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Shri Acyutananda was the eldest son of Shri Adwaita Acarja. He was born in the year 1428 Sakabda. He was extremely dear to Shri Gaurasundar. When Lord Chaitanya came from Puri to Santipur, Acyutananda was only eight years old. "The small son of Adwaita, who was without any clothes, came to the lotus feet of Shri Gaurachandra. Though his body was covered with dust, Prabhu picked him up and placed him on His lap. He spoke to him, "Acyuta! Acarja is my father. Therefore you and I are brothers." [C.B.Antya 1.216]
According to Gaur ganoddesa dipika he is Kartikeya. According to others he is Acyuta gopika. Acyutananda was the disciple of Gadadhar Pandit. Until the disappearance of Mahaprabhu, Acyutananda resided at Nilacal. He used to dance in the kirtan party of his father before the chariot of Lord Jagannath during the Rath Jatra.
Acyutananda never married. He had one sister named Nandini. Acyutananda's brother, Krishna Misra had two sons: Raghunath and Dola Gobinda. The descendants of Raghunath still worship the Deity of Madan Gopal in Santipur. Dola Gobinda had three sons who resided at Malda. Acyutananda was present at the Kheturi Utsab. Towards the end of his life he resided at Santipur.
During the time when Mahaprabhu was going to Brindaban in the company of His associates, He came to Ramakeli. After being advised by Sanatan, He decided not to go to Brindaban however, and instead bent His way to the South, back towards Nilacal. Thus He came to Adwaita Acarja's house in Santipur, where Adwaita was at that moment completely absorbed in relishing the extraordinary qualities of His son, Acyutananda. How it happened that Adwaita had become so overwhelmed by the remarkable character of His son is a very wonderful story which will now be narrated before you. Listen carefully, so that you might enjoy the great happiness of this incident.
Adwaita Acarja had a highly qualified son, which is only natural of course since he himself was not an ordinary person. That personality is known in the world as by the name Shri Acyutananda.
One day a very advanced sannyasi came to Adwaita Bhavan, having been dispatched there by providence. When the sannyasi saw Adwaita, he was somewhat hesitant and remained standing where he was. Adwaita Acarja saluted him in obeisance and then had him respectfully seated.
Then the Acarja addressed that sannyasi, "Oh Gosai, please make your request. I am here at your service."
To this the sannyasi replied, "Please grant me this desire. I wish that you might personally answer one question for me!"
Adwaita Acarja then requested the sannyasi, "Please take your meal first, then we can discuss your question."
The sannyasi replied, "I should like to put my question first."
The Acarja submitted, "As you like. You may ask whatever is on your mind!"
The sannyasi inquired, "I would like to know what relationship Keshab Bharati has with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu?"
Adwaita Acarja reflected to Himself a moment before answering, "There are two perspectives from which I can answer this question; the external, customary system of social dealings and the internal plane of spiritual realities. Though the Supreme Controller has no mother or father, still His glories are sung as Debkinandan, the son of Debki. From the highest objective reality He has no spiritual preceptor, nevertheless His activities are sung throughout the world. Rather than immediately going to the internal, esoteric plane of understanding, I should rather reply to this question from the customary viewpoint first, and thus satisfy his curiosity."
After having first considered these points, Adwaita Mahasoy replied, "Kesava Bharati is Chaitanya Deb's guru. No doubt you must be aware of this. Therefore, why have you asked me this question?"
Just as he finished his statement, Acyutananda quickly came there from where he was playing. Being only a child of five years, he looked very beautiful though he was naked and his body was covered with dirt and dust from playing outside. His appearance was non-different from Kartikeya. All of his bodily limbs were constructed proportionately and so he appeared very handsome. His manifested qualities of all cognizance and pure devotion were hard to mask, though he was only a small child. Thus it could be understood that he was the possessor of variegated potencies. When he heard his father state that Lord Chaitanya had a guru, he rushed to the spot in great anger, though he continued to smile.
"What have you said father!? Did I hear you correctly? Please say it one more time, so I can be sure. Lord Chaitanya has a guru? This is your decisive judgement!? How have you rashly made such a statement? I can't even understand how these words were brought upon your tongue? The only possible explanation is that this is Kali yuga. Or perhaps this is simply another illustration of the insurmountable power of maya, who is able to illusion even Lord Brahma and Lord Siva. Now I can understand; you have come under the sway of Bisnu maya. Who is it that can cross over the clutches of Chaitanya's maya? When you have said that Chaitanya has a guru then there can be no other explanation than that you have become overcome by maya."
