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{> Ramanand Sagar's Ramayan & Shri Krishna AT#1 <} (Page 148)

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Tomorrow is Shri Gaura Purnima. Appearance day of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who is Lord Krishna Himself & Supreme Personality Godhead. I'll post very crucial information found in relevant articles on Sri Gaura Purnima & Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu tomorrow in this AT. Always sing the glory of Sri Hari  & chant :


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Happy Holi everyone!
 

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Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

Vedic texts state that Lord Chaitanya is the Supreme Person, Krishna, appearing as His own worshiper. He is the combined form of Krishna and Krishna's most dear devotee, Srimati RadhaRani. He came to experience the love She feels for Him, and to show by example how to fully surrender to Krishna.

He exhibited symptoms of love of God to the highest degree, and emphasized chanting the holy names of Krishna as the best means to attain love of God.

References:

  • Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.13-14, purport—Lord Krishna Chaitanya is Krishna Himself in the garb of a devotee of Krishna, and therefore the versions of both Lord Krishna and Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are identical.
  • Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.33.4, purport— Sometimes the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself wonders how much transcendental pleasure is within Himself, and in order to taste His own potency, He sometimes takes the position of tasting Himself. Lord Chaitanya is Krishna Himself, but He appears as a devotee to taste the sweetness of the transcendental mellow in Himself which is tasted by Srimati Radharani, the greatest of all devotees.
  • Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi-lila, Introduction—Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu should therefore not be considered one of us. He is Krishna Himself, the supreme living entity, and as such He never comes under the cloud of maya. Krishna, His expansions and even His higher devotees never fall into the clutches of illusion. Lord Chaitanya came to earth simply to preach Krishna-bhakti, love of Krishna. In other words, He is Lord Krishna Himself teaching the living entities the proper way to approach Krishna. He is like a teacher who, seeing a student doing poorly, takes up a pencil and writes, saying, "Do it like this: A, B, C." From this one should not foolishly think that the teacher is learning his ABC's. Similarly, although Lord Chaitanya appears in the guise of a devotee, we should not foolishly think He is an ordinary human being; we should always remember that Lord Chaitanya is Krishna (God) Himself teaching us how to become Krishna conscious, and we must study Him in that light.
  • Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi-lila 1.4—May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Srimati Saci-devi be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.
  • Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi-lila 4.41, purport—Lord Chaitanya did not invent a system of religion, as people sometimes assume. Religious systems are meant to show the existence of God, who is then generally approached as the cosmic order-supplier. But Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's transcendental mission is to distribute love of Godhead to everyone. Anyone who accepts God as the Supreme can take to the process of chanting Hare Krishna and become a lover of God. Therefore Lord Chaitanya is the most magnanimous. This munificent broadcasting of devotional service is possible only for Krishna Himself. Therefore Lord Chaitanya is Krishna.
  • Chaitanya Charitamrita, Introduction—In order to study Radharani, Krishna lived in Her role and tried to understand Himself. This is the secret of Lord Chaitanya's incarnation. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna, but He has taken the mood and role of Radharani to show us how to love Krishna.
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    Sri Chaitanya in the Vedas

    From The Sri Chaitanya Upanishad, excerpted by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura from the Atharva Veda

    Kusakratha dasa

    In honor of the appearance of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, we present the following excerpt from the Atharva Veda, one of the four original books of the Vedic literature. These texts reveal that in the present age Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the incarnation of God and the Hare Krishna maha- mantra is the recommended mantra for progress in spiritual life.

    Text 1

    atha pippaladah samit-panir bhagavantam brahmanam upasanno bhagavan me shubham kim atra cakshasveti.

    Carrying firewood in his hands, Pippalada humbly approached his father, Lord Brahma, and asked: "O my Lord, please tell me how I may attain an auspicious life."

    Text 2

    sa hovaca, bhuya eva tapasa brahmacaryena shashvad ramasva mano vasheti.

    Lord Brahma replied: "Be satisfied by remaining always celibate, and perform austerities. Carefully control the activities of the mind. In this way you will attain an auspicious condition of life."

    Text 3

    sa tatha bhutva bhuya enam upasadyaha—bhagavan kalau papac channah prajah katham mucyerann iti

    Pippalada followed these instructions, and after having become pure in his own heart and mind, he again approached his father and asked: "O my Lord, please tell me how the sinful living entities in the Kali-yuga may be delivered."

    Text 4

    ko va devata ko va mantro bhuhiti.

    "Who should be the object of their worship, and what mantra should they chant in order to become delivered? Kindly inform me."

    Text 5

    sa hovaca. rahasyam te vadishyami—jahnavi-tire navadvipe golokakhye dhamni govindo dvi-bhujo gaurah sarvatma maha-purusho mahatma maha- yogi tri-gunatitah sattva-rupo bhaktim loke kasyatiti. tad ete shloka bhavanti.

    Lord Brahma replied: "Listen carefully, for I shall give you a confidential description of what will happen in the Kali-yuga. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, the supreme enjoyer, whose form is transcendental, who is beyond the touch of the three modes of material nature, and who is the all-pervading Supersoul residing in the hearts of all living entities, will appear again in the Kali age. Appearing as the greatest devotee, the Supreme Personality of Godhead will assume a two-armed form of golden complexion in His abode of Goloka Vrindavana manifested on the bank of the Ganges at Navadvipa. He will disseminate pure devotional service in the world. This incarnation of the Lord is described in the following verses."

    Text 6

    eko devah sarva-rupi mahatma
    gauro rakta-shyamala-shveta- rupah
    Chaitanyatma sa vai Chaitanya-shaktir
    bhaktakaro bhakti-do bhakti- vedyah

    The one Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the master of all transcendental potencies, and who may be known only by devotional service, appears in innumerable transcendental forms. He has appeared with red, black, and white complexions, and He shall also appear in the golden form of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He shall assume the role of the perfect devotee, and He shall teach the conditioned souls the path of pure devotional service.

