Who is Sri Advaita Acharya

Today is the most auspicious and sacred day. It is the day of the divine appearance anniversary of Srila Advaita acarya – one of the divine members of the Pancha Tatva. It is said in Caitanya-Caritamrita “panch tattvatmakma Krishnam bhaktarupsvarupkam bhaktavataram bhaktakhyam namami bhyaktasaktikam”. This means that Lord Sri Krishna appeared in this Kali Yuga, the age of quarrel and hypocrisy, in five features. The appearance of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is prophesized in Srimad Bhagavatam, Mahabharat, and other great vedic literatures. They all describe that in this particular age when the Lord descends, he descends with his divine associates to propagate the glories of the chanting of the names of God. “Krishna varnam tvaca akrishnam..” And amongst his many many associates, there are five principal associates all of which are direct manifestations of God Himself. The supreme Lord Sri Krishna in his original form appeared as Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. His original expansion Lord Balarama appeared as Lord Nityananda Prabhu. His original incarnation of Karnodakshayi Vishnu or Maha Vishnu appeared as Sri Advaita Äcärya. His pleasure potency or Sri Radharani expanded herself as Sri Gadhadhar and his marginal energy in a perfect state Sri Narada Muni incarnated as Srivasa Thakur.

 

Present condition of religion

Now of the panchatatva, Sri Advaita Äcärya, who we are observing the anniversary of his appearance today, was most special, and all devotees owe him a great and special honor because it is by the power of his devotion that Krishna appeared in this age of Kali as Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. You see Advaita Äcärya appeared, although he is God himself; he appeared himself as a devotee of God. As did Lord Caitanya. He appeared as a devotee of God. In Bhagavad-Gita Krishna explains “sarvadharman pariteya ….” That we should become his devotees. But how to become his devotees, He came to show by his own example. It is described in Sri Caitanya-Caritamrita that seeing the very fallen and miserable condition of the spiritual condition of humanity, Sri Advaita Äcärya, with great devotion, appealed to the supreme Lord Krishna to appear in this world. It is described that at that time five hundred years ago, when Sri Advaita Äcärya was observing the condition of humanity, he noticed that most religious people were simply attached to the external ritualistic forms of religion without understanding the real purpose and essence of religion. We find this is very deeply the sad condition of today. People in their homes, they perform their puja, they perform their rituals, they go to the temple, the church, the mosque, the synagogue, and they pray to god and they have so many social forms which they observe. They give their charity but the real change of heart, that change of your heart which causes love of god, and love, a universal love for all living beings, does not take place. In fact people are more attached and concerned with the external forms and rituals than they are the very purpose of their religion. The rituals and religious observances that we perform in and of themselves mean nothing. They are a means, they are a vehicle by which we purify our hearts and develop love, love of god and love of all living beings. That is why Krishna concludes the Bhagavad-Gita by explaining “sarva dharman pari parityajya mam ekam saranam varja aham tvam sarva papebhyo moksayisyami me sucah” That you should abandoned all variety of religion and just surrender to God. Without this motion of surrender everything is useless. It is also described in Srimad Bhagavatam “atha pum….” All your duties in life ultimately are perfect, when they are pleasing to Krishna. Without pleasing Krishna everything is useless. “dharma swanus….” This means that what ever religion you perform or practice in your life and whatever occupation you may accept, if in the end it does not conclude in developing a taste of love for hearing the glories of the Lord and praising His glories, then everything you have done in your life, religious or irreligious, it is all “srameva kevalam” – a useless waste of time. So people have a very sentimental or fanatical approach to religion. Without philosophically understanding, what is the purpose behind it? Religion without philosophy is simply either sentimentalism or fanaticism. We find so many people fighting and arguing about petty little details that differ amongst their religions. That you are baptized by being sprinkled and I was baptized by being dunked therefore you are going to hell and I am going to heaven. Well, you are dunked, you are going to hell because you have to be sprinkled if you are to be going to heaven. This is literally – I have been in the circles of some of the highest priest in the Christian churches and this is how they talk amongst themselves. They are very much concerned with the details, but they do not understand that whether you are dunked or whether you sprinkle, the purpose is to purify your heart, give up your pettiness and surrender to God. What to speak of in India? My God, if you touch your food with your left hand, you are going to hell for it. What to speak of dunking and sprinkling. What to speak of you born outside of the boundary of India, then you have to take next birth. May be you will be lucky in next time. So religion without philosophy is all sentiments. Sentiments means