The pastimes of Lord Caitanya are the topmost of jewels. They were kept in the storehouse of Svarupa Damodara Gosvami, who explained them to Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami. Raghunatha Dasa repeated them to Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, who recorded them in His book Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, as a gift to all the Vaisnavas (CC Madhya 2.85).
yadikehahena kaya, granthakailaśloka-maya,
itara jane nāribebujhite
If one says that Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta is full of Sanskrit verses and therefore not understandable by a common man, I reply that what I have described are the pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and that for me to satisfy everyone is not possible.
Caitanya Ratnamala attempts to capture the finest verses of the Caitanya-caritamrita. The author Kaviraja Gosvami confesses that he can only explain a drop of one wave of the ocean of Lord Caitanya’s pastimes. We, at Bhaktivedanta Vidyapitha, following his footsteps, confess that in Caitanya Ratnamala, we have presented only a few beautiful verses from the plethora of the poetic and devotional ingenuity of the author glorifying Lord Sri Gauranga.
(CC Madhya 7.152)
śraddhākari’ eilīlā ye kareśravaṇa
One who hears these pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu with great faith will surely very soon attain the lotus feet of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Regularly reciting and memorizing these jewel-like verses of Caitanya-caritamrita will make this book one’s constant companion.
(CC Madhya 25.58)
śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya-vāṇī — amṛteradhāra
tiṅho ye kahayevastu, sei ‘tattva’ — sāra”
“The words of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu are a shower of nectar. Whatever He concludes to be the ultimate truth is indeed the summum bonum of all spiritual knowledge.”
It is with the aim of aiding the devotees’ practice of seeing the world with the vision of scriptures, that the Bhaktivedanta Vidyapitha mandates all of its students to memorize the 316 verses presented in the Caitanya Ratnamala during their course.
However, it remains a fact that there are many more vital verses in the Caitanya-caritamrita and thus our selection of these 316 jewels is by no means exhaustive.