Srila Raghunatha Dasa Goswami was a devotee of the highest order. He serves Radha-Krishna as Rati Manjari in Golok Dham. He was fully detached from the material world right from a very early age. He eagerly wanted to renounce family life by leaving His home in order to join Gauranga Mahaprabhu as His associate. When he requested the same from Gauranga He was not given permission by the Lord.
Two years later, Nitai visited Panihati and stayed there for some time. When Raghunath Das Goswami heard of Nitai’s arrival He went to meet Him.
At Panihati, Das Goswami saw Nitai sitting on a rock under a banyan tree on the bank of the Ganges. He was surrounded by many servants and associates. He was hesitant to come near to the Lord and paid obeisances from a distance. However, some of Nitai’s devotees saw him and immediately informed Nitai of His arrival. Nitai called Him and said “Raghunatha dasa! You are hiding like a thief. Now I have caught hold of you. Come here. I shall punish you today.’’
prabhu bolāya, teṅho nikaṭe nā kare gamana
ākarṣiyā tāṅra māthe prabhu dharilā caraṇa
The Lord called him, but Raghunātha dāsa did not go near the Lord. Then the Lord forcibly caught him and placed His lotus feet upon Raghunātha dāsa’s head. (CC 3.6.48)
Moreover, He ordered Das Goswami to celebrate a big festival and serve all His devotees – yogurt and chipped rice (chida-dahi).
Raghunath das Goswami ordered his servants to make the necessary arrangements. The chida-dahi festival began and Nitai was very pleased to see that all His principal associates were now being served very nicely. Nitai was so happy that He decided to bring Gaur over there in meditation. And immediately Gaur arrived over there even though everybody could not see Him. When Gaur arrived Nitai fed Gaur with His own hands in a joking manner.
nityānanda-prabhāva-kṛpā jānibe kon jana?
mahāprabhu āni’ karāya pulina-bhojana
Who can understand the influence and mercy of Lord Nityānanda Prabhu? He is so powerful that He induced Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to come eat chipped rice on the bank of the Ganges. (CC 3.6.89)
After the successful completion of the mega festival, Raghunath das Goswami revealed the most confidential secret,
tomāra kṛpā vinā keha ‘caitanya’ nā pāya
tumi kṛpā kaile tāṅre adhameha pāya
“No one can attain the shelter of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu without Your mercy, but if You are merciful, even the lowest of men can attain shelter at His lotus feet.” (CC 3.6.131)
He said ‘no one’ can attain the shelter of Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu without Nitai’s mercy. ‘No one’ means no one. No matter how much qualified or deserving one is, if one does not receive the Nitai’s mercy, attainment of Gaur Radha Krishna is impossible. Here, Shrila Raghunath das Goswami is saying that without Nitai’s mercy one cannot attain Gaur. And in one of his famous bhajans, Shrila Narrotam das Thakur writes that without Nitai’s mercy one cannot attain Radha Krishna. Also, in the Navadvip Dham Mahatmaya, Shrila Jiva Goswami says that one cannot attain Gaur even after hundred lives of Gaur bhajan if one does not receive the mercy of Nitai. All these proofs make it supremely clear that Nitai’s mercy is supremely essential for attaining Gaur Radha Krishna.
Further. he said that even the lowest of men can attain shelter at Gauranga’s feet if Nitai bestows His mercy. This is what we call ‘Kripa siddhi’. If Nitai wants He can give Gaur Radha Krishna to even the most unqualified. We all are dependent on this ‘Kripa siddhi’ as our only hope. As we know we are highly degraded, fallen, and unqualified to attain Gaur Radha Krishna. Nitai’s mercy is our only hope against all hope.
In the end, Nitai, who was very pleased with Raghunath das Goswami, gave him the benediction that he desperately needed.
CC Antya 6.142 — “Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu will accept you and place you under the charge of His secretary, Svarūpa Dāmodara. You will thus become one of the most confidential internal servants and will attain shelter at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
CC Antya 6.143 — “Being assured of all this, return to your own home. Very soon, without impediments, you will attain shelter at the lotus feet of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.”
As a result of Nitai’ blessings and service of Nitai’s cowherd boyfriends, Raghunath das Goswami could finally get out of his material entanglements and could engage himself completely in the service of the combined form of Radha Krishna, Shri Gaurasundar, without any further obstacle. His innermost desire was fulfilled by the mercy of Nitai only. The task of a Manjari is to unite Radha and Krishna. But Nitai performed an even higher task of uniting a Manjari with the combined form of Radha and Krishna (Gauranga). This is why Nitai is known as the last limit of mercy. His mercy is needed even by the eternal associates of Gaur Radha Krishna. Then what to speak of us?
Worthless disciple of Shrila Nitaipreshthji,