Raghunath Das Goswami was staying in Puri like a beggar. When his parents came to know about his destitute condition from Shivananda Sen, they were devastated. In their love for Raghunath Das Goswami, they would send money to him. Raghunath Das Goswami would use it all. But not one dime would be used for himself. He would use it all in preparing grand feasts for Lord Caitanya and His devotees at regular intervals. After some time, Raghunath Das Goswami stopped inviting the Lord and Lord Caitanya asked Swarup Damodar Goswami, why is Raghunath not calling me anymore for prasad? Swarup Damodar Goswami said, ” He doesn’t want to take anymore from his parents. He is not listening to them by being with them, so he doesn’t want to take from them”. Lord Caitanya was very pleased and said,” This is very nice, but then where is he eating from? Swarup Damodar Goswami said, ” He is sitting in front of the Simhadwaram with all the beggars; just sitting there and begging.
Radhanath Swami comments,” Who has seen such a multi billionare? A multibillionare begging with no intentions of going back to his affluent family where everything was at his disposal. He had everything in the world which the people of this time is foaming at their mouth to get. With the money he had, he could control, he could have had thousands of people serving him on his beckon. But here he was begging from common people for a little bit of rice. Such was his humility.
After some time Mahaprabhu saw that Raghunath Das Goswami was not even begging at the Simhadwaram and thought why is that! Raghunath Das Goswami was thinking that by the profession of this beggar, he was discriminating in his mind people, rather than seeing himself to serve, he was thinking what am i gonna get. This person gave to me yesterday, will he give to me today. This person did not give anything before, so he probably wont give me anything. So, he was seeing people according to what he could get from them and he considered this abominable. So he gave up begging.
So Lord Caitanya asked, “Then, what is he doing now?” He was replied that Raghunath Das Goswami was now just standing in line in the free booths were old prasad was being distributed. And after some time he wouldn’t even do that. How was he maintaining himself? This crorepati Raghunath would take his meals just beside the Simhadwaram gate, little distance away, around the corner of Jagannath’s temple. There was a big pile of what was considered refuse garbage. Mahaprasad of Lord jagannath would be given to the shopkeepers who would sell it. Sometimes after some days, some of the prasadam would not be sold and it would become decomposed and rotten. So they would throw that rice in this heap of garbage. And during the day, the kalinga cows would come and eat that rice and if any portion of the rice which was rotten was not tolerated by the cows, they would spit it out. At night, when all the cows were sleeping, Raghunath Das Goswami would secretly go to that place and he would collect the decomposed rotten rice, spit out by the cows. He would collect it and bring it to where he was staying. He would wash it and eat the inner portion of it. Just imagine how much he must be eating. He would eat nothing else except that. when Lord Caitnaya came to know about this diet, he was astounded. Mahaprabhu bhakta ganer vairagya pradhan – that renunciation is the very principe that sustains the life of the devotees of Lord Caitanya. Seeing such renunciation, Lord Gauranga becomes very pleased within his heart. Lord Caitanya came to Raghunath’s residence just at prasadam time. Now, actually, nobody knew Raghunath was doing that. He wasn’t doing it for some prestige. Radhanath Swami adds that today, sometimes people do things for prestige. People may do similar austerities nowadays and in many ways put spot light on them so that others can see what they are doing. That is not renunciation because in the name of fasting for our bodies, we are feasting on our false ego. Nobody knew that Raghunath was doing this. Only Mahaprabhu knew. He came on that day and Raghunath was eating and as soon as he saw mahaprabhu entering his room, he hid that rice. And Lord Caitanya said, “Oh, Raghunath , I heard that you ere eating very nicely. Why you don’t call me anymore to share the feast with you. I want to partake of it. Please give me. Raghunath replied, ” No, my Lord, i don’t have anything here. I am sorry. Lord Caitanya knew everything. He reached behind Raghunath and took that little pot of Raghunath’s food and with his own hands Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu ate the rice. Even Swarup Damodar Goswami could not tolerate Lord Caitanya eating that rice. He said,” My Lord, please that’s enough, you cannot eat that rice. He had to hold Lord Caitanya’s hand from eating anymore. And the Lord was praising it. He said,” I have tasted so many varieties of mahaprasad – condensed milk, sabjis, rice,Â puris, sabjis, sweet cakes but i have never tasted any prasad so necatrine with ambrosial fragrance and taste than that which Raghunath is eating. Lord Caitanya was literally tasting nectar becasue he was tasting the spirit of variagya vidya nija bhakti yogam. He was tasting the spirit of Raghunath’s renunciation in the spirit of pure unalloyed love. That is wealth. The husband of the Goddess of fortune was beggingÂ for that decomposed rice that Raghunath Das Goswami was eating. The Lord was tasting more sweetness in that than all the offerings in Vaikuntha. Why? Because Raghunath Das Goswami was offering the supreme wealth. The wealth of pure love – Krsna Prem.