The great transcendentalist Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura (1838-1914) describes Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as “The great Apostle of Love of God and the father of the congregational chanting (kirtan) of the holy name of the Lord”
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in 1486 CE and remained on this earth for 48 years. He was a leading scholar and an extraordinary personality that had a profound effect on everyone he met. In many ways He was a spiritual revolutionary. Taking Sannyasa at age 24 he travelled throughout India, often followed by tens and even hundreds of thousands of people. He is accepted as an incarnation of God – foretold by ancient Vedic scriptural prophecy. He is said to have come to deliver the “yuga-dharma” – the hearing and chanting of transcendental sound as the prime means for spiritual attainment. He often quoted this famous verse:
In this age of Kali there is no other means, no other means, no other means for self-realization than chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name of Lord Hari. – Bṛhan-nāradiya Purāṇa 3.8.126
He advised that how one receives mantra is also extremely important quoting:
mantrās te niṣphalā matāḥ
If one is not actually connected with a bona fide disciplic succession, whatever mantras he chants will not bring the desired result. – Padma Purāṇa
This great proponent of Bhakti was the inspiration for a tremendous transcendental resurgence of Bhakti in India, which is still experienced today. Great transcendentalists have predicted that His teachings and the process of Kirtan would be spread to every town and village of the world.
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