Dhanurdhara Swami July 7th, 2005
The Glories of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami Part II
Lesson 13: A devotee is especially happy to honor and distribute the remnants of prasadam directly from the plate of the Lord or His devotee.
“After receiving the remnants of food left by Lord Nityananda Prabhu, Raghunatha dasa, who was greatly happy, ate some and distributed the rest among his own associates.” Antya-lila 6.99
Lesson 14: Activities done in pure love are incomparably sweet.
“The dancing of Lord Nityananda Prabhu, like the dancing of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, cannot be compared to anything within the three worlds” Antya-lila 6.104
“No one can properly describe the sweetness of Lord Nityananda’s dancing. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally comes to see it.” Antya-lila 6.106
Comment: In the next text Lord Nityananda’s dancing is called “nrtyera madhuri”, dancing that is incomparably sweet with love of God.
Lesson 15: Nicely cooked food should not only be tasty, but pleasing to look at and also fragrant.
The cooking of Raghava Pandit was so perfect that the devotees considered that Srimati Radharani personally came to his house to prepare it. It is thus described in superlative terms:
“Aromatic and pleasing to see, the food was the essence of all sweetness. Thus the two brothers, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda, ate it with great satisfaction.” Antya-lila 6.117
Comment: The cooking of Raghava Pandit is described as su-gandhi, very fragrant and sundara, very beautiful. According to ayurveda, digestion begins first with the eyes, what we see, and then with nose, what we smell.
Lesson 16: To honor guests one may offer them garlands and sandalwood paste after prasadam.
“After eating, the two brothers washed Their hands and mouths. Then Raghava Pandita brought flower garlands and sandalwood pulp to decorate Them.” Antya-lila 6.120
Lesson 17: One should honor maha prasadam with utmost respect for it has great spiritual potency.
After the two Lords finished eating lunch, Raghava Pandit encourages Raghunatha dasa to take Their remnants.
He said, “Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has eaten this food. If you take His remnants, you will be released from the bondage of your family.” Antya lila 6.123
Lesson 18: By serving the Deity with pure devotion, one will certainly realize the Lord’s personal presence in one’s home.
After Raghava Pandit cooked for His Deity, he would make a separate offering for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It was done with such devotion that Sri Caitanya would visibly appear to accept those offerings. Krishna dasa Kaviraja comments on this phenomenon:
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead always resides either in the heart or home of the devotee. This fact is sometimes manifest, for the Supreme Personality of Godhead is fully independent.” Antya-lila 6.124
Lesson 19: Petitioning the Lord’s mercy should be done with sincere humility.
Raghunatha Das submits his appeal for shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord through Raghava Pandit:
“I am the lowest of men, the most sinful, fallen and condemned. Nevertheless, I desire to attain the shelter at the lotus feet.” Antya-lila 6.128
Lesson 20: One should not just depend on one’s own effort to overcome the insurmountable obstacles in one’s spiritual path, but one should also petition the mercy of Sri Nityananda Prabhu.
Raghunatha dasa appeals to Sri Nityananda Prabhu for the shelter of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu:
“No one can attain the shelter of Sri Caitanya Maharprabhu without Your mercy, but if you are merciful, even the lowest of men can attain shelter at His lotus feet. Although I am unfit and greatly afraid to submit this plea, I nevertheless request You, Sir, to be especially merciful toward me by granting shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya. Placing Your feet on my head, give me the benediction that I may achieve shelter of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu without difficulty. I pray for this benediction.” Antya-lila 6.131-132
Lesson 21: One can only become indifferent to temporary material happiness by the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu who bestows the greater happiness of Krishna consciousness.
When Lord Nityananda heard Raghunatha Das’s humble entreaty for shelter at the Lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he praised Raghunatha’s indifference to sense gratification and asked the devotees to benedict him.
“Because of the mercy bestowed upon him by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Raghunatha dasa, although situated in such material happiness, does not like it at all. Therefore let everyone of you be merciful toward him and give him the benediction that he may very soon attain the shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.” Antya-lila 6.135
Comment: The above verse also teaches another important lesson: To help those who desire the shelter of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, we may petition the blessings of the Vaisnavas on their behalf.
Lesson 22: Obstacles in spiritual life can best be removed by serving the Vaisnavas.
To relieve Raghunatha dasa’s anxiety about the apparently insurmountable obstacles to his attainment of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s shelter, Lord Nityananda informs him:
“‘My dear Raghunatha dasa,’ He said, ‘since you arranged the feast on the bank of the Ganges, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came here just to show His mercy.'” Antya-lila 6.139
“‘Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Gaurahari, came here personally to deliver you. Now rest assured that all impediments meant for your bondage are gone.'” Antya-lila 6.141
Lesson 23: One should offer daksina (a donation) for the care and worship of the pure Vaisnavas as an expression of our gratitude to them.
Raghunatha dasa offers Raghava Pandit money to be distributed to Lord Nityananda and his assistants in appreciation for Lord’s Nityananda’s mercy upon him.
“‘I want to give money,’ he said, ‘just to worship the lotus feet of all great devotees, servants and subservants of Lord Nityananda.'” Antya-lila 6.150
Lesson 24: A responsible devotee keeps good accounts.
“Raghunatha dasa drew up an account of the amount to be given and submitted it to Raghava Pandita, who then made up a list showing how much money was to be paid to each and every devotee.” Antya-lila 6.152