25 Jan Sri Advaita Acarya Appearance Day Lecture By His Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami
THE FOLLOWING LECTURE ON THE APPEARANCE OF SRI ADVAITA ACARYA WAS GIVEN BY HIS HOLINESS BHAKTI CARU SWAMI IN ISKCON UJJAIN ON 25/01/2007.
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Spiritual life means to become aware of the spiritual reality. This material nature appears to be real. Like, we see things. We can touch things. We can taste things. This way, we can see that this is existing, but this is not the only reality. Beyond this material reality there is another reality, the real reality. That is the spiritual reality. The material nature is there. It is there. We are here and we are experiencing. It is real, but it is not real reality. The real reality is the spiritual reality. This is the reflected reality. This is a reflection. This is not absolute reality.
So the goal of human life is to understand the real reality and go back to that reality. Like, a reflection is temporary. As a reflection, a reflection is existing, it is real, but is real only as a reflection. Then after some time the reflection will go. Like, there is some pool of water. After the monsoon, after it rains, some water gets logged in and in that water we see the reflection of a tree. But then, in course of time, the water dries out. Then can you see the reflection of the tree? No.
Similarly, this material nature is a reflection on the material ingredient called Maha Tattva. And when the Maha Tattva disappears, when it dries out or is withdrawn, then the material reality will disappear. But the spiritual reality is always existing. Just like, we can say, we have this material body. As long as the spirit soul is in the material body then we experience the material nature. When the spirit soul leaves the material body, what happens to this nature? Does it exist for us? Or when we are awake we experience this nature. When you fall asleep do you know whether this nature is existing or not? No.
But the spiritual reality is everlasting and eternal. So our business is to become situated in the spiritual reality. And that is why whatever we are doing is to become situated in that spiritual reality. Why do we worship the Deities in the temple? Why do we try to develop a relationship with the Deities? Why we are doing so many things? Why we are chanting Hare Krishna? Why are we practicing devotional service? Why are we singing prayers? Why are we doing all that? Is it because we are devotees of ISKCON and that is the practice of ISKCON, that’s why we are doing it? No, we are doing it to become situated in the spiritual reality.
That reality is there, although we cannot see it. Why can’t we see that reality? Because we don’t have the proper vision to see that reality. Our vision is being projected through our senses. Our consciousness is being projected through our senses. Therefore, we only see what our senses can perceive. An example can be given. The light is being projected through a red glass. A red glass and the light are projected through the red glass. What will the light be like? The light will appear to be red. Why? Because it is being projected through the red glass.
Similarly, our consciousness is being projected through our senses. And as a result of that, we are experiencing only what are senses can perceive. And what do our senses perceive? Our senses are material; therefore our senses perceive only things that are material. Our senses do not have the ability to perceive that is non-material. So we do not have the ability to perceive the spiritual reality. That’s why we are not aware of the spiritual reality. But we are practicing to spiritualize our senses.
Okay, with material senses we can perceive only matter, but to perceive spiritual reality what do we need? We need spiritual senses. With the senses of this body we can only perceive matter, but with the spiritual senses we can perceive the spiritual reality. So what we are practicing is simply to spiritualize our senses. And how senses can be spiritualized? It is simply like this. When the senses are projected towards the matter it simply becomes material senses, but when the senses are subjected to, or projected to Krishna, the Supreme Spiritual Personality, then our senses will become spiritualized.
Therefore, devotional service has been described as hrishikena, Hrishikesha sevanam bhaktir ucyate [Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu 1.1.12]. When Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Who is the reservoir of all senses, who is the Lord of all senses, hrishika, hrishika means the senses and isha means the Lord. When the Lord of the senses is worshipped by the senses, that is called devotional service. So what we are practicing? We are practicing devotional service, and what is devotional service? Devotional service is to serve the Lord of the senses with our senses. We have senses.
Now what is the benefit when we serve the Lord of the senses with our senses? Then what will happen? Then the senses will become spiritualized. So that is what we are practicing here. We are trying to serve the Lord of the senses with our senses. And by serving the Lord of the senses with our senses, our senses will become spiritualized. Then we will be able to perceive the spiritual reality, because then our senses have become spiritualized, our senses have become purified. Our senses are originally spiritual. All of our senses are spiritual, but because of this mistake of projecting our consciousness through the material body, our senses have become materialized.
Our senses are actually spiritual. Our body is actually spiritual, but because we are indentifying this material body to be our body, we are thinking this material body to be our self and the perception of this material body to be the perception of our senses.
So that is why spiritual life is a constant reminder, a constant engagement, to the spiritual reality. That is the reason why we worship the Deity. Who are you worshipping? Who are you serving? Are you worshipping somebody material? No, we are serving the spiritual Supreme Personality of Godhead, Whose form is sac-cid-ananda. He is spiritual and by serving that Supreme Spiritual Personality, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, our senses will become purified, our consciousness will become purified. So that is what we are practicing.
