Ramananda’s Perception of the Lord’s Identity
The identity of the Lord cannot remain hidden to his devotee. Ramananda was able to recognize the Lord for who he was. He said,
“First I saw you as an ordinary sannyasi. Now I see that you are actually a dark-skinned cowherd boy. I see a golden puppet standing in front of you; its golden effulgence covers your entire body.” (Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.8.268-9)
Mahaprabhu made an effort to dissimulate his identity when he heard this, saying that Raya Ramananda was a great devotee and thus saw Krishna everywhere. Ramananda, however, clearly stated the primary purpose of the Lord’s incarnation. Mahaprabhu was pleased with his insightful realization and he displayed his form as the combination of rasa-raja (“the king of the devotional sentiments”) Krishna and the incarnation of maha-bhava (“the supreme devotional mood”), Srimati Radharani. When he saw this amazing combined form of the Lord, Ramananda Raya fell to the ground in a faint. When the Lord touched him, he regained consciousness.
They remained together for ten days, enjoying discussions of Krishna conscious topics. Before Mahaprabhu continued on his southern pilgrimage, he asked Ramananda to abandon his involvement with government service and join him in Puri when he returned.
When Mahaprabhu completed his sojourn in southern India, he met with Ramananda once again on the banks of the Godavari. He showed him the two books, Krishna-karnamrita and Brahma-samhita, which he had found in his travels, and which substantiated all that Ramananda Raya had said in their previous conversations. Ramananda Raya copied the two manuscripts himself. The Lord remained another week with Ramananda, enjoying the pleasure of discussions about Krishna before heading back to Nilachala. Ramanada refused to go with the Lord immediately as he was obliged to wait for the King’s permission and also would need to take care of his personal affairs. He promised to join the Lord in Puri as soon as he was able.