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Question: In Caitanya Caritamrita it is mentioned that Caitanya Bhagavat is the essence of Srimad Bhagavatam. So what is the necessity of reading Srimad Bhagavatam?

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Jayapataka Swami: Lord Citanya He gave three orders – bolo Krsna, bhajo Krsna, koro Krsna siksa. So, one has to chant Hare Krsna, one has to serve Krsna and third is read the teachings of Krsna. So Bhagavad-gita is spoken by Krsna and Srimad Bhagavatam is spoken about Krsna. So devotees of Lord Caitanya are simultaneously Caitanya bhaktas and Krsna bhaktas and they get position in Krsna lila and Caitanya lila at the same time. So it is important for us to also read and study the Srimad Bhagavatam because of all the puranas, of all the Vedas, that is the essence. And that is why. But Srila Prabhupada was saying that the pastimes of Lord Caitanya is very esoteric understanding of Krsna’s pastimes. So Bhakti Vedanta degree, and the Bhakti Sastri, Bhakti Vaibhav, the Bhakti Vedanta is the last six cantos of the Bhagavatam. So that is very essential. Beyond that Bhakti Sarvabhauma is Caitanya lilas, Caitanya siksa and understanding the different paths of bhakti. So Caitanya lila has got some special meaning. So we want to read both the Srimad Bhagavatam and the Caitanya Caritamrita. I am trying to combine the pastimes of Lord Caitanya, in all the different books that tell about Lord Caitanya’s pastimes, and we got up to about or we just started the sankirtan movement and He delivered Jagai and Madhai. But the Caitanya Caritamrita goes deeply into the philosophy and Caitanya Bhagavat tells us about His early life. Caitanya Caritamrita tells us about his later life and Caitanya Mangal here and there, Prema Vivarta, here and there. We are trying to combine all the different books to help the devotees have a more complete understanding of the Caitanya lila. We should definitely read the Srimad Bhagavatam. I require that people read at least up to the third canto to get second initiation. Actually, we should try to read the entire twelve cantos of Srimad Bhagavatam several times. To get first initiation from Srila Prabhupada, I had to, Srila Prabhupada required that I read Bhagavad-gita ten times. I still have the Bhagavad-gita with one, two three, four, five (cross). One, two, three, four, five (cross). After I read ten times, I came for initiation. But here people want initiation, they don’t even read the Gita one time and they say, please, I did not have time the past twelve years, but now I will read it! I promise. Give me initiation. Lord Caitanya told us to study the teachings of Lord Krsna. Gita is one teaching, Bhagavatam is another. So everyone should study Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam and then about Caitanya Mahaprabhu, you want to read the Caitanya Caritamrita and other books of Lord Caitanya.