A Short Sketch of the Life and Teachings of Lord Caitanya

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu

Today marks the appearance of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the great apostle of love of God and the father of the congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord. In honor of His Appearance we share with you “A Short Sketch of the Life and Teachings of Lord Caitanya”, which Srila Prabhupada has included in the introduction to the Srimad Bhagavatam.

In the modern age Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu preached the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by practical demonstration. It is easier to penetrate into the topics of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam through the medium of Śrī Caitanya’s causeless mercy. Therefore a short sketch of His life and precepts is inserted herein to help the reader understand the real merit of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

It is imperative that one learn the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from the person Bhāgavatam. The person Bhāgavatam is one whose very life is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in practice. Since Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the Absolute Personality of Godhead, He is both Bhagavān and Bhāgavatam in person and in sound. Therefore His process of approaching the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is practical for all people of the world. It was His wish that the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam be preached in every nook and corner of the world by those who happened to take their birth in India.

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108 Names of Caitanya Mahāprabhu

Bhagavad-Gita-Original-Art-Pancha-Tattva1

श्री गौराङ्ग-अष्टोत्तर-शत-नाम-स्तोत्रं

Śrī Gaurāṅga-Aṣṭottara-Śata-Nāma-Stotraṁ

ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHT NAMES
OF LORD ŚRĪ CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU
by Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya

(1)
नामस्कृत्य प्रवक्ष्यामि देव-देवं जगद्-गुरुम्
नाम्नाम्-अष्टोत्तर-शतं चैतन्यस्य महात्मनाह्

nāmaskṛtya pravakṣyāmi deva-devaṁ jagad-gurum
nāmnām-aṣṭottara-śataṁ caitanyasya mahātmanāh

After offering my respectful obeisances unto the Lord of Lords, Who is the spiritual master of the entire universe, I will now narrate 108 holy names of Lord Chaitanya, the great soul.

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Sri Pancha Tattva Maha Abhiseka 2014

My wife shared this You Tube with me this morning, that she had on her Face Book. It was very beautiful and powerful, and I thought, I should share it with all of you as well.

Sri Pancha Tattva Maha Abhiseka 2014

The 10th  anniversary of the installation of Sri Panca tattva in Mayapur was celebrated with great jubilation by offering a Maha Abhisheka. Around 10,000 devotees congregated in the Holy Dham to take darshan of the large size murtis of the Panca tattva.

Sahajiyā

sadhu

Sahajiyā is a word I have been researching lately, trying to come up with a clear understanding of its meaning, and to better understand why Srila Prabhupada has warned us to ‘avoid the association of Sahajiyā’s and Māyāvādīs, and not to become Sahajiyā’. So the following post is the beginning of our research.

Dr. Patel: What is sahajiyā?

Prabhupāda: Sahajiyā… Sahaj means easy. Easy-going. They will smoke cigarette at the same time they will play rasa-līlā. This is sahajiyā. This is sahajiyā. They will do all nonsense; still, they will become God, imitation of God. (Morning Walk Excerpts; May 1, 1974, Bombay)

…One thing, on the invitation card you have written All Glories to Our Guru Maharaja. This is impersonalism. As soon as we offer obeisances to guru, the name should be there. We are strictly personalists. The sahajiya’s, they write Glories to Guru. Why you are learning this impersonalism, who has taught you? Daily I am offering obeisances to my Guru by vibrating his real name, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, otherwise it is impersonal. (Letter to: Bhavananda London 14 July, 1972)

Prabhupāda: These sahajiyās will come out of so many devotees. What can be done? From my Guru Mahārāja’s disciples, so many sahajiyās came. These are called sahajiyās. Very easily they capture thing. So my Guru Mahārāja used to say, “When my disciples will be sahajiyā, it will be more dangerous.”

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Radha is the beloved consort of Krsna

Radha Krsna

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So today being the appearance day of Srimati Radharani, my mind has been absorbed in thoughts of Radha and Krsna.  It is described that she is the beloved consort of Krsna,   Krsna’s pleasure potency, and the spiritual energy of Krsna.

