Sri Advaita Prabhu—the Cowherd Boy part 1
To start this series of short articles glorifying Sri Advaita Acharya Prabhu, we quote Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja, “I offer my obeisances ten million times to the lotus feet of Sri Advaita Acharya. Please do not take any offense in connection with this offering of mine, acharya-charane mora koti namaskara, ithe kichu aparadha na labe amara. (Chaitanya Caritamrita 1.6.116)
Sri Advaita Acharya was about 72 years old when Nimai Pandita stopped His Sanskrit teaching pastimes and started the Harinama Sankirtana movement. Advaita Prabhu appeared 52 years before Sri Chaitanyadeva in 1434 and was named Kamalakara Bhattacarya. Advaita Prabhu left this world in 1559 at the age of 125 years.
Sri Svarupa Damodara Goswami describes the ontological position of Advaita Prabhu thus: “Lord Mahavishnu is the master of the universe, which He creates through His Maya shakti. Advaita Acharya is the incarnation of this form of the Supreme Lord. He is Advaita because He is none other than the Supreme Lord Hari, and He is Acharya because He is the preceptor of devotion. I take shelter of the Supreme Lord Sri Advaita Acharya who is the incarnation of a devotee. (Chaitanya Caritamrita 1.1.12-13)
Sri Narahari Chakravarti describes Advaita Prabhu thus: “Sadashiva, who is an expansion of Bhagavan Sri Krishna in Vraja, is now known as Advaita Goswami and He is non-different from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, vraje avesha-rupatvad vyuho yo pi sadashivah, sa eva advaita-gosvami caitanyabhinna.
“In Vraja, Sadashiva (Advaita Prabhu) took the form of a cowherd boy and danced alongside Krishna. Once on Divali day in Kartika, Sadashiva saw Krishna Balarama dancing gleefully with all the cowherd boys. Becoming a cowherd boy Himself, Sadashiva Advaita Prabhu started dancing and spinning like a whirling wheel for the pleasure of Gopala. Thus, by Krishna’s mercy, Sadashiva plays two different roles in Vraja: Gopishvara Shiva and a gopa. (Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika 76-80)
Vrindavan Das Thakura also identifies Advaita Prabhu as Shiva Shankara and the best of Vaisnavas: “Sri Advaita Prabhu resides in Navadvipa as the topmost devotee, and the leader of all gurus in jnana, bhakti and vairagya. Whatever scriptures that exist within the three worlds, Advaita Prabhu explains in the light of Krishna bhakti. Advaita Prabhu teaches pure devotion in the same way as Shankara.” (Chaitanya Bhagavata 1.2.78-9)
All glories to the supremely merciful Advaita Acharya! Whoever takes shelter of His lotus feet will obtain the great prize of Gaura prema. (Bhakti-ratnakara 12.3764)
Sri Advaita Prabhu Saptami Avirbhava ki jai! Sri Sitanatha ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!