So today is the appearance day of Srila Advaita Acarya. Who is Advaita Acarya? Advaita Acarya is an incarnation of Maha-Vishnu. Who is Maha-Vishnu? Maha-Vishnu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And by understanding who Advaita Acarya is, we make a step forward towards the spiritual reality. Who is Advaita Acarya? Is Advaita Acarya an ordinary human being? No, Advaita Acarya is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Therefore, we are trying to cultivate our relationship with Advaita Acarya. That’s why we are trying to understand who is Advaita Acarya. That’s why we are offering prayers to Advaita Acarya. That’s why we are discussing about Advaita Acarya today on this particular day of Maghi Saptami. This is the month of Magha and the seventh day of the month of Magha, Shukla Paksha, is the day of Advaita Acarya’s appearance day.
He appeared. He was not born. What is the difference between birth and appearance? What is the difference between birth and appearance? Like, for example, Lila Purushottama has come from London. So, we say that Lila Purushottama has come here in Ujjain. That means Lila Purushottama already existed, but some years ago Lila Purushottama was born. Lila Purushottama, did you all greet Lila Purushottama? He is coming here for the third time? Third time. He spent considerable amount of time here, so everybody knows him.
So what is the difference between Lila Purushottama’s birth and Lila Purushottama’s coming from London to Ujjain. What is the difference? When he was born, he came. He was not here before. He came. But when he comes to Ujjain, he was already there in London and then he came here. Isn’t it, Lila Purushottama? Do you agree with me? [Laughs] Okay. Similarly, the difference between the appearance of the Lord and birth of an ordinary living entity. The Lord is not born. Krishna is not born. He appears, but we are born in this material nature. But Krishna appears means, Krishna is there in the spiritual sky! And then He comes here.
So Advaita Acarya, who is Advaita Acarya? Advaita Acarya is:
maha-vishnur jagat-karta mayaya yah srijaty adah
tasyavatara evayam advaitacarya ishvarah
[CC Adi 1.12]
And Maha-Vishnu, Maha-Vishnu is the incarnation of Krishna for creating this material nature, which is also known as Karanadakasayi Vishnu. There are three Vishnu incarnations of Krishna. What are those three Vishnu incarnations? Karanadakasayi Vishnu or Maha-Vishnu, then Garbhadakasayi Vishnu, then Ksirodakasayi Vishnu. Maha-Vishnu lies in the Causal Ocean, therefore He is known as Karanadakasayi Vishnu; One who is lying in the Karanadaka. And then as He breathes, from His breathing innumerable bubbles come out in the Causal Ocean, and each of those bubbles is a universe.
Then He enters into each universe as Garbhadakasayi Vishnu. Then, in that universe, there are many, many living entities and in the heart of these living entities He enters as Kshirodakasayi Vishnu. So this Maha-Vishnu, Who is the jagat-karta, Mahavishnu jagat-karta means the creator of the cosmic world. Jagat, what is the jagat? What is jagat, means the material nature. This material nature is not just one universe. This material nature is the sum total of all universes.
That is our problem. Our problem is we simply think that whatever we perceive THAT is the reality. But when we become exposed to the spiritual wisdom, then we get to know what is what. Just like the modern day people, they think that the earth planet is the only thing. Earth planet is the only place where there is life. And all the other things, all the other stars and planets, they’re all empty. They’re vacant. They think that the earth is the centre and everything else is subsidiary to the earth. Although scientifically they except that earth planet is a part of the sun.
What is the modern understanding or concept? A part of sun became separated from sun. WHY, they don’t consider. So when it was separated it was just a piece, right? And then that piece got broken and different planets appeared. And the middle one, it was broken, it was shaped like a… when it broke it was shaped like a, like you can say, it was shaped like a mridanga, right? And middle part of the mridanga is solid, so the middle planet is bigger and other planets are smaller. And then they started to move around the sun. That is their understanding of the creation of the planetary system.
So, even they can see that if the sun is the origin of earth planet, but still they think that earth planet is the only place where there is life.
[Altar curtains open]
Jaya Sri Sri Radha Madana Mohana ki jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Krishna Balarama ki jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Gaura Nitai ki jaya! Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!
And that is called perceiving everything centered on our own perception. That is the material nature. We put ourselves in the centre. I am the centre. Whatever I see only that exists. If I don’t see something, it doesn’t exist. Is it an intelligent thing to do? Is it intelligent to think that way? No. Only what I see, that is real. Anything beyond that, that I do not see, doesn’t exist.
Like, if an ant thinks, let’s consider, an ant thinks that whatever I see that is real. Anything that I do not see doesn’t exist. And a man looks at the ant, how will he think? “! Look at this ant! The tiny little creature and he thinks that he is centre of everything!” So we human beings are also like tiny little ants compared to the demigods. Demigods are so powerful that compared to them we are even more insignificant than an ant. And now human beings are thinking, whatever I see that is what is real and anything that I do not see doesn’t exist.
Actually, if we analyze, we can see, like we do not see so many things. [To a devotee: switch off the light, these lights, it’s not needed] We can notice, like we can see, how much can we see? What is the range of our seeing? We see only between violet and red. Light has innumerable range, an inconceivable range light has. But we see only between violet and red. Ultra violet is beyond our sense perception. Infra red, what is below red and what is beyond violet, we do not see. Now, should we say that only what we see, that exists? Things that we do not see, we do not believe?
