Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead ,had mercifully appeared at Yogpeeth ,situated in Mayapur, India, about 500 years ago in the year 1486 AD. He had appeared to bless us with His most enchanting , deep and ecstatic pastimes. The word ‘Yoga’ means ‘to connect’ and the term ‘Yogpeeth’ represents the place where the Supreme Lord connects with or descends into this material world. Jagannatha Misra and Saci mata, were the Supremely fortunate parents of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the deliverer of the three worlds.Saci mata and Jagannatha Misra were no ordinary souls. Sri Gaura Gannodesha Dipika reveals that Saci mata was the combined incarnation of the potencies of Devaki, Yashoda, Aditi and Kaushalya.While Nanda Maharaj, Vasudeva (the king of yadus) ,Dasaratha, and Kasyapa muni combined to incarnate as Jagannatha Misra, Nimai’s father.
When Saci mata carried Lord Gaurahari in her womb, all the demigods from the various heavenly planets used to come and worship her. They used to pray for Lord Gauranga’s causeless mercy and hankered to witness His magnanimous pastimes.Vrindavana das thakura sings :
‘Saci Garve baise sarva bhuvanera vaas
phalguni Purnima asi haila prakash
Ananta brahmande achhe yata sumangala
Sei Purnimaya asi milila shakala’
(Chaitanya Bhagavata adi, 195-196)
In the womb of mother Saci is sitting one, who is the resting place of the entire creation. That person subsequently revealed Himself on the full moon night of phalguna (months of February- March). The good fortunes that existed within all the innumerable universes, had come together and accumulated on that full moon night’
As revealed in the above verse ,Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu subsequently appeared in this world, from the womb of mother Saci, on a full moon night, in the month of Phalguna, 1486 AD. The world had never been a witness to a more auspicious day in its entire history.
Sri Vrindavana das thakura later describes how the beautiful moon hid itself as soon as the Lord had appeared in this world. The entire city of Navadvipa was blackened out with a lunar eclipse. As per the prevalent customs in those days, as soon as the eclipse had set, people immediately began chanting the auspicious holy names of Lord Hari and set out to bathe in the holy Ganges. Vrindavana das Thakura explains that this lunar eclipse was arranged by the desire of Lord Gauranga Himself.One of the primary reasons why the Lord had advented in this world was to inaugurate the Harinama sankirtana movement.Thus by causing the eclipse, soon after taking His birth, Sri Chaitanya induced one and all to chant the holy names of Lord Hari, providing a glimpse of His future mission.The Lord thus appeared in this world in the midst of loud and widespread Harinama sankirtana.Who has the power to describe and fully understand the inconceivable activities of the Supreme Lord ? ‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ offers millions of obeisances unto the lotus feet of Lord Gaurahari.
Sankirtana sahita prabhura avatara
Grahanera chhale taha karena prachara
Isvarera karma bujhibara shakti kaay
Chandre achhadila rahu isvara icchaya
Sarva navadvipe – dekhe haila grahana
Uthila mangaladhvani Sri Hari kirtana
Ananta arbuda lok ganga snan-e yay
‘Hari Bol’ ‘Hari Bol’ bali sabe dhay
(Chaitanya Bhagavata, adi, 197)
Chaitanya Charitamrita explains that another reason for this lunar eclipse, was that there was no need for a contaminated moon with spots all over its body to be visible in the sky ,at a time when the spotless Supreme Lord , Gaurasundara, had Himself descended upon this world to bestow His all-merciful darsana.
A-kalanka Gauracandra dila darshana
Sa-kalanka candre ara kon proyojona
(Chaitanya caritamrta, Adi – 13.91)
Locana das Thakura reveals in Chaitanya Mangala, how the six seasons had appeared simultaneously upon the earth at the time of the Lord’s birth. And how the demigods flew on their airplanes and gathered across the sky , yearning to catch a glimpse Lord Gauranga’s transcendental blissful form.
