Sri Advaita Acharya is also known as Gaura-ana Thakura, or who has caused Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Lord, to descend in this world. Seeing the degraded consciousness of the people in general, Advaita acharya began to consider how they could be delivered from the clutches of Maya (material illusion). He finally concluded that only the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna Himself can deliver these souls from their suffering. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada mentions in his purport that just as a condemned person is delivered by the special favor of the chief executive head, similarly, the condemned people in this age of kali can only be delivered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead or someone who is empowered by Him. Sri Advaita Prabhu thought that His name ‘Advaita’ would befit Him, only if He could cause the Supreme Lord to descend and inaugurate the sankirtana movement. He knew very well that Lord Krishna becomes indebted to a devotee and sells Himself to one who merely offers Him a Tulasi leaf and a palmful of water. Considering this, Sri Advaita Prabhu began regularly worshipping the Supreme Lord with Tulasi leaves and Ganges water. With His loud voice, He called upon Him to descend into this material world. The place where Sri Advaita Acharya used to worship His saligrama sila with Tulasi and Ganges water, is presently known as ‘Babla’ and is located not very far from the Santipur railway station in West Bengal. Being pleased with His earnest prayers, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Lord, descended upon this world, in the year 1486 AD on the day of Phalguni Purnima.
Tulasi manjari sahita ganga-jale
Niravadhi seve Krishne maha kutuhale
Hunkara karoye Krishna-abeshera tyeje
Ye dhvani Brahmanda bhedi Vaikuntha te baje
(Chaitanya Bhagavata, Adi, 2.81-82)
He (Advaita Acharya) incessantly served Lord Krishna with the help of Tulasi Manjari and Ganges water. Being empowered by the strength of Lord Krishna, He roared loudly. The sound of His loud roars penetrated the coverings of this material universe and resounded in Vaikuntha (spiritual world).
In Chaitanya Bhagavata , the Lord reveals to His associates that it was Advaita Acharya, who had called upon Him and caused Him to descend from vaikuntha (‘mohare anila nada vaikuntha thakiya…’). Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja mentions in Chaitanya Charitamrta, that the merciful Lord Chaitanya had spread the sankirtana movement through Advaita Acharya and had delivered the world through Him.
yanra dvara kaila prabhu kirtana prachara
yanra dvara kaila prabhu jagata nishtara
(Chaitanya Caritamrta, Adi – 6.35)
Appearance of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (Nimai) :
Srimati Saci devi had conceived eight daughters before but sadly, all of them died mysteriously just after their birth. Thereafter Saci Mata conceived Visvarupa, Nimai’s elder brother in her womb, and after His birth, both parents were a bit comforted. Visvarupa was an expansion of Lord Balarama, and He had prepared the womb to make way for the Supreme Lord.
Locana das Thakura records in Chaitanya Mangala how the chants of ‘Jai Jai !’ resounded the universe when Lord Gaurahari appeared in the womb of mother Saci. The demigods, Nagas, and humans looked on with eyes painted with love. Some describe Him as the divine effulgence, some call Him the subtle form of Narayana, while some identify Him as the Supreme Brahman. That same Supreme person had sought shelter in the womb of mother Saci. Day by day, mother Saci’s womb expanded in size and grew more radiant. Seeing this the whole world became joyful. People started respecting and offering gifts to Jagannatha Misra wherever he went. After six months, the radiance from Saci devi’s womb illuminated her entire house.
