Published On: Sun, Feb 6th, 2022

Sri Advaita Prabhu

Advaita Acharyaby Mahanidhi Swami

Sri Advaita Prabhu—the Cowherd Boy

To start this series of short articles glorifying Sri Prabhu, we quote Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja, “I offer my obeisances ten million times to the lotus feet of Sri Advaita Acharya. Please do not take any offense in connection with this offering of mine, acharya-charane mora koti namaskara, ithe kichu aparadha na labe amara. (Chaitanya Caritamrita 1.6.116)

Sri Advaita Acharya was about 72 years old when Nimai Pandita stopped His Sanskrit teaching pastimes and started the Harinama Sankirtana movement. Advaita Prabhu appeared 52 years before Sri Chaitanyadeva in 1434 and was named Kamalakara Bhattacarya. Advaita Prabhu left this world in 1559 at the age of 125 years.

Sri Svarupa Damodara Goswami describes the ontological position of Advaita Prabhu thus: “Lord Mahavishnu is the master of the universe, which He creates through His Maya shakti. Advaita Acharya is the incarnation of this form of the Supreme Lord. He is Advaita because He is none other than the Supreme Lord Hari, and He is Acharya because He is the preceptor of devotion. I take shelter of the Supreme Lord Sri Advaita Acharya who is the incarnation of a devotee. (Chaitanya Caritamrita 1.1.12-13)

Sri Narahari Chakravarti describes Advaita Prabhu thus: “Sadashiva, who is an expansion of Bhagavan Sri Krishna in Vraja, is now known as Advaita Goswami and He is non-different from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, vraje avesha-rupatvad vyuho yo pi sadashivah, sa eva advaita-gosvami caitanyabhinna.

“In Vraja, Sadashiva (Advaita Prabhu) took the form of a cowherd boy and danced alongside Krishna. Once on Divali day in Kartika, Sadashiva saw Krishna Balarama dancing gleefully with all the cowherd boys. Becoming a cowherd boy Himself, Sadashiva Advaita Prabhu started dancing and spinning like a whirling wheel for the pleasure of Gopala. Thus, by Krishna’s mercy, Sadashiva plays two different roles in Vraja: Gopishvara Shiva and a gopa. (Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika 76-80)

Vrindavan Das Thakura also identifies Advaita Prabhu as Shiva Shankara and the best of Vaisnavas: “Sri Advaita Prabhu resides in Navadvipa as the topmost devotee, and the leader of all gurus in jnana, bhakti and vairagya. Whatever scriptures that exist within the three worlds, Advaita Prabhu explains in the light of Krishna bhakti. Advaita Prabhu teaches pure devotion in the same way as Shankara.” (Chaitanya Bhagavata 1.2.78-9)

All glories to the supremely merciful Advaita Acharya! Whoever takes shelter of His lotus feet will obtain the great prize of Gaura prema. (Bhakti-ratnakara 12.3764)

Sri Advaita Prabhu Cries for the Lord of Love

Seeing the decadence of the age, the all-compassionate Advaita Acharya thought, “To help these fallen people and save this wretched world, Bhagavan Sri Krishna Himself must come to the earth!” With this sankalpa, Advaita Prabhu began to worship a Shalagrama form of Sri Krishna with Ganga jal and tulasi leaves along with loving roars, pleading for Lord of Goloka to descend. Advaita Prabhu’s loud calls are the main cause of Sri Krishna Chaitanya’s appearance on earth, caitanyera avatare ei mukhya hetu.” (Chaitanya Caritamrita 1.3.110)

One day while all the devotees were lovingly gazing upon Mahaprabhu, the Golden Lord suddenly began to repeatedly call out, “Nara! Nara!” Not comprehending the meaning of this outburst, the devotees inquired from Lord Gauranga. Mahaprabhu explained, “Advaita Acharya is Nara (short for Narayana, Maha Vishnu). Because of Advaita’s loud calls, I have descended from Goloka to preach the Sri Krishna Harinama Sankirtana, the supreme and sublime dharma for this age of Kali. Not only that, but I will also freely and widely distribute Vraja prema, which is very rarely attained even by the demigods headed by Lord Brahma. Everyone will submerge in the ocean of love except those who are offenders to Vaisnavas, and those people who are intoxicated with their weath, fame, knowledge and high birth.” (Chaitanya Bhagavata Chapter 5)

One day Lord Gauranga discussed this event saying, “It is because of Advaita Prabhu that I came here, for Nara’s (aka Advaita Prabhu) roars rang in My ears. I was lying peacefully in the Milk Ocean, but Nara’s roar woke me up and brought Me down here.” (Chaitanya Bhagavata 3.9.297-8)

Amazing Pastimes

The glories of Sri Advaita Prabhu are boundless, for His roaring supplications brought about Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s descent upon this earth. Advaita Prabhu liberated the universe by preaching Harinama sankirtana. And by His mercy, all the people of the world received the treasure of love divine, Krishna prema, sankirtana paricarya sabat jagat tarila, advaita-prasade loka prema-dhana paila. ( Chaitanya Caritamrita 1.6.114)

** Dancing on Lotuses

When Advaita Prabhu was a young lad He once went to bathe in the Ganga with His Veda shastra teacher and some fellow students. Just alongside of the Ganga there was a large thorn-filled lake which was inhabited by many poisonous black snakes. In the middle of that lake there was a beautiful lotus spreading an enchanting fragrance in all directions. At that time, the learned brahmana smiled and asked his students, “Who can pick that lotus?”

All the students replied, “It is too dangerous and impossible to fetch that flower!” Stepping forward, Advaita Prabhu said, “I am not afraid. I will go there if you order Me.” The brahmana teacher cautioned Advaita, “There are many thorns and snakes there, so don’t vainly boast that You can go there.”

Smiling slightly, Advaita Prabhu ran into that snake-infested lake, stepping from flower to flower. He picked the fragrant lotus and offered it to His teacher. Seeing this superhuman feat, Advaita Prabhu’s teacher was struck with wonder. Sri Advaita Prabhu ki jai! (Advaita Prakash 3)

** Advaita Prabhu’s Diksa

On his way to Jagannatha Puri to collect sandalwood for Gopala Sri Nathaji, Madhavendra Puri stopped at Advaita Prabhu’s house in Shantipur. Observing the extraordinary devotional ecstasies of Madhavendra, Advaita Prabhu felt intensely joyful and became convinced to take diksa, even though He Himself is an expansion of the Supreme Lord. Advaita Prabhu accepted a guru to teach humanity the necessity of accepting a guru.

** Advaita Prabhu’s Seva Bhava

Advaita Prabhu always engages in bhakti with all His thoughts, words and actions,

kaya-mano-vakye tanra bhakti sada karya. (Chaitanya Caritamrita 1.6.92). By His words Advaita Prabhu loudly proclaims, “I am a servant of Chaitanya, I am a servant of Chaitanya, I am a servant of Chaitanya!” And in His mind Advaita Prabhu always thinks, “I am Gauranga’s bhakta.” Saying this, Advaita Prabhu dances, loudly sings, and then quietly sits down.

Sri Advaita Prabhu Saptami Avirbhava ki jai! Sri Sitanatha ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

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