The most important part of the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta.

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Brahma Das
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The most important part of the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta.

Post by Brahma Das »

I consider the quoted text in this post of the Eigth Chapter of the talks between Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Rāmānanda Rāya the most important part of the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, my Guru often referred to it. The Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta is a Scripture that is an anthology of the 15th Century Vaishnava Saint whom is considered to be Krishna Himself by those in the Vaishnava Tradition, Lord Caitanya being the One who inaugurated the chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra for this Age and started the Ten Thousand Years of the Golden Age of Bhakti-Yoga in Kali-Yuga. The Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare is said to be the primary means of deliverance in this Age of Kali-Yuga. There is another part of the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta that mentions the Bṛhan-nāradīya Purāṇa's statement:

harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā


Translation:

“ ‘In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, the only means of deliverance is the chanting of the holy names of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.’ ”


By chanting Hare Krishna we remember Radha, Krishna, and the Gopīs, as well as their Pure Spontaneous Love of God and Devotion. Here, Rāmānanda Rāya, mentions to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu the importance of the Love of the Gopīs as the Highest Love of Godhead, after a long conversation with Him about other methods of worship that Lord Caitanya ultimately rejected as there was something Higher in a method of worship, the Highest method being mentioned here in the conversation:
Text 218: “Among the gopīs, there is not a pinch of desire for sense gratification. Their only desire is to give pleasure to Kṛṣṇa, and this is why they mingle with Him and enjoy with Him.
Text 219: “[All the gopīs said:] ‘Dear Kṛṣṇa, we carefully hold Your delicate lotus feet upon our hard breasts. When You walk in the forest, Your soft lotus feet are pricked by small bits of stone. We fear that this is paining You. Since You are our life and soul, our minds are very much disturbed when Your lotus feet are pained.’
Text 220: “One who is attracted by that ecstatic love of the gopīs does not care about popular opinion or the regulative principles of Vedic life. Rather, he completely surrenders unto Kṛṣṇa and renders service unto Him.
Text 221: “If one worships the Lord on the path of spontaneous love and goes to Vṛndāvana, he receives the shelter of Vrajendra-nandana, the son of Nanda Mahārāja.
Text 222: “In his liberated stage the devotee is attracted by one of the five humors in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. As he continues to serve the Lord in that transcendental mood, he attains a spiritual body to serve Kṛṣṇa in Goloka Vṛndāvana.
Text 223: “Those saintly persons who represent the Upaniṣads are vivid examples of this. By worshiping the Lord on the path of spontaneous love, they attained the lotus feet of Vrajendra-nandana, the son of Nanda Mahārāja.
Text 224: “ ‘Great sages conquer the mind and senses by practicing the mystic yoga system and controlling the breath. Thus engaging in mystic yoga, they see the Supersoul within their hearts and ultimately enter into impersonal Brahman. But even the enemies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead attain that position simply by thinking of the Supreme Lord. However, the damsels of Vraja, the gopīs, being attracted by the beauty of Kṛṣṇa, simply wanted to embrace Him and His arms, which are like serpents. Thus the gopīs ultimately tasted the nectar of the lotus feet of the Lord. Similarly, we Upaniṣads can also taste the nectar of His lotus feet by following in the footsteps of the gopīs.’ ”
Text 225: “The word ‘sama-dṛśaḥ,’ mentioned in the fourth line of the previous verse, means ‘following the mood of the gopīs.’ The word ‘samāḥ’ means ‘the śrutis’ attainment of bodies like those of the gopīs.’
Text 226: “The word ‘aṅghri-padma-sudhā’ means ‘associating intimately with Kṛṣṇa.’ One can attain such perfection only by spontaneous love of God. One cannot obtain Kṛṣṇa in Goloka Vṛndāvana simply by serving the Lord according to regulative principles.
Text 227: “ ‘The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, the son of mother Yaśodā, is accessible to those devotees engaged in spontaneous loving service, but He is not as easily accessible to mental speculators, to those striving for self-realization by severe austerities and penances, or to those who consider the body the same as the self.’
Text 228: “Therefore one should accept the mood of the gopīs in their service. In such a transcendental mood, one should always think of the pastimes of Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.
Text 229: “After thinking of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa and Their pastimes for a long time and after getting completely free from material contamination, one is transferred to the spiritual world. There the devotee attains an opportunity to serve Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa as one of the gopīs.
Text 230: “Unless one follows in the footsteps of the gopīs, he cannot attain the service of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, the son of Nanda Mahārāja. If one is overcome by knowledge of the Lord’s opulence, he cannot attain the Lord’s lotus feet, even though he is engaged in devotional service.
Text 231: “The unspoken example in this connection is the goddess of fortune, who worshiped Lord Kṛṣṇa in order to attain His pastimes in Vṛndāvana. But due to her opulent life-style, she could not attain the service of Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana.
Text 232: “ ‘When Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa was dancing with the gopīs in the rāsa-līlā, the gopīs were embraced around the neck by the Lord’s arms. This transcendental favor was never bestowed upon the goddess of fortune or the other consorts in the spiritual world. Nor was such a thing ever imagined by the most beautiful girls in the heavenly planets, girls whose bodily luster and aroma resemble the beauty and fragrance of lotus flowers. And what to speak of worldly women, who may be very, very beautiful according to material estimation?’ ”
Text 233: After hearing this, Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu embraced Rāmānanda Rāya, and both of them, embracing shoulder to shoulder, began to cry.
-Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta » Madhya-līlā » Chapter Eight » Talks Between Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Rāmānanda Rāya.