Similarly, sound. What do we hear? We simply hear the sonic portion of the sound. There is supersonic and subsonic. We do not hear them. Like we have seen, an owl, it moves around at night. Why is that? Because the owl sees only things at night. Which means, what we cannot see an owl can see? At night we cannot see, because it is dark for us, but is light for the owls. And what we see, the owl cannot see [laughs].
So in this way we have to accept that there are many things that we do not see, although they are around us. They’re around us, but we do not see. This first thing that an intelligent man must recognize is that there are many things that I do not see but they are existing. Therefore better not to believe only in my sense perceptions. Let us not believe, let us not depend only upon our sense perception. Rather, let us gather information from higher authorities.
Like, let us consider, an ant. A man is educating the ant that, “Don’t think that your ant hill is the entire creation. Beyond the ant hill there is a city called Ujjain, and Ujjain is a part of Madhya Pradesha. Madhya Pradesh is part of India. India is a part of Asian continent. And Asia is a part of the earth planet. Earth planet is the part of the solar system. Solar system is a part of the universe, and there are so many universes. And beyond the universe there is a Causal Ocean.”
What will happen to the ant? Won’t the ant become wise? Ant will know, “Although I do not see all those things, although I do not see there is a city called Ujjain, but Ujjain is existing. Why? Because Maharaja is telling that it exists [laughs].” So this is the intelligent way of receiving knowledge. The intelligent way of receiving knowledge is to receive it from the higher authorities, higher sources. And who is the highest source of authority? Who is the highest authority? Who is the highest source of information? Krishna! And Krishna gave this information to Brahma.
Therefore, the most intelligent class of people will accept the information from the Vedic scriptures which was originally given by Krishna. And that is the beginning of receiving information about spiritual reality. Things that we cannot see with our eyes, if we want to have information about that reality, then we must depend upon proper source. So our source is the Shruti or the Vedas. Our source of information is Shruti or Vedas. Why it is called Shruti? Because it can be received only by hearing.
If somebody says okay, I must see the Vedas, I must verify the Vedic information, and the answer will be: no, you can’t. You can’t, because you don’t have the faculty. You don’t have the ability. You may want to see the Vedas, the information of the Vedas, you may want to verify the information that has been given in the Vedas, but in order to receive that information, or in order to perceive that, you have to have proper facility, proper ability. And it is not saying that you can never get that ability. It is there, information is given. Yes, the ability is there. You can develop the ability. The way to do it is by developing the spiritual senses. How to develop the spiritual senses? Hrishikena Hrishikesha sevanam bhaktir ucyate. When you engage your senses in serving Hrishikesha, the Lord of the senses, your senses will become purified and you will be able to perceive the spiritual reality. You will be able to perceive the spiritual reality, but the way to do it is through this process of devotional service.
So that is the scientific method. And there is only one sense that can perceive that reality. What is that? The hearing. This information can be perceived only through hearing, not by any other means. Therefore, that reality, the spiritual reality, is called Adhoksaja. Adhoksaja, beyond our sense perception. Our senses, our material senses will not be able to reach that reality. The only way we can reach that reality is by hearing. Only way we can receive or perceive that reality is by hearing. And that hearing, how should we hear? We must hear with shraddha. Shraddha means faith. With faith we have to hear that is coming from the Vedas. We must receive with faith. Or it is coming from Prabhupada, therefore, we must accept it, because Prabhupada is an authority. Prabhupada has no reasons to lie. There is no reason for Prabhupada to say something that is not real, that is not true.
We have seen Srila Prabhupada, such an exceptionally brilliant person! And whatever Srila Prabhupada said is the truth and nothing but the Absolute Truth. Nowadays we are seeing that some people are questioning, some people are doubting, even ISKCON devotees. They’re doubting Srila Prabhupada’s authority. They are saying, “Oh, Srila Prabhupada made so many mistakes.” The result is, they’re losing out. It’s Maya. It’s actually Maya’s trick. Maya is telling, “Oh, Prabhupada was not really that great a person. Look, Prabhupada said so many things wrong in his books.” And as a result of that, their faith is destroyed. And as a result of that, they are not able to receive the vast ocean of information on spiritual reality that Srila Prabhupada has given.
Therefore, the intelligent class of people will have absolute faith in Srila Prabhupada. One may say, “Prabhupada is an ordinary person”, then immediately let us consider, did anyone ever achieve something that Srila Prabhupada did? Show me one man who has achieved something like Srila Prabhupada! In ten years time Srila Prabhupada, in simple words we can say, in ten years time Srila Prabhupada conquered the world. How long did it take Napoleon to conquer Europe? Not even the whole of Europe. How long did it take Alexander to conquer whatever part of the world he did? And what effort he did, and then glorified as a great personality, Alexander the Great. And Napoleon, Napoleon Bonaparte. [Laughs] William the Conqueror! Even compared to that look at Prabhupada’s achievement! They conquered only some part of the world, but Srila Prabhupada conquered the entire earth planet, didn’t leave any continent there. He went to America and conquered it. Then he went to Europe, conquered it! Then he came to India, Asia, conquered it! Then he went to Australia, conquered it! So what’s left? Then he went to Africa, conquered it!
