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Advaita Saptami – Mahavishnu Avatara Sri Advaita Acharya Appearance

Advaita Acharya’s Combined Form

Today is very super excellent and auspicious as it is the appearance day of Lord Advaita Acharya who is the combined form of Mahavishnu and Sadashiva. How can I speak of His glories? It is not possible. Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, in Chaitanya-charitamrita,  humbly  explained:

advaita-mahimā ananta ke pāre kahite

sei likhi, yei śuni mahājana haite

Acharya-caraṇe mora koṭi namaskāra

ithe kichu aparādha nā labe āmāra

tomāra mahimā--koṭi-samudra agādha

tāhāra iyattā kahi,--e baḍa aparādha

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita (Adi-lila 6. 115-117)

[Who can describe the unlimited glories of Advaita Acharya? I write here as much as I have known from great authorities. I offer my obeisances ten million times to the lotus feet of Sri Advaita Acharya. Please do not take offence at this. Your glories are as fathomless as millions of oceans and seas. Speaking of its measure is a great offence indeed.]

Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami is the direct manifestation of Srimati Radhika's very nearest and dearest sakhi, Kasturi Manjari. He is not an ordinary person. Although he wrote lila-katha (pastimes) of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's and His associates, in a mood of humility, he composed the following verse, ‘advaita-mahimā ananta ke pāre kahite’— How can I glorify Advaita Acharya's pastimes? 

I myself, have only heard from our previous preceptors (acharya), and have taken notes on this, so I can speak something. 

When Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami was preparing to manifest Chaitanya-charitamrita, he very humbly consulted the parikaras (associates) of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He directly met with Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and requested him to share some information about Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, as Raghunatha dasa Gosvami directly had the association with Him. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was one of the nearest and dearest of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and also Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu offered him in the hands of Svarupa Damodara. In this regard, everyone called him Svarupera Raghu. Svarupera raghu means Raghunatha dasa Gosvami belongs to Svarupa Damodara. 

Whatever Svarupa Damodara heard from Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he would speak of that to Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Incidentally, Svarupa Damodara as well as Raya Ramananda were always staying with Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Gambhira. And thus, Svarupa Damodara relayed all of Mahaprabhu's lila-katha to Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, which he recorded in his notes. Furthermore, Svarupa Damodara recorded Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's lila-katha in his own karcha (journal) Svarupera-karcha —   there he recorded Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's daily activities.

So in this way, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami collected most of these records from Svarupa Damodara’s karcha and from Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. And for this reason, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami very humbly said, “I have heard from different acharyas, mahajanas, so I am writing something in this grantha.” Especially Advaita Acharya’s katha. It is very deep and not so easy to explain. As you heard, His name is Advaita, which means non-dual. Non-dual means that He is not different from the Lord. He is the same Lord, Bhagavan; even His pranama-mantra explains:

advaitaṁ hariṇādvaitād

Acharyaṁ bhakti-śaṁsanāt

bhaktāvatāram īśaṁ tam

advaitAcharyam āśraye

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita (Adi-lila 1.13)

[Because He is nondifferent from Hari, the Supreme Lord, He is called Advaita, and because He propagates the cult of devotion, He is called Acharya. He is the Lord and the incarnation of the Lord’s devotee. Therefore I take shelter of Him.]

This means that He is non-different from Sri Hari. Advaita Acharya is non-different from Sri Hari, because of this He is called advaitam, not dvaitam. He is non-dual; He is one. That means the Lord is one, ekam evadvitiyam - He is one without second. However, with His inconceivable potency, achintya-shakti, He manifests many forms. So, Advaita Acharya is non-different from Sri Hari. And He's called acharya. And, what is the meaning of acharya? One who performs bhajana and sadhana and leads an exemplary life to teach his followers— this is an acharya. Achinati means that he is practising bhajana and sadhana, and also showing others by his own example.

Advaita Acharya, though He is bhagavat-tattva, Bhagavan, He is also showing us how to worship the Lord. He is also bhakti-samsat, always discussing bhakti. ‘Bhakti vina ara mukhe anya nai’ — In His mouth, no words come out except hari-katha, bhakti-katha. In this verse, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami very nicely explained: 

eka mahāprabhu, āra prabhu duijana

dui prabhu seve mahāprabhura caraṇa

Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita (Adi-lila 7.14)

[One of Them is Mahаprabhu, and the other two are Prabhus. These two Prabhus serve the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu.]

The meaning is that Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is known as Great Prabhu. And the other two Prabhu's are none other than Nityananda Prabhu and Advaita Acharya. Both worship Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu— but, these three are one. Do you understand this concept? Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Svayam Bhagavan. Who is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu? ‘Antaḥ kṛṣṇaṁ bahir gauraṁ’—  Internally, He is Krishna, and externally, His complexion is called gaura. And gaura means a fresh complexion. Thus, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's fresh complexion is actually Srimati Radhika. And Sri Advaita Acharya is the combined form of Mahavishnu and Sadashiva. In other words, He is both the creator and the destroyer. 

