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The Meeting of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī

A summary of this chapter is given by Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in his Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya as follows. When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu went into transcendental fits of ecstatic love, Rāmānanda Rāya and Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī attended to Him and satisfied Him as He desired. Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī had been attempting to come to the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu for a long time, and finally he left his home and met the Lord. When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu had gone to Śāntipura on His way to Vṛndāvana, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī had offered to dedicate his life at the Lord’s lotus feet. In the meantime, however, a Muslim official became envious of Hiraṇya dāsa, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī’s uncle, and induced some big official court minister to have him arrested. Thus Hiraṇya dāsa left his home, but by the intelligence of Raghunātha dāsa the misunderstanding was mitigated. Then Raghunātha dāsa went to Pānihāṭi, and following the order of Nityānanda Prabhu, he observed a festival (ciḍā-dadhi-mahotsava) by distributing chipped rice mixed with yogurt. The day after the festival, Nityānanda Prabhu gave Raghunātha dāsa the blessing that he would very soon attain the shelter of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. After this incident, Raghunātha dāsa, with the help of his priest, whose name was Yadunandana Ācārya, got out of his house by trickery and thus ran away. Not touching the general path, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī secretly went to Jagannātha Purī. After twelve days, he arrived in Jagannātha Purī at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu entrusted Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī to Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī. Therefore another name for Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī is Svarūpera Raghu, or the Raghunātha of Svarūpa Dāmodara. For five days Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī took prasādam at the temple, but later he would stand at the Siṁha-dvāra gate and eat only whatever he could gather by alms. Later he lived by taking alms from various chatras, or food distributing centers. When Raghunātha’s father received news of this, he sent some men and money, but Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī refused to accept the money. Understanding that Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī was living by begging from the chatras, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu presented him with His own guñjā-mālā and a stone from Govardhana Hill. Thereafter, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī used to eat rejected food that he had collected and washed. This renounced life greatly pleased both Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. One day Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu took by force some of the same food, thus blessing Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī for his renunciation.

Text 1: With the ropes of His causeless mercy, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu employed a trick to deliver Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī from the blind well of contemptible family life. He made Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī one of His personal associates, placing him under the charge of Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī. I offer my obeisances unto Him.

Text 2: All glories to Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu! All glories to Lord Nityānanda! All glories to Śrī Advaita Ācārya! And all glories to all the devotees of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu!

Text 3: Thus Lord Gauracandra performed various pastimes with His associates at Jagannātha Purī in varieties of transcendental pleasure.

Text 4: Although Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu felt pangs of separation from Kṛṣṇa, He did not manifest His feelings externally, for He feared the unhappiness of His devotees.

Text 5: The transformations undergone by the Lord when He manifested severe unhappiness due to separation from Kṛṣṇa cannot be described.

Text 6: When the Lord acutely felt pangs of separation from Kṛṣṇa, only Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya’s talks about Kṛṣṇa and the sweet songs of Svarūpa Dāmodara kept Him alive.

Text 7: Because the Lord associated with various devotees during the day, His mind was somewhat diverted, but at night the pangs of separation from Kṛṣṇa increased very rapidly.

Text 8: Two people — Rāmānanda Rāya and Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī — stayed with the Lord to pacify Him by reciting various verses about Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes and by singing appropriate songs for His satisfaction.

Text 9: Previously, when Lord Kṛṣṇa was personally present, Subala, one of His cowherd boyfriends, gave Him happiness when He felt separation from Rādhārāṇī. Similarly, Rāmānanda Rāya helped give happiness to Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 10: Previously, when Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī felt the pangs of separation from Kṛṣṇa, Her constant companion Lalitā kept Her alive by helping Her in many ways. Similarly, when Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu felt Rādhārāṇī’s emotions, Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī helped Him maintain His life.

Text 11: To describe the fortunate position of Rāmānanda Rāya and Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī is extremely difficult. They were renowned as intimately confidential friends of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 12: The Lord thus enjoyed His life with His devotees. O devotees of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, now hear how Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī met the Lord.

Text 13: When Raghunātha dāsa, during his family life, went to meet Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Śāntipura, the Lord gave him worthy instructions by His causeless mercy.

Text 14: Instead of becoming a so-called renunciant, Raghunātha dāsa, following the instructions of the Lord, returned home and played exactly like a pounds-and-shillings man.

Text 15: Raghunātha dāsa was inwardly completely renounced, even in family life, but he did not express his renunciation externally. Instead, he acted just like an ordinary businessman. Seeing this, his father and mother were satisfied.

Text 16: When he received a message that Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu had returned from Mathurā City, Raghunātha dāsa endeavored to go to the lotus feet of the Lord.

Text 17: At that time there was a Muslim official collecting the taxes of Saptagrāma.

Text 18: When Hiraṇya dāsa, Raghunātha dāsa’s uncle, made an agreement with the government to collect taxes, the Muslim caudhurī, or tax collector, having lost his position, became extremely envious of him.

Text 19: Hiraṇya dāsa was collecting 2,000,000 coins and therefore should have delivered 1,500,000 to the government. Instead, he was giving only 1,200,000, thus making an extra profit of 300,000 coins. Seeing this, the Muslim caudhurī, who was a Turk, became his rival.

Text 20: After sending a confidential account to the government treasury, the caudhurī brought the minister in charge. The caudhurī came, wanting to arrest Hiraṇya dāsa, but Hiraṇya dāsa had left home. Therefore the caudhurī arrested Raghunātha dāsa.

Text 21: Every day, the Muslim would chastise Raghunātha dāsa and tell him, “Bring your father and his elder brother. Otherwise you will be punished.”

Text 22: The caudhurī wanted to beat him, but as soon as he saw Raghunātha’s face, his mind changed, and he could not beat him.

Text 23: Indeed, the caudhurī was afraid of Raghunātha dāsa because Raghunātha dāsa belonged to the kāyastha community. Although the caudhurī would chastise him with oral vibrations, he was afraid to beat him.

Text 24: While this was going on, Raghunātha dāsa thought of a tricky method of escape. Thus he humbly submitted this plea at the feet of the Muslim caudhurī.

Text 25: “My dear sir, my father and his elder brother are your brothers. All brothers always fight about something.

Text 26: “Sometimes brothers fight among themselves, and sometimes they have very friendly dealings. There is no certainty when such changes will take place. Thus I am sure that although today you are fighting, tomorrow you three brothers will be sitting together in peace.

