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  1. The day when father of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu organized festivities in honor of Lord Chaitanya's birth. The Festival of Jagannatha Mishra is an observance of the Jata karma samskara for baby Nimai (Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu). Following the fast for Gaura Purnima, which is broken upon the rising of the moon, the next day is held for feasting. On the Jagannatha Mishra festival day, the devotees meditate upon the Jata karman ceremony. The festival is also known as Anandotsava amongst the Gaudiya Matha devotees. Srila Jagannath Mishra "Jagannath Mishra was born in the village of South Dhaka in Sylhet (Sylhet). His grandfather, Madhu Mishra, had four sons: Upendra, Rangada, Kirtida, and Kirtivasa. His father and mother, Upendra Mishra and Kalavati, had seven sons: Kamsari, Paramananda, Padmanabha, Sarveshvara, Jagannath Mishra, Janardana and Trailokyanath." (Prema-vilasa, 24). According to the Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika, Upendra was Krishna’s grandfather, the cowherd Parjanya, while Jagannath was Nanda Maharaj in Krishna’s Vraja pastimes (Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika 37). Nanda or Jagannatha were, in Krishna’s various appearances, Kashyapa, Dasharath, Sutapa and Vasudeva. pura yashoda-vrajarajanandau vrindavane premarasakarau yau shaci-Jagannath-purandarabhidhau babhuvatus tau na ca samshayo’tra amu avishatam eva devavaditikashyapau shrikaushalya-dasharathau tatha shriprishni-tatpati "The king of Vraja has become Chaitanya’s father, Jagannath; the queen of Vraja is his mother Sachi. The son of Nanda is Chaitanya Gosai, and Baladeva is his brother Nityananda." (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.17.294-295).
  2. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ((also transliterated Caitanya Mahāprabhu); 18 February 1486 – 14 June 1534) was a Vedic spiritual leader who founded Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Chaitanya was the proponent for the Vaishnava school of Bhakti yoga (meaning loving devotion to God), based on Bhagavata Purana and Bhagavad Gita.] Of various incarnations of Vishnu, he is revered as Krishna, popularised the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra] and composed the Siksastakam (eight devotional prayers) in Sanskrit. His followers, Gaudiya Vaishnavas, revere him as a Krishna with the mood and complexion of his source of inspiration Radha.] His birthday is celebrated as Gaura-purnima. ] 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. Life Chaitanya means '"living force"; Maha means "Great" and Prabhu means "Lord" or "Master". Chaitanya was born as the second son of Jagannath Mishra and his wife Sachi Devi. Mishra's family lived in the town of Dhaka Dakhhin, Srihatta, now Sylhet, Bangladesh.]] According to Chaitanya Charitamruta, Chaitanya was born on the full moon night of 18 February 1486, at the time of a lunar eclipse.] Alternatively, Chaitanya is also believed to born in Mayapur. Mayapur is located on the banks of the Ganges river, at the point of its confluence with the Jalangi, near Nabadwip, West Bengal, India, 130 km north of Kolkata (Calcutta). Mayapur is considered a holy place by a number of other traditions within Hinduism. 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 Gopala Krishna mantra. This meeting was to mark a significant change in Chaitanya's outlook and upon his return to Bengal the local Vaishnavas, headed by Advaita Acharya, 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. After leaving Bengal and receiving entrance into the sannyasa order by Keshava Bharati, Chaitanya journeyed throughout the length and breadth of India for several years, chanting the divine Names of Krishna constantly.At that time He travelled on foot covering a lot of place like Baranagar, Mahinagar, Atisara at last Chhatrabhog. Chhatrabhog is the place where Goddess Ganga and Lord Shiva met, then hundred mouths of Ganga was visible from here. From the source of Vrindaban Das's Chaitanya Bhagavat He bathed at Ambulinga Ghat of Chhatrabhog with intimate companions with great chorus chanting(kirtan).After staying one night He set for Puri by boat with the help of Local Administrator Ram Chandra Khan. He spent the last 24 years of his life in Puri, 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). Vrindavan, the land of Radha Rani, the “City of Temples” has more than 5000 temples to showcase the pastimes of Radha and Krishna, including temples as old as 5500 years. The essence of Vrindavan was lost over time until the 16th century, when it was rediscovered by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In the year 1515, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited Vrindavana, with the purpose of locating the lost holy places associated with Lord Sri Krishna’s transcendent pastimes. He wandered through the different sacred forests of Vrindavana in a spiritual trance of divine love. It was believed that by His divine spiritual power, he was able to locate all the important places of Krishna’s pastimes in and around Vrindavan including the seven main temples or sapta devalay, which are worshiped by Vaishnavas in the Chaitanya tradition to this day. 