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CC Antya 5.85


‘bhakti’, ‘prema’, ‘tattva’ kahe rāye kari’ ‘vaktā’
āpani pradyumna-miśra-saha haya ‘śrotā’


bhakti — devotional service; prema — ecstatic love; tattva — truth; kahe — He says; rāye — Rāmānanda Rāya; kari’ — by making; vaktā — the speaker; āpani — Himself; pradyumna-miśra — Pradyumna Miśra; saha — with; haya śrotā — becomes the listener.


Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu preached about devotional service, ecstatic love and the Absolute Truth by making Rāmānanda Rāya, a gṛhastha born in a low family, the speaker. Then Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself, the exalted brāhmaṇa-sannyāsī, and Pradyumna Miśra, the purified brāhmaṇa, both became the hearers of Rāmānanda Rāya.


Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says in his Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya that sannyāsīs in the line of Śaṅkarācārya always think that they have performed all the duties of brāhmaṇas and that, furthermore, having understood the essence of the Vedānta-sūtra and become sannyāsīs, they are the natural spiritual masters of all society. Similarly, persons born in brāhmaṇa families think that because they execute the ritualistic ceremonies recommended in the Vedas and follow the principles of smṛti, they alone can become spiritual masters of society. These highly exalted brāhmaṇas think that unless one is born in a brāhmaṇa family, one cannot become a spiritual master and teach the Absolute Truth. To cut down the pride of these birthright brāhmaṇas and Māyāvādī sannyāsīs, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu proved that a person like Rāmānanda Rāya, although born in a śūdra family and situated in the gṛhastha-āśrama, can become the spiritual master of such exalted personalities as Himself and Pradyumna Miśra. This is the principle of the Vaiṣṇava cult, as evinced in the teachings of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. A person who knows what is spiritual and what is material and who is firmly fixed in the spiritual position can be jagad-guru, the spiritual master of the entire world. One cannot become jagad-guru simply by advertising oneself as jagad-guru without knowing the essential principles for becoming jagad-guru. Even people who never see what a jagad-guru is and never talk with other people become puffed-up sannyāsīs and declare themselves jagad-gurus. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu did not like this. Any person who knows the science of Kṛṣṇa and who is fully qualified in spiritual life can become jagad-guru. Thus Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu personally took lessons from Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya and also sent Pradyumna Miśra, an exalted brāhmaṇa, to take lessons from him.