Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

Om Vishnupad 108 Tridandi Swami Sri Srimat Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj ki Jai !!



Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486-1533) is accepted as an incarnation of God who appeared 550 years ago approximately, to teach the world the appropriate process of self-realization for the present age.

This age is called the Kali-yuga or the Age of Quarrel, and is considered to be the “Iron Age” of spiritual development and will continue, according to Vedic calculation, until 429,000 AD.

The appearance of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was foretold in several Vedic scriptures, thousands of years prior to His appearance.

“Lord Gaura, who is the all pervading Supersoul, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appears as a great saint and powerful mystic who is above the three modes of nature and is the emblem of transcendental activity. He disseminates the cult of devotion throughout the world.” (Chaitanya Upanishad) 

“I shall appear in the holy land of Navadvipa as the son of Sacidevi.” (Krishna Yamala) 

“In the age of Kali when the sankirtana movement is inaugurated, I shall descend asthe son of Sacidevi.” (Vayu Purana) 

“Sometimes I personally appear on the surface of the world in the garb of a devotee.Specifically, I appear as the son of Saci in Kali-yuga to start the sankirtana movement.” (Brahma Yamala) 

“The Supreme Person, Sri Krishna Himself, who is the life of Srimati Radharani, andis the Lord of the universe in creation, maintenance and annihilation, appears asGaura, O Mahesvari.” (Ananta Samhita) 

“In this age of Kali, those who are intelligent perform the congregational chanting ofthe Hare Krishna maha ma∫tra, worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whoappears in this age always describing the glories of Krishna. That incarnation is yellowish in hue and is always associated with His plenary expansions, personal expansions, as well as devotees and associates.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.32) 

“The Lord (in the incarnation of Gaurasundara) has a golden complexion. Indeed, His entire body which is very nicely constituted is like molten gold. Sandalwood pulp is smeared all over His body. He will take the fourth order of spiritual life (sannyasa) and will be very self-controlled. He will be distinguished from mayavadi sannyasis in that He will be fixed in devotional service and will spread the sankirtana movement.” (Mahabharata) 

So in 1486 AD Lord Chaitanya the great Apostle of Love of God and the Founder of the congregational chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord, appeared as the son of Srimati Sachidevi and her husband, the learned Brahmin pundit Jagannath Misra.

The place of His appearance was Sri Mayapur Dham, a quarter in the city of Navadvipa in Bengal, India.

His early life was full of wonderful and miraculous events and He proved Himself to be a brilliant student.  Chaitanya was very mischievous when he was a child but his horoscope indicated a great future for him.  He would fight against anything that he found unjust. He studied Sanskrit at Nadia which was the great seat of learning in those days. He became a Sanskrit scholar and took to teaching children. At a very early age, he was married a girl. On her death he took another wife. By the time He was just sixteen years old He started His own village school teaching selected students logic and grammer.

During this period a great scholar who hailed from Kashmir, Keshava Kashmiri, came to Navadvipa to challenge the local scholars.  The Kashmir pundit was a champion of debate. He held the title “Digvijay” or “one who is victorious in all directions”, and had traveled to all places of learning throughout India, challenging the local intellectuals and defeating them in debate.

Sri Chaitanya, known as Nimai Pundit at this time, met Keshava Kashmiri while strolling on the banks of the Ganges. The Lord requested him to compose a poem in praise of the Ganges, and within a short time the pundit composed 100 Sanskrit verses. Lord Chaitanya immediately memorized the entire hymn and quoted the 64th  shloka pointing out rhetorical and literary irregularities. He also pointed out several other discrepancies, and the Kashmiri pundit was thunder-struck at the logic and accuracy of Chaitanya’s critique.

Astonished that a mere student of grammar could point out the literary mistakes of an erudite scholar, the troubled Keshava Kashmiri returned to his lodging. Later that night in a dream, he was ordered by Saraswati, the Goddess ofLlearning, to submit to the Lord. Thus the Kashmir pundit became a follower of Sri Chaitanya.

