Advaita Acharya

Advaita Acharya (1434-1539), is famous as a Gaudiya Vaishnava saint, and as being one of the close companions of the eminent Vaishnava preacher Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.cite journal
author = Brzezinski, J.A.N.
year = 2004
title = Charismatic Renewal And Institutionalization In The History Of Gaudiya Vaishnavism And The Gaudiya Math
journal = The Hare Krishna Movement: The Postcharismatic Fate of a Religious Transplant
url =
accessdate = 2008-06-07
] He is also considered to be a guru of great saint Haridasa Thakur. "Advaita-prakasa" biography introduces Haridasa, being originally a Muslim illustrating spiritual power of his guru, Advaita, to elevate him to such a position.cite book |author=Rebecca Manring |title=Reconstructing tradition: Advaita Ācārya and Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism at the cusp of the twentieth century |publisher=Columbia University Press |location=New York |year=2005 |pages=p.168 |isbn=0-231-12954-8 |oclc= |doi= |accessdate=] Advaita was born in Bengal in 1434, some fifty years before Chaitanya, and spent most of his adult life in the town of Shantipur, with his wife and family as a well respected leader of the local brahmana community. His real name Kamalakhar Bhrttacharya.citation
author = A. N. Chatterjee
year = 1984
title = Srikṛṣṇa Caitanya: A Historical Study on Gauḍiya Vaiṣṇavism
url =
accessdate = 2008-06-07
p. 52] At Shantipur town, he taught the philosophy of Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam, and promoted the path of Bhakti Yoga, (loving service to Krishna, as the Supreme God). He is considered to be a combined incarnation (avatar) of both Maha Vishnu and Shiva (collectively named Harihara) within the Gaudiya tradition.

Life Story

According to Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, in his later years Advaita Acarya became increasingly saddened with the growing tendency of the general populous to abandon their spiritual practices in pursuit of materialistic goals. He believed that this was leading to a disfunctional society of unhappy individuals, and after due thought, concluded that the only solution was for him to offer prayers, begging his Supreme Lord, Krishna to come himself as an avatar and attract people back to the joyfulness of spiritual life.

After reaching this conclusion Advaita Acharya is said to have prayed fervently to Krishna for several months – crying out very loudly 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, the Acarya’s prayers were purported answered when Chaitanya Mahaprabhu advented in the district of Mayapur, as the son of Mother Sachi.

Advaita Acarya had six sons, Acyutananda, Krsna Misra, and Gopala dasa, Balarama, Svarupa, and Jagadisa.

Written records

Many of Advaita Acarya’s activities are described in scriptural biographies such as the Chaitanya Charitamrta, Chaitanya Bhagavata and "Advaita Prakasa". 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 tell Caitanya Mahaprabhu, "Wherever you are is IAST|Vṛndāvana." [Harvard reference
last =Goswami
first = Satsvarupa dasa
year = 2002
authorlink = Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
title =Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta Vol 1-2
publisher=Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
location=Los Angeles
edition=2 nd
place =
pages = Ch.55
isbn = 0892133570
] On the day marking his birth members of the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition hold a fest in his honour and read and discuss stories regarding his life.

See also

* Hare Krishna
* Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
* Nityananda
* Pancha Tattva (Vaishnavism)

References and notes

External links

* [ Advaita Acharya - Detailed Life Story]
* [ A website dedicated to Advaita Acharya]

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