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 Nabadwip to 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 vision: 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 Ballaldighi. 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 Bengal and 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 medieval 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. Hagiographies There are numerous biographies available from the time giving details of Chaitanya's life, the most prominent ones being the Chaitanya Charitamrita of Krishnadasa Kaviraja, the earlier Chaitanya Bhagavata of 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 some Sanskrit verses interspersed. In addition to these there are other 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. Identity 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 Vaishnava acharya Bhaktivinoda Thakura have also found out the rare manuscript of Chaitanya Upanishad of the atharvaveda section, which reveals the identity of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Teachings Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has left one written record in Sanskrit called 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 source of all rasa- flavor, quality, or spiritual rapture/emotions. 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 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 Goswami, 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 Gaudiya Vaishnava theology. Narottama Dasa, Srinivasa Acarya and Syamananda Pandit were among the stalwarts of the second generation of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Having studied under 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 17th century Kalachand Vidyalankar, a disciple of Chaitanya, made his preachings popular in Bengal. He traveled throughout India popularizing the gospel of anti-untouchability, social justice and mass education. He probably initiated 'Pankti Bhojon' and 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 wife of 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 descendants of Nityananda and Advaita Acharya, headed by Virabhadra and 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. Gopala Guru 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 tradition. From the very beginning of Chaitanya's bhakti movement in Bengal, Haridasa Thakur and others Muslim or Hindu by birth were the participants. Sri 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 Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) to spread Chaitanya's teachings throughout the world. Saraswata gurus and acharyas, members of the Goswami lineages and several other 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 academic institutions. Cultural legacy Chaitanya's influence on the cultural legacy in Bengal and Odisha has 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). ►Life and Precepts of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu - Eng.pdf
  3. According to solar calculation, it was on the day of Makara-Sankranti, an auspicious conjunction of the stars, that Nimai Pandit went to Katwa to take sannyasa, the renounced order of life. After this, He would become known as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He swam across the Ganges and in wet cloth ran towards Katwa. Just before this, He told only a few of His friends, including Nityananda Prabhu, Gadadhara Pandit, Mukunda, and others, "The time when I will accept the robe of renunciation is very near." A few days before, an opposition party had been raised against Nimai Pandit. Those who believed that material nature is the highest principle, and that consciousness is a product of matter, began to abuse Nimai Pandit. He thought, "I came to deliver the lowest of men, but if they commit offenses against Me, there will be no hope for their upliftment." Suddenly, He said: "I came with that medicine which gives the greatest relief, but now I find that their disease is rapidly growing worse and seems beyond treatment. It will take its own course towards doom. The patients are committing offenses by abusing their doctor. They are making arrangements to insult Me. They take it that I am a family man - their nephew - they take Me as one of them. I came with the best medicine for the present degraded age, but now I find that they are plotting against Me. Now they are doomed. At least I have to show them that I am not one of them." He thought, "I shall leave family life and take sannyas and wander from village to village, town to town, preaching the holy name of Krishna." That was His decision, and within a few days He went to Katwa to take sannyas from Keshava Bharati Maharaj. The day before He left to take sannyas, from the afternoon until the evening, there was a spontaneous gathering of devotees in the home of Nimai Pandit. Every year in Bengal, that day was celebrated as Lakshmi Puja, worship of the Goddess