CELEBRATING GAURA PURNIMA AT HOME
Celebrating Gaura Purnima at home is simple.
Just clean the house and altar/ Puja room.
Offer flowers to the deities/ pictures of Sri Caitanya Maha prabhu, Krishna and acharyas.
Offer delicious food to the Lord Krishna and Maha Prabhu together IN THE EVENING. Offer fruits in the morning.
In the evening, you can prepare puris, yoghurt and cucumber salads, sweets like Halwa that is flavored with almonds, saffron, cardamom, etc coated with butter and offer to Krishna and Maha Prabhu and then honour after 7 PM.
Offer worship to Maha prabhu using agarbathis and chanting Pancha Tatva Manthra and Hare Krishna Maha Manthra.
Chant as much as possible on Gaura Purnima because nothing except chanting can please Maha Prabhu much.
Read the following Life History of Sri Caitanya on Gaura Purnima day.
FASTING FOR GAUR PURNIMA
Fasting from food till the MOONRISE, or, safely till 7 PM. You can take water. Those who are under medications may take fruits or get the advice of your doctor. Do not be over enthusiastic if you have any physical ailments.
After 7 Pm, take prasadam without grains (anukalpa prasadam) after offering to the Lord Krishna/ Maha Prabhu.
SRI CAITANYA MAHA PRABHU – LIFE HISTORY
In Mayapur in the town of Nadia on 18th of February 1486 in the late evening.
(2) SYMPTOMS DURING HIS BIRTH:
(i) The moon was eclipsed at the time of His birth
Father : Jagannatha Misra, a poor brahmana.
(4) DIFFERENT NAMES:
Named as Vishvambhara by His mother’s father, Pandita Nilambara Chakravarti, who was an astrologer.
Called as Gaurahari by the ladies in the area seeing His golden complexion
Called as Nimai by His mother because he took birth under a ‘nimba’ tree
(5) STUDIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:
He learnt Bengali from a patasala in his age five itself.
In His eighth year, He was admitted into the tola of Gangadasa Pandita in Ganganagara close by the village of Mayapur. In two years He became well read in Sanskrit grammar and rhetoric. His readings after that were of the nature of self-study in His own house, where He had found all-important books belonging to His father, who was a ‘pandita’ himself. It appears that He read the ‘smrti’ in His own study, and the ‘nyaya’ also, in competition with His friends, who were then studying under the celebrated ‘pandita’ Raghunatha Siromani.
After the tenth year of His age, Chaitanya became a passable scholar in grammar, rhetoric, the ‘smrti’ and the ‘nyaya’.
It was after this that his elder brother Vishvarupa left his house and accepted the ‘ashrama’ (status) of a ‘sannyasi’ (ascetic). Chaitanya, though a very young boy, consoled His parents, saying that He would serve them with a view to please God. Just after that, His father left this world. His mother was exceedingly sorry, and Mahaprabhu, with His usual contented appearance, consoled His widowed mother.
(6) SOME MIRACLES:
(i) When He was an infant in His mother’s arms He wept continually, and when the neighbouring ladies cried ‘Haribol’ He used to stop.
(ii) It has also been stated that when His mother gave Him sweetmeats to eat, He ate clay instead of the food. His mother, asking for the reason, He stated that as every sweetmeat was nothing but clay transformed, He could eat clay as well. His mother, who was also the consort of a ‘pandita’, explained that every article in a special state was adapted to a special use. Earth, while in the state of a jug, could be used as a water pot, but in the state of a brick such a use was not possible. Clay, therefore in the form of sweetmeats was usable as food, but clay in its other states was not. The lad was convinced and admitted His stupidity in eating clay and agreed to avoid the mistake in the future.
(iv) A brahmana on pilgrimage became a guest in His house, cooked food and read grace with meditation upon Krishna. In the meantime the lad came and ate up the cooked rice. The ‘brahmana’, astonished at the lad’s act, cooked again at the request of Jagannatha Misra. The lad again ate up the cooked rice while the ‘brahmana’ was offering the rice to Krishna with meditation. The ‘brahmana’ was persuaded to cook for the third time. This time all the inmates of the house had fallen asleep, and so the lad showed Himself as Krishna to the traveller and blessed him. The ‘brahmana’ was then lost in ecstasy at the appearance of the object of his worship.
(v) Two thieves stole away the lad from His father’s door with a view to purloin His jewels and gave Him sweetmeats on the way. The lad exercised His illusory energy and deceived the thieves back towards His own house. The thieves, for fear of detection, left the boy there and fled.
(vi) When only four years of age He sat on rejected cooking pots which were considered unholy by His mother. He explained to His mother that there was no question of holiness and unholiness as regards to earthen pots thrown away after the cooking was over. These anecdotes relate to His tender age up to the fifth year.
(i) Married Lakshmi Devi, daughter of Vallabhacharya from Nadiya in His age 14 or 15.
(ii) He went to Eastern Bengal on the banks of the Padma for acquirement of wealth. There He displayed His learning and obtained a good sum of money. It was at this time that He preached Vaishnavism at intervals. After teaching him the principles of Vaishnavism, He ordered Tapanamishra to go to and live in Benares.
