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Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was a 15th century Vedic spiritual leader, who is considered to be the combined avatar of Radha and Krishna by his disciples and various scriptures. Chaitanya founded Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Gaudiya Vaishnavism teaches the acceptance of Bhakti yoga as a method to realize the ultimate truth. He is credited with popularizing the ‘Maha Mantra’ or ‘Hare Krishna Mantra’. He is also known for composing ‘Siksastakam’, a Sanskrit prayer of eight verses.
He was born on 18 February 1486, in Nabadwip, Bengal as Vishvambhar Mishra, the second son of Jagannath Mishra and Sachi Devi. Lord Chaitanya journeyed throughout the length and breadth of India for several years, chanting the divine names of Krishna constantly. He had inaugurated the Sankirtana movement or the congregational chanting of the holy names of Lord Krishna.
In the year 1515, Chaitanya visited Vrindavan, with the purpose of locating the lost holy places associated with Krishna’s transcendent pastimes. It was believed that by His divine spiritual power, he was able to locate all the important places of Krishna’s pastimes in and around Vrindavan including the seven main temples or sapta devalay, which are worshiped by Vaishnavas in the Chaitanya tradition to this day.
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had taught that human thoughts should never be shackled with sectarian views. Sectarianism is a product of one’s own bodily conception of life. His teachings are universal and acceptable to all irrespective of one’s ethnicity, race, culture, education, gender, etc.
He spent the last 24 years of his life in Puri, Odisha, the great temple city of Jagannath in the Radhakanta Math. Government of India released the commemorative coin celebrating 500th Anniversary of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s coming to Vrindavan.