Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




Ranga-kshetra 2

“The Lord had left Nityānanda’s company and had gone alone to the Jagannātha temple, but later Nityānanda, Jagadānanda, Dāmodara and Mukunda came to see Him, and after seeing Him they were very pleased. After this incident, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu bestowed His mercy upon Sārvabhauma Bhattācārya by showing him His original form as the Lord. After bestowing mercy upon Sārvabhauma Bhattācārya, the Lord started for southern India. When He came to Kūrma-ksetra, He delivered a person named Vāsudeva. After visiting Kūrma-ksetra, the Lord visited the South Indian temple of Jiyada-nrsimha and offered His prayers to Lord Nrsimhadeva. On His way, He introduced the chanting of the Hare Krishna mahā-mantra in every village. Once the Lord mistook the forest on the bank of the river Godāvarī to be Vrindavana.” Godavari is in South India and Vrindavana is in the upper center.”In that place He happened to meet Rāmānanda Rāya.”[1]

This meeting with Ramananda Raya is a very famous event, because here they started a discussion, concerning the goal of life. And I think this discussion is very appropriate even now – what is the goal of our life. They started with some social activities and finished with something impossible to express. We have that book in Bulgarian? “Ultimate goal of life”[2]? Yes. So you please, study that.

“He visited the places known as Tirumala and Tirupati, where He extensively preached the chanting of the Lord’s holy name. After visiting the temples of Tirumala and Tirupati, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu had to subdue some atheists. He then visited the temple of Ahovala-nrisimha .”[3] And of course it is very easy to visit a Nrisimha temple in South India. In every village you find at least few Nrisimha shrines or temples.

“When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu came to the land of Śrī Rańga-ksetra, on the bank of the Kāverī, He visited the temple of Śrī Rańganātha and was there overwhelmed in the ecstasy of love of Godhead.”[4]

Ranga Kshetra is a huge temple. It has got the tallest entrance, gopuram, in the whole Asia. And this entrance tower is fully decorated with ornaments and statues of different gods and stories from Mahabharata. This is a huge complex and in front of that there is a small chapel, erected by Gaudiya Math, stating that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu also visited this place and there is His form.

When we visited this place, it was fascinating! This is rather a big city and from one end to another you have to travel. This temple complex is just like a separate small little city inside the town. This is a very famous and important center for the Shri vaishnavas, Ramanuja sampradaya. And a huge and gorgeous Vishnu deity is worshipped there. This temple has got some seven circles that you have to go through. Around the temple, around the first circle is normal life of Indian hustle. Then you enter the first – there is no more eating. Outside you can find practically the best parata in India, but when you enter, there is no more food. Other shops you can find, like saris and this and that, but food – no. If you go one more step inside – even less business and more spirituality. Later on there is only puja articles in the next circle. Then in the next circle only flowers and offerings to the deities. And finally when you enter the inner circle of the temple, the inner yard, it is like a field, there are pilgrims and brahmins sitting by dozens and chanting their mantras and it is a very divine atmosphere. And in the centre there is this huge Vishnu deity. And somewhere in one side courtyard you find the samadhi of Ramanuja. This is a very impressive place and no doubt Mahaprabhu visited it and also felt like in ecstasy.



[1] Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila 1.100-104

[2] By Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

[3] Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila 1.105-106

[4] Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila 1.107



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