With reference to the Chaitanya Movement of the Bhakti Cult, which among the following statements is / are correct?
1.This movement was started by Gauranga (Chaitanya) in the present state of West Bengal
2.Chaitanya was a great theologist and prolific writer of his era
3.The present leaders of the sect are generally called gosvamins
4.Swami Prabhupada belonged to this movement
Choose the correct option from the codes given below:
Shri Krishna Chaitanya was a 16th century saint who was also known as Gauranga. He was born in Nabadwip in current West Bengal. His original name was Vishvambhara Mishra. His mode of worshipping Krishna with ecstatic song and dance had a profound effect on Vaishnavism in Bengal.
At 22, he made a pilgrimage to Gaya to perform his father’s Shraddh. There he underwent a profound religious experience that transformed his outlook and personality. He returned to Nabadwip entirely indifferent to all worldly concerns.
A group of devotees soon gathered around Chaitanya and joined him in the congregational worship called kirtan, which involves choral singing of the name and deeds of God, often accompanied by dance movements and culminating in states of trance. For Chaitanya, the legends of Krishna and his beloved, Radha, symbolized the highest expression of mutual love between God and the human soul. Bhakti (devotion) superseded all other forms of religious practice and was conceived as complete self-surrender to the divine will.
Although Chaitanya himself wrote no works on theology or religious practices, his selection of and charges to core disciples gave birth to a major Vaishnava sect in his own lifetime, called familiarly the Chaitanya Sampradaya or Gaudiya Sampradaya Chaitanya’s own frequent and prolonged experiences of religious rapture took their toll on his health; he himself diagnosed some of his seizures as epileptic.
Thus, the Gaudiya Sampradaya is an intensely emotional form of Hinduism which flourished from the sixteenth century, mainly in Bengal and eastern Orissa. It started from Nabadwip and spread. A theology for the movement was worked out by a group of Chaitanya’s disciples who came to be known as the six gosvamins (religious teachers; literally lords of cows). At Chaitanya’s request, this group of scholars remained in Vrindavan, near Mathura, the scene of the Krishna-Radha legends.
The six gosvamins turned out a voluminous religious and devotional literature in Sanskrit, defining the tenets of the movement and its ritual practices. Their reestablishment of the pilgrimage sites of Vrindavan and Mathura was an achievement of importance for all Vaishnavas (devotees of Lord Vishnu). Although Chaitanya appears to have been worshipped as an incarnation of Krishna even during his lifetime, the theory of his dual incarnation, as Krishna and Radha in one body, was systematically developed only by the later Bengali religious writers.
The present leaders of the sect, called gosvamins, are (with some exceptions) the lineal descendants of Chaitanya’s early disciples and companions. The ascetics are known as vairagins (the dispassionate).
Among this group was the late A. C. Bhaktivedanta, known as Swami Prabhupada, who believed that Chaitanya’s faith would benefit people throughout the world. He is the founder of the international Society for Krishna Consciousness or ISKCON, commonly called the “Hare Krishnas”, which has attempted to establish the beliefs and practices of the Chaitanya Movement around the world.
This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module