The Civil Disobedience Movement
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu began to preach the congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord at Navadvipa. Some of the brahmanas became envious of His popularity, and they put many hindrances on His path. They were so jealous that they finally took the matter before the Muslim magistrate at Navadvipa. Bengal was then governed by Pathans, and the governor of the province was Nawab Hussain Shah. The Muslim magistrate of Navadvipa took up the complaints of the brahmanas seriously, and at first he warned the followers of Nimai Pandita not to chant loudly the name of Hari. But Lord Caitanya asked His followers to disobey the orders of the Kazi, and they went on with their sankirtana (chanting) party as usual. The magistrate then sent constables who interrupted a sankirtana and broke some of the mridangas (drums). When Nimai Pandita heard of this incident He organized a party for civil disobedience. He organized a procession of one hundred thousand men with thousands of mrdangas and karatalas (hand cymbals), and this procession passed over the roads of Navadvipa in defiance of the Kazi who had issued the order. Finally the procession reached the house of the Kazi, who went upstairs out of fear of the masses. The great crowds assembled at the Kazi's house displayed a violent temper, but the Lord asked them to be peaceful.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu preached the Srimad-Bhagavatam and propagated the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita in the most practical way. The essence of His teachings is recorded in Chaitanya Manjusha as follows:
- Lord Sri Krsna, who appeared as the son of the King of Vraja (Nanda Maharaja), is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and is worshipable by all.
- Vrindavana-dhama is non-different from the Lord and hence is as worshipable as the Lord.
- The highest form of transcendental worship of the Lord was exhibited by the damsels of Vrajabhumi.
- Srimad-Bhagavata Purana is the spotless literature for understanding the Lord.
- The ultimate goal of human life is to attain the stage of prema, or love of God.
His instructions to Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami, His discussions with Ramananda Raya, the debate with the Mayavadi sannyasi Prakashananda Sarasvati and the Vedanta Sutra Discussion between Him and Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya are the excellent sources through which we understand His teachings in detail. The Lord left only eight slokas of His instructions in writing, and they are known as the Siksastaka. All other literatures based on His teachings were extensively written by the Lord's principal followers, the six Gosvamis of Vrndavana, and their followers.