There came a change in his life when he met Sri Ishwar Puri, a saint, who made him realize the futility of dry intellectual prowess and initiated him into devotional love. After this Nimai became a keen votary of Bhakti – love for Lord Krishna. 

This was the starting point of his going into ecstasies and at Gaya he went into Samadhi (trance). He longed to go to Vrindavan to look for his Lord Krishna and the lord of the Universe. His love for Lord Krishna was so intense that he would very often go into ecstasies and people would mock and ridicule him. But this did not affect him and he did not care. Again Chaitanya made no distinctions against caste and creed and this incited the anger of the orthodox Brahmins more.

Soon after this, Sri Chaitanya began His congregational chanting, or sankirtan movement and preached that chanting the Holy Names of God is the most powerful means to attain God realization in the current age.

Out of envy of His popularity some orthodox priests complained to the local Muslim magistrate in an attempt to put an end to the growing movement. The followers of Sri Chaitanya were threatened with punishment if they did not discontinue their practice of congregational chanting.

In response Sri Chaitanya organized a party for civil disobedience and proceeded to the magistrate’s house with 100,000 people performing kirtana. Out of fear of the massive crowd, who were peaceful but carrying lighted torches, the Kazi (magistrate) hid himself, but Sri Chaitanya asked the crowd to remain calm and the Kazi came forward to pacify the Lord by addressing Him as his nephew.

Sri Chaitanya and the Kazi sat as two scholars and discussed religious principles. Lord Chaitanya convinced the Kazi that sankirtana was the only appropriate and authorized sacrifice or yajna for this age and by His divine influence the Kazi was converted and became a follower of Sri Chaitanya. The Kazi declared that no one should hinder the sankirtana movement which was started by the Lord, and the Kazi left this order in his will (and that order is still followed to this day).

At the end of His 24th year, Chaitanya accepted the sanyas or monk order of life (a renounced ascetic). At the request of His mother he lived in nearby Puri but His departure left the residents of Navadvipa in an ocean of sorrow and lamentation due to separation.

Upon reaching Puri, Chaitanya entered the temple of Lord Jagannath, and overwhelmed by powerful surge of divine love, He collapsed in a transcendental ecstasy, His body without any symptom of life.

Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, the highly respected chief pundit of the local king’s royal court, had Sri Chaitanya carried to his house where he examined the Lord. The vastly learned Sarvabhauma was attracted by the Lord’s lustrous effulgence and understood that the trance the young monk manifested was a wonderful and rare transcendental condition.

Eventually the Lord regained external consciousness and Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya expressed his desire to educate the Lord on the theosophical conclusions of Vedanta Sutra. The Lord accepted his proposition but after seven days of listening to Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Chaitanya, defeated all his conclusions and showed the supremacy, intent and real understanding of the Vedas.

Astonished by Lord Chaitanya’s profound explanations, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya surrendered to Sri Chaitanya as His disciple and devotee. He composed almost 100 shlokas in praise of the Lord. Overwhelmed by deep transcendental emotions due to being embraced by the Lord, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya collapsed in a state of trance.

Due to the conversion of the most renowned court scholar of Puri at the time, the fame of Sri Chaitanya spread far and wide. After a short time Chaitanya started on a walking tour of India. He traveled extensively throughout southern and western India, touching the lives and converting thousands of people including Buddhist monks.

After about a year of travelling, Sri Chaitanya returned to Puri. Because of His strict adherence to the code of conduct of the sanyas order, Sri Chaitanya refused to meet with any materialistic or worldly man. Thus He all along refused to grant audience to the great King of Puri known as Maharaja Prataparudra.

But being impressed with the king’s submissive and highly devotional attitude which was manifest in his performing the humble task of sweeping the street in front of the Jagannath temple where the Deity would pass prior to an important festival, Sri Chaitanya agreed to give audience to the king.

