Caitanya Mahaprabhu, a hidden incarnation of Lord Krishna, appeared in Mayapur in the town of Nadia just after sunset on the evening of the 23rd Phalguna 1407 Sakabda, answering to the 18th of February, 1486, of the Christian era. His father, Jagannatha Misra, a poor brahmana of the Vedic order, and his mother, Saci-devi, a model good woman, both descended from brahmana stock originally residing in Sylhet. Mahaprabhu was a beautiful child, and the ladies of the town came to see him with presents. His mother’s father, Pandita Nilambara Cakravarti, a renowned astrologer, foretold that the child would be a great personage in time; and he, therefore, gave him the name Visvambhara. After his fifth year, he was admitted into a pathasala where he picked up Bengali in a very short time.
It was at the age of 14 or 15 that Mahaprabhu was married to Laksmidevi, the daughter of Vallabhacarya, also of Nadia. He was at this age considered one of the best scholars of Nadia, the renowned seat of nyaya philosophy and Sanskrit learning. It was at this time that he preached Vaisnavism at intervals. After teaching him the principles of Vaisnavism, he ordered Tapana Misra to go to and live in Benares. During his residence in East Bengal, his wife Laksmidevi left this world from the effects of snakebite. On returning home, he found his mother in a mourning state. He consoled her with a lecture on the uncertainty of human affairs. It was at his mother’s request that he married Visnupriya, the daughter of Raja Pandita Sanatana Misra. His comrades joined him on his return from pravasa or sojourn. He was now so renowned that he was considered to be the best pandita in Nadia.
Nimai Pandita was naturally a soft-hearted person, though strong in his principles. He declared that party feelings and sectarianism were the two great enemies of progress and that as long as he should continue to be an inhabitant of Nadia belonging to a certain family, his mission would not meet with complete success. He then resolved to be a citizen of the world by cutting his connection with his particular family, caste and creed, and with this resolution he embraced the position of a sannyasi at Katwa, under the guidance of Kesava Bharati of that town, on the 24th year of his age.
Caitanya visited numerous places in Southern India as far as Cape Comorin and returned to Puri in two years by Pandepura on the Bhima. From this time, that is, from his 31st year, Mahaprabhu continually lived in Puri in the house of Kasi Misra until his disappearance in his forty-eighth year at the time of sankirtana in the temple of Tota-gopinatha. During these 18 years, his life was one of settled love and piety. He was surrounded by numerous followers, all of whom were of the highest order of Vaisnavas and who were distinguished from the common people by their purest character and learning, firm religious principles and spiritual love of Radha-Krsna. His sentiments carried him far and wide in the firmament of spirituality every day and night, and all his admirers and followers watched him throughout. He worshiped, communicated with his missionaries at Vrindavana, and conversed with those religious men who newly came to visit him. He sang and danced, took no care of himself and oft-times lost himself in religious beatitude.
Humility was personified in him. His sweet appearance gave cheer to all who came in contact with him. He appointed Prabhu Nityananda as the missionary in charge of Bengal. He dispatched six disciples (Gosvamis) to Vrndavana to preach love in the upcountry.