Text 27: “Just as I am my father’s son, so I am also yours. I am your dependent, and you are my maintainer.

Text 28: “For a maintainer to punish the person he maintains is not good. You are expert in all the scriptures. Indeed, you are like a living saint.”

Text 29: When the Muslim heard Raghunātha dāsa’s appealing voice, his heart softened. He began to cry, and tears glided down his beard.

Text 30: The Muslim caudhurī told Raghunātha dāsa, “You are my son from this day on. Today, by some means, I shall have you released.”

Text 31: After informing the minister, the caudhurī released Raghunātha dāsa and then began to speak to him with great affection.

Text 32: “Your father’s elder brother is less intelligent,” he said. “He enjoys 800,000 coins, but since I am also a shareholder, he should give some portion of it to me.

Text 33: “Now you go arrange a meeting between me and your uncle. Let him do whatever he thinks best. I shall completely depend on his decision.”

Text 34: Raghunātha dāsa arranged a meeting between his uncle and the caudhurī. The matter was settled, and everything was peaceful.

Text 35: In this way Raghunātha dāsa passed one year exactly like a first-class business manager, but the next year he again decided to leave home.

Text 36: He got up alone one night and left, but his father caught him in a distant place and brought him back.

Text 37: This became almost a daily affair. Raghunātha would run away from home, and his father would again bring him back. Then Raghunātha dāsa’s mother spoke to his father as follows.

Text 38: “Our son has become mad,” she said. “Just keep him by binding him with ropes.” His father, being very unhappy, replied to her as follows.

Text 39: “Raghunātha dāsa, our son, has opulences like Indra, the heavenly king, and his wife is as beautiful as an angel. Yet all this could not tie down his mind.

Text 40: “How then could we keep this boy home by binding him with ropes? It is not possible even for one’s father to nullify the reactions of one’s past activities.

Text 41: “Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has fully bestowed His mercy on him. Who can keep home such a madman of Caitanyacandra?”

Text 42: Then Raghunātha dāsa considered something in his mind, and the next day he went to Nityānanda Gosāñi.

Text 43: In the village of Pānihāṭi, Raghunātha dāsa obtained an interview with Nityānanda Prabhu, who was accompanied by many kīrtana performers, servants and others.

Text 44: Sitting on a rock under a tree on the bank of the Ganges, Lord Nityānanda seemed as effulgent as hundreds of thousands of rising suns.

Text 45: Many devotees sat on the ground surrounding Him. Seeing the influence of Nityānanda Prabhu, Raghunātha dāsa was astonished.

Text 46: Raghunātha dāsa offered his obeisances by falling prostrate at a distant place, and the servant of Nityānanda Prabhu pointed out, “There is Raghunātha dāsa, offering You obeisances.”

Text 47: Hearing this, Lord Nityānanda Prabhu said, “You are a thief. Now you have come to see Me. Come here, come here. Today I shall punish you!”

Text 48: The Lord called him, but Raghunātha dāsa did not go near the Lord. Then the Lord forcibly caught him and placed His lotus feet upon Raghunātha dāsa’s head.

Text 49: Lord Nityānanda was by nature very merciful and funny. Being merciful, He spoke to Raghunātha dāsa as follows.

Text 50: “You are just like a thief, for instead of coming near, you stay away at a distant place. Now that I have captured you, I shall punish you.

Text 51: “Make a festival and feed all My associates yogurt and chipped rice.” Hearing this, Raghunātha dāsa was greatly pleased.

Text 52: Raghunātha dāsa immediately sent his own men to the village to purchase all kinds of eatables and bring them back.

Text 53: Raghunātha dāsa brought chipped rice, yogurt, milk, sweetmeats, sugar, bananas and other eatables and placed them all around.

Text 54: As soon as they heard that a festival was going to be held, all kinds of brāhmaṇas and other gentlemen began to arrive. Thus there were innumerable people.

Text 55: Seeing the crowd increasing, Raghunātha dāsa arranged to get more eatables from other villages. He also brought two to four hundred large, round earthen pots.

Text 56: He also obtained five or seven especially large earthen pots, and in these pots a brāhmaṇa began soaking chipped rice for the satisfaction of Lord Nityānanda.

Text 57: In one place, chipped rice was soaked in hot milk in each of the large pots. Then half the rice was mixed with yogurt, sugar and bananas.

Text 58: The other half was mixed with condensed milk and a special type of banana known as cāṅpā-kalā. Then sugar, clarified butter and camphor were added.

Text 59: After Nityānanda Prabhu had changed His cloth for a new one and sat on a raised platform, the brāhmaṇa brought before Him the seven huge pots.

Text 60: On that platform, all the most important associates of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, as well as other important men, sat down in a circle around the Lord.

Text 61: Among them were Rāmadāsa, Sundarānanda, Gadādhara dāsa, Murāri, Kamalākara, Sadāśiva and Purandara.

Text 62: Dhanañjaya, Jagadīśa, Parameśvara dāsa, Maheśa, Gaurīdāsa and Hoḍa Kṛṣṇadāsa were also there.

Text 63: Similarly, Uddhāraṇa Datta Ṭhākura and many other personal associates of the Lord sat on the raised platform with Nityānanda Prabhu. No one could count them all.

Text 64: Hearing about the festival, all kinds of learned scholars, brāhmaṇas and priests went there. Lord Nityānanda Prabhu honored them and made them sit on the raised platform with Him.

Text 65: Everyone was offered two earthen pots. In one was put chipped rice with condensed milk, and in the other chipped rice with yogurt.

Text 66: All the other people sat in groups around the platform. No one could count how many people there were.

Text 67: Each and every one of them was supplied two earthen pots — one of chipped rice soaked in yogurt and the other of chipped rice soaked in condensed milk.

Text 68: Some of the brāhmaṇas, not having gotten a place on the platform, went to the bank of the Ganges with their two earthen pots and soaked their chipped rice there.

Text 69: Others, who could not get a place even on the bank of the Ganges, got down into the water and began eating their two kinds of chipped rice.

Text 70: Thus some sat on the platform, some at the base of the platform, and some on the bank of the Ganges, and they were all supplied two pots each by the twenty men who distributed the food.

Text 71: At that time, Rāghava Paṇḍita arrived there. Seeing the situation, he began to laugh in great surprise.

