Gaura Purnima 28 March 2021
The glorious Appearance day of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahāprabhu
CC Adi ch. 2.1: I offer my obeisances to Sri Caitanya Mahāprabhu, by whose mercy even an ignorant child can swim across the ocean of conclusive truth, which is full of the crocodiles of various theories.
CC Adi ch. 2.2: O my merciful Lord Caitanya, may the nectarean Ganges of Your Transcendental Activities flow on the surface of my desert-like tongue.
Beautifying these waters are the lotus flowers of singing, dancing, and loud chanting of Kṛṣṇa’s holy name, which are the pleasure abodes of unalloyed devotees. These devotees are compared to swans, ducks, and bees. The river’s flowing produces a melodious sound that gladdens their ears.
A Short Sketch of the Life and Teachings of Lord Caitanya, the Preacher of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the great apostle of the love of God and the father of the congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord, advented Himself at Śrīdhāma Māyāpura, a quarter in the city of Navadvīpa in Bengal, on the Phālgunī Pūrṇimā evening in the year 1407 Śakābda (corresponding to February 1486, by the Christian calendar).
Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the selfsame Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. This time, however, He appeared as a great devotee of the Lord in order to preach to the people in general, as well as to religionists and philosophers, about the transcendental position of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the primeval Lord and the cause of all causes. The essence of His preaching is that Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who appeared at Vrajabhūmi (Vṛndāvana) as the son of the King of Vraja (Nanda Mahārāja), is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and is therefore worshipable by all. Vṛndāvana-dhāma is nondifferent from the Lord because the name, fame, form, and place where the Lord manifests Himself are all identical with the Lord as absolute knowledge. Therefore, Vṛndāvana-dhāma is as worshipable as the Lord. The highest form of transcendental worship of the Lord was exhibited by the damsels of Vrajabhūmi in the form of pure affection for the Lord, and Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu recommends this process as the most excellent mode of worship. He accepts the Śrīmad-Bhāgavata Purāṇa as the spotless literature for understanding the Lord, and He preaches that the ultimate goal of life for all human beings is to attain the stage of premā or love of God.
The simultaneous occurrence of the Lord’s appearance and the lunar eclipse indicated the distinctive mission of the Lord. This mission was to preach the importance of chanting the holy names of the Lord in this Age of Kali (quarrel). In this present age, quarrels take place even over trifles, and therefore the śāstras have recommended for this age a common platform for realization, namely chanting the holy names of the Lord. People can hold meetings to glorify the Lord in their respective languages and with melodious songs, and if such performances are executed in an offenseless manner, it is certain that the participants will gradually attain spiritual perfection without having to undergo more rigorous methods. At such meetings, everyone, the learned and the foolish, the rich and the poor, the Hindus and the Muslims, the Englishmen and the Indians, and the caṇḍālas and the brāhmaṇas, can all hear the transcendental sounds and thus cleanse the dust of material association from the mirror of the heart. To confirm the Lord’s mission, all the people of the world will accept the holy name of the Lord as the common platform for the universal religion of mankind. In other words, the advent of the holy name took place along with the advent of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Lord Caitanya not only preached the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam but propagated the teachings of the Bhagavad-gītā as well in the most practical way. In the Bhagavad-gītā Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is depicted as the Absolute Personality of Godhead, and in His conclusive teachings in that great book of transcendental knowledge instructs that one should give up all the various modes of religious activities and accept Him (Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa) as the only worshipable Lord. (B. Gita Ch. 18.66) The Lord then assured that all His devotees would be protected from all sorts of sinful acts and that for them there would be no cause for anxiety.
CC Adi2.5: What the Upaniṣads describe as the impersonal Brahman is but the effulgence of His body, and the Lord known as the Supersoul is but His localized plenary portion. Lord Caitanya is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa Himself, full of the six opulences. (beauty, knowledge, wealth, fame, power, and renunciation) He is the Absolute Truth, and no other truth is greater than or equal to Him.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu had similar childhood pastimes as Krishna.
In this way, the Lord passed His early childhood. When He was just sixteen years old He started His own catuṣpāṭhī (village school conducted by a learned brāhmaṇa). In this school, He would simply explain Kṛṣṇa, even in readings of grammar. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, in order to please the Lord, later composed a grammar in Sanskrit, in which all the rules of grammar were explained with examples that used the holy names of the Lord. This grammar is still current. It is known as Hari-nāmāmṛta-vyākaraṇa and is prescribed in the syllabus of schools in Bengal.
During this time a great Kashmir scholar named Keśava Kāśmīri came to Navadvīpa to hold discussions on the śāstras. The Kashmir paṇḍita was a champion scholar, and he had traveled to all places of learning in India. Finally, he came to Navadvīpa to contest the learned paṇḍitas there. The paṇḍitas of Navadvīpa decided to match Nimāi Paṇḍita (Lord Caitanya) with the Kashmir paṇḍita, thinking that if Nimāi Paṇḍita were defeated, they would have another chance to debate with the scholar, for Nimāi Paṇḍita was only a boy. And if the Kashmir paṇḍita were defeated, then they would even be more glorified because people would proclaim that a mere boy of Navadvīpa defeated a champion scholar who was famous throughout India. It so happened!!
Caitanya Mahaprabhu married twice but soon took sannyasa for preaching the Holy Name widely. This history of the Lord’s pastimes can be understood in detail from various literature such as Caitanya Caritamrta.
There was an incident that Chand Kazi wanted to stop the Sankirtan Movement but it was so popular that there was a massive civil disobedience march with torches. Chand Kazi realized his mistake in a debate with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The Harinama was never stopped again anymore!
Then He went on an extensive South Indian tour where He awakened millions of people to Krishna consciousness because of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s most attractive transcendental features.
The great Saint of Maharastra known as Saint Tukaram was also initiated by the Lord.
Saint Tukaram, after initiation by the Lord, over flooded the whole of Maharastra province with the Sankirtana movement, and the transcendental flow is still rolling on in the southwestern part of the great Indian peninsula!
In The last 18 years of His earthly pastimes He stayed in Jagannatha Puri where He experienced the full symptoms of pure love of Godhead, Krishna Prema. In the mood of Srimati Radharani, He exhibited feelings of great separation (Vipralamba) of Krishna.