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An idol of Lord Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu

Gauranga is a term popularized by the Hare Krishna movement in the 1970s. It is derived from Sanskrit gaurāṅga (Devanagari गौराङ्ग) "having a white or yellowish body", a bahuvrihi compound from gaura "white, yellowish, reddish" and aṅga "limb, member; the body".

Gaurāṅga is a name of Krishna in Puranic literature, and in Gaudiya Vaishnavism in particular a name of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (considered an incarnation of Krishna[1]).

In Vaishnavism[edit]

The deity of shadabhuja gauranga to commemorate Chaitanya Mahaprabhu manifesting as Vishnu at the Ganga mata math in Puri

Within Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition it is taken to refer to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's golden skin complexion. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in Mayapur, West Bengal, in 1486. His activities and teachings are described in detail in the books "Teachings of Lord Caitanya compiled by His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada,Founder Acharya of ISKCON" , "Chaitanya Mangal by Shrila Locan Das Thakur" , "Chaitanya Bhagwat by Shrila Vrindavan Das Thakur and the multi-volume "Chaitanya Charitamrita" of Shrila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami.

He is the Supreme Lord, Krishna Himself, who took piety on the fallen souls of Kali-Yuga and appeared by his causeless mercy to deliver them by spreading the Yuga-Dharma or the Religion for the Current age,Kali(The age of great unrest, hypocrisy, argument and disagreement) - The Nama-Sankirtan(the congregational chanting of the Holy-names of the Lord) the 16 syllable maha-mantra :

               Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
               Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
               Hare Rāma Hare Rāma
               Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

as the only means to achieve perfection of human life in this age very easily.He distributed the highest thing i.e. the love of God to everyone without seeing any qualification,color,cast,creed or nationality.Such was the extraordinary character of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

He came as a devotee of the Lord to teach the conditioned souls how to discharge devotional service properly.The master is teaching the servant by his own example.Therefore, the path chalked out by Lord Chaitanya is taken as the most perfect by all the acharyas(the learned authorities in devotional line).Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, the spiritual master of A.C.Bhativedanta Swami Prabhupada has sung: Śrī-kṛṣṇa-Caitanya rādhā-kṛṣṇa nahe anya(Lord Shri Krishna Caitanya is non-different from Radha-Krishna) - as He Lord Chaitanya is Krishna himself in the mood of his best devotee - Shrimati Radharani - who excels everyone in her service,love and devotion to the Lord.

His principle teachings are that the soul or the living entity is the eternal servant of Lord Krishna and it can obtain true happiness only by serving him with love and devotion and that the chanting of the holy names of the Lord is the only means of spiritual realization in this age.

Hare Krishna movement[edit]

Within ISKCON, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada propagated that whoever hears, reads, or speaks the name gaurāṅga is blessed with fortune and happiness due to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's extraordinary saintly nature.[2]

A Gauranga installation on a railway bridge in Leicester

Stickers bearing the word Gouranga or stating "Call out Gouranga and be happy!" began appearing on bridges over motorways and railways in Scotland, the North of England and Wales from the mid-nineties onwards. Stickers and fridge magnets with the phrase have also been handed out by Hare Krishna monks at music festivals throughout the UK, such as Glastonbury and Download.

Gauranga in popular culture[edit]

The song "Twydale's Lament" from the album Achtung Bono by Half Man Half Biscuit references this occurrence, with the lyrics "Gauranga Gauranga, yes I'll be happy, when you've been arrested for defacing the bridge."

The word is involved in one of the many Easter eggs in the first of the Grand Theft Auto video game series. The game displays the text "GOURANGA!" whenever the player runs over a complete group of Hare Krishnas, who are occasionally featured as pedestrians. "GOURANGA" is also the name the player has to enter in Grand Theft Auto 2 to enable the cheat mode. Additionally, in the online GTA IV mode, the message "Player X Gouranga'd Player Y" appears occasionally when a player is killed by running over with a vehicle.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ see commentary by Bhagvant Swami Prabhupada Archived 2007-02-08 at the Wayback Machine. on Bhagavata Purana 11.5.32: Gauranga is a-krishna "not black" = gaura or hari "bright/golden", a "chromatic complement", as it were, that is also encountered in the hare krishna mantra
  2. ^ "O infallible and most famous person, whose name, when chanted, spreads all good fortune!" from BhaP 8.17.8 Archived 2007-10-09 at the Wayback Machine.. "In this connection that the holy names of Lord Krishna and Gaurasundara are both identical with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore one should not consider one name to be more potent than the other." A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada from Chaitanya Charitamrita purport, Adi-Lila, Chapter 8, Text 31. ISBN 0-947259-06-6.

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