Text 72: He brought many kinds of food cooked in ghee and offered to the Lord. This prasādam he first placed before Lord Nityānanda and then distributed among the devotees.

Text 73: Rāghava Paṇḍita said to Lord Nityānanda, “For You, Sir, I have already offered food to the Deity, but You are engaged in a festival here, and so the food is lying there untouched.”

Text 74: Lord Nityānanda replied, “Let Me eat all this food here during the day, and I shall eat at your home at night.

Text 75: “I belong to a community of cowherd boys, and therefore I generally have many cowherd associates with Me. I am happy when we eat together in a picnic like this by the sandy bank of the river.”

Text 76: Lord Nityānanda made Rāghava Paṇḍita sit down and had two pots delivered to him also. There were two kinds of chipped rice soaked in them.

Text 77: When chipped rice had been served to everyone, Lord Nityānanda Prabhu, in meditation, brought Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 78: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu arrived, Lord Nityānanda Prabhu stood up. They then saw how the others were enjoying the chipped rice with yogurt and condensed milk.

Text 79: From each and every pot, Lord Nityānanda Prabhu took one morsel of chipped rice and pushed it into the mouth of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu as a joke.

Text 80: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, also smiling, took a morsel of food, pushed it into the mouth of Nityānanda and laughed as He made Lord Nityānanda eat it.

Text 81: In this way Lord Nityānanda was walking through all the groups of eaters, and all the Vaiṣṇavas standing there were seeing the fun.

Text 82: No one could understand what Nityānanda Prabhu was doing as He walked about. Some, however, who were very fortunate, could see that Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was also present.

Text 83: Then Nityānanda Prabhu smiled and sat down. On His right side He kept four pots of chipped rice that had not been made from boiled paddy.

Text 84: Lord Nityānanda offered Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu a place and had Him sit down. Then together the two brothers began eating chipped rice.

Text 85: Seeing Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu eating with Him, Lord Nityānanda Prabhu became very happy and exhibited varieties of ecstatic love.

Text 86: Lord Nityānanda Prabhu ordered, “All of you eat, chanting the holy name of Hari.” Immediately the holy names “Hari, Hari” resounded, filling the entire universe.

Text 87: When all the Vaiṣṇavas were chanting the holy names “Hari, Hari” and eating, they remembered how Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma ate with Their companions the cowherd boys on the bank of the Yamunā.

Text 88: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Lord Nityānanda Prabhu are extremely merciful and liberal. It was Raghunātha dāsa’s good fortune that They accepted all these dealings.

Text 89: Who can understand the influence and mercy of Lord Nityānanda Prabhu? He is so powerful that He induced Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to come eat chipped rice on the bank of the Ganges.

Text 90: All the confidential devotees who were cowherd boys, headed by Śrī Rāmadāsa, were absorbed in ecstatic love. They thought the bank of the Ganges to be the bank of the Yamunā.

Text 91: When the shopkeepers of many other villages heard about the festival, they arrived there to sell chipped rice, yogurt, sweetmeats and bananas.

Text 92: As they came, bringing all kinds of food, Raghunātha dāsa purchased it all. He gave them the price for their goods and later fed them the very same food.

Text 93: Anyone who came to see how these funny things were going on was also fed chipped rice, yogurt and bananas.

Text 94: After Lord Nityānanda Prabhu finished eating, He washed His hands and mouth and gave Raghunātha dāsa the food remaining in the four pots.

Text 95: There was food remaining in the three other big pots of Lord Nityānanda, and a brāhmaṇa distributed it to all the devotees, giving a morsel to each.

Text 96: Then a brāhmaṇa brought a flower garland, placed the garland on Nityānanda Prabhu’s neck and smeared sandalwood pulp all over His body.

Text 97: When a servant brought betel nuts and offered them to Lord Nityānanda, the Lord smiled and chewed them.

Text 98: With His own hands Lord Nityānanda Prabhu distributed to all the devotees whatever flower garlands, sandalwood pulp and betel nuts remained.

Text 99: After receiving the remnants of food left by Lord Nityānanda Prabhu, Raghunātha dāsa, who was greatly happy, ate some and distributed the rest among his own associates.

Text 100: Thus I have described the pastimes of Lord Nityānanda Prabhu in relation to the celebrated festival of chipped rice and yogurt.

Text 101: Nityānanda Prabhu rested for the day, and when the day ended He went to the temple of Rāghava Paṇḍita and began congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord.

Text 102: Lord Nityānanda Prabhu first influenced all the devotees to dance, and finally He Himself began dancing, thus inundating the entire world in ecstatic love.

Text 103: Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was observing the dancing of Lord Nityānanda Prabhu. Nityānanda Prabhu could see this, but the others could not.

Text 104: The dancing of Lord Nityānanda Prabhu, like the dancing of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, cannot be compared to anything within these three worlds.

Text 105: No one can properly describe the sweetness of Lord Nityānanda’s dancing. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu personally comes to see it.

Text 106: After the dancing and after Lord Nityānanda had rested, Rāghava Paṇḍita submitted his request that the Lord take supper.

Text 107: Lord Nityānanda Prabhu sat down for supper with His personal associates and made a sitting place on His right side for Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 108: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu came there and sat down at His place. Seeing this, Rāghava Paṇḍita felt increasing happiness.

Text 109: Rāghava Paṇḍita brought the prasādam before the two brothers and thereafter distributed prasādam to all the other Vaiṣṇavas.

Text 110: There were varieties of cakes, sweet rice and fine cooked rice that surpassed the taste of nectar. There were also varieties of vegetables.

Text 111: The food prepared and offered to the Deity by Rāghava Paṇḍita was like the essence of nectar. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu came there again and again to eat such prasādam.

Text 112: When Rāghava Paṇḍita offered the food to the Deity after cooking, he would make a separate offering for Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 113: Every day, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu would eat at the house of Rāghava Paṇḍita. Sometimes He would give Rāghava Paṇḍita the opportunity to see Him.

Text 114: Rāghava Paṇḍita would bring and distribute prasādam to the two brothers, feeding Them with great attention. They ate everything, and therefore there were no remnants left.

Text 115: He brought so many presentations that no one could know them perfectly. Indeed, it was a fact that the supreme mother, Rādhārāṇī, personally cooked in the house of Rāghava Paṇḍita.

