The Appearance of Lord Caitanya
Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself, and He is teaching how to develop love of God by a very simple method…chanting the names of the Lord. Only five hundred years ago Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, prophesied that the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra would resound throughout every town and village in the world. At a time when Western man was directing his exploratory spirit toward studying the physical universe and circumnavigating the globe, in India Śrī Caitanya was inaugurating and masterminding a revolution directed inward. His movement swept the subcontinent, gained millions of followers, and profoundly influenced the future of religious and philosophical thinking, both in India and the West. In the following talk, presented in November 1969 at London’s Conway Hall, Śrīla Prabhupāda describes the divine appearance of Śrī Caitanya.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the golden avatāra, appeared in India nearly five hundred years ago. It is the custom in India that when a child is born, an astrologer is called for. When Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appeared five thousand years ago, Gargamuni was called by His father, and he said, “This child formerly incarnated in three complexions, such as red and golden, and now He has appeared in blackish color.” Kṛṣṇa’s color is described in the scriptures as blackish, just like the color of a cloud. Lord Caitanya is understood to be Kṛṣṇa appearing in golden complexion.
There is much evidence in Vedic literature that Caitanya Mahāprabhu is an incarnation of Kṛṣṇa, and this is confirmed by scholars and devotees. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is confirmed that the incarnation of Kṛṣṇa, or God, in this present age, Kali-yuga, will always engage in describing Kṛṣṇa. He is Kṛṣṇa, but as a devotee of Kṛṣṇa He describes Himself. And in this age His bodily complexion will not be blackish. This means that it may be white, it may be red, or it may be yellow, because these four colors—white, red, yellow, and black—are the colors assumed by the incarnations for the different ages. Therefore, since the red, white, and blackish colors were already taken by former incarnations, the remaining color, golden, is assumed by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. His complexion is not blackish, but He is Kṛṣṇa.