Srila Krishna Dasa Kaviraja Gosvami
By Sri Nandanandana Dasa
Appearing near Katva, Krishna Dasa Kaviraja left for Vrndavana after Lord Nityananda told him in a dream: are are krishnadasa, na karaha bhaya, vrndavana yaha tanha, sarva larya haya, “0 my dear Krishnadasa, do not be afraid. Go to Vrndavana. For there you will attain all things.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 5.195)
Krishna Dasa took diksa from Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami. He lived a renounced life at Syama-kunda near Manasa Pavana Ghat, Radharani’s midday bathing place.
Sri Jiva Gosvami, as per his custom of giving titles of honor to qualified devotees, gave Krishna Dasa the title Kaviraja (the king of poets) for his poetic masterpiece Govinda-lilamrta. Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura wrote in Prarthana: “Krishna Dasa Kaviraja, who composed the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, is the connoisseur among devotees. His Govinda-lilamrta moves stones to tears, but alas, my mind is not attracted to it.”
During Krishna Dasa’s time, all the Vaisnavas would gather at Govindaji’s temple to hear Sri Haridasa Pandit read Sri Caitanya Bhagavata. The devotees were eager to hear about Lord Gauranga’s later pastimes, so they asked Krishna Dasa Kaviraja to write them. Krishna Dasa prayed to Madana Mohana for ability and blessings. The Deity’s flower garland fell down, indicating divine sanction.
Krishna Dasa Kaviraja’s Caitanya-caritamrta is the most accurate, authentic, and philosophical biography of Lord Caitanya. Every line is full of infinite humility, enthusiasm, and devotion for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Nityananda Prabhu. Krishna Dasa had the wonderful power of speaking without offending, even when rebuking his opponents.
He had vast knowledge in all Vedic scriptures. His books show his skill in the Srutis, Smrtis, Nyaya, Jyotir sastra, and the culinary arts. Although he was an erudite scholar, a strict ascetic, a paramahamsa rasika Vaisnava, Krishna Dasa writes about himself, “I am deaf, dumb, wholly illiterate, worldly-minded, and lower than a worm in stool.” His personal humility automatically attracts the heart of any reader of Caitanya-caritamrta.
Krishna Dasa Kaviraja was a living example of “humbler than a blade of grass, more tolerant than a tree.” A devotee will advance spiritually and understand Sri Caitanya’s teachings on Radha-Krishna bhakti by reading Caitanya-caritamrta.
By associating with Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja, an eternally liberated associate of Lord Caitanya, one will develop the Vaisnava qualities of humility, innocence, integrity, equanimity, gentleness, purity, selflessness, patience, kindness, gravity, freedom from material desires, mild temperament, control over the six passions, friendliness, honoring all beings, being silent, expert, poetic, and absolute surrender to Sri Krishna.
In Vraja lila Krishna Dasa Kaviraja is Kasturi-manjari, one of the eight most intimate maidservants of Srimati Radharani. His samadhi is at Radha-kunda, and at the Radha-Damodara temple according to some.