Tony K. Stewart tony_stewart at NCSU.EDU
Mon Feb 12 00:31:04 UTC 2007

My apologies; I naively thought you were looking for information from  
within the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition, not from other traditions  
appropriating the figure of Caitanya.  The latter of course presents  
a very different kind of narrative problem, a much more vexed kind of  
issue from a the standpoint of the traditions' literary histories.   
The case of Isvara Dasa's Caitanya bhagavat is a good example, but  
not one that is even hinted in the Gaudiya Vaisnava mainstream,  
especially notable given the figures ostensibly present and the  
incredible prolixity of the GV writers in both Bengali and Sanskrit.

Please note also that I had posted this to you personally and had not  
intended it to appear on the entire Indology listserv since it seemed  
to be one of information rather than debate.  So, apologies to the  

All the best,

On Feb 11, 2007, at 5:58 PM, Horacio Francisco Arganis Juarez wrote:

> Thank you professor:
> Yes, fortunately already I had the information that your fine  
> person has provided me. Regarding to the encounter with the Sikhs,  
> Chaitanya had an encounter with the famous leader founder of the  
> Sikism, Guru Nanak. In a scroll of Oriya language, from the XVI  
> century, the Caitanya-bhâgavata (Madhya 61), it is related that  
> Mahaprabhu gave audience to Guru Nanak. Its author was lsvara dasa,  
> one of the followers of Chaitanya in Puri. According to this  
> testimony, Nanak united to with Him in kírtan and he was  
> accompanied by his pupil Saran. Rupa and Sanantana were present,  
> together with Jagai and Madhai. All were devoted to dance  
> ecstatically in kirtan. Erudites in the tradition Sikh has  
> documented the encounter between Chaitanya and Guru Nanak, as Ganda  
> Singh and Trilochan Singh. But, I am looking for more about  
> christianity in this times inside geography of Caitanya Moviment in  
> its early time.
> Sincerily thanks again
> Horacio?.
> -----Mensaje Original-----
> Desde: Tony K. Stewart [mailto:tony_stewart at]
> Enviado: Domingo 11 de Febrero de 2007 07:18 PM
> Para: 'Horacio Francisco Arganis Juarez'
> Cc: 'Tony Stewart'
> Tema: Caitanya
> Dear Mr. Arganis-Juárez,
> For a good bit of the last thirty years I have been reading and
> translating hagiographical and historical materials devoted to the
> first two centuries of the Gaudiya Vaisnava movement, and worked with
> Edward C. Dimock, Jr., to produce the translation of the Caitanya
> caritamrta of Krsnadasa Kaviraja (Harvard Oriental Series no. 56). I
> have also just completed a twenty year study of the hagiographical
> tradition, which I hope to ship off to press in the next 2-3 weeks.
> The short answer is this: there is no record of any contact with
> Christians. And in fact, I would have to emend your assertion below.
> Caitanya seems to have had at least one encounter with a Sufi Pir
> near Braj. And he and his entourage seem to have run afoul of the
> local Kazi (qadi) in Nadiya, but that was as much a conflict with
> Saktas, who were unhappy with the all-night kirtana sessions and then
> finally the street singing processions. He had a devotee named
> Haridasa who was a Muslim. He is reported to have debated various
> Vedantins, usually under the mildly pejorative term "Mayavadi", the
> first such encounter in Puri shortly after his renunciation, then
> later in Varanasi, where he studiously avoids contact as much as
> possible.
> Buddhist contacts seem to attributed to Nityananda, not Caitanya, but
> even that is a bit sketchy: neda-nedis (shaved head-m/f) probably
> refers to Buddhists of some sort, but no sect is ever identified.
> And of course the Panca Sakha (Oriya Vaisnavas) in Puri utilize a
> terminology that is most likely Buddhist (referring to Jagannath at
> play in Sunyata/emptiness, for example).
> I have found no record of him encountering Jains per se, though it
> would seem probable given the ostensible path of his pilgrimage
> south, then up the west coast, though it should be noted that the
> itinerary for that journey is identical in every way to the itinerary
> taken by Nityananda earlier and reported earlier--so it appears to be
> generic with precious little historical specificity. The one text
> that reports to have been a first hand account by the servant of
> Caitanya during his pilgrimage is nearly certain to be a later
> fabrication, probably late nineteenth century.
> I have seen no record of encounters with Sikhs. Nor do there appear
> to be any contacts with Christians. In this regard it should be
> noted that even had Caitanya taken the pilgrimage outlined in the
> texts, he seemed to be allergic to courts and kings--even
> Prataparudra presented problems for him--though his devotees were
> obviously highly educated and savvy to the ways of the courts (e.g.,
> Rupa, Sanatana, Ramananda Ray, et al.). I'll be happy to supply you
> with further details of the pilgrimages if you desire.
> Sincerely,
> tony
> Tony K. Stewart
> Professor of South Asian Religions & Literatures
> Dept. of Philosophy and Religion
> Campus Box 8103
> North Carolina State University
> Raleigh, NC 27695-8103 USA
> ph. +1.919.515.6335
> email <tony_stewart at>
>> From: Horacio Francisco Arganis Juarez <arganis at TODITO.COM>
>> Date: February 11, 2007 8:48:21 AM EST
>> To: INDOLOGY at
>> Subject: Search for ?
>> Reply-To: Indology <INDOLOGY at>
>> Dear colleagues:
>> I am looking for for you help. Since in the hagiographical texts of
>> Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, it is said that he had encounters with
>> scholars from all sects in his trips for the south and north India,
>> where are register of Muslims, Buddhists, Jains, Sankarites, Sikhs,
>> etc. My search is, if are there some registration about possible
>> contacts of Chaitanya with Christian? Because it is supposed that
>> these were present in Madras and in the capital of the Akbar in
>> India in those days. Thank you.
>> Horacio Francisco Arganis-Juárez M.A.
>> IEFAC, IBCH and U A de C.
>> ___________________________________________________________________
>> Sube tus fotos más divertidas a
> ___________________________________________________________________
> Sube tus fotos más divertidas a

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