Text 116: Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī received from Durvāsā Muni the benediction that whatever She cooked would be sweeter than nectar. That is the special feature of Her cooking.

Text 117: Aromatic and pleasing to see, the food was the essence of all sweetness. Thus the two brothers, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Lord Nityānanda Prabhu, ate it with great satisfaction.

Text 118: All the devotees present requested Raghunātha dāsa to sit down and take prasādam, but Rāghava Paṇḍita told them, “He will take prasādam later.”

Text 119: All the devotees took prasādam, filling themselves to the brim. Thereafter, chanting the holy name of Hari, they stood up and washed their hands and mouths.

Text 120: After eating, the two brothers washed Their hands and mouths. Then Rāghava Paṇḍita brought flower garlands and sandalwood pulp and decorated Them.

Text 121: Rāghava Paṇḍita offered Them betel nuts and worshiped Their lotus feet. He also distributed betel nuts, flower garlands and sandalwood pulp to the devotees.

Text 122: Rāghava Paṇḍita, being very merciful toward Raghunātha dāsa, offered him the dishes with the remnants of food left by the two brothers.

Text 123: He said, “Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has eaten this food. If you take His remnants, you will be released from the bondage of your family.”

Text 124: The Supreme Personality of Godhead always resides either in the heart or in the home of a devotee. This fact is sometimes hidden and sometimes manifest, for the Supreme Personality of Godhead is fully independent.

Text 125: The Supreme Personality of Godhead is all-pervasive, and therefore He resides everywhere. Anyone who doubts this will be annihilated.

Text 126: In the morning, after taking His bath in the Ganges, Nityānanda Prabhu sat down with His associates beneath the same tree under which He had previously sat.

Text 127: Raghunātha dāsa went there and worshiped Lord Nityānanda’s lotus feet. Through Rāghava Paṇḍita, he submitted his desire.

Text 128: “I am the lowest of men, the most sinful, fallen and condemned. Nevertheless, I desire to attain shelter at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 129: “Like a dwarf who wants to catch the moon, I have tried my best many times, but I have never been successful.

Text 130: “Every time I tried to go away and give up my home relationships, my father and mother unfortunately kept me bound.

Text 131: “No one can attain the shelter of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu without Your mercy, but if You are merciful, even the lowest of men can attain shelter at His lotus feet.

Text 132: “Although I am unfit and greatly afraid to submit this plea, I nevertheless request You, Sir, to be especially merciful toward me by granting me shelter at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 133: “Placing Your feet on my head, give me the benediction that I may achieve the shelter of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu without difficulty. I pray for this benediction.”

Text 134: After hearing this appeal by Raghunātha dāsa, Lord Nityānanda Prabhu smiled and told all the devotees, “Raghunātha dāsa’s standard of material happiness is equal to that of Indra, the King of heaven.

Text 135: “Because of the mercy bestowed upon him by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Raghunātha dāsa, although situated in such material happiness, does not like it at all. Therefore let every one of you be merciful toward him and give him the benediction that he may very soon attain shelter at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 136: “One who experiences the fragrance of the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa does not value even the standard of happiness available in Brahmaloka, the topmost planet. And what to speak of heavenly happiness?

Text 137: ‘Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is offered sublime, poetic prayers by those trying to attain His favor. Thus He is known as Uttamaśloka. Being very eager to gain the association of Lord Kṛṣṇa, King Bharata, although in the prime of youth, gave up his very attractive wife, affectionate children, most beloved friends and opulent kingdom, exactly as one gives up stool after excreting it.’ ”

Text 138: Then Lord Nityānanda Prabhu called Raghunātha dāsa near Him, placed His lotus feet upon Raghunātha dāsa’s head and began to speak.

Text 139: “My dear Raghunātha dāsa,” He said, “since you arranged the feast on the bank of the Ganges, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu came here just to show you His mercy.

Text 140: “By His causeless mercy He ate the chipped rice and milk. Then, after seeing the dancing of the devotees at night, He took His supper.

Text 141: “Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Gaurahari, came here personally to deliver you. Now rest assured that all the impediments meant for your bondage are gone.

Text 142: “Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu will accept you and place you under the charge of His secretary, Svarūpa Dāmodara. You will thus become one of the most confidential internal servants and will attain shelter at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 143: “Being assured of all this, return to your own home. Very soon, without impediments, you will attain shelter at the lotus feet of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.”

Text 144: Lord Nityānanda had Raghunātha dāsa blessed by all the devotees, and Raghunātha dāsa offered his respects to their lotus feet.

Text 145: After taking leave of Lord Nityānanda Prabhu and then all the other Vaiṣṇavas, Śrī Raghunātha dāsa consulted secretly with Rāghava Paṇḍita.

Text 146: After consulting with Rāghava Paṇḍita, he secretly delivered one hundred gold coins and about seven tolās of gold into the hand of Nityānanda Prabhu’s treasurer.

Text 147: Raghunātha dāsa admonished the treasurer, “Do not speak about this to Lord Nityānanda Prabhu now, but when He returns home, kindly inform Him about this presentation.”

Text 148: Thereupon, Rāghava Paṇḍita took Raghunātha dāsa to his home. After inducing him to see the Deity, he gave Raghunātha dāsa a garland and sandalwood pulp.

Text 149: He gave Raghunātha dāsa a large quantity of prasādam to eat on his way home. Then Raghunātha dāsa again spoke to Rāghava Paṇḍita.

Text 150: “I want to give money,” he said, “just to worship the lotus feet of all the great devotees, servants and subservants of Lord Nityānanda Prabhu.

Text 151: “As you think fit, give twenty, fifteen, twelve, ten or five coins to each of them.”

Text 152: Raghunātha dāsa drew up an account of the amount to be given and submitted it to Rāghava Paṇḍita, who then made up a list showing how much money was to be paid to each and every devotee.

Text 153: With great humility, Raghunātha dāsa placed one hundred gold coins and about two tolās of gold before Rāghava Paṇḍita for all the other devotees.

Text 154: After taking dust from the feet of Rāghava Paṇḍita, Raghunātha dāsa returned to his home, feeling greatly obligated to Lord Nityānanda Prabhu because of having received His merciful benediction.

Text 155: From that day on, he did not go into the interior section of the house. Instead, he would sleep on the Durgā-maṇḍapa [the place where mother Durgā was worshiped].

