Sri Sathya Sai on: Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

Through his association with holy men, Gauranga became a great devotee of the Lord and acquired the appellation Chaitanya (as he was always immersed in Krishna Consciousness). He devoted his entire life to glorifying God in song and dance. Thus through all ages there have been men who have been transformed into saints and sages by associating with good and holy men.
- “The Five-Letter Mantra”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 19, July 21, 1986, Prasanthi Nilayam

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486-1534)
Chaitanya declared, “Oh Lord! I want your love alone and nothing else”. At his birth, the name given to Chaitanya was Gauranga, because of his fair complexion. But as he was always chanting the name ‘Krishna, Krishna’, he got the popular name ‘Krishna Chaitanya’ (one who was immersed in Krishna consciousness). The moment he repeated Krishna’s name he used to lose his consciousness. In this manner, there are many great ones who have the names given to them at birth and the names by which they get known later on. The lives of these great ones should be regarded as ideals for the rest of mankind. 
- “Inscrutable are the Ways of the Lord”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 26, August 10, 1993, Brindavan


We should not be affected by praise and blame, censure and appreciation, gain and loss. Chaitanya was abused wildly by people. But Chaitanya danced in ecstasy even then. When someone questioned him why he danced in joy in spite of the foul abuses, he said, “The foul abuse of the people does not reach me at all. It melts into the thin air. That is why I dance in joy”.
- “The Quest for Divinity”, Summer Showers in Brindavan 1993, Brindavan

Once Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was walking through the market place, chanting the Divine Name. In fact, he was dancing in ecstasy. Some people on seeing him thought he was a madcap. They snatched away his Mridanga. But, he did not resent for this. He started chanting the Divine name while beating the cymbals. The irate onlookers took away the cymbals also. Even then he was not bothered. He thought perhaps God did not like his beating the cymbals. He resolved not to touch the cymbals which he thought were not to the liking of God. He consoled himself saying whatever musical instruments were taken away from him, were not to God’s liking. God’s will prevails ultimately. Such was his faith. From then onwards, he gave up all worldly attachments and concentrated on Prema Tattva (principle of love), which none could take away from him. One has to aspire for that which cannot be taken away by others. That is pure love. A printed matter on a piece of paper cannot be separated from it. Likewise, your heart should be like a pure white paper and love the printed matter. These two are inseparable. Cultivate such love.
- “Concentration of Mind on the Divine is Real Sadhana”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 37, February 19, 2004, Prasanthi Nilayam

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu singing the glory of Krishna with his devotees


Krishna Chaitanya once went to the temple of Jagannath, at Puri. He was a handsome youth at that time. He addressed Lord Jagannath in these terms, “Oh Lord! You are not merely Jagannath (the Lord of the world). You are the Lord of all the worlds, of the Cosmos, the Lord of Life, the Lord of the Spirit, the Lord of all embodied beings. You can accomplish anything. I do not seek from you the powers of Yoga or physical strength. I seek only the power of your Love. Your Love will give me all the strength I need. It will be my real strength”.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu doing
Kirtana before the idol of Jagannath
 during the Rath Yatra
The power of love alone confers true strength. All other powers are of no avail. Hence the only strength we should seek from God is the strength of love. With that strength all the powers can be acquired. It is not Sri (wealth) that we should desire. We should yearn for Hari. It is not a man of riches who is a Maharaja. They consider only those who have renounced everything as Maharaja (real rulers). It is not rolling in wealth that constitutes enjoyment. To be immersed in God’s love and thoughts of God is the greatest enjoyment as well as true Yoga.

