This November, Vrindavan is celebrating Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s first visit to this holy city exactly 500 years ago. In 1515, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is said to have visited Vrindavan, where he and his followers searched for and found all shrines associated with Lord Krishna, thereby mapping all the important places of Shri Krishna’s magical leelas or activities in and around Vrindavan.
A famous Hindu saint and social reformer, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was born in Navadvip, Bengal in the year 1486. A distinguished promoter for the Vaishnava school of Bhakti yoga, Chaitanya propagated the worship of Shri Krishna, popularized the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra as well as composed the eight devotional prayers in Sanskrit named Siksastakam. Also referred by the names of Gaura or Nimai, the followers of Gaudiya Sampradaya revered him as an avatar of Lord Krishna Himself. Chaitanya is said to have spent his final years in Puri, Orissa.
During November, temples, ashrams and various religious organizations in Vrindavan are planning to hold activities focusing on the life and contribution of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. There are also plans to run a special train that will bring followers of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu from Bengal, his home land, to Vrindavan.
Interestingly, these celebrations in November will also coincide with the honorable President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee’s participation in a puja ceremony at the upcoming world’s tallest Krishna temple – the Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir.