Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu


1486-1532 Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

Bhakti-yoga recommends kirtan as the most effective means for  awakening the soul’s blissful spiritual nature, and reconnecting with the Divine. Such reawakening returns the successful practitioner to the spiritual world. There, according to the Bhakti tradition, the Supreme Lord is glorified with joyous singing and dancing. Although kirtan is an eternal principle in the bhakti-yoga, it is acknowledged that 500 years ago Chaitanya Mahaprabhu brought kirtan to the masses.

At the same time as the European Renaissance, India in the fifteenth century was also undergoing a renaissance. Scholars have called it the “bhakti renaissance,” a great rebirth of devotion to God.   The preeminent figure of this powerful religious upsurge was Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.  Chaitanya inaugurated the bhakti renaissance and turned people’s vision to God. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is a revolutionary medieval saint  from Mayapur, West Bengal, India. Those who witnessed Mahaprabhu saw him dance and chant with unconditional love for God, the likes of which had never been seen before. He encouraged everyone to follow this same process.  He taught that anyone through kirtan—regardless of background or spiritual qualification—could develop their innate love of God, experience great spiritual pleasure & become fully enlightened chanting the holy names of the Lord.

Chaitanya pioneered a great social and spiritual movement that influence continues to spread today. He transformed India in four respects: philosophically, by persuading the greatest philosophers of his day that worship of the Supreme Person, God, is the highest purpose of life ; socially, by opposing the rigid caste system; politically, by organizing India’s first civil disobedience movement against repressive government; and spiritually, by teaching and demonstrating  bhakti-yoga or the yoga of devotion.

What was happening in the world during Chaitanya’s time:

1452-1519 Leonardo Da Vinci
1475-1564 Michelangelo
1483-1520 Raphael
1450-1516 Hieronymus Bosch
1445-1510 Sandro Boticelli
1483-1546 Martin Luther
1469-1527 Niccolò Machiavelli
1473-1543 Nicolaus Copernicus
1451-1506 Christopher Columbus
1460-1521 Juan Ponce de León
1465-1524 Vasco da Gama
1469-1539 Guru Nanak
1498-1546 Mira Bai
1491-1547 King Henry VIII of England
1495-1525 Cuauhtémoc (last Aztec king)
1503-1566 Michel Nostradamus
1509-1564 John Calvin
1515-1582 Saint Teresa of Ávila
1486: Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appears in West Bengal, India.
1488: Portuguese Navigator Bartolomeu Dias sails around the Cape of Good Hope.
1492: Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas from Spain.
1497–1499: Vasco da Gama’s first voyage from Europe to India and back.
1500: Guru Nanak founds Sikhism.
1500: First portable watch is created by Peter Henlein of Germany.
1500: Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral claims Brazil for Portugal.
1501: Michelangelo returns to his native Florence to begin work on the statue David.
1502: First reported African slaves in The New World
1502-1525: Cuauhtémoc, the last Tlatoani (king) of the Aztec, led the native resistance against the Conquistadores.
1503: Leonardo da Vinci begins painting the Mona Lisa and completes it three or four years later.
1503: Nostradamus was born.
1512: Copernicus writes Commentariolus, and moves the sun to the center of the solar system.
1513: Machiavelli writes The Prince, a treatise about political philosophy.
1513: Vasco Núñez de Balboa, in service of Spain arrives at the Pacific Ocean (which he called Mar del Sur) across the Isthmus of Panama. He was the first European to do so.
1513: Juan Ponce de León sights Florida and Vasco Núñez de Balboa sights the eastern edge of the Pacific Ocean.
1513: The Portuguese mariner Jorge Álvares lands at Macau, China, during the Ming Dynasty.
1515: Saint Teresa of Ávila is born, a prominent Spanish mystic, Roman Catholic saint, Carmelite nun, an author of the Counter Reformation and theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer, named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI. Her books, including “The Interior Castle” and “The Way of Perfection,” form an integral part of Christian mysticism and meditation practices.
1516–1517: The Ottomans defeat the Mamluks and gain control of Egypt, Arabia, and the Levant.
1517: The Protestant Reformation begins when Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses in Saxony.
1519–22: Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastián Elcano lead the first circumnavigation of the World.
1519–1521: Hernán Cortés leads the Spanish conquest of Mexico.
1520–1566: The reign of Suleiman the Magnificent marks the zenith of the Ottoman Empire.
1524 – Giovanni da Verrazzano is the first European to explore the Atlantic coast of North America between South Carolina and Newfoundland.
1523: The Cocoa bean was introduced to Spain by Hernán Cortés
1525: Modern square root symbol (√)
1526: Mughal Empire, founded by Babur, rules India until 1857.
1527: Sack of Rome, which is considered the end of the Italian Renaissance.
1527: Protestant Reformation begins in Sweden.
1527: Mira Bai, the Rajput princess and Hindu mystic poet, is persecuted for her fervent devotion, resulting in her seeking refuge in Krishna as her only shelter. Her grief turns into passionate spiritual devotion that inspires her poems.
1529: The Austrians defeat the Ottoman Empire at the Siege of Vienna.
1530: John Calvin, a theologian and reformer, breaks with the Catholic Church and goes on to found Calvinism.
1531–32: The Church of England breaks away from the Roman Catholic Church and recognizes King Henry VIII as the head of the Church.
1531: The Inca Civil War is fought between the two brothers, Atahualpa and Huáscar.
1532: Francisco Pizarro leads the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire.
1533: Anne Boleyn becomes Queen of England.
1533: Elizabeth Tudor is born.
1534: Jacques Cartier claims Quebec for France.
1534: The Ottomans capture Baghdad.
1534: Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu disappears at Jagannatha Puri, Orissa, India.