The importance of Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta.

By Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami gave us everything, Mahaprabhu’s full conception, through his Chaitanya-charitamrta. You know Chaitanya-charitamrta no doubt, but the conception Kaviraj Goswami gave us there is exceptional. We have not heard explanation of the scriptures like what he gave in Chaitanya-charitamrta anywhere.

We read verses in the scriptures and we know their meanings, but when we read Kaviraj Goswami’s interpretation we get completely new light from the verses. I can give you an example. Rupa Goswami composed a verse (Lalita-madhava: 3.25) in which Mahaprabhu calls in separation, “Kva Nanda-kula-chandramah: where is the moon of Nanda’s family?” Kaviraj Goswami’s interpretation is very bright and glorious; it is super devotional.

vrajendra-kula—dugdha-sindhu krsna tahe purna indu
janmi’ kaila jagat ujora
kanty-amrta yeba piye nirantara piya jiye
vraja-janera nayana-chakora
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Antya-lila, 19.36)

[“Nanda Maharaj’s family is like an ocean of milk. Krishna arose as the full moon from that ocean and illuminated the world. The chakora birds of the Vraja-vasis eyes who drink the nectar of His lustre live by drinking this nectar constantly (without it they die).”]

I have not heard this type of explanation and interpretation of verses anywhere. Kaviraj Goswami wrote in Bengali, but when we read his writing we do not see Bengali, or Sanskrit, or any other language; we see only devotional light. Everyone is enlightened by his devotion.

He put Sanskrit verses from Srimad Bhagavatam and other scriptures in Chaitanya-charitamrta. Why? He explained that, “I am not writing Sanskrit or Bengali. I am writing by the grace of Madan Mohan. He is writing Chaitanya-lila through me, through my hand, and gradually it is being revealed. I am very old. Alone I cannot write.”

ami vrddha jaratura likhite kapaye kara
mane kichhu smarana na haya
na dekhiye nayane na suniye sravane
tabu likhi—e bada vismaya
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 2.90)

[“I am old and decrepit. My hand shakes as I write. My mind does not remember anything. My eyes do not see and my ears do not hear. Still I write. This a great amazement.”]

In this way, he explained it was only possible for him to write by the grace of Madan Mohan.

Madan Mohan was the Deity of Srila Sanatan Goswami. Before writing Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta, Kaviraj Goswami went to take permission from Madan Mohan. The Vaisnavas had requested Kaviraj Goswami, “You can properly compose Chaitanya-lila. Please do so.” Kaviraj Goswami said, “I am very old. How shall I do that?” The Vaisnavas said, “You can do it, and only you can do it. You know everything.” Then, by the will of the Vaisnavas of Vrndavan, Kaviraj Goswami went to take permission from Madan Mohan. When he went to Madan Mohan’s Temple, a garland fell from Madan Mohan’s neck. The devotees gave it to Kaviraj Goswami. Later, Kaviraj Goswami wrote,

pana yara ajna-dhana vrajera vaisnava-gana
vando tara mukhya haridasa
chaitanya-vilasa-sindhu-kallolera eka bindu
tara kana kahe krsnadasa
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 2.95)

[“I offer my obeisance to the devotees of Vraja, led by Haridas, from whom I received the fortune of the order to write this book. Thus, I, Krishna Das, am describing a particle of a drop in a wave in the ocean of Sri Chaitanya’s Pastimes.”]

Kaviraj Goswami gave the full explanation of Chaitanya-lila. He also presented the character of other Vaisnavas. He did everything in a grand way and presented it to the devotees.

I heard from Srila Guru Maharaj, “One who knows Chaitanya-charitamrta knows everything. If we have Chaitanya-charitamrta, but all other books disappear from this world, then there is no loss. This one book, and only this book, Chaitanya-charitamrta, can give us everything.”


Spoken on 1 October 1990.