Published On: Mon, Feb 14th, 2022

Discover Lord Nityananda’s Date of Birth


Excerpt from The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal

In this article, we intend to ascertain the exact year of Lord Nityananda’s birth. Lord Nityananda was none other than Lord Balarama who had appeared to assist Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (who was Krishna Himself) in manifesting His magnanimous sankirtana pastimes. Though it has been well established that Lord Nityananda had appeared in the village of Ekachakra situated in the Birbhum district of West Bengal and that He was born on a trayodashi (thirteenth day of the Lunar fortnight), yet the exact date or even the year of His birth remains unconfirmed till this day. After examining the subject in detail, we have narrowed it down to two possible outcomes based upon the information contained in bonafide texts. If one goes by the valuable information presented in Sri Chaitanya Bhagavata and Bhakti Ratnakara, Lord Nityananda’s year of birth is ascertained to be 1478 AD (or the year 1399 of Saka era). On the other hand, the information provided in ancient texts like Advaita Prakash and books by some other authors infers that Lord Nityananda was born in 1474 AD ( year 1395 of the Saka era). We shall address both of these scenarios below in detail.

Scenario 1 : Lord Nityananda’s year of birth is 1478 AD (year 1399 of Saka era)

Sri Chaitanya Bhagavata, composed by Srila Vrindavana das Thakura, the dear disciple of Lord Nityananda, is deemed to be one of the most authoritative and bonafide Gaudiya Vaishnava literatures. Sri Chaitanya Bhagavata confirms that Lord Nityananda had stayed in His home for twelve years after which he had left for pilgrimage. During His pilgrimage, He traveled widely for twenty years. Eventually, He met with Lord Chaitanya at Nabadwip.

Henomate Dvadasa vatsara thhaki ghare
Nityananda chalilena tirtha karibare
Tirtha-yatra karilen Bingsati vatsara
tabe seshe ailena Chaitanya gochara
(Chaitanya Bhagavata, adi, 9.100-101)

Lord Nityananda remained at home for twelve years, continuously manifesting such (wonderful) pastimes. Thereafter He left on pilgrimage. He traveled to different places of pilgrimage for twenty years. Then, at last, He met with Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Sri Bhakti Ratnakara, composed by Sri Narahari Chakravarti, also supports the above narrative. The Bhakti Ratnakara states –

Nityananda baraiya sabara piriti
Dvadasha vatsara Grihe karilena sthhiti
Bingsati vatsara kaila Tirtha paryatana
Yatha ye vilasa taha ke karu varnana
(Bhakti Ratnakara)

Lord Nityananda stayed at home for twelve years and thereby intensified everyone’s love for Him.

Thereafter, He traveled on pilgrimage for twelve years. Who can possibly describe the innumerable places he visited and the pastimes He exhibited during this time?

Hence, proceeding with this line of evidence, one gathers that Lord Nityananda stayed in His hometown for twelve years. Thereafter, He went on an extensive pilgrimage for twenty more years before eventually meeting with Lord Chaitanya. Therefore, it can be inferred that Lord Nityananda was thirty-two years of age when He met with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

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Also, it is well known that Sri Chaitanya had accepted His sannyasa (renounced order of life) shortly after meeting with Lord Nityananda. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was twenty-four years of age at that time when He had accepted the renounced order. Also, that Sri Chaitanya was born in the year 1407 Shaka era (1486 AD) is a well-established fact. We are presenting relevant evidence from Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita that verifies the same.

chaudda-shata saath sake janmera pramana
chaudda-shata panchanne haila antardhana
(Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi, 13.9)

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in this world in the year 1407 of the Saka era (1486 AD) and He disappeared from this world in the 1455 year of the Saka era (1534 AD).

Again, the Chaitanya Charitamrita confirms –
chobbisa vatsara seshe yei magha masha
tara sukla-pakshe prabhu karila sannyasa
(Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya, 1.16)

At the end of His twenty-fourth year, in the month of Magha, during the fortnight of the waxing moon, Lord Chaitanya accepted sannyasa (the renounced order of life).

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