By Gopikā Rādhika Devī Dāsī
Picture compilation, layout and formatting by Bhakta Visham Singh Rawat (GBC SPT Research Team- 15 March 2021)
Frequently Quoted Verses from Śrī Caitanya-Caritāmṛta
“Bhāgavata paro giya bhāgavata sthāne. Those who are practical bhāgavata, life bhāgavata, from them…try to understand Bhāgavata.”—Śrīla Prabhupāda quotes Lord Caitanya’s personal secretary Svarūpa Dāmodara in a lecture (10/29/72, Vrndāvana) on a well-known verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam—
naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā
bhagavaty uttama-śloke bhaktir bhavati naiṣṭhikī
The verse prescribes nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā as the remedy to eliminate “all that is troublesome to the heart” (translation) and in his purport Śrīla Prabhupāda unpacks the word “bhāgavata”, to reveal that “there are two types of Bhāgavatas, namely the book Bhāgavata and the devotee Bhāgavata” and that “the messages of the book Bhāgavata, therefore, have to be received from the devotee Bhāgavata” (purport).
In line with this same principle, the bulk of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Introduction to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam comprises, “The life and teachings of Lord Caitanya”, who, being “the Absolute Personality of Godhead…is both Bhagavān and Bhāgavatam in person and in sound” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Introduction).
Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahaprabhu is para-tattva-sīmā—the highest limit of the Absolute Truth (Caitanya-caritāmṛta Adi 2.110), the combined form of Sri Radha and Krsna—caitanyākhyaṁ prakaṭam adhunā tad-dvayaṁ caikyam āptaṁ (Caitanya-caritāmṛta Adi 1.5), and “the father and inaugurator of the saṅkīrtana movement” (Caitanya-caritāmṛta Adi 3.78 purport), who is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam thus:
kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tviṣākṛṣṇaṁ sāṅgopāṅgāstra-pārṣadam
yajṣaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi su-medhasaḥ
“In the Age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the names of Kṛṣṇa. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Kṛṣṇa Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons and confidential companions.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.5.32)
Bounteously revealing the priceless jewels of the tattva (philosophical truths), līlā (pastimes) and śikṣā (teachings) of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, is the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, authored by Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī.
Literally meaning “the character of the living force in immortality”, Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta is a prodigious transcendental literature comprising over 11,000 verses.
Śrīla Prabhupāda often described Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta as “the postgraduate study of spiritual knowledge” (Caitanya-caritāmṛta Adi Introduction) and recounted his own spiritual master His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura’s prediction that the time would come when people from across the world would learn the Bengali language to read Caitanya-caritāmṛta.
“Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī confirms that what Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura wrote was actually spoken by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and that Vṛndāvana dāsa simply repeated it. The same holds true for Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta. Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī wrote Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta in his old age, in an invalid condition, but it is such a sublime literature that Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja used to say,” The time will come when the people of the world will learn Bengali to read Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta.” (Caitanya-caritāmṛta Adi 8.39 purport)
Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta is thus our incalculably priceless heirloom, mercifully delivered to us by our Founder-Acarya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, Lord Caitanya’s empowered emissary who spread Lord Caitanya’s message at an unprecedented scale across the world thus playing a key role in materializing Lord Caitanya’s prophecy: pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi-grāma sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma—“In every town and village of the world, the chanting of My name will be heard” [Caitanya Bhāgavata Antya-khaṇḍa 4.126].
In an attempt to support the ongoing Celebrating Caitanya-caritāmṛta event, offered below is a list of 40 prominently quoted Caitanya-caritāmṛta verses, drawn from Śrīla Prabhupāda Ślokas compiled by the Bhaktivedanta Archives.
Śrīla Prabhupāda writes in his purport to Bhagavad-gītā 17.15, “The process of speaking in spiritual circles is to say something upheld by the scriptures. One should at once quote from scriptural authority to back up what he is saying.”