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Brahma Das
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Re: The most important part of the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta.

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In the mood of Radharani Lord Caitanya spent most of His life in a Separation mellow mood of Love towards Krishna, giving the sense that Love is perfected in Separation, as One Becomes Two, then One again in the end, returning to His constitutional position at the end of His mission on Martyr-loka (planet Earth), and Entering into the Spiritual World. In a sense, that is how we all feel from time to time.

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Lord Caitanya pictured above with Mayavadi (impersonalist) Sanyassis, who He managed to convert all to Vaishnavism, as He was well received by them. Lord Caitanya received His Sanyassi, official entrance into the renounced order of life, from Kesava Bharati, a Mayavadi Sanyassi, and although Lord Caitanya was not a Mayavadi, but a personalist (Vaishnava). Pictured above is a Mayavadi Sanyassi asking Him to take a Higher seat at their meeting, as He had the noticable glow of Narayan Himself to them.

For a time Lord Caitanya went around with a shaved head (and a Sikha) and a Danda, but Lord Nityananda ended up breaking His Danda in half, and Lord Caitanya was not cutting His hair anymore (but still shaving His beard). Both Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda are celebrated as having long hair at the second parts of their life, but the Vaishnava followers, primarily the men, shave their heads and leave a small tuft of hair as pictured above on the back of their heads. The tuft of hair signifies at what part of the body the Jiva (Soul) exits the body after Death, giving Krishna an ample ease to grab it with His hand from the dying person. However, there is much other deep Spiritual Significance to having this tuft of hair, called a Sikha, and devotees decide to get them and keep them in all shapes and sizes. They always signify a Spiritual connection to God.

Here is an account of Lord Caitanya taking Sanyassi:

In the Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi Lila, 3rd chapter, purport to the 34th verse, Lord Chaitanya's sannyasa initiation is described as follows:

"During the time of Lord Chaitanya, the influence of Shankaracarya in society was very strong. People thought that one could accept sannyasa only in the disciplic succession of Shankaracarya. Lord Chaitanya could have performed His missionary activities as a householder, but He found householder life an obstruction to His mission. Therefore He decided to accept the renounced order, sannyasa. Since His acceptance of sannyasa was also designed to attract public attention, Lord Chaitanya, not wishing to disturb the social convention, took the renounced order of life from a sannyasi in the disciplic succession of Shankaracarya, although sannyasa was also sanctioned in the Vaishnava sampradayas.

... Lord Chaitanya accepted sannyasa from Keshava Bharati. When He first approached Kesava Bharati, He was accepted as a brahmacari with the name Sri Krishna Chaitanya Brahmacari. After He took sannyasa, He preferred to keep the name Krishna Chaitanya.

The great authorities in the disciplic succession had not offered to explain why Lord Chaitanya refused to take the name Bharati after He took sannyasa from a Bharati, until Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja volunteered the explanation that because a sannyasi in the Shankara-sampradaya thinks that he has become the Supreme, Lord Chaitanya, wanting to avoid such a misconception, kept the name Sri Krishna Chaitanya, placing Himself as an eternal servitor. A brahmacari is supposed to serve the spiritual master; therefore He did not negate that relationship of servitude to His spiritual master. Accepting such a position is favorable for the relationship between the disciple and the spiritual master."

