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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Chaitanya Charitamrta > Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja



          Appearing near Katwa, in a village called Jhamatpura, Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami left for Vrindavana after Lord Nityananda mercifully instructed him in a dream: “O my Krishnadasa, do not be afraid. Go to Vrindavana. For there you will attain all things.”

          In the Vrindavana, he took shelter of the six Gosvamis and became engaged in pure devotional service under their guidance. He lived a renounced life at Shyama-kunda near Manasa Pavana Ghat, Shrimati Radharani’s midday bathing place.

          Shri Jiva Goswami, as per this custom of giving titles of honour to qualified devotees, gave Krishnadasa the title Kaviraja (the king of poets) for his two superexcellent poetic masterpieces Shri Chaitanya-Charitamrita and Shri Govinda-Lilamrita.

          Shri Narottama Dasa Thakura wrote in Prarthana: “Krishnadasa Kaviraja who composed the topmost of all literatures, Shri Chaitanya-Charitamrita, is the connoisseur among devotees. His Govinda-Lilamrita moves stones to tears.”

          During Krishnadasa’s time, all the Vaishnavas would gather at Govindaji’s temple to hear Shri Chaitanya-Bhagavata from Shri Haridasa Pandita, who was a reservoir of divine qualities. The devotees wee eager to hear about Lord Gauranga’s later pastimes, so they asked Krishnadasa Kaviraja to describe them. Krishnadasa had realized these pastimes in his heart while hearing about them from Shrila Raghunatha das Goswami on the banks of Radha-Kunda. Raghunatha das had in turn seen them personally in Jagannatha Puri and also heard it from Svarupa Damodara Goswami, the most intimate servitor of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Puri.

          Krishnadasa prayed to Lord Madana Mohana for ability and blessings. The Deity’s flower garland fell down, indicating divine sanction. Krishnadasa Kaviraja’s Chaitanya-Charitamrita is the most accurate, authentic, and philosophical biography of Lord Chaitanya. Every line is full of infinite humility, enthusiasm, and devotion for Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Shri Nityananda Prabhu. Krishnadasa has the wonderful power of speaking without offending, even when rebuking the faithless and envious atheists. The most wonderful thing is that he has composed this sweetest of all literatures when he was externally very old (in the nineties). Shri Chaitanya-Charitamrita contains 62 chapters, a total of 11,555 verses and was composed at Radha-Kunda, Vrindavana in 1561 A.D. That cottage where Krishnadasa Kaviraja composed this great literature is still present and has become the holiest of all holy places.

          He has vast knowledge of all Vedic scriptures. His book shows his skill in the Srutis, Smritis, Nyaya, Jyotir-shastra, Sanskrit, and the culnary arts. Thakura Bhaktivinoda has said in the Chaitanya-shikshamrita that Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja has made available to us all the knowledge in the literatures written by the six Goswamis like the six Sandarbhas etc. in the form of Shri Chaitanya-charitamrita. Although he was an erudite scholar, a strict ascetic, a paramhansa rasika Vaishnava, Krishnadasa writes about himself. “I am deaf, dumb, wholly illiterate, worldly-minded, and lower than a worm in stool.” This extreme exhibition of humility is to set an example for us, the aspiring devotees. If one thinks that  Krishnadasa is really what he is potraying himself to be, then such a person clears his way to hell. His personal humility automatically attracts the heart of any reader of Shri Chaitanya-Charitamrita.

          Krishnadasa Kaviraja was a living example of “humbler than  a blade of grass and more tolerant than a tree.” A devotee will advance spiritually and understand Shri Chaitanya’s teachings on Radha-Krishna prema-bhakti by reading Chaitanya-Charitamrita. By reading this book, one associates with Shri Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami, an eternally liberated associate of Lord Chaitanya. One will thus develop the Vaishnava qualities of humility, innocence, integrity, equanimity, freedom from material desires, mild temperament, control over the six passions, friendliness, honouring all living entities, being silent, expert, poetic and absolute surrender to Lord Krishna simply by regularly reading or hearing this great literature.

          In Vrindavan-lila of Shri Radha and Krishna, Krishnadasa Kaviraja is Shri Kasturi Manjari, one of the eight most intimate maidservants of Shrimati Radharani. His samadhi is at Radha-Kunda, and at the Radha-Damodara temple according to some.

          Thakura Bhaktivinoda states: “If Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja had not composed this great literature, then the common people would never have been able to understand  the eternal, pure and the topmost Vaishnava philosophy as established by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself. Thus everyone would have remained greatly unfortunate and it is very difficult to say about what would have been their destination if this great literature had not been composed. All glories to Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami! All Glories to Shri Chaitanya-Charitamrita.”