…Lord Caitanya  requested Rāmānanda Rāya to explain something more:  “What are the transcendental features of Kṛṣṇa and Rādhārāṇī, and what are the transcendental features of the reciprocation of Their feelings, and what is the love between Them? If you kindly describe all this to Me, I will be very much obliged. But for you, no one can describe such things.” (Teachings of Lord Caitanya Chapter 30)

…In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said that when Kṛṣṇa comes before Rādhārāṇī, She becomes so much engladdened by seeing the beauty of Kṛṣṇa that She becomes more beautiful, and as soon as Rādhārāṇī becomes beautiful, Kṛṣṇa becomes engladdened and He becomes more beautiful. So unlimitedly there is competition of becoming more beautiful. That is the state. Competition. Because in the spiritual world everything is unlimited. So unlimitedly both of them becoming beautiful and both of them enjoying unlimitedly.   ((Lecture on SB 1.2.8   New Vrindaban, September 6, 1972)

…Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is a tenderhearted feminine counterpart of the supreme whole, resembling the perfectional stage of the worldly feminine nature. Therefore, the mercy of Rādhārāṇī is available very readily to the sincere devotees, and once She recommends such a devotee to Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Lord at once accepts the devotee’s admittance into His association.  (Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 2, Chapter 3, Text 23)

…She is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa divided Himself into His energy and Himself. That energy, original spiritual energy, is Rādhārāṇī. ((Lecture on SB 2.1.1-5   Melbourne, June 26, 1974)

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Radhastami; Srimati Radharani’s Appearance Day

Srimati Radharani

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Today we honor the appearance day of Srimati Radharani (Radhastami).  We share with you a lecture given by Srila Prabhupada, given on Srimati Radharani’s appearance day, in London, September 18, 1969.

…Rādhārāṇī is hari-priyā, very dear to Kṛṣṇa. So if we approach Kṛṣṇa through Rādhārāṇī, through the mercy of Rādhārāṇī, then it becomes very easy. If Rādhārāṇī recommends that “This devotee is very nice,” then Kṛṣṇa immediately accepts, however fool I may be. Because it is recommended by Rādhārāṇī, Kṛṣṇa accepts. Therefore in Vṛndāvana you’ll find all the devotees, they’re chanting more Rādhārāṇī’s name than Kṛṣṇa’s. Wherever you’ll go, you’ll find the devotees are addressing, “Jaya Rādhe.” You’ll find still in Vṛndāvana. They are glorifying Rādhārāṇī. They’re more interested, worshiping Rādhārāṇī. Because however fallen I may be, if some way or other I can please Rādhārāṇī, then it is very easy for me to understand Kṛṣṇa. (Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s Appearance Day Lecture, London, September 18, 1969

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Resident of Krishna Loka

Srila Prabhupada

…Unless one is a resident of Krishna Loka, one cannot be a Spiritual Master. That is the first proposition. A layman cannot be a Spiritual Master, and if he becomes so then he will simply create disturbance. And who is a liberated person? One who knows Krishna. It is stated in BG, fourth chapter, anyone who knows Krishna in truth is immediately liberated, and after quitting the present body, he immediately goes to Krishna. That means he becomes a resident of Krishna Loka. As soon as one is liberated he is immediately a resident of Krishna Loka, and anyone who knows the truth of Krishna can become Spiritual Master. That is the version of Lord Caitanya. So to summarize the whole thing, it is to be understood that a bona fide Spiritual Master is a resident of Krishna Loka. (Letter to Mukunda June 10, 1969)

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2014 Ratha Yatra @ New Vrindavan

Radha Vrndavan Chandra 2014 Ratha Yatra @ New Vrindavan 067

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Yesterday, the Ratha Yatra Festival was celebrated at New Vrindavan, West Virginia. Although there were scattered rain showers, and the umbrellas came out, still it was a very auspicious day, and nice event enjoyed by all. Following are some of the pictures I took along the festival rout.

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Hearing is an Opportunity to Associate with the Lord

Krsna and Balarama

Todays post revolves around the first three paragraphs in chapter 7 of the Krsna Book and the associated verses from the Bhagavad-gita.

…Hearing is an opportunity to associate with the Lord; to hear His activities is to evolve to the transcendental nature–simply by hearing.

If someone takes advantage of hearing the pastimes of the Lord, the material contamination of dust, accumulated in the heart due to long association with material nature, can be immediately cleansed. Lord Caitanya also instructed that simply by hearing the transcendental name of Lord Kṛṣṇa, one can cleanse the heart of all material contamination.

Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes are not only beautiful; they are also very pleasing to the mind. (Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Chapter Seven “Salvation of Tṛṇāvarta”)

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The External Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance

Lord Caitanya at Mayapur

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I offer my respectful obeisances to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. By the potency of the shelter of His lotus feet, even a fool can collect the valuable jewels of conclusive truth from the mines of the revealed scriptures. (Adi.3.1)

All glories to Lord Caitanya. All glories to Lord Nityānanda. All glories to Advaitacandra. And all glories to all the devotees of Lord Caitanya. (Adi.3.2)

“May that Lord who is known as the son of Śrīmatī Śacīdevī be transcendentally situated in the innermost core of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has descended in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most elevated mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.” (Adi.3.4)

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Transcendental Teachings of Caitanya Mahaprabhu

Transcendental teachings of Lord Caitanya

We share with you this nice little booklet printed in 1972 by the ISKCON Press. This book is Srila Prabhupada’s “A short sketch of the life and teachings of Lord Caitanya, the preacher of Srimad Bhagavtam”, which appeared in the Introduction to the Srimad Bhagavatam. This scanned copy was made available by Krishnapath.org where you can go to find other ebooks and Audio books that are available as a free download. To veiw or save the entire book follow link below. Hare Krishna!