Śrīla Prabhupāda wished his followers to be as expert in quoting from his books as the best lawyers are in citing law books: “You should read these books so nicely. Just like big lawyer—they go to the court and they cite: “Under such and such section or under such and such clause.” Similarly, we have got so many books. If we can give reference immediately from the books, that means you are reading…There are so many lawyers. Why one becomes big lawyer? He can give quotations from the law book immediately. That is the difference.” (Śrīla Prabhupāda Room Conversation—June 18, 1975, Honolulu)
It is thus hoped that devotees will find this list of verses enlivening and useful both in terms of deepening their personal absorption and connection with the Caitanya-caritāmṛta and in enriching their presentation of Kṛṣṇa consciousness to others.
The following is a list of frequently quoted verses from Śrī Caitanya-Caritāmṛta.
Adi 1.1 Obeisances to Lord Chaitanya and His Tattvas
vande gurūn īśa-bhaktān
tat-prakāśāṁś ca tac-chaktīḥ
I offer my respectful obeisances unto the spiritual masters, the devotees of the Lord, the Lord’s incarnations, His plenary portions, His energies and the primeval Lord Himself, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya.
Adi 1.2 Obeisances to Gaura-Nitai
citrau śan-dau tamo-nudau
I offer my respectful obeisances unto Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya and Lord Nityānanda, who are like the sun and moon. They have arisen simultaneously on the horizon of Gauḍa to dissipate the darkness of ignorance and thus wonderfully bestow benediction upon all..
Adi 1.4 Benedictions to the readers; external reasons for the Lord’s appearance
anarpita-carīṁ cirāt karuṇayāvatīrṇaḥ kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasāṁ sva-bhakti-śriyam
sadā hṛdaya-kandare sphuratu vaḥ śacī-nandanaḥ
May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Śrīmatī Śacī-devī be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.
Adi 1.5 Gaura-tattva: Combined form of Radha and Krsna
rādhā kṛṣṇa-praṇaya-vikṛtir hlādinī śaktir asmād
ekātmānāv api bhuvi purā deha-bhedaṁ gatau tau
caitanyākhyaṁ prakaṭam adhunā tad-dvayaṁ caikyam āptaṁ
rādhā-bhāva-dyuti-suvalitaṁ naumi kṛṣṇa-svarūpam
The loving affairs of Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are transcendental manifestations of the Lord’s internal pleasure-giving potency. Although Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are one in Their identity, previously They separated Themselves. Now these two transcendental identities have again united, in the form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. I bow down to Him, who has manifested Himself with the sentiment and complexion of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī although He is Kṛṣṇa Himself.
Adi 2.117 A sincere student should not neglect the discussion of such conclusions
siddhānta baliyā citte nā kara alasa
ihā ha-ite kṛṣṇe lāge sudṛḍha mānasa
A sincere student should not neglect the discussion of such conclusions, considering them controversial, for such discussions strengthen the mind. Thus, one’s mind becomes attached to Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
Adi 2.86 Spotless character of sages
bhrama, pramāda, vipralipsā, karaṇāpāṭava
ārṣa-vijña-vākye nāhi doṣa ei saba
Mistakes, illusions, cheating and defective perception do not occur in the sayings of the authoritative sages.
Adi 4.165 Lust Vs. Love
ātmendriya-prīti-vāṣchā—tāre bali ’kāma’
kṛṣṇendriya-prīti-icchā dhare ’prema’ nāma
The desire to gratify one’s own senses is kāma [lust], but the desire to please the senses of Lord Kṛṣṇa is prema [love].
Adi 5.142-143 The only master of all servants
ekale īśvara kṛṣṇa, āra saba bhṛtya
yāre yaiche nācāya, se taiche kare nṛtya
ei mata caitanya-gosāṣi ekale īśvara
āra saba pāriṣada, keha vā kiṅkara
Lord Kṛṣṇa alone is the supreme controller, and all others are His servants. They dance as He makes them do so. Thus, Lord Caitanya is also the only controller. All others are His associates or servants.
Adi 7.71 My spiritual master considered Me a fool
prabhu kahe—śuna, śrīpāda, ihāra kāraṇa
guru more mūrkha dekhi’ karila śāsana
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied to Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, My dear sir, kindly hear the reason. My spiritual master considered Me a fool, and therefore he chastised Me.
