Category Archives: Vaishnava acharyas

Bhaktivinoda Thakur & Chastisement of Bisak Sen

Bhaktivinoda Thakura

While in Jagannath Puri, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, who was a magistrate, faced numerous challenges. There was an imposter, named Bisak Sen, belonging to the Ati-bari sect (a non bonafide religious group of pseudo devotees) who claimed himself to be an incarnation of Maha-vishnu (a manifestation of the Supreme Lord lying in the causal ocean). Bisak Sen held a few mystic powers that he had obtained by performing some austerities, and he used them to deceive the local people. He could cure some incurable diseases, could emit fire from his matted hair, read others’ minds, etc. Now the scriptures assert that there are eight yogic siddhis, which can be achieved by anyone performing suitable yogic processes. But it does not imply that one holding these siddhis becomes God. The imposter Bisak Sen had even organized Rasa Lila and sexually exploited the wives of others, while claiming himself to be God.

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Madhavendra Puri – Pastimes with Gopal and Khirachora Gopinath

Khirachora Gopinath madhavendra puri

Sri Madhavendra Puri was the spiritual master of Isvara Puri who in turn was the spiritual master of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the most merciful incarnation of the Supreme Lord. Sri Madhavendra was almost always intoxicated with an intense love for the Supreme. He was mostly devoid of his external consciousness and had no awareness of where he was or what time of the day it was. Sometimes standing and sometimes falling, all the ecstatic symptoms manifested in his body simultaneously. Sri Madhavendra Puri, a devotee in the line of Madhvacharya, is designated as the first sprout (ankura) of the desire tree of devotion.

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26 qualities of Srila A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada | Vaishnava acharya

Srila A.c bhaktivedanta swami Prabhupada

Kind (Kripalu), Compassionate (karuna), Magnanimous (vadanya) & works for the welfare of everyone (sarva-upakaraka)

By the time Srila A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada passed away in 1977, he had already established 108 temples across six continents. These temples are a shelter for those who want to learn, preach and practice the science of devotion unto the Supreme Lord. He inaugurated the Rathayatra festival of Lord Jagannatha in major cities across the globe. He had initiated more than 5000 disciples and launched the ISKCON life membership program enrolling thousands of members. He encircled the globe fourteen times in these 10 years. He established major centers in Vrindavan, Bombay and Mayapur. He established the ‘Bhaktivedanta Swami Charity Trust’ to unearth and renovate the holy places of Lord Chaitanya’s pastimes. He founded the BBT (Bhaktivedanta Book Trust) in 1972. He wrote approximately seventy books on the science of Krishna consciousness, sleeping only a few hours per day. These books continue to be an inspiration for devotees all over the world. Dozens of prominent scholars and educators from leading universities highly praised his work. Srila Prabhupada was magnanimous in the truest sense of the word, as his gifts to the world were unlimited and filled with tremendous spiritual value. In Chaitanya Mangala, Locana Das Thakura quotes Lord Chaitanya predicting that if the sinful people, giving up their religious principles, travelled to far off lands, His empowered commander in chief (senapati bhakta), would go there in due time to deliver them as well. Srila Prabhupada was the commander in chief of Lord Chaitanya. Another of Lord Chaitanya’s prediction that in every town and village of this world, the chanting of His holy name would become heard, came to pass through the pastimes of Srila A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (prthibite ache yata nagaradi grama,sarvatra prachar haibe mora nama).

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Ramanujacharya – Biography & Teachings | Visistadvaita philosophy

Ramanujacharya visistadvaita

A brahmana named Keshavacharya, a descendent of Harita, the compiler of Dharma Shastras, lived in a village named Sriperumbudur (Mahabhuta Puri) situated about twenty-six miles from Madras (Chennai). Keshava and his wife Kantimati were pious and possessors of all good qualities. One day, desiring to have a son, they bathed in the river Kairavani and prayed to the Supreme Lord. Lord Hari being pleased with them soon fulfilled their desire. During those days, the land of Bharata-Varsha suffered from a lack of devotion to the Supreme Lord Vishnu. People were largely opposed to the principles of devotional science. To deliver the land of Bharata (India), Lord Hari empowered a suitable entity with the potency of His sankarsana to usher in an age of devotion. Thus Sri Ramanujacharya was born in the year 1017 AD to Keshavacharya and Kantimati devi on a Thursday during the period of Adra Nakshatra in the village of Mahabhuta Puri. He became the acharya of the Sri Vaishnava sampradaya and the proponent of Visistadvaita philosophy.