of Fortune, when special cakes are prepared and distributed. Nimai, knowing that early the next morning He would leave Navadwip to take sannyas, attracted His followers in such a way that almost every leading devotee came to see Him that evening. They came with flower garlands and many other offerings to be presented to the Lord. Nimai accepted their garlands and then placed them on the necks of the devotees who gave them. Only four of His most intimate devotees knew He was leaving; the ordinary devotees did not know that this would be His last night in Navadwip. With His own hands He garlanded the necks of His devotees and appealed to them: "Always chant the name of Krishna. Under no condition should you give up this Krishna Nama. And don't do anything else. While working, eating, sleeping or waking, day or night - in whatever you do - continuously take the name of Krishna. Always talk about Krishna - nothing else. If you have any real attraction or affection for Me, then don't do anything without chanting the name of Krishna. Cultivate Krishna consciousness. Krishna is the origin of us all. He is our father; we have come from Him. The son who shows no gratitude towards the father is sure to be punished birth after birth. Always chant these names of the Lord: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare "No other religious principle is required. Chant Hare Krishna. This is not an ordinary mantra, but this is the Maha-Mantra, the greatest of all the great mantras, the very essence of all the mantras known to the world. Only take to this, always. No other prescription is to be followed. Remember your Lord, your home. This is a foreign land; you have nothing to aspire after here. Try always to go back home, back to Godhead." In this way, the Lord spoke, and all His devotees intuitively came because it was Nimai Pandit's last night in Navadwip. Late at night, one devotee named Sridhar Kholaveca arrived. He used to make trade on the plantain tree and its fruit. He would sell the fruit, ripe or green, and the big leaves which are used as plates. Sometimes Nimai would pay him less for his fruit than what they were worth, and sometimes He would snatch the best fruits from him. Sridhar came to see Him late at night to offer Him a choice pumpkin. And Nimai thought, "I have spent almost My whole life snatching so many things from him, and now, on this last night he has brought this wonderful pumpkin. I can't resist." He said to Sachidevi: "Mother, Sridhar has given Me this pumpkin. Please think of how it can be prepared." At bedtime, someone came with some milk. Nimai said, "Mother, with this milk and this pumpkin, please prepare some sweet-rice." So Sachidevi prepared some pumpkin sweet-rice: pumpkin boiled with milk, rice, and sugar. Much later that night, at about three o' clock in the morning, Nimai went away. He left Visnupriya Devi asleep in bed. His mother Sachidevi, sensing what was to come, was staying awake all night guarding the door. Nimai bowed down to her and went away. And like a stone figure, Mother Sachidevi sat there by the gate as Nimai left. She could not say anything, but was struck dumb. A little after three o' clock in the morning, Nimai swam across the Ganges and in His wet cloth went straight to Katwa, a distance of twenty-five miles. He reached there by nine or ten o' clock. There, He approached Keshava Bharati to take sannyas. In the early morning, the devotees came to see Nimai and found Sachidevi like a statue, sitting at the door. The door was open. Everything was empty. "What's the matter, Sachidevi?" they asked. She told them, "Oh, I was waiting for you devotees. You take possession of the house. I shall go somewhere else. I can't enter this house any more. You are His devotees; you are the true heirs. Take possession." They began to throng around her and console her. "You will go? What about the young wife He left? The girl is only fourteen years old. Who will protect her? You can't shun the responsibility given to you. It is on your shoulders." In this way they came and consoled her and tried to give her some hope. Suddenly, the devotees heard that Nimai Pandit, Sri Gauranga, had left Navadwip. They learned that He had gone to Katwa, to Keshava Bharati's ashram to take sannyas, bidding goodbye to the people of Navadwip forever. A dark shadow came down. Many began to weep and cry for Him. Many of them ran towards Katwa. Nimai Pandit was an unprecedented scholar with beautiful features tall, fair, and benevolent. He had already made the people mad with the holy name of Krishna. He had released the two great sinners Jagai and Madhai from their nasty life. He had checked the Muslim ruler, the Kazi, who had broken the mrdanga, or drum. As a famous pandit, He had defeated many scholars who came to conquer Navadwip, which was very much renowned for its high culture of learning, especially of logic. At that time in Navadwip, logic [nyaya], worship of material energy [tantra], and official Hinduism [smrti], were in high culture. Navadwip was highly renowned for scholarship. If pandits could not defeat the