8.117: After hearing this, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu said to Rāmānanda Rāya, “That for which I have come to your residence has now become an object of truth in My knowledge.

CC Madhya 8.118: “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.

CC Madhya 8.119: “Kindly explain the transcendental features of Kṛṣṇa and Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Also explain the truth of transcendental mellows and the transcendental form of love of Godhead.

CC Madhya 8.120: “Kindly explain all these truths to Me. But for yourself, no one can ascertain them.”

CC Madhya 8.121: Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya replied, “I do not know anything about this. I simply vibrate the sound You make me speak.

CC Madhya 8.122: “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?

CC Madhya 8.123: “You inspire me within the heart and make me speak with the tongue. I do not know whether I am speaking well or badly.”

CC Madhya 8.124: Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “I am a Māyāvādī 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 Māyāvāda philosophy.

CC Madhya 8.125: “Due to the association of Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, My mind became enlightened. Therefore I asked him about the truths of transcendental loving service to Kṛṣṇa.

CC Madhya 8.126: “Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya told me, ‘I do not actually know about the topics of Lord Kṛṣṇa. They are all known only to Rāmānanda Rāya, but he is not present here.'”

CC Madhya 8.127: Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu 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 sannyāsī, one in the renounced order of life.

CC Madhya 8.128: “Whether one is a brāhmaṇa, a sannyāsī or a śūdra — regardless of what he is — he can become a spiritual master if he knows the science of Kṛṣṇa.”

CC Madhya 8.129: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, “Please do not try to cheat me, thinking of Me as a learned sannyāsī. Please satisfy My mind by just describing the truth of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.”

CC Madhya 8.130-131: Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya was a great devotee of the Lord and a lover of God, and although his mind could not be covered by Kṛṣṇa’s illusory energy, and although he could understand the mind of the Lord, which was very strong and intense, Rāmānanda’s mind became a little agitated.

CC Madhya 8.132: Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya said, “I am just a dancing puppet, and You pull the strings. Whichever way You make me dance, I will dance.

CC Madhya 8.133: “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.”

CC Madhya 8.134: Rāmānanda Rāya then began to speak on kṛṣṇa-tattva. “Kṛṣṇa 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.

CC Madhya 8.135: “There are innumerable Vaikuṇṭha planets, as well as innumerable incarnations. In the material world also there are innumerable universes, and Kṛṣṇa is the supreme resting place for all of them.

CC Madhya 8.136: “The transcendental body of Śrī Kṛṣṇa is eternal and full of bliss and knowledge. He is the son of Nanda Mahārāja. He is full of all opulences and potencies, as well as all spiritual mellows.

CC Madhya 8.137: “‘Kṛṣṇa, 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.’

CC Madhya 8.138: “In the spiritual realm of Vṛndāvana, Kṛṣṇa is the spiritual, ever-fresh Cupid. He is worshiped by the chanting of the Kāma-gāyatrī mantra, with the spiritual seed klīm.

CC Madhya 8.139: “The very name Kṛṣṇa means that He attracts even Cupid. He is therefore attractive to everyone — male and female, moving and inert living entities. Indeed, Kṛṣṇa is known as the all-attractive one.

CC Madhya 8.140: “‘When Kṛṣṇa left the rāsa-līlā dance, the gopīs became very morose, and when they were grieving, Kṛṣṇa reappeared dressed in yellow garments. Wearing a flower garland and smiling, He was attractive even to Cupid. In this way Kṛṣṇa appeared among the gopīs.’

CC Madhya 8.141: “Each and every devotee has a certain type of transcendental mellow in relation to Kṛṣṇa. But in all transcendental relationships the devotee is the worshiper [āśraya] and Kṛṣṇa is the object of worship [viṣaya].

CC Madhya 8.142: “‘Let Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, be glorified! By virtue of His expanding attractive features, He subjugated the gopīs named Tārakā and Pāli and absorbed the minds of Śyāmā and Lalitā. He is the most attractive lover of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and is the reservoir of pleasure for devotees in all transcendental mellows.’

CC Madhya 8.143: “Kṛṣṇa is all-attractive for devotees in all mellows because He is the personification of the conjugal mellow. Kṛṣṇa is attractive not only to all the devotees, but to Himself as well.

CC Madhya 8.144: “‘My dear friends, just see how Śrī Kṛṣṇa is enjoying the season of spring! With the gopīs embracing each of His limbs, He is like amorous love personified. With His transcendental pastimes, He enlivens all the gopīs and the entire creation. With His soft bluish black arms and legs, which resemble blue lotus flowers, He has created a festival for Cupid.’

