The first fourteen verses of Caitanya Caritāmṛta are extremely important. The author, Krishnadās Kavirāja, will explain them systematically and thoroughly over the first seven chapters of the biography.
Verses 15-29 were a very brief summary explanation of those fourteen verses. Let’s pick up the narrative from the 30th verse of Chapter One:
He pays his respects to all the Vaiṣṇava readers, and says “Now I’ll fully describe the meaning of all these (fourteen) verses. Please listen with a one-pointed mind, because I will define Krishna Caitanya with through reasoning and authoritative evidence.”
He again explains that the absolute truth is a singular entity fully expressed in six facets:
- Guru (The entity who reveals Krishna)
- Bhakta (The entity who loves Krishna)
- Shakti (The power through which love is expressed)
- Avatāra (the forms of Krishna that descend into the world)
- Prakāśa (the forms of Krishna that are fully brilliant)
He says that he hasn’t jumped right into explaining them – first he made a humble glorification of them so that he could recieve the blessing of their mercy, which is the only way the absolute truth can be fruitfully discussed.
He repeats the first verse of the fourteen, in which he offered his respects to the six aspects of absolute truth. He identifies Śrī Krishna Caitanya as the absolute truth with six aspects.
The first of the aspects he will enumerate more clearly is the “Guru” aspect. He offers respects to “mantra-guru” (in singular) and “instructing gurus” (śikṣā-guru-gaṇa – in plural). In ISKCON and many modern settings, it’s common to refer to the mantra-guru as the dikṣa-guru. He names his instructing gurus: “Śrī Rūpa, Sanātana, Bhaṭṭa-raghunātha; Śrī Jīva, Gopāla-bhaṭṭa, Dāsa-raghunātha.”
Next he more elaborately specifies the “Bhakta” aspect. He offers “countless respects to the feet of all the devotees of Bhagavān, amongst whom Śrīvāsa is very important.”
Next he respects the “Avatāra” aspect (skipping the Śakti aspect). He offers, “countless obeisances to the lotus-feet of Advaita Ācārya, the Lord’s aṁśa-avatāra.”
Next, the “Prakāśa” aspect. He says, “Nityānanda Rāya is the brilliant manifestation of the Lord’s own form. I am a servant offering praise to his lotus-feet.”
Out of order, he specifies the “Śakti” aspect. He says, “Gadādhara Paṇḍit (and others) are the Lord’s own śakti. My thousands of respects are at all of their feet.”
Finally, also out of order, he specifies the “Prabhu” (Lord) / “Krishna” aspect. He says, “Śrī Krishna Caitanya Prabhu is Bhagavān himself. My infinite respects are at his lotus-feet.”
Now we are up to the 43rd text. Here he says that he’s respected all six facets of the Absolute Truth, so he can now begin explaining them. He will begin with the “Guru” facet. We will discuss that section next.