Advaita Prakasha, Chapter 12

BY: SUN STAFF - 9.1 2023

Advaita Prakasha: Lord Advaita Acarya by Shrila Ishana Nagara, translated by HH Subhag Swami.

All glories to Shri Chaitanya! All glories to Sitanatha! All glories to Nityananda, along with all the devotees!

One day when Shri Advaita, Veda Pancanana, was teaching the philosophy of the Vedas to His students, Gauranga and Gadadhara came to His place to study. When Advaita Prabhu saw them, He affectionately chuckled and called them near. Understanding His indication, Gaura and Gadadhara approached and offered Advaita Acarya their respects in order to teach people proper behavior. Advaita embraced the two, and then the three sat down together. Shri Advaita then gently asked Gaurachandra, "Tell Me exactly where You are coming from. I am seeing You after many days. What have You studied all this time?"

Gaura replied, "Listen, O Gurudeva. I am now coming here from Vidyanagara. I have come here to learn the meaning of the Vedas. I have no interest in other scriptures."

After saying this, Gauranga slightly smiled. Understanding Advaita's mind, Gadadhara replied, "Listen, O Veda Pancanana. I will explain what Gauranga studied from the beginning. He first completed studying grammar from Gangadasa Pandita in two years. He studied literary embellishments the next two years, and then He went to Shri Vishnu Mishra's to study astrology and the smritis for two years. He next went to Sudarshana Pandita and studied the six branches of philosophy for two years. The following two years He studied logic under Vasudeva Sarvabhauma. Now He has come to study the Vedas under You."

Hearing this, Advaita Acarya's happiness increased unlimitedly, and He said, "He must have the ability to remember everything He hears."

Hearing His glorification, Mahaprabhu lowered His head. At that time one student asked Him a question. "How can one know that the Supreme Brahman exists?"

Gaura replied, "I imagine that the creation itself is direct proof of His existence."

The student then said, "But the creation is eternally existing by its own nature."

And Gaura replied, "How can something temporary become eternal?"

The student countered, "Atoms are eternal."

Gaura then said, "Dull matter is never the cause of activity. There are five factors behind all activities. Saintly persons say one of them is the Supreme Lord. Without a cause, there cannot be activity. The cause of all action must have all potencies."

They gave so many arguments in this way that I am unable to write. At that time Krishnadasa appeared there. The five-year-old son of Advaita gently smiled and then spoke the essence of all conclusions. "O student, first acquire the eyes of devotion, then you will immediately see the form of the Lord before you. You cannot recognize someone standing directly before you, so I feel sorry for your ignorance."

Advaita Prabhu said, "Well done!" and then He roared in ecstasy. He embraced Krishnadasa and then danced in various ways. Then Mahaprabhu took Krishnadasa on His lap and blissfully gave him the name Krishna Mishra. Thereafter Advaita began to carefully teach the Vedas to Gaura, who studied diligently.

Listen now to this wonderful story. One day the universal mother, Sitadevi, whose life is dedicated to the service of Gaura, set aside for Gaura some of His favorite canpa bananas. When she went to take bath in the Ganges, Krishna Mishra saw that the house was empty and he began looking for something to eat. While searching, he found those canpa bananas. That eternal servant of Krishna then considered to himself, "Mother desires to feed these bananas to Gauranga. If I eat them, it will be an offense." Then again he thought, "But I can eat them after they are offered, then they will be Gauranga's prasada, so there will be no offense."

He first chanted the mantra om, and then he offered the bananas to Gaura by chanting gauraya namah. Considering the bananas to be maha-prasada, he touched them to his head and then joyfully ate them.

After mother Sita finished her bath in the Ganges, she returned home and thought about offering the bananas to Gaura. But when she saw that the bananas were not where she had kept them, she felt sorry and understood that one of her sons must have eaten them.

She first called Acyutananda and inquired, "I had kept some bananas for Gaura. Who has eaten them?"

Acyutananda replied, "Mother, you know everything. You know my mind and behavior. Once, due to my childish frivolity, I drank some milk that was meant for Gaura. You chastised me and I learned my lesson."

How can a fallen soul like me describe the glories of Acyutananda, who is nondifferent from Shri Krishna Chaitanya? In the mood of Gaura, he drank the milk that was meant for Gaura, and as a result his mother slapped him. Everyone was struck with wonder when they saw that slap mark on Gaura's body. The Supreme Lord's eternal associates and devotional service both possess inconceivable potency. The scriptures state that devotional service and devotees are nondifferent from Krishna.

Sita then called Krishnadasa and asked him, "Who ate the bananas that were meant for Gaura?"

Krishna Mishra replied, "Mother, what's wrong? I offered them to Gaura before I ate them."