    Text 7

    namo vedanta-vedyaya
    krishnaya paramatmane
    sarva-Chaitanya-rupaya
    Chaitanyaya namo namah

    I offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Sri Krishna, the all-pervading Personality of Godhead, who is understood by the study of Vedanta philosophy. He is the master of all transcendental potencies, and He appears as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

    Text 8

    vedanta-vedyam purusham puranam
    Chaitanyatmanam vishva-yonim mahantam
    tam eva viditvati-mrityum eti
    nanyah pantha vidyate 'yanaya

    One who understands that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is known by the study of Vedanta philosophy, who is the original cause of the universe, and who is the oldest, the original person, crosses beyond this world of birth and death. This is the proper understanding of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and aside from this there is no other way for one to achieve liberation.

    Text 9

    sva-nama-mula-mantrena sarvam hladayati vibhuh.

    Appearing in this golden form, the all-powerful Supreme Lord will fill the entire universe with transcendental bliss by the chanting of His own holy names.

    Text 10

    dve shakti parame tasya hladini samvid eva ca iti.

    In this way the Supreme Lord manifests two of His transcendental potencies: His hladini shakti (the potency of transcendental bliss) and samvit shakti (the potency of transcendental knowledge).

    Text 11

    sa eva mula-mantram japati harir iti krishna iti rama iti.

    The Supreme Lord will chant a mantra consisting of the names of Hari, Krishna, and Rama (the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare).

    Text 12

    harati hridaya-granthim vasana-rupam iti harih. krishih smarane tac ca nas tad-ubhaya-melanam iti krishnah. ramayati sarvam iti rama ananda-rupah atra shloko bhavati.

    These three names of the Supreme Lord (Hari, Krishna, and Rama) may be explained in the following way: (1) "Hari" means "He who unties [harati] the knot of material desire in the hearts of the living entities"; (2) "Krishna" is divided into the two syllables "Krish" and "na." "Krish" means "He who attracts the minds of all living entities," and "na" means "the supreme transcendental pleasure." These two syllables combine to become the name "Krishna"; and (3) "Rama" means "He who delights [ramayati] all living entities," and it also means "He who is full of transcendental bliss." The maha-mantra consists of the repetition of these names of the Supreme Lord.

    Text 13

    mantro guhyah paramo bhakti-vedyah.

    The maha-mantra (Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare) is the best of all mantras. Although it is very difficult to understand the maha-mantra, it may be understood when one engages in pure devotional service of the Supreme Lord.

    Text 14

    namany ashtav ashta ca shobhanani, tani nityam ye japanti dhiras te vai mayam atitaranti nanyah paramam mantram parama-rahasyam nityam avartayati.

    Those who seriously desire to make progress in spiritual life continually chant these sixteen splendid names of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and in this way they cross beyond the bondage of continued material existence. The chanting of these holy names of the Lord is the greatest of all mantras, and it is the most confidential of all secrets.

    Text 15

    Chaitanya eva sankarshano vasudevah parameshthi rudrah shakro brihaspatih sarve devah sarvani bhutani sthavarani carani ca yat kincit sad-asat-karanam sarvam. tad atra shlokah.

    Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead who appears as Lord Sankarshana and Lord Vasudeva. He is the original father of Brahma, Siva, Indra, Brihaspati, all the demigods, and all moving and nonmoving living entities. He is the original cause of all that is temporary and all that is eternal. Nothing exists separately from Him, and therefore He is everything. He is described in the following verses.

    Text 16-18

    yat kincid asad bhunkte
    ksharam tat karyam ucyate sat karanam param jivas
    tad aksharam itiritam ksharaksharabhyam paramah
    sa eva purushottamah
    Chaitanyakhyam param tattvam
    sarva-karana-karanam

    This material world is temporary, whereas the individual living entities who try to enjoy matter are eternal and superior to it. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is superior to both the temporary material energy and the eternal living entities. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is this Supreme Person, the Absolute Truth, the original cause of all causes.

    Text 19

    ya enam rasayati bhajati dhyayati sa papmanam tarati sa puto bhavati, sa tattvam janati, sa tarati shokam, gatis tasyate nanyasyeti.

    One who worships the Supreme Lord, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, with devotion and always remembers Him becomes free from all sins and completely pure. Easily understanding the truth about the Personality of Godhead and becoming free from all material lamentation, such a devotee attains the supreme goal of life, which is unattainable by those averse to the Supreme Lord, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

    Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, a great acarya, or spiritual teacher, was the father of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, the spiritual master of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

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    Lord Chaitanya's Life and Teachings

    Bhanu Swami

    Lord Chaitanya was born on February 27, 1486, at a time when India was suffering from rampant hedonism, spiritual stagnation, strict caste stratification, the prominence of logic over mystic experience, and domination by Islamic rulers. Socially, morally, spiritually, politically, and intellectually there was need for change.

    Lord Chaitanya was born in Navadvipa, a large city straddling both sides of the Ganga. Praised in the scriptures as a holy place, Navadvipa was famous during Lord Chaitanya's time as a center of learning and culture.

    At Lord Chaitanya's birth, which fell on the full- moon night of the Bengali month of Phalguna, there was a lunar eclipse. As was the custom on such occasions, the people of Navadvipa gathered at the Ganga to purify themselves by bathing and chanting the names of God. Thus Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was born amid the loud chanting of the Lord's names.

    Because astrologers predicted that He would manifest superhuman qualities and deliver the world, His parents, Jagannatha Mishra and Sacidevi, gave Him the name Vishvambhara, or "support of the universe." And because He was born under a nima tree, He was given the nickname Nimai.