Sri Chaitanya Bhagavata narrates how the demigods headed by Lord Brahma visited Yogpeeth (the residence of Jagannatha Misra) everyday and glorified the unborn baby in mother Saci’s womb. The demigods expressed, ‘That Supreme Lord who is the shelter of infinite universes has now manifested Himself in the womb of mother Saci. Who can comprehend Your divine will? Creation, maintenance, and destruction of this world are nothing but Your pastimes. Only You are fully aware of the purpose behind Your divine appearance. Empowered by Your divine instructions, each of Your servants possess the power to deliver countless universes. Yet You choose to descend Yourself to preach the science of pure devotion. In the process, You glorify the earth by Your descent’. The demigods glorified and recounted the divine pastimes of the various incarnations of the Supreme Lord. They also narrated the astonishing pastimes that Lord Gaurahari was about to manifest – how He would preach Harinama Sankirtana and be instrumental in distributing the holy name of the Lord throughout the world. The demigods added,’ O Lord! You shall engage Yourself in dancing to the tune of Harinama along with Your eternal associates. When the feet of Your associates touch the ground, they drive away all inauspiciousness from the earth. When they raise their hands in Harinama Sankirtana, all the obstacles from heaven are cast away’. The demigods continued,’You shall perform Kirtana along with Your devotees. Who can have the power to describe the glories of this wondrous pastime? You will freely distribute the greatest treasure of Krishna Prema to one and all. This treasure is so carefully concealed in the Vedas. All of us crave to obtain this elusive wealth because it is so rare. But You are now about to distribute this freely upon the earth. This is all due to Your causeless mercy’. They prayed for His mercy and hankered to witness His magnanimous pastimes in Navadvipa.
One of these days, Sri Advaita Acharya came to pay a visit to Saci Mata. Seeing Advaita, Sri Jagannatha Misra and Saci devi greeted Him and offered Him a seat. They took the dust from His lotus feet and brought water to wash them. Seeing Saci devi, Sri Advaita acharya stood up. With tearful eyes and voice choked with emotions, He swayed in ecstasy. Advaita Prabhu then circumambulated Saci Mata’s womb. Paying His obeisances He worshipped Saci Mata with flowers and Chandana. This incident took Jagannatha Misra and Saci devi with surprise but when they enquired into the matter, Sri Advaita only hinted that they will receive all of their answers in the future. Not throwing any further light into the matter, Sri Advaita returned to His residence, leaving Jagannatha Misra and Saci devi to speculate.
Saat pradakshina kari kare paranama
Kichu na kahila – gela apnara sthana
(Sri Chaitanya Mangala, Adi, 1.28)
Circumambulating seven times, He paid His obeisances (to Saci devi’s womb). Revealing nothing more, He returned to His residence.
When the time for the Lord’s appearance finally arrived (Phalguna Purnima, 1486 AD), there was a total lunar eclipse in Mayapur. Some say that the Lord had actually appeared after the moon had regained its luster, having been devoured and cleansed by Rahu. But Sri Chaitanya Charitamrta explains that the real reason for the lunar eclipse was that there was no need for a contaminated moon with spots all over its body to be visible at a time when the spotless Supreme Lord, had Himself mercifully descended upon this world to bestow His darsana.
A-kalanka Gauracandra dila darshana
Sa-kalanka candre ara kon proyojona
(Chaitanya Charitamrta, Adi – 13.91)
The Lord was born while the moon was in Leo (Simha Rashi) and while Leo was in its ascendance (Simha Lagna). All the other planets were very strongly positioned as well.
As there was a lunar eclipse, all the people of Navadvipa, as per the prevalent customs, came over to bathe in the holy Ganges and chanted the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. The non-hindus jokingly ridiculed them by imitating and chanting the holy names of Lord Krishna as well. The entire earth became very elated and the demigods joined in the celebrations by dancing and glorifying the Supreme Lord. All the auspiciousness of the entire world gathered at Navadvipa on this occasion of Phalguna Purnima. Chants of Harinama sankirtana filled the land, skies and water. The devotees prayed, “Let there be such lunar eclipse daily, which induces the people to chant the holy names of Lord Hari”. The demigods showered flowers from the sky and played upon their musical instruments in ecstasy. Thus Sri Chaitanya induced one and all to chant the holy names of Lord Hari, soon after taking His birth, providing a glimpse of His future mission.
