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Chaitanya's life

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is revered by devotees as an incarnation of Krishna and Radharani as avatars of the Parmatma, or Supreme Godhead. He was born in a Bengali Hindu family .According to Chaitanya Charitamrita, Nimäi was born on the full moon night of 18 February 1486, at the time of a lunar eclipse. His parents named him 'Vishvambhar'. Sri Chaitanya was the second son of Jagannath Misra and his wife Sachi Devi who lived in the town of Nabadwip in Nadia, West Bengal. Chaitanya's ancestry is a contentious issue between the people of Odisha and West Bengal with Shree Chaitanya having family roots in Jajpur, Odisha, from where his grandfather, Madhukar Mishra had emigrated to nearby Bengal.


Birthplace of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Pracheen Mayapur area, Nabadwip, West Bengal, India.In his youth, Chaitanya Mahäprabhu was primarily known as an erudite scholar, whose learning and skills in argumentation in his locality were second to none. Kashinath Mukhopadhyay was his private tutor during those days. 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 Mahäprabhu's outlook and upon his return to Bengal the local Vaishnavas, headed by Advaita Ächärya, 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. He spent the last 24 years of his life in Puri, Odisha, the great temple city of Jagannäth. The Suryavanshi Hindu emperor of Odisha, Gajapati Maharaja Prataparudra Dev, regarded the Lord as Krishna's incarnation and was an enthusiastic patron and devotee of Chaitanya's sankeertan party. It was during these years that Lord Chaitanya is believed by His followers to have sank deep into various Divine-Love (samādhi) and performed pastimes of divine ecstasy (bhakti).




About the Spiritual Author

Tarun Choudhury

Kriya Yoga


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