If one wrongly thinks that the material body is as perfect as the spiritual body and thus begins to worship Kṛṣṇa by imitating the damsels of Vṛndāvana, he becomes infested with Māyāvāda (impersonal) philosophy. The impersonalists recommend a process of ahaṅgrahopāsanā, by which one worships his own body as the Supreme. Thinking in this way, such pseudo-transcendentalists dress themselves as the damsels of Vraja. Such activities are not acceptable in devotional service. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, the most authoritative ācārya in the Gauḍīya-sampradāya, has condemned these imitators. The process of transcendental realization is to follow in the footsteps of the associates of the Supreme Lord; therefore to think oneself a direct associate of the Supreme Lord is condemned. According to authorized Vaiṣṇava principles, one should follow a particular devotee and not think of himself as Kṛṣṇa's associate.
In this way Rāmānanda Rāya explained that one should accept the mood of the damsels of Vraja. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is clearly said that one should accept the emotional activities of the associates of Kṛṣṇa, not imitate their dress. One should also always meditate upon the dealings between Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa in the transcendental world. One should think of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa twenty-four hours a day and engage in Their service within one's mind, not externally change one's dress. By adopting the mood of the associates and friends of Rādhārāṇī and following in their footsteps, one can ultimately achieve the perfectional stage of being transferred to Goloka Vṛndāvana, the transcendental abode of Kṛṣṇa.
By adopting this emotional mood of following in the footsteps of the gopīs, one attains his siddha-deha. This word indicates the pure spiritual body, which is beyond the senses, mind and intelligence. The siddha-deha is the purified soul who is just suitable to serve the Supreme Lord. No one can serve the Supreme Lord as His associate without being situated in his perfectly pure spiritual identity. That identity is completely free from all material contamination. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, a materially contaminated person transmigrates to another material body by material consciousness. At the time of death he thinks materially and is therefore transferred to another material body. Similarly, one who at the time of death is situated in his pure spiritual identity thinks of the spiritual loving service rendered to the Supreme Lord and is transferred to the spiritual kingdom, to enter into the association of Kṛṣṇa. In other words, the qualification for being transferred to the spiritual kingdom at the time of death is to think, in one's spiritual identity, of Kṛṣṇa and His associates. No one can contemplate the activities of the spiritual kingdom without being situated in his pure, spiritual identity (siddha-deha). Thus Rāmānanda Rāya said that without attaining one's siddha-deha one can neither become an associate of the damsels of Vraja nor render service directly to the Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, and His eternal consort, Rādhārāṇī. In this regard, Rāmānanda quoted a nice verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.47.60):
- nāyaṁśriyo ’ṅga u nitāntarateḥ prasādaḥ
- svar-yoṣitāṁ nalina-gandha-rucāṁ kuto ’nyāḥ
- rāsotsave ’sya bhuja-daṇḍa-gṛhīta-kaṇṭha-
- labdhāśiṣāṁ ya udagād vraja-vallabhīnām
"Neither the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, nor the damsels of the heavenly kingdom can attain the facilities of the damsels of Vrajabhūmi—and what to speak of others?"
Lord Caitanya was very satisfied to hear these statements from Rāmānanda Rāya, and He embraced him. Then both of them began to cry in the ecstasy of transcendental realization. Thus the Lord and Rāmānanda Rāya discussed the transcendental pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa throughout the night, and in the morning they separated. Rāmānanda left to go to his place, and the Lord went to take His bath.