Achintya Bheda Abheda
* Shaiva : Pratyabhijña
TEACHERS (Acharyas )
* Akṣapāda Gotama
ACHINTYA BHEDA ABHEDA
* Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
* Kamalakanta Bhattacharya
* Kanada ,
SHASTRAS AND SUTRAS
* Mimamsa Sutras
* Other Indian philosophies
CHAITANYA MAHAPRABHU ((also transliterated CAITANYA MAHāPRABHU); 18
February 1486 – 14 June 1534) was a spiritual leader who founded
Gaudiya Vaishnavism . He is believed by some of his devotees to be
Krishna himself who appeared in the form of His own devotee in order
to teach the people of this world the process of
Bhakti and how to
attain the perfection in life. He is considered as the most merciful
manifestation of Krishna. Chaitanya was the proponent for the
Vaishnava school of
Bhakti yoga (meaning loving devotion to God),
Bhagavata Purana and
Bhagavad Gita . Of various incarnations
of Vishnu, he is revered as Krishna, popularised the chanting of the
Krishna mantra and composed the
Siksastakam (eight devotional
Sanskrit . His followers, Gaudiya Vaishnavas , revere him
Krishna with the mood and complexion of his source of inspiration
Radha. His birthday is celebrated as
Chaitanya is sometimes referred to by the names GAURANGA or GAURA due
to his fair complexion, and NIMAI due to his being born underneath a
Neem tree. He was very mischievous in his young days. His original
name was Vishvambhar. He was a brilliant student and Nimai was his
nickname. At an early age he became a scholar and opened a school.
* 1 Life
* 1.1 Hagiographies
* 2 Identity
* 3 Teachings
* 4 Philosophy and Tradition
* 5 Discovery of Birthplace Yogapith
* 6 Cultural legacy
* 7 See also
* 8 Footnotes
* 9 References
* 10 External links
The Idol commemorating the Shadabhuja
Gauranga miracle of
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appearing as
Vishnu at Ganga mata mathat
Chaitanya means LIVING FORCE, Maha means GREAT and Prabhu means
‘LORD’ OR ‘MASTER. He was born as the second son of Jagannath
Mishra and his wife Sachi Devi, who lived in the town of Dhaka
Dakhhin, Srihatta , now
Bangladesh . According to Chaitanya
Charitamruta, Chaitanya was born on the full moon night of 18 February
1486, at the time of a lunar eclipse. His parents named him
'Vishvambhara'. His family roots are originally from Dhaka Dakhhin,
Shrihatta (now Sylhet,
A number of stories also exist telling of Chaitanya's apparent
attraction to the chanting and singing of Krishna's names from a very
young age, but largely this was perceived as being secondary to his
interest in acquiring knowledge and studying
Sanskrit . When
travelling to Gaya to perform the shraddha ceremony for his departed
father, Chaitanya met his guru , the ascetic Ishvara
Puri , from whom
he received initiation with the
Krishna mantra. This meeting
was to mark a significant change in Chaitanya's outlook and upon his
Bengal the local Vaishnavas, headed by Advaita
were stunned at his external sudden 'change of heart' (from 'scholar'
to 'devotee') and soon Chaitanya became the eminent leader of their
Vaishnava group within Nadia.
Bengal and receiving entrance into the sannyasa order
by Keshava Bharati , Chaitanya journeyed throughout the length and
India for several years, chanting the divine Names of
Krishna constantly. He spent the last 24 years of his life in
Odisha, the great temple city of
Jagannath in the
Radhakanta Math .
The Gajapati king,
Prataprudra Dev , regarded Chaitanya as Krishna's
avatar and was an enthusiastic patron and devotee of Chaitanya's
sankeertan gatherings. It was during these years that Chaitanya is
believed by his followers to have sunk deep into various Divine-Love
(samādhi ) and performed pastimes of divine ecstasy (bhakti ).
There are numerous biographies available from the time giving details
of Chaitanya's life, the most prominent ones being the Chaitanya
Krishnadasa Kaviraja , the earlier Chaitanya Bhagavata
Vrindavana Dasa (both originally written in Bengali but now
widely available in English and other languages), and the Chaitanya
Mangala , written by "Lochana Dasa". These works are in Bengali with
Sanskrit verses interspersed. In addition to these there are
Sanskrit biographies composed by his contemporaries. Chief among
them are the works, Sri Chaitanya Charitamritam Mahakavyam by Kavi
Karnapura and Sri
Krishna Chaitanya Charitamritam by Murari Gupta.