scholars of Navadwip, they could not become famous. From far away in Kashmir, Keshava Kasmiri had to come to Navadwip to get a certificate that he was a pandit. And he was defeated by Nimai Pandit. Keshava Kasmiri was such a big pandit that it was rumored he was the favorite child of Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning. No one could face him. Still, he was defeated by Nimai Pandit. But Nimai Pandit left Navadwip forever and took sannyas because the people of Navadwip could not appreciate Him. He reached Katwa, where, just on the banks of the Ganges, there was a Sannyasi, Keshava Bharati. Nimai went to him and asked him for sannyas. Keshava Bharati suddenly found that his ashram was full of luster. At first, it seemed as if the sun was rising before him; then he saw that it was a bright person approaching. He rose from his seat, and with strained eyes approached in wonder. "What is this?" he thought. Then he realized that the great devotee-scholar, Nimai Pandit, had come. He appeared before him saying, "I want to take sannyas from you." But Keshava Bharati could not accept Nimai's offer. "I am charmed by Your beauty and personality," he said. "But You are so young, only twenty-four years old. What about Your mother, Your wife, and Your guardians? Without consulting with them, I cannot venture to give You the robe of renunciation." In the meantime, as it was Makara-Sankranti, a famous holiday, many people had come to take bath in the holy waters of the Ganges. They gathered there and the rumor spread like fire: "Nimai Pandit of Navadwip has come to take sannyas." Many men flocked there, until a huge crowd gathered. They all opposed Mahaprabhu's sannyas. Some of them raised their voices in protest: "You! Keshava Bharati! We won't allow you to give sannyas to this young man. He has His family, His mother and wife. We won't allow it! If you give sannyas to this charming, young, beautiful boy, we will break down your ashram immediately! It can't be." But Nimai Pandit kept pressing for sannyas. At last, Keshava Bharati asked Him, "So, You are that Nimai Pandit about whom we have heard so much? Many big scholars came to conquer Navadwip, the famous seat of learning, and You have defeated them all. Are You that Nimai Pandit?" "Yes," said Nimai. Keshava Bharati told Him, "I can give You sannyas, but You must take the permission of Your mother - otherwise I won't, I can't do it." Nimai suddenly began running towards Navadwip to ask permission, but Keshava Bharati thought, "He has such a commanding personality, He can do anything." Nimai was called back. Keshava Bharati told Him, "With Your most extraordinary personality You can do anything. You will go there, charm Your guardians, get permission, and return. Nothing is impossible for You." The ordinary public was very much enraged, saying to Keshava Bharati: "We can't allow you, Swamiji, to give sannyas to this young boy! It is impossible. If you do, then we shall smash your ahsram!" Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu began performing kirtan, chanting Hare Krishna and dancing madly. And the angry mob grew, sometimes creating a disturbance. In this way, the whole day passed with no decision. The night passed in Sankirtan. And the next day, Nimai's will prevailed, although there was still some opposition. Nityananda Prabhu, Nimai's maternal uncle Candrashekhara, Mukunda Datta and Jagadananda Pandit, gradually arrived there. And that afternoon, the sannyas function began. Candrashekhara Acharya was asked to perform the ceremony on behalf of Nimai Pandit, who began to chant and dance and charm the audience. laksa locanasru-varsa-harsa-kesa-kartanam koti-kantha-krsna-kirtandhya-danda dharanam nyasi-vesa-sarva-desa-ha-hutasa-kartaram prema-dhama-devam eva naumi gaura-sundaram "While showers of tears fell from the eyes of millions, He delighted in having His beautiful hair shaved away. Millions of voices sang the glories of Krishna, as Sri Krishna Chaitanya accepted the staff of renunciation. From that time on, wherever He went, whoever saw Him in the dress of a Sannyasi cried in grief. I sing the glories of that beautiful Golden Lord, the Giver of Divine Love." The scene was at Katwa. Almost five-hundred years ago, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took sannyas. He was young and beautiful, with a tall figure. He was only twenty-four and had beautiful curling hair. A barber was asked to shave Him, and approached Him, but then withdrew. The barber could not venture to touch Nimai's body. He began to cry. "How can I remove such beautiful hair from such a beautiful head?" And so many others were also crying aloud, "What a horrible thing is being done here! Who is the creator of this sannyas? Who is so hard-hearted that he created the sannyasa-asrama, where one must give up all that is near and dear and go from door to door, begging, leaving his own friends and relatives crying helplessly? What is this creation of the Supreme? Is it logical? Is it a happy thing? It is most cruel!" Nimai Pandit was smiling. After the barber was ordered repeatedly, somehow he