-description from www.krishna.com


So here are some quotes from the Scripture of Caitanya-caritāmṛta, the anthology of Lord Caitanya's life, that I find illuminating. They hold to the theme that feeling Love and Separation from Krishna are High Spiritual States. In the Vaishnava Tradition, Krishna-Prema is considered the Highest Spiritual Accomplishment, it means Eternal Love of Krishna!
“Kṛṣṇa is My life and soul. Kṛṣṇa is the treasure of My life. Indeed, Kṛṣṇa is the very life of My life. I therefore keep Him always in My heart and try to please Him by rendering service. That is My constant meditation.

“ ‘One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor but is always prepared to give all respect to others can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.’

“My dear Lord Kṛṣṇa, I do not want material wealth from You, nor do I want followers, a beautiful wife or the results of fruitive activities. I only pray that by Your causeless mercy You give Me pure devotional service to You, life after life.”

“Be causelessly merciful to Me by giving Me a place with the particles of dust at Your lotus feet so that I may engage in the service of Your Lordship as Your eternal servant.”

“In My agitation, a day never ends, for every moment seems like a millennium. Pouring incessant tears, My eyes are like clouds in the rainy season.

“The three worlds have become void because of separation from Govinda. I feel as if I were burning alive in a slow fire.

"O devotees, please do not consider my offenses in this regard. Your lotus feet are my only shelter."

"Text 160: Vāsudeva Datta told Caitanya Mahāprabhu, “My dear Lord, You incarnate just to deliver all conditioned souls. I now have one petition, which I wish You would accept.

Text 161: “My Lord, You are certainly able to do whatever You like, and You are indeed merciful. If You so desire, You can very easily do whatever You want.

Text 162: “My Lord, my heart breaks to see the sufferings of all the conditioned souls; therefore I request You to transfer the karma of their sinful lives upon my head.

Text 163: “My dear Lord, let me suffer perpetually in a hellish condition, accepting all the sinful reactions of all living entities. Please finish their diseased material life.”

Text 164: When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu heard Vāsudeva Datta’s statement, His heart became very soft. Tears flowed from His eyes, and He began to tremble. In a faltering voice He spoke as follows.

Text 165: Accepting Vāsudeva Datta as a great devotee, the Lord said, “Such a statement is not at all astonishing because you are the incarnation of Prahlāda Mahārāja. It appears that Lord Kṛṣṇa has bestowed complete mercy upon you. There is no doubt about it.

Text 166: “Whatever a pure devotee wants from his master, Lord Kṛṣṇa doubtlessly grants because He has no duty other than to fulfill the desire of His devotee.

Text 167: “If you desire the deliverance of all living entities within the universe, then all of them can be delivered even without your undergoing the tribulations of sinful activity.

Text 168: “Kṛṣṇa is not incapable, for He has all potencies. Why would He induce you to suffer the sinful reactions of other living entities?

Text 169: “Whosever welfare you desire immediately becomes a Vaiṣṇava, and Kṛṣṇa delivers all Vaiṣṇavas from the reactions of their past sinful activities."

No one, not even Lord Brahmā, can ascertain or even taste a drop of this confidential ocean of ecstasy, but Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, out of His causeless mercy, has distributed this love of Godhead all over the world. Thus there cannot be any incarnation more munificent than Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. There is no greater donor. Who can describe His transcendental qualities?

“ ‘My dear friends, unless I serve the transcendental form, qualities and pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, all My days and all My senses will become entirely useless. Now I am uselessly bearing the burden of My senses, which are like stone blocks and dried wood. I do not know how long I will be able to continue without shame.’
-from the text of the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta.

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Pictured above is a full volume set of the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, with Lord Caitanya sporting long hair and a flower garland.
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Brahma Das
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Re: The most important part of the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta.

