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Mahaprabhu Chaitanya

Freeindia > Biographies > Sages, Rushis And Saints > Mahaprabhu Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu Chaitanya

I am a particle of consciousness and consciousness is the original substance. Deviation from that sort of spiritual consciousness to some other consciousness must be considered delirium. We have deviated so far, thinking this flesh is our self. My home is in the conscious world where there is proper existence (Sat), pure consciousness (Chit) and ecstasy and fulfillment (Ananda).

This is the teaching of Gaudiya Vaisnavism, or Bengal Vaishnavism, the religion and philosophy of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri Chaitanya is the Great Master Who came into the world to teach about the glories of the Holy Name of Sri Krishna.

Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In the 16th century in Bengal, Chaitanya founded a sect of erotic mysticism, celebrating the union of Krishna and Radha in a Tantric theology heavily influenced by Tantric Buddhism. Chaitanya believed that both Krishna and Radha were incarnate within him, and he believed that the village of Vrindaban, where Krishna grew up, had become manifest once again in Bengal. The school of the Gosvamins, who were disciples of Chaitanya, developed an elegant theology of aesthetic participation in the ritual enactment of Krishna's life. These ritual dramas also developed around the village of Vrindaban itself during the 16th century, and they were celebrated by Hindi poets.

Gaudiya Vaishnavism as a widespread movement of bhakti or devotion was begun by Sri Chaitanya Mahaaprabhu, who appeared in West Bengal in the late 15th century. He is accepted by all Gaudiya Vaishnavas as an incarnation of Krishna but in the "hidden" role of a devotee of Krishna, and this is supported by references from Srimad-Bhaagavatam, the Chaitanya Upanishad of the Atharva Veda, the Mahaabhaarata, and other scriptures.

Gaudiya Vaishnavism was certainly influenced by many earlier personalities, such as Maadhavendra Puri (who also represents the connection of Gaudiya Vaishnavism to the Maadhva sampradaaya coming from Srimad Ananda Tiirtha or Madhvaachaarya) and Jayadeva Goswami, Chandiidaasa and Vidyaapati. Though Sri Chaitanya Mahaaprabhu was a great scholar, He left only 8 verses, called the shikshaashhTakam. His followers, most notably the Six Goswamis of Vrindavan, wrote numerous books setting down the tenets and rituals of Gaudiya Vaishnavism with support from scripture.

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Published on: 2003-01-31 (4529 reads)

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Mahaprabhu Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu Chaitanya
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