Adi 7.74 Holy Name: The only religious principle
nāma vinu kali-kāle nāhi āra dharma
sarva-mantra-sāra nāma, ei śāstra-marma
In this Age of Kali there is no religious principle other than the chanting of the holy name, which is the essence of all Vedic hymns. This is the purport of all scriptures.
Adi 8.15 Apply your logic to Lord Caitanya’s mercy
śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya-dayā karaha vicāra
vicāra karile citte pābe camatkāra
If you are indeed interested in logic and argument, kindly apply it to the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. If you do so, you will find it to be strikingly wonderful.
Adi 9.41 Make life successful and preach
bhārata-bhūmite haila manuṣya janma yāra
janma sārthaka kari’ kara para-upakāra
One who has taken his birth as a human being in the land of India [Bhārata-varṣa] should make his life successful and work for the benefit of all other people.
Adi 17.22 Nama-avatara
kali-kāle nāma-rūpe kṛṣṇa-avatāra
nāma haite haya sarva-jagat-nistāra
In this Age of Kali, the holy name of the Lord, the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, is the incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Simply by chanting the holy name, one associates with the Lord directly. Anyone who does this is certainly delivered.
Madhya 6.169 Vedanta vs. Mayavada
jīvera nistāra lāgi’ sūtra kaila vyāsa
māyāvādi-bhāṣya śunile haya sarva-nāśa
Śrīla Vyāsadeva presented the Vedānta philosophy for the deliverance of conditioned souls, but if one hears the commentary of Śaṅkarācārya, everything is spoiled. (Lord Caitanya to Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya)
Madhya 7.128-129 Become a spiritual master
yāre dekha, tāre kaha ’kṛṣṇa’-upadeśa
āmāra ājṣāya guru haṣā tāra’ ei deśa
kabhu nā bādhibe tomāra viṣaya-taraṅga
punarapi ei ṭhāṣi pābe mora saṅga”
Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa as they are given in the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In this way become a spiritual master and try to liberate everyone in this land.” Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu further advised the brāhmaṇa Kūrma, If you follow this instruction, your materialistic life at home will not obstruct your spiritual advancement. Indeed, if you follow these regulative principles, we will again meet here, or, rather, you will never lose My company. (Lord Caitanya to Kurma brahmana)
Madhya 8.128 Guru: Knower of the science of Krsna
kibā vipra, kibā nyāsī, śūdra kene naya
yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā, sei ’guru’ haya
Whether one is a brāhmaṇa, a sannyāsī or a śūdra—regardless of what he is—he can become a spiritual master if he knows the science of Kṛṣṇa.” (Lord Caitanya to Ramananda Raya)
Madhya 8.274 A devotee sees Krsna everywhere
sthāvara-jaṅgama dekhe, nā dekhe tāra mūrti
sarvatra haya nija iṣṭa-deva-sphūrti
The mahā-bhāgavata, the advanced devotee, certainly sees everything mobile and immobile, but he does not exactly see their forms. Rather, everywhere he immediately sees manifest the form of the Supreme Lord.” (Lord Caitanya to Ramananda Raya)
Madhya 11.8 Seeing sense gratifiers is like drinking poison
niṣkiṣcanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukhasya pāraṁ paraṁ jigamiṣor bhava-sāgarasya
sandarśanaṁ viṣayiṇām atha yoṣitāṁ ca hā hanta hanta viṣa-bhakṣaṇato ’py asādhu
Greatly lamenting, the Lord then informed Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, ‘Alas, for a person who is seriously desiring to cross the material ocean and engage in the transcendental loving service of the Lord without material motives, seeing a materialist engaged in sense gratification or seeing a woman who is similarly interested is more abominable than drinking poison willingly.’ (Lord Caitanya to Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya)
Madhya 19.149 Only a devotee is desireless and therefore peaceful
kṛṣṇa-bhakta—niṣkāma, ataeva ’śānta’bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kāmī—sakali ’aśānta’
Because a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa is desireless, he is peaceful. Fruitive workers desire material enjoyment, jnānīs desire liberation, and yogīs desire material opulence; therefore, they are all lusty and cannot be peaceful. (Lord Caitanya to Rupa Gosvami)
Madhya 19.151 Fortune of receiving Bhakti-Lata-Bija
brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja
According to their karma, all living entities are wandering throughout the entire universe. Some of them are being elevated to the upper planetary systems, and some are going down into the lower planetary systems. Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. By the mercy of both Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service. (Lord Caitanya to Rupa Gosvami)
Madhya 19.152 Watering the Bhakti-latā-bīja by Śravaṇa and Kīrtana
mālī hañā kare sei bīja āropaṇa śravaṇa-kīrtana-jale karaye secana
When a person receives the seed of devotional service, he should take care of it by becoming a gardener and sowing the seed in his heart. If he waters the seed gradually by the process of śravaṇa and kīrtana [hearing and chanting], the seed will begin to sprout.
