Lord Chaitanya who is also known as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared on earth to teach you and me how to become a pure devotee of Krishna. He is an incarnation of Krishna. But he appears as a devotee of Krishna. Why? So that, he can teach us by his personal example how to practice devotion to Krishna. Lord Chaitanya is magnanimous, extremely merciful. He came to deliver the most fallen of the souls.
Lord Chaitanya is like the monsoon cloud, full of hope and happiness. And like the monsoon rain, He distributes ‘happiness’ freely to all without bothering about friends and foes. He is everyone’s friend.
He appears in this world for an important rescue operation. The mission was to cure the diseased souls of material impurities and take them back to their original home. Our original home is the spiritual world, the kingdom of God.
Lord Chaitanya’s birth
Lord Chaitanya, an epitome of love, best remembered as most benevolent incarnation of God, appeared in Mayapur, India, around 500 years ago.
He appeared on 18th Feb, 1486 CE in Mayapur, West Bengal, India. Srila
Bhaktivinod Thakura writes, “Caitanya Mahāprabhu [Lord Chaitanya] was born in Māyāpur, in the town of Nadia, just after sunset on the evening of the 23rd Phālguna, 1407 Śakābda, answering to the 18th of February, 1486, of the Christian Era.”
Most of the people are not aware that Lord Chaitanya is the Supreme God. It is because he hid his identity. Today also if you speak to people, they will agree that he was a great devotee of Krishna, but they will be not ready to accept that he is the Supreme Lord.
Lord Chaitanya too did not want people to call him as Supreme Lord. Lord Chaitanya’s associates were self-realized souls. They were aware that he is the Supreme Lord. So, sometimes the devotees would address him as Supreme Lord. But Lord Chaitanya strongly opposed this. He would put fingers in his ears and say that you are committing offence by calling me God.
What Vedas say about Lord Chaitanya?
But Vedic literatures clearly say that Lord Chaitanya is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Vedas have many evidence which proves beyond doubt that Lord Chaitanya (or Chaitanya Mahaprabhu) is God
Let us see few of those evidence from the Vedas.
- In the Adi-Purana and in the Narada Purana, the Supreme Lord says: “I shall advent in the form of a Brahmana devotee and I shall hide my factual identity. I shall deliver all the worlds.”
- In the Padma-Purana it is mentioned: “The Supreme Personality, Janardana, who is the object of the yogis’ meditation, who saves the devotees from various sufferings, and who is the master of all yogic practices, who is always full of divine transcendental ecstasy and bliss, will advent in His own divine form of Sri Chaitanya.”
- In the Garuda Purana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself states: “I will take birth as the son of Sachi, in Navadvip – Mayapur. I will come in my complete spiritual form in the first part of Kali- Yuga.”
Lord Chaitanya appeared to teach us pure devotion to Krishna
Many religious traditions of the world in order to attract people advertise that by following their path people’s material desires will materialize. And this will help them to live a happy and fulfilling material life.
But Lord Chaitanya did not misguide the people. He never gave any false hope to the seekers. He candidly explained that no one can achieve any peace and bliss in this world because this is a place of suffering. Bhagavad Gita 8.15 explains the nature of this world – dukhalayam asaswatam (full of miseries). No amount of material aggrandizement can reduce our miseries.
This is why Lord Chaitanya said that we should practice pure devotion to Krishna.
The only way to get rid of all troubles and attain unlimited happiness is when we develop relationship with Krishna. That should be our ultimate goal. And once we attain love of Krishna, we will be able to return back to the spiritual world, the kingdom of Krishna.
Lord Chaitanya has given us the process by which we can practice pure devotion to Krishna. It is by chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra – Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
Lord Chaitanya’s explains the glories of chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra
Lord Chaitanya has taught us how to chant the names of Krishna. And also what should be our mood when we are practicing devotion to Krishna.
In Siksastakam he explains the glories of chanting and the benefit we get by chanting Krishna’s names.
“Glory to the sri-krsna-sankirtana, which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years and extinguishes the fire of conditional life, of repeated birth and death. This sankirtana movement is the prime benediction for humanity at large because it spreads the rays of the benediction moon. It is the life of all transcendental knowledge. It increases the ocean of transcendental bliss, and it enables us to fully taste the nectar for which we are always anxious.” Sri Siksastakam Text 1
Chanting purifies our heart of all the impurities and helps us to develop love of Krishna.
What should be the mood of devotee of Krishna according to Lord Chaitanya?
In Siksastakam, Lord Chaitanya describes what should be the mood of a devotee of Krishna. He says that a devotee should not have any material desires. Instead, he should have desire to practice pure devotion to Krishna.
“O almighty Lord, I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor do I desire beautiful women nor do I want any number of followers. I only want Your causeless devotional service, birth after birth.” Sri Siksastakam Text 2
So, as a practicing devotee it is important that we give up desire to enjoy this world. Instead, we should develop desire to purify our senses and consciousness, so that we can sincerely practice devotion to Krishna.
If we are able to do so, then we will eventually become pure. And once we become pure our life will become perfect.
Taking shelter of Lord Chaitanya
To practice pure devotion to Krishna and get freedom from all sufferings it is important that we take shelter of Lord Chaitanya.
We should follow his instructions seriously. And chant the holy names of Krishna sincerely. This will purify our hearts and we will become pure. We will attain love of Krishna.
Lord Chaitanya has appeared for this purpose only – to help you and me attain love of Krishna. Once we attain love of Krishna, we will attain complete perfection. We will not be troubled by any material miseries. We will enjoy unlimited happiness.
Lord Chaitanya appeared in this age of Kaliyuga, the age of downfall, to deliver people like you and me. So, we should pray to Lord Chaitanya, take his shelter and practice devotion to Krishna for our own benefit.
In Navadvipa Dham Mahatmaya, Bhaktivinod Thakura, a great Vaisnava saint, extols Lord Chaitanya,
“Because people in Kali-yuga commit unlimited offenses, which are difficult to check, there can be no means of deliverance other than Gauranga’s name. Therefore, in Kali-yuga, I see no alternative to Sri Gauranga.”
Lord Chaitanya is called by different names – Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Lord Gauranga, Nimai.
So, why did Lord Chaitanya appear? He appeared for you and me because he was very concerned for us. Let us give up all our material desires and use our body, mind and words in serving, remembering, glorifying and worshipping him.