Five hundred years ago, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave the gift of love of God to everyone He met. Now is your chance to take the gift He came to give you.
Lord Chaitanya spearheaded a spiritual renaissance in sixteenth-century India that had as its foundation the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra. Five hundred years before Gandhi, this remarkable personality inaugurated a massive nonviolent civil-disobedience movement.
He introduced a revolutionary spiritual movement based on the world's oldest and most comprehensive religious scriptures, the Vedas. This movement, He taught, would have universal appeal because it was based on the Absolute Truth, which transcends sectarian notions of race or creed.
Teachings of Lord Chaitanya, which is a summary study of Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, documents Chaitanya's conversations with the great scholars, kings, saints and mystics of His day.
Throughout the ages, many avataras—divinely inspired teachers and incarnations of God—have appeared in the world, but none has ever distributed spiritual love as freely as the golden avatar, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (Mahaprabhu means "the great master") appeared in Bengal, India, in 1486, and he lived for only 48 years, yet He began a revolution in spiritual consciousness that has profoundly affected the lives of millions. Renowned as a great saint even in his youth, Lord Chaitanya left His family and friends at the age of 24 to teach the forgotten essence of ancient Vedic wisdom throughout India. Although he himself was a fully renounced mystic, He taught how one can act in spiritual consciousness even with ones home, occupation, and social affairs. Thus, His teachings, although timeless, bear special relevance for today's world. This book tells about the extra ordinary life of this great saint and explains the essence of His teachings.
About the Author:
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was born in 1896 in Calcutta, India. He first met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, in Calcutta in 1922. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, a prominent religious scholar and the founder of sixty-four Gaudiya Mathas (Vedic institutes) in India, liked this educated young man and convinced him to dedicate his life to teaching Vedic knowledge.
Srila Prabhupada became his student and, in 1933, his formally initiated disciple. At their first meeting Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati requested Srila Prabhupada to broadcast Vedic knowledge in English. In the years that followed, Srila Prabhupada wrote a commentary on the Bhagavad-gita, assisted the Gaudiya Matha in its work, and, in 1944, started Back to Godhead, an English fortnightly magazine. Single-handedly, Srila Prabhupada edited it, typed the manuscripts, checked the galley proofs, and even distributed the individual copies. The magazine is now being continued by his disciples.
In 1950 Srila Prabhupada retired from married life, adopting the vanaprastha (retired) order to devote more time to his studies and writing. He traveled to the holy city of Vrindavana, where he lived in humble circumstances in the historic temple of Radha-Damodara. There he engaged for several years in deep study and writing.
He accepted the renounced order of life ( sannyasa ) in 1959. At Radha-Damodara, Srila Prabhupada began work on his life's masterpiece: a multivolume commentated translation of the eighteen-thousand-verse Srimad-Bhagavatam ( Bhagavata Purana ). He also wrote Easy Journey to Other Planets.
After publishing three volumes of the Bhagavatam, Srila Prabhupada came to the United States, in September 1965, to fulfill the mission of his spiritual master. Subsequently, His Divine Grace wrote more than fifty volumes of authoritative commentated translations and summary studies of the philosophical and religious classics of India.
When he first arrived by freighter in New York City, Srila Prabhupada was practically penniless. Only after almost a year of great difficulty did he establish the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, in July of 1966. Before he passed away on November 14, 1977, he had guided the Society and seen it grow to a worldwide confederation of more than one hundred ashramas, schools, temples, institutes, and farm communities.
Srila Prabhupada also inspired the construction of several large international cultural centers in India. The center at Sridhama Mayapur is the site for a planned spiritual city, an ambitious project for which construction will extend over many years to come. In Vrindavana are the magnificent Krishna-Balarama Temple and International Guesthouse, a school, and Srila Prabhupada Memorial and Museum. There is also a major cultural and educational center in Bombay. Major centers are planned in Delhi and in a dozen other important locations on the Indian subcontinent.
Srila Prabhupada's most significant contribution, however, is his books. Highly respected by scholars for their authority, depth, and clarity, they are used as textbooks in numerous college courses. His writings have been translated into over seventy languages. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, established in 1972 to publish the works of His Divine Grace, has thus become the world's largest publisher of books in the field of Indian religion and philosophy.
In just twelve years, despite his advanced age, Srila Prabhupada circled the globe fourteen times on lecture tours that took him to six continents. Yet this vigorous schedule did not slow his prolific literary output. His writings constitute a veritable library of Vedic knowledge, philosophy, religion, literature, and culture.