Srila Prabhupada summarizes the discussions between Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya

February 15, 2021 in Articles by Laksman dasa

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Srila Prabhupada summarizes the discussions between Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya

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 “The Roy then suggested sincere association of self realised souls and to hear submissively the transcendental message of the pastimes of the Personality of Godhead from any wordly position. This suggestion of Sri Ramananda Roy was welcomed by the Lord.” 

“The only thing one has to do is to hear from self-realized soul with a routine programme.  “

Hare Krishna and all glories to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The following is a summary of the discussions between Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya, where they discuss transcendental knowledge and how to develop love of Godhead. Ramananda Raya lists out many formulas, but most of them were rejected by the Lord and the final suggestion of association of self-realized souls was approved by the Lord. 

This is also one kind of a solution for saving the downfall of the transcendental Hare Krsna Movement started by Srila Prabhupada. 

If all of us immediately form an association and keep discussing more and more on the pastimes of Krsna and his associates by taking authoritative references from Srila Prabhupada’s First Print Original Books, then it will surely make a difference in the society.

Achieving the love of Godhead and that of Srila Prabhupada is more important than building skyscrapers and/or corporate organizations in the name of Krsna Consciousness. 

Srila Prabhupada: The Lord then proceeded towards South India for some time and converted every one He met on the way to become a devotee of Lord Sri Krishna. Such devotees also converted many others to the cult of devotional service or Bhagwat Dharma of the Lord and thus He reached on the bank of the Godavari where He met Srila Ramananda Roy the Governor of Madras on behalf of Maharaj Prataprudra the king of Orissa. His talks with Ramananda Roy is very much important in the matter of higher realization of transcendental knowledge and the conversation forms itself a small booklet. We shall however try to give herewith a gist of the conversation as follows: –

Sri Ramananda Roy was a self realised soul although outwardly he belonged to a caste lower than the Brahmin in social convention. He was neither in renounced order of life and besides that he was a high government servant in the State. Still Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu accepted him as one of the liberated soul on the strength of high order of realisation of transcendental knowledge. Similarly, the Lord appointed Srila Haridas Thakur a veteran devotee of the Lord hailing from the Mohamedan family. And there are many other great devotees of the Lord who hailed from different communities sects and castes of the then social status of life. But the Lord’s only criterion was to see the standard of devotional service of the particular person. He was not concerned with the outward dress of a man but He was concerned only with the inner soul and it its activities. Therefore, the whole missionary activities of the Lord are to be understood as standing on the spiritual plane and as such the cult of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu or the cult of Bhagwat Dharma has nothing to do with mundane affairs of sociology, politics, economic development or any such spheres of life. Srimad Bhagwat is purely transendental urge of the soul.

When he met Shri Ramananda Roy on the bank of the Godavari the conversation began with the subject matter of Varnashram Dharma followed by the Hindus. Srila Ramananda Roy said that by following the principles of Varnashran Dharma or the system of four castes and four orders of human life it should be followed by everyone in order to realize transcendence. In the opinion of the Lord the system of Varna Ashram Dharma is superficial only and it has very little to do with the highest realization of spiritual values. Because the highest perfection of life is to get detached from the material attachment and proportionately realize the transcendental loving service of the Lord. The personality of Godhead recognizes a living being who is progressing in that line. Devotional service is, therefore, the culmination of the culture of all knowledge. When Sri Krishna the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared for the deliverance of all fallen souls, He advised for clear cut deliverance of all living entities as follows. The Supreme Absolute Personality of Godhead from whom all living entities have emanated, must be worshipped by all by their respective engagements, because everything that we see is also the expansion of His energy only. That is the way of real perfection and is approved by all bona fide Acharyas past and present. The system of Varnasharam is more or less based on the principles of moral and ethical rules. There is very little realization of the transcendence as such the Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu rejected it as superficial and asked Ramananda Roy to go further up.

Sri Ramananda Roy then suggested renunciation of the fruitive actions unto the Lord. The Bhagwat Geeta advices in this connection as follows. “Whatever you do, whatever you eat and whatever you give as well as whatever you may perform in penance, all must be offered to Me alone”. This dedication on the part of the worker suggests the Personality of Godhead a step higher than the impersonal conception of the Varnashram system but still the relation of the living being and the Lord is not distinct in that way. The Lord therefore rejected this proposition and asked Ramananda Roy to go further on.

Roy then suggested renunciation of the Varnashram Dharma and acceptance of devotional service. The Lord did not approve of this suggestion also for the reason that all of a sudden one may not renounce his position and that will not bring in the desired result.

It was further suggested by Roy that attainment of spiritual realization freed from the material conception of life is the topmost achievement by a living being. The Lord rejected this suggestion also because on the plea of such spiritual realization many havoc may be done by the unscrupulous persons and therefore all of a sudden this is not possible. The Roy then suggested sincere association of self-realized souls and to hear submissively the transcendental message of the pastimes of the Personality of Godhead from any wordly position. This suggestion of Sri Ramananda Roy was welcomed by the Lord. This suggestion was made following the foot prints of Brahmaji who said that the Personality of Godhead is known as ‘Ajita’ or the One Who cannot be conquered or approached by any one. But such Ajita also becomes Jita (conquered) by one method which is very simple and easy. The simple method is that one has to give up the arrogant attitude of declaring oneself as God Himself. One must be very meek and submissive and try to live peacefully by lending the ear to the speeches of the transcendentally self realised soul Who speaks on the message of Bhagwat Dharma or the Religion of Glorifying the Supreme Lord and His devotees. To glorify a great merit is a natural instinct for living being but artificially they have learnt not to glorify the Lord. Perfection of life is attained simply by glorifying the Lord in association* of self-realized devotee of the Lord. Self realized devotee is he who surrenders unto the Lord fully without any further attachment for material prosperity. Material prosperity and sense enjoyment and advancement of learning thereof, are all activities of ignorance in the human society. Peace and friendship are impossible propositions in the light of a detached society from the association of God and His devotees. It is imperative, therefore, that one should sincerely seek for the association of pure devotees and hear them patiently by submissive aural reception from any position of life. The position of a person in the higher or lower status of life does not hamper in the path of self realisation. The only thing one has to do is to hear from self-realized soul with a routine programme. And the speaker may deliver lectures from the standard of Vedic literatures following the foot prints of the bygone Acharya who realized the Absolute Truth. Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu recommended this simple method of self realization generally known as Bhagwat Dharma. Srimad Bhagwatam is the perfect guide for this purpose.

 Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1, Volume 1, Introduction, Delhi 1962 Edition: