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Śri Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

This chapter explains that Lord Caitanya is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa Himself. Therefore, the Brahman effulgence is the bodily luster of Lord Caitanya, and the localized Supersoul situated in the heart of every living entity is His partial representation. The puruṣa-avatāras are also explained in this connection. Mahā-Viṣṇu is the reservoir of all conditioned souls, but, as confirmed in the authoritative scriptures, Lord Kṛṣṇa is the ultimate fountainhead, the source of numerous plenary expansions, including Nārāyaṇa, who is generally accepted by Māyāvādī philosophers to be the Absolute Truth. The Lord’s manifestation of prābhava and vaibhava expansions, as well as partial incarnations and incarnations with delegated powers, are also explained. Lord Kṛṣṇa’s ages of boyhood and youth are discussed, and it is explained that His age at the beginning of youth is His eternal form.

The spiritual sky contains innumerable spiritual planets, the Vaikuṇṭhas, which are manifestations of the Supreme Lord’s internal energy. Innumerable material universes are similarly exhibited by His external energy, and the living entities are manifested by His marginal energy. Because Lord Kṛṣṇa Caitanya is not different from Lord Kṛṣṇa, He is the cause of all causes; there is no cause beyond Him. He is eternal, and His form is spiritual. Lord Caitanya is directly the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa, as the evidence of authoritative scriptures proves. This chapter stresses that a devotee who wishes to advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness must have knowledge of Kṛṣṇa’s personal form, His three principal energies, His pastimes and the relationship of the living entities with Him.

Text 1:
I offer my obeisances to Sri Caitanya Mahāprabhu, by whose mercy even an ignorant child can swim across the ocean of conclusions about the ultimate truth, which is full of the crocodiles of various theories.
Text 2:
O my merciful Lord Caitanya, may the nectarean Ganges waters of Your transcendental activities flow on the surface of my desertlike tongue. Beautifying these waters are the lotus flowers of singing, dancing and loud chanting of Kṛṣṇa’s holy name, which are the pleasure abodes of unalloyed devotees. These devotees are compared to swans, ducks and bees. The river’s flowing produces a melodious sound that gladdens their ears.
Text 3:
All glories to Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Lord Śrī Nityānanda! All glories to Advaitacandra, and all glories to the devotees of Lord Gaurāṅga!
Text 4:
Let me describe the meaning of the third verse [of the first fourteen]. It is an auspicious vibration that describes the Absolute Truth.
Text 5:
What the Upaniṣads describe as the impersonal Brahman is but the effulgence of His body, and the Lord known as the Supersoul is but His localized plenary portion. Lord Caitanya is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa Himself, full with six opulences. He is the Absolute Truth, and no other truth is greater than or equal to Him.
Text 6:
Impersonal Brahman, the localized Paramātmā and the Personality of Godhead are three subjects, and the glowing effulgence, the partial manifestation and the original form are their three respective predicates.
Text 7:
A predicate always follows its subject. Now I shall explain the meaning of this verse according to the revealed scriptures.
Text 8:
Kṛṣṇa, the original form of the Personality of Godhead, is the summum bonum of the all-pervading Viṣṇu. He is all-perfect knowledge and all-perfect bliss. He is the Supreme Transcendence.
Text 9:
He whom Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam describes as the son of Nanda Mahārāja has descended to earth as Lord Caitanya.
Text 10:
In terms of His various manifestations, He is known in three features, called the impersonal Brahman, the localized Paramātmā and the original Personality of Godhead.
Text 11:
“Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth say that it is nondual knowledge and is called impersonal Brahman, the localized Paramātmā and the Personality of Godhead.”
Text 12:
What the Upaniṣads call the transcendental, impersonal Brahman is the realm of the glowing effulgence of the same Supreme Person.
Text 13:
As with the naked eye one cannot know the sun except as a glowing substance, merely by philosophical speculation one cannot understand Lord Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental varieties.
Text 14:
“I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is endowed with great power. The glowing effulgence of His transcendental form is the impersonal Brahman, which is absolute, complete and unlimited and which displays the varieties of countless planets, with their different opulences, in millions and millions of universes.”
Text 15:
[Lord Brahmā said:] “The opulences of the impersonal Brahman spread throughout the millions and millions of universes. That Brahman is but the bodily effulgence of Govinda.
Text 16:
“I worship Govinda. He is my Lord. Only by His grace am I empowered to create the universe.”
Text 17:
“Naked saints and sannyāsīs who undergo severe physical penances, who can raise the semen to the brain, and who are completely equipoised in Brahman can live in the realm known as Brahmaloka.”
Text 18:
He who is described in the yoga-śāstras as the indwelling Supersoul [ātmā antar-yāmī] is also a plenary portion of Govinda’s personal expansion.
Text 19:
As the one sun appears reflected in countless jewels, so Govinda manifests Himself [as Paramātmā] in the hearts of all living beings.
Text 20:
[The Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, said:] “What more shall I say to you? I live throughout this cosmic manifestation merely by My single plenary portion.”
Text 21:
[Grandfather Bhīṣma said:] “As the one sun appears differently situated to different seers, so also do You, the unborn, appear differently represented as the Paramātmā in every living being. But when a seer knows himself to be one of Your own servitors, no longer does he maintain such duality. Thus I am now able to comprehend Your eternal forms, knowing well the Paramātmā to be only Your plenary portion.”
Text 22:
That Govinda personally appears as Caitanya Gosāñi. No other Lord is as merciful in delivering the fallen souls.
Text 23:
Lord Nārāyaṇa, who dominates the transcendental world, is full in six opulences. He is the Personality of Godhead, the Lord of the goddess of fortune.
Text 24:
The Personality of Godhead is He who is described as the Absolute Whole in the Vedas, Bhāgavatam, Upaniṣads and other transcendental literatures. No one is equal to Him.
Text 25:
Through their service, devotees see that Personality of Godhead, just as the denizens of heaven see the personality of the sun.
Text 26:
Those who walk the paths of knowledge and yoga worship only Him, for it is Him they perceive as the impersonal Brahman and localized Paramātmā.
Text 27:
Thus one may understand the glories of the Lord through different modes of worship, as the example of the sun illustrates.
Text 28:
Nārāyaṇa and Śrī Kṛṣṇa are the same Personality of Godhead, but although They are identical, Their bodily features are different.
Text 29:
This Personality of Godhead [Śrī Kṛṣṇa] has two hands and holds a flute, whereas the other [Nārāyaṇa] has four hands, with conch, wheel, mace and lotus.
Text 30:
“O Lord of lords, You are the seer of all creation. You are indeed everyone’s dearest life. Are You not, therefore, my father, Nārāyaṇa? Nārāyaṇa refers to one whose abode is in the water born from Nara [Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu], and that Nārāyaṇa is Your plenary portion. All Your plenary portions are transcendental. They are absolute and are not creations of māyā.”
Text 31:
After Brahmā had offended Kṛṣṇa by stealing His playmates and calves, he begged the Lord’s pardon for his offensive act and prayed for the Lord’s mercy.
Text 32:
“I took birth from the lotus that grew from Your navel. Thus You are both my father and my mother, and I am Your son.
Text 33:
“Parents never take seriously the offenses of their children. I therefore beg Your pardon and ask for Your benediction.”
Text 34:
Śrī Kṛṣṇa said, “O Brahmā, your father is Nārāyaṇa. I am but a cowherd boy. How can you be My son?”
Text 35:
Brahmā replied, “Are You not Nārāyaṇa? You are certainly Nārāyaṇa. Please listen as I state the proofs.
Text 36:
“All the living beings within the material and spiritual worlds are ultimately born of You, for You are the Supersoul of them all.
Text 37:
“As the earth is the original cause and shelter of all pots made of earth, so You are the ultimate cause and shelter of all living beings.
Text 38:
“The word ‘nāra’ refers to the aggregate of all the living beings, and the word ‘ayana’ refers to the refuge of them all.
Text 39:
“You are therefore the original Nārāyaṇa. This is one reason; please listen as I state the second.
Text 40:
“The direct Lords of the living beings are the puruṣa incarnations. But Your opulence and power are more exalted than Theirs.
Text 41:
“Therefore You are the primeval Lord, the original father of everyone. They [the puruṣas] are protectors of the universes by Your power.
Text 42:
“Since You protect those who are the shelters of all living beings, You are the original Nārāyaṇa.
Text 43:
“O my Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead! Kindly hear my third reason. There are countless universes and fathomless transcendental Vaikuṇṭhas.
Text 44:
“Both in this material world and in the transcendental world, You see all the deeds of all living beings, in the past, present and future. Since You are the witness of all such deeds, You know the essence of everything.
Text 45:
“All the worlds exist because You oversee them. None can live, move or have their being without Your supervision.
Text 46:
“You oversee the wanderings of all living beings. For this reason also, You are the primeval Lord Nārāyaṇa.”
Text 47:
Kṛṣṇa said, “Brahmā, I cannot understand what you are saying. Lord Nārāyaṇa is He who sits in the hearts of all living beings and lies down in the waters of the Kāraṇa Ocean.”
Text 48:
Brahmā replied, “What I have said is true. The same Lord Nārāyaṇa who lives on the waters and in the hearts of all living beings is but a plenary portion of You.
Text 49:
“The Kāraṇodakaśāyī, Garbhodakaśāyī and Kṣīrodakaśāyī forms of Nārāyaṇa all create in cooperation with the material energy. In this way They are attached to māyā.
Text 50:
“These three Viṣṇus lying in the water are the Supersoul of everything. The Supersoul of all the universes is known as the first puruṣa.
Text 51:
“Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu is the Supersoul of the aggregate of living entities, and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu is the Supersoul of each individual living being.
Text 52:
“Superficially we see that these puruṣas have a relationship with māyā, but above them, in the fourth dimension, is Lord Kṛṣṇa, who has no contact with the material energy.
Text 53:
“ ‘In the material world the Lord is designated as virāṭ, hiraṇyagarbha and kāraṇa. But beyond these three designations, the Lord is ultimately in the fourth dimension.’
Text 54:
“Although these three features of the Lord deal directly with the material energy, none of Them are touched by it. They are all beyond illusion.
Text 55:
“ ‘This is the opulence of the Lord: Although situated in the material nature, He is never affected by the modes of nature. Similarly, those who have surrendered to Him and fixed their intelligence upon Him are not influenced by the modes of nature.’
Text 56:
“You are the ultimate shelter of these three plenary portions. Thus there is not the slightest doubt that You are the primeval Nārāyaṇa.
Text 57:
“The source of these three features is the Nārāyaṇa in the spiritual sky. He is Your vilāsa expansion. Therefore You are the ultimate Nārāyaṇa.”
Text 58:
Therefore according to the authority of Brahmā, the Nārāyaṇa who is the predominating Deity in the transcendental world is but the vilāsa feature of Kṛṣṇa. This has now been conclusively proved.
Text 59:
The truth indicated in this verse [text 30] is the essence of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. This conclusion, through synonyms, applies everywhere.
Text 60:
Not knowing that Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān are all features of Kṛṣṇa, foolish scholars speculate in various ways.
Text 61:
Because Nārāyaṇa has four hands whereas Kṛṣṇa looks just like a man, they say that Nārāyaṇa is the original God whereas Kṛṣṇa is but an incarnation.
Text 62:
In this way their arguments appear in various forms, but the poetry of the Bhāgavatam expertly refutes them all.
Text 63:
“Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth say that it is nondual knowledge and is called impersonal Brahman, the localized Paramātmā and the Personality of Godhead.”
Text 64:
My dear brothers, kindly listen to the explanation of this verse and consider its meaning: the one original entity is known in His three different features.
Text 65:
Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself is the one undivided Absolute Truth, the ultimate reality. He manifests Himself in three features — as Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān.
Text 66:
The import of this verse has stopped you from arguing. Now listen to another verse of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
Text 67:
“All these incarnations of Godhead are either plenary portions or parts of the plenary portions of the puruṣa-avatāras. But Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. In every age He protects the world through His different features when the world is disturbed by the enemies of Indra.”
Text 68:
The Bhāgavatam describes the symptoms and deeds of the incarnations in general and counts Śrī Kṛṣṇa among them.
Text 69:
This made Sūta Gosvāmī greatly apprehensive. Therefore he distinguished each incarnation by its specific symptoms.
Text 70:
All the incarnations of Godhead are plenary portions or parts of the plenary portions of the puruṣa-avatāras, but the primeval Lord is Śrī Kṛṣṇa. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the fountainhead of all incarnations.
Text 71:
An opponent may say, “This is your interpretation, but actually the Supreme Lord is Nārāyaṇa, who is in the transcendental realm.
Text 72:
“He [Nārāyaṇa] incarnates as Lord Kṛṣṇa. This is the meaning of the verse as I see it. There is no need for further consideration.”
Text 73:
To such a misguided interpreter we may reply, “Why should you suggest such fallacious logic? An interpretation is never accepted as evidence if it opposes the principles of scripture.
Text 74:
“ ‘One should not state a predicate before its subject, for it cannot thus stand without proper support.’
Text 75:
“If I do not state a subject, I do not state a predicate. First I speak the former and then I speak the latter.
Text 76:
“The predicate of a sentence is what is unknown to the reader, whereas the subject is what is known to him.
Text 77:
“For example, we may say, ‘This vipra is a greatly learned man.’ In this sentence, the vipra is the subject, and the predicate is his erudition.
Text 78:
“The man’s being a vipra is known, but his erudition is unknown. Therefore the person is identified first and his erudition later.
Text 79:
“In the same way, all these incarnations were known, but whose incarnations they are was unknown.
Text 80:
“First the word ‘ete’ [‘these’] establishes the subject [the incarnations]. Then ‘plenary portions of the puruṣa-avatāras’ follows as the predicate.
Text 81:
“In the same way, when Kṛṣṇa was first counted among the incarnations, specific knowledge about Him was still unknown.
Text 82:
“Therefore first the word ‘kṛṣṇa’ appears as the subject, followed by the predicate, describing Him as the original Personality of Godhead.
Text 83:
“This establishes that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead. The original Personality of Godhead is therefore necessarily Kṛṣṇa.
Text 84:
“Had Kṛṣṇa been the plenary portion and Nārāyaṇa the primeval Lord, the statement of Sūta Gosvāmī would have been reversed.
Text 85:
“Thus he would have said, ‘Nārāyaṇa, the source of all incarnations, is the original Personality of Godhead. He has appeared as Śrī Kṛṣṇa.’
Text 86:
“Mistakes, illusions, cheating and defective perception do not occur in the sayings of the authoritative sages.
Text 87:
“You say something contradictory and become angry when this is pointed out. Your explanation has the defect of a misplaced predicate. This is an unconsidered adjustment.
Text 88:
“Only the Personality of Godhead, the source of all other Divinities, is eligible to be designated svayaṁ bhagavān, or the primeval Lord.
Text 89:
“When from one candle many others are lit, I consider that one the original.
Text 90:
“Kṛṣṇa, in the same way, is the cause of all causes and all incarnations. Please hear another verse to defeat all misinterpretations.
Texts 91-92:
“ ‘Here [in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam] ten subjects are described: (1) the creation of the ingredients of the cosmos, (2) the creations of Brahmā, (3) the maintenance of the creation, (4) special favor given to the faithful, (5) impetuses for activity, (6) prescribed duties for law-abiding men, (7) a description of the incarnations of the Lord, (8) the winding up of the creation, (9) liberation from gross and subtle material existence, and (10) the ultimate shelter, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The tenth item is the shelter of all the others. To distinguish this ultimate shelter from the other nine subjects, the mahājanas have described these nine, directly or indirectly, through prayers or direct explanations.’
Text 93:
“To know distinctly the ultimate shelter of everything that be, I have described the other nine categories. The cause for the appearance of these nine is rightly called their shelter.
Text 94:
“The Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the shelter and abode of everything. All the universes rest in His body.
Text 95:
“ ‘The Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam reveals the tenth object, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the shelter of all surrendered souls. He is known as Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and He is the ultimate source of all the universes. Let me offer my obeisances unto Him.’
Text 96:
“One who knows the real feature of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His three different energies cannot remain ignorant about Him.
Text 97:
“The Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa enjoys Himself in six primary expansions. His two manifestations are prābhava and vaibhava.
Text 98:
“His incarnations are of two kinds, namely partial and empowered. He appears in two ages — childhood and boyhood.
Text 99:
“The Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is eternally an adolescent, is the primeval Lord, the source of all incarnations. He expands Himself in these six categories of forms to establish His supremacy throughout the universe.
Text 100:
“In these six kinds of forms there are innumerable varieties. Although they are many, they are all one: there is no difference between them.
Text 101:
“The cit-śakti, which is also called svarūpa-śakti or antaraṅga-śakti, displays many varied manifestations. It sustains the kingdom of God and its paraphernalia.
Text 102:
“The external energy, called māyā-śakti, is the cause of innumerable universes with varied material potencies.
Text 103:
“The marginal potency, which is between these two, consists of the numberless living beings. These are the three principal energies, which have unlimited categories and subdivisions.
Text 104:
“These are the principal manifestations and expansions of the Personality of Godhead and His three energies. They are all emanations from Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Transcendence. They have their existence in Him.
Text 105:
“Although the three puruṣas are the shelter of all the universes, Lord Kṛṣṇa is the original source of the puruṣas.
Text 106:
“Thus the Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original, primeval Lord, the source of all other expansions. All the revealed scriptures accept Śrī Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Lord.
Text 107:
“ ‘Kṛṣṇa, who is known as Govinda, is the supreme controller. He has an eternal, blissful, spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin, for He is the prime cause of all causes.’
Text 108:
“You know all the conclusions of the scriptures very well. You create these logical arguments just to agitate me.”
Text 109:
That same Lord Kṛṣṇa, the fountainhead of all incarnations, is known as the son of the King of Vraja. He has descended personally as Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Text 110:
Therefore Lord Caitanya is the Supreme Absolute Truth. To call Him Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu does not add to His glory.
Text 111:
But such words from the lips of a sincere devotee cannot be false. All possibilities abide in Him, for He is the primeval Lord.
Text 112:
All other incarnations are situated in potential form in the original body of the primeval Lord. Thus according to one’s opinion, one may address Him as any one of the incarnations.
Text 113:
Some say that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is directly Nara-Nārāyaṇa. Others say that He is directly Vāmana.
Text 114:
Some say that Kṛṣṇa is the incarnation of Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. None of these statements is impossible; each is as correct as the others.
Text 115:
Some call Him Hari, or the Nārāyaṇa of the transcendental world. Everything is possible in Kṛṣṇa, for He is the primeval Lord.
Text 116:
I offer my obeisances unto the feet of all who hear or read this discourse. Kindly hear with attention the conclusion of all these statements.
Text 117:
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.
Text 118:
By such conclusive studies I know the glories of Lord Caitanya. Only by knowing these glories can one become strong and fixed in attachment to Him.
Text 119:
Just to enunciate the glories of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, I have tried to describe the glories of Śrī Kṛṣṇa in detail.
Text 120:
The conclusion is that Lord Caitanya is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, the son of the King of Vraja.
Text 121:
Praying at the lotus feet of Śrī Rūpa and Śrī Raghunātha, always desiring their mercy, I, Kṛṣṇadāsa, narrate Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, following in their footsteps.