Live Like a Tree: Chaitanya’s Advice! (Post No.4099)

Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 20 July 2017


Time uploaded in London- 19-25


Post No. 4099


Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

“A man must attain the nature of a tree, which lives solely for the benefit of others, before he can become a true worshipper”—Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

Chaitanya was a great devotee of Lord Krishna. His principal place of worship is Nadia in West Bengal. He has a big following in Bengal and adjacent states. Krishna devotees consider him as an incarnation of Lord Krishna himself. They say that amongst the many incarnation of Vishnu four are most important

the White incarnation named Ananta

the Red incarnation named Kapila

the Black incarnation named Krishna

the Yellow incarnation named Chaitanya

Chaitanya was born in CE. 1484 in Nadia and died at Puri in 1527

His father was a Brahmin named Jagannath Misra and his mother’s name was Suchi. Their first son Visvarupa became a religious mendicant. Second son Chaitanya was born when his mother was old. Consequently the child was very weak and did not take milk for three days. They thought that the child would die soon and hung him in a tree in a basket. A Brahmin called Adaitya happened to pass at that time, saw the child and thought that it was a divine child. He wrote Hare Krishna mantra in  the sand below the tree with his toe. Chaitanya’s mother took it as a positive sign and took the child back into the house. The child quickly recovered and took food.

 

Chaitanya s a youth made good progress in learning. He married twice, first at the age of eleven a girl named Lakshmi, and on her early decease, he married another girl Vishnupriya. They lived together for some time. When Chaitanya was 24, he decided to find a way to solve the distresses of mankind. He took off his sacred thread and became an ascetic. Leaving his home, parents, and wife, he spent six years as a wandering saint (Bairagi), travelling all over India teaching his doctrines, acquiring followers, and extending the worship of Lord Krishna.

 

Varanasi has been the meeting point of scholars from time immemorial Buddha, Adi Shnkara and other saints went to Varanasi and convertedgreta people to their faiths. Chaitanya also went to Kasi (Varanasi= Benares) and converted the chief pundit Prakashananda to his faith.

 

Chaitanya was a great reformer; his success may be traced to his extraordinary fervour and his love for men. He preached utterly unselfish love to Vishnu/Krishna.

Worship from interested motives was not worship at all, but shop keeping, barter – he said.

The chief tenets of his faith are:

1.A disregard of caste distinctions

2.Emphasis was laid on mendicant life

  1. All must worship Krishna with a rosary made up of Tulsi beads
  2. He taught his followers to follow Radha, the beloved mistress of Krishna. The best form of devotion was that which Radha, as the beloved mistress of Krishna, felt for him.

5.They must exercise Bhakti (devotion) in Krishnain five ways:

Quite contemplation of the deity- Santi

The devotion of a servant to his master – Dasya

Friendship to him – Sakhya

Love to him resembling h love of children to their parents – Vatsalya

Passionate attachment of a girl to her lover or as the Gopis felt for Krishna -Madhurya.

 

He allowed widows remarriage and forebode the drinking of intoxicants and the eating of fish and meat.

He preached against animal sacrifices and Tantric practices.

 

 

He saw visions of Krishna and his attendant Gopis and terminated his life by walking into the sea in one of these ecstatic moments. Another version says that he entered the sanctum of Lord jagannath and disappeared in a flash of light. We have similar disappearances in the lives of Tamil saints Sambandar, vallalar and Andal.  Chaitanya before his disappearance gained many adherents and honours. The independent King of Orissa became his disciple. As Chaitanya left no issue, Adaitya and Nithyananda, became the leaders of the new faith.

Source book: Wilkin’s Hindu Mythology

 

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s life is full of many thrilling incidents. It is Sri Ramakrishna who told us many things connected with Sri Chaitanya’s life and times. It was Sri Ramakrishna who located the real Nadia which had been obscured by the change in the course of the river. When Sri Ramakrishna danced in ecstasy with devotees, many felt as if Chaitanya himself had come back! In fact, Sri Ramakrishna is regarded as Chaitanya reborn! Some of his inner circle of devotees were from Chaitanya’s own circle!
    It was Chaitanya who located the real Brindavan and the sacred spots associated with it.
    Chaitanya does not seem to have adopted any definite philosophical doctrine, though Bhedabheda has been associated with his line of teaching. Though considered Vaishnava, his teachings differ from other Vaishnav sects in that for Chaitanya it is Sri Krishna who is Supreme, and even Vishnu is His manifestation! Srila Parabhupada has put it in the memorable phrase “Supreme personality of Godhead” ! Prominence given to Sri Radha is also unique to his teaching. it is extraordinary when we consider that the Bhagavata does not speak of Radha specifically. These are the ways in which Avatars and genuine Saints add to our religious lore, as we see in the works of Sri Tyagaraja too.
    There is a thrilling incident narrated during the pilgrimage of Mahaprabhu in the South. There he observed a discourse on Bhagavad Gita going on in a village. He observed one villager standing in a corner shedding profuse tears. He did not seem educated, and obviously he could not be following the discourse or the Gita in Sanskrit. Prompted by curiosity, Chaitanya asked him whether he was following the discourse. He said no. He heard the name Krishna and Arjuna mentioned; he could see Krishna seated in the chariot and talking to Arjuna and that scene brought him tears! Thus did Chaitanya bring out the nature of true Bhakti, beyond erudition and philosophy.
    It is Saints like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who saved Hindus and Hinduism when India faced the Muslim threat- exactly like how Sri Ramakrishna saved Hinduism from Christian onslaught, and especially rescued English educated upper class Bengalis from the alien influence, and also from reforming sects like the Brahmo Samaj.. We have to seek their blessing to be endowed with real devotion.
    Thanks for this reminder on Chaitanya.

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