Sri Ramananda Raya and Rajahmundry Yatra




Sri Ramananda Raya was the Governor of the Rajamahendri (present day Rajahmundry of Andhra Pradesh at the bank of river Godavari), Godavari Province of Kalinga-Utkala Empire under the King Prataparudra. When Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was setting out on his tour of South India, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya humbly requested his plea to Lord to meet Ramananda Raya. Ramananda Raya was one of the most intimate associates of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu would discuss with him the most confidential topics of Krishna consciousness, and in his company Lord Caitanya would relish the deepest feelings of devotional service.

In Caitanya-Caritamrta Madhya lila 8.23, Srila Prabhupada mentions: 'Srila Ramananda Raya was an incarnation of the gopi Visakha. Since Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was Lord Krishna Himself, there was naturally an awakening of love between Visakha and Krishna. Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the combination of Srimati Radharani and Krishna, and the gopi Visakha is a principal gopi assisting Srimati Radharani. Thus the natural love between Ramananda Raya and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu awakened and they embraced.'

In Lord Caitanya's final pastimes, both Ramananda Raya and Sri Svarupa Damodara were always engaged in reciting suitable verses from Srimad-Bhagavatam to pacify the Lord in His ecstatic feelings of separation from Krishna.

While touring South India Lord Caitanya met Ramananda on the bank of the Godavari. There they had a long discourse in which the Lord took the role of a student and Ramananda Raya instructed the Lord. During their ten day meeting in, Lord Gauranga and Ramananda Raya discussed all points of Krishna consciousness. Empowered by the Lord, Ramananda answered all questions posed by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. After finishing his talk, Ramananda Raya saw something never seen before. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu revealed Himself as both Srimati Radharani and Sri Krishna. Seeing this, Ramananda fell unconscious in transcendental bliss.

Lord Caitanya concluded these discourses by saying, "My dear Ramananda Raya, both you and I are madmen, and therefore we met intimately, on an equal level." Lord Caitanya advised Ramananda Raya to resign from his government post and come to Jagannatha Puri to live with Him. It was Ramananda Raya who tactfully arranged a meeting between Lord Caitanya and King Prataparudra of Orissa. Lord Caitanya advised Pradyumna Misra to learn the science of Krishna from Ramananda Raya. As Subala always assisted Krishna in His dealing with Radharani in Krishna-lila, so Ramananda Raya assisted Lord Caitanya in His feelings of separation from Krishna. Sri Ramananda Raya was the author of Jagannatha-vallabha-nataka.

Lord Caitanya's discussion with Raya Ramananda is fully described in Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta Madhya lila Chapter 8 “Talks between Lord and Ramananda Raya” as below.



The following places in and around Rajahmundry are covered below where transcendental pastimes took place by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Ramananda Raya, Lord Nrsimhadeva, Prahlad Maharaja, Lord Sri Kurmadeva and visiting of Vaishnava-acaryas Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

(1) Meeting of Lord Caitanya and Sri Ramananda Raya - Sri Ramananda Gaudiya Math, Kovvur;

(2) Sri Ghosapada - where sage Gautama Rsi lived; Lord Caitanya visited this place;

(3) Sri Varada Gopal Temple - Lord Caitanya visited this place;

(4) Sri Lakshmi Nrsimha Swamy Temple, Antarvedi - important temple of Lord Nrsimhadeva;

(5) Antarvedi-Godavari sangam;

(6) Lord Sri Jagan Mohini Keshava Swamy Temple, Ryali - important pastime of Lord Sri Krishna as Jagan Mohini and Lord Siva took place here as described in Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 8 Chapter 12. Lord Caitanya visited this temple;

(7) Sri Kurma Ksetra - temple of Sri Kurma deva, the second incarnation of Lord Sri Krishna. Lord Caitanya visited this temple;

(8) Sri Varaha-Nrsimha Temple, Simhachalam - important pastime of Prahlad Maharaja took place here. Lord Caitanya visited here, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura visited here in 1905 and 1930 and Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada visited this Temple in 1972;

(9) Sri Sri Radha-Gopinatha Dashavatara Temple, ISKCON Rajahmundry

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