And also, Alexander, when he was leaving, he conquered one country and when he left, he lost that country. But Srila Prabhupada’s domain is increasing even though Prabhupada has left the planet. And what is that conquering? That is a spiritual conquest! Prabhupada was not conquering with sword and guns and rockets and missiles. Srila Prabhupada is conquering this world with spiritual information. Alexander, Napoleon, they conquered the land, and what is Srila Prabhupada conquering? Srila Prabhupada is conquering the hearts of the living entities. Now what is more important, just a piece of inert land, or the living entities? It is more important, the most important consideration is to conquer the living entities. And as a result of this conquest, what is happening? They are benefitting! These people are becoming eligible to go back to the spiritual sky.
So, Srila Prabhupada actually gave a wonderful gift to this world in the form of Krishna Consciousness. Srila Prabhupada has made arrangements for us to receive the spiritual knowledge, the Shruti, through hearing. That’s why we have to have faith in Prabhupada’s words. What Srila Prabhupada said is the truth and nothing but the truth. And by receiving that, what is happening? We are benefitting ourselves. And as far as accepting or believing in [what] Srila Prabhupada gave, having faith in Srila Prabhupada’s words, let us consider one thing. With wisdom you may start with knowledge, you may start with faith, but then it becomes verified, experimentally verified.
Say, for example, when you learned alphabet, A, B, C, D. Did you accept it with faith? Krita-yuga, you accepted with faith? A is A, B is B, right? Who taught you alphabet? [Krita-yuga: the teacher]. Your teacher. So did you question the teacher that why is he saying A is A, maybe A is Y. Did you question? No, you accepted. A is A. Your teacher said, “This is A”, and you said, “A”. “This is B”, you said, “B”, right? And then you learned to write A, B, C, and D. And then when you grew up and then you started to read books. Wasn’t it proven, that A is A and B is B?
So that is the thing with knowledge. As you progress, what you learned before becomes established. Similarly, in spiritual knowledge as we are advancing, although in the beginning we may have started with faith, that Prabhupada said that’s why we must accept. We accepted with faith, but in course of time it is becoming verified. And another way to verify is with our intelligence. With our intelligence we can verify.
An example of verifying it with intelligence is something like, a person, a philosopher, who is an atheist, and he had a scientist friend, who was a theist, who used to believe in God. So the philosopher friend philosopher and the scientist used to have lot of arguments. The philosopher used to say God doesn’t exist and the scientist used to say, No, God exists! They used to have arguments like that. Then one day the philosopher friend came to the scientists’ laboratory and he saw the solar system, the model of the solar system. So the philosopher, atheist, asked, “Hey, who made this?” The scientist said, “No one made this.” The philosopher said, “How is it possible? Somebody must have made it.”The scientist said, “No, nobody made it.” He said, “How is it possible? Somebody must have made it!” Then finally the scientist said, “Look, when I show you the model and said nobody made it, you don’t believe it, which is only just a replica of the solar system. And when I show the solar system and tell you somebody must have made it, you said, “No, nobody made it.” See what a fool you are?”
So with our intelligence we can understand. Like, did somebody make this watch? How many of you are wearing a watch? So the watch that you are wearing, did somebody make it? Priyavrata? If someone came and told you the watch nobody made it. It just fell from a big bang. [Laughter] What will you say? You’ll say, you’re crazy! Right? So now we can’t accept a simple thing like a watch came out of nothing, but when it comes to such a complex creation of this universe we say nobody made it. Atheists.
[Altar curtains close]
Jaya Sri Krishna Balarama ki jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Radha Madana Mohana ki jaya! Lalita Vishakha Devi ki Jaya! Sri Sri Gaura Nitai ki jaya! Srila Sandipani Muni ki jaya! Srila Prabhupada ki jaya! Gaura Premanande! [Audience: Hari Haribol!]
So, this is how with our intelligence we can understand there must be a creator behind this creation. Makes sense, Navadvipa? Does it make sense? There must be a Creator behind this creation. [Navadvipa: yes, there cannot be a creation without a creator]. Yes! Right! So who will accept the theory of accident, creation came out of accident? [Devotee: the scientists will say that this all is a Big Bang. Inaudible]
They don’t accept that. Scientists don’t accept. They say a Big Bang and they leave it up to that Bang, or they say Primordial Soup. There is actually, I forgot the name of a philosopher, American philosopher. He actually made this point, that to say that creation came out of an accident is like saying that there was an explosion in a printing press and the types fell in such an order that the Webster Dictionary was printed. If there was an explosion in a printing press, printing press has the types with which they print. Those days they used to, now everything is printed in computer. So the types fell in such an order that Webster Dictionary was printed.
Anyway, it is only the foolish people who will say that creation came out of accident. So in this way we can see that there must be a throughout our intelligence we can perceive the spiritual reality, the cause behind creation.
