Subject: re: Sri Advaita Acarya avirbhava tithi (sacred appearance day of Sri Advaita acarya)
Saturday, February 1, 2020 [Mayapura, West Bengal, India time]
Sri Advaita acarya
Srila Prabhupada glorifies Sri Advaita acarya
compiled by Yasoda nandana dasa
When Advaita Ācārya heard this statement from His five-year-old son Acyutānanda, He felt great satisfaction because of his conclusive judgment.
Commenting on verses 13 through 17, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura gives an extensive description of the descendants of Advaita Ācārya. The Caitanya-bhāgavata, Antya-khaṇḍa, Chapter One, states that Acyutānanda was the eldest son of Advaita Ācārya. The Sanskrit book Advaita-carita states, “Advaita Ācārya Prabhu had three sons, named Acyuta, Kṛṣṇa Miśra and Gopāla dāsa, all born of the womb of His wife, Sītādevī, who were devotees of Lord Caitanya. Advaita Ācārya also had three more sons, whose names were Balarāma, Svarūpa and Jagadīśa. Thus there were six sons of Advaita Ācārya.” Among the six sons, three were strict followers of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and of these three, Acyutānanda was the eldest.
Advaita Prabhu married in the beginning of the fifteenth century śakābda (late fifteenth century A.D.). When Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted to visit the village of Rāmakeli while going from Jagannātha Purī to Vṛndāvana during the śakābda years 1433 and 1434 (A.D. 1512 and 1513), Acyutānanda was only five years old. The Caitanya-bhāgavata, Antya-khaṇḍa, Fourth Chapter, describes Acyutānanda at that time as pañca-varṣa vayasa madhura digambara, “only five years old and standing naked.” Therefore, it is to be concluded that Acyutānanda was born sometime in the year 1428 (A.D. 1507). Before the birth of Acyutānanda, Advaita Prabhu’s wife, Sītādevī, came to see Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu at His birth. Thus, it is not impossible that she had the other three sons by Advaita within the twenty-one years between 1407 and 1428 śakābda (A.D. 1486 and 1507). In an unauthorized book of the name Sītādvaita-carita, published in Bengali in the unauthorized newspaper Nityānanda-dāyinī in 1792 śakābda (A.D. 1871), it is mentioned that Acyutānanda was a class friend of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. According to Caitanya-bhāgavata, this statement is not at all valid. When Caitanya Mahāprabhu accepted the renounced order of sannyāsa, He came to the house of Advaita Prabhu at Śāntipura in the year 1431 śakābda (A.D. 1510). At that time, as stated in Caitanya-bhāgavata, Antya-khaṇḍa, Chapter One, Acyutānanda was only three years old. The Caitanya-bhāgavata further states that the naked child, the son of Advaita Prabhu, immediately came and fell down at the lotus feet of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The Lord immediately took him on His lap, although he was not very clean, having dust all over his body. Lord Caitanya said, “My dear Acyuta, Advaita Ācārya is My father, and thus we are brothers.
Before Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu exhibited His spiritual forms during His residence at Navadvīpa, He asked Śrī Rāma Paṇḍita, Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura’s brother, to go to Śāntipura and bring back Advaita Ācārya. Acyutānanda joined his father at that time. It is said, advaitera tanaya ‘acyutānanda’ nāma parama-bālaka, seho kānde avirāma. Acyutānanda also joined in crying in transcendental bliss. Again, when Lord Caitanya beat Advaita Ācārya for explaining Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from an impersonalist viewpoint opposed to the principles of bhakti-yoga, Acyutānanda was also present. Therefore, all these incidents must have occurred only two or three years before Lord Caitanya accepted the sannyāsa order. In the Caitanya-bhāgavata, Antya-khaṇḍa, Chapter One, it is stated that Acyutānanda, the son of Advaita Ācārya, offered his obeisances to the Lord. Therefore, it should be concluded that from the very beginning of his life Acyutānanda was a great devotee of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
There is no information that Acyutānanda ever married, but he is described as the biggest branch of the Advaita Ācārya family. From a book named Śākhā-nirṇayāmṛta it is understood that Acyutānanda was a disciple of Gadādhara and that he took shelter of Lord Caitanya in Jagannātha Purī and engaged in devotional service. The Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Ādi-līlā, Chapter Ten, states that Acyutānanda, the son of Advaita Ācārya, lived in Jagannātha Purī, taking shelter of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Gadādhara Paṇḍita, in the last years of his life, also lived with Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Jagannātha Purī. There is no doubt, therefore, that Acyutānanda was a disciple of Paṇḍita Gadādhara. In the accounts of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s dancing in front of the car during the Ratha-yātrā festival, Acyutānanda’s name is to be found many times. It is stated that in the party of Advaita Ācārya from Śāntipura, Acyutānanda was dancing and others were singing. At that time the boy was only six years old. The Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, compiled by Śrī Kavi-karṇapūra, has described Acyutānanda as a disciple of Gadādhara Paṇḍita and a great and dear devotee of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. According to the opinion of some, he was an incarnation of Kārttikeya, the son of Lord Śiva, and according to others he was formerly the gopī named Acyutā. The Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā has supported both these opinions. Another book, Narottama-vilāsa, compiled by Śrī Narahari dāsa, mentions Acyutānanda’s presence during the festival at Khetari. According to Śrī Narahari dāsa, during the last days of his life Acyutānanda stayed in his house at Śāntipura, but during the presence of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu he lived at Jagannātha Purī with Gadādhara Paṇḍita.
