Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared during an eclipse on the full moon night of March in Mayapur India about 550 years ago. During eclipses in India it is the custom of the people to go to the Holy rivers and chant mantras to invoke auspiciousness.
Thus at the time of Lord Chaitanya’s birth most of the people of India were engaged in chanting the Holy Names of the Lord congregationally. This chanting of the Holy Names would prove to be the mission of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. This is confirmed by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in one of his great literary works, the Sri Chaitanya-Caritamrta, a 17 volume set of books about the glories of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
It is stated in the 13th chapter text 21 of the Chaitanya-caritamrta: “In jubilation everyone was chanting the Holy Name of the Lord–Hari-Hari–and Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then appeared, after first causing the appearance of the Holy Name. At His birth, in His childhood, in His early and later boyhood, as well as in His youth, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, under different pleas, induced the people to chant the Holy Names, especially the Hare Krishna maha-mantra:
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna
Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hari Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare"
In different ages there are different methods for self-realization such as meditation, temple worship and various yoga practices to control the body and mind. This is the age of Kali-yuga which means that the people are short lived more than in other ages and prone to quarrels over insignificant matters.
Although this age of Kali is considered the worst of the four: Satya, Treta, Dwarpa and Kali; it has some greater benefits than the other ages. One is the all-auspicious appearance of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Since He is the color of molten gold He is called the golden avatar, thus this is also called the golden age of Lord Chaitanya. It is said that this golden age will last 10,000 years from the time of the appearance of Lord Chaitanya. Srila Prabhupada said that his books will be the spiritual lawbooks for the next 10,000 years also. So we have a window of opportunity now to get the mercy of Sri Sri Guru and Gouranga. The fortunate souls will take advantage of this priceless mercy.
One of the benefits of this age is that even by thinking good thoughts such as worshipping the Lord in your mind you get the benefit as if you actually did the worship etc. This is calledmanasa-puja,mental worship.
Another benefit of this age is that self-realization is now easy simply by chanting the Holy Names. One can become self-realizedby chanting the Holy Names of the Lord, especially the most powerful Hare Krishna Mahamantra as taught and practiced by Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself.
Lord Chaitanya is described in the western encyclopedia as a great saint who travelled all over India and transcended the caste system; uniting all people as servants of God, Krishna. But He was more than a great saint, He is Radha and Krsna combined, acting like a devotee to teach us.
Lord Chaitanya performing so many miracles. He cured the sick and converted sinful people such as Jagai and Madhai into great saints.
Due to the prayers of Sri Advaita Acarya, Lord Chaitanya appeared within the womb of mother Sacidevi. When her husband, Jagannatha Misra saw her thus impregnated he said, “I see wonderful things! Your body is effulgent and it appears as if the Goddess of Fortune were now staying personally in my home. Anywhere and everywhere I go, all people offer me respect. Even without my asking, they voluntarily give me riches clothing and food.” Mother Sacimata replied, “I also see wonderfully brilliant human beings appearing in outer space, as if offering prayers.”Jagannatha Misra then replied, “In a dream I saw the effulgent abode of the Lord enter my heart. From my heart it entered your heart. I can therefore understand that a great personality will soon take birth.” (Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu)
This missionary work of Lord Caitanya was taken up by His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada who, on the order of his spiritual master, came to New York in 1965 and started the Hare Krishna Movement in America. The Hare Krishna movement then spread around the world fulfilling Lord Chaitanya’s desire that the Holy Names spread to every town and village of the world.
Srila Prabhupada departed this world in 1977 but remains spiritually present in his teachings, through his books and recorded lectures etc. which will benefit aspiring souls for generations to come especially during this Golden Age of Lord Chaitanya.
Srila Prabhupada initiated thousands of disciples personally and set up an initiation system whereby he would continue to accept disciples after his departure from the material world, physically, by empowering his disciples to act as priests and perform the initiation ceremonies on his behalf. I was his personal servant at the time he made these arrangements on July 7th and July 9th 1977. I heard him say to continue initiating devotees on his behalf after he left the planet. It's on tape and in writing and I heard it.
All of the new devotees are his disciples and we all attend Gurupuja to honor Srila Prabhupada in all his Temples around the world. Srila Prabhupada said that he would live on in his books and we should take advantage. He said chanting Hare Krsna and following the rules and regulations were the 'real initiation.' (1968 letter to TKG) The formal sacrifice isn't as important as following the philosophy and chanting the Holy Names of the Lord. That's what delivers us back to Godhead. Each bird learns and flys by itself. We must earn the Grace of His Divine Grace and the Lord, by following.
Srila Prabhupada’s disciples today areto inspire and instruct the new devotees and initiate them on behalf of Srila Prabhupada who is our Guru, giving us the Divine knowledge in his books etc..We act as siksa Guru's and guide everyone to our Siksa Guru and Founder Acarya, the delivering Guru, Srila Prabhupada. The new devotees will be inspired by one or many of the senior devotees. They will respect even love and honor them, but the Guru puja is reserved for our founder Acarya Srila Prabhupada. All food should be offered to Krsna through Srila Prabhupada first as is the traditional way.
All glories to Sri Sri Guru And Gouranga!!! The Golden Saktavesa Avatar Srila Prabhupada and the Golden Avatar Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu!!!
Today we celebrate the appearance of Lord Chaitanya all over the world by the mercy of Swami Srila Prabhupada. The biggest festival is held near the birthsite of Lord Chaitanya, at our Temple in Sridam Mayapura, India. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, ISKCON, is now headquartered there. Devotees come from all over the world to join in the celebration. George Harrison also showed up before along with thousands of devotees from around the world.
When I first met His Divine Grace in San Francisco the day after the 1974 Rathayatra Festival he said to me and the RDTSP Devotees, "You are all very bright-faced and fortunate to come to Lord Chaitanya's Movement. Now that you are fortunate; make others fortunate. Preach this message of Lord Chaitanya's all over the world."
Srila Prabhupada often said that this mission of Lord Chaitanya’s could bring real peace to the world and indeed was the real 'United Nations.'
Printed in ‘THE NEW TIMES’ 1992 Seattle Washington.(some editing done by me today 2/22/10)
Hoping this meets you in best ofhealth and happiness in KC!