The Chaitanya Charitamrita is the magnum opus written by Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami . This is especially so because of the subject. Sriman Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the subject of the work. Sriman Mahaprabhu is the very same Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna who advented 530 years ago adorning the mood of a perfect devotee. Many religious and spiritual organizations have declared that the study of this great work is the Ph.d of Spiritual sciences.
I would like to exhort here that, this is just a perspective and does not exact the intention of the author who was a perfected being himself. This work, instead of being declared the Ph.d of the Bhakti path , should be considered the most essential work to be undertaken by a beginner of Bhakti. This should be the starting point, the middle point and the culmination of the Bhakti. No other work needs to be undertaken if one is serious in Bhakti. One may not even read the Bhagavad Gita or the Srimad Bhagavatham. If one is serious in Bhakti , he should straight away take to this work. Bhakti is not like material sciences like learning the basics and then going advanced. Bhakti is not a science but a mood of service ; to adore and to love. This is the intrinsic quality of jeeva. There is nothing to learn here. If one takes up to the study of Chaitanya Charitamrita directly; one will save oneself from the dogmatic approach of the so-called Bhakti movements! One needs to simply be greedy about the Lord. This is the simplest qualification required to approach this great work.
The Chaitanya Charitamrita is divided into 3 main sections. The divisions will slowly take the student of Bhakti from understanding Bhakti to the ultimate consummation of Bhakti in the form of Prema Bhakti. Although this work excavates and glorifies the very life of Sriman Mahaprabhu ; a student of Bhakti will be able to taste the mood and nuances of Bhakti. The Adi leela or the first part of the work delineates the development of the mood of Bhakti and the external manifestation of the Bhakti path ; where the Lord promulgates the importance of Bhakti and His engagement with the innocent residents of Nabadweep and the propagation of the original Sankirtana movement in the face of adversity. The Adi Leela culminates with the Sanyasa of the Lord. The Madhya Leela touches the “Tattva” of Bhakti. The Lord establishes the emphatic superiority of Bhakti over all other systems. He spreads the movement far and wide ; also to the south of the country. He interacts with different types of devotees ; He meets up with His eternal associates one by one and has detailed discussions with many of them where He establishes the “Prayojana” or the ultimate goal of Bhakti. In the Antya Leela or the final pastimes ; the Lord establishes the “Rasa” aspect of Bhakti. He displays the mood of Srimati Radharani ; the source of Hladini Shakti. He inundates the entire world while still confined within the 4 walls of the Gambhira at Puri Jagannath. The exalted state of the ultimate stage of Prema is evident when one studies the Antya Leela. The Antya leela is the “Uddipana” or trigger to a sincere student of Bhakti who aspires to be drowned in the nectarine milieu of Krishna Bhajana. There is no literature other than the Chaitanya Charitamrita which will literally drag the aspirant from material mess and drown him thus into the most sacred waters of Bhakti rasa. Abiding by any other literature of yore can be simply considered a waste of time; if one is greedy for that heightened mood of devotional ecstasy.