    During His childhood He displayed mysterious powers by outwitting thieves, playing with a poisonous snake, and speaking philosophically with His mother. As He grew, His beauty and intelligence began to show more fully. He was a brilliant student who quickly mastered poetics, Sanskrit grammar, and the current fad, navya nyaya, a form of logic. He would often play at defeating His fellow students using logic. While still young, He opened His own school and began teaching grammar and logic.

    On the pretext of performing sacred rites on the anniversary of His father's death, Vishvambhara journeyed to Gaya, in Bihar, with a group of students. There, after receiving Vaishnava initiation from Ishvara Puri, He became transformed. He lost all interest in logic and argument and absorbed Himself in chanting Krishna's names in devotional ecstasy.

    Back in Navadvipa, Vishvambhara gathered a following of other Vaishnavas, including Advaita Acarya, Srivasa Pandita, and Haridasa Thakura, and started the sankirtana movement. First, the movement was confined to the faithful. Doors were locked before the devotees began chanting and relishing the pastimes of Lord Krishna. After a year, however, Vishvambhara ordered His followers to distribute the name of Krishna and the ecstasy of love of God to all the people of Navadvipa.

    Vishvambhara's movement did not recognize the privileges of caste, and had no regard for ascetics involved in yoga, for impersonalists attempting to obtain liberation from the material world, or for the worship of demigods for material benefits. Thus Vishvambhara met with opposition from some sections of the local brahminical community and from Muslim rulers. But when He mobilized thousands of citizens in a sankirtana procession to the Muslim magistrate's house, He succeeded in convincing the magistrate to sanction the movement.

    Seeing the need to spread Krishna consciousness more widely, Vishvambhara decided to take sannyasa, the renounced order of life. At the age of twenty-four He shaved His head and took the name Krishna Chaitanya from Keshava Bharati in nearby Katwa. He also became known as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. To console His mother He promised to stay in Puri, a moderate distance from Navadvipa.

    Apart from traveling to South India for four years, and to Prayag, Vrindavana, and Varanasi via Bengal for one year, He spent the rest of His life in Puri, absorbed in ecstatic vision of Krishna, in the mood of Radha. He disappeared from mortal vision at the age of forty-eight in Puri.

    Deliverer Of The Religion For The Age

    According to the Vedic scriptures, time moves in continuous cycles of four ages, or yugas. In each yuga a specific method of spiritual practice (dharma) is effective. In Kali-yuga, the current age, the dharma is nama-sankirtana, the chanting of the holy names of the Lord. To distribute the yuga-dharma, the Lord descends in each yuga. In Kali-yuga, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared to spread nama-sankirtana. Apart from the function of spreading the yuga- dharma, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to expose the world to the highest aspects of spiritual love (prema), which manifest in relation (rasa) to Krishna in His original form in Vrindavana.

    The highest expression of rasa is the conjugal rasa in parakiya (outside of marriage). The ideal person in this relationship is Radha. While other Vaishnava lineages worship Krishna, the unique contribution of Lord Chaitanya is His detailed exposition of the higher modes of rasa, which He personified by acting as a devotee of the Lord, experiencing pure love in the mood of Radha. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave a complete revelation of God's love for the souls, and the souls' love for God. This is unparalleled in any movement or any religion.

    How are we to attain this high stage of love? Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wanted that greatest treasure to be given out to as many people as possible. Therefore He has also taught a process—the simplest and most direct process: nama- sankirtana. Chanting the names of Krishna does not require any qualification except faith. Birth, caste, race, country, profession, and education are not considerations in chanting God's names. The only requirement is a sincere acceptance of one's own position as the servant, offering service out of selfless love to the most attractive, deserving object: Krishna. Adherence to chanting in a pure manner leads directly to the highest goal, pure love of Krishna.

    Chaitanya Mahaprabhu encouraged His followers to distribute the name of Krishna freely to all. He Himself desired that not only all of India, but the whole world, take up the chanting of Krishna's names and attain love of God. He ordered His followers to distribute the name and teach about Krishna. His movement can be summarized as "Taste the name and distribute the name."

    Philosophical Contribution

    Philosophically, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explained the relation of God to the world and souls in terms of bheda and abheda, simultaneous difference and non-difference, or oneness. "Difference" refers to the acceptance of (1) a real material world, (2) innumerable real souls, and (3) a God with perfect qualities, form, and action. "Oneness" refers to the acceptance of the existence of one supreme entity, with no differentiation of form, qualities, souls, or spiritual and material world.

    Bheda-abheda philosophies are usually rejected because oneness and difference are mutually contradictory: the proposition seems nonsensical. But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has explained that mutual contradictions can coexist through the inconceivable power of God. Thus His world view is called acintya-bheda-abheda, or oneness and difference joined by the inconceivable (acintya) power of God. By accepting difference we can believe in our own individual existence, with the right to act and choose. By accepting oneness we can acknowledge the perfection that lies behind all the imperfection we perceive.

    Only with difference can there be a relationship (rasa) between two objects—the soul and God. Only with difference can we relish the form, qualities, and activities of God. Difference, however, can put a great distance between God and the souls. But through oneness the distance becomes meaningless: the relationship of God to the soul becomes very close.

    Reconciling Contradictions

    The philosophy of acintya-bheda-abheda allows acceptance of seemingly contradictory statements in the Upanishads: statements of abheda, or impersonalism, and statements of bheda, or difference. Both types can be accepted, without resorting to indirect interpretation of either type of statement.

    Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's movement therefore presents a complete picture of intimate loving relationships with God, a philosophy consistent with direct statements of scripture to support those relationships, and a simple, practical process to realize them.

