Pradyumna Miśra, a resident of Śrīhaṭṭa, came to see Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to hear from Him about Lord Kṛṣṇa and His pastimes. The Lord, however, sent him to Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya. Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya was training the deva-dāsī dancing girls in the temple, and when Pradyumna Miśra heard about this, he returned to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The Lord, however, elaborately described the character of Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya. Then Pradyumna Miśra went to see Rāmānanda Rāya again to hear about the transcendental truth from him.
The thirteenth branch was Pradyumna Brahmacārī. Since he was a worshiper of Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu changed his name to Nṛsiṁhānanda Brahmacārī.
Pradyumna Brahmacārī is described in the Antya-līlā, Second Chapter, of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta. He was a great devotee of Lord Caitanya, who changed his name to Nṛsiṁhānanda. While coming from the house of Rāghava Paṇḍita at Pānihāṭi to the house of Śivānanda, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu appeared in the heart of Nṛsiṁhānanda Brahmacārī. To acknowledge this, Nṛsiṁhānanda Brahmacārī used to accept as eatables the food of three Deities, namely Jagannātha, Nṛsiṁhadeva and Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. This is stated in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā, Second Chapter, verses 48 through 78. Upon receiving information that Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu was proceeding toward Vṛndāvana from Kuliyā, Nṛsiṁhānanda absorbed himself in meditation and by his mental activities began constructing a very nice road from Kuliyā to Vṛndāvana. All of a sudden, however, he broke his meditation and told the other devotees that this time Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu would not go to Vṛndāvana but would travel only as far as the place known as Kānāi Nāṭaśālā. This is described in Madhya-līlā, Chapter One, verses (CC Madhya 1.155) through 162. The Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā (74) says, āveśaś ca tathājñeyo miśre pradyumna-saṁjñake: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu changed the name of Pradyumna Miśra, or Pradyumna Brahmacārī, to Nṛsiṁhānanda Brahmacārī, for in his heart Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva was manifest. It is said that Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva used to talk with him directly.
In the list of devotees at Jagannātha Purī (which begins with Paramānanda Purī, Svarūpa Dāmodara, Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya and Gopīnātha Ācārya), Kāśī Miśra was the fifth, Pradyumna Miśra the sixth and Bhavānanda Rāya the seventh. Lord Caitanya took great pleasure in meeting with them.
In Jagannātha Purī Lord Caitanya lived at the house of Kāśī Miśra, who was the priest of the King. Later this house was inherited by Vakreśvara Paṇḍita and then by his disciple Gopālaguru Gosvāmī, who established a Deity of Rādhākānta there. The Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā (193) states that Kāśī Miśra was formerly Kubjā in Mathurā. Pradyumna Miśra, an inhabitant of Orissa, was a great devotee of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Pradyumna Miśra was born of a brāhmaṇa family and Rāmānanda Rāya of a non-brāhmaṇa family, yet Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu advised Pradyumna Miśra to take instruction from Rāmānanda Rāya. This incident is described in the Antya-līlā, Chapter Five (CC Antya 5).
Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya was one of the three and a half personalities with whom Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu discussed the most confidential topics of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu advised Pradyumna Miśra to learn the science of Kṛṣṇa from Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya.
After Rāmānanda Rāya's arrival, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu bestowed His mercy upon Kāśī Miśra and met Pradyumna Miśra and other devotees. At that time three personalities—Paramānanda Purī, Govinda and Kāśīśvara—came to see Lord Caitanya at Jagannātha Purī.
After explaining the transcendental qualities of Rāmānanda Rāya, the Lord sent Pradyumna Miśra to his residence, and Pradyumna Miśra learned kṛṣṇa-kathā from him.
“This is Pradyumna Miśra, who is chief of all Vaiṣṇavas. He is a great servitor of Jagannātha, and his name is Dāsa.
In Orissa most of the brāhmaṇas have the title Dāsa. Generally it is understood that the word dāsa refers to those other than the brāhmaṇas, but in Orissa the brāhmaṇas use the Dāsa title. This is confirmed by Culli Bhaṭṭa. Actually, everyone is dāsa because everyone is a servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In that sense, the bona fide brāhmaṇa has first claim to the appellation dāsa. Therefore in this case the designation dāsa is not incompatible.
Kāśī Miśra, Pradyumna Miśra, Dāmodara Paṇḍita, Haridāsa Ṭhākura and Śaṅkara Paṇḍita also came there to meet the Lord.
One day Pradyumna Miśra came to see Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, offering his respects and inquiring from Him with great submission.
Pradyumna Miśra, being thus advised by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, went to the home of Rāmānanda Rāya. There the servant of Rāmānanda Rāya gave him a proper place to sit down.
Unable to see Rāmānanda Rāya immediately, Pradyumna Miśra inquired from the servant, who then described what Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya was doing.
While Pradyumna Miśra remained seated there, Rāmānanda Rāya took the two girls to a solitary place.
When the servant informed Rāmānanda Rāya of Pradyumna Miśra's arrival, Rāmānanda Rāya immediately went to the assembly room.
He offered his obeisances to Pradyumna Miśra with all respect and then, with great humility, spoke as follows.