Why Advaita Acharya Become Angry and Wanted to Destroy Everything 

When Advaita Acharya came to Navadvipa-dhama, He noticed that no one was performing bhajana and sadhana, practising pure devotional service to the Lord, nor chanting the pure holy names. He noticed that the so-called brahmanas (highest social class in vedic culture) were not reciting gayatri-mantras, and pandits (priestly class) were not properly following the injunctions of the shastras— the worldly-minded people were drinking liquor, eating meat, fighting with each other and worshipping the demigods. Thus, this made Advaita Acharya very angry, and His anger was felt by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu— who, as Lord Vishnu, was sleeping in Kshira-samudra (the Milk Ocean of Lord Vishnu’s abode). Subsequently, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “I awoke to His wrath as He roared like a lion, thereby I descended to this earth from the transcendental world.”

So, Advaita Acharya is the main reason for Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's descent into this world, who pleaded, "O Prabhu! Please come and re-establish the varnashrama-dharma !"

Worship of Madana-Gopala

Once, after performing shraddha (the honouring and worship of ancestors) for His father, Advaita Acharya departed for Vrindavana. On His way there, He met a very exalted Vaishnava scholar. The association of the Vaishnava made such a deep impression on Him that, upon arriving in Vrindavana, He began to perform parikrama every day. Sometime later, on the banks of the Yamuna River under a banyan tree, now known as Advaita Vata,  where He performed His bhajana and sadhana, Advaita Acharya had a dream where the deity, Madana-Gopala appeared before Him. 

After several days, He found the deity Madana-Gopala and received His darshana. Advaita Acharya did not have a temple, He simply worshipped His deity and performed Vrindavana parikrama every day. 

At that time, Muslims were jealous of Hindus, so they raided and ransacked the temples and deities of Vrindavana. On one particular day, Advaita Acharya returned to His place after performing parikrama to find His place of worship had been destroyed and He could not find His deity. There were flowers scattered everywhere, which had been offered to Thakuraji. Consequently, He was very upset. 

He rushed to search for His Madana-Gopala, but suddenly a divine voice said to Him, “Don't worry, the Muslims could not reach Me because I hid Myself. If you want to worship Me, then look for Me in these flowers.” So, Advaita Acharya brushed aside the flowers with His hands and there He saw His deity, Madana-Gopala, amongst them.

After some time, He decided to return to Navadvipa-dhama because He realised that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Krishna Himself, had appeared in the form of Sacinandana Gaurahari— gauranga-svarupe. He was extremely attached to His Madana-Gopala and decided to take Him along too. But as Advaita Acharya was about to leave Vrindavana, the deity revealed to Him, “I do not wish to leave Vrindavana because I am Thakura of Vrindavana. You should go, but I do not want to leave." 

After hearing this, Advaita Acharya became very upset and thought, “What should I do now?" Then, Thakuraji replied, ‘“Alright, go to Seva-kunja, someone will give you a copy of Myself.” In this way, following His instructions, Advaita Acharya returned the deity to His original place. And the next morning, He went to Seva-kunja, where the local pujari gave Him a beautiful copy of His deity Madana-Gopala.

Pastimes of Nimai and Advaita Acharya

On arrival in Navadvip-dhama, Sri Advaita Acharya settled in Shantipura on the banks of the Ganges. He constructed a small house there and lived with His wife Sita Thakurani. In this way, as a grihastha, He spent his days serving His deity Madana-Gopala. 

A few years later, after Gaurasundara made His divine appearance in Mayapura, Advaita Acharya travelled to see Him. There, he met Jagannatha Mishra and Saci-devi and saw the beautiful Gauracandra as baby Nimai. 

Near Mayapura, Advaita Acharya decided to open a Sanskrit school, as people mostly read in this language then. Nimai's brother Vishvarupa was admitted into that school where he studied Sanskrit, the Vedas, Puranas and Upanishads. 

Nimai is Vishvambhara and Vishvarupa is His elder brother. Sometimes, little Nimai would go to school with His older brother— at the time, He was only two or three years old. Our shastra describes the beauty of Nimai: He had curly hair, a very beautiful complexion (molten gold in colour - tapta-kanchana), and His hands reached below His knees— ajanu-lambita-bhuja

And when Advaita Acharya saw Him, His heart melted as He realised, “O, Krishna has appeared in the form of Sacinandana Gaurahari. How beautiful He is!”

As Krishna, He is dark-faced, but as Gaurasundara, His complexion is golden. Nimai, like all small children, was sometimes covered in mud, but still, Advaita Acharaya saw how beautiful this child was. He is Krishna Himself, hiding His dark complexion beneath the gold.