So today is Srila Advaita Acarya’s appearance day. Why are we celebrating Advaita Acarya’s appearance day? Because this way we can understand, we get a chance to recognize who Advaita Acarya is! And by recognizing who Advaita Acarya is, we get a glimpse of the spiritual reality. So, who is Advaita Acarya it has been described in Caitanya Caritamrta. Caitanya Caritamrta is giving the description of who is Advaita Acarya.
maha-vishnur jagat-karta mayaya yah srijaty adah
tasyavatara evayam advaitacarya ishvarah
[CC Adi 1.12]
So we have two verses on the board today, because these two verses are in Caitanya Caritamrta describing Advaita Acarya’s tattva. Who is Advaita Acarya? So the first verse has been recited by the boys. The second verse will be recited by the girls. Okay, so I’ll just go through the translation:
Lord Advaita Acarya is the incarnation of Maha-Vishnu, whose main function is to create the cosmic world through the actions of maya.
So who is Advaita Acarya? Advaita Acarya is the incarnation of Maha-Vishnu, and who is Maha-Vishnu? Jagat-karta, whose main function is to create the cosmic world, mayaya, through the actions of Maya. So next verse, text thirteen:
advaitam harinadvaitad acaryam bhakti-shasanat
bhaktavataram isham tam advaitacaryam ashraye
[CC Adi 1.13]
Translation: Because He is non-different from Hari, harinadvaitad, Advaita means non-different from being non-different. Because He is non-different from Hari, the Supreme Lord, He is called Advaita, and because He propagates the cult of devotion, He is called Acarya. He is the Lord and the incarnation of the Lord’s devotee, bhaktavataram isham tam. Therefore I take shelter of Him, advaitacaryam ashraye.
So why He is called Advaita Acarya? Okay, who knows? Who can answer? Yeah, Priyavrata? [Priyavrata Dasa: Because He is non-different than Hari]. Yeah, because He is non-different from Hari He is known as Advaita. And why He is called Acarya? Archana? [Archana Dasi: Because He propagates the cult of devotion]. Because He is propagating bhakti cult, therefore He is Acarya. He is non-different from Hari and He is propagating bhakti. Therefore, He is Advaita Acarya. And He is non-different from Him. He is the Lord and incarnation of the Lord’s devotee, bhaktavataram isham tam. Therefore, Advaitacaryam ashraye, I take shelter of Advaita Acarya.
So these two verses are very important. If we understand these two verses we understand who Advaita Acarya is. Is Advaita Acarya an ordinary Brahman? He was quite a nice, great personality. Is that the thing that we are worshipping Advaita Acarya? No, Advaita Acarya is, maha-vishnur jagat-karta mayaya yah srijaty adah. Who is Maha-Vishnu? He is the jagat-karta, the Lord of the entire cosmic manifestation, and He, mayaya yah srijaty adah, He creates this material nature, jagat, through the agencies of Maya.
maha-vishnur jagat-karta mayaya yah srijaty adah
tasyavatara evayam advaitacarya ishvarah
Tasyavatara, He is His incarnation. Eva-ayam, so certainly this personality is non-different from Maha-Vishnu, Who is the Creator of the cosmic manifestation. So who is Advaita Acarya? Advaita Acarya is an incarnation of Maha-Vishnu, Who creates this material cosmic manifestation through Maya, through the actions of Maya. And then, why He is called Advaita Acarya?
advaitam harinadvaitad acaryam bhakti-shamsanat
bhaktavataram isham tam advaitacaryam ashraye
So today is Advaita Acarya’s appearance day. When did Advaita Acarya appear? Advaita Acarya appeared in 1442, I’m sorry 1434, 1434. In the year 1434, on this day. This day, what is this day? Today is the Shuklam Saptami tithi in the month of Magha. So Magha is the month of winter. In India there are six seasons, right? Vaishakha, Jyaistha, Ashadha, Shravana, Bhadra, Ashwina, Kartika, Agrahayana, Pausha, Magha, Phalguna, Caitra. Twelve months. Vaishakha and Jyaistha is summer. Ashadha and Shravana is monsoon. Bhadra and Ashwina is sarad. Grisham, varsha, sarad. And Kartika and Agrahayana, hemant. And Pausha and Magha, winter, shita. And Phalguna and Caitra, vasanta.
So Pausha and Magha, especially Magha is the very, very cold season. In Bengal there is a saying that, remember Mitravinda what’s the saying[laughs], she was just about to say it. [Matravinda Dasi: Inaudible]
Magha shite baagh palai.
In the month of Magha it becomes so cold that even the tigers run away.
So, in the winter season, and the winter season in the month of Magha, the Shukla Saptami, the seventh day of the Shukla Paksha. Advaita Acarya appeared in the year 1434. I think it is 1434, yeah, 1434, according to English calculation. In Indian calculation is 1355, Vikram Samvat, 1355. Why this Vikram Samvat? It’s actually from Ujjain. Vikram Aditya drove the Shakars out of India. Therefore that year is marked as the Shakabda, or Vikram Samvat, the year of Vikram Aditya.
So, we can understand Advaita Acarya appeared in 1434. When did Caitanya Mahaprabhu appear? Who remembers? 1486. So how old was Advaita Acarya when Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared? Fifty two years old. He was quite old actually, when Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared. But He accepted Caitanya Mahaprabhu as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He didn’t think, “Oh, He was just born the other day. I am older than Him, therefore, I am greater than Him.”