you perform your rituals, you go to your church or temple, and you do not even know really why you are doing it? So many of the young people in India, especially in the colleges, I speak to them, they see their parents doing the puja They say why are you doing this. While your father did it, your grandfather did it, your great grandfather did it and your great great grandfather did it. This is our family god and we are supposed to do it. But why? All because we have good fortune and everything alright, do not ask me why – this question? And when they try to explain why, there is such little philosophical substance. People in this age who are being taught in universities to be skeptical and to doubt and to scrutinize scientifically everything, they just think this is all so much superstition, how I am supposed to believe this? Keeps people moral so it has its value. And then philosophy without religion is simply mental speculation. There are so many great philosophers, so many very very fantastic scholars and pandits, who know the scriptures, academically inside and out, but their hearts are still like stone. Some of them do not even believe with the reading. I know one great pandit he knew the entire Mahabharat by memory. Can you imagine? And he knew the entire Srimad Bhagavatam by memory. And knew the entire Ramayan by memory. Such a brilliant scholar, you just ask him, I want to know the verse from the 11th canto 3rd chapter 48th verse of Srimad Bhagavatam and he will immediately just without even thinking for more than five seconds, he will recite it from memory. But of course, while he was reciting his verses, he was smoking bidis. Between each chapter he would light another bidi. I asked him why you smoke bidis? He said because I am addicted to them and I cannot give them up. I said, well what about everything you are reading? Where does it say in the scriptures that you should smoke bidis? He said, nowhere in the scriptures it is said that I should smoke bidis. I said, then why to smoke bidi? He said, because I do not follow the scriptures. He said I know them but I do not follow them. Why do not you follow them? He said, because I cannot. I said, do you have a guru? He said no I do not have a guru, but my guru is my mind and I have such a brilliant mind. And I agreed yes you have a brilliant mind. But when your worst enemy is brilliant he is even a worst enemy. Bhagavad-Gita says “bandhur atamtmanas tasya yenatmaivatmana jitah anatmanas tu satrutve vartetatmaiva satru-vat” That the mind when it is uncontrolled it is your worst enemy and more brilliant your enemy is, more deadly is his influence. Better to just be a humble illiterate and give up smoking bidis, and chant Hare Krishna and be happy. So all this philosophical speculation without understanding the real essence, the real substance, real goal of religion. “srameva hi kevalam” and is useless. And that is practically the condition all over the world. In America, on every block of every city, there is one, two, three, four, five churches. Big big churches with big crosses. Christ was such a great saintly person. And they go into the church, they pray and they come out and then the rest of the block most of it’s restaurants serving meat, bars, and prostitution houses. So they do all this when they come out of the church. What is the use? And the Muslims they have their mosques and they come out. And so many of them, I can not generalize say every one but so many of them, they come out and they feel hatred towards some one who is not just like them. In our temples in India, if you are not born in same color, you are not allowed in. Because our god is only for us, not for you. Our god is very select, although that god they worship, says in Bhagavad-Gita “aham beeja-prada pitä” I am the father of all living beings. So this is the condition.

 

Why Advaita Acharya worshipped Krishna to call him to uplift humanity

So Advaita Äcärya when he saw that this was the condition of human society, he understood that in this age of Kali yuga “mandä sumanda-matayo manda-bhägyä hy upadrutäù” people are so unlucky, they are so spiritually lazy, they are so inclined towards sinful activities that the only means which is practical to up lift the condition of fallen society is to chant the names of God. Therefore it is said in Brihad Narayn Puran, “harer näma harer näma

harer nämaiva kevalam

kalau nästy eva nästy eva

nästy eva gatir anyathä”

 

That in this age of Kali-yuga “chanting the name of Lord Hari, chanting the name of Lord Hari, chanting the name of Lord Hari, there is no other way, no other way, no other way to achieve the supreme perfection of life. It is so simple. And by chanting with the proper consciousness, by chanting with the proper understanding of life we can easily attain the supreme perfection simply by this process. Now when we say chanting the name of lord Lord Hari – Lord Hari is the universal god of all religions. Whatever name of the God you call according to the bona fide scriptures. if you chant that name of god, there is no need to change the religion. That is the means of purifying your heart in this age. So Sri Advaita Äcärya and his associates they were feeling great compassion, great sorrow in their hearts to see how people were so proud of their learning and so attached to their superficial rituals and over and above that there were so many people who were just out right atheist because of no scientific tangible information of god.

