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Title: Beard of Lord Advaita Acharya
User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2007-03-13 20:18:20
Hare Krishna Maharaja,
please accept my humble obeisances. Jaya Srila Prabhupada.
Thank you for answering my question. Now I have another, slightly more practical question. I noticed that in the picture which is on Matus' altar in the background Lord Advaita Acarya does not have a beard which is different from what was originally painted. What is the motivation behind it?
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:
Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Lord Shri Shrimad Advaita Acharya who is the direct incarnation of Lord Maha Vishnu and Lord Sadashiva does not have any white or black beard according to Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada in his Gaudiya Bhashya commentary which I will post in this thread when I reach back to Puri Dhaam. Lord Gauranga had Himself refuted the story of Lord Krishna and Lord Balarama coming from the black and white hair of Lord Maha Vishnu stating that Lord Maha Vishnu cannot have any white hair as His body is transcendental and does not undergo any decay of old age.
So Lord Advaita Acharya being Lord Maha Vishnu Himself cannot possibly have any white hair nor does He become old. Lord Krishna never had any beard on the Kurukshetra battlefield even though He was more present for more than 100 years on this planet at that time. He always looked and looks like a sixteen year old youth. The same is true for Lord Maha Vishnu and Lord Advaita Acharya who are non-different (advaita) from Lord Gauranga Krishna. That is why in the original Deities of Shrimad Advaita Acharya in Shri Shantipura Dhaam, His original abode, and also in Ekachakra Dhaam and all the Pancha Tattva Deities established by Shri Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada in Shrivasa Angan, Yogapith etc., Lord Advaita Acharya does not have a beard or white hair, in fact He is a fresh and eternal youth.
Shri Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada explains in his commentary that the word "daadhi" in Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata does not mean a beard of white hair but simply the chin with some very small hair growing. He states that Lord Advaita is complete mundana mastaka i.e. completely shaved head with face. He states that some bauls from the sahajiya sampradaya wanted to sport a beard in the name of Lord Advaita so they changed the photo of Lord Advaita and put a white beard on Him. So putting a beard and white hair of the lotus face and head of Lord Advaita Acharya's Deity is not accepted by our parama Guru Shri Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada and constitutes an offense against Vishnu Tattva.
Lord Gauranga always addressed Lord Advaita in Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata as "nada" which means clean shaven. Also in the Gaura Govinda Smarana Archana Paddhati of Shrila Dhyanachandra Goswami, Lord Advaita is not described with a beard during the process of meditating on His transcendental form.
Of course sometimes during the course of dramatic pastimes Lord Advaita Acharya did don an artifical beard like in the drama in the home of Shrila Chandrashekhara Acharya at Shri Chaitanya Math where He acted as Shiva. Even Shrila Shrivasa Pandita wore a beard when he acted like Shrila Narada Muni. So Shrila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada sometimes allowed photos of Lord Advaita Acharya with a beard. But it is to be understood that being an illustrious disciple of his own Gurudeva, Shrila Prabhupada would never contradict his own Gurudeva Shri Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada who clearly stated that the white beard of Lord Advaita has been introduced by the sahajiya sampradaya. Thus it is to be concluded that the allowance of the beard of Lord Advaita by Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was only for very specific situations.