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Ādvaita Ācārya Appearance

Śrī Ādvaita Ācārya Jayantī

Today we celebrate the appearance of Shri Advaita Acharya, an incarnation of Maha Vishnu and Sada Shiva.

Advaita Acharya looked at the social developments of his time with concern and empathy. The society in Bharata ("India"), which at that time was still predominantly Vedic (despite the Muslim occupation), clearly drifted away from the spiritual path, especially from the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, and even tended towards decadence. Thanks to His imploring prayers, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu finally appeared, whose 533th anniversary is on March 21, 2019.

Shri Chaitanya, through both His erudition and His overflowing, irresistible divine love, taught man the practical and true meaning of Shri Krishna's message in the Bhagavad Gita.

But back to Advaita Acharya.

Also Advaita Acharya is God, called Maha-Vishnu or Karanodakashayi-Vishnu. In this form He lies and rests pleasurably on the sea of causes. When He exhales, myriads of small, expanding universes leave His body pores. As soon as Maha-Vishnu breathes in again, the universes return to Him and are finally absorbed again by His body. So this tremendous cycle takes place again and again, for all eternity.

For our mind, of course, already the dimensions of this one, comparatively small universe are inconceivable. Most of the other universes are much larger according to the Vedas, but as I said, this is no longer important for our very limited imagination - even our "small" universe seems infinite.

The following is a nice little computer simulation, which probably represents the current state of knowledge of modern astronomy.

The Universe Zoomed Out

But again back to Advaita Acharya 

So although He is God Himself, He still considers Himself a loving servant of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhus, who is no other than Shri Krishna Bhagavan Himself.

If we keep in mind the cosmic perspective we have just gained and now take a look at the activities of Shri Advaita Acharya on our small planet Earth about 500 years ago, we could really get goose bumps because of awe and admiration!

In the following, therefore, I would like to summarize a small anecdote about Advaita Acharyas from the Chaitanya Bhagavata (Madhya-kanda, part 3, chapter 24, verse 38-55) by Shri Vrindavan Dasa Thakur:

One day, after having performed a real joyful Krishna-Kirtan and dancing together with the devotees, Advaita Acharya was overwhelmed by inexplicable lamentations and rolled painfully around the floor. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was the only one who understood the cause of this pain. He therefore affectionately took Advaita Acharya by the hand, led Him into the interior of a Vishnu temple and then asked Him to sit down.

Shri Chaitanya said to him smiling“Listen, Acharya, what is it you wish for? What can I do for you, tell Me?”

Advaita Acharya“You are the essence of all Vedas, I just want you, my Lord! What else should I wish for?”

Shri Chaitanya smiled again and said“I am already here. So tell me what else you wish for!”

Advaita Acharya“Oh Lord and Master, whatever you said is absolutely true. You are the only subject of the Vedas and the Vedanta-sutra. Nevertheless, I wish to see some of Your opulence.”

Shri Chaitanya: “Just tell me exactly what you want!”

Advaita Acharya: “Oh Lord, I have a burning desire to see the form You showed Arjuna back then.”

While Shri Advaita Acharya was still speaking these words, He saw a chariot standing in the middle of a battlefield, surrounded by hostile armies.

On the chariot he saw a graceful blackish personality with four arms, in whose hands there was a shell horn, a wheel of fire, a club and lotus.

He then saw the Lord's Universal Form embracing myriads of universes, moons, suns, seas, mountains, rivers, and forests.

He saw millions of eyes, arms and faces. Then he also saw Arjuna offering his prayers to the Lord.

Mighty tongues of fire shot forth from the mouths of this Universal Form. Attracted like moths, the atheists and villains were consumed in these flames.

Each sinful person who insults or torments others is burned to ashes by the fire from the mouth of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

No other can see this form of the Lord. But Advaita Acharya saw it, by the grace of the Lord.

Advaita Acharya broke out in tears of love and intimacy. He took a blade of grass between His teeth and repeatedly begged to serve the Lord.

***