TEXT 20
sevya-bujhi aropiya karena sevana
svabhavika dasi-bhava karena aropana
SYNONYMS
sevya-bujhi aropiya—considering worshipable; karena sevana—engages in service; svabhavika—by his natural position; dasi-bhava—as a maidservant; karena aropana—considers.
TRANSLATION
Srila Ramananda Raya used to act in that way because he thought of himself in his original position as a maidservant of the gopis. Thus although externally he appeared to be a man, internally, in his original spiritual position, he considered himself a maidservant and considered the two girls gopis.
PURPORT
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura writes in his Amrta-pravaha-bhasya: "Srila Ramananda Raya composed a drama named Jagannatha-vallabha-nataka, and he engaged two young girls who were professional dancers and singers to demonstrate the ideology of the drama. Such girls, who are called deva-dasis, are still employed in the temple of Jagannatha, where they are called maharis. Sri Ramananda Raya engaged two such girls, and because they were meant to play the parts of gopis, he taught them how to awaken thoughts like those of the gopis. Because the gopis are worshipable personalities, Ramananda Raya, who considered the two girls gopis and himself their maidservant, engaged in their service by massaging their bodies with oil to cleanse them completely. Because Ramananda Raya always placed himself in the position of a maidservant of the gopis, his rehearsal with the girls was actually on the spiritual platform."
Because there was no question of personal sense gratification when Sri Ramananda Raya was serving the girls, his mind was steady and his body untransformed. This is not to be imitated, nor is such a mentality possible for anyone but Sri Ramananda Raya, as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu will explain. The example of Sri Ramananda Raya is certainly unique. The author of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta has given this description because in perfect devotional service one can attain such a position. Nevertheless, one must understand this subject very seriously and never attempt to imitate such activities.

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