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Translated By Subhag Swami
Edited by Mahanidhi Swami
Preface By Mahanidhi Swami
Lochana Dasa was born in 1520 A.D. in Kograma within Gauramandala, West Bengal. He was a disciple of Shri Narahari Sarakara Thakura, an intimate eternal associate of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. One day in 1537 A.D., following his guru's order, Locana Dasa sat on a stone slab under a badari tree and started writing the ChaitanyaMangala on a piece of bark.
Since Vrndavana Dasa Thakura had already written a book entitled Chaitanya-Mangala, the leading devotees in Vrndavana [Shri Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami, Shri Jiva Gosvami, Kasisvara Pandita, Pandita Haridasa Gosvami, and Anantacarya] met to resolve the problem. They decided that henceforth Vrndavana Dasa's book would be called Chaitanya Bhagavata, and Locana Dasa Thakura's book would remain as ChaitanyaMangala.
In The History and Literature of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, Dr. S. Das [a disciple of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura] says, "Locana Dasa does 'not claim to be a doctor of theology. He was a musician like his preceptor [Narahari Thakura]. He made music and dedicated his pre-eminent musical abilities toward serving one mission.
"Locana Dasa did not compose this beautiful narrtive poem, Chaitanya-Mangala, to thrust abstract philosophy and a labyrinth doctrine down the people's throat. Rather, he wanted to impress the divine character of Shri Chaitanya on the popular mind, and thereby arouse its religious sensibilities."
In Vaishnava Abhidana, Haridasa Dasa [a famous Gaudiya Vaishnava historian] describes Chaitanya-Mangala, "Locana Dasa based his Chaitanya-Mangala on Murari Gupta's authorized Sanskrit biography of Lord Chaitanya entitled Shri-Krishna-Chaitanya-carita. Chaitanya Mangala is written in simple, beautiful language, and it can be sung in various beautiful ragas.
"Chaitanya-Mangala is a rasatmaka-sastra [book full of rasa], and Chaitanya Bhagavata is a varnanatmaka-sastra [a book full of descriptions].
"Readers should not confuse Lochana Dasa Thakura's authentic and authorized book, Chaitanya-Mangala, with another book of the same title written by Jayananda. Jayananda's book has many strange descriptions of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Among the society of Vaishnavas, Jayananda's book is not loved, appreciated, or widely read. In fact, Bhakti-ratnakara doesn't even mention or refer to his book. Jayananda didn't show any talent in composing; his writing is incoherent and sloppy."
To produce this English translation of Shri Chaitanya Mangala, we used a 1929 Bengali edition published by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura at the Bagbazaar [Calcutta] office of the Gaudiya Math. Between 1920-1936 Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura printed many important books including Shrimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, Chaitanya-caritarnrta," Chaitanya-Bhagavata, Chaitanya-Mangala, Brahma-samhita, Upadesamrta, Prema-bhakti-candrika and Bhakti Sandarbha.
Shrila Prabhupada strictly followed the example and teachings of his spiritual master, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. Through his Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, Shrila Prabhupada published almost all of the same books as his guru maharaja. Presenfiy, Shrila Prabhupada has inspired the BBT to publish an English translation of Shri Jiva Gosvami's Sandarbhas.
Similarly, Shrila Prabhupada has inspired us to publish this English edition of Shri Chaitanya-Mangala. We hope that our guru maharaja, Shrila Prabhupada, our param-guru, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and all the devotees will be pleased with our efforts.