Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the pioneer of a great social and religious movement that began in India about five hundred years ago and that has directly and indirectly influenced the subsequent course of religious and philosophical thinking not only in India but throughout the world.
That Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya's influence has spread so far is due in large part to the efforts of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, the present work's translator and commentator and the founder and ācārya (spiritual guide) of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Caitanya Mahāprabhu is thus a figure of great historical significance. However, our conventional method of historical analysis-that of seeing a man as a product of his times-fails here, for Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya is a personality who transcends the limited scope of historical settings.
At a time when, in the West, man was directing his explorative spirit toward studying the structure of the physical universe and circumnavigating the world in search of new oceans and continents, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, in the East, was inaugurating and masterminding a revolution directed toward a scientific understanding of the highest knowledge of man's spiritual nature.