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    MIRACLES of CHAITANYA MAHAPRABHU at PURI, ODISHA

          MIRACLES of CHAITANYA MAHAPRABHU at PURI 


    Miracles of CHAITANYA MAHAPRABHU at Puri 


    During the time of Car Festival (pulling of the chariot) of Lord Jagannath (an aspect of Krishna) at the Puri temple, devotees could not move the chariot no matter how hard they tried. Even several elephants trying to pull it could not succeed. Chaitanya pushed the car lightly and, to the devotees' utter delight, it began to move immediately.

    Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, a learned scholar of Vedanta, also had a huge ego and great pride in himself. He did not have much of an opinion about Chaitanya and thought of him as a mad mendicant. But when he came face to face with the latter, he was struck by his deep knowledge of Sanskrit, bhakti and the great love he emanated. Instantly humbled, Sarvabhauma got converted and became Chaitanya's ardent disciple.

    Vasudeva was a simple Brahmin who was excommunicated by society as he suffered from leprosy. Compassionate as he was, Chaitanya went up to him and lovingly embraced him. In the very next second, Vasudeva healed and became completely normal! Such was the healing power of his love.

    Pundit Sreebas was one of the foremost devotees of Chaitanya. (The Chaitanya Bhagavata, a Biography on Chaitanya, was written by his grandson.) A Kirtan party was held at Sreebas' residence that day. Chaitanya and his followers were singing and dancing in great joy. Unknown to them, Sreebas' grandson had died of cholera just then. Though his wife was broken, Sreebas chose to join the Kirtan and continued dancing, unaffected by the tragedy that had struck him. When Chaitanya came to know about the death, he asked for the boy's body to be brought in front of him. When he commanded it to speak, the boy's soul immediately entered the body and stated that he had departed to a wonderful world and that he was happy being there now. This left the bereaved family feeling assured and even blessed.

    Nitai, Sarvabhauma and Ramananda Ray had the privilege of witnessing the sheer divinity of Chaitanya. Chaitanya is said to have revealed himself to them as a six-handed divine being, two hands wielding the bow and arrow, two playing the flute and the other two holding a Danda and Kamandalu (staff and pot). With this manifestation, he was indicating that he was both Rama and Krishna.

    Chaitanya once dived into the sea at Puri, imagining it to be the Yamuna at Vrindavan. As he floated on the water, he happened to be caught by a fisherman, who, sensing the weight of his catch, was very happy thinking he had caught a huge fish. Meanwhile, Ramananda and Swaroopa, who were desperately searching for their master, found him lying unconscious beside the fisherman and brought him to, by repeatedly singing the name of 'Hari'.

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    Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.32

    krsnaa-varnam? tvisakrsnam
    sangopangastra-parsadam
    yajnaih sankirtana-prayair
    yajanti hi su-medhasa?
    Word for word: 
    krsnaa-varnam ' repeating the syllables krsn-?a; tvisa ' with a luster; akrsnam ' not black (golden); sa-a?ga ' along with associates; upa-a?ga ' servitors; astra ' weapons; parsadam ' confidential companions; yajai? ' by sacrifice; sankirtana-prayaih ' consisting chiefly of congregational chanting; yajanti ' they worship; hi ' certainly; su-medhasa? ' intelligent persons.
    Translation: 
    In the Age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the names of Krsnaa. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Krsna Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons and confidential companions.
    Purport: 

    This same verse is quoted by Krsnadasa Kaviraja in the Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, Chapter Three, verse 52. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has given the following commentary on this verse. "This text is from Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.5.32). Srila Jiva Gosvami has explained this verse in his commentary on the Bhagavatam known as the Krama-sandarbha, wherein he says that Lord Krsna also appears with a golden complexion. That golden Lord Krsna is Lord Caitanya, who is worshiped by intelligent men in this age. That is confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam by Garga Muni, who said that although the child Krsna was blackish, He also appears in three other colors ' red, white and yellow. He exhibited His white and red complexions in the Satya and Treta ages respectively. He did not exhibit the remaining color, yellow-gold, until He appeared as Lord Caitanya, who is known as Gaurahari.

    "Srila Jiva Gosvami explains that krsna-varnam means Sri Krsna Caitanya. Krsna-varnam and Krsna Caitanya are equivalent. The name Krsna appears with both Lord Krsna and Lord Caitanya Krsna. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but He always engages in describing Krsna and thus enjoying transcendental bliss by chanting and remembering His name and form. Lord Krsna Himself appears as Lord Caitanya to preach the highest gospel. Varnayati means 'utters' or 'describes.' Lord Caitanya always chants the holy name of Krsna and describes it also, and because He is Krsna Himself, whoever meets Him will automatically chant the holy name of Krsna and later describe it to others. He injects one with transcendental Krsna consciousness, which merges the chanter in transcendental bliss. In all respects, therefore, He appears before everyone as Krsna, either by personality or by sound. Simply by seeing Lord Caitanya one at once remembers Lord Krsna. One may therefore accept Him as visnu-tattva. In other words, Lord Caitanya is Lord Krsna Himself.

    "Sangopangastra-parsadam further indicates that Lord Caitanya is Lord Krsna. His body is always decorated with ornaments of sandalwood and with sandalwood paste. By His superexcellent beauty He subdues all the people of the age. In other descents the Lord sometimes used weapons to defeat the demoniac, but in this age the Lord subdues them with His all-attractive figure as Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Jiva Gosvami explains that His beauty is His astra, or weapon, to subdue the demons. Because He is all-attractive, it is to be understood that all the demigods lived with Him as His companions. His acts were uncommon and His associates wonderful. When He propagated the sankirtana movement, He attracted many great scholars and acaryas, especially in Bengal and Orissa. Lord Caitanya is always accompanied by His best associates like Lord Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara and Srivasa.