CC Madhya 8.145: “He also attracts Nārāyaṇa, who is the incarnation of Sańkarṣaṇa and the husband of the goddess of fortune. He attracts not only Nārāyaṇa but also all women, headed by the goddess of fortune, the consort of Nārāyaṇa.

CC Madhya 8.146: “[Addressing Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, Lord Mahā-Viṣṇu (the Mahāpuruṣa) said:] ‘I wanted to see both of you, and therefore I have brought the sons of the brāhmaṇa here. Both of you have appeared in the material world to reestablish religious principles, and you have both appeared here with all your potencies. After killing all the demons, please quickly return to the spiritual world.’

CC Madhya 8.147: “‘O Lord, we do not know how the serpent Kāliya 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 Kāliya got such an opportunity.’

CC Madhya 8.148: “Lord Kṛṣṇa’s sweetness is so attractive that it steals away His own mind. Thus even He wants to embrace Himself.

CC Madhya 8.149: “‘Upon seeing His own reflection in a bejeweled pillar of His Dvārakā palace, Kṛṣṇa 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 Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.”‘”

CC Madhya 8.150: Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya then said, “I have thus briefly explained the original form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Now let me describe the position of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.

CC Madhya 8.151: “Kṛṣṇa 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.

CC Madhya 8.152: “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.

CC Madhya 8.153: “‘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.’

CC Madhya 8.154: “Originally Lord Kṛṣṇa is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1], the transcendental form of eternity, bliss and knowledge; therefore His personal potency, the internal potency, has three different forms.

CC Madhya 8.155: “Hlādinī is His aspect of bliss; sandhinī, of eternal existence; and samvit, of cognizance, which is also accepted as knowledge.

CC Madhya 8.156: “‘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.’

CC Madhya 8.157: “The potency called hlādinī gives Kṛṣṇa transcendental pleasure. Through this pleasure potency, Kṛṣṇa personally tastes all spiritual pleasure.

CC Madhya 8.158: “Lord Kṛṣṇa 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.

CC Madhya 8.159: “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.

CC Madhya 8.160: “The essential part of love of Godhead is called mahābhāva, transcendental ecstasy, and that ecstasy is represented by Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.

CC Madhya 8.161: “‘Among the gopīs of Vṛndāvana, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and another gopī are considered chief. But when we compare the gopīs, it appears that Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is most important because Her real feature expresses the highest ecstasy of love. The ecstasy of love experienced by the other gopīs cannot be compared to that of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.’

CC Madhya 8.162: “The body of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is a veritable transformation of love of Godhead; She is the dearmost friend of Kṛṣṇa, and this is known throughout the world.

CC Madhya 8.163: “‘I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who resides in His own realm, Goloka, with Rādhā, who resembles His own spiritual figure and who embodies the ecstatic potency [hlādinī]. Their companions are Her confidantes, who embody extensions of Her bodily form and who are imbued and permeated with ever-blissful spiritual rasa.’

CC Madhya 8.164: “That supreme ecstasy of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is the essence of spiritual life. Her only business is to fulfill all the desires of Kṛṣṇa.

CC Madhya 8.165: “Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is the topmost spiritual gem, and the other gopīs — Lalitā, Viśākhā and so on — are expansions of Her spiritual body.

CC Madhya 8.166: “Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s transcendental body is brilliant in luster and full of all transcendental fragrances. Lord Kṛṣṇa’s affection for Her is like a perfumed massage.

CC Madhya 8.167: “Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī takes Her first bath in the shower of the nectar of compassion, and She takes Her second bath in the nectar of youth.

CC Madhya 8.168: “After Her midday bath, Rādhārāṇī takes another bath in the nectar of bodily luster, and She puts on the garment of shyness, which is Her black silk sari.

CC Madhya 8.169: “Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s affection for Kṛṣṇa is Her upper garment, which is pinkish in color. She then covers Her breasts with another garment, composed of affection and anger toward Kṛṣṇa.

CC Madhya 8.170: “Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s personal beauty is the reddish powder known as kuńkuma, 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.

CC Madhya 8.171: “Conjugal love for Kṛṣṇa is an abundance of musk, and with that musk Her whole body is decorated.

CC Madhya 8.172: “Craftiness and covered anger constitute the arrangement of Her hair. The quality of anger due to jealousy is the silk garment covering Her body.