Text 156: There, however, the watchmen alertly kept guard. Raghunātha dāsa was thinking of various means by which to escape their vigilance.

Text 157: At that time, all the devotees of Bengal were going to Jagannātha Purī to see Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 158: Raghunātha dāsa could not accompany them, for they were so famous that he would have been caught immediately.

Text 159-160: Thus Raghunātha dāsa thought deeply about how to escape, and one night while he was sleeping on the Durgā-maṇḍapa, the priest Yadunandana Ācārya entered the house when only four daṇḍas remained until the end of the night.

Text 161: Yadunandana Ācārya was the priest and spiritual master of Raghunātha dāsa. Although born in a brāhmaṇa family, he had accepted the mercy of Vāsudeva Datta.

Text 162: Yadunandana Ācārya had been officially initiated by Advaita Ācārya. Thus he considered Lord Caitanya his life and soul.

Text 163: When Yadunandana Ācārya entered the house of Raghunātha dāsa and stood in the courtyard, Raghunātha dāsa went there and fell down to offer his obeisances.

Text 164: One of Yadunandana Ācārya’s disciples had been worshiping the Deity but had left that service. Yadunandana Ācārya wanted Raghunātha dāsa to induce the disciple to take up that service again.

Text 165: Yadunandana Ācārya requested Raghunātha dāsa, “Please induce the brāhmaṇa to resume the service, for there is no other brāhmaṇa to do it.”

Text 166: After saying this, Yadunandana Ācārya took Raghunātha dāsa with him and went out. By that time all the watchmen were deeply asleep because it was the end of the night.

Text 167: East of the house of Raghunātha dāsa was the house of Yadunandana Ācārya. Yadunandana Ācārya and Raghunātha dāsa talked together as they went toward that house.

Text 168: Halfway along the path, Raghunātha dāsa submitted at the lotus feet of his spiritual master, “I shall go to the home of that brāhmaṇa, induce him to return, and send him to your home.

Text 169: “You may go home without anxiety. Following your order, I shall persuade the brāhmaṇa.” On this plea, after asking permission, Raghunātha dāsa decided to go away.

Text 170: Raghunātha dāsa thought, “This is the greatest opportunity to go away because this time there are no servants or watchmen with me.”

Text 171: Thinking in this way, he quickly proceeded toward the east. Sometimes he turned around and looked back, but no one was following him.

Text 172: Thinking of the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Lord Nityānanda Prabhu, he left the general path and proceeded with great haste on the one not generally used.

Text 173: Giving up the general path from village to village, he passed through the jungles, thinking with heart and soul about the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 174: He walked about thirty miles in one day, and in the evening he took rest in the cowshed of a milkman.

Text 175: When the milkman saw that Raghunātha dāsa was fasting, he gave him some milk. Raghunātha dāsa drank the milk and lay down to rest there for the night.

Text 176: At the house of Raghunātha dāsa, the servant and watchman, not seeing him there, immediately went to inquire about him from his spiritual master, Yadunandana Ācārya.

Text 177: Yadunandana Ācārya said, “He has already asked my permission and returned home.” Thus there arose a tumultuous sound, as everyone cried, “Now Raghunātha has gone away!”

Text 178: Raghunātha dāsa’s father said, “Now all the devotees from Bengal have gone to Jagannātha Purī to see Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 179: “Raghunātha dāsa has fled with them. Ten men should immediately go catch him and bring him back.”

Text 180: Raghunātha dāsa’s father wrote a letter to Śivānanda Sena, asking him with great humility, “Please return my son.”

Text 181: In Jhāṅkarā, the ten men caught up with the group of Vaiṣṇavas going to Nīlācala.

Text 182: After delivering the letter, the men inquired from Śivānanda Sena about Raghunātha dāsa, but Śivānanda Sena replied, “He did not come here.”

Text 183: The ten men returned home, and Raghunātha dāsa’s father and mother were filled with anxiety.

Text 184: Raghunātha dāsa, who had been resting at the milkman’s house, got up early in the morning. Instead of going to the east, he turned his face south and proceeded.

Text 185: He crossed Chatrabhoga, but instead of going on the general path, he proceeded on the path that went from village to village.

Text 186: Not caring about eating, he traveled all day. Hunger was not an impediment, for his mind was concentrated upon obtaining shelter at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 187: Sometimes he chewed fried grains, sometimes he cooked, and sometimes he drank milk. In this way he kept his life and soul together with whatever was available wherever he went.

Text 188: He reached Jagannātha Purī in twelve days but could eat only for three days on the way.

Text 189: When Raghunātha dāsa met Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Lord was sitting with His companions, headed by Svarūpa Dāmodara.

Text 190: Staying at a distant place in the courtyard, he fell down to offer obeisances. Then Mukunda Datta said, “Here is Raghunātha.”

Text 191: As soon as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu heard these words, He immediately welcomed Raghunātha dāsa. “Come here,” He said. Raghunātha dāsa then clasped the lotus feet of the Lord, but the Lord stood up and embraced him out of His causeless mercy.

Text 192: Raghunātha dāsa offered prayers at the lotus feet of all the devotees, headed by Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī. Seeing the special mercy Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu had bestowed upon Raghunātha dāsa, they embraced him also.

Text 193: Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “The mercy of Lord Kṛṣṇa is stronger than anything else. Therefore the Lord has delivered you from the ditch of materialistic life, which is like a hole into which people pass stool.”

Text 194: Raghunātha dāsa answered within his mind, “I do not know who Kṛṣṇa is. I simply know that Your mercy, O my Lord, has saved me from my family life.”

Text 195: The Lord continued, “Your father and his elder brother are both related as brothers to My grandfather, Nīlāmbara Cakravartī. Therefore I consider them My grandfathers.

Text 196: “Since your father and his elder brother are younger brothers of Nīlāmbara Cakravartī, I may joke about them in this way.

Text 197: “My dear Raghunātha dāsa, your father and his elder brother are just like worms in stool in the ditch of material enjoyment, for the great disease of the poison of material enjoyment is what they consider happiness.

Text 198: “Although your father and uncle are charitable to brāhmaṇas and greatly help them, they are nevertheless not pure Vaiṣṇavas. However, they are almost like Vaiṣṇavas.

Text 199: “Those who are attached to materialistic life and are blind to spiritual life must act in such a way that they are bound to repeated birth and death by the actions and reactions of their activities.

