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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Interfaith > Chand Kazi and Chaitanya > Introduction



Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was born in Mayapur in the town of Madia on the evening of the 18th of February, 1486. In those days in India, Madia was a famous center of learning rival to Benares. Mahaprabhu was a beautiful child with a golden complexion, and the ladies of the town came to celebrate his birth by offering presents. His grandfather, Pandit Milambara Chakravarti, a renowned astrologer, foretold that this child would be a great personage in time to come. In¬deed by his tenth year, Chaitanya was an outstanding scholar in logic, grammar, rhetoric and the scriptures. All the great scholars of Madia recognized his scholarship, which became greatly renowned when he defeated the greatest scholar of his time, Keshava Mishra of Kashmir, in public debate. Chaitanya had one very distinguishing characteristic, which some people failed to understand and appreciate, — he was always happily engaged in chanting God's holy names. Most of the people of Madia recognized Chaitanya Mahaprabhu not only as a great genius, but certainly as a missionary from God Almighty. This was later confirmed.From the time of defeating Keshava Mishra to his twenty-third year, Mahaprabhu preached the principles of love of God, not only in Madia but in all other important towns and villages surrounding his city. His followers from Madia began to sing the holy name of God, Hari, in the streets and bazaars. This created a sensation and aroused different feelings among people living in different areas. The devotees were highly pleased but the cast brahmanas (priests) became very jeal¬ous of Chaitanya's success and complained to the magistrate,


Chand Kazi. They spoke against the character of Chaitanya as non-Hindu. The Kazi arrived at Shrivas Pandit's house and in a rage of anger broke the mridanga (khola drum) and de¬clared that unless Chaitanya stopped this chanting of the names of God, he would be obliged to enforce Islam on him and his followers. This was then brought to Chaitanya's notice but lie replied, "Just continue chanting God's holy name. Then after some time, feeling the anxiety within people's minds he ordered his followers to meet in the evening, each one to carry a torch in their hand. This they did, and Chaitanya marched out with his sankirtana party divided into 14 groups, and on arriving at the Kazi's house, he held a long religious discussion with Chand Kazi who was the Muslim magistrate of Navadvipa. By the end of their conversation the influence of Chaitanya as a pure devotee of God elevated the magistrate to a higher state of spiritual realization. Chand Kazi experiencing ecstasy with tears in his eyes admitted that he had felt a deep spiritual influence which had cleared his previous doubts and misunderstandings. He now experienced spiritual feelings, which gave him the highest ecstasy. Chand Kazi then accepted Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and his movement. The people were astonished at the spiritual power of Mahaprabhu, for he had changed a man who was strongly opposed to Chaitanya's practice of public chanting of God's holy names. After this affair hundreds and hundreds of nonbelievers took up his teachings and joined Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's movement, which marched on under the flag of chanting God's holy names.


At that time, the king Nawab Hussein Shah Badasaha, whose full name was Al Uddin Saiyad Hussein Shah, was the inde¬pendent King of Bengal from 1498 to 1511 AD. Formerly he was rendering service to Mujaffar Khan, the cruel Nawab of the Habsi dynasty but somehow or other he assassinated his master and became the king. After gaining the throne of Ben¬gal (technically called Masnada), he declared his name to be Saiyad Hussein Al Uddin Serif Mukka. There is a book called Riyaja Us-salatina, whose author, Golam Husen, says that Nawab Hussein Shah belonged to the family of Serif Mukka. To establish his family's line, he added the name Serif Mukka. Generally, however, he is known as Nawab Hussein Shah. Af¬ter his death, his eldest son, Nasarat Shah, became King of Bengal from 1521 to 1533 AD. This King was also very cruel. He committed many atrocities against the Vaishnavas (devotees of God). As a result of his sinful activities, one of his servants from the Khoja group killed him while he was praying in the mosque.When the Muslim King of Bengal, Nawab Hussein Shah, heard of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's influence in attracting in¬numerable people, he became very astonished and said, "Such a person, who is followed by so many people without giving them charity, must be a holy preceptor. 1 can surely under¬stand this fact." The Muslim King ordered the magistrate: "Do not disturb this holy preceptor out of jealousy. Let him do as he likes under his own will." In private, the King inquired from his minister, Dabir Khas, who began to speak about the glories of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Dabir Khas said: "Why are you questioning me? Better you question your own mind. Because you are the King of the people and as a king you are the representative of Allah. Therefore you can understand this better than I." Nawab Hussein Shah could see how the power of Allah acted through Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and, thus, he was convinced of his divine nature.


