CC Ādi 7.17
‘অন্তরঙ্গ–ভক্ত’ করি’ গণন যাঁহার ॥ ১৭ ॥
‘antaraṅga-bhakta’ kari’ gaṇana yāṅhāra
The devotees headed by Gadādhara Paṇḍita are to be considered incarnations of the internal potency of the Lord. They are confidential devotees engaged in the service of the Lord.
In connection with verses 16 and 17, Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura explains in his Anubhāṣya: “There are specific symptoms by which the internal devotees and the unalloyed or pure devotees are to be known. All unalloyed devotees are śakti-tattvas, or potencies of the Lord. Some of them are situated in conjugal love and others in parental affection, fraternity and servitude. Certainly all of them are devotees, but by making a comparative study it is found that the devotees or potencies who are engaged in conjugal love are better situated than the others. Thus devotees who are in a relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in conjugal love are considered to be the most confidential devotees of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Those who engage in the service of Lord Nityānanda Prabhu and Lord Advaita Prabhu generally have relationships of parental love, fraternity, servitude and neutrality. When such devotees develop great attachment for Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, they too become situated within the intimate circle of devotees in conjugal love.” This gradual development of devotional service is described by Śrī Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura as follows:
hari hari balite nayane ba’be nīra
saṁsāra-vāsanā mora kabe tuccha habe
kabe hāma heraba śrī-vṛndāvana
kabe hāma bujhaba śrī-yugala-pirīti
“When will there be eruptions on my body as soon as I chant the name of Lord Caitanya, and when will there be incessant torrents of tears as soon as I chant the holy names Hare Kṛṣṇa? When will Lord Nityānanda be merciful toward me and free me from all desires for material enjoyment? When will my mind be completely freed from all contamination of desires for material pleasure? Only at that time will it be possible for me to understand Vṛndāvana. Only if I become attached to the instructions given by the six Gosvāmīs, headed by Rūpa Gosvāmī and Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, will it be possible for me to understand the conjugal love of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.” By attachment to the devotional service of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, one immediately comes to the ecstatic position. When he develops his love for Nityānanda Prabhu he is freed from all attachment to the material world, and at that time he becomes eligible to understand the Lord’s pastimes in Vṛndāvana. In that condition, when one develops his love for the six Gosvāmīs, he can understand the conjugal love between Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. These are the different stages of a pure devotee’s promotion to conjugal love in the service of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa in an intimate relationship with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.