CC Madhya 8.173: “Her attachment for Kṛṣṇa is the reddish color of betel nuts on Her brilliant lips. Her double-dealings in loving affairs constitute the black ointment around Her eyes.

CC Madhya 8.174: “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.

CC Madhya 8.175: “Also ornamenting Her body are the twenty kinds of ecstatic symptoms beginning with kila-kiñcita. Her transcendental qualities constitute the flower garland hanging in fullness over Her body.

CC Madhya 8.176: “The tilaka of good fortune is on Her beautiful broad forehead. Her various loving affairs are a gem, and Her heart is the locket.

CC Madhya 8.177: “Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s gopī friends are Her mental activities, which are concentrated on the pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. She keeps Her hand on the shoulder of a friend, who represents youth.

CC Madhya 8.178: “Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s bedstead is pride itself, and it is situated in the abode of Her bodily aroma. She is always seated there thinking of Kṛṣṇa’s association.

CC Madhya 8.179: “Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s earrings are the name, fame and qualities of Lord Kṛṣṇa. The glories of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s name, fame and qualities are always inundating Her speech.

CC Madhya 8.180: “Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī induces Kṛṣṇa to drink the honey of the conjugal relationship. She is therefore engaged in satisfying all the lusty desires of Kṛṣṇa.

CC Madhya 8.181: “Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is a mine filled with valuable jewels of love for Kṛṣṇa. Her transcendental body is complete with unparalleled spiritual qualities.

CC Madhya 8.182: “‘If one asks about the origin of love of Kṛṣṇa, the answer is that the origin is in Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī alone. Who is the most dear friend of Kṛṣṇa? The answer again is Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī alone. No one else. Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’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 Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, She alone is able to fulfill all the desires of Kṛṣṇa. No one else.’

CC Madhya 8.183-184: “Even Satyabhāmā, one of the queens of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, desires the fortunate position and excellent qualities of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. All the gopīs learn the art of dressing from Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, and even the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, and the wife of Lord Śiva, Pārvatī, desire Her beauty and qualities. Indeed, Arundhatī, the celebrated chaste wife of Vasiṣṭha, also wants to imitate the chastity and religious principles of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.

CC Madhya 8.185: “Even Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself cannot reach the limit of the transcendental qualities of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. How, then, can an insignificant living entity count them?”

CC Madhya 8.186: Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied, “Now I have come to understand the truth of the loving affairs between Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Nonetheless, I still want to hear how both of Them gloriously enjoy such love.”

CC Madhya 8.187: Rāya Rāmānanda replied, “Lord Kṛṣṇa is dhīra-lalita, for He can always keep His girlfriends in a subjugated state. Thus His only business is enjoying sense gratification.

CC Madhya 8.188: “‘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 dhīra-lalita.’

CC Madhya 8.189: “Day and night Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa enjoys the company of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī in the bushes of Vṛndāvana. Thus His pre-youthful age is fulfilled through His affairs with Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.

CC Madhya 8.190: “‘Thus Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa spoke of the sexual activities of the previous night. In this way He made Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī close Her eyes out of shyness. Taking this opportunity, Śrī Kṛṣṇa painted various types of dolphins on Her breasts. Thus He became a very expert artist for all the gopīs. During such pastimes, the Lord enjoyed the fulfillment of His youth.'”

CC Madhya 8.191: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “This is all right, but please continue.”At that time Rāya Rāmānanda replied, “I don’t think my intelligence goes beyond this.”

CC Madhya 8.192: Rāya Rāmānanda then informed Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu that there was another topic, known as prema-vilāsa-vivarta. “You may hear of this from me,” Rāmānanda Rāya said, “but I do not know whether You will be happy with it or not.”

CC Madhya 8.193: Saying this, Rāmānanda Rāya began to sing a song he had composed, but Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, out of the ecstasy of love of Godhead, immediately covered Rāmānanda’s mouth with His own hand.

CC Madhya 8.194: “‘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 Kṛṣṇa, 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. Kṛṣṇa’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 Kṛṣṇa 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.’

CC Madhya 8.195: “‘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 Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s heart are just like shellac and are now melted in Your spiritual perspiration. Therefore one can no longer distinguish between You and Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. 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.'”

CC Madhya 8.196: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu confirmed these verses recited by Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya, saying, “This is the limit of the goal of human life. Only by your mercy have I come to understand it conclusively.

CC Madhya 8.197: “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.”

CC Madhya 8.198: Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya 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.

