I have told you that Rāya Rāmānanda was like a king, like a viceroy. When they met, he told Caitanya Mahāprabhu. “At first I saw You as a sannyāsī in the renounced order; a very beautiful young sannyāsī. The red coming from Your face cannot be defeated; it is not so hot but more cool like the moon—You have a moonface. At first I saw You as a sannyāsī, but now I am seeing that You are that black Kṛṣṇa. How? I am seeing that You are the combined form of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, taking the heart and mood of Śrīmatī Rādhikā and the guidance of Śrīmatī Rādhikā.
“Why am I seeing so?”
Mahāprabhu replied that, “You are a mahā-bhāgavata, a certain type of Vaisnava. Not kanistha adhikārī, not madhyama adhikāra. You are so much more, a maha-bhagavat.”
What are the symptoms of a mahā-bhāgavata? If he will see a cow, at once he will remember Kṛṣṇa and say, “This is Vṛndāvana and Krisna is grazing the cows.” He can stay in any jungle and think, “Oh, this is Vṛndāvana.” He can see any river, sea or ocean and he will think, “Oh, the Yamunā is flowing here.” If he will see any high place, he will say, “Oh, here is Girirāja Govardhana, very near and dear and very much serving. Kṛṣṇa has lifted him with His finger.” He will always see his aradhyadeva, worshipable Kṛṣṇa, and see that all are worshipping. And in Kṛṣṇa he will see all. This is the symptom of a mahā-bhāgavata.
“So you are mahā-bhāgavata because you see like this. I am a brahmana sannyāsī. I am not so qualified. First, you are seeing me as a svami of the renounced order, a sannyāsī. Now you are seeing Me as Kṛṣṇa, and after that you are seeing Me as Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa both combined.”
Rāya Rāmānanda said, “No, no, no. This is not so.”
“You are really Kṛṣṇa. Don’t try to cheat me. Don’t try to cover that You are Kṛṣṇa. I know that You are Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa combined.”
“No, no, no, this is not so.”
Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya was a very learned māyāvādī and advaita-vādī. Who is a māyāvādī? Those who tell that Kṛṣṇa has no shape, no attributes, no energy, no qualities and think, “I will be like that.” That is called māyāvādī. At that time in the whole world, Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya was the best māyāvādī at knowing and reading all Vedānta, Vedas and everything. He was the master of all the māyāvādīs at the time, a very renowned person.
So one day, he was teaching Mahāprabhu Vedānta. He was thinking that He was a very little boy, a young sannyāsī. “You should know Vedānta and Vedānta says that the world is false. Bhagavān has no form. He is Brahma and we are all Brahma.”
For seven days he tried to teach Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Caitanya Mahāprabhu did not say, “Yes” “No” or “Very good.” Nothing. He was silent. Then at last, on the last day, he asked Caitanya Mahāprabhu, “Are you understanding what I am telling or not?” Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “The vedānta-sūtra you utter I understand fully, like seeing the shining sun, but when you are doing explanations for all the mantras you are covering it in darkness. You are hiding the sun, covering the sun.”
Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya was astonished. “In my whole life, no one has told like so; all have honored me. I have tried to make Him understand but this boy sannyāsī is telling, ‘You are hiding and you are covering the meaning of the vedānta-sūtra.’”
He asked, “How am I doing so?”
“In all Sūtras it has been described that Kṛṣṇa has a beautiful face, he has all kinds of attributes. He has so many qualifications. He is an ocean of rasa and ānanda.”
Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked him, “By what sūtra does it tell that Kṛṣṇa is
shapeless, that Kṛṣṇa is quality-less and tasteless? Why are you telling this?”
He told that, “In Brahma-sūtra, told by Śrīla Vyasadeva himself.”
Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked, “What was that point, that śloka.”
He told Kṛṣṇa has no shape. What is that sūtra you know? Where is Navina?
Call and ask.
arūpad eva hi tat-pradhānatvāt om
[Appearing as if not having a form.]
Arūpa, Kṛṣṇa is arūpa.
Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “No. This is the very sūtra that tells that Kṛṣṇa has a rūpa. He is not arūpavad, He is rupavad. These are Sanskrit words, perhaps you cannot follow.”
Caitanya Mahāprabhu said that arūpavad are those who are not of rūpa. It seems that He is Himself arūpavad, that Kṛṣṇa has no form, but Kṛṣṇa is Himself that rūpa.”
Understand? Kṛṣṇa has no difference between His shape and Kṛṣṇa Himself. Kṛṣṇa and His body are the same thing. So Kṛṣṇa is not arūpavad. But He is Himself the shape, Kṛṣṇa, tat-pradhānatvāt. He is so beautiful, He has so many beautiful qualities. He is so generous. He is so merciful. If there is no body, no personality, where will all these qualities be?