According to the hagiographies of 16th-century authors, he exhibited
his Universal Form identical to that of
Krishna on a number of
occasions, notably to
Advaita Ācārya and
Nityānanda Prabhu .
Gaudiya Vaishnavas consider
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to be Lord Krishna
himself, but appearing in covered form (channa avatar). The Gaudiya
Bhaktivinoda Thakura have also found out the rare
manuscript of Chaitanya Upanishad of the atharvaveda section, which
reveals the identity of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Nityananda , is shown performing a 'kirtan ' in the
streets of Nabadwip, Bengal.
Pancha Tattva deities installed on a
Vaishnava altar. From left to
Nityananda , Chaitanya,
Gadadhara Pandita ,
Statue of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Neelachal.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu statue in
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Prachin Mayapur,
Yogapith, the birthplace of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Built in the 1880s
Bhaktivinoda Thakur (1838-1914) in
West Bengal ,
Nitai shrine at
ISKCON Temple Delhi .
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has left one written record in
Siksastakam . Chaitanya's epistemological, theological and ontological
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
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Despite having been initiated in the
Madhvacharya tradition and
taking sannyasa from Shankara 's tradition, Chaitanya's philosophy is
sometimes regarded as a tradition of his own within the Vaishnava
framework – having some marked differences with the practices and
the theology of other followers of Madhvacharya. He took Mantra
Upadesa from Isvara
Puri and Sanyasa
Diksha from Keshava Bharati.
Chaitanya is not known to have written anything himself except for a
series of verses known as the
Siksastaka , or "eight verses of
instruction", which he had spoken, and were recorded by one of his
close colleagues. The eight verses created by Chaitanya are considered
to contain the complete philosophy of
Gaudiya Vaishnavism in condensed
form. Chaitanya requested a select few among his followers (who later
came to be known as the
Six Gosvamis of Vrindavan ) to systematically
present the theology of bhakti he had taught to them in their own
writings. The six saints and theologians were
Rupa Goswami , Sanatana
Gopala Bhatta Goswami ,
Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami ,
Raghunatha dasa Goswami and
Jiva Goswami , a nephew of brothers Rupa
and Sanatana. These individuals were responsible for systematising
Narottama Dasa , Srinivasa Acarya and Syamananda Pandit were among
the stalwarts of the second generation of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Having
Jiva Goswami, they were instrumental in propagating the
teachings of the Goswamis throughout Bengal,
Odisha and other regions
of Eastern India. Many among their associates, such as Ramacandra
Kaviraja and Ganga Narayan Chakravarti, were also eminent teachers in
their own right.
In the early 18th century Kalachand Vidyalankar, a disciple of
Chaitanya, made his preachings popular in Bengal. He traveled
India popularizing the gospel of anti-untouchability,
social justice and mass education. He probably initiated 'Pankti
Krishna sankirtan in eastern part of Bengal. Several
schools (sampradaya) have been practicing it for hundreds of years.
Geetashree Chabi Bandyopadhyay and
Radharani Devi are among many who
achieved fame by singing kirtan. The Dalits in
Bengal at that time
neglected and underprivileged cast readily accepted his libertarian
outlook and embraced the doctrine of Mahaprabhu. His disciples were
known as Kalachandi Sampraday who inspired the people to eradicate
illiteracy and casteism. Many consider Kalachand as the Father of
Rationalism in East
Bengal (Purba Banga).
The festival of Kheturi, presided over by Jahnava Thakurani, the
Nityananda , was the first time the leaders of the various
branches of Chaitanya's followers assembled together. Through such
festivals, members of the loosely organised tradition became
acquainted with other branches along with their respective theological
and practical nuances. Around these times, the disciples and
Nityananda and Advaita
Acharya , headed by Virabhadra
Krishna Mishra respectively, started their family lineages (vamsa)
to maintain the tradition. The vamsa descending from Nityananda
through his son Virabhadra forms the most prominent branch of the
modern Gaudiya tradition, though descendants of Advaita, along with
the descendants of many other associates of Chaitanya, maintain their
following especially in the rural areas of Bengal.
Goswami, a young associate of Chaitanya and a follower of Vakresvara
Pandit, founded another branch based in Odisha. The writings of
Gopala, along with those of his disciple Dhyanacandra Goswami, have
had a substantial influence on the methods of internal worship in the
From the very beginning of Chaitanya's bhakti movement in Bengal,
Haridasa Thakur and others Muslim or
Hindu by birth were the
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, the great sage of
Dakshineswar, who lived in the 19th century, emphasized the bhakti
marga of Chaitanya mahaprabhu, whom he referred to as "Gauranga." (The
Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna). This openness received a boost from
Bhaktivinoda Thakura 's broad-minded vision in the late 19th century
and was institutionalised by
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati in his Gaudiya
Matha in the 20th century. In the 20th century the teachings of
Chaitanya were brought to the West by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupada (1896-1977), a representative of the Bhaktisiddhanta
Sarasvati branch of Chaitanya's tradition. Prabhupada founded his
movement known as The International Society for
(ISKCON) to spread Chaitanya's teachings throughout the world.