On hearing this, mother Sita slightly smiled and then began to chase the boy with a stick. Krishna Mishra ran in fear to his father, Advaita, who saw Sita chasing the boy and said, "Don't beat him. Let Me hear what happened."

Being checked by Advaita, Sita restrained herself. Advaita Prabhu asked, "What has Krishna Mishra done wrong?"

Krishna Mishra gently replied, "Mother set aside some bananas for Gaura. So after offering them to Gaura, I knew there was nothing wrong in eating them."

Advaita Prabhu inquired, "What mantra did you use to offer them?"

The child replied, "Om gauraya namah."

Advaita Prabhu then said, "Instead of gauraya, it is proper to chant krishnaya."

The child replied, "Krishna's name is included in the name of Gaura."

Advaita was amazed to hear the child's reply, and He kissed the boy's face in ecstatic love. Sitadevi was fascinated to hear the child's conclusion and considered her son to be most glorious.

Then, as everyone was called for taking meal, Gaura said, "I've already eaten."

Advaita Prabhu inquired, "Where have You eaten?"

Gaura replied, "While I was sleeping, someone fed Me bananas." Saying this, Gaura belched, and everyone was amazed to smell the fragrance of bananas.

Advaita thought, "Krishna is controlled by His devotees, therefore Gaura surely ate the bananas that Krishna Mishra offered. I am most fortunate to have such a son, whose glories can sanctify the entire world."

As Advaita Prabhu thought in this way, His heart was saturated with loving affection and tears flowed incessantly from His eyes. Sita became overwhelmed with loving ecstasy on hearing what had happened. She thought, "There is no limit to my son's good fortune! I am certainly fortunate to be the mother of such a precious child, who is a pure devotee of Krishna."

Then one day a brahmana boy came before Advaita Acarya and offered obeisances at His feet. Shri Advaita asked him, "Whose son are you? Please tell Me what brought you here?"

The son of a brahmana said, "I am Your loving servant. I am known as Lokanatha Cakravarti. I am the son of Padmanabha Cakravarti, who is well-known in Yashohara as the object of Your mercy."

Advaita Prabhu embraced him and said, "Now I recognize you."

Lokanatha said, "You have purified me."

Then Advaita Prabhu said, "How is everyone in your house?"

Lokanatha answered, "Everything is fine by Your mercy."

Advaita Prabhu asked, "Why have you come so far all alone?"

Lokanatha replied, "I came to study from You."

Advaita Prabhu then said, "That is nice. Stay here and study as you desire."

Lokanatha said, "My father wants me to study the nectarean pastimes of Krishna from the Shrimad Bhagavatam."

Advaita Prabhu said, "Your father is absorbed in devotional service and always eager to relish the nectar of Shrimad Bhagavatam."

Thereafter Lokanatha began to study Shrimad Bhagavatam and its commentary with Gadadhara Pandita. As Shri Gaurachandra heard the two recite Shrimad Bhagavatam, He felt great ecstasy and remembered the meaning of those verses.

One day Sitanatha thought to Himself that it was an auspicious day to perform the rice-giving ceremony for Gopala. Listen now to the wonderful pastime that took place that day. According to custom, different items were put in front of the child. But Shri Gopala did not touch any of those items—he touched the lotus feet of Shri Gauranga.

Seeing this, my Prabhu was overwhelmed in love and said, "This child will be the crown jewel amongst devotees. The feet of the brahmanas are almost equal to the feet of Vishnu, because the brahmanas' feet are the abode of all holy places."

While glorifying the brahmanas in this way, Shri Advaita Prabhu revealed Lord Gauranga's actual position. As a result, the devotees present there all became blissful and began chanting the holy names of the Lord. Advaita Prabhu, Haridasa, Acyutananda, and Krishnadasa all began to dance. Seeing Krishna Mishra's dancing, Mahaprabhu smiled, and then the devotees induced Gauranga to also dance. The devotees held daily festivals, and their ecstasy increased day by day.

In the next one year Gaura gradually completed His study of the Vedas and Bhagavatam. Seeing this, the scholars were wonderstruck, and Advaita told them, "Gaura has divine qualities."

Gadadhara Pandita's glories are inconceivable and beyond the description of even Lord Brahma. His knowledge of the Shrimad Bhagavatam is wonderful. Advaita Prabhu has said that Gadadhara is the personified internal energy of Krishna.

By the wonderful association of Shri Gauranga, Lokanatha became a great authority on the Shrimad Bhagavatam. As Lokanatha listened to the explanation on the verses, tears of ecstasy flowed from his eyes and everyone noted how he received the mercy of Lord Krishna.

One day Lokanatha said to Advaita Acarya, "Please tell me, how can I attain Krishna?"