So, Advaita Acarya appeared in a place near Sri Hatta. Sri Hatta is a place which is in Bangladesh now. It is near the Assem side, in the eastern part of Bangladesh, not too far from Assem. It’s also kind of mountainous region, in a place called Navagrama. And He appeared as the son of Kuvera Pandita, or Kuvera Mishra. So, Kuvera pandita was a very exalted Brahman. It has been described that he was actually an incarnation of Kuvera, the king of the Yakshas. Kuvera is the stepbrother of Ravana, and Kuvera is in charge of the wealth of the demigods. He is the treasurer of the demigods. All the wealth, the treasure of the demigods are in Kuvera’s custody. Or in simple words we can say, when the demigods need something, they go to Kuvera; “Hey Kuvera, I want three trillions of dollars in demigod’s calculation [laughter].” And Kuvera says, “Okay.” He writes down and it is granted to the demigods. Who is Kuvera’s son? Who are Kuvera’s sons? Nalakuvera and Manigriva. So Kuvera is a very exalted demigod.
So that Kuvera appeared as Kuvera Pandita. It has been described as, Gaura Ganodesa Dipika actually, let me see. Oh yeah:
Mahadevasya mitranja kuvera guhyakesvarah
Kuvera pandita svardha janaka vastra vidyambara
Vidyambara guhyakeshwara, who is a friend of Lord Shiva, Mahadeva, now he has appeared as Kuvera Pandita and he has become the father of Mahadeva, Advaita Acarya. Advaita Acarya is an incarnation also of Sadashiva. He has been described as the incarnation of Maha-Vishnu, as well as an incarnation of Sadashiva. So this calculation is that Lord Shiva appeared as the son of His friend Kuvera.
It has been described in Bhakti Ratnakara,
Banga desa sri hatta nikata navagrama
Kuvera pandita tatha Nrisimha santana
Kuvera pandita bhakti pathe mahadhanya
Krishna pada padma vina na janaya anya
Tvaisakara patni nabha devi pati vrata
Jahute ucha teha Advaita mata pita
In Bengal, near Sri Hatta, which is known also as Sylhet, in Kalagya it is called Sylhet, but actually it is Sri Hatta, there is a place called Navagrama and Kuvera Pandita, the son of Nrisimha, used to live there. Kuvera Pandita was very well known for his devotion. He did not know anything besides Krishna’s lotus feet. He was so surrendered to Krishna that besides Krishna’s lotus feet he did not know anything. And his wife is Nabha Devi who was a very chaste woman. She was worshipable for the whole universe, whole material manifestation. And she was the mother of Advaita Acarya. So Advaita Acarya appeared as the son of Kuvera Pandita and Nabha Devi.
Advaita Acarya lived on the planet for one hundred and twenty five years. And Advaita Acarya is an incarnation of the Lord. He is a Vishnu Tattva. So, Vishnu Tattva, when they appear generally their Shakti also comes with them. What are the shaktis of Vishnu or Krishna? Is Sri, Bhu and Nila. Sri Devi, Bhu Devi and Nila. Sri Devi is on the left hand side, Bhu Devi is on the right hand side and Nila is the Dhama of the Lord. These are the three shaktis. Therefore, it is seen that sometimes these Vishnu Tattvas, They have two wives. Like, say Krishna had Radharani and Candravali. Radharani one side and Candravali on the other side. Vasudeva Krishna has two principle wives: Rukmini and Satyabhama. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came, He also had Lakshmipriya and Vishnupriya. Nityananda prabhu has two wives: Jahnava devi and Vasudha Devi. Similarly, Advaita Acarya also had two wives, Sita Devi and Sri Devi.
When Advaita Acarya’s father, Kuvera Pandita, left the planet Advaita Acarya went to Gaya to perform his shraddha, pinda. And at that time Advaita Acarya left and travelled to different places and eventually Advaita Acarya settled down in Shantipura. And Advaita Acarya also had another residence in Navadvipa, near the house of Srivasa Thakura. In Mayapura we have Srivasangam and near Srivasangam is Advaita Bhavan and Gadadhara Pandita’s house.
So when Madhavendra Puri went to collect sandalwood and camphor from Orissa, you remember why he did go to collect sandalwood? Who knows? [audience member: inaudible] Okay, Raghava Pandita it was. [audience member: inaudible] Yeah, Gopalji told him, “Look, I am feeling very hot here. Summer is very hot. Can you get Me some sandalwood and camphor and put it on My body to cool Me down, to make Me feel cool.” So Madhavendra Puri went to Orissa, to Puri, to collect sandalwood and camphor. So on his way to Puri he stopped in Shantipura and he met with Advaita Acarya. Or rather Advaita Acarya then met him, and Advaita Acarya, although He is Vishnu Tattva, but in order to set a proper example He took initiation from Madhavendra Puri.