Saraswata gurus and acharyas, members of the
Goswami lineages and
Hindu sects which revere Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, including
devotees from the major
Vaishnava holy places in Mathura District,
West Bengal and Odisha, also established temples dedicated to Krishna
and Chaitanya outside
India in the closing decades of the 20th
century. In the 21st century
Vaishnava bhakti is now also being
studied through the academic medium of
Krishnology in a number of
DISCOVERY OF BIRTHPLACE YOGAPITH
In 1886 a leading
Gaudiya Vaisnava reformer Bhaktivinoda Thakur
attempted to retire from his government service and move to Vrindavan
to pursue his devotional life there. However, he saw a dream in which
Chaitanya ordered him to go to
Nabadwip instead. After some
difficulty, in 1887 Bhaktivinoda was transferred to Krishnanagar , a
district center twenty-five kilometers away from Nabadwip, famous as
the birthplace of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Despite poor health,
Bhaktivinoda finally managed to start regularly visiting
research places connected with Chaitanya. Soon he came to a
conclusion that the site purported by the local brahmanas to be
Chaitanya's birthplace could not possibly be genuine. Determined to
find the actual place of Chaitanya's pastimes but frustrated by the
lack of reliable evidence and clues, one night he saw a mystical
By 10 o'clock the night was very dark and cloudy. Across the Ganges
in a northern direction I suddenly saw a large building flooded with
golden light. I asked Kamala if he could see the building and he said
that he could. But my friend Kerani Babu could see nothing. I was
amazed. What could it be? In the morning I went back to the roof and
looked carefully back across the Ganges. I saw that in the place where
I had seen the building was a stand of palm trees. Inquiring about
this area I was told that it was the remains of Lakshman Sen's fort at
Taking this as a clue, Bhaktivinoda conducted a thorough, painstaking
investigation of the site, by consulting old geographical maps matched
against scriptural and verbal accounts, and eventually came to a
conclusion that 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, as well as personal acquaintances, a massive and
hugely successful fundraising effort among the people of
beyond. Noted Bengali journalist
Sisir Kumar Ghosh (1840-1911)
commended Bhaktivinoda for the discovery and hailed him as "the
seventh goswami" – a reference to the Six Goswamis , renowned
Gaudiya Vaisnava ascetics and close associates of Chaitanya
who had authored many of the school's texts and discovered places of
Krishna's pastimes in Vrindavan.
Chaitanya's influence on the cultural legacy in
been significant, with many residents performing daily worship to him
as an avatar of Krishna. Some attribute to him a Renaissance in
Bengal, different from the more well known 19th-century Bengal
Renaissance . Salimullah Khan (b. 1958), a noted Bangladeshi linguist,
maintains, "Sixteenth century is the time of Chaitanya Dev, and it is
the beginning of Modernism in Bengal. The concept of 'humanity' that
came into fruition is contemporaneous with that of Europe".
Noted Bengali biographical film on Chaitanya, Nilachaley Mahaprabhu
(1957), was directed by Kartik Chattopadhyay (1912-1989).
Jagannath Temple (Puri)
Pancha Tattva (Vaishnavism)
* ^ Srimad Bhagavatam (Introduction) Archived 25 May 2013 at the
Wayback Machine . "Lord Caitanya not only preached the
Srimad-Bhagavatam but propagated the teachings of the
Bhagavad Gita as
well in the most practical way."
* ^ Sri
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu "He spread the Yuga-dharma as the
practice for attainment of pure love for
Krishna . That process
is Harinam-Sankirtan, or the congregational chanting of the Holy Names
Krishna Hare Hare, Hare
Rama Hare Hare"
* ^ Benjamin E. Zeller (2010), Prophets and Protons, New York
University Press, ISBN 978-0814797211 , pages 77-79
* ^ "Gaura Purnima". www.krishna.com. Retrieved 2008-12-16.
* ^ In the Name of the Lord (Deccan Herald) "He was also given the
name of ‘Gaura’ because of his extremely fair complexion."