CC Madhya 8.199: “Within these three worlds, who is so undisturbed that he can remain steady as You manipulate Your different energies?

CC Madhya 8.200: “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.

CC Madhya 8.201: “The pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are very confidential. They cannot be understood through the mellows of servitude, fraternity or parental affection.

CC Madhya 8.202: “Actually, only the gopīs have the right to appreciate these transcendental pastimes, and only from them can these pastimes be expanded.

CC Madhya 8.203: “Without the gopīs, these pastimes between Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa cannot be nourished. Only by their cooperation are such pastimes broadcast. It is their business to taste the mellows.

CC Madhya 8.204-205: “Without the help of the gopīs, one cannot enter into these pastimes. Only one who worships the Lord in the ecstasy of the gopīs, following in their footsteps, can engage in the service of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in the bushes of Vṛndāvana. Only then can one understand the conjugal love between Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. There is no other procedure for understanding.

CC Madhya 8.206: “‘The pastimes of Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are self-effulgent. They are happiness personified, unlimited and all-powerful. Even so, the spiritual humors of such pastimes are never complete without the gopīs, the Lord’s personal friends. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is never complete without His spiritual potencies; therefore unless one takes shelter of the gopīs, one cannot enter into the company of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Who can be interested in Their spiritual pastimes without taking their shelter?’

CC Madhya 8.207: “There is an inexplicable fact about the natural inclinations of the gopīs. The gopīs never want to enjoy themselves with Kṛṣṇa personally.

CC Madhya 8.208: “The happiness of the gopīs increases ten million times when they serve to engage Śrī Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa in Their transcendental pastimes.

CC Madhya 8.209: “By nature, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is just like a creeper of love of Godhead, and the gopīs are the twigs, flowers and leaves of that creeper.

CC Madhya 8.210: “When the nectar of Kṛṣṇa’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.

CC Madhya 8.211: “‘All the gopīs, the personal friends of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, are equal to Her. Kṛṣṇa is pleasing to the inhabitants of Vrajabhūmi, just as the moon is pleasing to the lotus flower. His pleasure-giving potency is known as āhlādinī, of which the active principle is Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. She is compared to a creeper with newly grown flowers and leaves. When the nectar of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes is sprinkled on Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, all Her friends, the gopīs, immediately appreciate the pleasure a hundred times more than if they were sprinkled themselves. Actually this is not at all wonderful.’

CC Madhya 8.212: “Although the gopīs, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s friends, do not desire to enjoy themselves directly with Kṛṣṇa, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī makes a great endeavor to induce Kṛṣṇa to enjoy Himself with the gopīs.

CC Madhya 8.213: “Presenting various pleas for the gopīs, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī sometimes sends the gopīs to Kṛṣṇa 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.

CC Madhya 8.214: “The transcendental mellow is nourished by that mutual behavior in transcendental love of Godhead. When Lord Kṛṣṇa sees how the gopīs have developed pure love for Him, He becomes very satisfied.

CC Madhya 8.215: “It is to be noted that the natural characteristic of the gopīs 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 Kṛṣṇa is sometimes described as lust.

CC Madhya 8.216: “‘Although the dealings of the gopīs with Kṛṣṇa 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.’

CC Madhya 8.217: “Lusty desires are experienced when one is concerned with his own personal sense gratification. The mood of the gopīs is not like that. Their only desire is to satisfy the senses of Kṛṣṇa.

CC Madhya 8.218: “Among the gopīs, there is not a pinch of desire for sense gratification. Their only desire is to give pleasure to Kṛṣṇa, and this is why they mingle with Him and enjoy with Him.

CC Madhya 8.219: “[All the gopīs said:] ‘Dear Kṛṣṇa, 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.’

CC Madhya 8.220: “One who is attracted by that ecstatic love of the gopīs does not care about popular opinion or the regulative principles of Vedic life. Rather, he completely surrenders unto Kṛṣṇa and renders service unto Him.

CC Madhya 8.221: “If one worships the Lord in raganuga bhakti ,he  goes to Vṛndāvana, he receives the shelter of Vrajendra-nandana, the son of Nanda Mahārāja.

CC Madhya 8.222:Whoever worships Krsna in any one of the moods of the residents of Vraja will attain a suitable spiritual body to serve Him there.

CC Madhya 8.223: “Those saintly persons who represent the Upaniṣads are vivid examples of this. By worshiping the Lord on the path of raganuga bhakti , they attained the lotus feet of Vrajendra-nandana, the son of Nanda Mahārāja.