So, Advaita Acarya was displaying His role as a devotee and it is actually Sri Advaita Acarya who brought Krishna to this planet. When Advaita Acarya saw that… He was a great devotee and when a great devotee sees that people are becoming atheistic, how does a devotee feel? Devotee feels very concerned that people are becoming atheistic, how to save the situation? People are becoming so atheistic. And Advaita Acarya considered that only Krishna can save this situation. Therefore, He decided to bring Krishna down. And Advaita Acarya considered that if the Lord is worshipped with Tulasi manjari and Ganga then the Lord becomes pleased. So Advaita Acarya, sitting on the bank of the Ganges, He used to offer Ganga water with Tulasi towards the Lord. And He used to roar like a lion and asking the Lord to come.
ha krishna radhika-natha prarthanadi-bhavanam
[Sri Advaitastakam, verse 1]
ganga vari mano hari tulasyadi manjari
krishna-jnana sada dhyana prema-vari jharjhari
[Sri Advaitastakam, verse 2]
Krpabdhih [in the verse: dvibhuja] karuna natha diyatam sudarshanam
[Sri Advaitastakam, verse 3]
So this is how Advaita Acarya used to call Krishna. We will sing this song in the evening. I would have sang in the morning, but we have some Hindi copies, but we don’t have any English copies. Therefore it is decided to sing it in the evening.
This song is composed by Srila Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya in eight verses, ashtakam. He is glorifying Advaita Acarya. Huhunkara-garjanadi, He used to roar like a lion. Huhunkara-garjanadi aho-ratra-sad-gunam, ha Krishna radhika-natha prarthanadi-bhavanam. He used to call out to Krishna, the Radhika-natha. And how He used to call Him? Ganga vari mano hari tulasyadi manjari. With Ganga water He used to offer Tulasi and in this way He used to pray to Krishna to come and incessantly tears used to flow from His eyes, prema-vari jharjhari. Tears of love used to flow from His eyes. So in this way Advaita Acarya called Sri Krishna to come.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu, when He displays His Maha-Prakasa lila, He showed Himself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead in Srivasangam. At that time Caitanya Mahaprabhu declared that, “I was very peacefully lying in the Causal Ocean, shayane acana mui kshirod sagare [Caitanya Bhagavata 3.9.297-298].I was lying down in the Ocean of Milk, in the Milk Ocean, kshira samudra. Jagaye anilo mora nara hunkare.” Nara, Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to call Advaita Acarya as ‘Nara’, because He used to have shaved head [laughs], therefore He used to call Him Nara. “So when Nara started to roar, He started to make so much noise, I woke up. In His noise I woke up. Advaitera lage mora ei avatara. I have appeared because of Advaita Acarya. Advaitera lage mora ei avatara karne mora baje ashi narara hunkara. And in My ears Nara’s roaring, Nara’s loud shouting started to ring in My ears. I was very peacefully, shayana acana moya kshirod sagare, I was lying down, I was sleeping very nicely, very peacefully in the Milk Ocean [laughs]. And, jagaya anilo more narara hunkara, this Nara, making all kinds of noise, roaring, His loud chanting woke Me up and brought Me here.”
Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s tree has two main branches. One is Nityananda prabhu’s branch and the other is Advaita Acarya’s branch. These are the two main branches. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the root of this tree of devotion and two branches are Advaita’s branch and Nityananda’s branch. In Caitanya Caritamrta, Adi Lila, it has been described
eka mahaprabhu, ara prabhu duijana
dui prabhu seve mahaprabhura carana
[CC Adi 7.14]
There is one Mahaprabhu and there are two prabhus. Who is Mahaprabhu? Mahaprabhu is Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And who are the two prabhus? Nityananda prabhu and Advaita Acarya. And what are these two prabhus doing? Dui prabhu seve mahaprabhura carana, these two prabhus serve the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu.
ei tina tattva,-‘sarvaradhya’ kari mani
caturtha ye bhakta-tattva,-‘aradhaka’ jani
[CC Adi 7.15]
So these three tattvas are the worshipable by all. And the fourth is bhakta tattva. The fourth is the devotee tattva. Who is the devotee? He is the worshipper. The worshipped are these three and the devotee is the worshipper, bhakta tattva, ‘aradhaka’ jani.
srivasadi yata koti koti bhakta-gana
‘suddha-bhakta’-tattva-madhye tan-sabara ganana
[CC Adi 7.16]
Srivasa Thakura etcetera, millions and millions of bhaktas, they’re considered to be the pure devotees of the Lord. Gadadhara-panditadi prabhura ‘sakti’-avatara [CC Adi 7.16], and Gadadhara Pandita is the shakti tattva. And ‘antaranga-bhakta’ kari’ ganana yanhara. The shakti tattvas are considered to be most intimate devotees. So this is the Panca Tattva. Panca Tattva; Sri Krishna Caitanya Prabhu Nityananda Sri Advaita, these three are the worshipped tattva, and bhakta tattva Gadadhara Srivasadi Gaurabhakta Vrinda. Srivasadi Gaurabhakta Vrinda, they are the worshipper and Gadadhara is the shakti tattva, and who is very intimate, who are very intimate devotees.
