In our series of posts on the verses which adorn the Temple of Love and Affection we have thus far presented verses on the theme of Hari-katha itself. We began with verses that glorify Hari-katha in general and then presented verses describing the glories of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam and narrations of the Pastimes of the Divine Couple Sri Sri Radha-Krishna. Now, to further develop this progression, we are presenting a verse Srila Govinda Maharaj cited in his introduction to Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita which glorifies Gaura-katha and the writing of Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami.
Temple of Love and Affection Verse 9
gaura-kathā payorāśī, kṛṣṇa-dāsa tāhe bhāsi’
āniyāchhe amṛtera dhāra
sei kāvya-sudhā pāne, vaiṣṇava śītala prāṇe,
āro pite chāhe bāra bāra
(Śrīla Bhaktivinod Ṭhākur)
“Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami floated in the milk-ocean of Sriman Mahprabhu’s glory and then brought (into this world) a stream of nectar: Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita. When devotees drink this nectarean poetry, their hearts are cooled and they desire to drink more again and again.”
To shed light on the profundity and sweetness of this verse, we are presenting two excerpts from lectures of Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj in which he glorifies Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami and his Chaitanya-charitamrita to the extreme. Through these passages we can easily understand the topmost position of Gaura-katha and the reason why it is the central focus of our Mission.
Faith in the Gauranga is rare, and to have faith in Gauranga is costly. If you can somehow gather that, you will be benefited more so than you will be by directly negotiating with Krishna. But to put faith in Gauranga will be difficult until we can understand Him ontologically. We cannot proceed with only the help of our worldly experience. Gauranga is not accepted by such large circle as Krishna is accepted. Many higher scriptures are in favour of Krishna-avatar, so a wide circle accept Krishna as Lord. A narrower circle accepts Gauranga as God, and there are not so many scriptures supporting Him. So, it is difficult to have faith in Him. But if you can somehow come closer to Gauranga, your will be a greater gainer.
In the conception of Kaviraj Goswami, there is something more. There you will find very charming, heart-touching things that give us a clear conception. In Sanskrit, Kaviraj Goswami wrote the Govinda-lilamritam. There, he described the ashta-kaliya-lila, the full twenty-four hour engagement of the gopis with Krishna. In Bengali, he wrote Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita. These two books have made him immortal and given him a very very high position amongst the sadhus. Kustari Manjari is his name in Krishna-lila, Kaviraj Goswami Prabhu.
His birthplace was between Katwa and Ekachakra, Nityananda Prabhu’s place, about two miles north of Bardhman station in Jhamatpur. I once went to visit that place. All through my request to ISKCON was to try to improve that place. That place is most important according to me, the place of he who has given Mahaprabhu proper to us.
Chaitanya-charitamrita is the most valuable theological literature the world has ever seen. Our Guru Maharaj said that every single part of Chaitanya-charitamrita is aprakrita: composed of the purest, highest material. No part can be disregarded as less valuable. All its parts are of equal value. In other books, there are some things which are substantial and other things which only help to support the substantial things; there are so many stories and other things added. Even in Bhagavatam, there are so many stories which may not be necessary for us, stories that are devised only to support the original thought. But in Chaitanya-charitamrita never a letter is to be found which does not have the highest value. Such is impossible! In anything that is to be composed, there is generally a necessity for elements of different types. Differing elements are generally necessary for the construction of a particular thing. But Chaitanya-charitamrita is the wholesale golden temple of something more.
If one has gone through Chaitanya-charitamrita, one has everything within one’s fist—Bhagavatam, Mahabharata, the Vedas, and all the other scriptures. One will be able to attain the Central Truth. Nothing in the theological world will be unknown to them. One will get the clue of adjustment in the theological world. If one can go through Chaitanya-charitamrita in the right way, one will have the key of the theological kingdom in one’s hand. In a gross or subtle way, all the conceptions of the theistic world have been represented in Chaitanya-charitamrita in their own position. The outlook, the adjustment is such: it is fine and perfect there, in Chaitanya-charitamrita.
Gaura Haribol! Gaura Haribol! Gaura Haribol! Gaura Haribol!