Sometimes, Nimai would turn to Advaita Acharya, sending him a cute look from the corners of His eyes, as if to say, “Do You know who I am?” Advaita Acharya thought, “You are Nimai. I will catch You. You cannot cheat Me.” Because Nimai is Krishna, His outward activities are the same as Krishna's. He played the flute, took the form of tribhanga-lalita and asked for butter from His mother Sacimata— which really surprised all those around Him. No one could understand that He was Krishna Himself. Consequently, [in this intimate way], Nimai and Advaita Acharya were expressing their moods to each other. This is because Advaita Acharya is the combined form of Sadashiva and Mahavishnu and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the combined form of Radha and Krishna.

So, Vishvarupa studied all of the scriptures and Sanskrit jnana, in fact everything that Advaita Acharya had given him. And what is the essence of knowledge? What does it consist of? There are many forms of knowledge in this world, but krishna-bhakti is the most sublime. If you worship Krishna, your life will become successful. 

Krishna said, “By performing karma, jnana or hard austerities, you cannot reach Me. It is possible only through the practice of devotional service.”

Let me give you an example. Once, a dog found a very old cow bone and thought, “Today I'm going to eat this bone,” and went to a secluded spot by the river where no one could notice him. Have you ever seen a dog run away with a bone and gnaw at it alone? This is what this dog did. 

However, he was noticed by another dog, who came and jumped on the bone and attempted to take it away. Then, four or five other dogs also came and they all began fighting over the bone. As soon as one dog got hold of it, all of the others started chasing that dog. In this way, each of them tried to grab something for themselves. In the end, the last dog left standing tried to eat the bone but he could not as it was very dry and rotten. 

The dog thought, “Why was I chasing this dry, rotten bone all this time? There's nothing inside it at all, no juice and it can't even be chewed.” 

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada explained the meaning behind this that, similarly, the conditioned soul is running after maya, but never obtains anything to relish forever. 

‘Sacimata Blames Advaita Acharya’ Pastime

Vishvarupa realised a similar lesson and decided to leave the family home and accepted sannyasa. When Sacimata heard the news that her son had left, she became very upset and angry with Advaita Acharya. Although she did not say anything to anyone, she possessed a great deal of anger in her heart. Since Advaita Acharya was teaching him about jnana-vairagya (knowledge and renunciation) she considered Him to be the main reason behind her son taking sannyasa, the same reason which ultimately separated Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu from her in later years.

Sacimata believed that Advaita Acharya was not ‘advaita (a unifier)’, rather ‘dvaita (a divider)’. If you recall, Advaita Acharya is actually bhagavat-tattva, He is Mahavishnu and Sadashiva combined in one person— thus, Sacimata committed an offence at His lotus feet. 

For this reason, Sriman Mahaprabhu, who gave mercy to all, did not give mercy to His mother. He said that she had committed an offence against Lord Shiva who had come as Advaita Acharya. Mahaprabhu proclaimed, “I will release all living beings from this world, except those who commit vaishnava-aparadha (an offence at the lotus feet of the Vaishnavas). I will never give them liberation.” 

Everyone asked Him, “Why do You give mercy to everyone except for Saci-devi?” 

He replied, “Even though she is My mother, she has committed an offence at the lotus feet of Mahavishnu, Advaita Acharya.” 

The devotees pleaded with Him, “No, no, please show mercy to Your mother.”

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu responded, “If Advaita Acharya forgives her, then I will also forgive her.” So therefore, Sacimata approached Advaita Acharya and asked Him for forgiveness. 

Except, Advaita Acharya humbly replied: “I do not take any offences from others.”

Then afterwards, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu shed His mercy on His mother Sacimata. The lesson of this pastime is that we should never communicate with anyone who offends Vaishnavas. And if we notice someone who offends a Vaishnava, we should  stay away from them in order to protect our bhakti. A pure Vaishnava never criticises anyone— what to speak of Vaishnavas.

The Calling of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

So again, do you know one of the main reasons why Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in this material world? Because of the calling of Advaita Acharya. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “I was sleeping in Kshira-samudra in the karana (ocean). But You have called Me from there.” It is stated that Krishna was there sleeping. Nara is another name for Advaita Acharya. And what does nara mean? To push and pull. Advaita is nara. Why? Because when Advaita Acharya called Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, He made Krishna’s throne shake. 

He is called Narahari because He shook Krishna as Krishna was sleeping. When someone is sleeping, how do you wake them up? You wake them by pushing and pulling their body. So, Advaita Acharya awoke Krishna by shaking Him, while saying, “You have to wake up now! You have to put on Your clothes, kurta. Without Your kurta You cannot walk anywhere.” One day, Mahaprabhu Himself said, “I was sleeping in the karana and this Advaita Acharya awakened Me. Advaita Acharya told Him, “Wake up, wake up.” And for this reason also, His name is Advaita Acharya.  

