The Branches of Lord Chaitanya’s Movement

February 13, 2012 in Articles, Narasimha Dasa

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I have been reading in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 10) about some of the main branches of Lord Chaitanya’s sankirtana movement. Srila Krishnadas Kaviraja Gosvami describes nearly eighty main branches of the movement of Sri Chaitanya and then states at the end of the chapter that the branches and sub-branches of Lord Chaitanya’s tree are unlimited and produce unlimited fruits and flowers. Lord Nityananda Himself forms the topmost, main branch of this tree, and in the next chapter (Madhya 11) Krishnadas Kaviraja describes this branch and some of its sub-branches. Some branches and sub-branches are considered especially important but all are totally spiritual and full of potency. Each branch is connected to the Complete Whole, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, through the mercy of at least one of His nitya-siddha associates.

“Each and every branch of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s tree has unlimited spiritual power and glory. Even if one had thousands of mouths, it would be impossible to describe the limits of their activities.” (Cc. Madhya 10.162)

Many of Lord Chaitanya’s personal associates are capable of liberating fallen conditioned souls simply by glancing at them or touching them. Lord Nityananda was such a great personality that by His desire even the most wretchedly fallen souls were liberated immediately– by His sweet will alone. In this connection Srila Prabhupada comments that it is by Lord Chaitanya’s mercy that so many western people have been able to take up the mission of Krishna consciousness. Because Srila Prabhupada received the full blessings of Lord Nityananda and Lord Chaitanya, he was able to spread the sankirtana mission worldwide, in this most fallen age, within 11 years.

Some nitya-siddha devotees of Lord Chaitanya are considered most important and most merciful. Srila Vasudeva Datta, the nineteenth branch of the “Chaitanya Tree”, is one these great personalities. Krishnadas Kaviraja concludes, “One could not describe his qualities even with thousands of mouths.” (Cc. Madhya 10.41) Srila Prabhupada confirms Vasudeva Datta’s glories as follows: “He was the most exalted personality to ever show mercy to the conditioned souls. This in not an exaggeration of his transcendental qualities. It is perfectly true. Actually there cannot be any comparison to Vasudeva Datta… The entire world is purified simply by the appearance of such a great devotee. Indeed, by his transcendental presence the whole world is glorified and all conditioned souls are also glorified.” (Cc. Madhya 15.163, Purport)

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