This issue of Back to Godhead coincides with the annual Gaura Purnima festival, honoring the appearance five hundred years ago of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the incarnation of Lord Krsna for this age. The Vedic scriptures tell us that God regularly descends to reveal the most effective means to attain spiritual perfection in each age. As predicted in the Vedas, Lord Caitanya appeared in Bengal and promoted the congregational chanting of God's names, especially as found in the great mantra: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Two articles in this issue deal specifically with Lord Caitanya and His followers. In "A Meeting in Varanasi," veteran BTG author Mathuresa Dasa presents a short biography of Lord Caitanya in the context of the Lord's historic meeting with Prakasananda Sarasvati, a prominent follower of the philosophy of impersonalism. And in "Ganga Safari," Mahamaya Devi Dasi, an American-born devotee living in India, tells of a pilgrimage down the Ganges to out-of-the-way holy places associated with Lord Caitanya and His followers.
We hope these articles will increase your appreciation for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, known as the most merciful incarnation of the Lord.
• To help all people discern reality from illusion, spirit from matter, the eternal from the temporary.
• To expose the faults of materialism.
• To offer guidance in the Vedic techniques of spiritual life.
• To preserve and spread the Vedic culture.
• To celebrate the chanting of the holy names of God as taught by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
• To help every living being remember and serve Sri Krsna, the Personality of Godhead.