Appearance of Lord Sri Caitanya
Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the great apostle of love of God and the father of the congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord, advented Himself at Sridhama Mayapura, a quarter in the city of Navadvipa in Bengal, on the Phalguni Purnima evening in the year 1407 Sakabda (corresponding to February 1486 by the Christian calendar). His father, Sri Jagannatha Mishra, a learned Brahmana from the district of Sylhet,came to Navadvipa as a student because at that time Navadvipa was considered to be the center of education and culture. He domiciled on the banks of the Ganges after marrying Srimati Sachidevi, a daughter of Srila Nilambara Chakravati, the great learned scholar of Navadvipa.
For His first twenty-four years He remained at Navadvipa as a student and householder. His first wife was Srimati Lakshmipriya, who died at an early age when the Lord was away from home. When He returned from East Bengal He was requested by His mother to accept a second wife, and He agreed. His second wife was Srimati Vishnupriya Devi, who bore the separation of the Lord throughout her life because the Lord took the order of sannyasa at the age of twenty-four, when Srimati Vishnupriya was barely sixteen years old.
Philosophy of Lord Caitanya in a nutshell
Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the selfsame Lord Sri Krishna. This time, however, He appeared as a great devotee of the Lord in order to preach to the people in general, as well as to religionists and philosophers, about the transcendental position of Sri Krishna, the primeval Lord and the cause of all causes. The essence of His preaching is that Lord Sri Krishna, who appeared at Vrajabhumi (Vrndavana) as the son of the King of Vraja (Nanda Maharaja), is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and is therefore worshipable by all.
Childhood pastimes of Lord Caitanya
When the Lord was on the lap of His mother, He would at once stop crying as soon as the ladies surrounding Him chanted the holy names and clapped their hands. This peculiar incident was observed by the neighbors with awe and veneration. Sometimes the young girls took pleasure in making the Lord cry and then stopping Him by chanting the holy name. So from His very childhood the Lord began to preach the importance of the holy name.When the Lord was offered solid food at the age of six months in the anna-prashana ceremony, the Lord indicated His future activities. At this time it was customary to offer the child both coins and books in order to get some indication of the future tendencies of the child. The Lord was offered on one side coins and on the other the Srimad Bhagavatam. The Lord accepted the Bhagavatam instead of the coins.
When He was a mere baby crawling in the yard, one day a snake appeared before Him, and the Lord began to play with it. All the members of thehouse were struck with fear and awe, but after a little while the snake went away, and the baby was taken away by His mother.
Once He was stolen by a thief who intended to steal His ornaments, but the Lord took a pleasure trip on the shoulder of the bewildered thief,who was searching for a solitary place in order to rob the baby. It so happened that the thief, wandering hither and thither, finally arrivedjust before the house of Jagannatha Mishra and, being afraid of being caught, dropped the baby at once. Of course the anxious parents and relatives were glad to see the lost child.When He was just sixteen years old He started His own Catushpathi (village school conducted by a learned brahmana). In this school He would simply explain Krishna, even in readings of grammar.
While Lord Caitanya was preaching the congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord at Navadvipa, some of the brahmanas became enviousof Him. They took the matter before the Muslim magistrate at Navadvipa. The magistrate took up the complaints of the brahmanas seriously, andat first he warned the followers of Nimai Pandita not to chant loudly the name of Hari. But Lord Caitanya asked His followers to disobey the orders of the Kazi, and they went on with their sankirtana (chanting) party as usual. The magistrate then sent constables who interrupted asankirtana and broke some of the mridangas (drums). When Nimai Pandita heard of this incident He organized a procession of one hundred thousandmen with thousands of mridangas and karatals (hand cymbals), and this procession passed over the roads of Navadvipa in defiance of the Kazi who had issued the order. After reaching Kazi’s home, Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Kazi began a long discussion on Koran, Vedic sastras and cowkilling. Later Kazi was convinced with Lord Caitanya’s viewpoints and became His follower.
Deliverance of Jagai and Madhai
Once Nityananda Prabhu and Srila Haridasa Thakura met two brothers, named Jagai and Madhai, were creating a public disturbance in a drunken state. Jagai and Madhai though born in a respectable brahmana family, due to bad association they turned into debauchees and engaged in all kind of sinful activities. Nityananda prabhu decided that these two fallen souls must be delivered. If they are delivered, then Lord Caitanya’sname would be more glorified. Thinking in this way, Nityananda Prabhu and Haridasa pushed their way through the crowd and asked the two brothers to chant the holy name of Lord Hari. As soon as He approached them one of them threw a piece of earthen pot at Him. This struck Him on the forehead, and immediately blood began to flow. But Nityänanda Prabhu was so kind that instead of protesting this heinous act, He said, “It does not matter that you have thrown this stone at Me. I still request you to chant the holy name of Lord Hari.” Upon seeing the behavior of Lord Nityananda, two brothers fell at the Lotus feet of Nityananda prabhu. Finally the news of this incident reached Caitanya Mahaprabhu, which provoked the Lord to invoke His Sudarshana Chakra in order to kill both sinful brothers. But Lord Nityananda pacified Lord Caitanya and reminded Him of His mission.