A Mine of Nectar

The Lord thus enjoyed the company of Ramananda Raya while discussing about Sri Krsna continuously for ten days. Those conversations that took place between Ramananda Raya and Lord Caitanya were very, very confidential talks about Vraja-dhama, the place where the transcendental pastimes of Srimati Radharani and Sri Krsna are eternally manifest. In those conversations, the ecstasy that flows in Vraja-dhama was thoroughly discussed. There were also many other talks between Ramananda and Lord Caitanya, which are impossible for anyone to understand. In short, the whole topic was just like a mine of gemlike information, which produced one gem after another for the benefit of all humankind. The mine of that conversation is compared to an unfathomed, deep metallic reservoir. As the mine was being excavated, precious metals of different categories came out in the form of copper, bell metal, silver, gold, and lastly touchstone.

Precious metals were excavated both in the preliminary as well as the concluding discussions between Ramananda Raya and Lord Caitanya. In the preliminary talks, In Search of the Ultimate Goal of Life, the idea of following the moral and social divisions of society is compared to copper, the mother of metals. The idea of offering the results of one’s work to Sri Krsna (karma-yoga) is compared to bell metal. The idea of renouncing the world and taking karma-sannyasa is compared to silver. The idea of devotional service mixed with empiric speculative knowledge (jnana-misra-bhakti) is compared to gold, and lastly, devotional service unmixed with any empiric knowledge (jnana-sunya-bhakti) is compared to touchstone.

In the concluding discussions, the same comparison is made in regard to the different transcendental sentiments of devotional service. The conception of dasya-prema is compared to copper, sakhya-prema to bell metal, vatsalya-prema to silver, and madhurya-prema to gold. And lastly the transcendental pastimes of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna are compared to touchstone.

Entrance into the above-mentioned touchstone of jnana-sunya-bhakti can be obtained by the persevering devotee who has the necessary energy, fortitude, good association, and honesty of purpose. With all these necessary qualifications, that touchstone is easily available.

The next day, Lord Caitanya asked permission from Ramananda Raya to continue on His tour of South India. The Lord also requested him to follow His instruction, advising him as follows:

visaya chadiya tumi yaha nilacale
ami tirtha kari’ tanha asiba alpa-kale
dui-jane nilacale rahiba eka-sange
sukhe gonaiba kala krsna-katha-range

“Please go to Nilacala (Jagannatha Puri), resigning from your worldly activities. I will arrive there very shortly after finishing My tour. We will stay at Nilacala together and pass our time in great happiness by our talks about the transcendental pastimes of Radha and Krsna.”

Saying this, Lord Caitanya embraced Ramananda and sent him to his home, and then He Himself went to take rest for the night. The next morning, Lord Caitanya visited the local temple of Hanuman, paid His respects to the Deity, and then left to travel throughout South India.

During the presence of Lord Caitanya at Vidyanagara, the city where Ramananda Raya lived, all the scholars of different schools of philosophy were converted into devotees of Sri Krsna, and they gave up their previous ways of thinking. After the departure of Lord Caitanya, Ramananda was overwhelmed with grief on account of separation from the Lord, and thus he remained aloof from all sorts of routine work while continuing to absorb himself in deep meditation on the Lord.

This is a short sketch of the meeting that took place between Ramananda Raya and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The instructive and transcendental topics that were discussed between them are completely sublime and simple at the same time. Any fortunate person can take advantage of the revelations within this conversation and thus bring about the perfection of his life. Once the topic is heard with a reverential attitude, it will no longer be possible to leave aside the spiritual ambition of reaching the abode of Radha and Krsna.

By hearing this short narration, one can enter into the essence of transcendental romance and pure love of Godhead. The most important thing to understand from this discussion is the secret of Lord Caitanya’s appearance in this world and the essence of His sankirtana movement.

[Excerpted from the Bhaktivedanta VedaBase 2011.1]

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