Actually, the Caitanya-caritāmṛta is not intended for the novice, for it is the postgraduate study of spiritual knowledge. Ideally, one begins with the Bhagavad-gītā and advances through Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to the Caitanya-caritāmṛta. Although all these great scriptures are on the same absolute level, for the sake of comparative study the Caitanya-caritāmṛta is considered to be on the highest platform. Every verse in it is perfectly composed.
In the second verse of the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, the author offers his obeisances to Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityānanda. He compares Them to the sun and the moon because They dissipate the darkness of the material world. In this instance the sun and the moon have risen together.
In the Western world, where the glories of Lord Caitanya are relatively unknown, one may inquire, “Who is Kṛṣṇa Caitanya?” The author of the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja, answers that question in the third verse of his book. Generally, in the Upaniṣads the Supreme Absolute Truth is described in an impersonal way, but the personal aspect of the Absolute Truth is mentioned in the Īśopaniṣad, where we find the following verse:
- hiraṇmayena pātreṇa satyasyāpihitaṁ mukham
- tat tvaṁ pūṣann apāvṛṇu satya-dharmāya dṛṣṭaye
“O my Lord, sustainer of all that lives, Your real face is covered by Your dazzling effulgence. Kindly remove that covering and exhibit Yourself to Your pure devotee.” (Śrī Īśopaniṣad 15) The impersonalists do not have the power to go beyond the effulgence of God and arrive at the Personality of Godhead, from whom this effulgence is emanating. The Īśopaniṣad is a hymn to that Personality of Godhead. It is not that the impersonal Brahman is denied; it is also described, but that Brahman is revealed to be the glaring effulgence of the body of Lord Kṛṣṇa. And in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta we learn that Lord Caitanya is Kṛṣṇa Himself. In other words, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya is the basis of the impersonal Brahman. The Paramātmā, or Supersoul, who is present within the heart of every living entity and within every atom of the universe, is but the partial representation of Lord Caitanya. Therefore Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, being the basis of both Brahman and the all-pervading Paramātmā as well, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As such, He is full in six opulences: wealth, fame, strength, beauty, knowledge and renunciation. In short, we should know that He is Kṛṣṇa, God, and that nothing is equal to or greater than Him. There is nothing superior to be conceived. He is the Supreme Person.