Concept

Nityananda

Résumé
Nityānanda (born in Ekachakra, Bengal Sultane, present day in Birbhum district of West Bengal 1474), also called Nitai, was a primary religious figure within the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition of Bengal. Nitai was Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's friend and disciple. They are often mentioned together as Gaura-Nitai (Gaura, "golden one", referring to Chaitanya, Nitai being a shortened form of Nityānanda Rama) or Nimai-Nitai (Nimai being another name of Chaitanya). Followers often refer to Nityānanda as "Sri Nityananda", "Prabhu Nityananda" or "Nityananda Rama". According to Gaudiya-Vaishnava tradition, Nityānanda is an incarnation of Balarama, with Chaitanya being his eternal brother and friend, Krishna. He is considered the "most merciful" incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (a term popularised by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami). Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati writes: "Nityananda is the Primary Manifestive Constituent of the Divinity. Nityananda alone possesses the distinctive function of the guru. In Nityananda, the function is embodied. Nityananda is the Primary Manifestive Constituent of the Divinity. Nityananda alone possesses the distinctive function of the guru. In Nityananda, the function is embodied. Nityananda is the servant-God." Nityānanda was born to a religious Bengali Brahmin, known as Pandit Hadai, and his wife, Padmavati, in Ekachakra around the year 1474. His devotion and great talent for singing Vaishnava hymns (bhajan) were apparent from a very early age. In his youth, he generally played the part of Lakshman, Rama's younger brother, in dramatic re-enactments of Lord Rama's pastimes, along with the other boys of Ekachakra. At the age of thirteen, Nitai left home with a travelling renunciate (sannyasi) known as Lakshmipati Tirtha. Nityānanda's father, Hadai Pandit, offered Lakshmipati anything he wished as a gift, who replied that he was in need of someone to assist him in his travels to the holy places, and that Nityānanda would be perfect for the job. As he had given his word, Hadai agreed, and Nitai joined him in his travels.
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