Caintanya Mahāprabhu quoted so many ślokas. And Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya was defeated. He could not utter any word, and he fell flat on the lotus feet of Mahāprabhu. He uttered:
ātmārāmāś ca munayo nirgranthā apy urukrame
kurvanty ahaitukīṁ bhaktim itthaṁ-bhūta-guṇo hariḥ
[Those ātmārāmas who are very fortunate can become attracted by the qualities of Śrī Bhagavān if they receive the causeless mercy of Śrī Bhagavān and His bhaktas. They can then become absorbed in relishing the sweetness of bhakti-rasa by engaging in ahaitukī bhakti to Him.]
All nirvasesavadis like Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanat Kumāra, and Śukadeva Gosvāmī, in the beginning period, they were all nirvasesavadi, brahma-vādī. But they were in touch with Brahmā, the father of Sanak, Sanadana, Sanat kumāra. He was a devotee, Brahmā. So being in the association of Brahmā, they became good devotees and had darśana of Nārāyaṇa. In the same way, Śukadeva Gosvāmī was quite aloof from the world and had not come in contact with māyā. He was nirvasesa, but he changed when he came in touch with Śrīla Vyasadeva, a renounced person, and heard information of Kṛṣṇa by one verse:
aho bakī yaṁ stana-kāla-kūṭaṁ
jighāṁsayāpāyayad apy asādhvī
lebhe gatiṁ dhātry-ucitāṁ tato ’nyaṁ
kaṁ vā dayāluṁ śaraṇaṁ vrajema
[How astonishing! When Pūtana, the wicked sister of Bakāsura, tried to kill child Kṛṣṇa by offering Him deadly poison on her breast, He bestowed upon her the position of His nursemaid. Could I ever have as merciful a shelter as that of Lord Kṛṣṇa?]
In Śrīmad Bhagvatam this particular verse is so beautiful. The gopīs are saying this. Śukadeva Gosvāmī asked, “How are the qualities of Kṛṣṇa?” Then Vyasadeva told. There is a very long story I don’t want to go too long…so I will after some time….
So Kṛṣṇa is so merciful to even Pūtanā, who put poison on her breast, and took the shape of a mother. She took Kṛṣṇa in her lap and said, “My dear child, my dear child,” and she gave all the poison in the mouth of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa at once took all her poison and her life and soul—everything. And she became so pure, giving up her body, and became like a mother. Kṛṣṇa made her a mother in Goloka. So who will be merciful like Kṛṣṇa? So at once Śukadeva Gosvāmī heard and felt rasa.
So, that teacher, Sārvabhauma Bhattacarya, saw Caitanya Mahāprabhu in the shape of Kṛṣṇa, combined with Rāmacandra, with a bow and arrow and Caitanya Mahāprabhu with a daṇḍa and kamadalu, showing the renounced order. Kamaṇḍalu means water pot. He had six arms. Then he prayed to Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He said, “If You are going to South India You should meet with Rāya Rāmānanda. He is an ocean of affection and rasa.”
Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “I heard you were a very learned and respected
Vaisnava and wanted to meet you. Sārvabhauma Bhattacary wanted Me to visit so I have come and saw you and you are so qualified.”
Rāya Rāmānanda said, “I am śūdra, I am so low. I want You to stay here for some days. I would like to take Your darśana.”
Caitanya told that, “I want to hear something from you about Śrīmatī
Rādhikā, kṛṣṇa-prema, Kṛṣṇa, bhakti and other subjects.”
He said, “Yes I will discuss.”
In the meantime it was midday and it was a time for taking maha-prasadam. And he invited Caitanya Mahāprabhu: “I want to give you biksha, that is why I want to give you maha-prasadam. Come with me in my home and You can rest and take bath in the Godāvarī River daily.”
Rāmānanda then told that, “I will come silently. No person will know. I will come alone, secretly, with no government generals or kings. And I will come on foot and I will meet you in the evening at about eight and we shall discuss.”
“Yes, I will be waiting for you and you shall surely come.”
So Caitanya Mahāprabhu took prasādam and was after waiting for Rāya Rāmānanda. Evening was coming, and He was at the river. Rāya Rāmānanda was thinking, “When will the sun go down and I will meet Caitanya Mahāprabhu?”
Now the time has come to take prasādam so we will meet in evening about four, and we will discuss the dialogue between Rāya Rāmānanda and Caitanya Mahāprabhu.