Of the six sons of Advaita Ācārya, three—Acyutānanda, Kṛṣṇa Miśra and Gopāla dāsa—lived faithfully in the service of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Since Acyutānanda did not accept a wife, he had no issue. The second son of Advaita Ācārya, Kṛṣṇa Miśra, had two sons, Raghunātha Cakravartī and Dola-govinda. The descendants of Raghunātha still live in Śāntipura in the neighborhoods of Madana-gopāla-pāḍa, Gaṇakara, Mṛjāpura and Kumārakhāli. Dola-govinda had three sons, namely, Cāṅda, Kandarpa and Gopīnātha. The descendants of Kandarpa live in Maldah in the village Jikābāḍī. Gopīnātha had three sons, Śrīvallabha, Prāṇavallabha and Keśava. The descendants of Śrīvallabha live in the villages known as Maśiyāḍārā (Mahiṣaḍerā), Dāmukadiyā and Caṇḍīpura. There is a genealogical table for the family of Śrī Vallabha beginning from his eldest son, Gaṅgā-nārāyaṇa. The descendants of Śrī Vallabha’s youngest son, Rāmagopāla, still live in Dāmukadiyā, Caṇḍīpura, Śolamāri, and so on. The descendants of Prāṇavallabha and Keśava live in Uthalī. The son of Prāṇavallabha was Ratneśvara, and his son was Kṛṣṇarāma, whose youngest son was Lakṣmī-nārāyaṇa. His son was Navakiśora, and Navakiśora’s second son was Rāmamohana, whose eldest son was Jagabandhu and whose third son, Vīracandra, accepted the sannyāsa order and established a Deity of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu in Katwa. These two sons of Rāmamohana were known as Baḍa Prabhu and Choṭa Prabhu, and they inaugurated the circumambulation of Navadvīpa-dhāma. One may refer to the Vaiṣṇava-mañjuṣā for the complete genealogical table of Advaita Prabhu in the line of Kṛṣṇa Miśra. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 12: The Expansions of Advaita Acarya and Gadadhara Pandita : Adi 12.17
At first all the followers of Advaita Ācārya shared a single opinion. But later they followed two different opinions, as ordained by providence.
The words daivera kāraṇa indicate that by dint of providence, or by God’s will, the followers of Advaita Ācārya divided into two parties. Such disagreement among the disciples of one ācārya is also found among the members of the Gauḍīya Maṭha. In the beginning, during the presence of Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Paramahaṁsa Parivrājakācārya Aṣṭottara-śata Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda, all the disciples worked in agreement; but just after his disappearance, they disagreed. One party strictly followed the instructions of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, but another group created their own concoction about executing his desires. Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, at the time of his departure, requested all his disciples to form a governing body and conduct missionary activities cooperatively. He did not instruct a particular man to become the next ācārya. But just after his passing away, his leading secretaries made plans, without authority, to occupy the post of ācārya, and they split into two factions over who the next ācārya would be. Consequently, both factions were asāra, or useless, because they had no authority, having disobeyed the order of the spiritual master. Despite the spiritual master’s order to form a governing body and execute the missionary activities of the Gauḍīya Maṭha, the two unauthorized factions began litigation that is still going on after forty years with no decision.
