Skip to main content


Caitanya (Skt.).
1. In Hinduism, the spiritually awakened consciousness; hence among followers of Ramakrishna it is the title of the initiated bhakti-caitanya.

2. A devotee of Kṛṣṇa, and source of the Caitanya or Gauḍīya Sampradaya (movement), who lived c.1485–1533, and was a major influence on the development of devotion to Kṛṣṇa (Kṛṣṇa-bhakti). In 1510, he was initiated as an ascetic and took the name Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. He rapidly became renowned for his ecstatic devotion, expressed in dance and song, and was believed to be an avatāra of the joint figure of Kṛṣṇa and Rādhā. His ecstatic, even wild, forms of devotion were later thought (by his disciple, Rūpa Gosvāmī) to be a participation in the divine līlā, or play, the source of creativity itself. The so-called ‘Six Gosvāmīs’ were disciples who gave some order and structure to the inspiration which Caitanya left, and which continue to the present, not least in the Hare Krishna (see INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY …) movement.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Caitanya." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . 17 Aug. 2018 <>.

"Caitanya." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . (August 17, 2018).

"Caitanya." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved August 17, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.