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Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Rai Ramananda

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Rai Ramananda

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Published by Jögo Suán-Kōr

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Published by: Jögo Suán-Kōr on Jul 17, 2012
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06/05/2014

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RaiRamanandaBhaktisiddhantaSarasvatiThakura
Introduction
DuringtheadventofSriChaitanya,thedearthofpuretheisminSouthIndiawasnolessthanthatintheNorth,duetothenarrowsectarianismandrigidcasterules.TodeliverthepeopleoftheSouthfromthosesuicidalprejudicesandsuperstitions,theLordproceededwithoneKaliaKrishnadasonHisjourneytotheSouth.HesawAlvarnathatBrahmargiri,KurmaDevaatKurmachalamnearChicacoleinVizagdistrict,whereHegavedeliverancetoaBrahminnamedKurmaandaBrahminlepernamedVasudeva.TheLordsawNrsimhaDevaatSimhachalaminthesamedistrict.HemetRaiRamananda,thethenGovernorofVidyanagar,onthebankoftheGodavari,andhadalongphilosophicaldiscoursewithhimonthesummumbonumofhumanexistenceandthemeansofattainingthesame.Thisfamousdiscoursethebrightestself-luminousguidingstarinthefirmamentofVaishnavaPhilosophy,hasbeeneternalyshiningintheChaitanyaCharitamrita.WhentheLordleftPurifortheSouth,SarvabhaumaBhattacharyahadentreatedHimtomeetRaiRamanandaonHisway.Aftervisitingmanyshrinesatdifferentplaces,HereachedthebanksoftheGodavariwhichremindedHimoftheYamuna,andthewoodlandsonthebanksremindedHimofVrindavana.Hecrossedtheriver,bathedandthensatatashortdistancefromthe"GoshpadaGhat"atKovur(WestGodavariDistrict).WhileHewasoccupiedinchantingtheHolyNameofSriKrshna,RaiRamanandaarrivedinalitterattendedbymanymusiciansandBrahmins,forceremonialbath.SriChaitanyaDeva,atfirstsightknewhimtobeRaiRamananda.HelongedtomeethimbutcheckedHiseagerness.RaiRamanandaafterhisbathcameuptoHim,andwasfilledwithagreatwonderashelookdatHisPersonWhichwasshininglikeahundredsuns.HealightedfromhislitterandfellprostratebeforeHim.SriChaitanyaDevastoodupandsaid,"RiseandchantSriKrishna'sName".Hewaseagerlylongingtoembraceehimyetasked,"ArtthouRaiRamananda?"Thereplywas"Yes,Iamthatslave,avileSudra."TheLordembracedhimandbothsatonthegroundintheexuberanceofspontaneousoutburstofPrema.Bothofthem,overcomewithpurelove,begantoperspire,weep,tremblewiththeirhairstandingonend,andbothuttered'Krishna',Krishna'inecstaticjoy.TheBrahminattendantsofRaiRamanandawereamazedatthesightandthought,"ThisSannyasiislikeBrahmanHimselfandyetHeweepsembracingaSudra!ThisRaiRamananda,agreatdignitary,isaprofoundscholarandofanaturalygrave
 
demeanour,andyethehasbeentransportedwithdelightbythetouchoftheSannyasi!"Onseeingthestrangers,theLordcheckedHimself.Whenbothofthemregainedtheircomposure,theLordsaidsmilingly,"IheardofyoufromSarvabhaumaBhattacharyaandheinstructedMetomeetyou.ItiswellthatIcouldmeetyousoeasily."Raireplied,"ThegreatPanditispleasedtoownmeashishumbleservantandisalwaysonthelook-outtodomegood.ItisduetohismercythatIseeYou.Mylifeis,indeed,blessedtoday.YouaregracioustotouchthisvileSudra,whichprovesYourmercyandthatofSarvabhaumatothismostunworthyperson.YouaretheSupremeLordNarayanHimselfandIambutaservantoftheking,awordlypersonandavileSudra.YoudidnotfeartheinjunctionsoftheVedasintouchingme.TheVedasforbidYoueventolookatme.YourmercyonmemakesYouperformaforbiddenact.YouareGodheadHimself.WhoknowsYourways?YouareMercyPersonified.Youhavecomeheretodeliverme.O!Saviourofthefallen,suchisthehabitoftheGreat,thatHedeviatesfromHispathtodeliverthefallen."0Lord,theSaintsevervisitthehomesofworldlypeopletohelpthemachievetheireternalgood.Thereisnootherpurposeinit'.TheheartsoftheBrahminsandtheotherattendantsnumberingathousandhavebeenmeltedbyYourdarsan.AllofthemareshoutingTheLordreplied,"Youarethegreatestofthedevotees,aMahabhagavata.Itisyoursightthatmeltedtheheartsofall;whattospeakoftheothers,IMyself,aMayavadiSannyasiamsteepedintheLoveofKrishnaatyourtouch.KnowingthatMyheartitoohardtobemelted,Sarvabhaumaadvisedmetomeetyou".Whiletheywerepraisingeachotherandenjoyingthedelightfulcompany,aVaishnavaVedicBrahmincame,boweduntotheLordandbesoughtHimtoacceptthealmsoffoodandresidenceathishouse.TheLordacceptedtheinvitationknowinghimtobeaVaishnava,andthenturningtoRamanandaandsaid,"IfeelagreatpleasuretoheartalksonSriKrishnafromyourlips.Ihopetomeetyouagain".Raireplied,"Youhavecometosavethesinners.ButmywickedheartalonehasnotbeenpurifiedbyYoursight.MayIprayforYourstayforafewdaysforpurgingmyheartofallsins?"RaiRamanandathenmadehisbowandwendedhiswaywiththegreatestreluctance.TheLordbetookHimselftothehouseoftheBrahminandtheeveningapproachedinthemidstofHisanxiety.TheLordwasenxiouslywaitingwhenRaiRamanandaappearedwithaservant.HebowedtotheLordadwasreceivedinHisexbrace.TheTwonowretiredtotheseclusionofprivacyandbegantoconverseonSadhya(theGoal)andSadhana(theMeans).TheLordrequestedRaitorecitethetextsoftheSastrasonSadhyaandSadhanadutiesofVarnasram.TheVishnuPuransays'PropitiatetheSupremeLordVishnubyfollowingtheprescribeddutiesofyoursocialrankandfitness.ThereisnoothermeansofpleasingHim.TheLordsaid,"Thisisoffthepoint,tellMesomethingmoreadvanced."Raianswered,"TheacmeofSadhanaistoofferactionsandthefruitsthereoftoSriKrishna.'0sonofKunti!consecratetoMewhateveryoudo,beiteating,performingthehomaceremony,oractofcharityorausterity'."TheLordrejectedthisviewalsoandaskedRaitocitemoreadvancedslokas.Raireplied"ThehighestdevotionrequiresonetogiveupthedutiesenjoinedbytheScriptures.'Heisthegreatestofsaintsorholy,who,knowingfullwellthemeritsanddemeritsofreligiousduties,worshipsMebygivingupthe
 
