Chaitanya Mahaprabhu / चैतन्य महाप्रभु
- Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486 - 1534), was a monk and social reformer of the 16th century Bengal, (present-day West Bengal and Bangladesh) and Orissa in India.
- Sri Krishna Chaitanya was a notable proponent for the Vaishnava school of Bhakti yoga (meaning loving devotion to Krishna / God) based on the philosophy of the Bhagavata Purana and Bhagavad Gita.
- Specifically he worshipped the forms of Radha and Krishna and popularised the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha mantra. His line of followers, known as Gaudiya Vaishnavas, revere him as an avatar of Krishna in the mood of Radharani who was prophesised to appear in the later verses of the Bhagavata Purana.
- He was also sometimes referred to by the names Gaura, Sanskrit for 'golden one; due to his light skin complexion, and Nimai due to his being born underneath a Neem tree. There are numerous biographies available from the time giving details of Chaitanya's life, the most prominent ones being the Chaitanya Charitamrita of Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami and the earlier Chaitanya Bhagavata of Vrindavan.
- Das Thakur (both originally written in the Bengali language but now widely available in English and other languages) and the Chaitanya Mangala, written by Lochana Das Thakur.
- According to the biography, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Nimäi appeared on the full moon night of February 18th 1486 at the time of a lunar eclipse. His parents named him 'Visvambhar'- He was the second son of Jagannath Mishra and his wife Sachi Devi who lived in the town of Nabadwip in Nadia, West Bengal.
- Chaitanya's ancestry is a contentious issue between the people of Orissa and West Bengal with Shree Chaitanya having family roots in Jaipur, Orissa, from where His grandfather, Madhukar Mishra had emigrated to nearby Bengal.