Archived 7 December 2006 at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ KCM Archive "They named Him Nimai, as he was born under a neem
* ^ Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu: His Life and Precepts, by
Bhaktivinoda Thakura Archived 17 May 2014 at the
Wayback Machine .
"Chaitanya Mahäprabhu appeared in
Bengal just after
sunset on the evening of the 23rd Phälguna 1407 Shakabda, answering
to 18 February 1486, of the Christian Era. The moon was eclipsed at
the time of His 'birth'"
* ^ Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu: His Life and Precepts, by
Bhaktivinoda Thakura Archived 17 May 2014 at the
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* ^ Nair, p. 87
* ^ CC Adi lila 14.22
* ^ CC Adi lila 17.9 "In Gayla, Sri Chaitanya Mähaprabhu was
initiated by Isvara Puri, and immediately afterwards He exhibited
signs of love of Godhead. He again displayed such symptoms after
* ^ Teachings of Lord Chaitanya "They were surprised to see Lord
Chaitanya after He accepted his sannyasa order from Kesava Bharati"
* ^ History of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. The first 6 years, he traveled
extensively from Rameshavara in South
Vrindavan in North
India, sharing the message of bhakti. He is also said to have achieved
major intellectual successes in converting intellectual giants of his
times such as Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya and Prakashananda Saraswati to
his devotional understanding of Vedanta. "Chaitanya spent the
remainder of His life, another 24 years, in Jagannäth
Puri in the
company of some of His intimate associates, such as Svarüpa Dämodara
and Rämänanda Räya"
* ^ Gaudiya Vaishnavas "His magnetism attracted men of great
learning such as Särvabhauma Bhattächärya, the greatest authority
on logic, and Shree Advaita Ächärya, leader of the Vaishnavas in
Bengal, and men of power and wealth like the King of Odisha, Pratap
Rudra and his minister, Rämänanda Räya..."
* ^ Srimad Bhagavatam, Introduction Archived 25 May 2013 at the
Wayback Machine . "At Puridhawm, when he entered the temple of
Jagannätha, he became at once saturated with transcendental ecstasy"
* ^ Gaudiya Literature
* ^ Biography of Sri Locana Dasa Thakura Archived 13 June 2013 at
Wayback Machine . (salagram.net)
* ^ CC Adi-lila 17.10
Chaitanya Bhagavata Ādi-khaṇḍa 1.122
* ^ Chaitanya Bhagavata, Madhya-khaṇḍa 24
* ^ Thakura, B. (1993). Jaiva dharma: The universal religion (K.
Das, Trans.). Los Angeles, CA:
* ^ TLC: Lord Chaitanya\'s Mission Archived 3 February 2014 at the
Wayback Machine . "Although Lord Caitanya was widely renowned as a
scholar in His youth, He left only eight verses, called Sikshashtaka"
* ^ History of
Gaudiya Vaishnavism "He requested ... the Six
Goswamis of Vrindavan, to systematically present ... the theology of
bhakti he had taught"
Narottama Dasa Thakur: Biography Archived 10 May 2015 at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ Festival of Kheturi Archived 22 November 2005 at the Wayback
* ^ Charismatic Renewal in
Gaudiya Vaishnavism (pdf)
* ^ Sherbow, P.H. (2004). "AC Bhaktivedanta Swami\'s Preaching in
the Context of Gaudiya Vaishnavism". The Hare
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* ^ History of the Hare
Krishna Movement Archived 7 August 2007 at
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Krishnology (definition) Archived 5 February 2012 at the
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* ^ Dasa 1999 , pp. 100-101.
* ^ Dasa 1999 , p. 101.
* ^ Dasa 1999 , pp. 102-103.
* ^ Dasa 1999 , pp. 103-105.
* ^ A B Dasa 1999 , p. 104.
* ^ Fuller 2005 , p. 209.
* ^ Dasa 1999 , p. 105.
* ^ Dasa 1999 , p. 108.
* ^ Fuller 2005 , pp. 243-250.
* ^ Dasa 1999 , pp. 106-107.
Bengal Studies Conference "History says that the Bengali people
experienced the renaissance: not only once but also twice in the
course of history. Bengalis witnessed the first renaissance in the
16th century when Hossain Shah and Sri Chaitanya’s idealism
influenced a sect of upper literal class of people"
* ^ Sur, Ansu; Goswami, Abhijit (1999). Bengali Film Directory.
West Bengal Film Centre. p. 96.
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Vidyalankar (I ed.). Kalyani Foundation. ISBN 978-81-927505-4-5 .
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* Fuller, Jason Dale (2005). Bhaktivinode Thakur and the
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