Text 200: “By His own free will, Lord Kṛṣṇa has delivered you from such a condemned materialistic life. Therefore the glories of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s causeless mercy cannot be expressed.”

Text 201: Seeing Raghunātha dāsa skinny and dirty because of having traveled for twelve days and fasted, Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, His heart melting due to causeless mercy, spoke to Svarūpa Dāmodara.

Text 202: “My dear Svarūpa,” He said, “I entrust this Raghunātha dāsa to you. Please accept him as your son or servant.

Text 203: “There are now three Raghunāthas among My associates. From this day forward, this Raghunātha should be known as the Raghu of Svarūpa Dāmodara.”

Text 204: Saying this, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu grasped the hand of Raghunātha dāsa and entrusted him to the hands of Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī.

Text 205: Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī accepted Raghunātha dāsa, saying, “Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, whatever You order is accepted.” He then embraced Raghunātha dāsa again.

Text 206: I cannot properly express the affection of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu for His devotees. Being merciful toward Raghunātha dāsa, the Lord spoke as follows to Govinda.

Text 207: “On the way, Raghunātha dāsa has fasted and undergone hardships for many days. Therefore, take good care of him for some days so that he may eat to his satisfaction.”

Text 208: Then Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu told Raghunātha dāsa, “Go bathe in the sea. Then see Lord Jagannātha in the temple and return here to take your meal.”

Text 209: After saying this, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu got up and went to perform His midday duties, and Raghunātha met all the devotees present.

Text 210: Having seen the causeless mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu upon Raghunātha dāsa, all the devotees, struck with wonder, praised his good fortune.

Text 211: Raghunātha dāsa took his bath in the sea and saw Lord Jagannātha. Then he returned to Govinda, the personal servant of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 212: Govinda offered him a plate with the remnants of food left by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and Raghunātha dāsa accepted the prasādam with great happiness.

Text 213: Raghunātha dāsa stayed under the care of Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī, and Govinda supplied him remnants of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s food for five days.

Text 214: Beginning from the sixth day, Raghunātha dāsa would stand at the gate known as Siṁha-dvāra to beg alms after the puṣpa-añjali ceremony, in which flowers were offered to the Lord.

Text 215: After finishing their prescribed duties, the many servants of Lord Jagannātha, who are known as viṣayīs, return home at night.

Text 216: If they see a Vaiṣṇava standing at the Siṁha-dvāra begging alms, out of mercy they arrange with the shopkeepers to give him something to eat.

Text 217: Thus it is a custom for all time that a devotee who has no other means of support stands at the Siṁha-dvāra gate to receive alms from the servants.

Text 218: A completely dependent Vaiṣṇava thus chants the holy name of the Lord all day and sees Lord Jagannātha with full freedom.

Text 219: It is a custom for some Vaiṣṇavas to beg from the charity booths and eat whatever they obtain, whereas others stand at night at the Siṁha-dvāra gate, begging alms from the servants.

Text 220: Renunciation is the basic principle sustaining the lives of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s devotees. Seeing this renunciation, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is extremely satisfied.

Text 221: Govinda said to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, “Raghunātha dāsa no longer takes prasādam here. Now he stands at the Siṁha-dvāra, where he begs some alms to eat.”

Text 222: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu heard this, He was greatly satisfied. “Raghunātha dāsa has done well,” He said. “He has acted suitably for a person in the renounced order.

Text 223: “A person in the renounced order should always chant the holy name of the Lord. He should beg some alms to eat, and he should sustain his life in this way.

Text 224: “A vairāgī [a person in the renounced order] should not depend on others. If he does so, he will be unsuccessful, and he will be neglected by Kṛṣṇa.

Text 225: “If a renunciant is eager for his tongue to taste different foods, his spiritual life will be lost, and he will be subservient to the tastes of his tongue.

Text 226: “The duty of a person in the renounced order is to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra always. He should satisfy his belly with whatever vegetables, leaves, fruits and roots are available.

Text 227: “One who is subservient to the tongue and who thus goes here and there, devoted to the genitals and the belly, cannot attain Kṛṣṇa.”

Text 228: The next day, Raghunātha dāsa inquired at the lotus feet of Svarūpa Dāmodara about his duty.

Text 229: “I do not know why I have given up household life,” he said. “What is my duty? Kindly give me instructions.”

Text 230: Raghunātha dāsa never even spoke a word before the Lord. Instead, he informed the Lord of his desires through Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī and Govinda.

Text 231: The next day, Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī submitted to Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, “Raghunātha dāsa has this to say at Your lotus feet.

Text 232: ‘I do not know my duty or the goal of my life. Therefore, please personally give me instructions from Your transcendental mouth.’ ”

Text 233: Smiling, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu told Raghunātha dāsa, “I have already appointed Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī as your instructor.

Text 234: “You may learn from him what your duty is and how to discharge it. I do not know as much as he.

Text 235: “Nevertheless, if you want to take instructions from Me with faith and love, you may ascertain your duties from the following words.

Text 236: “Do not talk like people in general or hear what they say. You should not eat very palatable food, nor should you dress very nicely.

Text 237: “Do not expect honor, but offer all respect to others. Always chant the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and within your mind render service to Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana.

Text 238: “I have briefly given you My instructions. Now you will get all details about them from Svarūpa Dāmodara.

Text 239: “One who thinks himself lower than grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor but is always prepared to give respect to others can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.”

Text 240: Having heard this, Raghunātha dāsa offered prayers at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and the Lord, out of great mercy, embraced him.

Text 241: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu again entrusted him to Svarūpa Dāmodara. Thus Raghunātha dāsa rendered very confidential service with Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī.

Text 242: At this time, all the devotees from Bengal arrived, and, as previously, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu met them with great feeling.

Text 243: As He had previously done, He cleansed the Guṇḍicā temple and held a picnic feast in the garden with the devotees.

Text 244: The Lord again danced with the devotees during the Ratha-yātrā festival. Seeing this, Raghunātha dāsa was struck with wonder.

Text 245: When Raghunātha dāsa met all the devotees, Advaita Ācārya showed him great mercy.

Text 246: He also met Śivānanda Sena, who informed him, “Your father sent ten men to take you away.

Text 247: “He wrote me a letter asking me to send you back, but when those ten men received no information about you, they returned home from Jhāṅkarā.”