"Unlimited universes merge into the pores of Shri Chaitanya, by His inconceivable will. Engaged in His pastimes within the water (as MahaBisnu, Garbhodakasayi Bisnu and Ksirodakasayi Bisnu) it is none other than Chaitanya Gosai Who simply sports with His own Self; there is no second person. Then there are all of these great rsis and sages, full of conceit. They are existing without purpose since time immemorial. Where from have they come and how have they received their names? By the inconceivable desire of Shri Chaitanya, a lotus flower sprouts from His navel, whereon Lord Brahma makes his appearance into these eternal pastimes. But he is without the power to even see anything. Finally, due to his earnest devotion, the Lord becomes satisfied with him and personally instructs him. Thus having received the order of the Lord upon his head, Brahma begins to create the material world. The knowledge he has received is then disseminated to everyone else. From Brahma the knowledge is initially received by the original sages (the four Kumaras). Thus this knowledge is propagated throughout the world by His mercy. He from Whom this disseminated knowledge has arisen is now being called the disciple of someone? Father, whatever I know I have learned from you. You are my instructing spiritual master. How is it that you are now speaking in a contrary fashion?"
After having spoken these words, Acyutananda then fell silent.
Adwaita Acarja had entered into the higher regions of happiness by hearing these statements. He began to exclaim, "Bap! Bap!" (Father! Father!) as he took his son in his lap and bathed him with his tears. "You are the progenitor father and I am the son. You have appeared as my son only to instruct me. I have committed an offence. Please forgive me my father. I will never speak like that again. I am giving you my word."
Hearing these praises of himself Acyuta was embarrassed and kept his head lowered. When this sannyasi heard these words spoken by Acyutananda and his father, he fell on the ground to offer his prostrated obeisances. Getting up again he began to speak.
"This son of Adwaita is very worthy. As the father is highly competent, so is the son. His words are inconceivable. This is nothing other than a direct manifestation of the Lord's empowering potencies. Otherwise how is it possible that a mere child has spoken such elevated words. At such an auspicious moment I came to meet Adwaita Acarja, and so I was able to see such unprecedented glories with my own eyes."
Having had his desires fulfilled beyond expectation, that sannyasi departed while taking the names, "Hari! Hari!", after first having offered his salutations to Adwaita and His son. As he journeyed onward he remarked again and again to himself and others about the super-excellent standard of Acyutananda's unswerving devotion to and shelter under the lotus feet of Shri Chaitanya Candra.
Having had the good fortune to witness these astounding glories of his own son, Adwaita Acarja left behind whatever he had been doing and took his son in his lap, showering him with profuse tears. He smeared the dust from the child's body on his own body and delighted much in doing so. He thought to himself, "An associate of the Lord has taken birth in my house."
Thinking in this way he began to dance and clap his hands.
He whose devotion is fathomless picked up Acyutananda in his arms and continued to dance, after having witnessed such pure devotion in his son.
While Adwaita was thus overwhelmed with the ecstatic qualities of Acyuta, another highly auspicious conjunction of events appeared to further augment the already ecstatic bliss of that moment; namely, the appearance on the scene of Shri Gaurasundar and His associates, Who had all just returned from Ramakeli. When Adwaita saw his most worshipful Lord standing before him, he fell down to offer his prostrated obeisances.
The earth trembled in ecstatic delight as he roared loudly, "Hari! Hari!" In ecstatic joy he forgot his own body. The ladies sent up loud shouts of jubilation by making a yodelling sound and in this way Adwaita Bhavan became an ocean of happiness, with many aquatics swimming and sporting therein.
Mahaprabhu embraced Adwaita to His chest, the tears of His love and happiness sprinkling on the Acarja's body. Adwaita Acarja embraced the Lord's lotus feet to his chest and shed tears of ecstasy, his external consciousness having been completely extinguished. In all directions the devotees shed tears due to ecstatic emotions and in this way an unprecedented shower of love and affection began to flow down in rivulets into the already existing ocean of bliss. For a moment the Acarja was able to calm himself enough to humbly offer a sitting place to Mahaprabhu.
Having been thus seated in an elevated place, Mahaprabhu appeared like the full moon in the company of many bright stars who were His associates. Nityananda and Adwaita embraced each other and by so doing they became very eager to taste ecstatic love by sporting with each other. All of the devotees paid their salutations to the Acarja's feet while he in turn embraced them in great affection. Other than Bedbyas, who can properly describe the ecstatic joy that was felt by everyone at Adwaita Bhavan that day.
Now entered Acyutananda. While Acyutananda was paying his obeisances at the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu, Shri Gaurasundar picked him up into His lap and washed his body with His tears. Prabhu continued to embrace Acyuta to His chest until Acyuta entered into the body of Mahaprabhu.
When the devotees saw this unprecedented manifestation of the Lord's mercy upon Acyuta they began to cry in great jubilation. Amongst all the associates of Mahaprabhu there was not one who did not consider Acyuta very dear. To Nityananda and Svarup Damodar he was as dear to them as their own life and amongst the disciples of Gadadhar Pandit he was the chief. As is the father, so was the son, a highly competent pure devotee of the Lord. Thus Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, with Acyuta on His lap, drowned in the ocean of ecstatic bliss while in the company of Adwaita Acarja and His other associates.