May Be Nobody Had Known Kanha’s Place Of Performance...


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{/googleAds} Thought and interpretation of principles was for all. This Vaishnav movement came for principles and socialism, which had no place for rudimentary social rulings, untouchability and caste-creed. All had equal right in devotion to God. The philosophy ‘only devotion is important’ and devotion was for all. But common people were also part of this movement. There was Moguls Rule and fear of them in the society was not untouched by hard ships of rudimentary conservatism and untouchability. Amidst of this promotion and extension of Vaishnav movement was going on to protect the ethos of Hinduism. Vaishnavism was already there but the credit of making it popular in India goes only to Shri Chaitanya. Bengal played its important role to return the dues of it. In fifteenth century the Brave Devotee was born in Bengal, who rediscovered Vrindavan of Krishna and extended the devotion for Krishna to the public. Dates of devotion movement are evident that the credit rests with ‘Gaurang’ of east for revival of the flute tunes of ‘Kanha or Shyam’ of north-west. He was ‘Chaitanya’, whom his devotees address as ‘Mahaprabhu’ even today. His devotees see only the image of Radha and Krishna in him rather than Durga or Kali.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is counted among top ranked saints and poets of devotion sub-sect of Vaishnav sect of Hinduism. Gauriya sub-sect of Vaishnav sect was also initiated by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He gave message of devotion to the public by introducing a unique way of reciting devotion poetry. He did not remain confined in any place, but was wandering to advocate love and devotion to God along with unity among Hindu and Muslims. He rejected the mindset of cast-creed and class, but the greatest work he did was to re-establish Vrindavan a fresh in the cosmos of devotion. The fact is that he re-settled the then almost extinct Vrindavan from the scratch. Had the feet of ‘Gaurang’ not landed there, the place of performance, the play ground of Krishna-Kanhai might have remained mere a myth.

He was born on saturday 19th February 1486 (Samvat 1542), in evening Sinha Lagna full moon in Falgun month, in Nadia district of West Bengal which was then known as Navadweep. People were bathing in Ganga and chanting God names in the occasion of lunar eclipse. Shri Chaitanya descended at the home of father Shri Jagannath and Mother Sachi Devi in Mayapur of Navadweep. At that time Shri Vishvaroop was the only surviving son among nine children of mother Sachi. As a consequence they were extremely happy on birth of Shri Chaitanya. Mother named the child as ‘Nimai’, and his learned maternal grandfather Shri Neelamber Chakravorty named him as ‘Vishvambhar’, but the residents of the entire city called him by various names like ‘Gaursunder’, ‘Gaurang’ and ‘Gaurhari’ etc. due to his yellowish fair complexion like gold. Affectionately he was called ‘Nimai’ also, reason being his birth beneath a ‘Neem’ tree. Since birth the facecut of ‘Nimai’ was simple, sobre and attractive.

Nimai got expert in law and grammar growing through his teenage. Vishvaroop, the elder brother of Shri Chaitanya, quickly grew as a genius. He left home at an age of sixteen after realizing the world as mortal. Parents were left alone with Chaitanya at home. His parents had already experienced the effect of higher education as detachment of Vishvaroop from home. So the education was stopped of their lone help Chaitanya. As a consequence of this Chaitanya became extraneously naughty. Fed up with this, his parents resumed education of Chaitanya again. After some time his father died and the responsibility of mother and the family came on him. Shri Chaitanya while still educating, was married at a younger age with Laxmipriya, the eligible daughter of Shri Vallabh Mishra. Chaitanya managed operation of school also for some time. After this Shri Chaitanya started promotion and extension of recitation of God names first in east Bengal. And here his wife Laxmipriya died due to a snake bite. Widowed mother was suffering tragedies alone one after another. After persuasion of mother Shri Chaitanya was re-married with Vishnupriya, the daughter of royal priest Shri Sanatan.

