At first the Lord did not want to see the King, but due to the Bhaṭṭācārya’s and Rāmānanda Rāya’s earnest endeavors, the Lord’s mind was changed. The Lord already declared that Kṛṣṇa would be merciful upon the King due to the King’s service to the devotees. This is the process by which one can advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. First there must be the devotee’s mercy; then Kṛṣṇa’s mercy will descend. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo/ yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto ’pi. Our first duty, therefore, is to satisfy the spiritual master, who can arrange for the Lord’s mercy. A common man must first begin to serve the spiritual master, or the devotee. Then, through the mercy of the devotee, the Lord will be satisfied. Unless one receives the dust of a devotee’s lotus feet on one’s head, there is no possibility of advancement. This is also confirmed by a statement of Prahlāda Mahārāja’s in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (SB 7.5.32):
- naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghriṁ
- spṛśaty anarthāpagamo yad-arthaḥ
- mahīyasāṁ pāda-rajo-’bhiṣekaṁ
- niṣkiñcanānāṁ na vṛṇīta yāvat
Unless one approaches a pure devotee, he cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Mahārāja Pratāparudra worshiped both Rāmānanda Rāya and Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya. Thus he touched the lotus feet of pure devotees and was able thereby to approach Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.