It is by the mercy of Advaita Acarya that one can receive the service to Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda prabhu. Although Advaita Acarya was so much senior to Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He used to treat Him like His guru. So Advaita Acarya didn’t like that Caitanya Mahaprabhu was always worshipping Him, respecting Him. So, once Advaita Acarya, in Shantipura, started to propagate Mayavada philosophy. And when Caitanya Mahaprabhu got to know that, the news reached Caitanya Mahaprabhu, so Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to Shantipura running. And He did not ask Him [Advaita Acarya] anything. He just started to beat Him. [laughter] He said, “You started to preach Mayavada!” Jnana marga. Actually He was not exactly propagating Mayavada, but He was propagating the jnana, not bhakti, but jnana. And hearing that, Caitanya Mahaprabhu became very angry and He came to Shantipura and He started to beat Advaita Acarya. And Advaita Acarya’s wife, Sita Devi became worried. He [She] said, “He is an old man, if You beat Him like this He’ll die!” [laughter] So she started crying. But Advaita Acarya started to jump with joy, in ecstasy, saying that, “Caitanya Mahaprabhu has always treated Me with respect, and now that He is beating Me, He used to treat Me like a guru, but now He started to treat Me like a disciple! He came to correct Me.”
So this has been described in Caitanya Caritamrta, Adi Lila:
acarya-gosanire prabhu kare guru-bhakti
tahate acarya bad?a haya duhkha-mati
[CC Adi 17.66]
Advaita Acarya treats Caitanya Mahaprabhu as His guru and because of that Advaita Acarya became very sad.
Bhangi kari’ jnana-marga karila vyakhyana
krodhavese prabhu tare kaila avajnana
[CC Adi 17.67]
So Advaita Acarya, in order to treat Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He started to preach the jnana marga. And hearing that Caitanya Mahaprabhu became extremely angry and He came to correct Him. And then Advaita Acarya became very happy and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu became embarrassed. He realized that He has been tricked by Advaita Acarya [laughs].
When Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to Jagannatha Puri Advaita Acarya came to see Him every year during the Chaturmasya and attend the Ratha Yatra festival. And Advaita Acarya used to dance in front of Lord Jagannatha’s chariot. So although He was almost hundred year old at that time, fifty two plus – Mahaprabhu took sannyasa at twenty four, so let us say about thirty – fifty two plus forty, that time He was about eighty two years old. And He used to dance in ecstasy.
Then Advaita Acarya gave a letter to Jagadananda Pandita, when Jagadananda Pandita came from Navadvipa to Purushottama Dhama. Then Jagadananda Pandita went to Advaita Acarya to get His permission and then Advaita Acarya wrote him tarjana, a riddle. A kind of a riddle He wrote, and asked him to give it to Caitanya Mahaprabhu. That riddle wrote,
Baula ke kahiha, – loka ha-ila baula
Baula ke kahiha, – hate na vikaya caula
Baula ke kahiha, -kaye nahika aula
Baula ke kahiha, -iha kahiyache baula
[CC Antya 19.20-21]
Nobody could understand what was the meaning. Even those who understand Bengali can’t understand this. You understand, Ganga Narayana? [laughs] Okay, literally it means, Baul, means one who has in devotion to the Lord who has become mad. So, you tell the madman who has become mad due to devotion to the Lord that everyone has become mad in devotion to the Lord. And you tell that madman that the rice is not selling in the market place. So you can see, there is no link. Tell the madman that everyone has become mad in Krishna bhakti and you tell that madman that in the market place there is no, no one is buying any more rice. And you tell the Baul, the madman, that the Aul doesn’t have anything to do in the material nature, anything to do here. And tell the Baul that the Baul has said that to Him. [laughs]
Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura has written the purport to that. Bhaktivinode Thakura’s purport or translation is that Advaita Acarya wrote:
Tell Caitanya Mahaprabhu that people have become mad in Krishna Consciousness. They have become ecstatic in Krishna Consciousness and therefore, in the market place of the Holy Name, in the market place of love of Godhead, since everybody has bought devotion to the full, it is not selling anymore. Because everybody has taken the commodity. And you tell Him that the personality absorbed and lost in Krishna Consciousness, became insane in Krishna Consciousness, he has no more things to do in the material nature. Therefore, he can do what he wants to do.
Like, Advaita Acarya brought Caitanya Mahaprabhu and now the mission has been accomplished. The purpose why He brought Caitanya Mahaprabhu that mission has been accomplished. So now if Caitanya Mahaprabhu wants to go back, He can go back to the spiritual sky. And He said then that tell Caitanya Mahaprabhu Advaita Acarya, another madman in Krishna Consciousness, has said that.
So this is how Advaita Acarya brought Caitanya Mahaprabhu and now He is telling Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu that if He wanted, He could go back to the spiritual sky, because the mission has been accomplished.
Hare Krishna! Srila Advaita Acarya Prabhu ki jaya! Gaura Premanande Hari Haribol!
So, I’ll stop now. Thank you all very much and this evening we will also sing Advaitastakam and we will also discuss more on Advaita Acarya.
Transcription : Her Grace Ranga Radhika Dasi
Editing : Her Grace Hemavati Radhika Dasi
Audio-version : Srila Advaita Acarya App.(25 Jan 07,Ujjain) in ‘click here‘