Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who distributed Hare Krsna Mahamantra to the world without any restrictions like color and caste, appeared 500 years ago in the Mayapur, West Bengal. When He was born, everyone, including the Muslim rulers in the Mayapur was taking the names of Lord Hari. He started the harinama sankirtana movement, the congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord:
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Ram Hare Ram, Ram Ram Hare Hare (Ref: Kalisantarana upanishada)
In this incarnation of Lord Krishna, He appeared as his own devotee and exemplified the life of a perfect devotee, so that others too can follow in His footsteps. This is also predicted in the Vedic texts like Srimad Bhagavatam and the others.
In this article, I’m presenting those important verses from the well known Vedic texts and the pada (poetry) of Saint Meerabai too which reveals the identity of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as Sri Krishna Himself:
lokān vibhāvayasi haṁsi jagat pratīpān
dharmaṁ mahā-puruṣa pāsi yugānuvṛttaṁ
channaḥ kalau yad abhavas tri-yugo ’tha sa tvam
In this way, my Lord, You appear in various incarnations as a human being, an animal, a great saint, a demigod, a fish or a tortoise, thus maintaining the entire creation in different planetary systems and killing the demoniac principles. According to the age, O my Lord, You protect the principles of religion. In the Age of Kali, however, You do not assert Yourself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore You are known as Triyuga, or the Lord who appears in three yugas
krishna-varnam tvishakrishnam sangopangastra-parshadam
yajnaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi sumedhasah
In the age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the holy name of Krishna. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Krishna Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons and confidential companions.
3. Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.20 3:
śrī-karabhājana uvācakṛtaṁ tretā dvāparaṁ ca
kalir ity eṣu keśavaḥ
Śrī Karabhājana replied: In each of the four yugas, or ages — Kṛta, Tretā, Dvāpara and Kali — Lord Keśava appears with various complexions, names and forms and is thus worshiped by various processes.
Each of the 1000 names contained in the Vishnu-sahasra-nama stotra that is found in the Mahabharata, glorifies one or more aspects of the Supreme Lord’s transcendental forms, qualities, pastimes etc.
The following names indicate the bodily features of Lord Chaitanya.
suvarna-varno hemango varangas candanangadi
suvarna-varna: He has a golden complexion.
hemanga: He has the appearance of molten gold.
varanga: He is exquisitely beautiful.
candanangadi: The Lord’s body is smeared with sandalwood pulp.
Lord Chaitanya’s qualities and activities are described in the following names.
sannyasa-krc chamah santo nistha-santi-parayanah
sannyasa-krt: He accepts the renounced order of life. (Lord Chaitanya accepted sannyasa at the age of 24.)
sama: He is fully sense-controlled or equipoised.
santa: He is completely peaceful.
nistha: He is rigidly fixed in the chanting of the holy name of Lord Krishna.
santi-parayana: He is the highest abode of devotion and peace. He silences the impersonalist philosophers. (Lord Chaitanya defeated many eminent mayavadis in philosophical debates and converted them to Vaishnavism.)
The Supreme Lord says,
aham purno bhavisyami yuga-sandhyau visesatah
mayapure navadvipe bhavisyami saci-sutah
In the first part of Kali-yuga, I will appear in my complete spiritual form in Mayapura, Navadvipa and become the son of Shachi.
Sri Chaitanya married His eternal consort Srimati Lakshmipriya and later took sannyasa at the age of 24. After the acceptance of sannyasa, He left Navadvipa and resided in Puri, the holy city of Lord Jagannatha in Orissa. Lord Jagannatha in Puri is also referred to as daru-brahma in the Puranas as the Deities here are made from Neem wood. The word daru means wood in Sanskrit.
tretayam dasa-kandharam paribhavan rameti namakritih
gopalan paripalayan vraja-pure bharam haran dvapare
gaurangah priya-kirtanah kali-yuge caitanya-nama prabhuh
“The Supreme Lord, who in the Satya-yuga appeared as a half-man half-lion to cure a terrible disease that had ravaged the daityas, and who in Treta-yuga appeared as Rama, a person who defeated the ten-headed Ravana , and who in Dvapara-yuga removed the earth’s burden and protected the gopa people of Vraja-pura, will appear again in the Kali-yuga. His form will be golden, He will delight in chanting the Lord’s Holy Names, and His name will be Chaitanya.”