Therefore people were wasting the valuable opportunity of this human birth. Human life is not meant simple to waste like the animals making economic arrangements to maintain the body. Such a life is available for the dogs on the street. May be not sophisticated as you, but they are eating, sleeping, mating, having nice families, defending. Human life is meant to realize God. Human life is meant to transcend the limitations of birth and death and realize your eternal nature. And when one attains the human life and does not use it for this purpose there is nothing more unfortunate and sorrowful than that. Loosing all your money, all your fame, all your prestige is not a great loss. But one moment passing without remembrance of God that is the greatest loss. Therefore the great saints “para duhkh duhkhi” – they are always feeling a very great sense of compassion for those who are not taking the gift that God has given them. So Sri Advaita Acarya with tears filling his eyes, he was begging people take the name of Krishna. It is so simple, perfect your life but nobody would accept. Therefore, he began to think that with all my power there is nothing myself or any of the other devotees can do to convince these people of the necessity of taking to a real spiritual persuaded life. Therefore, he decided that only Krishna himself has the power to convert them, to enlighten them to the path of Dharma, Sanatan Dharma. So therefore, with great conviction he went to the bank of the Ganges in the holy village Santipur and there he was engaged in very very intense and deep prayer to Lord Hari to descend to this world for the purpose of showing His mercy to fallen humanity. And while he was in this meditation he heard a verse from one of the Vedic literatures which describes that Lord Sri Krishna is very pleased to fulfill any desire of a devotee who worships Him with the water from Ganges and Tulasi leaves, if that devotee calls out His name very loudly. So therefore, Sri Advaita Äcärya, he went to the bank of Ganga and with his salagram sila form of Lord Hari he offered the Lord Ganga jala and tulasi leaves and very carefully with great devotion decorated the Lord and he would call out with thundering voice full of devotion and compassion. He would cry out for Lord Sri Krishna to come to this world. And of course as described in Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna says everywhere are my eyes, everywhere are my ears, and everywhere are my hands. He sees everything, He hears everything, He feels everything. So hearing the call of pure devotion of Sri Advaita Acarya, the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna descended into this world and appeared in the holy land of Navadvipa Dham as Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And from His very infancy, He was inspiring everyone around Him to chant the holy names of God.