    "Srila Jiva Gosvami cites a verse from the Vedic literature that says that there is no necessity of performing sacrificial demonstrations or ceremonial functions. He comments that instead of engaging in such external, pompous exhibitions, all people, regardless of caste, color or creed, can assemble together and chant Hare Krsna to worship Lord Caitanya. Krsna-varnam? tvisakrsnam indicates that prominence should be given to the name Krsna. Lord Caitanya taught Krsna consciousness and chanted the name of Krsna. Therefore, to worship Lord Caitanya, everyone should together chant the maha-mantra ' Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. To propagate worship in churches, temples or mosques is not possible because people have lost interest in that. But anywhere and everywhere, people can chant Hare Krsna. Thus worshiping Lord Caitanya, they can perform the highest activity and fulfill the highest religious purpose of satisfying the Supreme Lord.

    "Srila Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, a famous disciple of Lord Caitanya, said: 'The principle of transcendental devotional service having been lost, Sri Krsna Caitanya has appeared to deliver again the process of devotion. He is so kind that He is distributing love of Krsna. Everyone should be attracted more and more to His lotus feet, as humming bees are attracted to a lotus flower.'"

    The incarnation of Caitanya Mahaprabhu is also described in the Sri Vishnu-sahasra-nama, which appears in Chapter 189 of the Dana-dharma-parva of Mahabharata. Srila Jiva Gosvami has quoted this reference as follows: suvarna-varno hemango varangas candanangadi. "In His early pastimes He appears as a householder with a golden complexion. His limbs are beautiful, and His body, smeared with the pulp of sandalwood, seems like molten gold." He has also quoted, sannyasa-krc chama? santo nistha-santi-parayanah: "In His later pastimes He accepts the sannyasa order, and He is equipoised and peaceful. He is the highest abode of peace and devotion, for He silences the impersonalist nondevotees."

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    Life of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

    By His Divine Grace Srila Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura
    Sent to McGill University, Toronto 1896

     

     

    Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakurja
    Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

     


     THE LIFE OF SRI CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU

    Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was born in Mayarpur in the town of Nadia, just after sunset on the evening of the 23rd Falgun, 1407 Advent of Sakabda answering to the 18th Februrary, 1486 of the Christian era. The moon was eclipsed at the time of His birth and people of Nadia were then engaged, as usual on such occasions, in bathing in the Bhagirathi with loud cheers of Haribol. His father Jagannath Misra was a poor Brahmin of the Vedic order, and His mother Sachi Devi was a model good woman, both descended from Brahmin stocks originally residing in Sylhet. Mahaprabhu was a beautiful Child and the ladies of the town came to see Him with presents. His mother's father. Pandit Nilambar Chakravarti, a renowned astrologer, foretold that the Child -would be a great Personage in time ; and he therefore, gave Him the name Visvambhar. The ladies of the neighborhood styled Him Gaur Hari on account of His golden complexion, and His mother called Him Nimai on account of the Nim tree n ear which He was born. Beautiful as the lad was every one heartily loved to see Him everyday. As He grew up. He became a whimsical and frolicsome Lad. After His fifth year, He was admitted into a Pathsala where He picked up Bengali in a very short time.

    Early Anecdotes
    Most of His contemporary biographers have mentioned certain anecdotes regarding Sri Chaitanya which are simple records of His early miracles. It is said that, when He was an infant in His mother's arms, He wept continually, and when the neighbouring ladies and His mother cried Haribol, be used to stop. Thus there was a continuation of the utterance of Haribol in the house, foreshowing the future mission of the Hero. It has also been stated, that, when His mother once gave Him sweetmeats to eat, He ate clay instead of the food. His mother asking for the reason, He stated that, as every sweetmeat was nothing but clay transformed, He could eat clay as well.

    His mother who was also the consort of a Pandit explained, that every article in a special state was adapted to a special use. Earth, while in the state o a jug, could be used as a water-pot, but in the state of a brick such a use was not possible. Clay, therefore, in the form of sweetmeats was usable as food and not clay in its other states. The Lad was convinced and admitted His stupidity in eating clay and agreed to avoid the mistake in future.

    Another miraculous act has been related. It is said that a Brahmin on pilgrimage became a guest in His house, cooked his food and read his grace with meditation on Krishna. In the meantime, the Lad came and ate up the cooked rice. The Brahmin astonished at the Lad's act cooked again at the request of Jagannath Misra. The Lad again ate up the cooked rice while the Brahmin was offering the rice to Krishna with meditation. The Brahmin was persuaded to cook for the third time. This time all the inmates of the house had fallen asleep and the Lad showed Himself as Krishna to the traveler and blessed him. The Brahmin was then lost in ecstasy at the appearance of the Object of his worship. It has also been stated that two thieves stole away the Lad from His father's door with a view to purloin His jewels and gave Him sweetmeats on the way. The Lad exercised His illusory energy and deceived t he thieves back towards His Own house. The thieves for fear of detection, left the Boy there and fled.

    Another miraculous act has been described of the Lad's demanding and getting from Hiranya and Jagadisha all the offerings they had collected for worshipping Krishna on the day of Ekadasi. When only four years of age. He sat on rejected cooking pots which were considered unholy by His mother. He explained to His mother that there was no question of holiness and un-holiness as regards earthen pots thrown away after the cooking was over. These anecdotes relate to the tender age up to the fifth year.

    Jaya Gauranga!
    Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu
    Scholastic Career
    In His eighth year. He was admitted into the Tol of Gangadas Pandit in Ganganagar close by the village of Mayapur. In two years, He became well read in Sanskrit Grammar and Rhetoric. His readings after that were of the nature of self-study in His Own house, where He had found all important books belonging to His father who was a Pandit himself. It appears that He read the Smriti on His own, and the Nyaya also, in competition with His friends who were then studying under the celebrated Pandit Raghunath Siromani.