(iii) During His residence in East Bengal, His wife Lakshmidevi left this world from the effects of snake bite.
(iv) Upon His mother’s request, He married Visnupriya, the daughter of Raja Pandita Sanatana Misra. His comrades joined Him on His return from pravasa or sojourn. He was now so renowned that He was considered to be the best pandita in Nadia.
Also read: THE DETAILS ABOUT FOUR SAMPRADHAYAS.
(8) DEFEATING THE SCHOLARS:
Keshava Misra of Kashmir, who had called himself the Great Digvijayi, came to Nadia with a view to discuss with the ‘pandita’ of that place. Keshava met Mahaprabhu at the Barokona-ghata in Mayapur, and after a very short discussion with Him he was defeated by the boy, and mortification obliged him to decamp. Nimai Pandita was now the most important ‘pandita’ of His times.
(9) FIRST INITIATION:
He took His spiritual initiation from Ishvara Puri, a Vaishnava ‘sannyasi’ and a disciple of the renowned Madhavendra Puri.
Upon His return to Nadia, He opened a nocturnal school of ‘kirtana’ in the compound of Shrivasa Pandita with His sincere followers. There He preached, there He sang, there He danced, and there He expressed all sorts of religious feelings.
(10) JOINING SRI NITYANANDA PRABHU:
Nityananda Prabhu, who was then a preacher of Vaishnavism and who had then completed His travels all over India, joined Him at that time. In fact, a host of ‘pandita’ preachers of Vaishnavism, all sincere at heart, came and joined Him from different parts of Bengal.
He requested Sri Nityananda and Haridasa: ‘Go, friends, go through the streets of the town, meet every man at his door and ask him to sing the name of Hari with a holy life, and you then come and report to Me every evening the result of your preaching.’
(11) TAKING SANYASA ORDER:
He accepted the sanyasi order of life at Katwa, under the guidance of Keshava Bharati of that town, on the 24th year of His age.
His mother and wife wept bitterly for His separation.
He fell at the feet of His beloved mother and said, “Mother! This body is yours, and I must obey your orders. Permit me to go to Vrindavana for My spiritual attainments.”
The mother, in consultation with Advaita and others, asked her son to reside in Puri (the town of Jagannatha) so that she might obtain His information now and then. Mahaprabhu agreed to that proposition and in a few days left Shantipura for Orissa.
(12) AT PURI:
In Puri, Raja Prataparudra-deva and several ‘pandita brahmanas’ joined the banner of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He was now twenty-seven years of age. In His twenty-eighth year He went to Bengal as far as Gauda in Mald. There He picked up two great personages named Rupa and Sanatana.
Also read: SRILA PRABHUPADA LIFE HISTORY – DIARY:
Chaitanya returned to Puri through Shantipura, where He again met His dear mother. After a short stay at Puri He left for Vrindavana. This time He was accompanied by one Balabhadra Bhattacharya. He visited Vrindavana and came down to Prayag (Allahabad).
From this time, that is, from His 31st year, Mahaprabhu continually lived in Puri the house of Kashi Misra until His disappearance in His forty-eighth year at the time of sankirtana in the Temple of Tota-gopinatha. During these 18 years, His life was one of settled love and piety. He was surrounded by numerous followers, all of whom were of the highest order of Vaishnavas and who were distinguished from the common people by their purest character and learning, firm religious principles and spiritual love of Radha-Krishna.
(13) LEAVING THIS WORLD:
It is believed that Lord Caitanya left this world on 29th June, 1533.
There are four popular stories about Mahaprabhu’s disappearance in His 48th age:
(i) Lord Caitanya entered the Gundica Mandira and did not come out;
(ii) He entered the sea and disappeared;
(iii) He entered the Jagannatha Deity or Mandira and was never seen again;
(iv) He entered the Deity of Tota Gopinatha.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and our Srila Prabhupada accept that Lord Gauranga entered the divine form of Tota Gopinatha.
In the Teachings of Lord Caitanya prologue, Srila Prabhupada said, “Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s disappearance was in his forty-eighth year at the time of sankirtana in the temple of Ṭoṭā-gopīnātha.”
Srila Prabhupada also said that Caitanya Mahaprabhu left this world by entering Lord Jagannatha. In 1967, while discussing the different scenes of a Lord Caitanya play with a disciple, Srila Prabhupada said that Sri Caitanyadeva merged in the transcendental body of the Jagannatha Deity in Puri.
Whatever it may be, the conclusion is that Lord Caitanya left this world in a godly manner that could not be perceived by anyone.
anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamritaswadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krishna-sankirtanam
tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah
etadrishi tava kripa bhagavan mamapi
durdaivam idrisham ihajani nanuragaha
taror api sahishnuna
kirtaniyah sada harih
kavitam va jagad-isha kamaye
mama janmani janmanishvare
bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki twayi
patitam mam vishame bhavambudhau
kripaya tava pada-pankaja-
vadanam gadgada-ruddhaya gira
pulakair nichitam vapuh kada
tava nama-grahane bhavishyati
shunyayitam jagat sarvam
adarshanan marma-hatam karotu va
yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato
mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah