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THE APPEARANCE OF SRI ADVAITA ACARYA
As Lord Sadasiva, the transcendental deity from Vaikuntha who is the fountainhead of all the forms of Siva within the innumerable mundane universes , saw the wicked age of Kali, or quarrel, destroying all godly qualities in man, He became filled with compassion. After many deliberations with goddess Yogamaya He sat down on the shore of the Causal Ocean, where Lord Mahavisnu lies in mystic slumber. That great, ever-joyful yogi sat down on a yoga-asana and began to practise yoga there. After 700 years of penance the Universal Lord Mahavisnu appeared to Him. Five-headed Siva then offered many kinds of indescribable praises to Mahavisnu, who replied: "My dear Sadasiva! Why are You trying to please Me by performing such difficult austerities? You and I are one! We differ only in body!" Sadasiva replied: "My dear Lord, unless You empower Me to save suffering mankind, how can I do it?" Then Mahavisnu embraced
Sadasiva and thus They assumed one captivating, radiant golden form in which They would appear, roaring out 'krishna! krishna!Then a most amazing divine voice resounded in the sky, proclaiming: Listen, O Mahavisnu! First descend in the womb of Labha-devI in this form later I will personally descend in Nadlya. You will then find Me in the abode of Sad and Jagannatha. Balarama and all the other devotees will also all take birth there to redeem the conditioned souls. Hearing this, Mahavisnu became one with Siva and together they entered the womb of Labha-devI in Santipura.The Balyallla Sutra confirms: gopesvarenddi sivena sdrddham sriman mahavisnur ananta viryah; premnd militvd jagad-arti hartum labhodara ksTra nidhau vivesa The Almighty Mahavisnu lovingly joined together with Gopesvara (Lord Siva) to relieve the universe from its afflicted condition and They appeared in the milk ocean of Labhadevl's womb.Labhadevi was an ascetic, chaste and religious woman, the wife of Tarka Pancanana Kuvera Acarya and the daughter of Mahananda Vipra. Kuvera Pandita, Advaita's father, was a learned brahmana from the Bharadvaja-dynasty, an expert in the performance of Vedic fire-sacrifices and a scholar of the Vedas. He lived in the Sri Hatta-district of the present day Bangla Desh, in a village named Lauda and he was the son of Chakadi Pandita. His forefather Narasiriiha Nadiyala was a srutidhara (someone who memorises anything after a single hearing) and a scholar, and advised Sri Ganesa Raja so expertly that he managed to overthrow the Muslim emperor of Bengal by killing him and seizing his empire.
vraja avesa-rupatvad vyuho yo'pi saddsivah; sa evddvaita gosvaml cai-tanyabhinna vigrahah Lord Sadasiva, who appeared in Vraja-/f/a in an expansion or dvesa-form, has now (in Gaura-/f/a) appeared as Advaita Gosvaml, who is non-different from Sri Caitanya." (Gaura Ganoddesa DIpika, 76)The town is now called Sylhet and exists in the north east of Bangla Desh.