At the age of 24 Chaitanya Mahaprabhu left his hometown and went on a six-year walking tour of India. In south India, at Kurmakshetra, he performed a miracle by curing a leper named Vasudeva. Everywhere he went he convinced people of all backgrounds to dedicate their lives to the chanting of the holy names of God. It was impossible even for learned scholars to oppose him for long, because there was some potency in him which touched the hearts of everyone, causing them to cry for spiritual advancement.In his twenty-eighth year he went to Bengal as far as Qauda in Malda. There he picked up two great personalities named Rupa and Sanatana. Mahaprabhu ordered them to go to Vrindavana and meet him there.Chaitanya returned to Puri via Shantipur. On his way to Puri passing through jungles in the state of Orissa, with his comrade Balabhadra, Mahaprabhu performed an unbelievable miracle: he made tigers, elephants and other jungle animals dance in joy upon hearing the chanting of the holy names of God.After a short stay at Puri he left for Vrindavan. He visited Vrindavan and came down to Prayag (Allahabad). While traveling along the Vrindavan-Prayag route, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu met 10 cavalry soldiers belonging to the Muslim Pathana military order. Among the Muslims was a grave person wearing a black robe. The public knew him as a saintly person. His heart was softened upon seeing Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's ecstatic symptoms. He became enthused to discuss God on the basis of the Holy Qur'an. The scholar put points forward to estab¬lish the impersonal concept of the Absolute Truth (God) on the basis of the Holy Qur'an and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu re¬spectfully presented quotes from the same Holy Qur'an to establish the personal concept of God. Whatever points the Muslim scholar put forward establishing God's impersonal feature, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu agreed and presented more in¬formation from the Holy Qur'an establishing God's personal feature. The saintly Muslim, on the basis of the Holy Qur'an, kept on trying to establish that Allah does not have personal attributes, but Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, by quoting the same Qur'an, presented quotes showing that Allah does indeed have personal features.


When the Muslim scholar presented points to establish the impersonal nature of God, Chaitanya agreed with him by quot¬ing from the Qur'an. However, he expanded further to also explain the personal nature of God, supporting all these ex¬planations by quotes from the Qur'an.Finally the Muslim scholar overwhelmed by the in-depth knowledge, vision, and clarity exhibited by Mahaprabhu happily offered all respects to such a great scholar and saint. He accepted Chaitanya as a great authority on the Holy Qur'an and scriptural knowledge.Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ended the discussion by saying, "The Qur'an certainly establishes impersonalism, but it also simultaneously establishes the personal aspect of Allah. The Holy Qur'an accepts the fact that ultimately there is only one God. He is full of opulence and He has a beautiful transcen¬dental non-material color. According to the Holy Qur'an, the Lord has a supreme, blissful, spiritual form.

Chaitanya has quoted verses from the Qur'an which highlight the existence of God's spiritual form. He further revealed the hidden meaning of these verses and explained the unlimited features of God, which are beyond any limitations. The Muslim scholar was impressed and overjoyed to hear the increasing glories of Allah.Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, "Allah is the Absolute Truth, the all-pervading, omniscient and eternal being. He is the origin of everything; creation, maintenance and dissolution come from Him. He is the original shelter of all gross and subtle cosmic manifestations. Allah is the Supreme Truth worshipped by everyone. Allah is the cause of all causes. By engaging in His devotional service, the living entity is relieved from material existence. No conditioned soul can get out of this material bondage without serving the Supreme Lord. Love of the Supreme Lord is the ultimate goal of life. The happiness of liberation, whereby one merges into the Lord's existence, cannot even be compared to a fragment of the transcendental bliss obtained by loving service unto the Lord.


In the Qur'an there are descriptions of fruitive activity, speculative knowledge, mystic power and union with the Supreme, but ultimately the Lord's personal feature and devotional service unto Him is established. Some scholars of the Qur'an are not very advanced in knowledge. Although there are many methods prescribed, they do not know that the ultimate con¬clusion should be considered the most important. Studying your own Quran and deliberating over what is written there, what is your conclusion?"The saintly Muslim replied, "All that you have revealed is true. This has certainly been written in the Holy Qur'an, but some of our scholars can neither understand nor accept this aspect. Usually they describe Allah's impersonal aspect, but they hardly know that Allah's personal feature is worshipable. They are undoubtedly lacking in this knowledge. I have stud¬ied the Muslim scriptures very extensively, but I still cannot conclusively decide what is the ultimate goal of life and how 1 can obtain it. Now that 1 have seen and heard you, my false prestige that grew on me from being a learned scholar has been washed away." Saying this, the saintly Muslim took shelter of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, accepted him as a spiritual pre¬ceptor and requested him to speak on life's ultimate goal and the process by which it can be obtained.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu answered, "The ultimate goal of human life is love of God and the process by which it can be obtained is chanting the holy names of God. You have chanted the holy name of God, therefore the sinful reactions you have accumulated over millions of years are now gone. You are now pure."


Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then told all the Muslims there, "Chant the holy name of God! Chant the holy name of God!" As they all began to chant, they were all overwhelmed by ec¬static love. In this way Chaitanya Mahaprabhu indirectly initiated the saintly Muslim by advising him to chant the holy name of God. By hearing from Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, a pure surrendered devotee of God, the saintly Muslim with great joy and ecstasy received the deeper realizations of the Holy Qur'an. Previously he had been amazed and attracted to the beauty of the external opulence of the treasure chest but now by the association of a pure surrendered devotee and by chanting the holy name the real treasure, the personality of God, was revealed. He felt so much love and devotion for Allah that he began to realize how Allah is his real friend, his merciful guide, his only provider and maintainer and his loving well-wisher. He realized that Allah has a never-ending personal relationship with everyone, He personally instructs each and everyone from inside and outside, He loves every single living entity but He takes special care of the living beings that are sincerely trying to devote everything to Him. He began to consciously see that Allah is just waiting for us to place our dependence on Him and take shelter of His supreme guidance and protection. Allah proclaims that who ever takes shelter of Him with love and devotion will without a doubt attain the supreme destination. By the mercy of Allah, the Muslim scholar finally realized the ultimate goal of the Holy Qur'an is to bring us to the point of complete surrender and dependence on Him, the beginning of love of God.


It is recommended in all the bona fide scriptures of the world that in this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, the only way to attain love of God is by chanting His holy names. The hidden meaning of the Qur'anic verses were revealed to the saintly Muslim and his heart became overwhelmed with love and devotion. He realized that aside from the impersonal feature, the personal nature of Allah is worshipable. This personal nature of Allah can be realized by the association and mercy of pure devotees. There was another Muslim present whose name was Vijuli Khan. He was a young man and the son of the king. All the other Muslims, headed by the saintly scholar were his servants.Vijuli Khan overwhelmed with the power of pure spiritual knowledge also took shelter of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Before Chaitanya Mahaprabhu moved on, he bestowed His blessings upon them. All the Pathana Muslims then became mendicants. Later on these very Pathanas became celebrated as Pathana Vaishnavas. They toured all over the country and chanted the glorious activities of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Vijuli Khan became a greatly advanced devotee of God and his importance is celebrated at every place of pilgrimage. (Anyone interested can read The Hidden Treasure of Al-Qur'an by Dr. Akif Manaf J.)Mahaprabhu always slept very little. Every day and night his inner spiritual feelings carried him far and wide in the realm of spirituality. He constantly chanted the holy names of God, took no care of himself, and often lost himself in spiri¬tual ecstasy. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu always introduced himself as a humble servant of God, but his intimate associates, by seeing his many spiritual symptoms and observing him fulfil many scriptural predictions, realized that he was someone very special. He was the most gentle in his nature. Humility was personified in him. His sweet appearance gave cheer to all who came in contact with him.In this work, we will scrutinize the details of discussion between Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Chand Kazi. Mo doubt that Mahaprabhu knew Arabic and quoted the Holy Qur'an while being fully familiar with Muslim traditions. But unfortunately no book has preserved these details. Therefore we will support each statement of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by quoting from the Holy Qur'an, the Hadith and the Sunna of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.