The transcendental teachings of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu offer a practical and scientific method by which anyone can easily develop love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. These teachings, in their pure form, have been spread all over the world by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, to whom devotees of Lord Krsna and Lord Caitanya throughout the world offer their most humble and respectful obeisances.

Especially in the West, where the philosophies of impersonalism and voidism, presented in different ways, are enjoying temporary prominence, the culture of pure devotional service to the Supreme Lord appears to have been lost in the oblivion of time. Now Srila Prabhupada has appeared in the West to spread the Krsna consciousness movement introduced by Lord Caitanya in India 500 years ago and thus renovate the principles of pure devotional service. (From Preface)

to read online or to save click on following link; Transcendental Teachings of Caitanya Mahaprabhu

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The Sankirtan Movement

Lord Caitanya Kirtan

I love reading all these letter written by Srila Prabhupada to his aspiring disciples, and the following letter written to Susan Beckman is very sweet.

…Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the incarnation of Godhead in this age has delivered the medicine for all problems of the world by his introducing the Sankirtan movement. Sankirtan means to chant that Holy names of the Lord and to give up all other engagements. The chanting is a process of purification. Just like we use soap to cleanse the body, this is material, but the chanting is spiritual cleansing.

…The conclusion is that one should learn the art of chanting the Holy name of Krishna 24 hours a day and that alone is the remedy for all problems of material existence. How is it possible to chant 24 hours a day? Lord Chaitanya gave the hint, “One can chant the holy name of God in a humble state of mind, thinking himself lower than the straw in the street, more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all kinds of sense of false prestige, and always ready to offer all respects to others. In such a humble state of mind one can chant the Holy name of God constantly.” So I cannot give you any better advice for your problem, simply chant Hare Krishna and everything will be all right. (Letter to Susan Beckman)

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Gaurangera Duti Pada

Gauranga duti pada

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…Gauranga refers to Lord Caitanya, who has a fair complexion. One who has a fair complexion is called gaura, and since Lord Caitanya was very fair, just like molten gold, He was also named Gaurasundara. Narottama dasa Thakura says, gaurangera duti pada, jar dhana-sampada, se jane bhakati-rasa-sar. Anyone who has accepted the two lotus feet of Lord Caitanya can understand the true essence of devotional service. Devotional service is very difficult. It cannot be understood by any ordinary man. As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, out of many thousands of persons who are trying to achieve the perfection of human life, only some actually become perfect and realize the self. And out of many thousands of such self-realized persons, only one can understand Krsna. Without understanding Krsna, how can one engage himself in the service of Krsna? Therefore, the devotional service of Krsna is not an ordinary thing. But fortunately, if one follows in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya (gaurangera duti pada) by following the path shown by Lord Caitanya-the process of simply chanting Hare Krsna-he can very easily understand what devotional service is. (from purport to the song “Gaurangera Duti Pada”)

Full song with Bengali Lyrics, English translation, and purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Gaura Purnima

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Today we celebrate the appearance day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We honor His appearance with these two select verses from the Sri Caitanya-caritmrta.

“O most munificent incarnation! You are Kṛṣṇa Himself appearing as Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu. You have assumed the golden color of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, and You are widely distributing pure love of Kṛṣṇa. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You.

“We offer our respectful obeisances unto that merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead who has converted all three worlds, which were maddened by ignorance, and saved them from their diseased condition by making them mad with the nectar from the treasure-house of love of God. Let us take full shelter of that Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, whose activities are wonderful.”

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The Expansions of Lord Nityānanda

Nityananda

Today we honor the Appearance Day of Lord Nityananda. It is advised that devotees observe a half day fast, and meditate on some of the glories of Lord Nityananda. With this in mind we are posting one nice chapter from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta describing the Lord and his devotees.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta 1975 Edition
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Adi-lila Chapter 11

The Expansions of Lord Nityānanda

As the branches and subbranches of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu were described in the Tenth Chapter, in this Eleventh Chapter the branches and subbranches of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu are similarly listed.

