Bhakti Ratnakara: The jewel filled ocean of devotional service – Gauranga Mania
Reading the Bhakti Ratnakara part two
Early in the Bhakti Ratnakara they are already calling Srinivas as Srinivas Acharya. This is due to his detailed knowledge of the Vedic literature, his ability to absorb more and his skill in preaching. He is called upon to explain passages in the literature to reveal their depth by the most senior devotees.
Now Srinivas Acarya and Narottoma Dasa are taking a tour of Mathura with Raghava Pandit. As they go from place to place Raghava Pandit reveals the pastimes of Lord Krishna that took place in the various locations. He quotes from the various Puranas saying if you spend the night here, or if you bathe there you will remove unlimited sins. If you even think about going here or there you can obtain liberation.
Often Raghava Pandit becomes overwhelmed as he speaks about the past times of Lord Krishna. He killed such a demon here, he rested there, he met the gopis here, Sudama lived here, Balaram slept there. Raghava Pandit would weep and wail from time to time.
Reading this part of the Bhakti Ratnakara reminds me of of reading Garga Samhita, or the Krishna Book, or Sri Krishna Lila Stava. Raghava Pandit lists Lilas one after the other reminding you of Lord Krishna and his associates and their pastimes ,as do these books I mention. It is pure Krishna Katha.
Something interesting is that as Raghava Pandit comes to a place and mentions what Krishna did there he inevitably remembers Sri Krishna Caitanya. He remembers how Lord Caitanya would also come to that spot and what he would do there. He would always dance and chant, Raghava Pandit said. The devotees and the local people would be unable to look away from him, they would follow him in droves, dancing and chanting with him, entranced.
There is a real Gauranga Mania going on. People are completely entranced by Lord Caitanya. They swoon in his presence and they cannot pull themselves away. When Raghava Pandit thinks of Gauranga he becomes so overwhelmed that he falls to the ground and rolls in the dust. Seeing this Srinivas Acharya and Narottoma Dasa also become overwhelmed, falling to the ground.
This section of the book is filled with quotes from the Puranas which detail the spiritual benefits of visiting, and staying, and bathing, in Mathura, as well as even thinking about it.