In his previous birth Kuvera Pandita was the celestial treasurer Kuvera, the head of the Guhyakas, or ghostly fol¬lowers of Lord Siva. As he was a loyal disciple of Lord Siva, Dhanapati Kuvera had performed penances with mantras to attain the Lord as his son, and the Lord blessed him by mak¬ing him his father in his appearance on earth as Sri Advaita Acarya. This is beautifully described by Srila Kavi Karnapura in his Gaura Ganoddesa DIpika (81-85):
mahddevasya mitram yah kuvero guhyakesvarah; kuvera
panditah so 'dya janako 'sya vidambarah
purah kuverah kaildse siddha sadhya nisevite; jajapa para-
mam mantram saivam srT siva vallabhah
In the Prema Vilasa, 24th Vilasa, the genealogical table of Sri Advaita Prabhu is given: prabhdkarera putra narasiriiha nadiyala; ganesa rajara mantri loke ghose sarva kala narasirhhera putra kandarpa saraiiga vidyadhara; mahadeva narayana puran-dara gahgadhara sata putra madhye vidyadhara gunavan; vidyadharera putra chakadi pandita matiman tara putra kuvera ara mlambara acarya; kuvera putra kamalaksa advaita acarya
Prabhakara's son was Narasiriiha Nadiyala, who was always called King Ganesa's minister by the people. Narasirhha's sons were named Kandarpa, Saraiiga, Vidyadhara, Mahadeva, Narayana, Purandara and Gahgadhara. Of these seven sons Vidyadhara was the most qualified, and Vidyadhara's son was the wise Chakadi Pandita. His sons were Kuvera and Nllambara Acarya, and Kuvera's son was the lotus-eyed Advaita Acarya." Then again Mahananda Vipra was the maternal grandmother of Advaita Prabhu. This is confirmed in the Prema Vilasa:
sei grame mahananda vipra mahasaya; parama pandita sarva gunera alaya tara kanya nabha devi parama sundari; kuvera acarya sane viya hoilo tari lauda nivasl mahananda vipravara; janamilo nabha devi asi tara ghara In that village the great brahmana Mahananda, who was the abode of all virtues, was the greatest scholar. His daughter was the most beautiful Nabha (or Labha) devi, who was married to Kuvera Acarya. Thus Nabha devi was born in the house of the best of brahmanas Mahananda, who lived in Lauda.
tato dayalu bhagavdn varam vrnviti so 'bravlt; tadd kuvero
varaydmdsa tvarii me suto bhava
prdrthitas tena deveso varadeso saddsivah; janmanyantare
putrah prdpsydmi putratam tava
iti prdpya varam kastam kiyantam kdlam asthitah; kdrydd isa
vasal so 'dyadvaitasya janako bhavat
Mahadeva's friend Kuvera, the master of the Guhyakas, appeared in Gaura-/F/d as Advaita Prabhu's father Kuvera Pandita. Previously, on Mount Kailasa, where all perfections and accomplishments reside, Kuvera, who is very dear to Sri Siva, practised japa of the greatest Siva-mantra. The merciful Lord Siva then said: "Accept a benediction from Me. Kuvera then asked the following boon:Please become my son (in Gaura-/f/d)." Being thus petitioned, the god of gods and the master of all benefactors, told Kuvera: "In the next life I will take the position of your son. Thus Kuvera attained a precious benediction. When the proper time had come, he became the father of Advaita, by the wish of Lord Siva.Kuvera Pandita was the royal counsellor (raja-pandita) of King Divyasimha of SrI-Hatta. Before Sri Advaita advented Himself Kuvera had fathered six sons: Laksmlkanta, Srikanta, Hari-harananda,Sadasiva, Kusala and Klrticandra. He also had a daughter who lived for a short time and who was an incarnation of the Gahga. Of the six boys four took satinyasa and left home to travel to the holy places;'they never returned, but passed away while on pilgrimage. The two remaining sons became householders, and their descendants are still living in the present day Bangla Desh.Kuvera Pandita was very sad because so many of his sons had left home and took a leave of absence from King Divyasimha's service. He went with his wife to charming Santipura in West Bengal, and they spent their time there performing austerities on the bank of the Gahga. After a while Kuvera noticed signs of pregnancy on Labha and performed Narayana-pM/d with different ingredients. Then he fed the brdhmanas, the poor and the blind. At that time he received a letter from the king and returned home with his wife. He lived in Nava Grama, in the district of Lauda, where king Divyasimha ruled.When Kuvera and his wife came to Navagrama they were honoured by all the local people there. The king was happy to see Kuvera Acarya after such a long absence and asked him: Hear me, O Tarka Pancanana! Tell me, is all well with you? Why did you stay out so long? Your saintly associ¬ation is like a mine of bliss for me without you I consider my whole kingdom void!" Kuvera Acarya replied: "O king, you are an ocean of mercy. You are always so kind upon poor brdhmanas. I lived on a sacred land on the bank of the Gahga it was so charming that it was as if I lived in heaven! I had no desire to leave that place, but now I have returned, on your order. By the Lord's grace we have conceived another child, which is the embodiment of Providence.The king said: "You have conceived a child at a holy place, I am sure this time it will be auspicious. Forget your previous sorrow and call out to the Lord by His grace you will get a wonderful son." In this way the two men had a long discussion, and just then a brdhmana astrologer appeared. The astrologer said: "Listen, O revered pandita, you will get a divine son, of this there is no doubt. He will live long and will become a great knower of the religious scriptures. I foresee Him preaching pure religion far and wide.After saying this, the astrologer left. The king later sought him out, but could not find him anymore. Everyone discussed the amazing prediction with each other As far as we understand a godhead will descend here!" Kuvera Acarya was very satisfied with the predictions of the astrologer. He went home and told everything to his wife Labha. Labha said:
The glories of the Lord are unlimited by His grace we will no longer suffer hardships.The sadhus say that all directions are auspicious for anyone who worships Visnu with devotion.Hearing this, the pure, wise and learned Kuvera Acarya replied: "Priye, this is true, and is confirmed by the Vedas. All the gods are worshipped by one who worships Visnu all perfections are attained and the bondage of maya is severed." Then Kuvera devotedly performed pujd of Visnu with different paraphernalia, after which he fed Visnu's prasdda to the brahmanas and gave garments to the blind,the poor and the infirm.Now listen to an amazing story: Once, at the end of the night, Labha ThakuranI had a wonderful dream in which she saw a form of Harihara (a joint form of Visnu and Siva) in the lotus flower of her heart. All directions were illuminated by the radiance that emanated from His body. He performed hari sahkirtana with a sweet voice dancing and weeping with raised arms, he was unaware of the external world. He roared out hare krishna so loudly that Yamaraja, the son of the sun (who punishes the sinners) came to Him and beheld His sweet form of Hara and Hari combined, which was as attractive as Hara-GaurT (Siva-ParvatI). His captivating bodily luster defeated the splendour of millions of suns who is able to describe such a form? Goosebumps erupted on His body as He sang the hare krishna-names and tears flowed from His eyes like the current of the Gahga. His body swayed of pure loving ecstasy and sometimes He increased the waves of prema by dancing.Seeing this amazing form, the son of the sun offered prostrated obeisances and offered many kinds of indescribable praises. Folding his hands he sweetly spoke: "Listen, O Lord, this is the dark age of Kali it is a matter of amaze¬ment that You will descend in this time and age. When they simply see You, the sinners will be saved and I will have no jurisdiction anymore. Therefore, my Lord, please be gone and thus solve the dilemma of this Your servant.Hearing this plea, the Lord smiled slightly and told Yama: "O Dharmaraja! Be at ease you are mistaking. Don't you care about the deep suffering of the sinners? Wise sadhus are suffering when others are suffering. If you say: 'All living entities must suffer the reactions to their activities who has the power to sever the bondage of karmaV, then I'll tell you: Covered by maya or illusion, they do not know what is for their own welfare they consider trifle external sensual hap¬piness to be beneficial. A person attached to mundane (family-) life is like a sick man that suffers only more when he takes some bogus medicine.
Especially the people of the Kali age are very wayward they roll around in forest-fires of deep miseries. When My mind sees the intolerable suffering of the conditioned souls I cannot remain calm and I took the follow¬ing resolve: This maha mantra destroys all bondage to fruitive activities and generates pure loving devotion to krishna. By teaching the conditioned souls thsis transcendental harindma I will redeem and empower the sinners. For this reason I will now take birth. The sadhus will instead sing: "Blessed is the age of Kali!And I have another firm resolve: "I will surely cause the Original Personality of Godhead, Mahaprabhu, to descend, along with His eternal associates. This country will be inun¬dated by a tidal wave of pure love of God. However, your jurisdiction will not be lost, for the blasphemers and atheists will not be saved." Hearing this, Yamaraja went to his own abode. After having this dream, Labha woke up and told her 9 mayavadl karma-nistha kutarkika gana; ninduka pasandi yoto poduya adhama.sei sab maha-daksa dhaiya polailo (Caitanya Caritamrta Adi 7. 29-30) "The illusionists, those fixed in fruitive activities, false logicians, blasphemers, atheists and sinful scholars all cleverly escape from this deluge of love.husband about her wonderful dream. When Kuvera Pandita heard about the dream he was amazed.Thus Labha devl passed ten months in pregnancy and on the seventh day of the bright lunar fortnight in Magha (January-February) of 1434 A.D., a day also known as MakarT SaptamI, the Lord appeared. On this auspicious day all the women were taking holy Gahga-dips, giving charity and resounding the holy name of Hari and hulu-dhvanr". The bliss in the hearts of the sddhus increased, although no one knew exactly why.
