For some reason I love reading the Concluding Words of the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, and find myself reading it again and again. The printing of this English translation is historically, a miraculous achievement, and yet reading Srila Prbhupada’s words and hearing the depth of his humility, is awe inspiring. He gives thanks to his American disciples, and to His Spiritual Master His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura with the following words:
…I think that His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura is always seeing my activities and guiding me within my heart by his words. As it is said in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye. Spiritual inspiration comes from within the heart, wherein the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His Paramātmā feature, is always sitting with all His devotees and associates. It is to be admitted that whatever translation work I have done is through the inspiration of my spiritual master because personally I am most insignificant and incompetent to do this materially impossible work. I do not think myself a very learned scholar, but I have full faith in the service of my spiritual master, His Divine Grace Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhakura. If there is any credit to my activities of translating, it is all due to His Divine Grace. Certainly if His Divine Grace were personally present at this time, it would have been a great occasion for jubiliation, but even though he is not physically present, I am confident that he is very pleased by this work of translation. He was very fond of seeing many books published to spread the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Therefore our society, the International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, has formed to execute the order of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His Divine Grace Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhakura.
Although Srila Prabhupada gives all credit to his spiritual master, we give all credit to him. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!
In Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, Chapter Seven, Lord Chaitanya’s method of preaching and Prabhupada’s comments regarding the process of preaching Lord Chaitanya practiced while traveling throughout South India (a period of about two years) are very necessary for all devotees to study and understand clearly.
Because of the circumstances under which most of Prabhupada’s early disciples joined the movement, a widespread misunderstanding has become a great obstacle for people in general to accept and practice Krishna consciousness in a realistic and progressive way under all circumstances. That misunderstanding is that a serious candidate for accepting and advancing in Krishna consciousness must abandon his worldly environment and responsibilities to join a temple ashram and live a communal or communistic life style under the rigid authority of an ISKCON GBC or guru. Nothing could be further from the truth, as we can plainly understand from the following descriptions of Lord Chaitanya’s preaching method and Prabhupada’s purports, which clearly support and obviously encourage the process introduced by Lord Chaitanya in His dealing with the Kurma brahmana and everyone He encountered throughout His two years of traveling and preaching in South India.
…Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī expressed to Her gopī friends how She hankers for the transcendental scent of Kṛṣṇa’s body. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu recited that same verse and made its meaning clear.
” ‘The scent of Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental body surpasses the aroma of musk and attracts the minds of all women. The eight lotuslike parts of His body distribute the fragrance of lotuses mixed with that of camphor. His body is anointed with aromatic substances like musk, camphor, sandalwood and aguru. O My dear friend, that Personality of Godhead, also known as the enchanter of Cupid, always increases the desire of My nostrils.’
“The scent of Kṛṣṇa’s body surpasses the fragrances of musk and the bluish lotus flower. Spreading throughout the fourteen worlds, it attracts everyone and makes the eyes of all women blind.
“My dear friend, the scent of Kṛṣṇa’s body enchants the entire world. It especially enters the nostrils of women and remains seated there. Thus it captures them and forcibly brings them to Kṛṣṇa.
“Kṛṣṇa’s eyes, navel and face, hands and feet are like eight lotus flowers on His body. From those eight lotuses emanates a fragrance like a mixture of camphor and lotus. That is the scent associated with His body.
“When sandalwood pulp with aguru, kuṅkuma and musk is mixed with camphor and spread on Kṛṣṇa’s body, it combines with Kṛṣṇa’s own original bodily perfume and seems to cover it.
This morning I was going through some files and came across this important verse from the Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila Chapter 22, text 100 describing the process of surrender. I always liked this verse because it describes the simple process of surrender; namely accepting things favorable to devotional service, rejecting things that are unfavorable to devotional service, and developing the faith that Krishna will give protection.“
’The six divisions of surrender are the acceptance of those things favorable to devotional service, the rejection of unfavorable things, the conviction that Kṛṣṇa will give protection, the acceptance of the Lord as one’s guardian or master, full self-surrender and humility.
One who is fully surrendered is qualified with the six following characteristics. (1) The devotee has to accept everything that is favorable for the rendering of transcendental loving service to the Lord. (2) He must reject everything unfavorable to the Lord’s service. This is also called renunciation. (3) A devotee must be firmly convinced that Kṛṣṇa will give him protection. No one else can actually give one protection, and being firmly convinced of this is called faith. (from purport)
…A person in the conditioned stage of material existence is in an atmosphere of helplessness, but the conditioned soul, under the illusion of māyā, or the external energy, thinks that he is completely protected by his country, society, friendship and love, not knowing that at the time of death none of these can save him. The laws of material nature are so strong that none of our material possessions can save us from the cruel hands of death…An intelligent person, therefore, does not put his faith in any material possessions, but completely takes shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord.
Let me offer glorification to the Supreme Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. One who has taken shelter of His lotus feet is the most glorified person. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi Lila, Chapter 7, Text 2)
…Prabhu means master. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the supreme master of all masters; therefore He is called Mahāprabhu. Any person who takes shelter of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu is most glorified because by the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu he is able to get promotion to the platform of loving service to the Lord, which is transcendental to salvation. (from purport to above verse)
Srila Prabhupada wrote and published over 80 volumes of spiritual literature which he considered to be his most important contribution. Despite the heavy demands of establishing and managing a worldwide movement, Srila Prabhupada never failed to rise early in the morning to perform his beloved writing work. He applied great devotion and care in translating the ancient Vedic literatures into English from the original Sanskrit and Bengali languages. He would then dictate his famous “Bhaktivedanta Purports,” further explaining the meaning of each verse and its relevance to the modern age. His books are highly acclaimed by scholars and students alike (see reviews below). They have been translated into more than 60 languages and have been sold in the hundreds of millions. TWe encourage everyone to take advantage of these timeless literatures which are so full of spiritual knowledge and potency.