Sri Advaita Acharya’s exalted position
Through the wonderful years of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s divine lila, one of His principal most associates was Sri Advaita Acarya. There are numerable wonderful stories which describe the pure reciprocation of love that they shared amongst themselves. In fact Sri Advaita Acarya was older than Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and He was also a disciple of Madhavendra Puri, which made Him a god brother of Lord Caitanya’s guru. So always showing proper etiquette, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu always worshiped Advaita as His guru. Because according to the vaisnava principles, one who is an intimate god brother of your spiritual master is also your guru. And of course by Advaita Acarya’s most exalted qualities, he displayed the qualities of the supreme guru. So therefore although all the devotees were worshiping Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all the devotees were reciprocating love with Him in this way and Lord Caitanya was accepting their devotion, He would never accept Advaita as a servant. But rather he would always accept him as His master. And Sri Advaita Acarya did not like this at all. Because he felt himself to be the servant of Sri Caitanya. And Sri Caitanya considered himself the servant of Sri Advaita. And Sri Advaita in the intimacy of his love,was always feeling left out. That everyone is taking the dust from the feet of Lord Caitanya and Lord Caitanya takes the dust from my feet. This is horrible. Lord Caitanya is pleased to chastise all other devotees. But He would never chastise me rather He offers me worship, respect. Until He chastises me, I will not feel that He has accepted me as his servant. So there are many many beautiful stories of how Sri Advaita would try to somehow or other take the position of Lord Caitanya’s menial servant. There was one occasion where it is described, you see Lord Caitanya would also sometimes be in the mood of a devotee and sometimes He would reveal His original mood as God Himself. So one day in the home of Srivasa Thakur, He was sitting on the throne of Vishnu. And all the devotees were approaching Him with great humility and the Lord was fulfilling all of their desires. So Srivasa Thakur approached the Lord and he said “I have one desire” – Your mother Sachi Devi – please give her pure love of God. She is worshipable by all of us and she is such a softhearted and gentle lady in all respects. Benedict her with pure devotion. And Lord Caitanya became very grave and He said “mother Sacidevi, I can not give her pure devotion”. She will not attain pure devotion. Because she has committed an offence to a devotee. Srivasa Thakur said, how can you say like this? She is your mother, she has taken you within her own womb, she has nourished you, she has raised you, she has fed you, she knows nothing but you are her life. Please, what we have to do to appeal to you to give her love of god. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he responded that Sachimata has committed an offence to Sri Advaita Acarya who is on the level of My guru. And therefore until she gets the dust from the feet of Sri Advaita there is no possibility of her ever attaining love of god. If one offences my devotee, even God Himself cannot give that person love. When Durvasa Muni offended Ambarish, even Vishnu would not give him liberation. He had to atone for the offence by begging the forgiveness and getting the dust form the feet of Ambarish Maharaja. Then he would be saved. So then devotees called Advaita Acarya and Srivasa appealed to him. He said “Advaita Acarya you know that Sacimata has committed an offence to you”. We do not know, what the offence is? But somehow or other she cannot attain love of God until she gets your forgiveness and gets the dust form your feet. And Advaita Acarya said what! the dust from my feet and the head of the mother of the God, this is horrible, this is impossible, I’ll never do it. So when Advaita Acarya heard this he was thinking Sachi mata she is the most virtues chaste of all women. She is the highest of all devotees. She is the mother of the universe. She is non-different than mother Yasoda or mother Devaki. She is the most compassionate and devoted of all living beings. She is not an ordinary person. She is on the highest level of pure devotion. Therefore her feet are worshipable by even the demigods like Brahma and Siva. What to speak of insignificant people like me. I should be touching her feet. It is not possible for me to let her to touch my feet. Then he began to just extol glories of Sacimata and he was in such transcendental ecstasy describing the beautiful virtues of this divine mother that he fell unconscious. And as soon he fell unconscious the devotees called Sacimata and she very quickly snug up and she grabbed his feet and took dust and put on her head. And after she took the dust, she became so ecstatic that “I have attained the dust from the feet of Sri Advaita Acarya” and she just fell unconscious in ecstasy and two of them were lying there unconscious, trembling in ecstasy and than they got up chanting Hari, Hari. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu was watching all this smilingly and laughing. And then when she came to her consciousness again, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he gave his blessings. Now Sachimata, because she has attained the dust from the feet of Sri Advaita, now she is blessed with the love of God at this moment. And all the devotees became very jubilant. They all began to dance in ecstasy, chanting Hari Hari. And then it was explained what offence, Sachimata committed to Advaita Acarya.

 

