Who was Chaitanya Mahaprabhu?

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Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was a Vedic spiritual leader of the 15th century. He is famously considered an avatar of Lord Krishna by his believers. Moreover, some people believe that he appeared in the Kali-yuga to inaugurate the yuga dharma for this age. Mahaprabhu is also renowned for being the founder of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, a religious movement that promotes the worship of Lord Vishnu as the Supreme God. In this blog, we will learn about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, his early life, teachings, and more details. Let’s begin.

Birth 18 February 1486
BirthplaceWest Bengal, India
Death 14 June 1534

Early Life of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu 

  • Chaitanya was born Vishvambhar on February 18, 1486. 
  • During his birth, India witnessed a full lunar eclipse which is widely considered an auspicious event by Hindu scholars. 
  • He was the second child of Sachi Devi and Jagannath Mishra and had an elder brother, Visvarupa.
  • According to popular beliefs, Chaitanya was born with a fair skin tone and had similarities with Lord Krishna. 
  • Even during a tender age, he was able to recite complex mantras and hundreds of religious hymns with ease. 
  • He showed an unusually high level of intelligence which was uncommon in such young children. 
  • Chaitanya started his school at the age of 16. 
  • His wisdom and knowledge were so great that he once defeated a learned scholar named Keshava Kashmiri in a debate.
  • According to different theories, Keshaav dreamt of Goddess Saraswati who explained to him who Chaitanya Mahaprabhu actually was. 

Also Read: Goswami Tulsidas: Life, Works and Ramacharitmanas

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Ishvara Puri

  • Upon the demise of his father Jagannath Mishra, Chaitanya visited Gaya to perform religious ceremonies.
  • During this time, he met an ascetic named Ishvara Puri who later became his guru.
  • When he returned to his hometown, he was followed and worshipped by the local Vaishnavas of Bengal. 
  • He ultimately decided to leave Bengal and requested Keshava Bharati to bestow upon him sannyasa. This required people to renounce all material possessions and search for the ultimate truth. 
  • For this, Chaitanya started doing and preaching Bhakti yoga in which one’s devotion is entirely towards the Supreme God. 

Also Read: Gautam Buddha: Real Name, Life and Teachings


Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is renowned for preaching Srimad-Bhagvatam. He used his intellect and wisdom to help people understand the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita, the Hindu holy scripture, in the most practical way possible. Here are a few of his popular teachings:

  • Lord Sri Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, is the Supreme Being and should be worshipped by all.
  • He also believed that Lord Krishna possessed all the different types of energy to run this world.
  • Srimad-Bhagvata Purana is the ultimate literature to understand the true meaning and essence of the Lord.
  • The goal of human life is to attain the stage of prema or love of God. 
  • One can worship the Vrindavana-dhama as the Lord since it is non-different from him.
  • The damsels of Vrajabhumi exhibited the highest form of transcendental worship of the Lord.

Chaitanya in Vrindavan

For many years, Chaintaya toured various places in India to advocate Bhakti yoga and urge people to chant the Krishna mantra. He would travel on foot to various places in search of absolute bliss. 

  • Chaitanya visited Vrindavan in 1515 and wanted to visit all the important places in the birthplace of Krishna.
  • He located seven temples (sapta devalay) which are still visited by devotees.
  • After travelling for many years, he finally settled down in Puri, Odisha, where he stayed for his final 24 years of life. 
  • Interestingly, Chaitanya was considered a form of Krishna not only by his devotees but also by several rulers of the 16th century. For instance, Prataprudra Dev, a Gajapati ruler, was one of Chaitanya’s greatest sankeertan devotees.

Important Contributions of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu 

Here is a gist of the numerous important contributions made by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu during his lifetime:

  • He was the founder of Vaishnavism in Bengal. 
  • He wrote Siksastakam, a famous Sanskrit text that contains some of his most popular philosophies of all time. 
  • Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was a profound believer and promoter of Saguna. 
  • He popularized the chanting of the Krishna Maha Mantra, Hare Rama, Hare Krishna.
  • Additionally, he also popularized worshipping Radha and Krishna together. 
  • The famous Achintaya Bheda-Abheda philosophy also stemmed from his numerous teachings. 
  • He called God as Hari and thus, didn’t reject worshipping scriptures or idols.
  • Above all, he is the ultimate inspiration behind the establishment of ISKCON, also known as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, during the 20th century. 

Also Read: Swami Vivekananda: Early Life, Spiritual Awakening, Literary Work 

How did Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Die?

Details about the death of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are controversial. However, numerous theories revolve around this debatable topic exist. For instance, many of his followers believe that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu did not die because he was an incarnation of Lord Krishna. On the other hand, other theories suggest that he disappeared magically or that he died at Tota Gopinath temple in Puri, Odisha. 

Amidst all this, a few scholars and historians are of the view that there are evidences that support the fact that he was suffering from epilepsy and seizures. Some texts state that he would often lose his consciousness at regular intervals. All this ultimately might have caused his death somewhere around June 14, 1534. 

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What was Chaitanya Mahaprabhu famous for?

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is a Vedic spiritual leader. He founded Gaudiya Vaishnavism, popularized the chanting of Hare Krishna Maha-mantra, and advocated Bhakti yoga. According to some followers, he possessed great intellect, was a profound scholar, and had a gold-like complexion.

Who is Lord Chaitanya Iskcon?

Lord Chaitanya is widely regarded as an avatar of Lord Krishna himself by his disciples, scholars, and followers. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, popularly known as ISKCON, is the gradual progress of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s sankirtan movement.

What did Chaitanya Mahaprabhu say about Shiva?

According to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the true meaning of Shiva is auspicious. He urged inauspicious people living in ignorance to worship Lord Shiva to liberate them from evils.

That’s all about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu! If you want to know more about topics like this, then visit our general knowledge page! Alternatively, you can also read our blog on general knowledge for competitive exams!

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