was a Hindu monk and social reformer from 16th century India. A native of Navadvip in Bengal, he promoted the worship of God, in his tradition known by the name Krishna. He is venerated by followers of Gaudiya Vaishnavism.
Chaitanya was a notable proponent for the Vaishnava school of Bhakti yoga (meaning loving devotion to God), based on the philosophy of the Bhagavata Purana and Bhagavad Gita, who founded the Achintya Bheda Abheda of Vedanta. Specifically, he worshipped the forms of Krishna, popularised the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra and composed the Siksastakam (eight devotional prayers) in Sanskrit. His followers, Gaudiya Vaishnavas, revere him as an avatar of Krishna in the mood of his consort Radha.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared at Sridhama Mayapura, in the city of Navadvipa in Bengal, on the Phalguni Purnima evening in the year 1486 AD. His father, Sri Jagannatha Mishra, a learned brahmana from the district of Sylhet, came to Navadvipa as a student. He lived on the banks of the Ganges with his wife Srimati Sacidevi, a daughter of Srila Nilambara Cakravarti, a great learned scholar of Navadvipa. Their youngest son, who was named Vishvambhara, later became known as Nimai Pandita and then, after accepting the renounced order of life, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
In his youth, Chaitanya was primarily known as an erudite scholar, whose learning and skills in argumentation in his locality were second to none. Kashinath Mukhopadhyay was his private tutor during those days. A number of stories also exist telling of Chaitanya’s apparent attraction to the chanting and singing of Krishna’s names from a very young age, but largely this was perceived as being secondary to his interest in acquiring knowledge and studying Sanskrit. When travelling to Gaya to perform the shraddha ceremony for his departed father, Chaitanya met his guru, the ascetic Ishvara Puri, from whom he received initiation with the Gopala Krishna mantra. This meeting was to mark a significant change in Chaitanya’s outlook] and upon his return to Bengal the local Vaishnavas, headed by Advaita Acharya, were stunned at his external sudden ‘change of heart’ (from ‘scholar’ to ‘devotee’) and soon Chaitanya became the eminent leader of their Vaishnava group within Nadia.
After leaving Bengal and receiving entrance into the sannyasa order by Keshava Bharati .Chaitanya journeyed throughout the length and breadth of India for several years, chanting the divine Names of Krishna constantly. He spent the last 24 years of his life in Puri, Odisha, the great temple city of Jagannath. The Gajapati king, Prataparudra Dev, regarded Chaitanya as Krishna’s avatar and was an enthusiastic patron and devotee of Chaitanya’s sankeertan gatherings.] It was during these years that Chaitanya is believed by his followers to have sank deep into various Divine-Love (samādhi) and performed pastimes of divine ecstasy (bhakti).