From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
||This article contains Indic text. Without
proper rendering support, you may see question marks or boxes, misplaced vowels or
missing conjuncts instead of Indic text.
A Gouranga installation on a railway bridge in Leicester
Gouranga 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 compund from
gaura "white, yellowish, reddish"
and aṅga "limb, member; the body".
Gaurāṅga is a name of Krishna in Puranic literature, and in
Vaishnavism in particular a name of Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu (considered a reincarnation of Krishna).
Within Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition it is taken to
refer to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's golden skin
complexion. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was born in Mayapur, West Bengal, in 1486. His activities and teachings
are described in detail in the book "Teachings of Lord Caitanya"
and the multi-volume Chaitanya Charitamrita.
The term predates Caitanya as an epithet of incarnations of Vishnu-Krishna, appearing in various Vaishna Puranas, for
example in the Agni
Purana (before 1100 CE),
- prasantātma lambakanṭhas / gaurāṅgas ca
- "the supreme Self, long-necked
/ and golden-limbed, surrounded by sages"
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
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.
The song "Twydale's Lament" from the album Achtung Bono by Half
Man Half Biscuit references this occurrence, with the lyrics
"Gouranga Gouranga, yes I'll be happy, when you've been arrested
for defacing the bridge."
see commentary by Bhagvant Swami
Prabhupada 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
"O infallible and most famous person, whose name, when chanted,
spreads all good fortune!" from BhaP 8.17.8. "It should be noted 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.