At an age of 23 when Nimai reached Gaya for performing religious rituals (Shraddha) of his father, he started chanting Krishna name in company of a saint named ‘Ishwarpuri’. He had gained feel of Krishna together with chant of his names. After getting religious knowledge (Deeksha) at an age of 24 from Keshav Bharti, Nimai detached (Sanyas) himself from the material world and became Chaitanya Dev. The followers of Chaitanya were increasing fast. Not only this, as the then famous saints Nitayanand Prabhu and Adwaitacharya Maharaj also took religious knowledge from him, it was if the entire ‘Aryavrit’ became deep involved in devotion to Krishna. Nimai, with their help started chanting God names dancing and singing with tunes of ‘Dhol’, ‘Mridang’, ‘Jhanjh’ and ‘Majira’ etc. in his movement. After his detachment from material world, when Gaurang reached Jagannath for the first time, he started dancing with deep devotion when he viewed the idols of God. And he fainted suddenly. A learned Shri Saarvbhaum Bhattacharya, who was present there, carried him to his home. When religious scriptures were being discussed, Gaurang convinced Saarvbhaum to realize the superior significance of devotion over knowledge and experience the feel of the God. Saarvbhaum bowed on feet of Chaitanya. Later Saarvbhaum praised Gaurang with hundred stanzas which are now known as ‘Chaitanya Shatak’.

Nimai included the 18 worded savior praise of God in his way of devotion. “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”..

He argued for the praise of God as the only savior of all living beings in the last phase (Kaliyuga) of periods in the current cycle (Chaturyug) of creation. In fact when Nimai use to worship, it appeared as if he is in interview with the God in reality. After this, Chaitanya got transformed as ‘Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then proceeded towards north for Vrindavan on the day of Vijayadashmi through Shrirang region and Setu Bandh of south. Huge numbers of people were accompanying him. It is said that wild animals coming on his way too use to start dancing on the tunes of his devotional chanting of God names. He reached Vrindavan on the day of full moon of Kartik month, where this day is celebrated as arrival day of Gaurang even today. Gaurang extended the devotion to Krishna by reaching Kashi, Shringeri (Karnataka), Kamkoti Peeth (Tamilnadu), Dwarka and Mathura through Prayag and Haridwar. On his last phase of mission he reached Puri and at an age of mere 47 years he departed to the abode of Shri Krishna.

Chaitanya and his followers use to get involved in devotional singing and reciting such that tears use to flow continuously from their eyes. Everybody were use to get amazed by witnessing the immortal view of love, faith and weeping. The emotional relation of the devotion to Krishna elevated the respect of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ven higher. Emperor Gajapati Maharaj Pratap Rudradev of Surya dynasty of Odisha bowed to his feet by accepting him as an incarnation whereas Roop Goswami, one of the ministers of the ruler of Bengal left his post and became a follower. Known as one of the initial preachers of Gauriya sub-sect of Vaishnav sect, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had created many devotional literatures.

In ‘Shikshashtak’ he narrates Krishna as the only ‘Dev’, lovable and as pretty as a deity. His three powers are ‘Param Brahma”, ‘Maya’ and ‘Vilas”. He was influenced by the devotion of ‘Naarad’  and used to chant ‘Krishna Krishna’ like him. Many literature have been written on Gaurang, ‘Chaitanya Charitamrit’ of Shri Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami, ‘Chaitanya Bhagvat’ of Shri Vrindavandas Thakur, ‘Chaitanya Mangal’ of Lochandas Thakur, ‘Amiya Nimai Charit’ and ‘Chaitanya Shatak’ are some of the important ones of them.Chaitanya Mahaprabhu believed in one God. He sent his six followers to Vrindavan o establish seven temples. One of his prominent followers, Gopal Bhatt Goswami was associated with him since a very young age. Raghunath Bhatta Goswami, Roop Goswami, Sanatan Goswami, Jeev Goswami, Raghunath Das Goswami were close to him among the followers. These followers established seven temples in Vrindavan. Today these are known as ‘Gobind Dev Mandir’, ‘Gopinath Mandir’, ‘Madan Mohan Mandir’, ‘Radha Rman Mandir’, ‘Radha Damodar Mandir’, Radha Shyamsunder Mandir’ and ‘Gokulanad Mandir’. These are known as ‘Saptadevalaya’.

The theme of Chaitanya theology is love and performance. The performances of Shri Krishna in ‘Gauloke’ (the auspicious area around Mathura-Vrindavan) are immortal. Love is his prime force and also the cause of pleasure. This love becomes the prime  feeling in the heart of the devotee. This prime feeling is the way to reach Krishna through the worship of Radha.

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