(HH Kadamba Kanana Swami, 2nd March 2012, New York) Lecture: Caitanya-caritāmṛta

Sometimes the discussion comes up that the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, is post graduate literature, which is translated as:

‘It’s radioactive! You can’t read it. Have you finished the Bhagavatam?’


’Then you can’t read it. It’s maya…it’s offensive!’

Prabhupada said:

‘It’s postgraduate. It comes after the Bhagavatam!’

So what about that? Prabhupada himself started lecturing here in New York in 1966, about the Caitanya-caritāmṛta………and if you hear his lectures in 1966 they were not adjusted lectures for the kindergarten. They flied over our heads today and it’s like serious stuff! I mean they are substantial lectures of today and can still make us feel very deep.

So Prabhupada on the one hand, didn’t mean that the Caitanya-caritāmṛta was radioactive when he said that it was, ‘post graduate literature’, but for various reasons he said so.

One reason was that part of the Bhagavad philosophy is already assumed in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta. So if you don’t know, have never read it, then you are missing something. And the other thing is that it’s particularly very elaborately describes rasa-tattva.

The Bhagavatam does that also, and I would say that it does that more in a philosophical way in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta with verses to illustrate it. For example, a chapter that is really dedicated to rasa-tattva is in the Antya-lila chapter one which is based on Rupa Goswami’s Vidagdha-madhava. The main focus in that chapter is not so much the rasa lila exchange…. the real thing that is focused on is the emotions. The deep spiritual emotions – the emotions to previous attachments and how strong they are; the emotions of separation and how strong they are. So in this way the focus is on the emotional side and not so much on intimate details!

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