Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the combined form of Srimati Radharani and Sri Krishna. He is also known as Gaurāṅga. The complexion of His body is radiant like molten gold. He appeared in Śrīdhāma Māyāpur, a quarter in the city of Navadvīpa in Bengal, as the son of Śrī Jagannātha Miśra and Śrīmatī Śacīdevī to dissipate the darkness of ignorance and bestow benediction upon everyone.
Lord Gauranga inaugurated sankirtana, widespread congregational chanting of the holy name of Lord Krishna, as the most effective means by which anyone can achieve spiritual perfection. At the age of twenty-four He renounced everything to travel and encouraged everyone He met to chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.
The ultimate goal of human life is to attain the stage of prema or love of Krishna, is the most important teaching of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
His instructions to Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami, His discussions with Ramananda Raya, the debate with the Mayavadi sannyasi Prakashananda Sarasvati and the Vedanta Sutra, the discussion between Him and Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya are excellent sources through which we understand His teachings in detail.
The Lord left only eight slokas of His instructions in writing, and they are known as the Shiksastaka. All other literatures based on His teachings were extensively written by the Lord’s principal followers, the six Gosvamis of Vrindavana, and their followers.
Mahaprabhu’s mission was to preach the importance of chanting the holy names of the Lord in this age of quarrel.
Lord Nityananda was deputed by Lord Chaitanya to preach specifically in Bengal and Orissa. The six Gosvamis (Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Jiva Gosvami, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami) were deputed to go to Vrndavana to discover the places of Lord Krishna’s pastimes.
The present city of Vrindavana and the importance of Vrajabhumi were thus disclosed by the will of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Srila Prabhupada vani about Lord Chaitanya
In the introduction to his book Teachings of Lord Chaitanya, Prabhupada wrote,
Lord Chaitanya is the ideal teacher of life’s prime necessities. He is the complete reservoir of all mercies and good fortune, and He is worshipable by everyone in this age of disagreement. Everyone can join in His sankirtana movement. No previous qualification is necessary. Just by following His teachings, anyone can become a perfect human being…. I sincerely hope that by understanding the teachings of Lord Chaitanya, human society will experience a new light of spiritual life that will open the field of activity for the pure soul.
Srimad Bhagavatam 3.24.35, Srila Prabhupada:
This process of chanting is the best process of self-realization in this age; therefore, Lord Chaitanya preached it so nicely for the benefit of all humanity.
Chaitanya Caritamrta, Madhya Lila 14.16
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s special mission is the deliverance of all fallen souls in Kali-yuga. Devotees of Krishna must persistently seek the favor and mercy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to become fit to return home, back to Godhead.
Sri Gaura Purnima is the auspicious appearance day of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He appeared on the Phalguni Purnima evening in the year 1486 AD. This festival also marks the beginning of the New Year for Gaudiya Vaishnavas. On Gaura Punima, devotees fast till moonrise and break their fast by taking anukalpa feast (made from non-grains).
On the following day, they offer a special feast to the Lord which is called Jagannath Mishra Feast, named after Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s father, who arranged a grand feast to celebrate the birth of his son.
In this present age, quarrels take place even over trifles, and therefore the shastras have recommended for this age a common platform for realization, namely chanting the holy names of the Lord.
People can hold meetings to glorify the Lord in their respective languages and with melodious Vaishnava songs, and if such performances are executed in an offense less manner, it is certain that the participants will gradually attain spiritual perfection without having to undergo more rigorous methods.
In this Kali Yuga, there is no other better way than chanting the holy names to achieve perfection in spiritual life. Sankirtana is the easiest and the most beautiful way of preaching. Being a follower of Gaudiya Sampradaya, it is our most important responsibility to preach the message of Lord Gauranga.