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Madhvacharya – Biography and Teachings | Dvaita philosophy | Vaishnava acharya

Madhvacharya purnaprajna vasudeva udupi

Narayana Bhatta, a pious brahmana who had hailed from the exalted Madhyageha family, lived with his wife Vedavati at Pajaka Kshetra on the shores of the Papanasini river. This place is situated by the Vimanagiri mountains on the southeast of Udupi Kshetra (Karnataka, South India) and is famed to be the place where Lord Parasurama had created holy tirthas. In due course of time, Narayana Bhatta and Vedavati devi had two sons but unfortunately, both died prematurely. The brahmana couple, then being bereft of any progeny, performed severe austerities for twelve years while subsisting only on milk. They yearned to have an immortal son. The Supreme Lord was pleased with their austerities and wanted to reward them. This was the time when pure devotional service was scarce all over Bharata-Varsha. Sanatana Dharma was on the decline while atheism, in the form of Buddhism, and covered atheism, in the form of Shankaracharya’s Mayavada, was forcibly pushing people towards existence in dense ignorance. To revive Sanatana Dharma and its essence of pure devotional service, Vayu, the demigod of wind, appeared in this world by the divine will of Lord Vishnu. Just as he had previously appeared as Hanuman in Treta Yuga and as Bhima in Dvapara Yuga, similarly, Vayu appeared as Sri Madhvacharya (Purnaprajna) in this age of Kali from the womb of mother Vedavati. He was born in 1238 AD, on the auspicious occasion of Vijayadashami, and he was named Vasudeva.

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A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada – Biography and Teachings | Vaishnava acharya

Srila Ac bhaktivedanta swami Prabhupada

Sri Gour Mohan De and Srimati Rajani devi became the proud parents of Sri Abhay Caranaravrinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (Srila Prabhupada) on the 1st of September, 1896. A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896 AD-1977 AD) or Abhay Carana, as he was previously called, was born on the auspicious occasion of Nandotsava, at the home of his maternal grandparents, in the suburbs of Tollygunge in Kolkata. The fortunate jackfruit tree under which he was born stands tall this day. Kolkata (erstwhile Calcutta) back then was the capital of British India and the ‘second city’ of the British Empire. The British and the Indians lived in separate parts of the city although they intermingled during work and business. The Indians lived more towards the north of the city while the British lived amongst their theatres, racetracks, and cricket fields in central Calcutta. Sri Gour Mohan De used to reside along with his family in his rented house at 151 Harrison Road (refer –Srila Prabhupada’s pastime places in Central Kolkata). He was a cloth merchant with moderate income and belonged to the aristocratic ‘Suvarna banik’ (gold merchant) community. We cannot help at this point but contemplate upon the exalted pastimes of another eternal associate of the Lord, Sri Uddharana Datta Thakura, who also belonged to this gold mercantile community (refer – Sri Uddharana Datta Thakura Sripat, Adisaptagram’). Soon after Srila Prabhupada was born, an astrologer had prepared a horoscope for the child and made an accurate prediction. He prophesied that when Srila Prabhupada would reach the age of seventy, he would cross over the oceans, become a great preacher of religion and inaugurate 108 temples.

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Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura – Biography and Teachings | Vaishnava acharya

Bhaktisiddhanta sarasvati Thakura

On the 6th of February 1874 AD at 3.30 pm in the afternoon, Bimala prasad Datta (later renowned as Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura) appeared in this world, at a place not very far from the Jagannatha temple in Puri. He was the fourth son of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srimati Bhagavati Devi. We have dedicated a separate article in honor of Srila Bhaktivinoda, who also happens to be an exalted acharya of our Vaishnava sampradaya. Sri Bimala Prasad Datta exhibited the thirty-two bodily symptoms of a great personality, at the time of his birth. He was born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck like a Brahmin’s thread, perhaps a sign of his glorious mission.