Vishwaroop’s great scholarship & devotion

It is described that Lord Caitanya’s older brother, whose name was Viswarupa, he was an ocean of all godly qualities. And he was very beautiful and whoever saw him would be over whelmed by his charms and his gentle behavior and his great learning and devotion. So it is described that one day Jagannath Mishra the father of Lord Caitanya and Viswarupa he took this young boy Viswarupa to a meeting of very very learned scholars in the scriptures. During that meeting they asked Viswarupa which scripture and which books are you learning from. Viswarupa was very humble, he said “I am learning from little bit of everything”. And soon after that meeting was over, Jagannath mishra was very angry with Viswarupa. He said “why you said like this, why did not you tell them? They asked you a specific question? Why did not you tell them which books, and how you are learning, and how you are doing? What is this – a little of everything? Not only did you embarrass your self, you embarrass me, you embarrass everyone. So Viswarupa was feeling very bad. So he went back to that assembly. He said “my father is very angry because I did not answer your question, now ask me some more questions. What have you learned? So he began to explain some of the principles of grammar. And he explained some of the theory of grammar in the Vedic Scriptures. And when they heard this they were very impressed. They said “yes yes very good, this is very excellent”. How amazingly succinct and correct with your analysis of grammar! And then what he did, he said actually you believe what I just said, it is all wrong. And then he completely refuted everything he said previously. And they listened to that, they were thinking my God what a brilliant mind! We thought it is correct, he completely defeated it, it is all wrong. Yes what you are saying is very right. You are very learned and very brilliant. Then he said you think this is right, of course it is right. You proved it right. He says it’s all wrong. And then through logic, philosophy and all rules, he completely defeated everything he just had said again. And then they realized My God this person, he is not an ordinary human being. He is the most learned of all learned personalities. And Viswarupa saw that these people were so much wrangling in impersonal and mundane concepts that they had no devotion. Not only were they not willingly to chant the names of the god, but they had no sense of bhakti. So he went to all the different various schools and academic institutions where people were teaching Vedanta and he saw that nobody had any bhakti or devotion. When then he heard that there was a class given by Sri Advaita Acarya. The class was on the book called ‘The Yoga Bisistha’. Now the Yoga Bisistha is an impersonal literature, which refutes the spirit of devotion. And Sri Advaita was teaching from the Yoga Bisistha and every verse, every word, he was proving the supreme glory of devotion or bhakti. And when Viswarupa heard this he was thinking my god, this man is a paramhamsa. He is a pure bhakta, he is a pure devotee. In his heart is only love of Krishna. And he is constantly engaging in chanting the names of Krishna and worshiping Krishna. So Viswarupa decided there is nobody else I want to be with except this man. So from that day on Viswarupa, every opportunity he would possibly get, he will be at Advaita Acarya’s house. And he became the dear most of all loving associates of Sri Advaitva and soon after that, as we know his parents were about to get him married, he left home and took sanyasa. And Sachi mata was very very hurt; her heart was aching, grabbing with pain. Every beat was agony in separation from her son. And In her mind she was thinking – its all Advaita Acarya’s fault. He was such a nice boy into the associating with sadhu Advaita Acarya, after he started associating with him, then my god, he just started becoming (39.25)completely detached form the world. And now he left me and left every thing. But she knew that Advaita was a great devotee therefore she never spoke a word against him to anyone. Because she knew it would have been an offence. So she kept all with her. And gradually she became very much attached to her youngest son Viswambar, who is Lord Caitanya. And she was so filled with his devotion with his charm, with his behavior, that her heart overflowed with the sentimental love for him. And Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu very much went out of His way to appease his mother from the separation she was feeling from her eldest son. And then Lord Caitanya became very nice boy. Very well mannered, very well behaved. But later on Lord Caitanya after he began to congregate hundreds, even thousands people together to chant the holy names, He was practically constantly in the association of Advaitva Acarya, having Hari Nama Kritan in the streets. All day he would be with Advaitva and the other devotees in the streets doing Harinama kritan and at night all night he would be at Srivasa Thakur’s house with Srivasa, Advaita, and Nityananda doing Kirtan. Even though he was married to Laxmipriya. Laxmipriya practically never saw him. His mother practically never saw him. And then one day, he took sannyas. And after he took Sannyas mother Sachidevi, she considered it’s all Advaita’s fault. He has taken both of my children away. Now I have nothing. Then she just could not control herself. She said dvaitva means none dual but this Advaitva, he is full of duality. In fact he is completely duplicitor. He appears to be a very saintly sadhu, but he actually steals away these children of mine and tricking them to take to the renounced order of life. And because she said like that just one time. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu took it very seriously that she has committed an offence to a great devotee. Even though she is my mother she can not be excused from offending a great soul. So this is the high position that the lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu felt towards Sri Advaitva Acarya.

 

