Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is none other than Supreme Lord Sri Krishna, who appeared in this Kali-yuga to inaugurate the congregational chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord (Yuga dharma for this Kali Yuga – Sankirtan)
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared at Mayapur in the city of Bengal (India) in the year 1486 AD. His father, Sri Jagannath Mishra, a learned Brahmana from the district of Sylhet, came to Navadvip as a student. He lived on the banks of the Ganges with his wife Srimati Sachidevi, the daughter of Srila Nilambara Chakravarty, a great learned scholar of Navadvip. Their youngest son, who was named Vishvambhara, later became known as Nimai Pandit and then, after accepting the renounced order of life, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
The wonderful pastimes performed by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the city of Navadvip and in Jagannath Puri are recorded by His biographers. The early life of the Lord is most fascinatingly expressed by the author of Chaitanya-Bhagavata (Sri Vrindavana Dasa Thakura), and as far as the teachings are concerned, they are more vividly explained in the Chaitanya-Charitamrita (by Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraj Gosvami). Now they are available to the English-speaking public in our Teachings of Lord Chaitanya.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu preached the Srimad-Bhāgavatam and propagated the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita in the most practical way. The essence of His teachings is recorded in Chaitanya Manjusha as follows:
- Lord Sri Krishna, who appeared as the son of the Nanda Maharaja, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and is worshipable by all.
- Vrindavan-dham is non-different from the Lord and hence is as worshipable as the Lord.
- The highest form of transcendental worship of the Lord was exhibited by the damsels of Vrindhavan (Vrajabhumi)
- Srimad-Bhāgavatam is the spotless literature for understanding the Lord.
- The ultimate goal of human life is to attain the stage of love of God.
- The Lord left only eight slokas of His instructions in writing, and they are known as the Siksastaka. All other literatures based on His teachings were extensively written by the Lord’s principal followers, the six Gosvamis of Vrindavana, and their followers.
His Mission – The Universal Religion
His 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 shastras 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 chandalas and the brahmanas, 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.