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Bhaktivinoda Thakur – Biography | Seventh Goswami | Vaishnava Acharya

Bhaktivinoda Thakur yogpeeth

Sri Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakur, who is sometimes also referred to as the seventh Goswami, is an eternal associate of the Supreme Lord. His contribution to the Brahma-Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya is invaluable.At a time when the science of pure devotional service (Bhakti)  had almost become lost due to the cultural and religious chauvinism of the ruling British, and the essence of Vaishnavism largely discredited due to the perverted actions and lifestyles of a few non bonafide Vaishnava sects, Srila Bhaktivinoda was largely responsible for rescuing and unearthing the timeless teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. In Fact it was he who ,after conducting a painstaking research, had rediscovered the long lost birthsite of Sri Gaurasundara (refer – YogPeeth, Mayapur, Navadvipa – The birthplace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu). Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, was not only a magistrate, but also a renowned and recognised scholar in his days, with vast knowledge in english,bengali,hindi,oriya and sanskrit.He was also a member of the royal asiatic society of London. Such was the degraded state of affairs during those days, that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur could not find a bonafide copy of Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, the most important literature for understanding Lord Caitanya’s life and teachings, anywhere. It was only after several enquiries and a long wait, that he received a copy of this book. He subsequently published it along with his commentaries (Amrta-pravaha-bhasya). Likewise, he was instrumental in unearthing several ancient manuscripts like Caitanyopanishad ( portion of Atharva Veda) ,Sri Krishna Vijaya, etc.We consider ourselves insignificant servants of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, whose causeless mercy has enabled us fools to get a glimpse of his elevated stature and pen a few lines in his glorification.

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Worshiping the Pancha Tattva – Chaitanya, Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara, Srivasa

Pancha Tattva – The Absolute truth (Supreme Lord) in five features :

pancha tattva

Pancha Tattvatmakam Krishnam
Bhakta rupa svarupakam
Bhaktavataram bhaktakhyam
Namami bhakta saktikam

I offer my obeisances unto the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna, who is non-different from His features as a devotee (Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu), devotional manifestation (Sri Nityananda Prabhu), devotional incarnation (Sri Advaita Acarya), devotional energy (Sri Gadadhara Pandita) and pure devotee (Sri Srivasa Pandita).

The Pancha Tattva (Pancha means ‘five’ and tattva means ‘truth’), as mentioned above, incarnate along with Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Lord, and in this way, He manifests His sankirtana movement with great pleasure. Spiritually there are no differences between these five truths, for on the transcendental platform everything is absolute. Yet at the same time, there are also varieties in the spiritual world and it is important to differentiate between them to taste these spiritual varieties. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates, who are together known as the Pancha Tattva, had distributed the holy name of Lord Krishna to invoke the love of Godhead throughout the universe.

The three predominators – Lord Chaitanya, Nityananda Prabhu and Advaita Acharya are worshipable by all living entities. The fourth principle, Sri Gadadhara Pandita, is to be understood as their worshiper. There are innumerable pure unalloyed devotees of the Lord headed by Srivasa Pandita. The associates of the Lord in His various pastimes are all His confidential eternal devotees. Only with them does the Lord appear to propound the sankirtana movement. It is only with their help that the Lord relishes the mellows of conjugal love and then distributes this love of God to the general populace.

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Teachings of Vaishnava Acharyas – Vishnuswami, Nimbarka ,Ramanuja, Madhva and Sri Chaitanya

Shuddhadvaita-vada : Philosophy of one of the great Vaishnava acharyas – Sri Vishnu Swami (Rudra Sampradaya) :

Rudradvipa, which is one of the nine islands of Nabadwip, is the residence of all the eleven Rudras. Headed by Nila-lohita Shiva, the Rudras eternally chant over here the glories of Lord Gauranga and dance in ecstasy. Witnessing their ecstatic pastimes, the demigods shower flowers upon them from the heavens.
In ‘Nabadwip Dham Mahatmya’ it is described that Sri Vishnuswami, one of the great Vaishnava Acharyas , had once come to this island of Rudradvipa and stayed here along with his followers. Being pleased with his intense devotion unto Lord Krishna, Nila-Lohita shiva mercifully bestowed his auspicious darsana unto him. On being asked for a boon, Sri Vishnuswami humbly begged for a sampradaya (spiritual lineage) that would propagate the science of pure devotion unto Lord Krishna. Nila Lohita Shiva consented and named the sampradaya after himself. This is how the ‘Rudra Sampradaya’, which is one of the four bonafide Vaishnava sampradayas, came into being.

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