Fwd: Caitanya

Horacio Francisco Arganis Juarez arganis at TODITO.COM
Sun Feb 11 22:58:24 UTC 2007

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
-----Mensaje Original-----
Desde: Tony K. Stewart [mailto:tony_stewart at ncsu.edu]
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 

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. 


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 ncsu.edu> 

> From: Horacio Francisco Arganis Juarez <arganis at TODITO.COM> 
> Date: February 11, 2007 8:48:21 AM EST 
> To: INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk 
> Subject: Search for ? 
> Reply-To: Indology <INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk> 
> 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. 
> ___________________________________________________________________ 
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