After some time in Puri the Lord again started on a tour of northern India, visiting Benaras, Prayag, Vrindavan and its neighboring places. On the way He passed through the jungles of Jharikhanda (Central India).

His accompanying attendant recorded how Sri Chaitanya, while walking in a jungle, lost in a mood of divine ecstasy and chanting the Holy Names, encountered tigers on the path. In great horror the servant watched as the Lord approached one of the tigers lying across the path and kicked the animal, commanding it to chant. Soon tigers, deer, and other animals joined in, dancing on their hind legs and chanting the Holy Names of God. In another incident a herd of maddened elephants was made to do the same by the Lord.

During His stay in Vrindavan, the Lord rediscovered many historical sites connected with the pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna who had appeared there some 5000 years prior to Sri Chaitanya’s visit. The Lord later instructed a group of His disciples to reestablish the worship of Sri Krishna in temples there.

Returning to Puri, Sri Chaitanya travelled via the historical city, Varanasi, where He met and converted the great sanyasi of the Mayavada School named Srila Prakashananda Saraswati. Prakasananda had 60,000 monk disciples and was a great stalwart follower of Shankaracharya. Impressed with the Lord’s humility and astounded by the depth and beauty of His philosophical discourse and debate, Prakasananda and his disciples became followers of Sri Chaitanya.

Whenever the Lord traveled, He was often followed by tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of people, and Varanasi was no different. Wherever He went, especially the Vishvanatha temple, thousands of pilgrims would follow Him. Some were attracted by His bodily features; he was very tall nearly 7 feet with a golden complexion. Others were attracted by His melodious songs glorifying Lord Sri Krishna.

After this conversion of the sanyasis, the popularity of the Lord increased at Varanasi, and thousands of people assembled to see the Lord in person. The Lord thus established the primary importance of Bhagavata dharma and He defeated all other systems of spiritual realization. After that, everyone at Varanasi was overwhelmed with the transcendental sankirtana movement.

The Lord then returned to Puri where He was to remain for the next eighteen years until His disappearance from this world. During this time He became immersed in a constantly deepening mode of spiritual ecstasy. He kept the company of a few intimate associates and His activities and words were recorded by His personal secretary.

During His life, Sri Chaitanya did not publicly display many of the miracles which are generally expected from such personalities. There were incidents though where He cured lepers by His touch and performed other miraculous feats. One such example occurred in the house of Srivasa Thakura at Mayapur. While sankirtana was in full swing one day, He asked the devotees what they wanted to eat. When He was informed that they wanted to eat mangos, He asked for a seed of a mango although this fruit was out of season. When the seed was brought to Him, He planted it in the yard of Srivasa, and at once a sapling began to grow out of the seed. The sapling almost immediately became a full-grown mango tree, heavy with more ripened fruits than the devotees could eat. The tree remained in Srivasa’s yard, and from then on the devotees used to take as many mangos from the tree as they wanted.

Also during His life, a number of extraordinary and highly learned men were attracted to become his disciples. Amongst them was the governor of Rajamundry, Sri Ramananda Raya, and the Prime Minister and treasurer of the Bengal government under the regime of Nawab Hussain Shah.

These highly learned men adopted a life of extreme renunciation in the service of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Ramananda Raya remained as a constant companion of the Lord in Puri while Srila Rupa Goswami and Srila Sanatana Goswami resided in Vrindavan at the request of the Lord, heading a group which came to be known as the six Goswamis of Vrindavan.

Under the direction of Sri Chaitanya, His followers have given the world the priceless gift of an enormous library of the topmost spiritual literature unmatched in the history of the world.

During the 48 years He spent in this world, Sri Chaitanya displayed an unparalleled intellect and was accepted as the greatest scholar of His time, yet He committed only eight verses to writing by His own hand. To the highly enlightened, these eight verses contain the most elevated and complete spiritual philosophy. They express the essence of all spiritual realization and the highest and most perfect method of love of God.



Nitai-Gaur Hari Bol !!

Jai Shri Radhey !

Jai Gurudev !