Sada ritu udaya bhhoi gela seikaale
Prabhu shuvo-janma prithibite heno bele
Antarikshe devagana divya yane chahe
Gaura-anga dekhibare anuraage dhaa-e
(Chaitanya Mangala, adi, 51-52)
Sri Vrindavana das Thakura mentions in Chaitanya Bhagavata how the demigods like Brahma, Shiva, and others, then took up human-like forms, and descended amidst the other people of Navadvipa. Taking advantage of the lunar eclipse and chanting the names of Lord Hari, these demigods, along with the other residents of Navadvipa, arrived and offered their prostrated obeisances at Yogpeeth, the residence of Jagannatha Misra. None were able to discern their original identities though, owing to the darkness that prevailed. Some of these demigods sung beautiful verses glorifying Lord Gauranga.Some of them held umbrellas ,some waved Camara, some sang and danced in ecstasy, while some of them showered beautiful flowers upon the Lord. Anyone who as much as glanced upon the beautiful face of Gaurasundara ,was relieved of all his miseries. The whole town of Navadvipa was washed away with waves of intense ecstasy.
Ananta ,brahma, shiva, adi kari yata deva
Sabei nararupa dhari re
Gayena Hari Hari, grahana chhala kari
Lakhite keho nahi pari re
Dosh dike dhaay lok nadiyay
Boliya uchha ‘Hari Hari’ re
Manushe deve mili, ekotra haiya keli
Anande Navadvipa puri re
Sacira angane shakala devagane
Pranama haiya parila re
Grahana andhakare , lokhite keho naare
Durgeyo Caitanyera khela re
Keho pore stuti, kaharo haate chhati
Keho chamara dhulay re
Parama-harishe keho pushpa barishe
Keho nache,gaya,baya re
(Chaitanya Bhagavata, adi ,224-227)
Sri Locana das Thakura describes in Chaitanya Mangala, how the ladies concluded that the boy must be Lord Krishna Himself, the very life of the damsels of Vraja (‘apane Goloka-natha kaila avatara’). ‘Never before have we seen a boy like this ? What happens to our hearts when we gaze at Him ?’ ,they thought. The entire universe could not contain the unlimited joy that Jagannatha Misra felt upon looking at the face of his child. Nimai’s face surpassed the beauty of millions of cupids (‘kata koti kama jini sundara badane’).
His face shone with the glow of hundreds of moons and some compared His face with that of a blooming lotus (‘kata chand-udaya dekhiya mukhakhani, prafulla kamaladala bayana bakhani’). His raised nose was just like a sesame flower and His limbs shone with a sweet dazzling effulgence (‘jhalamala Gaura anga kirana amiya’). Seeing His red lips ,His graceful cheeks, and beautiful chin, great love arose within the hearts of all ladies (‘adhara aruna, ara charu gandadyuti,sundara chibuka dekhi uthoye piriti’) . His neck resembled that of a lion (simha griba) ,His shoulders were as broad as that of an elephant (gaja skhandha) and He possessed a very broad chest (vishal hridoy). His arms reached upto His knees and His body was as sweet as nectar (‘ajanu lambita bhuja tanu rasamaya’). His hips were broad (vishal nitamba), His thighs resembled that of banana leaves (uru kadalira yeno), and His feet were just like red lotus petals (aruna kamala).
The soles of His feet had the auspicious marks of flag, thunderbolt, elephant goad, lotus, chariot, parasol, camara, svastika, jambu fruit, urdhva rekha, triangle, elephant, and a waterpot. Never before had one witnessed such a beautiful enchanting form. Indra, Candra, Gandharvas, Kinnarasa, demigods – came to the earth just to feast their eyes upon Gauranga’s unparalleled beauty.Witnessing His wonderful form, everyone’s eyes became anointed with nectar.They gazed upon Him dearly with feelings of eternal love (‘nayane lagilo sabhara amiya anjana, chira anurage yeno priya darsana’). In this way Mahaprabhu enchanted the town of Navadvipa and the feelings of wonder and bliss resounded in all directions. Thereafter Saci mata and Jagannatha Misra invited all the residents of Navadvipa, the elderly ladies and gentlemen, to bless their child with the dust of their feet and pray for the child’s long life and good fortune.
To read more about the reasons that caused Lord Gauranga’s appearance in this world, please refer to our other article entitled – ‘YogPeeth, Mayapur, Navadvipa – The birthplace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’.