WELCOME This issue corresponds with the annual festival of Sri Gaura Purnima, celebrating the anniversary of the appearance of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Bengal 435 years ago. Gaura, meaning “golden,” is a name for Lord Chaitanya that refers to the hue of His glowing complexion. Purnima is the full-moon night.
Srimad-Bhagavatam, composed more than fifty centuries ago, predicted that in this age Lord Krishna would descend, not in His original cowherd-boy form, but disguised as a golden-complexioned devotee of Himself. The Bhagavatam says that He and His associates will engage in chanting the holy names of the Lord (harinama-sankirtana), thus revealing the prescribed spiritual practice for our times. Our cover story in this issue, excerpted from a biography of Lord Chaitanya written shortly after His time here, gives us a glimpse into the beginnings of the sankirtana movement.
Though chanting is at the heart of Lord Chaitanya’s movement, there’s much more to it than that. He taught extensively about philosophy and theology, drawing primarily on Srimad-Bhagavatam to establish eternal spiritual truths. In “Srimad-Bhagavatam: The Postgraduate Study of Religion,” Satyaraja Dasa describes some of the glories of that incomparable scripture.
Hare Krishna. – Nagaraja Dasa, Editor