    Now, after the tenth year of His age, Chaitanya became a passable scholar in Grammar, Rehotiric, the Smrti and Nyaya. It was after this that His elder brother Vishwarup left home and accepted the asram (status) of a sannyasi (ascetic). Chaitanya, though a very young boy, consoled His parents saying that He would serve them with a view to please God. Just after that, His father left this world. His mother was exceedingly sorry, and Mahaprabhu, with His usually contented appearance, consoled His widowed mother.

    It was at the age of fourteen or fifteen that Mahaprabhu was married to Laksmhi Devi, the daughter of Ballabha Acharya, also of Nadia. He was at this age considered as one of the best scholars of Nadia, the renowned seat of Nyaya philosophy and Sakskrit learning. Not to speak of the smarta pandits, the naiyaiks were all afraid of confronting Him in literary discussions. Being a married man, He went to Eastern Bengal on the banks of the Padma for acquirement of wealth. There He displayed His learning and obtained a good sum of money. It was at this time that He preached Vaishnavism at intervals. After teaching him the principles of Vaishnavism, He ordered Tapan Misra to go and live in Benares. During His residence in East Bengal, His wife Lakshmi Devi left this world from the effects of snakebite. On returning home, He found His mother in a mourning state. He consoled her with a lecture on the uncertainty of human affairs. It was at His mother's request that He married Vishnupriya, the daughter of Rakj pandit Sanatan Misra. His comrades joined Him on His reutrn from pravas, or sojourn. He was now so renowned that He was considered to be the best pandit in Nadia. Keshab Misra of Kashmere, who has called himself the Great Digvijayi, came to Nadia with a view to discuss with the pandits, of that place. Afraid of the so-called conquering pandit, the tol professors of Nadia left their town on pretence of invitation. Keshab met Mahaprabhu at the Barokonaghat in Mayapura, and after a very short discussion with Him he got defeated by the boy and mortification obliged him to decampt. Nimai pandit was now the most important Pandit of His times.

    It was at the age of sixteen or seventeen that He travelled to Gaya with a host of His students, and there took His spiritual inititation from Iswar Puri, a Vaishnava sannyasi, and a disciple of the renowned Madhavendra Puri. Upon His return to Nadia, Nimai Pandit turned out a religious preacher and His religious nature became so strongly represented that Avdaita Prabhu, Sribas and the others who had before the birth of Chaitanya already accepted the Vaishnava faith, were astonished at the change of the young man. He was then no more a contending naiyaika, a wrangling smarta and a criticising rhetorician. He swooned at the name of Krishna and behaved as an inspired man under the influence of His religious sentiment. It has been described by Murari Gupta, an eye witness that, He showed His heavenly powers in the house of Srivas Pandit in the presence of hundreds of His followers who were mostly well-read scholars. It was at this time that He opened a nocturnal school of Kirtan in the compound of Srivas Pandit with His sincere followers. There He preached, there He sang, there He danced and there He expressed all sorts of religious feelings. Nityananda Prabhu who was then a preacher of Vaishnavism and who had then completed his travels all over India, joined Him by that time. In fact, a host of Pandit preachers of Vaishnavism all sincere at heart, came and joined Him from different parts of Bengal. Nadia now became the regular seat of a host of Vaishnava Acharyas whose mission it was to spiritualize mankind with the highest influence of the Vaishnava creed.

    Preaching and Sankirtan

    The first mandate that He issued to Prabhu Nityananda and Haridas was this: "Go friends, go preaching and through the streets of the town, meet every man at his door and ask him to sing the Name of Hari with a holy life and you then come and report to Me every evening the result of your preaching." Thus ordered, the two preachers went on and met Jagai and Madhai the two most abominable characters. They insulted the preachers on hearing Mahaprabhu's mandate but were soon converted by the influence of Bhakti inculcated by their Lord. The people of Nadia were now surprised. They said, Nimai Pandit is not only a gigantic genius but He is certainly a Missionary from God Almighty." From this time to His 23rd year, Mahaprabhu preached His principles not only in Nadia but in all important towns and villages around His city. In the houses of His followers. He showed miracles, taught the esoteric principles of Bhakti and sang His Sankirtan with other Bkaktas. Hi s followers of the town of Nadia commenced to sing the Holy Name of Hari in the streets and bazars. This created a sensation and roused different feelings in different quarters. The Bhaktas were highly pleased.

    The Smarta Brahmins became jealous of Nimai Pandit's success and complained to Chand Kazi against the character of Chaitanya as un-Hindu. The Kazi came to Srivas Pandit's house and broke a Mridanga {khol) there and declared, that unless Nimai Pandit would cease to make noise about His queer religion, he should be obliged to enforce Mohammedanism on Him and His followers. This was brought to Mahaprabhu's notice. He ordered the town people to appear in the evening, each with a torch in his hand. This they did, and Nimai marched out With His Sankirtan divided in fourteen groups, and on His arrival in Kazi's house, He held a long conversation with the Kazi, and in the end communicated into his heart His Vaishnava influence by touching his body. The Kazi then wept and admitted, that he had felt a keen spiritual influence which had cleared up his doubts, and produced in him a religious sentiment which gave him the highest ecstasy. The Kazi then joined the Sankirtan par ty. The world Was astonished at the spiritual power of the Great Lord and hundreds and hundreds of heretics converted joined the bannar of Visvambhar after this affair.

    Sannyasa
    It was after this that some of the jealous and low minded Brahmins of Kulia picked up a quarrel with Mahaprabhu and collected a party to oppose Him. Nimai Pandit was naturally a soft hearted Person though strong in His principles. He declared that party feeling and sectarianism were the two great enemies of progress, and as long as He should continue to be an inhabitant of Nadia belonging to a certain family, His mission would not meet with complete success. He then resolved to be a citizen of the world by cutting off His connection with a particular family, caste and creed and with this resolution He embraced the position of a Sannyasi at Katoa under the guidance of Keshav Bharati of that town, on that 24th year of His age. His mother and wife wept bitterly for His separation, but our Hero though soft in heart, was a strong Person in principle He left His little world in His house for the unlimited spiritual world of Krishna with mankind in general.

    After His Sannyas He was induced to visit the house of Sri Advaita Prabhu in Santipur. Sri Advaita managed to invite all his friends and admirers from Nadia and brought Sachi Devi to see her Son. Both pleasure and pain invaded her heart when she saw her Son in the attire of a Sannyasi. As a Sannyasi, Sri Krishna Chaitanya put on nothing but a kaupin and a bahirvas (outer covering). His head was without hair and His hands bore a danda (stick) and a kamandalu (hermit's water pot). The Holy son fell at the feet of His beloved mother and said, "Mother! This body is yours and I must obey your orders. Permit Me to go to Vrindavan for My spiritual attainments". The Mother in consultation with Sri Advaita and others asked her Son to reside in Puri (town of Lord Jagannatha) so that she might obtain some information about Him now and then.

    Mahaprabhu agreed to that proposition and in a few days left Santipur for Orissa. His biographers have described the journey of Sri Krishna Chaitanya (that was the name He got after His Sannyas)from Santipur to Puri in great detail.

    He traveled along the side of the Bhagirathi as far as Chhatrabhog situated now in Thana Mathurapur Diamond Harbour, 24 Parganas. There He took a boat and went as far as Prayag Ghat in the Midnapore District. Thence He walked through Balasore and Cuttack to Puri, seeing the temple of Bhubaneswar on His way. Upon His arrival at Puri He saw Lord Jagannath in the temple and put up with Sarvabhauma at the request of the latter.

    Sarvabhauma and Vedanta
    Sarvbhauma was a gigantic Pandit of the day. His readings knew no bounds. He was the best Naiyaik of the times, and was known as the most erudite scholar in the Vedanta Philosophy of the school of Sankaracharya. He was born in Nadia (Vidyanagar) and taught innumerable pupils in the Nyaya Philosophy in his Tol there. He had left for Puri sometimes before the birth of Nimai Pandit. His brother-in-law, Gopinath Misra, introduced our new Sannyasi to Sarvabhauma who was astonished at His personal beauty, and feared that it would be difficult for the young Man to maintain Sannyas-dharma during the long run of His life. Gopinath who had known Mahaprabhu from Nadia had a great reverence for Him and told everyone that the Sannyasi was not a common human being. On this point, Gropinath and Sarvabhauma had a hot discussion. Sarvabhauma then requested Mahaprabhu to hear his recitation of the Vedanta Sutras to which the latter tacitly submitted . Sri Chaitanya heard with silence what the great Sarvabhauma uttered with gravity, for seven days, at the end of which the latter said, ''Krishna Chaitanya! I think you do not understand the Vedanta, as you do not say anything after hearing my recitations and explanations." The reply of Sri Chaitanya was that He understood the Sutras very well, but He could not make out what Sankaracharya meant by his commentaries. Astonished at this, Sarvabhauma said, "How is it that you understand the meanings of the Sutras and do not understand the commentaries which explain the Sutras? Ah well! If you understand the Sutras, please let me have your interpretations."

    Mahaprabhu thereon explained all the Sutras in His Own way without touching the Pantheistic commentary of Sankara. The keen understanding of Sarvabbauma saw the truth, beauty and harmony of arguments in the explanations given by Sri Chaitanya and obliged him to utter that it was the first time that he found One, Who could explain the Brahma-Sutras in such a simple manner. He admitted also, that the commentaries of Sankara never gave such natural explanations of the Vedanta-Sutras as he had obtained from Mahaprabhu. He then submitted himself as an advocate and follower. In a few days Sarvabhabma turned out as one of the best Vaishnavas of the time. Report ran out and the whole of Orissa sang the praise of Krishna Chaitanya, and hundreds and hundreds came to Him and became His followers. In the meantime, Mahaprabhu thought of visiting Southern India, and He started with one Krishnadas Brahmin for the Journey.

    Tour in Southern India
    His biographers have given us a detail of the journey. He first went to Kurmakshetra where He performed a miarcle by curing a leper named Vasudeva. He met Ramananda Rai the Governor of Vidyanagar, on the banks of the Godavari and had a philosophical conversation with him on the subject of Prem-bhakti. He worked another miracle by touching (making them immediately, disappear) the seven Tal trees, through which Ram Chandra, the Son of Dasarath, had shot His arrow and killed the great Bali Raj.

    He preached Vaishnavism and Nam Sankiratan throughout the journey. At Rangakshetra, He stayed for four months in the house of one Venkata Bhatta in order to spend the rainy season. There He converted the whole family of Venkata from Ramanuja Vaishnavism into Krishna-bhakti, along with the son of Venkata, a boy of ten years named Gopal, who afterwards came to Vrindavan and became one of six Gosvamins or Prophets serving under their Leader Sri Krishna Chaitanya. Trained up in Sanskrit by his uncle Prabodhananda Sarasvati, Gopal wrote several books on Vaishnavism.

    Sri Chaitanya visited numerous places in Southern India as far as Cape Comorin, and returned to Puri in two years by Pandarpur on the Bhima. In this latter place He spiritualized one Tukaram who became from that time a religious preacher himself. This fact has been admitted in his Abhangas which have been collected in a volume by Mr. Satyendranath Tagore of the Bombay Civil Service.

    During His journey He had discussions with the Buddhists, the Jains and the Mayavadis in several places, and converted His opponents to Vaishnavism.

    Dabir Khas and Sakar Mallik reclaimed
    Upon His return to Puri, Raja Prataparudra Dev and several Pandit Brahmins joined the banner of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He was now twenty-seven years of age. In his 28th year he went to Bengal as far as Gaud in Maldah.