Sri Advaita Acharya sees the universal form

It is described that one time Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu was having kirtan in the house of Srivasa Thakur and Sri Advaita was filled with love and he began to dance and dance and dance in great happiness as the holy name was being chanted. And he was feeling such separation from Krishna that tears were flowing from his eyes. His heart was filled with transcendental ecstasy that appeared like sorrow because he was feeling separation from Krishna. He would dance for hours and hours and the devotees had to stop him. The devotees were so fatigue but he still wanted to dance more and more. So the devotees, they laid him on the ground but he was just rolling in ecstasy and they went to bathe in the Ganges. At that time Sri Advaitva was alone. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to the courtyard at that time. He wanted to pacify Sri Advaitva. With all respect Lord Caitanya said that how can I serve you? Then Advaitva Acarya, he said “I know your are the supreme Lord Krishna”. Just by seeing you, just by being in your presence all my desires are fulfilled. What more do I need? And Lord Caitanya said but asks something. He said “if you want to offer me benediction. I want to see exactly what you showed Arjuna on the battle field of Kuruksetra – Your universal form”. So all of sudden, Advaitva looked around and all around him he saw millions of soldiers , half on one side and other half on the other side. He saw the most auspicious holy land of Kurukestra all around him. Then he saw riding between the two armies was a beautiful chariot. On that chariot was Lord Sri Krishna who had a beautiful blackish complexion and lotus eyes and his crown was adorned with peacock feather. Then he looked at Sri Krishna and Krishna’s form expanded into the universal form. Within the form of Lord Hari, he saw all the universes and all the planets and all the mountains and all the rivers, and all the demigods and all the human beings, and all species of life. He saw thousands of heads and thousands of eyes and thousands of arms and thousands of legs. And then he saw mouths opening and fires pouring from them and all atheistic, demonic, and sinful people just pouring into that mouth and being burned and devoured. And then he saw Arjuna standing and looking at this form with folded palms in great reverence. Advaitva Acarya saw his limbs were trembling in divine ecstasy. At that time Lord Nityananda Prbhu who is Lord Balaram himself, he was wondering on the streets of Navadvipa and he could understand what was happening. Lord Caitanya was showing the universal form to Advaitva and he did not want to miss this great scene. So he ran to the house of Srivasa Thakur and he came into the courtyard and then he bowed down and got up, he saw the universal form. Both Advaitva and Nitayanda were simply watching with folded hands. In this way Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the mood of being the servant of His devotees was always trying to fulfill all of their desires.

A devotee never thinks that he loves Krishna;

Now Sri Advaitva was very satisfied that Lord is giving me so much. I see Him dancing everyday, I see him chanting, he is embracing me, he is showing me such mercy, but he still has not accepted me as a servant. He still treats me like his guru. He still puts me on a higher position than him. So one day Lord Caitanya in the mood of a devotee, you see a devotee never thinks that he loves Krishna. The more you love Krishna the more you do not love Krishna. This is the sentimental bhakti and in that feeling that you do not love Krishna, you long for Krishna and that’s a more intimate relationship with Krishna then thinking O’ I have you and I love you. The gopis were thinking we have no love, if we have any love for Krishna, then how did Krishna leave Vrindavana. The fact that he left us means we have no love for him. So sometimes Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu will be in that mood. So one time at Srivasa Thakur’s house He was thinking like this. And Advaita Acarya said to Lord Caitanya that why you are showing your mercy to all living beings, the lowest Jagai and Madhai, killers, thieves, you accept them as your servants, and the candalas, the dog eaters, the people who claim to be an untouchable class, you are accepting them as your servants. The most puffed up and proud academic scholars who have no devotion at all, you change their hearts and accept them as your servants. All the devotees even Lord Nityananda you accept them as your servants but my self, you will not accept me as your servant. You are always calling me guru. You are calling me master. Why I am so unfortunate? Everyone is getting your mercy except me. If you do not give me your mercy somehow or other by hook or crook, I’ll extract your mercy form you. Lord Caitanya did not say anything. He just walked out and Haridas Thakur and Lord Nityananda were following Him and Lord Caitanya was thinking I have no love of Krishna. I have no love of Krishna, What is use of this body? And then he jumped in the Ganges. As soon as he jumped into the Ganges, Haridas Thakur and Nityanda who were behind him, also jumped in and Lord Nityanda took him by hair and Haridasa Thakur took him by the feet, brought him to the shore and said Lord Caitanya what are you doing. He said what is the use of this living? I have no love for Krishna. We do not understand your ecstasy is one thing but we are completely depending on you. You are our life and soul. Lord Caitanya said, do not tell anyone that you have seen me. That is my order to you. Then he went to the house of Nandanacarya, He said, “I will be hiding there”, no one should know I am here. So then the devotees, they were all looking every where for him. Mean while Nandanacarya was very happy offering him all devotions, giving him nice dry clothes – he was all wet and putting him nice throne and giving him nice food and giving him nice bhakti. But all the devotees they were looking all around for him. And a whole day went by and they were thinking, the Lord has left us and they were feeling very very sorrowful. Advaita Acaraya was thinking it’s all my fault. It is because I treated him without respect, I said those things to him that he has left us. And he was feeling so dismal in his heart that he just went home without saying anything to anyone and decided to fast. Lord Caitanya knew the anxiety, anguish of all the devotees. So after a day went by he called Srivas Thakur and when Srivasa came to the house of Nandanacarya and he saw Lord Caitanya, he became very happy, his heart illuminated with joy and peace upon seeing the Lord. And Lord Caitanya said how was Advaita? He said Advaita was blaming himself for everything. He thinks you left this world because of him. He is dying, he is about to leave his body in anxiety. Please you have to give him your darshan, otherwise he will not survive. So Lord Caitanya went to the house of Advaitva Acarya. When he went to the house of Advaitva Acarya, Advaitva Acarya was laying there, tears flowing from his eyes, his whole face was surrounded by gloom. Lord Caitanya smiled at him and said “rise Adavitva I have come”. And Advaitva Acarya just layed there. He could not even look up to the Lord. He said my lord I have committed such an offence to you. Look what I did. how impudent, how foolish I am. And then lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He said Advaita “let me tell you a story”. He said, when a king sends his representative and that representative comes backs to report to the King, he said, everyone worships that person and comes with all the problems to that person – please bring this problem to the king, please tell us what the king says about this. He is given such a high position. But when that same person does something very very wrong then the king’s wrath is most upon him than anybody else. Sometimes he is put to death. So similarly Advaitva, when one is very dear to Krishna, that person can expect that when Krishna’s anger is upon him, it will be the worst. So therefore Sri Advaitva, understand that the fact that you are put into this situation. You should not be sad, you should be happy. It is only because you are such an intimate associate of Lord Sri Krishna and intimate associate of mine that I am punishing you by putting you in this condition. When Advaitva Acarya heard this he understood that ah Lord Caitanya has accepted me as his servant. He has punished me and then he became very happy and began to dance.

