How devotees appreciate Ramananda Ray’s character.

By Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Student: We hear that Ramananda Ray is an incarnation of Visakha and also Arjuna.

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: The cause of this remark is that there is some similarity in the symptoms of these persons. Ramananda’s nature, his permanent nature, is found in Visakha. Ramananda Ray is viewed by madhura-rasa disciples as Visakha in the Lord‘s internal affairs, and externally in sakhya-rasa some may have some conception of him as Arjuna: he is very sober, very skilful, very submissive, and mild. These are qualities of Arjuna, and they are found in Ramananda externally in sakhya-rasa. Internally, his qualities resemble Visakha’s: he is sober and impartial, almost neutral, tending a little towards Radhika, but with proper consideration and sympathy for Krishna. That sort of madhura-rasa dasya, service, is found in Ramananda. Those who are more connected and concerned with madhura-rasa like to see him as Visakha. Those who do not have such appreciation for madhura-rasa outwardly see the characteristics of Arjuna in him.

It has been mentioned in many places that in one main person the qualities of a less important person may be combined. When a governor comes to visit a district,  the magistrate‘s function is temporarily absorbed in him. Yuga-avatar Krishna is present within Svayam Bhagavan Krishna. Mahaprabhu is also Svayam Bhagavan: Radha-Govinda and the Yuga-avatar were absorbed in Him.

Sometimes we see that Yasoda absorbed a particular dhara [function], or that Nanda absorbed someone‘s function in a formal way. This is seen in Vasudev, Nanda, Sutapa, and others. This fashion, this sort of conception, we find in many places, such as the gopis. It is possible. One function, a minor function, may be taken by a greater person for the time being. A function of less importance may merge into a more important function for the time being. We find this custom in many places.  It is possible. A man may say, “Oh, you are going there? It is necessary to send a servant there for this purpose. Now that you yourself are going there, please do this service. Then it will not be necessary to send the servant. You are going, so please do this small though important function. You are going, so you can do this smaller, less important service also.” In this way.

Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj is the foremost modern exponent of the conception of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the school of Srila Rupa Goswami. Subtle and profound yet vivid and practical, his representation of both the broadest and deepest spiritual truths has and continues to fortify and nurture the faith of spiritual aspirants the world over. For more information on Srila Sridhar Maharaj, please visit his biography page.

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