The Madhya-līlā, the longest of the three divisions, narrates in detail Lord Caitanya's extensive and eventful travels throughout India as a renounced mendicant, teacher, philosopher, spiritual preceptor, and mystic. During this period of six years, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu transmits His teachings to His principal disciples. He debates and converts many of the renowned philosophers and theologians of His time, including Śaṅkarites, Buddhists, and Muslims, and incorporates their many thousands of followers and disciples into His own burgeoning numbers. The author also includes in this section a dramatic account of Caitanya Mahāprabhu's miraculous activities at the giant Ratha-yātrā (Car Festival) in Jagannātha Purī, Orissa.
The Antya-līlā concerns the last eighteen years of Śrī Caitanya's presence, spent in semiseclusion near the famous Jagannātha temple in Purī. During these final years, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya drifted deeper and deeper into trances of spiritual ecstasy unparalleled in all of religious and literary history, Eastern or Western. His perpetual and ever-increasing religious beatitude, graphically described in the eyewitness accounts of Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī, His constant companion during this period, clearly defy the investigative and descriptive abilities of modern psychologists and phenomenologists of religious experience.
The author of this great classic, Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, born around the beginning of the sixteenth century, was a disciple of Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, a confidential follower of Caitanya Mahāprabhu's. Raghunātha dāsa, a renowned ascetic saint, heard and memorized all the activities of Caitanya Mahāprabhu told to him by Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī. After the passing away of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Svarūpa Dāmodara, Raghunātha dāsa, unable to bear the pain of separation from these objects of his complete devotion, traveled to Vṛndāvana, intending to commit suicide by jumping from Govardhana Hill. In Vṛndāvana, however, he encountered Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, two of the most confidential disciples of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. They convinced him to give up his planned suicide and impelled him to reveal to them the spiritually inspiring events of Lord Caitanya's later life. Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī was also residing in Vṛndāvana at this time, and Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī endowed him with a full comprehension of the transcendental life of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.