 

A devotee’s only aspiration is to be servant of servant of servant of the Lord

Of course we must understand that these relationships are the divine lila of the Lord. But there are many many instructive philosophical understandings that can be extracted from them. You see, Advaita Acarya, although he was in a highest position, he hated being on high position. His only aspiration was to be the menial servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of the Lord. In fact all the devotees of Lord Caitanya, their only aspiration was to be the menial servant of the servant of the servant of the Lord. Yet we find in this world, so many yogis, they are performing great tapasya because they want to become god. But the greatest souls, they do not want to become god. They cannot even tolerate the thought of becoming god. They want to simply be the servant of the servant of the servant of the Lord. So many people when they start making a little spiritual advancement, they think I am worship able. I am a very great saint. People should give me the highest regards. But Sri Advaitva was teaching us that the great souls, sometimes they have to tolerate accepting worship on behalf of God, but in their hearts they are simply longing to be the menial servant of the servant of the servant of the servant. However great you are, to that extent you want to be the servant and however low you are, to that degree you want to be great – the master. Isn’t that true? In this material world everyone wants the higher position, but in spiritual life everyone wants the lower position. That’s why a lot of people do not want to come to spiritual life. I remember, you know devotees whenever they sign up on a letter they say “Your servant”. When I first became a devotee I wrote a letter to my parents and I forgot that they do not understand this devotional etiquettes. So at the end of the letter after saying everything is alright, chant Hare Krishna. I said your servant and signed my name. And my parents became very angry, why you say your servant. After all the schooling we put you through, and after all the education and after all the time and energy, we do not want you to be a servant. Do you think, we spent all this money in your college education, we spent all the money in raising you and feeding you just to see you could be a servant, just so you could call yourself a servant. No stop this nonsense. Then I realized they do not understand this science of bhakti. Then in my next letter, I was very Bold in those days, I was a new devotee, I said, OK, I am not your servant I’ll be the servant of the servant of the servant of your servant. I think they understood. It is called the shock treatment. If you put a person on enough shock things start to make sense. So here Sri Advaitva who is actually Mahavishnu. Mahavishnu means the greatest of all Vishnu’s, but when he comes to this world he is showing how to be a devotee. And he was aspiring only to be the loving servant, accepted as the servant. He could not tolerate being worshiped by the Lord. And Sachi mata was the Lord’s devotee. He could not tolerate the thought of her to touching of his feet. But he was always aspiring to collect the particles from the dust of the feet, not only of Sachi mata, not only of Lord Caitanya, but of all the devotees. So although the story seems to be very very elevated and very transcendental, out of the reach of our understanding. Actually each of these lilas have a very very practical lesson for us to learn. That the greatest of the great want to be smallest of the small and the smallest of the small want to be greatest of the great. Correct. Therefore a devotee does not want to be God. He wants to simply be the servant. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu prayed “na dhanaà na janaà na sundaréà

kavitäà vä jagad-éça kämaye

mama janmani janmanéçvare

bhavatäd bhaktir ahaituké tvayi”