yathd glta maura
magha sukla tithi,saptamlte ati,
uthalaye maha ananda sindhu
ndbhd garbha dhanya,kori avatlrna,
heno subha ksane advaita indu
On the seventh day of the bright lunar quarter of the month of Magha, a great ocean of bliss surged. At that auspi¬cious moment the Advaita-moon rose from the blessed womb of Nabha devl."
kuvera pandita,hoiya harasita,
nana dana dvija daridre diyd
sutika mandire,giyd dhire dhire,
dekhi putra mukha judaya hiya
Joyfully father Kuvera Pandita gave many presents to the"brdhmanas and to the poor, and then he gently entered into
A high sound made by Hindu-women, particularly Bengalis, while vertical¬ly moving the tongue in the mouth The pastimes in pages 2-5 are quoted from Srfla Isana Nagara's 'Advaita Prakasa', chapter 1.
the lying-in chamber to soothe his heart by beholding the face of his son.
nava grama vasi,loka dhd'ya asi,
paraspara kohe na dekhi heno
kiba punya phale, misra vrddha kale,
pailen putra ratana yeno
The residents of Nava Grama came running and told each other: "Who knows what pious activities this Kuvera Misra has performed to get such a jewel of a son at such an advanced age?
puspa varisana,kore sura gana,
alaksita riti upamd nohu
jay a jay a dhvani,bhorolo avani,
bhone ghana sydma mahgala bohu
The demigods showered flowers in an unseen, matchless manner and the world was filled with shouts of jayajayal" Thus Ghanasyama dasa elaborately sings this auspicious song.
magha saptami,sukla paksa,
subha ksana ksana bhiiri
korolo kalimada duri
On the seventh day of the bright lunar quarter in the month of Magha (January-February), on a very auspicious moment, Lord Advaita Sundara appeared to remove the mad¬ness of Kali.
dhai colu saba,loka poithi,
kuvera bhavana majhara
vipula pulaka,viloki bdlaka,
deto jaya jaya kdra
All the people came running to enter Kuvera Pandita's abode and they beheld the baby with goosebumps of ecstasy on their skins, chanting jaya jayal
bhata gana ghana,bhanata yasa,
gdyata gum muda mati.
sughara vddaka,vrnda vayata,
vadya koto koto bhati
koroto nartaka,nrtya ughatata,
thai ta taka taka thon
dasa narahari,pahun ka janama,
vilasa varanabo kon
Minstrels were mad with ecstasy as they sang poems describing the baby's glories and high-born musicians played so many musical instruments.Dancers revealed new dances to the rhythm of thai ka taka taka thon. Narahari (CakravartI) dasa says: "Who can describe the birth-pastimes of the Lord?When the baby was six months old Kuvera had the learned family priest, who was a descendant of Sandilya Muni, brought, who gave Him the name "Kamalaksa" (lotus-eyed). He also said: All the scriptures say that Bhagavan is advitlya (unique or unrivalled), hence He will be known as 12 From: Bhakti Ratnakara, 12: 1751-1766 kamala nayanera tehho yate anga amsa; kamalaksa boli dhare name avatamsa (C.C. Adi 6,30)Advaita."14 Hearing this, Kuvera Acarya blissfully gave donations to the brahmanas, who blessed the baby by placing their hands on His head. Labha-devI was very happy and gave many gifts to the priests.When Kamalaksa was five years old the king of brahmanas (Kuvera) had the chalk placed in the child's hand ceremony that marks the beginning of education)on an auspicious moment,and within one month the Lord had learned the varna mala(Vedic alphabet).Caitanya Caritamrta (Adi 1,13 and 6.5) says that He is called Advaita because He is non-different from Lord Hari advaitam harinadvaitdd.