The Supreme Lord states:
kaleh prathama-sandhyayam gaurangotham mahi-tale
bhagirathi-tate ramie bhavisyami saci-sutah
I shall take birth as the son of Shachi assuming a golden form in a beautiful place on the bank of the Bhagirathi (Ganges) on the earth in the first part of Kali-yuga.
Mayapura, the birth place of Sri Chaitanya is on the banks of the Ganges. There is a similar verse in the Brahma Purana predicting the appearance of Lord Chaitanya.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead says,
aham eva kalau vipra nityam pracchanna-vigrahah
bhagavad-bhakta-rupena lokan raksami sarvada
O brahmana, I will deliver all the worlds, concealing myself in the form of a devotee of the Lord in Kali-yuga.
divija bhuvi jayadhvam jayadhvam bhakta-rupinah
kalau sankirtanarambhe bhavisyami saci-sutah
O demigods, please advent on the earth as devotees in Kali-yuga. To inaugurate sankirtana, I will incarnate as the son of Shachi.
sarve sadharana matah
kalau krishnavataras tu
“Lord Krishna descends to the world in many different forms. However in Kali-yuga, His incarnation is hidden. At that time He appears disguised as a sannyasi.”
Sri Chaitanya’s incarnation was a hidden incarnation, thus He burried references to His appearance deep within the ocean of vedic texts. His desire was that His disguise would not be betrayed, so He made sure these references would remain hidden until after His incarnation was complete. These text’s were always present, but by the inconceivable yoga-maya of the Lord, He covered His true identity even from the Vedic scholars and panditas. Only the pure devotees understood His actual identity.
aprakashyam idam guhyam
na prakashyam bahir mukhe
bhaktam bhakti-pradam svayam
na jnasyanti bahir-mukhah
sadhavo nyasino ‘malah
“Those who are bewildered by My illusory potency will not understand the great secret of My appearance in this world in My personal form, in My form as the incarnation of a Devotee, in My form bearing the name of a Devotee, in My form as a Devotee, and in My form as the giver of devotional service. This secret is not to be revealed to them. Only the saintly, pure, renounced Devotees, diligently engaged in My devotional service, will be able to understand Me in these forms.”
11. Besides the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, many other saints like Meerabai (contemporary saint) realized that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is none other than her dearest Lord Sri Krishna. Meerabai praised Lord Chaitanya as follows 11:
(1) ab to hari nam dhun lo lagi, sadho!
saba jaga bolata makhan chora,
nam dharo vairagi!
(2) kaha chadi vahu mohan murali?
kaha chadi saba gopi?
mora mundayi gora kati bandhi,
mane na mani gopi!
(3) mata yasomati makhan choran
bandhi jaki b aha,
syama kisor bhaye nava gora,
caitanya jako nam!
(4) pitambar ko bhava dikhavai,
kati kaupina base,
gore krsna ki dasi mira,
jasa na krsna bane na bane!
ab to hari nam dhun lo lagi!
1) O pious souls! Now, my consciousness is absorbed into the Divine vibration of the Names of my Hari! I surrender myself to His Holy Name! The entire world addresses Him as the ‘Butter Thief’. But now, He has earned another popular Name for Himself, as ‘Vairaagi’- the dispassionate wandering monk! (Sanyasi)
2) O my dearest Mohan ( Enchanter, Krishna)! Why have You discarded Your intimate companion, (Priya-Sakhi)- the Divine Flute? And why have You renounced all Your eternal Sweethearts, Gopis? You appear now with shaven head and ochre cloth at Your waist! But this clever Gopi uncovers Your disguise and doesn’t care to conceal it!
3) Now it seems like Mother Yasoda has tied up the both arms of Butter Thief! Alas, no more mischievous tricks! My Dark Beloved has now reappeared as the newly fresh Golden Lord Whose blessed Name is ‘Caitanya’!
4) Though clad Himself in skimpy rags, His Pitambara (Yellow Divine Attire) as well as His inner most Divine Love Sentiments are revealed to me. Now Mirabai is the maid-servant of the Golden Krishna Caitanya, whether the Glory of My Krishna is recognized by all or not!