SRI SRI CHAITANYA MAHAPRABHU(1486-1534)
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was a Bengali spiritual teacher and social reformer who founded Gaudiya Vaishnavism. He is believed by 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 of 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), based on the Bhagavata Purana and the 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.
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. There is no evidence, however, that he was born under a Neem Tree. He was very mischievous in his young days. His original name was Vishambhar. He was a brilliant student and Nimai was his nickname. At an early age he became a scholar and opened a school. His teachings helped flourish Bhakti movement in east India, particularly Bengal and Odisha from the 16th century onwards. Sri Chaitanya travelled many parts of India which has been written in Chaitanya Charitamrito.
His Birth place and other many places in Bengal are visited by large numbers of Devotees and tourists from all over world. ISKCON is a follower of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Sri Chaitanya travelled many places and the descriptions of his travelling and all over India. It was the darkest period in the life of Bengal. Society was writhing under the curse of caste rigidities and tyranny of the rulers. It was for Mahaprabhu to save the nation from total collapse by his personality. His undaunted spirit inspired millions of the time to rise against injustice and intolerance.
It was Sri Chaitanya in Bengal who for the first time broke down the barrier of caste and creed and embraced all as his brother. Through his preaching he had created an environment of spiritual consciousness. "The Bhakti Movement" that followed culminated in "cultural renaissance" of India. His life has made immense influence on literature, Music, philosophy and the mankind in general.
One wonder whether he may be called the first Tourism Ambassador of Bengal having widely travelled and inspiring various aspects of life and creativity. As such his message has been a source of hope and enlightenment world over.
Born- 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.
Related Places - Nabadwip Dham, Mayapur, Panihati Mahotsavtala & Raghab Bhawan, Baranagar Patbari.