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Sri Advaita

The Expansions of Advaita Acarya

"Bhaktivinoda Thakura gives a summary of the Twelfth Chapter of Adi-lila in his Amrta-pravaha-bhasya. This Twelfth Chapter describes the followers of Advaita Prabhu, among whom the followers of Acyutananda, the son of Advaita Acarya, are understood to be the pure followers who received the cream of the philosophy Sri Advaita Acarya enunciated. Other so-called descendants and followers of Advaita Acarya are not to be recognized.This chapter also includes narrations concerning he son of Advaita Acarya named Gopala Misra and Advaita Acarya's servant named Kamalakanta Visvasa. In his early life Gopala fainted during the cleansing of the Gundica-mandira at Jagannatha Puri and thus became a recipient of the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The story of Kamalakanta Visvasa concerns his borrowing three hundred rupees from Prataparudra Maharaja to clear the debts of Advaita Acarya, for which Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu chastised him when He came to know of it. Kamalakanta Visvasa was then purified by the request of Sri Advaita Acarya. After describing the descendants of Advaita Acarya, the chapter concludes by describing the followers of Gadadhara Pandita Gosvami.

The followers of Sri Advaita Prabhu were of two kinds. Some were real followers, and the others were false. Rejecting the false followers, I offer my respectful obeisances to Sri Advaita Acarya's real followers, whose life and soul was Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu! All glories to Lord Nityananda! All glories to Sri Advaita Prabhu! All of Them are glorious. I offer my respectful obeisances to the all-glorious Advaita Prabhu, who forms the second branch of the eternal Caitanya tree, and to His followers, who form His subbranches. Sri Advaita Prabhu was the second big branch of the tree. There are many subbranches, but it is impossible to mention them all. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was also the gardener, and as He poured the water of His mercy on the tree, all the branches and subbranches grew, day after day. The fruits of love of Godhead that grew on those branches of the Caitanya tree were so large that they flooded the entire world with love of Krsna. As the trunk and branches were watered, the branches and subbranches spread lavishly, and the tree grew full with fruits and flowers. At first all the followers of Advaita Acarya shared a single opinion. But later they followed two different opinions, as ordained by providence. Some of the disciples strictly accepted the orders of the acarya, and others deviated, independently concocting their own opinions under the spell of daivi-maya. The order of the spiritual master is the active principle in spiritual life. Anyone who disobeys the order of the spiritual master immediately becomes useless. There is no need to name those who are useless. I have mentioned them only to distinguish them from the useful devotees. Paddy is mixed with straw at first, and one must fan it to separate the paddy from the straw."

1. Acyutananda

2. Krsna Misra

3. Gopala Misra

4. Sri Balarama, Svarupa, Jagadisa

5. Sri Yadunandana Acarya

6. Bhagavata Acarya

7. Visnudasa Acarya

8. Cakrapani Acarya

9. Ananta Acarya

10. Nandini

11. Kamadeva

12. Caitanya dasa

13. Durlabha Visvasa

14. Vanamali dasa

15. Jagannatha Kara

16. Bhavanatha Kara

17. Hrdayananda Sena

18. Bholanatha dasa

19. Yadava dasa

20. Vijaya dasa

21. Janardana dasa

22. Ananta dasa

23. Kanu Pandita

24. Narayana dasa

25. Srivatsa Pandita

26. Haridasa Brahmacari

27. Purusottama Brahmacari

28. Krsnadasa

29. Purusottama Pandita

30. Raghunatha

31. Vanamali Kavicandra

32. Vaidyanatha

33. Lokanatha Pandita

34. Murari Pandita

35. Sri Haricarana

36. Madhava Pandita

37. Vijaya Pandita

38. Srirama Pandita

"The Advaita Acarya branch received the water supplied by the original gardener, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. In this way, the subbranches were nourished, and their fruits and flowers grew luxuriantly. After the disappearance of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, some of the branches, for unfortunate reasons, deviated from His path. Some branches did not accept the original trunk that vitalized and maintained the entire tree. When they thus became ungrateful, the original trunk was angry at them. Thus Lord Caitanya did not sprinkle upon them the water of His mercy, and they gradually withered and died. A person without Krsna consciousness is no better than dry wood or a dead body. He is understood to be dead while living, and after death he is punishable by Yamaraja. Not only the misguided descendants of Advaita Acarya but anyone who is against the cult of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu should be considered an atheist subject to be punished by Yamaraja. Be one a learned scholar, a great ascetic, a successful householder or a famous sannyasi, if one is against the cult of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he is destined to suffer the punishment meted out by Yamaraja.

The descendants of Advaita Acarya who accepted the path of Sri Acyutananda were all great devotees. By the mercy of Advaita Acarya, the devotees who strictly followed the path of Caitanya Mahaprabhu attained the shelter of Lord Caitanya's lotus feet without difficulty. It should be concluded, therefore, that the path of Acyutananda is the essence of spiritual life. Those who did not follow this path simply scattered. I therefore offer my respectful obeisances millions of times to Acyutananda's actual followers, whose life and soul was Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Thus I have briefly described the three branches [Acyutananda, Krsna Misra and Gopala] of Sri Advaita Acarya's descendants. There are multifarious branches and subbranches of Advaita Acarya. It is very difficult to enumerate them fully. I have simply given a glimpse of the whole trunk and its branches and subbranches."

Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi lila, Chapter 12

Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.