 

I do not want any amount of wealth, I do not want beautiful woman. Nor do I want followers and disciples to worship me. Nor do I even desire liberation. I have one aspiration that birth after birth after birth (janmani) I want to be your unconditional humble servant, my Lord Sri Krishna. “jivera swarup haya krishnera nitya dasa ’ My eternal position is to be your servant. And the only higher position, then being the servant of the Lord is “gopé-bhartuù pada-kamalayor däsa-däsänudäsaù” to be the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant. “ahaituky apratihatä” that is the pure heart of the highest transcendentalist. So Sri Advaitva Acarya by his life, by his teachings in this most magnificent incarnation, he has demonstrated this quality. Here is the greatest of the great Mahavishnu aspiring to be servant of the servant of the servant of the Lord. Who are you compared to Mahavishnu. Mahavishnu is so big, so great that simply when he exhales hundreds and trillions of universes emanate from his body. And each one of these universe, He expands himself as Garbhodakasayi Vishnu to reside. And expansion of his expansion, appears within the heart of every living entity “Ksirodakasäyi Visnu”. This is the greatness and glory of Mahavishnu. From his body, millions and millions of universes are coming. In each universe there are so many planets. Each planet there are so many continents. In each continent there are so many countries and cities. Each city there are so many people. Just like India continent is one little continent on this earth. Bombay is one little part. Khar is one little part, Mahaprabhu’s house is one little part and who are you, you are just little insect crawling around this one little house –garage, not even house – a garage, look at us. How big are we even compared to this garage- we are just tiny. What is the size of our body compared to India, or compared to Asia, or compared to the earth, or compared to the Universe, or compared to the cosmic manifestation, What to speak of compared to Mahavishnu. And each one of us thinking I am so important, I am God. I am the enjoyer. People should look up and respect and adore me for my qualities and Mahavishnu is thinking “I want to be the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant”. So Advaitva Acarya by his supreme mercy attracted Lord Caitanya to descent into this world to teach the Yuga Dharma of the chanting of the holy names. But by his own relationship to Lord Sri Caitanya, he is teaching us, what it means to really be great? What it means to be humble? Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has taught us that there is no prayer more glorious than this.

“trnäd api sunécena

taror iva sahiñëunä

amäninä mänadena

kértanéyaù sadä hariù”

 

Trinad api sunichena taror…….

That one should be more humble than the grass. Let every one step on your head. The grass, people step on the head. In India my god, what they do with grass? Specially along side railway tracks. We have seen, nowhere else in the world has this special feature. What takes place in the side of the railway tracks. In every town, city, and village there is a universal pastime that takes place. I must say that there is this unity and nationalism in India in this one regard. There is lot of disunity, but every one in every place is unified by this nationalistic pastime. But the grass just sits there. Grass is very tolerant. Lord Caitanya said you should become more humble than the grass and more tolerant than the tree. You cut the tree and the tree will give you it’s wood to build your house, to keep you warm, the tree will give you shade even though its sitting in the sun, burning in the sun, still give you shed. In the freezing of the winter, the tree standing and freezing, and it would give you wood for heat. So tolerant. More humble than the grass, more tolerant than the tree, ready to offer all respect to others and not to expect in return. Lord Caitanya said, in this way you can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly. Sri Advaitva Acarya by his life example, the greatest of all personality, is teaching us how to live according to the principle of this verse. Actually to be more humble than grass, more tolerant than tree, offer all respect to others and expect none in return, it sounds impossible. It sounds like a human being just cannot do it. But one who accepts position of the servant of the servant of the servant of the God, automatically he is doing it. Automatically he is fulfilling this verse. So let us, on this most auspicious day thank from the core of our hearts to Sri Advaitva Acaray for the great mercy, by his prayer and by his example, by his teachings, he has given us. And of course the greatest way we can glorify him and express our appreciation is to very sincerely and deeply contemplate, how we can change our hearts and perfect our lives by aspiring to live according to this divine principle of being servant of the servant and chanting the holy names in this most sublime state of consciousness”.

 

Thank You very much.

Hare Krishna.

 

 

Written by

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.

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About Me

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.