CC Preface and Introduction
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)
As the Vedānta-sūtra says at the very beginning, athāto brahma jijñāsā: "Now let us begin to inquire about the Supreme Absolute Truth." Rūpa Gosvāmī thus praises Lord Caitanya as the most munificent incarnation of all, for He gives the greatest gift by teaching the highest form of devotional service. In other words, He answers the most important inquiries that anyone can make.
CC Adi 1.50, Purport:
Lord Brahmā inquired about the potency of the Supreme Lord, and the Personality of Godhead answered his inquiry in the following six consecutive statements. These instructions, which are reproduced from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.9.31–36), were imparted by the Personality of Godhead, acting as the supreme spiritual master.
CC Adi 1.56, Translation:
"A person interested in transcendental knowledge must therefore always directly and indirectly inquire about it to know the all-pervading truth."
CC Adi 7.63, Purport:
The Māyāvādīs were sitting in an exalted position, and Caitanya Mahāprabhu sat in a place that was not even clean. Therefore the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs thought that He must have been aggrieved for some reason, and Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī inquired about the cause for His lamentation.
CC Adi 7.67, Purport:
Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself exemplified such behavior, and this is why Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī inquired why He did not associate or even talk with them. Caitanya Mahāprabhu confirmed by example that a preacher of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement generally should not waste his time talking with Māyāvādī sannyāsīs, but when there are arguments on the basis of śāstra, a Vaiṣṇava must come forward to talk and defeat them in philosophy.
CC Adi 7.71, Purport:
When Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī inquired from Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu why He neither studied Vedānta nor performed meditation, Lord Caitanya presented Himself as a number one fool in order to indicate that the present age, Kali-yuga, is an age of fools and rascals in which it is not possible to obtain perfection simply by reading Vedānta philosophy and meditating.
CC Adi 7.102, Purport:
The Māyāvādī sannyāsīs, appreciating Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, inquired from Him why He did not discuss Vedānta philosophy. Actually, however, the entire system of Vaiṣṇava activities is based on Vedānta philosophy. Vaiṣṇavas do not neglect Vedānta, but they do not care to understand Vedānta on the basis of the Śārīraka-bhāṣya commentary.
CC Adi 7.106, Purport:
The Vedānta-sūtra, which consists of aphorisms revealing the method of understanding Vedic knowledge, is the concise form of all Vedic knowledge. It begins with the words athāto brahma jijñāsā: "Now is the time to inquire about the Absolute Truth." The human form of life is especially meant for this purpose, and therefore the Vedānta-sūtra very concisely explains the human mission.
CC Adi 7.106, Purport:
The solemn declaration given in the beginning of the Vedānta-sūtra is athāto brahma jijñāsā, which indicates that this book was written with the solemn declaration to inquire about the Absolute Truth.
CC Adi 7.146, Purport:
"A human being is defeated in all his activities as long as he does not know the goal of life, which can be understood when one is inquisitive about Brahman." It is such inquiry that begins the Vedānta-sūtra: athāto brahma jijñāsā. A human being should be inquisitive to know who he is, what the universe is, what God is, and what the relationship is between himself, God and the material world.
CC Adi 9.39, Purport:
When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu inquired from Haridāsa Ṭhākura how he was to benefit living entities other than humans, Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura replied that the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra is so potent that if it is chanted loudly, everyone will benefit, including the lower species of life.
CC Adi 10.48, Purport:
Satyarāja Khān was the son of Guṇarāja Khān and father of Rāmānanda Vasu. Haridāsa Ṭhākura lived for some time during the Cāturmāsya period in the village named Kulīna-grāma, where he chanted the holy name, the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, and distributed his mercy to the descendants of the Vasu family. Satyarāja Khān was allotted the service of supplying silk ropes for the Jagannātha Deity during the Ratha-yātrā festival. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's answers to his inquiries about the duty of householder devotees are vividly described in the Madhya-līlā, Chapters Fifteen and Sixteen.
CC Adi 12.41, Purport:
Śrī Mukunda, a great friend and associate of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, used to visit many places where people were against the Vaiṣṇava cult. When Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu came to know of this, He punished Mukunda, forbidding him to see Him again. Although Caitanya Mahāprabhu was soft like a flower, He was also strict like a thunderbolt, and everyone was afraid to allow Mukunda to come again into the presence of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Mukunda, therefore, being very sorry, asked his friends whether he would one day be allowed to see Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. When the devotees brought this inquiry to Lord Caitanya, the Lord replied, "Mukunda will get permission to see Me after many millions of years." When they gave this information to Mukunda, he danced with jubilation, and when Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu heard that Mukunda was so patiently waiting to meet Him after millions of years, He immediately asked him to return.
CC Adi 14.26, Translation:
Seeing this, mother Śacī hastily returned and exclaimed, "What is this! What is this!" She snatched the dirt from the hands of the Lord and inquired why He was eating it.
CC Adi 14.27, Translation:
Crying, the child inquired from His mother, “Why are you angry? You have already given Me dirt to eat. What is My fault?
CC Adi 16.41, Translation:
The Digvijayī, Keśava Kāśmīrī, inquired which verse He wanted explained. The Lord then recited one of the one hundred verses Keśava Kāśmīrī had composed.
CC Adi 16.42, Translation:
When Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked him to explain the meaning of this verse, the champion, very much astonished, inquired from Him as follows.
CC Adi 17.1, Purport:
Although less intelligent men cannot understand it, this is the special power of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Actually, the body of a Kṛṣṇa conscious person changes in many ways. Even in the United States, when our devotees chant on the street, American ladies and gentlemen inquire from them whether they are actually Americans because no one could expect Americans to become such nice devotees all of a sudden. Even Christian priests are greatly surprised that all these boys from Jewish and Christian families have joined this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement; before joining, they never regarded any principles of religion seriously, but now they have become sincere devotees of the Lord. Everywhere people express this astonishment, and we take great pride in the transcendental behavior of our students. Such wonders are possible, however, only by the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. They are not ordinary or mundane.
CC Adi 17.104, Purport:
The brāhmaṇas who went door to door as if beggars had perfect command of such vast knowledge. Thus the highest knowledge was easily available even to the poorest man in society. The poorest man could inquire from an astrologer about his past, present and future, with no need for business agreements or exorbitant payments. The brāhmaṇa would give him all the benefit of his knowledge without asking remuneration, and the poor man, in return, would offer a handful of rice, or anything he had in his possession, to satisfy the brāhmaṇa. In a perfect human society, perfect knowledge in any science—medical, astrological, ecclesiastical and so on—is available even to the poorest man, with no anxiety over payment. In the present day, however, no one can get justice, medical treatment, astrological help or ecclesiastical enlightenment without money, and since people are generally poor, they are bereft of the benefits of all these great sciences.
CC Adi 17.169, Purport:
Sometimes Christian priests come to us inquiring, "Why are our followers neglecting our scriptures and accepting yours?" But when we ask them, "Your Bible says, "Do not kill." Why then are you killing so many animals daily?" they cannot answer. Some of them imperfectly answer that the animals have no souls. But then we ask them, "How do you know that animals have no souls? Animals and children are of the same nature. Does this mean that the children of human society also have no souls?" According to the Vedic scriptures, within the body is the owner of the body, the soul. In the Bhagavad-gītā (2.13) it is said:
- dehino ’smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
- tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati
"As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change."
CC Adi 17.171, Translation:
"The reasoning and arguments in the scriptures of the meat-eaters are not very sound," the Kazi concluded. Upon hearing this statement, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu smiled and inquired from him as follows.