Text 248: When all the devotees from Bengal returned home after staying at Jagannātha Purī for four months, Raghunātha dāsa’s father heard about their arrival and therefore sent a man to Śivānanda Sena.

Text 249: That man inquired from Śivānanda Sena, “Did you see anyone in the renounced order at the residence of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu?

Text 250: “That person is Raghunātha dāsa, the son of Govardhana Majumadāra. Did you meet him in Nīlācala?”

Text 251: Śivānanda Sena replied, “Yes, sir. Raghunātha dāsa is with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and is a very famous man. Who does not know him?

Text 252: “Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has placed him under the charge of Svarūpa Dāmodara. Raghunātha dāsa has become just like the life of all the Lord’s devotees.

Text 253: “He chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra all day and night. He never gives up the shelter of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, not even for a moment.

Text 254: “He is in the supreme order of renounced life. Indeed, he does not care about eating or dressing. Somehow or other he eats and maintains his life.

Text 255: “After ten daṇḍas [four hours] of the night have passed and Raghunātha dāsa has seen the performance of puṣpāñjali, he stands at the Siṁha-dvāra gate to beg some alms to eat.

Text 256: “He eats if someone gives him something to eat. Sometimes he fasts, and sometimes he chews fried grains.”

Text 257: After hearing this, the messenger returned to Govardhana Majumadāra and informed him all about Raghunātha dāsa.

Text 258: Hearing the description of Raghunātha dāsa’s behavior in the renounced order, his father and mother were very unhappy. Therefore they decided to send Raghunātha some men with goods for his comfort.

Text 259: Raghunātha dāsa’s father immediately sent four hundred coins, two servants and one brāhmaṇa to Śivānanda Sena.

Text 260: Śivānanda Sena informed them, “You cannot go to Jagannātha Purī directly. When I go there, you may accompany me.

Text 261: “Now go home. When all of us go, I shall take all of you with me.”

Text 262: Describing this incident, the great poet Śrī Kavi-karṇapūra has written extensively about the glorious activities of Raghunātha dāsa in his Śrī Caitanya-candrodaya-nāṭaka.

Text 263: “Raghunātha dāsa is a disciple of Yadunandana Ācārya, who is very gentle and is extremely dear to Vāsudeva Datta, a resident of Kāñcanapallī. Because of Raghunātha dāsa’s transcendental qualities, he is always more dear than life for all of us devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Since he has been favored by the abundant mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he is always pleasing. Vividly providing a superior example for the renounced order, this very dear follower of Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī is the ocean of renunciation. Who among the residents of Nīlācala [Jagannātha Purī] does not know him very well?

Text 264: “Because he is very pleasing to all the devotees, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī easily became like the fertile earth of good fortune in which it was suitable for the seed of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu to be sown. At the same time that the seed was sown, it grew into a matchless tree of the love of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and produced fruit.”

Text 265: In these verses, the great poet Kavi-karṇapūra gives the same information that Śivānanda Sena conveyed to the messenger from Raghunātha dāsa’s father.

Text 266: The next year, when Śivānanda Sena was going to Jagannātha Purī as usual, the servants and the brāhmaṇa, who was a cook, went with him.

Text 267: The servants and brāhmaṇa brought four hundred coins to Jagannātha Purī, and there they met Raghunātha dāsa.

Text 268: Raghunātha dāsa did not accept the money and men sent by his father. Therefore the brāhmaṇa and one of the servants stayed there with the money.

Text 269: At that time, Raghunātha dāsa began inviting Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to his house with great attention for two days every month.

Text 270: The cost for these two occasions was 640 kauḍis. Therefore he would take that much from the servant and the brāhmaṇa.

Text 271: Raghunātha dāsa continued to invite Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in this way for two years, but at the end of the second year he stopped.

Text 272: When Raghunātha dāsa neglected to invite Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu for two consecutive months, the Lord, the son of Śacī, questioned Svarūpa Dāmodara.

Text 273: The Lord asked, “Why has Raghunātha dāsa stopped inviting Me?”

Text 274: ‘I invite Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu by accepting goods from materialistic people. I know that the Lord’s mind is not satisfied by this.

Text 275: ‘My consciousness is impure because I accept all these goods from people who are interested only in pounds, shillings and pence. Therefore by this kind of invitation I get only some material reputation.

Text 276: ‘At my request Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu accepts the invitations because He knows that a foolish person like me would be unhappy if He did not accept them.’

Text 277: “Considering all these points,” Svarūpa Dāmodara concluded, “he has stopped inviting You.” Hearing this, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu smiled and spoke as follows.

Text 278: “When one eats food offered by a materialistic man, one’s mind becomes contaminated, and when the mind is contaminated, one is unable to think of Kṛṣṇa properly.

Text 279: “When one accepts an invitation from a person contaminated by the material mode of passion, the person who offers the food and the person who accepts it are both mentally contaminated.

Text 280: “Because of Raghunātha dāsa’s eagerness, I accepted his invitation for many days. It is very good that Raghunātha dāsa, knowing this, has now automatically given up this practice.”

Text 281: After some days, Raghunātha dāsa gave up standing near the Siṁha-dvāra gate and instead began eating by begging alms from a booth for free distribution of food.

Text 282: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu heard this news from Govinda, He inquired from Svarūpa Dāmodara, “Why does Raghunātha dāsa no longer stand at the Siṁha-dvāra gate to beg alms?”

Text 283: Svarūpa Dāmodara replied, “Raghunātha dāsa felt unhappy standing at the Siṁha-dvāra. Therefore he is now going at midday to beg alms from the charity booth.”

Text 284: Hearing this news, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “He has done very well by no longer standing at the Siṁha-dvāra gate. Such begging of alms resembles the behavior of a prostitute.

Text 285: ‘Here is a person coming near. He will give me something. This person gave me something last night. Now another person is coming near. He may give me something. The person who just passed did not give me anything, but another person will come, and he will give me something.’ Thus a person in the renounced order gives up his neutrality and depends on the charity of this person or that. Thinking in this way, he adopts the occupation of a prostitute.

Text 286: “If one goes to the booth where free food is distributed and fills his belly with whatever he obtains, there is no chance of further unwanted talk, and one can very peacefully chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.”

Text 287: After saying this, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu again bestowed His mercy upon Raghunātha dāsa by giving him a stone from Govardhana Hill and a garland of small conchshells.