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Text 1: Offering my obeisances unto Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, let me describe a particle of His opulence and sweetness. He is most valuable for a fallen conditioned soul bereft of spiritual knowledge, and He is the only shelter for those who do not know the real goal of life.
Text 2: All glories to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu! All glories to Nityānanda Prabhu! All glories to Advaita Ācārya! And all glories to all the devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu!
Text 3: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, “All the transcendental forms of the Lord are situated in the spiritual sky. They preside over spiritual planets in that abode, but there is no counting those Vaikuṇṭha planets.
Text 4: “The breadth of each Vaikuṇṭha planet is described as eight miles multiplied by one hundred, by one thousand, by ten thousand, by one hundred thousand and by ten million. In other words, each Vaikuṇṭha planet is expanded beyond our ability to measure.
Text 5: “Each Vaikuṇṭha planet is very large, and each is made of spiritual bliss. The inhabitants are all associates of the Supreme Lord, and they have full opulence like the Lord Himself. This is how the Vaikuṇṭha planets are all situated.
Text 6: “Since all the Vaikuṇṭha planets are located in a certain corner of the spiritual sky, who can measure the spiritual sky?
Text 7: “The shape of the spiritual sky is compared to a lotus flower. The topmost region of that flower is called the whorl, and within that whorl is Kṛṣṇa’s abode. The petals of the spiritual lotus flower consist of many Vaikuṇṭha planets.
Text 8: “Each Vaikuṇṭha planet is full of spiritual bliss, complete opulence and space, and each is inhabited by incarnations. If Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva cannot estimate the length and breadth of the spiritual sky and the Vaikuṇṭha planets, how can ordinary living entities begin to imagine them?
Text 9: “ ‘O supreme great one! O Supreme Personality of Godhead! O Supersoul, master of all mystic power! Your pastimes are taking place continuously in these worlds, but who can estimate where, how and when You are employing Your spiritual energy and performing Your pastimes? No one can understand the mystery of these activities.’
Text 10: “The spiritual qualities of Kṛṣṇa are also unlimited. Great personalities like Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and the four Kumāras cannot estimate the spiritual qualities of the Lord.
Text 11: “ ‘In time, great scientists may be able to count all the atoms of the universe, all the stars and planets in the sky, and all the particles of snow, but who among them can count the unlimited transcendental qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead? He descends on the surface of the globe for the benefit of all living entities.’
Text 12: “To say nothing of Lord Brahmā, even Lord Ananta, who has thousands of heads, cannot reach the end of the Lord’s transcendental qualities, even though He is continuously chanting their praises.
Text 13: “ ‘If I, Lord Brahmā, and your elder brothers, the great saints and sages, cannot understand the limits of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is full of various energies, who else can understand them? Although constantly chanting about His transcendental qualities, the thousand-hooded Lord Śeṣa has not yet reached the end of the Lord’s activities.’
Text 14: “To say nothing of Anantadeva, even Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself cannot find an end to His own transcendental qualities. Indeed, He Himself is always eager to know them.
Text 15: “ ‘My Lord, You are unlimited. Even the predominating deities of the higher planetary systems, including Lord Brahmā, cannot find Your limitations. Nor can You Yourself ascertain the limit of Your qualities. Like atoms in the sky, there are multi-universes with seven coverings, and these are rotating in due course of time. All the experts in Vedic understanding are searching for You by eliminating the material elements. In this way, searching and searching, they come to the conclusion that everything is complete in You. Thus You are the resort of everything. This is the conclusion of all Vedic experts.’
Text 16: “Apart from all argument, logic and negative or positive processes, when Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa was present as the Supreme Personality of Godhead at Vṛndāvana, no one could find a limit to His potencies by studying His characteristics and activities.
Text 17: “At Vṛndāvana, the Lord immediately created all material and spiritual planets in one moment. Indeed, all of them were created with their predominating deities.
Text 18: “We do not hear of such wonderful things anywhere else. Simply by one’s hearing of those incidents, one’s consciousness is agitated and cleansed.
Continued on: The Opulence and Sweetness of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
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Nicholas
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Re: The most important part of the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta.

Post by Nicholas »

You could save DNS some bandwidth if you displayed much smaller excerpts & images. As long as a link is there, that is the better way to study large texts.
May all seek, find and follow the Path of Buddhas.
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Brahma Das
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Re: The most important part of the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta.

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Nicholas wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:42 pm You could save DNS some bandwidth if you displayed much smaller excerpts & images. As long as a link is there, that is the better way to study large texts.
Are you sure DNS has bandwidth issues? After all this is a very large forum. Plus all the ones on the other Dharma forums. :anjali:
I have been posting on message boards on and off for over twenty years and I have noticed that they can handle quite a lot, even spam for almost hundreds of pages in just a few seconds that I have seen, and the boards just go on fine. And no one is spamming here. Plus there are the other boards that seem to be running well in the DW cluster and it all seems fine with the bandwidth. It seems okay to me, and I don't notice these forums having bandwidth issues. So I think it will be okay. :smile:
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Brahma Das
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Re: The most important part of the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta.

Post by Brahma Das »

Plus, the images are from Imageshack hosting, so there shouldn't be a problem there. :beer:
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