was forced to shave Nimai's head. At first, he could not venture to touch His hair, saying, "I can't touch Him." But at last, he had to do the service of shaving the beautiful, curling hair of the beautiful face of the twenty-four year old genius boy. He began with his shears. Some people could not stand the scene. Some even became mad. In the midst of the weeping, wailing, and crying of the threatening mob, it was done. Nimai Pandit was senseless. After being only half shaved, he stood up and began chanting in kirtan and dancing in ecstatic joy. After He was shaved, the barber promised: "I will never again shave anyone with this hand! I would rather live by begging. This is my last service as a barber." After this, that barber took up the occupation of a sweetmaker. Ultimately Nimai's appeals pacified the mob, and a little before noon the inevitable gradually came: the sannyas function was performed. Candrashekhara Acharya, the maternal uncle of Nimai Pandit, was deputed to take charge of the rituals in the ceremony of sannyas. When the mantra was to be conferred, Nimai Pandit asked Keshava Bharati, "Is this the mantra you will give me? I heard it in a dream." He whispered the mantra in the ear of his guru who accepted, saying, "Yes, this is the mantra I shall give you." Then that mantra was given. And the name of this Sannyasi was not given in an ordinary way either. A most peculiar name came through Keshava Bharati: "Krishna Chaitanya." None of the ten names generally given to Sannyasis was given to Nimai Pandit, but the name that was given to Him was Krishna Chaitanya. As soon as they heard that name, the mob began to cry, "Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ki jaya! - All glories to Sri Krishna Chaitanya!" The father of Srinivas Acharya was a class-friend of Nimai Pandit. On his way to his father-in-law's house, he heard that Nimai Pandit had come to take sannyas. He ran there, and seeing everything, he became dumb - he was devastated and went half-mad. After that, nothing came from his mouth but "Chaitanya." After he heard the name "Krishna Chaitanya," whatever anyone said to him, he would only say, "Chaitanya!" He became mad. After that, his name became Chaitanya Das. His former name vanished, and everyone used to call him Chaitanya Das. He could not stand the scene of Nimai Pandit's sannyas. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, newly dressed in red robes, embraced His guru, and both of them began to dance, chanting the name of Krishna. After some time, the meaning of the name was given. Keshava Bharati Maharaj said, "Sri Krishna Chaitanya means that You arouse Krishna consciousness throughout the entire world. You have descended to make all people Krishna conscious. So the most suitable name for You cannot but be Sri Krishna Chaitanya." Mahaprabhu was very cheerful, thinking, "I am going to relieve so many souls from their eternal misery and affliction. I have promised to deliver the whole world from this ocean of misery and take them to the nectarine world, and now I am going to accept that task." He was cheerful, but everyone around Him was diving in the ocean of despair and sorrow. Some scholars stress that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took sannyas from Keshava Bharati, who was a Mayavadi, an impersonalist. But although Keshava Bharati may have externally showed himself in that way, it is seen that by coming in connection with Mahaprabhu, he became a devotee. Otherwise, we may also think that he was a devotee who came in the garb of an impersonalist to help the preaching of Mahaprabhu by assisting Him with the social formality of taking sannyas. At that time, all over India, Mayavadi Sannyasis had greater recognition than Vaishnava Sannyasis, and Keshava Bharati was already situated in that post. Mahaprabhu took the garb of a Sannyasi from him for His own purpose, to help His preaching activity. All these things may be explained in different ways. In any case, after Mahaprabhu took sannyas, Keshava Bharati began to sing and dance with Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He joined in Sankirtan and was immediately converted. In this way, the sannyas of Nimai Pandit took place. What is the meaning of His sannyas? Is it redundant, auxiliary, or a necessary part of spiritual advancement? Is it desirable? Although apparently undesirable, still it has its necessity. In the Krishna conception of theism, there is a deep-rooted correlation between union with the Lord and separation from Him. Without separation, union cannot be deep-rooted. The pain of separation can enter into the depth of the heart much more than cheerfulness. Such apprehension increases our satisfaction. The greater our want, the greater our satisfaction. This is especially true in love affairs. If there is no necessity of a thing, it has no value. This principle is found everywhere. A glass of water is ordinary, but according to the degree of its necessity, its value will increase. So the degree of necessity is most important. Necessity means separation. Necessity independent of fulfillment is separation, hunger... Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took sannyas so that the residents of Navadwip would be drawn into this high stage of separation through affection's force. His old mother Sachidevi was crying hopelessly. His young wife, Vishnupriya Devi, was helplessly passing Her days. Mahaprabhu took sannyas to create excitement, piercing into the hearts of the people the Divine Love that He came to give. They thought, "Who was Nimai Pandit? What great benefit did He come to give us?" That He left everything made them sympathetic towards Him. And for all these reasons the Lord went to take sannyas... We must return back to Godhead, back to home. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says: "Your home is a beautiful land. You must try for that. Why are you always troubled with the horrors of war, epidemic, earthquake, undesirable disease, stealing, dacoiting, and fighting with so many neighbors? At the bottom of all this is the fact that you have identified yourself with this material world and this body of flesh and blood. You have to retrace your path and go back to your home." That is what is necessary. Our homeland is such a lovely and beautiful and divine place. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's sannyas is all for us, and it is for the purpose of taking us back home, where we can have home comforts, home sweetness. If we have any home-consciousness within, then we must appreciate such a proposal: home sweet home. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's sannyas is apparently very cruel to His devotees and to His family members, but it was meant only to take us to our home. To work out the ecstasy of union, it was necessary for Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to show separation from His devotees and relatives. Separation and union are mutually helpful. Mahaprabhu's sannyas, His renunciation, is a great tragedy of separation. Read more: Sri Caitanya accepting sanyasa.pdf
  4. Vrindavan, 2014.11.07 (VT): The fifth centenary year celebration of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s first time arrival in Vrindavan formally begun in the Swami Vivekananda Auditorium in the Ram Krishna Mission Sevashrama. Saints, mahants, and intellectuals presented their views on Chaitanya Mahaprabhus coming to Vrindavan. The youths performed the Harinam Sankirtan during the event. Prem Das Shastri, the working president of the 5th Centenary Celebration Committee, said in his welcome address that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu rediscovered Shri Dham Vrindavan five hundred years ago. Shastri said, “It was his mercy that we all are here today. We have decided to build a huge gate in the entrance of Vrindavan in Akrur.” “This is the 499th year of Mahaprabhu’s arrival in Vrindavan. We enter in the 500th year of his arrival from today. Nagar Sankirtan, Preaching on Chaitanya’s life and works, Nam Sankirtan, padavali kirtans, procession etc. will be organized throughout the year, which will end in next Kartik Purnima,” informed Shashtri. Pradeep Mathur, the representative for Mathura in the Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly, announced a contribution of five lakh rupees for the construction of the gate from his discretionary fund. Rajendra Das ji Maharaj said that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu didn’t belong to Gaudiyas only, but his life is an example for the devotees of all the sampradayas. Sadhvi Ritambhara said that Mahaprabhu was the source of bhakti in his contemporary time. Vineet Narain, President of the Braj Foundation declared that his NGO will spend Rupees ten crores to build a ghat on Yamuna in front of Imli Tala in the name of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Madhu Pandit Das, Chairman of the Akshay Patra Foundation said that without Mahaprabhu’s mercy we wouldn’t know about Vrindavan Dham. Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti from the Vrinda Mission said that the best way to pay our respect to Mahaprabhu is to preserve the Dham which his followers six Goswami’s left for us. Vrindavan Municipal Chairman Mukesh Gautam, Baba Chaitanya Charan Das, Mahant Sutikshan Maharaj, Baba Haribol Das, Fuldol Bihari Das, Nirmal Chandra Goswami, Smt. Krishna Goswami, Tamal Krishna Das, Mahant Sacchidananda Das, Jagannathananda Das, Bihari Lal Bashishtha addressed the event. Girraj Nangia, Vinod Banerjee, Madhumangal Shukla, Mridul Kant Shashtri, Jagannath Poddar, Bal Krishna Gautam, Ramesh Chandra Vidhi Shashtri etc. were present in this occasion.
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    Texts by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu: books. Language: English, Russian, Kannada, Sanskrit, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Italian, Chinese, Hindi, German. Format: pdf. Content: Тексты Чайтанья Махапрабху: книги. Язык: русский, английский, каннада, санскрит, малаялам, тамильский, телугу, бенгали, итальянский, китайский, хинди, немецкий. Формат: pdf. Содержание:
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