Antarikshe Deva-gana divya-yane chahe
Gaura-anga dekhibare anurage dhaye
Ekmatra shuni dhvani ‘Hari Hari’ bol
Janma-matra prakash karila Prabhu Mor
(Sri Chaitanya Mangala, Adi,1.52-53)
The demigods waited and watched eagerly from the skies sitting on their celestial vehicles. Out of love and eagerness to catch a glimpse of Lord Gaura, they ran here and there. The only sound that could be heard everywhere was that of ‘Hari Hari’. Sri Chaitanya induced one and all to chant the holy names of Lord Hari, soon after His birth.
Saci devi waved to Jagannatha Misra and summoned him to gaze upon their child.The ladies raised choruses of ‘Jai Jai!’ in ecstasy. The demigods, Vedas personified and the Nagas, all appeared to catch a glimpse of the newborn. Each limb of Lord Gauranga’s body exhibited an abundant wealth of Rasa (transcendental mellows). Gazing upon His beautiful form, it seemed to everyone that He was the paramour of the Gopis of Vrindavan.The ladies thought, “We have never seen or heard of a boy, whose sight makes our hearts throb with desire”. The whole world could not hold the endless joy that Jagannatha Misra felt upon gazing at his child. Lord Gaura’s face shone with the soothing glow of hundreds of moons.His smile mirrored that of a blossoming lotus flower while His well-defined highly raised nose defeated the beauty of a sesame flower. The rays of Gauranga’s dazzling body seemed saturated with nectar. His red lips, finely formed chin and dazzling cheeks awoke affection.
Simha Griba Gaja skandha vishal hridoy
Ajanu Lambita bhuja tanu rasamaya
Vishal nitamba uru kadalira yena
Aruna kamala dala dukhani charana
(Chaitanya Mangala, Adi, 1.66-67)
His (Gauranga’s) neck mirrored that of a lion, His shoulders were as big as that of an elephant, He had a broad chest and His hands reached up to His knees.His body was steeped with ecstasy. His hips were broad and they arched attractively. His big thighs tapered like the trunk of a banana tree. His feet resembled red lotus flower.
The soles of His feet were marked with signs of a flag, goad, Camara, Chariot, Lightning bolt, umbrella, swastika, jambu fruit and a triangle surrounded with waterpots. His unmatched charm was just like a nectarean flow of a river. His face was the reservoir of the beauty of millions of cupids combined. Apprehending that the son of mother Saci was not a mere human, the whole city resounded with chants of ‘Jai Jai!’. Even His cry sounded like nectar to the ears. The ladies observing Him concluded that the son of Saci, must be none other than the Lord of Goloka.
Advaita Acharya rejoices with Haridasa Thakur after Lord Chaitanya appears
After Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was born, Sri Advaita Acharya, in a very pleasing mood, began singing and dancing at His house at Santipur. Everyone saw Him and Haridasa Thakura ,dance together in ecstasy, but were not able to comprehend the confidential reasons behind their actions. Taking advantage of the lunar eclipse ,occurring at that time, Sri Advaita bathed in the Ganges and mentally offered various charity unto the brahmanas.
The very next day after the Lord had appeared, Srimati Sita devi, the wife of Advaita Acharya, came to the house of Jagannatha Mishra in Mayapur and blessed the newborn with many gifts and auspicious articles like fresh grass, paddy, turmeric, sandalwood, etc. She blessed the baby to have a long duration of life. To protect Him against ghosts and witches, she named the little child ‘Nimai’. It is said that the inauspicious ghosts and witches do not go near a Neem Tree and hence it was quite common in earlier days to plant a Neem tree in one’s house. Besides the Neem tree is also very famous for its antiseptic qualities. As the Lord was born beneath a Neem tree and as Neem drove away all ghosts and witches, Srimati Sita Thakurani named the little child Nimai, a name by which the Lord came to be widely known later on.