Vishwambhar or Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as he was later known, was born at a time when a very large area of northern and eastern India had come under Muslim rule. He showed the people a simple path to reach God, which later came to be known as Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Chaitanya not only stemmed the tide of conversion to Islam, but also provided a new life force to Hinduism.
Of the many ways by which devotees can reach Him, Krishna highlights this simple one in the Gita: "Sarvadharman parityajya mamekam sharanam vraja" (Forsaking all dogmas of religion, take refuge in me). This complete surrender to God, known to Vaishnavites as "Prapattivada" leads to Krishna or Rama (both incarnations of Lord Vishnu). To attain complete surrender, Chaitanya emphasized the gopibhava, the method of worship adopted by the damsels (gopis) of Vraja. They loved Krishna deeply, expecting nothing in return. Chaitanya also shunned casteism and preached that all men were equal. "Don't ask a Vaishnava what his caste is." Said the Vaishnavites, "because he who worships Vishnu is His."
But even while preaching love and brotherhood, Chaitanya taught people not to yield to injustice and untruth. Perhaps the first ever non-cooperation movement (satyagraha, as Gandhiji later called it) was launched by Chaitanya. When the Kazi of Nabadwip forbade the singing of bhajans in the open, Chaitanya ordered peaceful mass singing, leading a peaceful procession of hundreds who sang all the way to the house of the Kazi. So strong was his influence, that the Kazi, it is said, was converted to Hinduism.
About the Series
Amar Chitra Katha is a collection of illustrated classics that retell stories from Indian mythology, history, folktale and legend through the fascinating medium of comics. Over 430 stories from all over India have been told in this series that has been endorsed by educationists and recommended by teachers the world over.
Through a masterful blend of commentary, dialogue and illustration, Amar Chitra Katha presents complex historical facts and intricate mythology in a format that would appeal to children. They not only entertain, but also provide a fitting introduction to the cultural heritage of India. In a country so vast and varied, the series also serves as a medium for national integration, by introducing young readers to the rich cultural diversity of the country and highlighting the achievements of local heroes.
Amar Chitra Katha comics are life family heirlooms, passed down from generation to generation. These timeless illustrated classics are now also available online on www.AmarChitraKatha.com. Start your own collection today!
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