“This account originally appeared in a short work by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura entitled, ‘Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu: His Life and Precepts.’ (dated 20th August 1896.)” This was taken from “Prologue” to “Teachings of Lord Chaitanya” (A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. 1974. pages xiii-xxii.) Who better could we find to include here than the pure unalloyed Devotee, and foremost scholar in Vaishnava circles Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura to perform this task. He starts his essay;
“Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was born in Mayapur in the town of Nadia just after sunset on the evening of the 23rd Phalguna (1407 Sakadba), answering to the 18th of February 1486 of the Christian Era. The moon was eclipsed at the time of His birth, and the people of Nadia were then engaged, as was usual on such occasions, in bathing in the Bhagirathi with loud cheers of Haribol. 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 Chakravarti, a renowned astrologer, foretold that the child would be a great personage in time; and he, therefore, gave him the name Vishvambhara. The ladies of the neighbourhood styled him Gaurahari on account of His golden complexion, and His mother called Him Nimai on account of the ‘nimba’ tree near which He was born. Beautiful as the lad was, everyone heartily loved to see Him every day. As He grew up He became a whimsical and frolicsome lad. After His fifth year, He was admitted into a pathasala where He picked up Bengali in a very short time.