Advaita Prabhu said, "Chant the Hare Krishna mantra and you will quickly attract Krishna."

Hearing this, Lokanatha became jubilant. He then took initiation from Advaita on the bank of the Ganges. The king of Vaishnava mantras has inconceivable potency, therefore Lokanatha attained pure devotional service upon receiving that mantra.

Lokanatha held Advaita's feet and cried in ecstatic love while offering humble prayers. Advaita Prabhu told him, "Please don't cry, control yourself. Very soon you will attain Radha-Krishna."

Saying this, Advaita Prabhu took Lokanatha's hand and led him to Mahaprabhu. Advaita Prabhu said, "O Nimai, listen carefully. Please teach Lokanatha how to search out the Absolute Truth." Advaita then entrusted His dear disciple Lokanatha to Gaura, who accepted him as His own devotee.

One day Gaura said to Advaita Acarya, "I want to take leave from You and return home."

Advaita Prabhu replied, "If You leave, it will break My heart. But You are fully independent to appear and disappear as You desire."

Saying this, Advaita Prabhu drown in an ocean of love. Controlling His emotions, He then told everyone, "Nimai is most experienced in all the scriptures, therefore I confer on Him the title Vidyasagara, the ocean of knowledge."

On hearing this, everyone chanted, "Jaya! Jaya!" One student said, "Vidyasagara, please distribute sweets and betel."

Mahaprabhu obliged everyone according to tradition, and then He and His two associates started for home. How can I describe Shri Gauranga's journey? Advaita Prabhu and His entire family shed tears on His departure.

Meanwhile, in Gaura's absence, mother Shaci was wandering around like a cow that had lost its calf. When Gaurachandra returned home, it was as if Shaci regained her life. Gauranga offered His obeisances at the feet of His mother, who embraced Him while crying incessantly. Gaurachandra said, "Mother, don't cry. Don't cry. I'm hungry. Please quickly cook something."

Hearing this, Shaci rushed off to cook, and Gaura went with the devotees to take bath in the Ganges. On returning, Gaura offered worship and bhoga to Vishnu and then joyfully honored the prasada with the devotees. In the afternoon Mahaprabhu visited town and defeated the scholars there in debate. Everyone remarked, "Nimai is the crest jewel amongst scholars. We have never come across such a scholar!"

The fame of Gaura's scholarship gradually spread like the rays of the sun. Now hear how His marriage took place in Navadvipa. The saintly king Bhishmaka appeared in the form of Vallabhacarya. He was respected as a cultured brahmana due to his good nature and family heritage. His daughter, Lakshmi, was an incarnation of the Lord's pleasure potency. She was most beautiful and endowed with all good qualities. My Prabhu said that Lakshmi, who was accepted in marriage by Shri Gaurasundara, was an incarnation of Rukmini.

Gauranga then opened a school for students to study the scriptures according to their desire. Shri Acyutananda, the son of Advaita, attended that school. He was as intelligent as Brihaspati and most expert in the scriptures. Mahaprabhu was overjoyed to have him as a student in His school, and He taught Acyuta grammar and literary embellishments.

One day Acyutananda inquired from Shri Gaurachandra, "How can the moon be a good comparison to the face? I see there are so many spots on the moon, and the dull silver moon rays are not very prominent."

On hearing Acyutananda's statement, Nimai Vidyasagara joyfully and affectionately praised him, saying, "The face and the moon can be compared only in respect to the pleasure derived from them, for all the features of one object cannot be equal with the features of another."

Acyutananda said, "Yes, I can understand this. But one other thing has come to my mind. Madana-gopala is Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Who can I say is equal to Him? I don't find anything that can be compared to Him. Please tell what comparison can be made and dispel my doubt."

Hearing the child, Shri Shacinandana was struck with wonder and said, "My dear Acyuta, Krishna is the embodiment of eternity, knowledge, and bliss. He possesses all potencies. Krishna cannot be compared with anything, but other things may be compared with Him. Ordinary juices may be compared with nectar, but is there any comparison to nectar in this world?"

Acyutananda replied, "You know everything. The taste of the holy names is certainly sweeter than nectar."

Shri Gauranga said, "How will I be sure of this?"

Acyutananda then said, "A substance is known by its effect. It is stated in the scriptures that the demigods, who are fond of drinking nectar, became more satisfied after drinking the nectar of the holy names."

Hearing this from Acyuta, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's heart melted with ecstatic love, and He embraced Acyuta and kissed his head.

The pastimes of Lord Chaitanya with His devotees are most confidential. I have no ability to describe them even in brief.

Praying at the lotus feet of Lord Chaitanya and Shri Advaita, always desiring Their mercy, I, Ishana Nagara, narrate Shri Advaita Prakasha.