Therefore, we do not belong to any faction. But because the two parties, busy dividing the material assets of the Gauḍīya Maṭha institution, stopped the preaching work, we took up the mission of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura and Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura to preach the cult of Caitanya Mahāprabhu all over the world, under the protection of all the predecessor ācāryas, and we find that our humble attempt has been successful. We followed the principles especially explained by Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura in his commentary on the Bhagavad-gītā verse vyavasāyātmikā buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana. According to this instruction of Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, it is the duty of a disciple to follow strictly the orders of his spiritual master. The secret of success in advancement in spiritual life is the firm faith of the disciple in the orders of his spiritual master. The Vedas confirm this
yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
To one who has staunch faith in the words of the spiritual master and the words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the secret of success in Vedic knowledge is revealed.” The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is being propagated according to this principle, and therefore our preaching work is going on successfully, in spite of the many impediments offered by antagonistic demons, because we are getting positive help from our previous ācāryas. One must judge every action by its result. The members of the self-appointed ācārya’s party who occupied the property of the Gauḍīya Maṭha are satisfied, but they could make no progress in preaching. Therefore by the result of their actions one should know that they are asāra, or useless, whereas the success of the ISKCON party, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, which strictly follows guru and Gaurāṅga, is increasing daily all over the world. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura wanted to print as many books as possible and distribute them all over the world. We have tried our best in this connection, and we are getting results beyond our expectations.
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 12: The Expansions of Advaita Acarya and Gadadhara Pandita : Adi 12.8
The followers of Śrī Advaita Prabhu were of two kinds. Some were real followers, and the others were false. Rejecting the false followers, I offer my respectful obeisances to Śrī Advaita Ācārya’s real followers, whose life and soul was Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 12: The Expansions of Advaita Acarya and Gadadhara Pandita : Adi 12.1‘
bhakta-avatāra’ tāṅra ācārya-gosani
ei tina tattva sabe prabhu kari’gai
Śrī Advaita Ācārya is Lord Caitanya’s incarnation as a devotee. Therefore, these three tattvas [Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Nityānanda Prabhu and Advaita Gosāñi] are the predominators, or masters. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 7: Lord Caitanya in Five Features : Adi 7.13
bhakti-upadeśa vinu tāṅra nāhi karya
ataeva nāma haila ‘advaita ācārya
Since He has no other occupation than to teach devotional service, His name is Advaita Ācārya. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 6: The Glories of Sri Advaita Acarya : Adi 6.29
mādhava-īśvara-purī, śacī jagannatha
advaita ācārya prakaṭa hailā sei satha
Mādhavendra Purī, Īśvara Purī, Śrīmatī Śacīmātā and Śrīla Jagannātha Miśra all appeared with Śrī Advaita Ācārya.
Whenever the Supreme Personality of Godhead descends in His human form, He sends ahead all His devotees, who act as His father, teacher and associates in many roles. Such personalities appear before the descent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Before the appearance of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu, there appeared His devotees like Śrī Mādhavendra Purī; His spiritual master, Śrī Īśvara Purī; His mother, Śrīmatī Śacīdevī; His father, Śrī Jagannātha Miśra; and Śrī Advaita Ācārya. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 3: The External Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance : Adi 3.95
Advaita Ācārya having appeared, He found the world devoid of devotional service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa because people were engrossed in material affairs
Adi Lila 3.96
Everyone was engaged in material enjoyment, whether sinfully or virtuously. No one was interested in the transcendental service of the Lord, which can give total relief from the repetition of birth and death.
Advaita Ācārya saw the entire world to be engaged in activities of material piety and impiety, without a trace of devotional service or Kṛṣṇa consciousness anywhere. The fact is that in this material world there is no scarcity of anything except Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Material necessities are supplied by the mercy of the Supreme Lord. We sometimes feel scarcity because of our mismanagement, but the real problem is that people are out of touch with Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Everyone is engaged in material sense gratification, but people have no plan for making an ultimate solution to their real problems, namely, birth, disease, old age and death. These four material miseries are called bhava-roga, or material diseases. They can be cured only by Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the greatest benediction for human society
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 3: The External Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance : Adi 3.97
Seeing the activities of the world, the Ācārya felt compassion and began to ponder how He could act for the people’s benefit
This sort of serious interest in the welfare of the public makes one a bona fide ācārya. An ācārya does not exploit his followers. Since the ācārya is a confidential servitor of the Lord, his heart is always full of compassion for humanity in its suffering. He knows that all suffering is due to the absence of devotional service to the Lord, and therefore he always tries to find ways to change people’s activities, making them favorable for the attainment of devotion. That is the qualification of an ācārya. Although Śrī Advaita Prabhu Himself was powerful enough to do the work, as a submissive servitor He thought that without the personal appearance of the Lord, no one could improve the fallen condition of society.
In the grim clutches of māyā, the first-class prisoners of this material world wrongly think themselves happy because they are rich, powerful, resourceful and so on. These foolish creatures do not know that they are nothing but play dolls in the hands of material nature and that at any moment material nature’s pitiless intrigues can crush to dust all their plans for godless activities. Such foolish prisoners cannot see that however they improve their position by artificial means, the calamities of repeated birth, death, disease and old age are always beyond the jurisdiction of their control. Foolish as they are, they neglect these major problems of life and busy themselves with false things that cannot help them solve their real problems. They know that they do not want to suffer death or the pangs of disease and old age, but under the influence of the illusory energy, they are grossly negligent and therefore do nothing to solve the problems. This is called māyā. People held in the grip of māyā are thrown into oblivion after death, and as a result of their karma, in the next life they become dogs or gods, although most of them become dogs. To become gods in the next life, they must engage in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; otherwise, they are sure to become dogs or hogs in terms of the laws of nature.
