Do Not Read Caitanta-caritāmṛta Like a Mundane Book (04/10/02)
First, when Mahāprabhu met Rāmānanda Rāya, Śrīla Kṛṣṇa Dāsa Kavirāja quoted from the works of Śrī Rupa, Śrī Sanātana and Śrī Jīva, which were not yet written. Caitanya-caritāmṛta,Madhya-līlā, Chapter 8, verses 69, 70, 84, 111, 143, 150, 161, 188…etc
The whole of Caitanya-caritāmṛta is written in Bengali prose. The actual conversation between Mahāprabhu and Rāmānanda did not take place verbatim, word for word, as it is written. However, the anthology of the conversation between Mahāprabhu and Rāmānanda takes us through the complete teachings of Śrī Caitanya. It is considered the most important conversation in Gaudiya sampradāya literature. What took place in that original conversation was later recorded in elegant prose by the Six Gosvāmīs and others. Kavirāja Gosvāmī, while writing Caitanya-caritāmṛta, then used the prose of the Six Gosvāmīs to communicate the teachings of Lord Caitanya to his readers. Caitanya-caritāmṛta is a book of poetry, historical fact, and transcendental teachings combined. It is also written by one in whose heart the pastimes and teaching of the Supreme Lord were revealed. Do not read Caitanya-caritāmṛta as if it were an ordinary book, expecting it to meet the standards of mundane historical literature.
And second, when Mahāprabhu met Śrī Gopāla Bhaṭṭa, Śrī Gopāla Bhaṭṭa says that he is off to join Śrī Rūpa and Śrī Sanātana in Vṛndāvana, but Mahāprabhu had not met those two Gosvāmīs, much less sent them to Vṛndāvana. (Bhakti-ratnakāra of Narahari Cakravartī 1.120
Edited by Navina-Kṛṣṇa Parāvidyālaṅkara, Calcutta Gauḍīya Maṭha, 1940. (not Caitanya-caritāmṛta, like I previously said. It was my mistake)
I have never read or even seen a copy of the book that you are referring to. However, Gauḍīya Maṭha has published an edition. In the time of Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, he mentioned that we are not concerned with the chronology of Bhakti-ratnakāra, which obviously has problems. The Caitanya-caritāmṛta also has chronological problems such as in the list of places visited by Śrī Caitanya on His South India tour.
But rather than mistakes, the so-called ‘chronological faults’ in the scriptures may be the Lord’s own arrangement to bewilder the faithless and the fault-finders. In a similar way, when Kṛṣṇa left this world five thousand years ago, He also left a material body behind just as if He were an ordinary living entity. The Lord did this just to bewilder the faithless.
You made a mistake by referencing Caitanya-caritāmṛta rather than Bhakti-ratnakāra, but your second mistake is that you are reading books that I have not authorised my disciples to read or study. You keep doing this dragging Kṛṣṇa consciousness down to the plane of scholarship and intellectualism. I keep referring you to what to read and how to preach, but you keep doing the
I am able to answer questions to books that I have never even read because I am surrendered to and always serving the order of my Guru Mahārāja and Guardians. Two things are required before anything else can be achieved in bhakti-yoga and that is faith and surrender. Try to focus on these things and simply read the books that I have authorised for disciples.
I hope this meets you well.
Swami B.G. Narasiṅgha