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The Glories of Śrī Advaita Ācārya

Advaita Acarya

Today marks the Appearance Day of Ari Advaita Acarya. We honor this auspisious day with a complete chapter from the Caitanya-caritamrta; “The Glories of Śrī Advaita Ācārya”

I offer my respectful obeisances to Śrī Advaita Ācārya, whose activities are all wonderful. By His mercy, even a foolish person can describe His characteristics. (Cc. 6.1)

Since He has no other occupation than to teach devotional service, His name is Advaita Ācārya. (Cc. 6.29)

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta: Ādi-līlā 1975 Edition
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter 6

The Glories of Śrī Advaita Ācārya

The truth of Advaita Ācārya has been described in two different verses. It is said that material nature has two features, namely the material cause and the efficient cause. The efficient causal activities are caused by Mahā-Viṣṇu, and the material causal activities are caused by another form of Mahā-Viṣṇu, known as Advaita. That Advaita, the superintendent of the cosmic manifestation, has descended in the form of Advaita to associate with Lord Caitanya. When He is addressed as the servitor of Lord Caitanya, His glories are magnified because unless one is invigorated by this mentality of servitorship one cannot understand the mellows derived from devotional service to the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa.

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Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu

Bhagavad-Gita-Original-Art-Pancha-Tattva

…A person in the conditioned stage of material existence is in an atmosphere of helplessness, but the conditioned soul, under the illusion of māyā, or the external energy, thinks that he is completely protected by his country, society, friendship and love, not knowing that at the time of death none of these can save him. The laws of material nature are so strong that none of our material possessions can save us from the cruel hands of death…An intelligent person, therefore, does not put his faith in any material possessions, but completely takes shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord.

Let me offer glorification to the Supreme Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. One who has taken shelter of His lotus feet is the most glorified person. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi Lila, Chapter 7, Text 2)

…Prabhu means master. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the supreme master of all masters; therefore He is called Mahāprabhu. Any person who takes shelter of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu is most glorified because by the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu he is able to get promotion to the platform of loving service to the Lord, which is transcendental to salvation. (purport to above verse)

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Disappearan​ce Day of Srila Jiva Goswami

JivaGoswami

As today marks the disappearan​ce of Srila Jiva Goswami, who was one the Six Goswami’s of Vrndavan, we honor this day with a short biography of his life.

Srila Jiva Goswami (1513–1598)

Jiva Goswami was the nephew of Rupa Goswami and Sanatana Goswami. He received initiation from Rupa Goswami and became the acharya (spiritual master) after Rupa and Sanatana. Jiva Goswami was a Sanskrit scholar par excellence. Some contemporary Sanskritists call him the greatest philosopher and scholar who ever lived. The youngest among the six Goswami followers of Lord Chaitanya, Jiva Goswami was also the most prolific writer. He wrote some twenty-five books, including the Sat-sandarbha, Gopala-champu, and Hari-namamrita-vyakaranam. In 1542, Sri Jiva Goswami established the worship Shri-Sri Radha-Damodara in Seva Kunja, Vrindavana. His samadhi stands in the Temple compound.

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Seasons Greetings

Gaur Niti 2013 200

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Govardhana Pūjā

Krsna lifting govardhan hill1

On November 3rd the festival known as Govardhana Pūjā is celebrated.

The sacrifice known as Govardhana Pūjā is observed in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Lord Caitanya has recommended that since Kṛṣṇa is worshipable, so His land, Vṛndāvana and Govardhana Hill, are also worshipable. To confirm this statement, Lord Kṛṣṇa said that Govardhana Pūjā is as good as worship of Him. From that day, the Govardhana Pūjā has been still going on and is known as Annakūṭa. In all the temples of Vṛndāvana or outside of Vṛndāvana, huge quantities of food are prepared in this ceremony and are very sumptuously distributed to the general population. Sometimes the food is thrown to the crowds, and they enjoy collecting it off the ground. From these instances, we can understand that prasādam offered to Kṛṣṇa never becomes polluted or contaminated, even if it is thrown on the ground. The people, therefore, collect it and eat with great satisfaction. (Kṛṣṇa, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, chapter 24)

…Formerly, at the end of Dvāpara-yuga, all the cowherd men of Vṛndāvana had arranged to worship King Indra, but they gave this worship up, following the advice of Kṛṣṇa. Instead, they performed a ceremony whereby they worshiped the cows, brāhmaṇas and Govardhana Hill. At that time Kṛṣṇa expanded Himself and declared, “I am Govardhana Hill.” In this way He accepted all the paraphernalia and food offered to Govardhana Hill. (from purport of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 4.86)

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108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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