Madhya 19.156 The mad-elephant offense
yadi vaiṣṇava-aparādha uṭhe hātī mātā upāḍe vā chiṇḍe, tāra śukhi’ yāya pātā
If the devotee commits an offense at the feet of a Vaiṣṇava while cultivating the creeper of devotional service in the material world, his offense is compared to a mad elephant that uproots the creeper and breaks it. In this way the leaves of the creeper are dried up. (Lord Caitanya to Rupa Gosvami)
Madhya 20.102 Sanatana Gosvami enquires from Lord Caitanya
’ke āmi’, ’kene āmāya jāre tāpa-traya’
ihā nāhi jāni—’kemane hita haya’
Who am I? Why do the threefold miseries always give me trouble? If I do not know this, how can I be benefited?
Madhya 20.108 The living entity’s constitutional position
jīvera ’svarūpa’ haya—kṛṣṇera ’nitya-dāsa’
kṛṣṇera ’taṭasthā-śakti’ ’bhedābheda-prakāśa’
It is the living entity’s constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa because he is the marginal energy of Kṛṣṇa and a manifestation simultaneously one with and different from the Lord.
Madhya 20.117 Forgetfulness of Krsna brings misery
kṛṣṇa bhuli’ sei jīva anādi-bahirmukha
ataeva māyā tāre deya saṁsāra-duḥkha
Forgetting Kṛṣṇa, the living entity has been attracted by the external feature from time immemorial. Therefore the illusory energy [māyā] gives him all kinds of misery in his material existence. (Lord Caitanya to Sanatana Gosvami)
Madhya 20.122 Scriptures are Krsna’s mercy
māyā-mugdha jīvera nāhi svataḥ kṛṣṇa-jñāna
jīvere kṛpāya kailā kṛṣṇa veda-purāṇa
The conditioned soul cannot revive his Kṛṣṇa consciousness by his own effort. But out of causeless mercy, Lord Kṛṣṇa compiled the Vedic literature and its supplements, the Purāṇas. (Lord Caitanya to Sanatana Gosvami)
Madhya 22.31 Krsna-sun; Maya-darkness
kṛṣṇa—sūrya-sama, māyā haya andhakāra
yāhāṅ kṛṣṇa, tāhāṅ nāhi māyāra adhikāra
Kṛṣṇa is compared to sunshine, and māyā is compared to darkness. Wherever there is sunshine, there cannot be darkness. As soon as one takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the darkness of illusion (the influence of the external energy) will immediately vanish. (Lord Caitanya to Sanatana Gosvami)
Madhya 22.54 Glories of association of a devotee
’sādhu-saṅga’, ’sādhu-saṅga’—sarva-śāstre kaya
lava-mātra sādhu-saṅge sarva-siddhi haya
The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment’s association with a pure devotee, one can attain all success. (Lord Caitanya to Sanatana Gosvami)
Madhya 22.62 What is Sraddha?