Chaitanya declared that, “The Lord is the indweller in my heart”, because according to the Lord’s own declaration, “My Atma abides in all beings as the indwelling Atma”. It should not be imagined that the Lord is only this human body. He is present everywhere in the Cosmos. He is timeless, without beginning or end. You must try to develop the awareness of this omnipresent Divine in your heart.
- “Wealth or Grace?”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 31, July 17, 1988, Prasanthi Nilayam

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu prayed to Lord Krishna, “I do not want Vaikuntha or Kailasha. I want only your Prema. Please give me a small place in your Prema Samrajya (kingdom of Love). I will be satisfied with that”. There is nothing in this world which cannot be achieved with love.
 - “Unity in Diversity - The Fundamental Truth”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 35, November 4, 2002, Prasanthi Nilayam

Today people are prepared to undergo many difficulties in pursuit of Sri (wealth). But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu considered Hari (Lord Vishnu) as his only wealth. He gave up Sri and contemplated on Hari. That is why I often sing, Hari Nama Bina Anand Nahin (one cannot have bliss without chanting the Divine Name). So, chant the Divine Name, take to the service of society. 
- “Impact of Mother’s Thoughts on Children”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 33, November 19, 2000, Prasanthi Nilayam

Once Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sought his mother’s permission to go and pursue his studies. Then his mother said, “My dear one, there are various types of education in this world, but they are meant only for a living and not for life. Only the Adhyatmika Vidya (spiritual education) is true education. It is immortal and has no limitations. It is changeless in all the three periods of time. Make efforts to acquire such education”. From that day onwards, Chaitanya went about propagating the efficacy of chanting the Divine name in each street and in every village. He chanted the name of Lord Krishna at all times and under all circumstances. His message to mankind was simple, yet profound.

There is no charity greater than feeding the hungry,
There are no greater gods than parents,
There is no greater Japa (chanting) or Tapas (penance) than adherence to truth,
There is no greater Dharma than compassion,
There is no greater gain than the company of the good,
There is no enemy greater than anger,
There is no disease like being a debtor,
There is no wealth greater than good reputation,
Bad reputation is death itself,
There is no ornament better than the chanting of God’s Name.

...When God is so close to him, why does man suffer from delusion and face hardships in life? God is permanently installed on the altar of human heart. He is all-pervasive. Man can certainly see Him, touch Him and also speak to Him. But, he lacks such determination and yearning for God. Hence, he suffers. Chaitanya prayed to Lord Narayana thus, “Oh Lord, You are all-pervasive. You are the master of all beings. You control the entire universe. You are the very life principle. I do not aspire to attain Vaikuntha or Kailasha, or Swarga (heaven) nor do I crave for liberation. Bless me with love so that I can love You”. When Chaitanya prayed in this manner, an ethereal voice said, “Tathastu” (Let it be so). The worldly education one may be well-versed in and the immense power one may be endowed with, are bound to disappear with the passage of time. Love alone is immortal. Hence, one should consider love as one’s very life. Chaitanya prayed to Krishna to bless him with such eternal love. Kailasha, Vaikuntha and Swarga are like branch offices of God. Chaitanya was not interested in attaining them. He recognised that Hridaya (heart) is the correct address of God. He prayed, “Oh Lord, I know that You are installed on the altar of my heart. Kindly, bless me with such experience.”
- “Unity in Diversity - The Fundamental Truth”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 35, November 4, 2002, Prasanthi Nilayam

If you have even an atom of Grace of the Lord, a mountain of troubles can be overcome. Chaitanya declared, “If a fraction of the time that is spent in worrying about wealth, provisions, wife, children, friends and business is devoted to contemplation on the feet of the Divine, one can face the messengers of death without fear and cross the Ocean of Samsara!”
- “The Name That Redeems”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 22, April 14, 1989, Prasanthi Nilayam

Known as Gauranga at birth Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was born in 1486 in Nabadwip, West Bengal. He was a social reformer and a saint who founded the ‘Achintya Bheda Abheda’ sub-school of Vedanta philosophy. Despite having been initiated in the Madhvacharya tradition and taking Sanyasa (renunciation) from Shankaracharya’s tradition, Chaitanya's philosophy is regarded as a tradition of his own within the Vaishnava framework. He became the founder of the Gaudiya Vaishnavism sect of devotional worship and popularised chanting of the ‘Hare Krishna’ Mantra, singing of Bhajans and rhythmic dancing. Gaudiya Vaishnavas consider him to be Lord Krishna Himself. He travelled throughout the length and breadth of India spreading the path of Vaishnava Bhakti (devotion to Lord Vishnu and His various incarnations). In 1534, he left for his heavenly abode at Puri, Odisha.

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