Vedicduties,althoughtheywereordainedbyMe.''TakerefugeinMealone,givinguptheVedicdutiesalthoughtheywereordainedbyMe.''TakerefugeinMealone,givingupallsocio-religiouspractices;youwillhavenocauseofgrief;Iwilldeliveryoufromallsins'."ThiswasalsoobjectedtobytheLord,asthistoodidnottouchtheissue.Someotherhighermeansshouldbecited.Tothis,RaiaddedthatfaithmixedwiththeknowledgeoftheBrahmanistheonlymeanstoattainthegoal.BrahminspractisingdevotionwiththeknowledgeofrelationshipbecomeVaishnavas.'ABrahman-realisedsoulisself-delighted,possessescalmandequitablevisionandtreatsequallyall,highorlow,richorpoor,duetohisextra-mundanevision,anddoesnotgrievenorlongforanythingmundane.EstablishedinBrahman,hegraduallyattainstruedevotiontoMyself."TheLordwasnotsatisfiedwiththis,tellingRaiRamanandathatthiswasalsooutsidetheissue,andrequestedhimtocitemoreadvancedmethods.Raianswered,"Puredevotionunobstructedbythemonisticabstractknowledgeisthehighestformofworship.ApersonsubmittingunconditionallyattheDivineFeetofSriKrshnaisatruedevotee.'TheSupremeLordSriKrishnaishardtobewonoverinthisuniverse,yetHeisrealisedandattainedbythosewho,abandoningthequestofempiricknowledgeorknowledgeofAbstractBrahman,submittoHisDivineFeet,stayatholyplacessanctifiedbySadhus,listentorecitalsofHisLeelasbypuredevoteesandliveuptothemwithbody,mindandsoul'."OnhearingthistheLordreplied,"Itisgood;buthigherstagesmaybestated".Raianswered,"ThehighestformoftruedevotionisPrerna-BhaktiorLovingDevotiontoSriKrishnaandcitedhisownverses:Foodanddrinkarerelishedsolongastherearehungerandthirst.Similarly,withtheprogressofdevotionalaptitude,thedevoteedelightsinworshippinghisheart'sDarlingSriKrishna,notinmultifariousritualisticformalitiesbutintruelovealone.'SearchoutaheartinspiredwithLoveforSriKrishnaandifeveryoumeetsuchaone,winhimover,byardentlonging,thoughitcannotbeattainedbygooddeedsthroughmillionsoflives'.TheLordwantedhimtoproceedstillhigher.Tothis,RairepliedthattheLoveasthatofaservantofSriKrishnaisthehighestdevitionandcitedversesinsupportofhisviewthus:"WhenlisteningonlytotheHolyNamesoftheLordpurifiesalljiva-souls,whatthenisleftunattainedbythosewhoactuallyserveHisHolyFeet'.WhenshallIhavethegoodfortuneofdeclaringmyselftobeThyeternalservant,beingfreedfromallselfishdesiresbyThyunceasingfaithfulservice?'"Good,buttherearemethodsdeeperstill.Bepleasedtomentionthem",saidtheLord.Raireplied,"Loveasthatofafriendisthehighestformofdevotion,"andinthisconnectionherelatedthegloryofthefriendshipofthecow-boys:"Thecow-boysofVrajahadthegoodfortunetojoininthePastimesofSriKrishnaWhoappearstotheJnanisasculminationoffelicityintheBrahman,toHisservantsastheSupremeObjectofworshipandtodeludedpersons,asmereHumanChild".TheLordsaid,"Thisisgood,butsaysomethinghigherstill."RaicontinuingsaidthatthehighestdevotionisparentalaffectionfortheLord,andrecitedthefollowingpassages:'0Brahmin!whathighclassmeritoriousdeedsdidNandaperform;andwhatdidtheblessedYasodadothatshewasfortunatetosuckleSriKrishna,theDivineChild?TheblissthatYasodaderivedfromherDivineChildwasnevergainedbyBrahmaorSivaorevenbyLakshmithoughSheisalwaysclaspedtoHisbosom'''.TheLordsaid,"Thisisgoodnodoubt;bepleasedtostatestillhigherfunctions."Raireplied,"ThehighestformofdevotionosconjugalLovefortheSupremeLordSri

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