Conclusion

One who is famous as a Kṛṣṇa conscious man enjoys eternal fame. In the material world, everyone is striving for three things: he wants his name to be perpetuated, he wants his fame to be broadcast all over the world, and he wants some profit from his material activities. But no one knows that all this material name, fame and profit belong to the temporary material body and that as soon as the body is finished, all name, fame and profit are finished also. It is only due to ignorance that everyone is striving after the name, fame and profit that are connected with the body. It is deplorable to become famous on the basis of the body or to become known as a man of spiritually developed consciousness without knowing the supreme spirit, Viṣṇu. Real fame can only be had if one attains Kṛṣṇa consciousness. 

According to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, there are twelve authorities, and they are all famous because they were all great devotees of the Lord. These authorities are Brahmā, Nārada, Lord Śiva, Manu, Kapila, Prahlāda, Janaka, Bhīṣma, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, Bali, Yamarāja and the Kumāras. These personalities are still remembered because they were all great stalwart devotees of the Lord. In the Garuḍa Purāṇa it is said to be more rare to be a famous devotee of the Supreme Lord in the age of Kali than to be a demigod such as Brahmā or Lord Śiva. Concerning talks between Nārada and Puṇḍarīka, Yudhiṣṭhira said, “He is most famous and can deliver all others who, after many, many births, comes to understand that he is the servant of Vāsudeva.” Similarly, in Bhagavad-gītā (7.19) Kṛṣṇa tells Arjuna: 

bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ

“After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.” In the Ādi Purāṇa it is said that liberation and transcendental life follow all the devotees of God. In the Bṛhan-nāradīya Purāṇa it is stated that even personalities like Brahmā and other demigods do not know the value of a devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Garuḍa Purāṇa points out that out of many thousands of brāhmaṇas, one may be expert in performing sacrifices, and out of thousands of such expert brāhmaṇas, one brāhmaṇa may be expert in the knowledge of the Vedānta-sūtra, and out of many, many thousands of such Vedāntists, there may be one person who is famous as a devotee of Lord Viṣṇu. There are many devotees of Viṣṇu, and out of them, he who is unfiinching in his devotion is eligible to enter into the kingdom of God. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.13.4) it is also stated that there are many students of the Vedas, but one who is always thinking of the Supreme Personality of Godhead within his heart is the best student of all. In the Nārāyaṇa-vyūha-stava prayers it is said that if even the great Brahmā is not a devotee of the Lord, he is most insignificant, whereas if a microbe is a devotee of the Lord, he is most famous. 

Lord Caitanya next asked Rāmānanda Rāya, “What is the most valuable thing in the world?” Rāmānanda Rāya replied that he who has love for Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa possesses the most valuable jewel and the greatest riches. One who is addicted to material sense gratification or material wealth is not really considered to be wealthy. When one comes to the spiritual platform of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he can understand that there are no riches more valuable than love of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. It is recorded in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that Mahārāja Dhruva sought out the Supreme Lord because he wanted to get some land, but when he finally saw Kṛṣṇa, he said, “I am so pleased, I don’t want anything.” In Bhagavad-gītā it is also stated that if one takes shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead or is elevated to the supreme state of love of Godhead, he has nothing more to aspire to. Although such devotees can attain whatever they desire from the Lord, they do not ask anything from Him. 

When Lord Caitanya asked Rāmānanda Rāya what is considered to be the most painful existence, Rāmānanda Rāya replied that separation from a pure devotee constitutes the most painful existence. In other words, when there is no devotee of the Lord present, there is great suffering in society, and association with other people becomes painful. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.30.7) it is stated that if one who is bereft of the association of a pure devotee tries to become happy through society, friendship and love devoid of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he is to be considered in the most distressed condition. In the Fifth Canto of Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta (5.44) it is stated that the association of a pure devotee is more desirable than life itself and that in separation from him one cannot even pass a second happily. 

Lord Caitanya then asked Rāmānanda Rāya, “Out of many so-called liberated souls, who is actually liberated?” Rāmānanda replied that he who is actually completely saturated with the devotional love for Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa is to be considered to be the best of all liberated persons. It is stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (6.14.4) that a devotee of Nārāyaṇa is so rare that one can only find him out of millions and millions of people. 

“And out of all songs, what song do you think is the best of all?” Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked. And Rāmānanda replied that any song which describes the pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa is the best song. In conditional life, the soul is captivated by sex. All fictions-dramas and novels-and material songs describe love between men and women. Since people are so attracted to this kind of literature, Kṛṣṇa appeared in this material world and displayed His transcendental loving affairs with the gopīs. There is an immense literature dealing with the transactions between the gopīs and Kṛṣṇa, and anyone who takes shelter of this literature or of the stories about Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa can enjoy actual happiness. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.33.36) it is said that the Lord displayed His pastimes in Vṛndāvana in order to reveal His actual life. Any intelligent person who tries to understand the pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa is most fortunate. The songs that tell of those pastimes are the greatest songs in the world. 

Lord Caitanya then inquired: “What is the most profitable thing in the world, the essence of all auspicious events?” Rāmānanda Rāya replied that there is nothing as profitable as the association of pure devotees. 

“And what do you recommend a person to think of?” Lord Caitanya asked. Rāmānanda replied that one should always think of the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa has multiple activities, and they are described in many Vedic scriptures. One should always think of those pastimes; that is the best meditation and the highest ecstasy. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.2.36) Śukadeva Gosvāmī confirms that one should always think of the Supreme Personality of Godhead-not only think of Him, but one should also hear and chant His name, fame and glories. 

“And what is the best type of meditation?” Lord Caitanya inquired. 

“He who always meditates on the lotus feet of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa is the best meditator,” Rāmānanda Rāya answered. This is also confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.14): “It is the Supreme Personality of Godhead alone who is the master of all devotees, whose name one should always chant and who should always be meditated upon and worshiped regularly.” 

“Where should a person live, giving up all other pleasures?” Lord Caitanya next inquired. Rāmānanda replied that one should give up all other pleasures and should live in Vṛndāvana where Lord Kṛṣṇa had so many pastimes. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.47.61) Uddhava says that it is best to live in Vṛndāvana even if one has to live as a plant or creeper. It was in Vṛndāvana that the Supreme Lord lived and it was there that the gopīs worshiped the Supreme Lord, the ultimate goal of all Vedic knowledge. 

“And what is the best subject to hear of?” Caitanya Mahāprabhu next asked. 

“The pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa,” Rāmānanda replied. Actually when the pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are heard from the right source, one at once attains liberation. Unfortunately it sometimes happens that people do not hear of these pastimes from a person who is a realized soul. Thus people a