06/05/17 0 Comment
Biography Swami Abhedananda (2 October 1866 – 8 September 1939), born Kaliprasad Chandra was a direct disciple of the 19th century mystic Ramakrishna Paramahansa and…
All over the world the glories of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu are sung. However, without Sri Advaita Acharya Prabhu, also known as Gaur Ana Thakur, He who brought Gaura to this world, there would be no Mahaprabhu.
Sri Advaita Acharya was the first among the associates of Lord Chaitanya and He appeared on our earth some 50 &‐ 60 years before Sri Chaitanya’s own advent. Sri Advaita Acharya is recognized as a combined incarnation or expansion of Sri Maha Vishnu and Sri Sadashiva, Lord Shiva in Golok dham.
In Chaitanya Charitamrita, Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami quotes the following evidence from the diary of Swarupa Damodar to describe the ontological principle of Advaita Acharya:
maha-vishnur jagat-karta mayaya yah srijaty adah
tasyavatara evayam advaitacarya ishvarah
advaitam harinadvaitad acaryam bhakti-shasanat
bhaktavataram isham tam advaitacaryam ashraye
Maha Vishnu is the master of the universe, which He creates through his power of Maya. Advaita Acharya is the incarnation of this form of the Supreme Lord. He is known as Advaita because he is none other than Hari, as Acharya because he is the preceptor of devotion. I take shelter of the Supreme Lord Advaita Acharya who is the Incarnation of a Devotee.
When Sri Advaita Acharya manifested in this world, Srila Madhavendra Puri, Sri Ishwar Puri, Sri Sachi Mata and Sri Jagannath Mishra also made their appearances.
Sri Advaita Acharya was a disciple of Srila Madhavendra Puri and forms one of the main figures amongst the Pancatattva – Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Prabhu Nityananda, Sri Advaita, Gadadhar pandit and Srivasa.
In his latter years Advaita Acharya became increasingly saddened by the pursuit of materialistic goals that, he believed, lead to a dysfunctional, unhappy society and concluded that the only solution was to offer prayers, begging his Supreme Lord Krishna to come as an Avatar and attract people back to the joy of the spiritual life. Advaita Acharya is said to have prayed for several months, crying out and worshipping him in the form of his Shaligram Shila with sacred Tulasi leaves and Ganges water. At the end of thirteen months during an eclipse of the full moon, his prayers were answered when Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was born.
He is known to have been a close friend of both Chaitanya and Nityananda in their mission of spreading the Hare Krishna mantra. Advaita Acharya is said to have told Chaitanya “Wherever you are is Vrindavan.” He is considered a combined incarnation (Avatar) of both Maha Vishnu and SadaShiva (Sadashiva is Vishnu tattva & origin of Lord Shiva) within the Gaudiya tradition.
On the day marking his birth members hold a celebration in his honour and read and discuss stories of his life.
Advaita Acharya appeared in fifteenth century Bengal, India, as a teacher of Krishna consciousness. He is frequently mentioned in the biography of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Chaitanya Charitamrita, as an intimate associate of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and as an avatar of Krishna.
Chaitanya Charitamrita relates how Advaita Acharya was so pained to see the degraded condition of the people in Kali Yuga, the Age of Quarrel, that He fervently prayed for Krishna Himself to descend and remedy the situation. Sri Advaita worshiped Krishna on the banks of the Ganges with Ganges water and Tulasi leaves, crying out and begging for the Lord to come save the suffering souls. In response to Sri Adwaita Acharya’s devotion and compassion, Krishna decided to appear, in the form of His own devotee—Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Advaita Acharya was the first among Mahaprabhu’s associates to appear within the material world.
Some sixty years prior to Mahaprabhu’s own advent, Advaita Acharya had already begun chanting Krishna’s names in the streets with devotees and discussing scriptures on devotional service to Krishna.
On the seventh day of the bright fortnight of the month of Magh, the great ocean of ecstasy swelled to its limits, being forcibly attracted by the moon of Advaita, Who appeared from the womb of Sri Nabhadevi as the moon appears in the autumn sky. His father, Sri Kuvera, Pandit floated in that ocean of joy. In great happiness gave many gifts in charity to the brahmanas (who voluntarily accept vows of poverty). Very quietly he approached the maternity room to get a glimpse of his newborn son. Then his own face began to shine by the reflected light of that moon-like personage.
The residents of Nabagram came running to see the child. Everyone remarked that they had never seen such a beautiful baby. What a pious activities his father must have been performed to get such a jewel of a son, and that in his old age. Thus Ghanasyama sings about this occasion. The child was named Mangal and his other name was Kamalaksa.
Advaita Acarya is the combined incarnation of Maha Visnu and Sadaisiva (who resides in Goloka). His two consorts, Sita and Sri are manifestations of Yoga Maya. Once when Advaita performed worship, whatever gods and demigods He used to meditate upon He saw all gathered at Lord Caitanya’s lotus feet, offering prayers. Raising up his two hands, Advaita exclaimed in great ecstasy, “Today all the days of my life have produced a successful result, as all my desires have been fulfilled. My birth and activities have finally born fruit. I have directly perceived Your two lotus feet, which are proclaimed throughout the four Vedas but are unattainable thereby. Now, by Your causeless mercy, You have revealed Yourself to Me.
“Mahaprabhu replied, “Acarya, now you should perform My worship.” First Advaita Acarya washed the Lord’s two lotus feet with water scented by flower petals and then with water scented with sandalwood. Then He placed on His lotus feet Tulasi manjari dipped in sandalwood paste along with arghya – an auspicious offering of rice, durbagrass, yogurt etc.
Advaita Acharya could be considered the efficient cause of both Lord Chaitanya’s appearance and disappearance. Here is a Shrimad Bhagavatam verse quoted in the Chaitanya Charitamrita in explaining the effect of Shri Advaita’s prayers: “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.” The Cc explains that verse as follows: “The essence of the meaning of this verse is that Lord Krsna appears in all His innumerable eternal forms because of the desires of His pure devotees.” The devotees are dearer to Krishna than his own heart!