05 August 2015
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu 13.3.1986
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (18 February 1486 – 14 June 1534) was a Hindu monk and social reformer from 16th century India. Born in a Brahmin family of Nabadwip in Bengal, he founded the Achintya Bheda Abheda sub-school of Vedanta philosophy, and promoted the community-style devotional worship of Krishna with kirtans (singing and rhythmic dancing). He is venerated by followers of Gaudiya Vaishnavism.
Chaitanya was a notable proponent for the Vaishnava school of Bhakti yoga (meaning loving devotion to God), based on Bhagavata Purana and Bhagavad Gita. Of various avatars of Vishnu, he revered Krishna, popularised the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra and composed the Siksastakam (eight devotional prayers) in Sanskrit. His followers, Gaudiya Vaishnavas, revere him as a spiritual reformer, Hindu revivalist and an avatar of Krishna.
Chaitanya is sometimes referred to by the names Gaura due to his fair complexion, and Nimai due to his being born underneath a Neem tree. His teachings helped flourish Bhakti movement in east India, particularly Bengal and Odisha from 16th century onwards.