’śraddhā’-śabde—viśvāsa kahe sudṛḍha niścaya
kṛṣṇe bhakti kaile sarva-karma kṛta haya
Śraddhā is confident, firm faith that by rendering transcendental loving service to Kṛṣṇa one automatically performs all subsidiary activities. Such faith is favorable to the discharge of devotional service. (Lord Caitanya to Sanatana Gosvami)
Madhya 22.87 Importance of avoiding bad association
’strī-saṅgī’—eka asādhu, ’kṛṣṇābhakta’ āra
For a Vaiṣṇava, the standard behavior is to avoid the assocation of ordinary people not interested in kṛṣṇa-bhakti. Such common people are, first, those who are too materially attached, especially to women, and, second, people who are not at all devotees of Lord Krsna. Vaisnavas should avoid the company of these two kinds of people. (Lord Caitanya to Sanatana Gosvami)
Madhya 22.107 Love for Krsna is eternally established in the heart
nitya-siddha kṛṣṇa-prema ’sādhya’ kabhu naya
śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte karaye udaya
Pure love for Kṛṣṇa is eternally established in the hearts of the living entities. It is not something to be gained from another source. When the heart is purified by hearing and chanting, this love naturally awakens. (Lord Caitanya to Sanatana Gosvami)
Madhya 22.128-129 The topmost five limbs of devotional service
sādhu-saṅga, nāma-kīrtana, bhāgavata-śravaṇa
mathurā-vāsa, śrī-mūrtira śraddhāya sevana
One should associate with devotees, chant the holy name of the Lord, hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, reside at Mathurā and worship the Deity with faith and veneration.
sakala-sādhana-śreṣṭha ei pañca aṅga
kṛṣṇa-prema janmāya ei pāṅcera alpa saṅga
These five limbs of devotional service are the best of all. Even a slight performance of these five awakens love for Kṛṣṇa.
Madhya 25.278 The nectar of Krsna’s and Lord Caitanya’s pastimes
ye līlā-amṛta vine, khāya yadi anna-pāne,
tabe bhaktera durbala jīvana
yāra eka-bindu-pāne, utphullita tanu-mane,
hāse, gāya, karaye nartana
Men become strong and stout by eating sufficient grains, but the devotee who simply eats ordinary grains but does not taste the transcendental pastimes of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Kṛṣṇa gradually becomes weak and falls down from the transcendental position. However, if one drinks but a drop of the nectar of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, his body and mind begin to bloom, and he begins to laugh, sing and dance.
tuṇḍe tāṇḍavinī ratiṁ vitanute tuṇḍāvalī-labdhaye
karṇa-kroḍa-kaḍambinī ghaṭayate karṇārbudebhyaḥ spṛhām
cetaḥ-prāṅgaṇa-saṅginī vijayate sarvendriyāṇāṁ kṛtiṁ
no jāne janitā kiyadbhir amṛtaiḥ kṛṣṇeti varṇa-dvayī
I do not know how much nectar the two syllables ’Kṛṣ-ṇa’ have produced. When the holy name of Kṛṣṇa is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We then desire many, many mouths. When that name enters the holes of the ears, we desire many millions of ears. And when the holy name dances in the courtyard of the heart, it conquers the activities of the mind, and therefore all the senses become inert. (Rupa Gosvami’s verse Vidagdha-mādhava (1.15) spoken by Lord Caitanya)
’dvaite’ bhadrābhadra-jñāna, saba—’manodharma’
’ei bhāla, ei manda’,—ei saba ’bhrama’
In the material world, conceptions of good and bad are all mental speculations. Therefore, saying ’This is good’ and ’This is bad’ is all a mistake. (Lord Caitanya to Sanatana Gosvami)
mahāprabhura bhakta-gaṇera vairāgya pradhāna
yāhā dekhi’ prīta hana gaura-bhagavān
Renunciation is the basic principle sustaining the lives of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s devotees. Seeing this renunciation, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is extremely satisfied.
kṛṣṇa-śakti vinā nahe tāra pravartana
The fundamental religious system in the Age of Kali is the chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa. Unless empowered by Kṛṣṇa, one cannot propagate the saṅkīrtana movement. (Vallabha Bhatta to Lord Caitanya)