Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Lord.
Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu by Bhaktivinoda Thakura[This account originally appeared in a short work by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura entitled, “Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu: His Life and Precepts.” (August 20, 1896)]
” Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu was born in Mayapur in the town of Nadia just after sunset on the evening of the 23rd Phalguna 1407 Sakabda, answering to the 18th of February, 1486, of the Christian Era. The moon was eclipsed at the time of his birth, and the people of Nadia were then engaged, as was usual on such occasions, in bathing in the Bhagirathi with loud cheers of Haribol. His father, Jagannatha Misra, a poor brahmana of the Vedic order, and his mother, Saci-devi, a model good woman, both descended from brahmana stock originally residing in Sylhet. Mahaprabhu was a beautiful child, and the ladies of the town came to see him with presents. His mother’s father, Pandita Nilambara Cakravarti, a renowned astrologer, foretold that the child would be a great personage in time; and he, therefore, gave him the name Visvambhara. The ladies of the neighborhood styled him Gaurahari on account of his golden complexion, and his mother called him Nimai on account of the nimba tree near which he was born…”
The Divine Appearance of the Lordby HH Jayapataka Swami
The pastime of Lord Caitanya’s appearance day is very special. First of all the situation in Navadvipa was very unusual. We know that India is the land of the dharma, but we also find in Srimad-Bhagavatam that there are different kinds of dharma. There is sanatana-dharma or Bhagavata-dharma, the real eternal principles of religion, and there is also adharma, or irreligion.
Now, increasingly around the world, there is also upadharma, which is something like dharma, but is a fake dharma or imitation dharma. Upadharma describes secondary religious principles-mostly different kinds of superficial things. Like people may do hatha-yoga, some are claiming it as religion, but they are just going it for good health. Not everyone is doing it for a spiritual purpose, although it is originally meant to be basis for spiritual advancement. So like this there are different kinds of practices, which are actually not the real dharma.
Just before Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came, people were mad about these superficial religious activities, which area actually just materialistic- not really spiritual. People were more interested in worshiping devas and devis rather than Krishna and Vishnu.
People would marry their daughters with big festivals and that was considered like a very big religious ceremony. Of course marriage is an important ceremony, but it is not the highest principle of spiritual life. The people were doing the marriage of their daughter like a big festival just to show that theirs was the richest, nicest marriage in the town- to show off that their family is more aristocratic, more glorious, more spiritual, more religious.
Everyone wanted to be known as a religious person. It was not spiritual; it was just for name and fame. Then if someone was defeated- if another person held a bigger wedding and the first person had no more daughters- he would marry Siva and Parvati murtis.
Then someone else said, “You defeated me, now I will do in a bigger way. You are doing Siva and Parvati, I will do something new that has never done before- I will marrya male and female dog. Who can do the dog marriage?” Then another person decided he must marry a male and female cat. Like this it was going on.
All the Vaishnavas were saying, “What is all this? What does this have to do with religion or spiritual life?” People were just doing big pujas to get material benefit- hardly anyone was worshiping Vishnu, and no one was chanting the holy names. In fact they were saying that chanting would destroy the power of the holy name. The only time they were allowed to chant was while bathing in the Ganges. People were saying that the Ganges is pure, and otherwise in an impure state it’s not appropriate to chant. In so many ways the material atmosphere in Navadvipa was increasing. And although superficially it was very religious, it was really zero point zero something percent- just in name it was religion. They were actually doing the fire yajna for their pet cat or dog. There was no real possibility to please Vishnu. Yajnas are for the pleasure of Vishnu- that was the problem.
Before the appearance of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Advaita Gosai appeared. He was a combined avatara of Maha Visnu and Sadasiva. He was thinking that in Kali-yuga it is too difficult to give people love for Godhead. As Vishnu, He could kill demons and give moksa. But to give love, to make people change, that is the most difficult thing- a miracle. So He decided that Krsna Himself must come, because only Krsna can give out His own love.
So Advaita started to loudly shout, “Hey Krsna! Hey Krsna!” and He worshiped the salagrama-sila with Ganges water and Tulasi. He fasted, He prayed, He loudly shouted: “Lord please come down! If my name is Advaita, which means non-different, then let my name become true. You come down. I am requesting you please come. Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga!” Srivasa Thakura, he was also praying for Krsna to come to correct all these irreligious acts. So the Lord agreed to come in the family of Jagannatha Misra and Sacimata.