Dhanurdhara Swami July 11th, 2005
The Glories of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami Part III
Lesson 25: One should take shelter of a spiritual guide who knows the science of Krishna regardless of their birth.
“Yadunandana Acarya was the priest and spiritual master of Raghunatha dasa. Although born in a brahmana family he had accepted the mercy of Vasudeva Datta.” Antya-lila 6.161
Comment: Vasudeva Datta was not born in a brahmana family.
Lesson 26: Upon seeing the spiritual master one should immediately offer his prostrated obeisances.
“When Yadunandana Acarya entered the house of Raghunatha dasa and stood in the courtyard, Raghunatha dasa went there and fell down to offer his obeisances.” Antya-lila 6.164
Lesson 27: The ultimate order of a Vaisnava guru is to seek full shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. If one makes a decision with that intent and their decision also practically serves that purpose, one is following the wishes of their teacher, even if that decision entails superseding another of their instructions.
On his spiritual master’s order, Raghunatha dasa accompanies him to request his guru’s pujari to resume his services. On the way, Raghunatha requests his spiritual master to return home and assures him that his order will be carried out, but instead immediately leaves to join Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at Puri.
“‘You may go home without anxiety. Following your order, I shall persuade the brahmana.’ On this plea, after taking permission, Raghunatha decided to go away.” Antya-lila 6:169
Comment: Only an advanced soul can make a decision in direct contradiction to the order of their teacher by seeing a higher intention of the spiritual master within that decision. The main principle in spiritual life is to strictly follow the order of the spiritual master.
Lesson 28: By focusing intensely on attaining the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, one becomes detached and transcends dualities.
After leaving his home to join Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Puri, Raghunatha dasa took the jungle path. The ardor of his journey is described:
“Not caring about eating, he traveled all day. Hunger was not an impediment, for his mind was concentrated upon obtaining the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.”
Lesson 28: To overcome seemingly insurmountable material attachments, one should seek the mercy of the Supreme Lord.
When Raghunatha dasa arrives in Puri after his long and difficult journey, he approaches Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu for shelter. In response, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu marvels at the power of Lord Krishna’s mercy.
“Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, ‘The mercy of Lord Krishna 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.'” Antya-lila 6.193
Lesson 29: A Vaisnava first understands Krishna in the mercy they receive from advanced Vaisnavas:
Upon hearing Lord Caitanya’s expressions of appreciation for how the mercy of Sri Krishna has delivered him from materialistic life, Raghunatha dasa responds:
“Raghunatha dasa answered within his mind, ‘I do not know who Krishna is. I simply know that Your mercy, O my Lord, has saved me from family life.'” Antya-lila 6.194
Lesson 30: One may take the liberty to joke with other Vaisnavas only when one has an intimate relationship with them.
Before speaking very strongly against Hiranya and Govardhana Majumdara (the father and uncle of Raghunatha dasa Goswami) for being materially attached, Sri Caitanya qualifies that criticism.
“Since your father and elder brother are young brothers of Nilambara Cakravrti, I may joke about them in this way.” Antya-lila 6.196
Comment: Nilambara Cakravarti is the grandfather of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu so his relationship was naturally also intimate with Hiranya and Govardhana Majumdara who were very close to his grandfather.
Lesson 31: Although one may practice devotional service, worship the Deity and give charity to the brahmanas, one is not a pure Vaisnava unless one is determined to give up material enjoyment.
“Although your father and uncle are charitable to brahmanas, they are nevertheless not pure Vaisnavas. However, they are almost like Vaisnavas.” Antya-lila 6.198
Comment: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu calls them “almost Vaisnvas” because they were materially attached.
Lesson 32: One should express gratitude to the Lord, especially when one is delivered from materialistic life.
In his instructions to Raghunatha dasa, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu glorifies Lord Krishna for delivering him from materialistic life.
“By His own free will, Lord Krishna has delivered you from such a condemned materialistic life. Therefore the glories of Lord Krishna’s causeless mercy cannot be expressed.” Antya-lila 6.200
Lesson 33: One who takes great pains in traveling to attain the darshan of the Lord or His devotees pleases them and invokes their mercy
“Seeing Raghunatha dasa skinny and dirty because of having traveled for twelve days and fasted, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, His heart melting due to causeless mercy, spoke to Svarupa Damodar.” Antya-lila 6.201
Lesson 34: One should take special care of pilgrims who have undergone hardship to visit the Dhama.
Appreciating the difficulty that Raghunatha dasa has undergone to visit him, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu instructs Govinda:
“On the way, Raghunatha dasa has fasted and undergone hardship for many days. Therefore, take good care of him for some days so that he may eat to his satisfaction.” Antya-lila 6.207
Lesson 35: A Vaisnava becomes pleased when another is the object of the Lord’s special mercy.
“Having seen the causeless mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu upon Raghunatha dasa, all the devotees, struck with wonder, praised his good fortune.” Antya-lila 6.210
Lesson 36: The Lord becomes very pleased with one who renounces sense gratification to engage fully in the service of the Lord.
“Renunciation is the basic principle sustaining the lives of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s devotees. Seeing this renunciation, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is extremely satisfied.” Antya-lila 6.207
Lesson 37: A sannyasi must not make extraneous endeavor for their own maintenance, nor depend on others for that purpose, for it will compromise his spirit of detachment and distract him from his main duty-chanting the holy name.
After hearing that Raghunatha dasa is just begging alms for his sustenance, Sri Caitanya becomes pleased and expresses his approval.
“When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu heard this he was greatly satisfied. ‘Raghunatha dasa has done well,’ He said. ‘He has acted suitable for a person in the renounced order. 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. A vairagi [a person in the renounced order] should not depend on others. If he does so, he will be unsuccessful, and he will neglected by Krishna.'” Antya-lila 6.222-225