CC Madhya 8.224: “‘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 gopīs, being attracted by the beauty of Kṛṣṇa, simply wanted to embrace Him and His arms, which are like serpents. Thus the gopīs 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 gopīs.'”

CC Madhya 8.225: “The word ‘sama-dṛśaḥ,’ mentioned in the fourth line of the previous verse, means ‘following the mood of the gopīs.’ The word ‘samāḥ’ means ‘the śrutis’ attainment of bodies like those of the gopīs.’

CC Madhya 8.226: “The word ‘ańghri-padma-sudhā’ means ‘associating intimately with Kṛṣṇa.’ One can attain such perfection only by raganuga bhakti of God. One cannot obtain Kṛṣṇa in Goloka Vṛndāvana simply by serving the Lord according to regulative principles of vaidhi bhakti.

CC Madhya 8.227: “‘The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, the son of mother Yaśodā, is accessible to those devotees engaged in raganuga bhakti , 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.’

CC Madhya 8.228: “Therefore one should accept the mood of the gopīs in their service. In such a transcendental mood, one should always think of the pastimes of Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.

CC Madhya 8.229: “After thinking about Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes  in siddha deha  in sakhi bhava one is transferred to the spiritual world and attains an opportunity to serve Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa as one of the gopīs.

CC Madhya 8.230: “Unless one follows in the footsteps of the gopīs, he cannot attain the service of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, the son of Nanda Mahārāja. 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.

CC Madhya 8.231: “The unspoken example in this connection is the goddess of fortune, who worshiped Lord Kṛṣṇa in order to attain His pastimes in Vṛndāvana. But due to her opulent life-style, she could not attain the service of Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana.

CC Madhya 8.232: “‘When Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa was dancing with the gopīs in the rāsa-līlā, the gopīs 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?'”

CC Madhya 8.233: After hearing this, Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu embraced Rāmānanda Rāya, and both of them, embracing shoulder to shoulder, began to cry.

CC Madhya 8.234: 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.

 

By Gopi/Sakhi bhava both the sakhis and manjaris(maid servent of Srimati Radharani ) are included as both are the friends of Srimati Radharani. But we the gaudiya vaishnavas preach only sadhana in Radha Rasyam(Manjari Bhava) as almost all our acharyas have practised and preached Radha dasyam( Radha snehadhika or more affection to Radharani) only . In fact prema maharaj  Srila Narottama Das Thakura mahasaya has recommended only  the path of Radha snehadhika for those who aspire for Madhurya rasa  in his Prema Bhakti Chandrika .

“Equal affection for Radha and Krishna or more affection for Krishna than for Sri Radha – do not become attached to that. I will just speak about preference for Sri Radha! They are always in Her company, blissfully telling Her about Krishna. They are all called narma sakhis.” (PBC 51)

The fact that almost all of our Gaudiya Vaishnava acharyas were Manjaris(Radha dasi) is no coincidence . However it does not mean that other  Rasas are abandoned or looked down upon . A sadhaka can surely aspire for any Rasa with Krishna  he desires  according to his inclination.

CC Madhya 8.83: “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.

CC Madhya 8.222:Whoever worships Krsna in any one of the moods of the residents of Vraja will attain a suitable spiritual body to serve Him there.

But soon after stating these words they progressed to gopi bhava

CC Madhya 8.228: “Therefore one should accept the mood of the gopīs in their service. In such a transcendental mood, one should always think of the pastimes of Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.

CC Madhya 8.229: “After thinking about Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes  in siddha deha  in sakhi bhava one is transferred to the spiritual world and attains an opportunity to serve Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa as one of the gopīs.

So one can chose to accept the special gift of Sriman Mahaprabhu and the process to attain it as depicted in Raya Ramananda samvad. This is the special gift which is only available  to Gaudiya Vaishnavas . Who would like to miss it ? Ultimately in Sri Raya Ramananda Samvad mahaprabhu gradually came to gopi bhava as the zenith of bhajana.

Srila Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj stated in one of his lectures “It is unfortunate if one becomes a gaudiya vaishnava but cannot practice the special gift of unnata ujjvala rasa ”

anarpita-carim ciriat karunayavatirnah kalau samarpayitum unnata ujjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam harih purata-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandipitah sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandana. (C.C Adi 1.4)

TRANSLATION: May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Srimati Saci-devi be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.

 

————————————————————————————-
Special thanks and Dandavats unto the lotus feet of  HDG A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada .

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