Text 288: Previously, when Śaṅkarānanda Sarasvatī had returned from Vṛndāvana, he had brought the stone from Govardhana Hill and also the garland of conchshells.

Text 289: He presented Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu with these two items — the garland of conchshells and the stone from Govardhana Hill.

Text 290: Upon receiving these two uncommon items, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was extremely happy. While chanting, He would put the garland around His neck.

Text 291: The Lord would put the stone to His heart or sometimes to His eyes. Sometimes He would smell it with His nose and sometimes place it on His head.

Text 292: The stone from Govardhana was always moist with tears from His eyes. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu would say, “This stone is directly the body of Lord Kṛṣṇa.”

Text 293: For three years He kept the stone and garland. Then, greatly satisfied by the behavior of Raghunātha dāsa, the Lord delivered both of them to him.

Text 294: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu instructed Raghunātha dāsa, “This stone is the transcendental form of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Worship the stone with great eagerness.”

Text 295: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, “Worship this stone in the mode of goodness like a perfect brāhmaṇa, for by such worship you will surely attain ecstatic love of Kṛṣṇa without delay.

Text 296: “For such worship, one needs a jug of water and a few flowers from a tulasī tree. This is worship in complete goodness when performed in complete purity.

Text 297: “With faith and love, you should offer eight soft tulasī flowers, each with two tulasī leaves, one on each side of each flower.”

Text 298: After thus advising him how to worship, Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu personally offered Raghunātha dāsa the govardhana-śilā with His transcendental hand. As advised by the Lord, Raghunātha dāsa worshiped the śilā in great transcendental jubilation.

Text 299: Svarūpa Dāmodara gave Raghunātha dāsa two cloths, each about six inches long, a wooden platform and a jug in which to keep water.

Text 300: Thus Raghunātha dāsa began worshiping the stone from Govardhana, and as he worshiped he saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, the son of Nanda Mahārāja, directly in the stone.

Text 301: Thinking of how he had received the govardhana-śilā directly from the hands of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Raghunātha dāsa was always overflooded with ecstatic love.

Text 302: The amount of transcendental bliss that Raghunātha dāsa enjoyed simply by offering water and tulasī is impossible to achieve even if one worships the Deity with sixteen kinds of paraphernalia.

Text 303: After Raghunātha dāsa had thus worshiped the govardhana-śilā for some time, Svarūpa Dāmodara one day spoke to him as follows.

Text 304: “Offer the Govardhana stone eight kauḍis worth of the first-class sweetmeats known as khājā and sandeśa. If you offer them with faith and love, they will be just like nectar.”

Text 305: Raghunātha dāsa then began offering the costly sweetmeats known as khājā, which Govinda, following the order of Svarūpa Dāmodara, would supply.

Text 306: When Raghunātha dāsa received from Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu the stone and the garland of conchshells, he could understand the Lord’s intention. Thus he thought as follows.

Text 307: “By offering me the govardhana-śilā, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has offered me a place near Govardhana Hill, and by offering me the garland of conchshells, He has offered me shelter at the lotus feet of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.”

Text 308: Raghunātha dāsa’s transcendental bliss was boundless. Forgetting everything external, he served the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu with his body and mind.

Text 309: Who could list the unlimited transcendental attributes of Raghunātha dāsa? His strict regulative principles were exactly like lines on a stone.

Text 310: Raghunātha dāsa spent more than twenty-two hours out of every twenty-four chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and remembering the lotus feet of the Lord. He ate and slept for less than an hour and a half, and on some days that also was impossible.

Text 311: Topics concerning his renunciation are wonderful. Throughout his life he never allowed his tongue sense gratification.

Text 312: He never touched anything to wear except a small torn cloth and a patchwork wrapper. Thus he very rigidly executed the order of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 313: Whatever he ate was only to keep his body and soul together, and when he ate he would reproach himself thus.

Text 314: ‘If one’s heart has been cleansed by perfect knowledge and one has understood Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Brahman, he then gains everything. Why should such a person act like a debauchee by trying to maintain his material body very carefully?’ ”

Text 315: Lord Jagannātha’s prasādam is sold by shopkeepers, and that which is not sold decomposes after two or three days.

Text 316: All the decomposed food is thrown before the cows from Tailaṅga at the Siṁha-dvāra gate. Because of its rotten odor, even the cows cannot eat it.

Text 317: At night Raghunātha dāsa would collect that decomposed rice, bring it home and wash it with ample water.

Text 318: Then he ate the hard inner portion of the rice with salt.

Text 319: One day Svarūpa Dāmodara saw the activities of Raghunātha dāsa. Thus he smiled and asked for a small portion of that food and ate it.

Text 320: Svarūpa Dāmodara said, “You eat such nectar every day, but you never offer it to us. What is your character?”

Text 321: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu heard news of this from the mouth of Govinda, He went there the next day and spoke as follows.

Text 322: “What nice things are you eating? Why don’t you give anything to Me?” Saying this, He forcibly took a morsel and began to eat.

Text 323: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was taking another morsel of food, Svarūpa Dāmodara caught Him by the hand and said, “It is not fit for You.” Thus he forcibly took the food away.

Text 324: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “Of course, every day I eat varieties of prasādam, but I have never tasted such nice prasādam as that which Raghunātha is eating.”

Text 325: Thus Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu performed many pastimes at Jagannātha Purī. Seeing the severe penances performed by Raghunātha dāsa in the renounced order, the Lord was greatly satisfied.

Text 326: In his poem known as the Gaurāṅga-stava-kalpavṛkṣa, Raghunātha dāsa has described his personal deliverance.

Text 327: “Although I am a fallen soul, the lowest of men, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu delivered me from the blazing forest fire of great material opulence by His mercy. He handed me over in great pleasure to Svarūpa Dāmodara, His personal associate. The Lord also gave me the garland of small conchshells that He wore on His chest and a stone from Govardhana Hill, although they were very dear to Him. That same Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu awakens within my heart and makes me mad after Him.”

Text 328: Thus I have described the meeting of Raghunātha dāsa with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Anyone who hears about this incident attains the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Text 329: Praying at the lotus feet of Śrī Rūpa and Śrī Raghunātha, always desiring their mercy, I, Kṛṣṇadāsa, narrate Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, following in their footsteps.

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