The third-class prisoners, being less materially opulent than the first-class prisoners, endeavor to imitate them, for they also have no information of the real nature of their imprisonment. Thus they also are misled by the illusory material nature. The function of the ācārya, however, is to change the activities of both the first-class and third-class prisoners for their real benefit. This endeavor makes him a very dear devotee of the Lord, who says clearly in the Bhagavad-gītā that no one in human society is dearer to Him than a devotee who constantly engages in His service by finding ways to preach the message of Godhead for the real benefit of the world. The so-called ācāryas of the Age of Kali are more concerned with exploiting the resources of their followers than mitigating their miseries; but Śrī Advaita Prabhu, as an ideal ācārya, was concerned with improving the condition of the world situation.
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 3: The External Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance : Adi 3.98
Advaita Ācārya thought:] “If Śrī Kṛṣṇa were to appear as an incarnation, He Himself could preach devotion by His personal example
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 3: The External Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance : Adi 3.99
In this Age of Kali there is no religion other than the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, but how in this age will the Lord appear as an incarnation.
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 3: The External Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance : Adi 3.100
I shall worship Kṛṣṇa in a purified state of mind. I shall constantly petition Him in humbleness. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 3: The External Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance : Adi 3.101
My name, ‘Advaita,’ will be fitting if I am able to induce Kṛṣṇa to inaugurate the movement of the chanting of the holy name
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 3: The External Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance : Adi 3.102
While He was thinking about how to propitiate Kṛṣṇa by worship, the following verse came to His mind
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 3: The External Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance : Adi 3.103
jalasya culukena vā
vikrīṇīte svam ātmānaṁ
Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is very affectionate toward His devotees, sells Himself to a devotee who offers Him merely a tulasī leaf and a palmful of water. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 3: The External Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance : Adi 3.104
This is a verse from the Gautamīya-tantra.
Advaita Ācārya considered the meaning of the verse in this way: Not finding any way to repay the debt He owes to one who offers Him a tulasī leaf and water, Lord Kṛṣṇa thinks, “There is no wealth in My possession that is equal to a tulasī leaf and water
Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 3: The External Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance : Adi 3.105-106
Thus the Lord liquidates the debt by offering Himself to the devotee. Considering this, the Ācārya began worshiping the Lord.
Through devotional service one can easily please Lord Kṛṣṇa with a leaf of the tulasī plant and a little water. As the Lord says in the Bhagavad-gītā (9.26), a leaf, a flower, a fruit or some water (patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam), when offered with devotion, very much pleases Him. He universally accepts the services of His devotees. Even the poorest of devotees in any part of the world can secure a small flower, fruit or leaf and a little water, and if these offerings, and especially tulasī leaves and Ganges water, are offered to Kṛṣṇa with devotion, He is very satisfied. It is said that Kṛṣṇa is so pleased by such devotional service that He offers Himself to His devotee in exchange for it. Śrīla Advaita Ācārya knew this fact, and therefore He decided to call for the Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa to descend by worshiping the Lord with tulasī leaves and the water of the Ganges
Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 3: The External Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance : Adi 3.107
Thinking of the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, He constantly offered tulasī buds in water from the Ganges
Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 3: The External Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance : Adi 3.108
He appealed to Śrī Kṛṣṇa with loud calls and thus made it possible for Kṛṣṇa to appear
Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 3: The External Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance : Adi 3.109
Therefore, the principal reason for Śrī Caitanya’s descent is this appeal by Advaita Ācārya. The Lord, the protector of religion, appears by the desire of His devotee
Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 3: The External Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance : Adi 3.110
O my Lord, You always dwell in the vision and hearing of Your pure devotees. You also live in their lotuslike hearts, which are purified by devotional service. O my Lord, who are glorified by exalted prayers, You show special favor to Your devotees by manifesting Yourself in the eternal forms in which they welcome You.
Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 3: The External Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance : Adi 3.111
The essence of the meaning of this verse is that Lord Kṛṣṇa appears in all His innumerable eternal forms because of the desires of His pure devotees
Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 3: The External Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance : Adi 3.112
Thus I have surely determined the meaning of the fourth verse. Lord Gaurāṅga [Lord Caitanya] appeared as an incarnation to preach unalloyed love of God
Edition : Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 3: The External Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s