Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (18 Feb 1486 – 14 June 1534) was a Bengali spiritual teacher who founded Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Chaitanya was the proponent for the Vaishnava school of Bhakti yoga, based on Bhagavata Purana and Bhagavad Gita. He is revered as Krishna, popularised the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra
Chaitanya Concept: Lord Sri Krishna is the only God, feel him through devotion and like a servant loving his master.
- Chaitanya’s original name was Vishambhar and is referred to by the names Gauranga or Gaura, and Nimai (as he born underneath a Neem
- Chaitanya means wisdom (gyana), Maha means Great and Prabhu means ‘Lord’ or ‘Master’e. (Lord or master of wisdom).
- He was born as the second son of Jagannath Mishra and his wife Sachi Devi.
- Many residents performing daily worship to him as an avatar of Krishna.
- Chanting and singing of Krishna’s names from a very young age
- Spent the last 24 years of his life in Puri, Odisha, the great temple city of Jagannath.
- He took Mantra Upadesa from Isvara Puri and Sanyasa Diksha from Keshava Bharati.
- Biographies of Chaitanya’s life – Chaitanya Charitamrita of Krishnadasa Kaviraja, the Chaitanya Bhagavata of Vrindavana Dasa, the Chaitanya Mangala, written by “Lochana Dasa”, Sri Chaitanya Charitamritam Mahakavyam by Kavi Karnapura and Sri Krishna Chaitanya Charitamritam by Murari Gupta.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has one written record called Siksastakam. Chaitanya’s teachings are summarised as ten roots or maxims (dasa mula). The statements of amnaya (scripture) are the chief proof. By these statements the following ten topics are taught.
- Krishna is the Supreme Absolute Truth.
- Krishna is endowed with all energies.
- Krishna is the ocean of rasa (theology).
- The jivas (individual souls) are all separated parts of the Lord.
- In bound state the jivas are under the influence of matter, due to their tatastha nature.
- In the liberated state the jivas are free from the influence of matter, due to their tatastha nature.
- The jivas and the material world are both different from and identical to the Lord.
- Pure devotion is the practice of the jivas.
- Pure love of Krishna is the ultimate goal.
- Krishna is the only lovable blessing to be received.
Philosophy and Tradition
Chaitanya is written series of verses known as the Siksastaka, or “eight verses of instruction”, considered to contain the complete philosophy of Gaudiya Vaishnavism in condensed form. Chaitanya’s principle followers Rupa Goswami, Sanatana Goswami, Gopala Bhatta Goswami, Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami, Raghunatha dasa Goswami and Jiva Goswami, were responsible for streamlining Gaudiya Vaishnava theology.
Other notables teachers/followers were
- Narottama Dasa, Srinivasa Acarya and Syamananda Pandit, Ramacandra Kaviraja and Ganga Narayan Chakravarti, Kalachand Vidyalankar, Kalachandi Sampraday, Haridasa Thakur, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
- Prabhupada (A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada) (1896-1977), founded his movement known as The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) to spread Chaitanya’s teachings throughout the world
1886 – Bhaktivinoda Thakur moved to Vrindavan to pursue his devotional life there. He saw a dream in which Chaitanya ordered him to go to Nabadwip instead.
1887- Bhaktivinoda was moved to Krishnanagar, 25 kms away from Nabadwip, famous as the birthplace of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Bhaktivinoda conducted investigation found the village of Ballaldighi was formerly known as Mayapur, confirmed in Bhakti-ratnakara as the actual birth site of Chaitanya. He soon acquired a property in Surabhi-kunj near Mayapur to oversee the temple construction at Yogapith, Chaitanya’s birthplace. For this purpose he organized, via Sajjana-tosani and special festivals.
- Bhaktivinoda is “the seventh goswami” – a reference to the Six Goswamis, renowned medieval Gaudiya Vaisnava ascetics and close associates of Chaitanya who had authored many texts and discovered places of Krishna’s pastimes in Vrindavan.
!Om Namo Narayanaya!
!Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare!
Sri Radha Krishna