Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu

Caitanya Mahāprabhu, (1486-1534)—Lord Kṛṣṇa in the aspect of His own devotee. He appeared in Navadvīpa, West Bengal, and inaugurated the congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord to teach pure love of God by means of saṅkīrtana. Lord Caitanya is understood by Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas to be Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself; The Golden Avatāra of the Supreme Personality of Godhead who descended into the material world 500 years ago at Śrīdhāma Māyāpur. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu inaugurated the yuga-dharma of saṅkīrtana. Together with His associates Nityānanda, Advaita, Gadādhara and Śrīvāsa, Lord Caitanya is worshipped by the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas as the Pañca-tattva (five-fold Absolute Truth). Within the Pañca-tattva, Mahāprabhu is the īśa-tattva, the Supreme Lord. Nityānanda is the prakāśa-tattva, the feature of īśvara who controls the kriyā-śakti, out of which the kāla and karma potencies expand. Advaita is the avatāra-tattva, the incarnation. Gadadhara is śakti-tattva, a feature of the original, spiritual prakṛti. Śrīvasa is jīva-tattva. See Avatāra, Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava, Īśvara, Saṅkīrtana.

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