    There He picked up two greater personages named Rupa and Sanatan. Though descended from the lines of the Karnatik Brahmins, these two brothers turned out demi Musalmans by their continual contact with Hussain Shah, the then Emperor of Gaud. Their names had been changed by the Emperor into Dabir Khas and Sakar Mallik and their master loved them heartily, as they were both learned in Persian, Arabic and Sanskrit and were loyal servants of the state. The two gentlemen had found no way to come back as regular Hindus, and had written to Mahaprabhu. while He was at Puri for spiritual help. Mahaprabhu had written in reply that He would come to them and extricate them out of their spiritual difficulties. Now that He had come to Gaud, both the brothers appeared before Him with their long standing prayer. Mahaprabhu ordered them to go to Vrindavan and meet Him there.

    Instructions to Rupa and Sanatan
    Chaitanya returned to Puri through Santipur where He again met His dear mother. After a short stay at Puri, He left for Vrindavan. This time He was accompanied by one Balabhadra Bhattacharya. He visited Vrindavan and came down to Prayag (Allahabad,) converting a large number of Mohammedans not by the scriptures of Vaishnavism but by argument from the Quran. The descendants of those converts are still known as Pathan Vaishnavas. Rupa Gosvami met Him at Allahabad. Sri Chaitanya trained him up in spirituality in ten days and directed him to go to Vrindavan on missions. His first mission was to write theological works explaining scientifically pure Bhakti and Prem. The second mission was to revive the places where Krishna Chandra had, in the end of Dvapara yuga, exhibited His spirtual Lila for the benefit of the religious world. Rupa Gosvami left Allahabad for Vrindavan and Mahaprabhu came down to Benares. There He put up in the house of Chandrasekhar and accepted His daily bhiksha (meal) in the house of Tapan Misra. Here it was, that Sanatan Gosvami joined Him and took instruction for two months in spiritual matters.

    The biographers, specially Krishnadas Kaviraj have given us details of Sri Chaitanya's teachings to Rupa and Sanatan. Krishnadas was not a contemporary writer, but he gathered his information from the Gosvamins themselves, the direct disciples of Mahaprabhu. Jiva Gosvami, who was nephew of Sanatan and Rupa and who has left us his invaluable work, the Sat-sandarbha, has philosophized on the precepts of his great Leader. We have gathered and summarized the precepts of Sri Chaitanya from the books of those great writers.

    Prakashananda Saraswati
    While at Benares Sri Chaitanya had an interview with the learned. Sannyasis of that town in the house of a Maharatta Brahmin who had invited all the sannyasis as an entertainment. At this interview Chaitanya showed a miracle which attracted all the samnyasis to Him. Then ensued reciprocal conversation. The Sannyasis were headed by their most learned leader Prakasananda Sarasvati. After a short controversy, they submitted to Mahaprabhu and admitted that they had been misled by the commentaries of Sankaracharya. It was impossible even for learned scholars to oppose Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu for a long time, as there was some spell in Him which touched their hearts, and made them weep for their spiritual improvement. Sannyasis of Benares soon fell at the Feet of Sri Chaitanya and asked for His grace (kripa).

    Sri Chaitanya then preached pure Bhakti and instilled into their hearts spiritual love for Krishna which obliged them to give up sectarian feelings. The whole of Benares, on this wonderful conversion of the Sannyasis, turned out Vaishnavas, and they made a master 'Sankirtan with their new Lord. After sending Sanatan to Vrindavan, Mahapraphu went to Puri again by the jungles with His comrade Balabhadra. Balabhadra reported that Mahaprabhu had shown a good many miracles on His way to Puri, such as, making tigers and elephants dance on hearing the Name of Krishna.

    Assembly at Puri

    From this time, i.e, from His 31st year, Mahaprabhu continually lived in Puri in the house of Kasi Misra, until His disappearance in His forty-eighth year at the time of Sankirtan in the temple of Tota Gopinath. During these 18 years, His life was one of settled love and piety. He was surrounded by numerous followers, all of whom were of the highest order of the Vaishnavas and distinguished from the common people by their purest character and learning, firm religious principles and spiritual love in Radha-Krishna.

    Svarup Damodar, who had been known by the name of Purushottam Acharya while Mahaprabhu was in Nadia, joined Him from Benares, and accepted His service as His secretary. No production of any poet or philosopher could be laid before Mahaprabhu, unless Svarup has passed it as pure and useful. Rai Ramananda was his second mate.

    Both he and Svarup sang, while Mahaprabhu expressed His sentiment on a certain point of worship. Parmanada Puri was His minister in matters of religion. There are hundreds of anecdotes described by His biographers, which we do not think it mete here to reproduce. Mahaprabhu slept short. His sentiments carried Him far and far in the firmament of spirituality, every day and night, and all His admirers and followers watched Him throughout. He worshipped, communicated with His missionaries at Vrindavan, and conversed with those religious men who newly came to visit Him. He sang and danced, took no care of Himself and often times lost Himself in religious beatitude. All who came to Him, believed Him as the All Beautiful God, appearing in the nether world for the benefit of mankind. He loved His mother all along, and sent her mahaprasad now and then with those who went to Nadia. He was most amiable in nature. Humility was personified in Him. His sweet appearance gave cheers to all who came in contact with Him. He appointed Prabhu Nityananda as the missionary in charge of Bengal. He dispatched six disciples (Gosvamins) to Vrindavan to preach love in the up-country. He punished all of His disciples who deviated from a holy life. This He markedly did in the case of junior Haridas. He never lacked in giving proper instructions in life to those who solicited them. This will be seen in His teachings to Raghunath Das Gosvami. His treatment to Haridas (senior) will show how He loved spiritual men and how He defied caste distinction in case of spiritual brotherhood.

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