Around more than five-hundred years ago, the very personification of the Lord’s Mercy descended upon this planet and gave us one of the most precious and beautiful of treasures – the means to attain the Love of God. That personality was none other than Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is actually Lord Sri Krishna Himself, in the mood of His consort Srimati Radha Rani.
Born in Mayapur (West Bengal) in a town called Nadia, and known variously as Gaura (due to His golden complexion) and Nimai (due to his birth under a Neem tree), Sri Chaitanya showed astonishing intellect and curiosity about everything spiritual. His parents (Jagannatha Mishra and Sachi Devi) as well as anyone that knew Him, understood that He was no ordinary person.
Along with His entourage (Advaita Acarya, Gadadhar Pandit, Srivas Thakura, and Nityananda – collectively known as the Panca-Tattva) He made it His mission to spread the nectar of the Holy Names far and wide, and succeeded brilliantly. People from all over India came to see Him and His ecstatic singing and dancing, intoxicated as He was with the love of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna Himself!
It is said that one of the main reasons for His descent was to show the people how to perform proper worship of the Lord, and He exemplified it in every step of every stage of His life. Inspired by His pure and unadulterated teachings, His devotees spread the power of the Mahamantra (Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare! Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare!) all over India. The Mahamantra is the only means to attaining salvation in this age of quarrel and hypocrisy – the Kali Yuga.
Each of the four yugas requires certain duties to be performed to attain liberation. During the Satya yuga, the means was meditation on the Supreme; Dwapar yuga required temple worship; Treta yuga needed sacrifices; and finally, Kali yuga is all about Nama-Sankirtana (chanting of the Holy Names).
This priceless gift of the Holy Names by the most compassionate Sri Chaitanya is unparalleled in its ease of access (one can chant anywhere, anytime), brevity (only sixteen words), power (ability to invoke the Lord’s mercy when done in complete surrender and with pure devotion), and value (it is free!).
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s elegant composition, called the Siksastakam, lays down the core beliefs of the Gaudiya-Vaishnava framework. A few of the core beliefs are that Lord Krishna is the Supreme and Absolute Truth; the jivas are the separated parts of the Lord; pure devotion is the duty of the jivas; and complete, unconditional, and pure love of the Supreme Lord Krishna is the final goal.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s sampradaya (disciplic succession) is known as the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya sampradaya, indicating the origin as that of Lord Krishna’s passing on the true knowledge to Lord Brahma, who then passed it on to Sri Madhvacharya – and it has flowed uninterrupted since then, currently traceable to ISKCON via the Founder-Acarya Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
The Gaura Purnima festival, which celebrates the appearance day of the Sri Chaitanya, is observed with great enthusiasm every year at the Hare Krishna Dham in Houston.
Please join us with family and friends for the most awaited festival of the year, The appearance of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is celebrated on Tuesday, March 22, 2016! The program starts at 6:30 PM