And Advaita Acharya was noticing these low activities— how people were marrying each other just like cats and dogs. So, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu manifested in this material world. And what is the biggest reason? Because of the calling of Advaita Acharya. If Advaita had not called Him, perhaps Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would have manifested after several yugas. However, Advaita Acharyapada requested Him to come now. 

As mentioned, during the time of Advaita Acharya, brahmanas were not following dharma and panditas did not know the true meaning of the scriptures. Since they did not know the meaning of the scriptures, they were merely reciting verses like frogs. Do you know what frogs do when it rains? One frog makes a ‘ribbit’ sound, then thousands of them also begin to follow and make that sound. Afterwards, all of the snakes come and eat them one by one. In the same way, brahmanas and panditas spoke on bhagavad-nama, without being able to relish It. They could not speak of relishing the holy names— they could not think of this. They were acting opposite to dharma and were preaching similarly to how frogs make sound in the rain.

In Chaitanya-bhagavata it is written that at that time, people were even marrying cats and dogs to each other. And brahmanas were making a lot of money, mostly by taking from very poor people. They would take their money and drink alcohol. Panditas were interpreting the Bhagavatam by saying, “This should happen, this should happen…” However, they were not giving real bhagavat-katha.  

When Advaita Acharya saw these things, He became very angry and began thinking, “I am Mahavishnu and Sadashiva.” Remember, Advaita Acharya is the combined manifestation of Mahavishnu and Sadashiva— both, combined in one form. And who is Mahavishnu and Sadashiva? Mahavishnu is the maintainer and Sadashiva is the annihilator. So, Advaita Acharya was thinking, “I am maintaining, but, I can also annihilate everything because I am also Sadashiva.” 

What happened as Advaita Acharya was thinking this? Transcendental aerial sounds spoke, “Hey Advaita Acharya please wait. Your Prabhu, Vrajendra-nandana Shyamasundara will come in this world, He will come Himself in this world.” Then, Advaita Acharya’s anger subsided. And He began thinking, “O My Prabhu, when will He come? How many years will it take?” What did He then do? He offered tulasi with Ganga jala (waters of the Ganges). And He offered tulasi-dalaTulasi-dala refers to two tulasi leaves with a manjari in the centre.  

As He offered, He was praying, “O Prabhu, please come very soon, do not wait long. Please come fast, manifest now.” This is because one day of Bhagavan’s transcendental lilas can be many, many years in this material world. For this reason, Advaita Acharya requested, “Please come now, come immediately.” If you offer tulasi-dala and Ganga jala, Bhagavan will be very pleased. Bhakta-vatsalya Bhagavan, the Lord even offers Himself these things. This is why we offer water to tulasi everyday, because Bhagavan is pleased by this.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada would say that those panditas were speaking something from scriptures, but leaving out the real commentary or the real truth behind them. They would go from artha to anartha (unwanted things). Artha means truth/essence. And the panditas went from artha to anartha. Through their many interpretations, what they spoke became an anartha or not true. This is why Advaita Acharya became so upset, because these brahmanas and panditas did not know the real meaning of the scriptures. They were merely giving a superficial interpretation, speaking just like a frog who makes noise in the rain. After witnessing this, Advaita Acharya offered tulasi-dala and Ganga jala to Bhagavan and asked, “Come very quickly. Do not delay.” Upon hearing the prayer of Advaita Acharya, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu quickly manifested in this material world. This is because the Lord responds to requests from His very high bhaktas (devotees of the Lord).  

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura said that the higher a shuddha Vaishnava is, the more Bhagavan will accept his offerings. Bhagavan will not directly accept our offerings. However, He will accept them from shuddha-bhaktas. For this reason, the Lord listened to Advaita Acharya’s prayers, and descended from Goloka Vrindavana to this material world in the form of Sacinandana Gaurahari. Our scriptures and acharyas have given us several reasons to explain Gauranga’s manifestation in this material world, and the calling to Krishna by Advaita Acharya is known as one of the highest reasons.

[Jaya Advaita Acharya ki jaya!]

[Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!]


1[Supplemented Gurudeva’s katha, spoken 02/01/20 on Advaita Saptami in South Africa -]

2[Supplemented Gurudeva’s katha, spoken 02/03/18 during Gaura-purnima in Navadvipa -]

Date: 4 February 2017 Location: Brazil

Transcriber: Anima devi dasi (Russia), Sanatana dasa (USA) Editor: Damodara dasa (UK), Sanatana dasa (USA) Integrity check: Divya-premamayi dasi (Slovakia) Proofreader: Chandrika dasi (UK) Image: Narasimhananda dasa (Russia)

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