Caitanya Caritamrta of Krsnadasa Kaviraja: A Translation and Commentary

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The Caitanya Caritamrta is an early-seventeenth-century Bengali and Sanskrit biography of the great saint and Vaisnava leader Caitanya (1486–1533 c.e.), by the poet and scholar Krsnadasa, who has been given by Bengali tradition the title Kaviraja—"Prince of Poets." The text is of interest to theologians (Caitanya was, in Krsnadasa's view, an androgyne of Krsna and Radha), philosophers (his theory was that aesthetic and religious experience are much the same in kind), historians of religion (the movement that Caitanya inspired has encompassed the great part of the eastern Indian subcontinent, and Krsnadasa has some interesting observations on his own times), and appreciators of literature (in Krsnadasa's very long poem are embedded some lyric gems).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674002852
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Series: Harvard Oriental Series, #56
  • Pages: 1207
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 10.31 (h) x 2.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward C. Dimock, Jr., is Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago.

Tony K. Stewart is Associate Professor of South Asian Religions at North Carolina State University and Director of the North Carolina Center for South Asia Studies.

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Table of Contents

Translator's Preface

Editor's Preface



A Note on Translations

A Note on Transliteration

A Note on Citations

A Note on Dating Systems


I. Setting the Biography: Caitanya and Krsna

II. A Brief History of the Movement as Background to the Caitanya Caritamrta

III. Krsnadasa Kaviraja as Author

1. Historical Observations about Krsnadasa Kaviraja

2. The Personality of Krsnadasa Kaviraja from the Text

IV. The Characteristics of the Text

1. General Features and Organization

2. The Language of the Text

3. A Sample of Grammatical Forms in the Text

V. The Scholarship of the Text and Tradition

1. Critically Editing the Caitanya Caritamrta

2. Standardizing the Text

3. The Caitanya Caritamrta in Print

4. Translations of the Text

5. Scholarship of the Text and Tradition

VI. Caitanya's Image in Early Sources

1. Caitanya as Avatara: Early Perspectives

A. Krsnacaitanyacaritamrta of Moran Gupta

B. Caitanya Bhagavata of Vrndavana Dasa

C. Kr5nacaitanya-caritamrta Mahakavya of Kavikarnapnra

D. Caitanya Mangcila of Jayananda

E. Caitanyacandrodaya Nataka of Kavikarnapura

F. Caitanya Mangala of Locana Dasa

G. Kadaca of Svarupa Damodara

H. Other Biographical Sources

2. The Androgynous Dual Incarnation: Final Image

VII. Toward an Understanding of Vaisnavism

1. Sin and Salvation

2. The Power of the Name

3. The Jivan mukta

4. The Concept of Time

5. Samnnyasa and Bhakti: Some Aspects of the Doctrine of Bhava

6. The Religious Experience: Rasa in Poetry and Bhakti

7. The Poetry

8. The Theology

A. Aspects of Godhead

B. Nature of the Jiva

C. Form of the Bhagavat

D. Krpa and the Nature of the Guru


Adi Lila: Chapters 1-17

Madhya Lila: Chapters 1-25

Antya Lila: Chapters 1-20




Names and Epithets of Krsna



I. Biographies of Krsna Caitanya: Texts and Translations

A. Caitanya Caritamrta

B. Early Biographies—Sanskrit

C. Early Biographies—Bengali

II. Vaisnava Texts

A. Bengali

B. Sanskrit

III. Monographs and Studies

A. Bengali and Hindi

B. European Languages

IV. Select Articles

A. Bengali

B. European Languages


Sloka Citation Index

Introduction Index

Subject and Name Index

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