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Monday, June 15, 2009

Lord Advaita Ācārya and the wicked Brāhmin of Mathurā

As part of a new series of illustrations, here is Kusum Sarovara in the 1950s. Thanks to Acyuta for the pics.

This is a story about Advaita Acarya in the Bhakti Ratnakara (5.174-196), which I overlooked and thus forgot to include in my book ‘The Glories of Sri Advaita Acarya’. Raghava Pandit narrates this story to Srinivasacarya:


1. LORD ADVAITA ĀCĀRYA AND THE WICKED BRAHMIN OF MATHURĀ

This is a story about Advaita Ācārya in the Bhakti Ratnākara (5.174-196), which I overlooked and thus forgot to include in my book ‘The Glories of Śrī Advaita Ācārya’. Rāghava Pandit narrates this story to Śrīnivāsācārya:

tīrtha paryaṭana kāle advaita gosāi; dekhi’ mathurāra śobhā chilā ei ṭhāi
mathurāya anudeśī eka viprādhama; vaiṣṇave nindaye sadā – e tāra niyama
paṇḍitābhimānī duṣṭa sakala prakāre; mathurāra śiṣṭa loka kāṁpe tāra ḍare

“When Advaita Ācārya was on pilgrimage He came here to admire the beauty of Mathurā. A fallen brahmin who lived there was always criticizing Vaiṣṇavas – it was his regular habit. He was very proud of his learning and wicked in all respects. The gentle people of Mathurā trembled of fear of him.”

eke dina prabhu advaitera sannidhāne; koroye vaiṣṇava nindā duḥsaha śravaṇe
śuni advaitera krodhāveśa atiśaya; kāṁpe oṣṭhādhara, rakta varṇa netra-dvaya
mahā-darpa koriyā kohoye bār bāra; ‘ore re pāṣaṇḍa! tora nāhiko nistāra
cakra loiyā hāte ei dekho vidyamāna; tora muṇḍa kāṭiyā koribo khān khān

“One day he criticized Vaiṣṇavas in a way that was impossible to tolerate, in Advaita Prabhu’s presence. When Advaita heard it He was overcome with great anger divine. With trembling lips and reddened eyes He said time and again in a greatly challenging way: “O you atheist! There is no redemption for you! Look here at the disk in My hand – I will slice your head of with it!”

eto kohiyāi prabhu caturbhuja hoilā; dekhi’ viprādhama bhoye kāṁpite lāgilā
kara-jor koriyā kohoye bār bār; ‘ye ucit daṇḍa prabhu koroho āmār’
duḥsaṅga prayukta mora buddhi-nāśa hoilo; nā jāni vaiṣṇava-tattve aparādh koilo
koinu aparādha yoto saṁkhyā nāhi tār; mo heno pāṣaṇḍa prabhu koroho uddhār

‘Saying this, Advaita Prabhu assumed a four-armed form, seeing which the brahmin began to tremble of fear.  Folding his hands, he said time and again, ‘O Lord, punish me as You deem fit! My intelligence was destroyed through bad company – not knowing the facts about Vaiṣṇavas I committed offences. There is no limit to the number of offences I committed – O Lord, please redeem a godless heretic like me!”

eto kohi’ viprādhama koroye rodana; caturbhuja mūrti prabhu koilā samvaraṇa
dekhiyā viprera daśā dayā hoilo mane; anugraha kori’ kohe madhura vacane

“Saying this, the fallen brahmin wept and the Lord withdrew His four-armed form. When He saw the condition of the brahmin, Advaita Prabhu became compassionate and mercifully spoke these sweet words:

koilā aparādha mahā-naraka bhuñjite; ebe ye kohiye tāhā koro sāvahite
āpanāke sāparādha hoiyā sarva-kṣaṇa; sarva tyāga kori’ koro nāma-saṅkīrtana
prāṇa-paṇa kori’ santoṣibā vaiṣṇavere; sadā sāvadhāna ho’bā vaiṣṇavera dvāre
bhakti aṅga yājanete niyukta hoibe; dekhile ye mūrti tāhā gopane rākhibe

You committed offences so you should suffer a terrible hell, so listen carefully now to what I will say – you have been offensive all along, now give all this up and engage in nāma saṅkīrtan. Stake your life in the effort of pleasing the Vaiṣṇavas and always deal with them carefully. Engage in the different limbs of devotional practise, and don’t tell anyone of the form of mine you have just seen.”

aiche koto kohi’ prabhu gelen bhramaṇe; vipra mahā-matta hoilā śrī nāma-kīrtane
mathurāy vaiṣṇavera ghare ghare giyā; koroye rodan mahā-dainya prakāśiyā

“Saying this much, Advaita Prabhu continued His pilgrimage, while the brahmin went mad in the ecstasy of harinām saṁkīrtan. Weeping he went from door to door, seeing all the Vaiṣṇavas of Mathurā, showing great humility.”

dekhiyā viprera ceṣṭā vaiṣṇava sakala; prasanna hoiyā cinte viprera maṅgala
keho kohe – akasmāt āścarya dekhiye; keho kohe – āchaye kāraṇa nivediye
mathurāya āsi eka tairthika brāhmaṇa; chilen gopane – tār tejo sūrya-sama
vicārinu – se īśvara manuṣya ākāra; tār anugrahe vipra hoilo e prakāra

“When the resident Vaiṣṇavas saw the brahmin’s behaviour they were very pleased and thought of his welfare. Someone said -  “What an amazing sudden (change) I saw!” Another one said: “I tell you how this happened – one brahmin pilgrim came to Mathurā. Although He tried to conceal Himself He shone like the sun. I now realize that He was God in a human form – it is by His mercy only that this brahmin changed like this.”


This text is also added to the existing file of my Bhakti Ratnakara translations, at the linktab 'Literature' on my website madangopal.com.

4 comments:

  1. Just curious to know: why did Advaita acarya show such an aisvarya form of 4 handed form of Narayana if He supposed to teach and inspire raganuga manjari sadhana. Also knowing his spiritual position how He can have a mood of a manjari. For example, Laksmidevi could not get a proper mood for manjari bhava.

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  2. Mahaprabhu is, in one prakash, the Caitanya Caritamrita-one, Krishna accepting the feelings of Radha, in another prakash, the Caitanya Bhagavat-one, He is Narayan. He wanted to slice off Jagai and Madhai's heads with a Sudarshan Cakra, too. advaitam acyutam anadim ananta rupam (Brahma Samhita) - Krishna has unlimited forms in so many different realms.

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  3. Ok, thanks. What you wrote is about Mahaprabhu. Scholars say that only to His most intimate associates did He reveal His real identity: Svarupa Damodar and Raghunat.

    But the question is also from where does Advaita have the manjari bhava if He is combined sadasiva and Mahavisnu. Mahaprabhu has it from Radha - Radhabhava.

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  4. Svarupa Damodara (radha bhava dyuti subalitam) and Rupa Goswami (aparam kasyapi) have both revealed Mahaprabhu as Krishna accepting the feeling of Radha.

    manjari bhava is nitya siddha, it is beginningless. It was never attained by Mahaprabhu or by Advaita Prabhu, they always were/are/remain that. He is Sadashiva/Mahavishnu in the material cosmic realm, not in the internal realm of Goloka. In any case, all these svarupas are eternal, simultaneously.

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