Madhya-līlāChapter 8: Talks Between Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Rāmānanda Rāya

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 8.193

eta bali' āpana-kṛta gīta eka gāhila

preme prabhu sva-haste tāńra mukha ācchādila


eta bali' — saying this; āpana-kṛta — composed by himself; gīta — song; eka — one; gāhila — sang; premein love of Godhead; prabhuŚrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; sva-haste — by His own hand; tāńra — his (Rāmānanda Rāya's); mukha — mouth; ācchādila — covered.


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.


The topics that are about to be discussed between Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Rāmānanda Rāya cannot be understood by a materialistic poet, nor by intelligence or material perception. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura states that the spiritual mellow can be realized only when one is situated on the transcendental platform beyond the material stage of goodness. That platform is called viśuddha-sattva (sattvaḿ viśuddhaḿ vasudeva-śabditam). Realization of the viśuddha-sattva platform is beyond the pale of the material world and is not perceived by bodily senses or mental speculation. Our identification with the gross body and subtle mind is different from spiritual understanding. Since the intelligence and mind are material, the loving affairs of Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are beyond their perception. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaḿ tat-paratvena nirmalam: [Cc. Madhya 19.170] when we are free from all material designations and our senses are completely purified by the bhakti process, we can understand the sense activities of the Absolute Truth (hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaḿ bhaktir ucyate [Cc. Madhya 19.170]).

The spiritual senses are beyond the material senses. A materialist can think only of the negation of material variety; he cannot understand spiritual variety. He thinks that spiritual variety simply contradicts material variety and is a negation or void, but such conceptions cannot even reach the precincts of spiritual realization. The wonderful activities of the gross body and subtle mind are always imperfect. They are below the degree of spiritual understanding and are ephemeral. The spiritual mellow is eternally wonderful and is described as pūrṇa, śuddha, nitya-mukta — that is, complete, perfectly pure and eternally liberated from all material conceptions. When we are unable to fulfill our material desires, there is certainly sorrow and confusion. This may be described as vivarta. But in spiritual life there is no sorrow, inebriety or imperfection. Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya was expert in realizing the spiritual activities of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and Kṛṣṇa, and Rāmānanda's spiritual experience was placed before Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu as he inquired whether the Lord approved his realization of spiritual truth.

There are three books prominent in this connection. One was written by Bhakta dāsa Bāula and is called Vivarta-vilāsa. Another was compiled by Jagadānanda Paṇḍita and is called Prema-vivarta. Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya's book is called Prema-vilāsa-vivarta. The Vivarta-vilāsa by Bhakta dāsa Bāula is completely different from the other two books. Sometimes a university student or professor tries to study these transcendental literatures and attempts to put forth a critical analysis from the mundane view, with an end to receiving degrees like a Ph.D. Such realization is certainly different from that of Rāmānanda Rāya. If one actually wants to take a Ph.D. degree from Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and be approved by Rāmānanda Rāya, he must first become free from all material designations (sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaḿ tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]). A person who identifies with his material body cannot understand these talks between Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Man-made religious scriptures and transcendental philosophical talks are quite different. Indeed, there is a gulf of difference between the two. This subject matter has been very diligently described by Śrīman Madhvācārya. Since material philosophers are situated in the material conception of life, they are unable to realize the spiritual prema-vilāsa-vivarta. They cannot accommodate an elephant upon a dish. Similarly, mundane speculators cannot capture the spiritual elephant within their limited conception. It is just like a frog's trying to measure the Atlantic Ocean by imagining it so many times larger than his well. Materialistic philosophers and sahajiyās cannot understand the talks between Rāmānanda Rāya and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu concerning the pastimes of Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. The only tendency of the impersonalists or the prākṛta-sahajiyās is to face the platform of impersonalism. They cannot understand spiritual variegatedness. Consequently, when Rāmānanda Rāya attempted to sing his own verses, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu stopped him by covering his mouth with His own hand.

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