Pradyumna Miśra replied, "I came simply to see you. Now I have purified myself by seeing Your Honor."
Because Pradyumna Miśra saw that it was late, he did not say anything else to Rāmānanda Rāya. Instead, he took leave of him and returned to his own home.
The next day, when Pradyumna Miśra arrived in the presence of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Lord inquired, "Have you heard talks about Kṛṣṇa from Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya?"
Pradyumna Miśra thereupon described the activities of Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya. After hearing about these activities, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu began to speak.
"Go hastily, while he is in the assembly room." Hearing this, Pradyumna Miśra immediately departed.
Pradyumna Miśra went to Rāmānanda Rāya, who offered him respectful obeisances and said, "Please order me. For what purpose have you come?"
Pradyumna Miśra answered, "Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has sent me to hear topics about Lord Kṛṣṇa from you."
Saying this, Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya took Pradyumna Miśra to a secluded place and inquired from him, "What kind of kṛṣṇa-kathā do you want to hear from me?"
Pradyumna Miśra replied, “Kindly tell me about the same topics you spoke about at Vidyānagara.
Rāmānanda Rāya paid great respect to Pradyumna Miśra and bade him farewell. Pradyumna Miśra said, "I have become very satisfied." He then began to dance.
After returning home, Pradyumna Miśra bathed and ate his meal. In the evening he came to see the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Pradyumna Miśra said, “My dear Lord, You have made me extremely obliged to You because You have drowned me in a nectarean ocean of talks about Kṛṣṇa.
“I cannot properly describe the discourses of Rāmānanda Rāya, for he is not an ordinary human being. He is fully absorbed in the devotional service of the Lord.
One is forbidden to accept the guru, or spiritual master, as an ordinary human being (guruṣu nara-matiḥ). When Rāmānanda Rāya spoke to Pradyumna Miśra, Pradyumna Miśra could understand that Rāmānanda Rāya was not an ordinary human being. A spiritually advanced person who is authorized to act as the spiritual master speaks as the Supreme Personality of Godhead dictates from within. Thus it is not he that is personally speaking. In other words, when a pure devotee or spiritual master speaks, what he says should be accepted as having been directly spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the paramparā system.
I have described but a fraction of the transcendental attributes of Rāmānanda Rāya, as revealed when he instructed Pradyumna Miśra.
To demonstrate the transcendental attributes of Rāmānanda Rāya, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu sent Pradyumna Miśra to hear discourses about Kṛṣṇa from him.
Generally brāhmaṇas and sannyāsīs are very proud of their spiritual positions. Therefore, to cut down their false pride, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu preached Kṛṣṇa consciousness through Rāmānanda Rāya, who was neither a member of the renounced order nor a born brāhmaṇa. Indeed, Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya was a gṛhastha belonging to the śūdra class, yet Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu arranged for him to be the master who taught Pradyumna Miśra, a highly qualified brāhmaṇa born in a brāhmaṇa family. Even Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself, although belonging to the renounced order, took instruction from Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya. In this way Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu exhibited His opulence through Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya. That is the special significance of this incident.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu preached about devotional service, ecstatic love and the Absolute Truth by making Rāmānanda Rāya, a gṛhastha born in a low family, the speaker. Then Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself, the exalted brāhmaṇa-sannyāsī, and Pradyumna Miśra, the purified brāhmaṇa, both became the hearers of Rāmānanda Rāya.
Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says in his Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya that sannyāsīs in the line of Śaṅkarācārya always think that they have performed all the duties of brāhmaṇas and that, furthermore, having understood the essence of the Vedānta-sūtra and become sannyāsīs, they are the natural spiritual masters of all society. Similarly, persons born in brāhmaṇa families think that because they execute the ritualistic ceremonies recommended in the Vedas and follow the principles of smṛti, they alone can become spiritual masters of society. These highly exalted brāhmaṇas think that unless one is born in a brāhmaṇa family, one cannot become a spiritual master and teach the Absolute Truth. To cut down the pride of these birthright brāhmaṇas and Māyāvādī sannyāsīs, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu proved that a person like Rāmānanda Rāya, although born in a śūdra family and situated in the gṛhastha-āśrama, can become the spiritual master of such exalted personalities as Himself and Pradyumna Miśra. This is the principle of the Vaiṣṇava cult, as evinced in the teachings of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. A person who knows what is spiritual and what is material and who is firmly fixed in the spiritual position can be jagad-guru, the spiritual master of the entire world. One cannot become jagad-guru simply by advertising oneself as jagad-guru without knowing the essential principles for becoming jagad-guru. Even people who never see what a jagad-guru is and never talk with other people become puffed-up sannyāsīs and declare themselves jagad-gurus. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu did not like this. Any person who knows the science of Kṛṣṇa and who is fully qualified in spiritual life can become jagad-guru. Thus Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu personally took lessons from Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya and also sent Pradyumna Miśra, an exalted brāhmaṇa, to take lessons from him.
I have thus described the narration concerning Pradyumna Miśra and how, following the order of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he listened to discourses about Kṛṣṇa spoken by Rāmānanda Rāya.
The Fifth Chapter tells how the Lord showed His favor to Pradyumna Miśra and made him hear topics of Kṛṣṇa from Rāmānanda Rāya.