Sri Caitanya and his four principal associates, known collectively as the Panca-tattva, are the subject of a robust body of sacred narratives and philosophical and theological texts dating from the sixteenth century into the present. Central to this literary contribution is Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, which was instrumental in establishing an orthodox doctrine of Gaudiya Vedanta. Exactly who Sri Caitanya is and what he taught is elucidated in the pages of the text.
The present book, Sacred Preface, is an extended commentary on the auspicious invocation—mangalacarana—of Krsnadasa Kaviraja’s Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. Krsnadasa inserted his own commentary on this fourteen-verse invocation into the body of his hagiography, and this elaboration on the significance of his invocation no doubt served the Gaudiya community well. Much of the book’s philosophy and theology is packed into this commentary, and it thus sets a philosophical stage on which the drama of the life and lila of Sri Caitanya is played out.
Sacred Preface, written over five hundred years after Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, is a testament to the vitality of Krsnadasa’s text, as it explores the implications of Krsnadasa’s invocatory verses and auto-commentary from the perspective of a modern practitioner.