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Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
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Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the most munificent incarnation of God, was known as the Golden Avatar, because His bodily complexion was like molten gold. He was the direct incarnation of Lord Sri Krishna and appeared on earth at the holy place known as Navadvipa in West Bengal in 1486. His father's name was Jagannatha Misra and His mother's name was Saci Devi. He is also known by the names Gauram Gauranga and Nimai. He was initiated by Isvara Pura at Gaya. His spiritual master Isvara Puri came in the line of Madhaventra Puri, who came in the line of Madhvacarya. The purpose of His divine appearance on earth was to reveal to the world, the yuga-dharma, or the religion for this age. He also rediscovered the most sacred places of Vrindavana which had been lost in time.

Lord Chaitanya lived in Navadvipa until he was 24, spreading the sankirtana (chanting the holy names of God) movement. He took the renounced order of life when he was 24 from Kesava Bharati at Katwa. At this time he moved to Puri in Orissa. He then traveled in South India for a year, after which He returned to Puri.

It was in the year 1515 that Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited Vrindavana, with the purpose of locating the lost holy places associated with Lord Sri Krishna's transcendental pastimes. Lord Chaitanya wandered through the different sacred forests of Vrindavana in a spiritual trance of divine love, sometimes laughing, sometimes crying, sometimes dancing in ecstasy and constantly chanting the holy names of Krishna. By His divine spiritual power, He was able to locate all the important place of Lord Krishna's pastimes in and around Vrindavana.

When Lord Chaitanya first arrived in Vraja, He stayed at a brahmana's house in Mathura and would walk around Vrindavana every day visiting the sacred places connected with Lord Krishna's pastimes. Later, Lord Chaitanya moved His residence to Akrura Ghata and would daily visit Imli-tala, where He sat looking at the river Yamuna while chanting Hare Krishna on His japa beads and constantly shedding tears in an ecstatic mood of divine love.

After a few months, Lord Chaitanya left for Jagannatha Puri and directed two of His dear-most followers, Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis to proceed immediately to Vrindavana, not only to excavate the places of Lord Krishna's pastimes but also to write books on the science of bhakti-yoga, in order to establish the teachings of Lord Chaitanya for the benefit of all future generations.

The religious that Lord Chaitanya revealed to the world is known as the sankirtana-yajna or the congregational chanting of the Lord's holy names:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

This is the easiest and most sublime process for God realization and even a child can follow it. In this dark age of Kali-yuga, intelligent men of the world can get true knowledge about God simply by performance of this sankirtana-yajna (sacrifice).

Best Western Radha Ashok