Biographies of various saints.
Sri Srinivasa Acarya - A Concise Biography
Raga - Sun, 26 May 2002 17:43:54 +0530
The following synopsis of Sri Srinivasa Acarya's life is adapted from the publication "Gaudiya Vaishnava Samadhis in Vrindavana".
Sri Srinivasa Acarya
After witnessing Lord Gauranga's sannyasa ceremony at Katva, Caitanya Dasa and his pregnant wife visited Lord Caitanya in Jagannatha Puri. "Soon your wife will give birth to a son named 'Srinivasa' said Lord Caitanya, "and through Srinivasa all the bhakti sastras of Rupa and Sanatana will be distributed."
When his father left this world Srinivasa visited the remaining associates of Lord Gauranga in Katva, Navadvipa, Jagannatha Puri. They blessed Srinivasa and gave him valuable instructions for spiritual advancement. Seeing his absorption in Gaurangaprema, they knew he was "an embodiment of Gaura-sakti, the energy of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu."
He came to Vrndavana, toured the twelve forests, and took diksa from Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. Sri Jiva Gosvami taught him the complete philosophy of Gaudiya Vaisnavism. Acknowledging his vast learning, Sri Jiva gave Srinivasa the title "Acarya."
Accepting Sri Jiva's order, Srinivasa and his two friends Syamananda Prabhu and Narottama Dasa Thakura were the first ones to introduce the Gosvami Granthas in Bengal. They took a bullock cart of the Gosvami's devotional writings from Vrndavana and spread them all over Bengal and Orissa.
Srinivasa Acarya initiated many disciples (Ramacandra Kaviraja and others), wrote songs full of bhakti, and introduced a special kirtana style. When leading kirtana he would sometimes lose his voice from chanting so long.
Besides his external activities of preaching and writing, Srinivasa Acarya practised intensive raganuga bhajana. Raganuga bhajana is the spontaneous internal worship of Radha and Krishna based on the mood and sentiments of the eternal residents of Sri Vrndavana dhama, such as the gopis. While doing manasi seva (service to Radha-Krishna within one's mind in a mentally conceived spiritual form) he would often bring tangible paraphernalia from these meditations back with him upon returning to external consciousness. Once Srinivasa sat Lord Gauranga on a jeweled throne within his mind. Then he worshiped the Lord with a golden handled camara whisk and a five flower garland. Pleased with his service, Gaura Raya offered the garland back to Srinivasa, who then immeditately awoke and lost the meditation. A surprised Srinivasa found the sweetest flower garland he ever smelled hanging around his neck when he returned to external consciouness.
Another time Srinivasa was in his siddha svarupa as Mani-manjari watching Srimati Radharani, Sri Krishna, and the gopis in Holi lila (joyfully throwing colored powders and dyes on each other). The gopis told Mani-manjari to supply colors to Radhika and side with them in their "war" against Syama. The earth shook from Their furious battle. Srinivasa's meditation abruptly broke. His body was completely covered from head to toe with fragrant and exotic rainbow colored powders imported from the spiritual world.
Raga - Sun, 26 May 2002 17:46:26 +0530
Unfortunetely I have no exact references for the contents of the following text. I assume it is mainly drawn from Gaudiya Vaishnava Abhidhana and Bhakti Ratnakara.
Just as the wind carries the clouds, Srinivasa swept away the cloud like books from the hills of Vraja to the land of Gauda. There the cloud like books showered the ground of Gauda with divine love. Thus suffering mankind, which were like grains suffering from the bright rays of the sun (Kali-yuga), were relieved by the rain of nectar. Thus all the devotees happily danced like peacocks.
As per the order of Prabhu, all his disciples in Kanchanagadia decided to chant one lakh of holy names daily. They used to perform this task not during the day, but at night. Their practice was to tie their hair with a string to the roof of the cottage to check themselves from falling asleep. Srinivasa had such great love for them, and they also for him, that they never wanted to leave the vicinity.
Siddha-deha lila and Radha's prasada
Everyone happily received them including the wives of Srinivasa, who rushed forward to greet him. Upon meeting Jahnava Isvari, Ramacandra fell at her feet. Seeing her face dark with grief, he inquired as to the cause of her distress. Isvari explained that Srinivasa had been lost in deep meditation for three long days which caused her great anxiety, but now, upon seeing Ramacandra, her anxieties had disappeared. Speaking to him like a son, Isvari explained about Srinivasa. Hearing this Ramacandra fell at Isvari's feet and then stood before her humbly with folded hands. He then went to see Srinivasa, who lay in a state of deep meditation. His body was stiff and no sign of breathing could be detected. Ramacandra tried to feel his breath by placing his hand under Srinivasa's nostril, but he felt nothing. Turning to Isvari, he explained that Srinivasa was immersed in a deep state of meditation, similar to the ecstatic absorption Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu formerly manifested. Calling the name of Sri Radha and beseeching Her blessings, Ramacandra covered the body of Srinivasa with a cloth and slid under the cover along with Prabhu. By exercising the powers given to him by the grace of Srinivasa, Ramacandra also entered into a deep trance and in his perfected spiritual body he came to understand everything about Srinivasa's trance. Ramacandra then assured Thakurani that if after two hours Srinivasa did not regained consciousness, she should chant the holy name loudly in his ear.
Thereafter, Ramacandra, in his original spiritual body, went to the bank of the Yamuna where Sri Mani Manjari was searching for the nose-stud of Radha which was dropped on the footprints of Radha Krsna under the water and was covered by the leaf of a lotus. Mani Manjari happily greeted her confidante and together they continued the search for the nose-stud. They both entered the water and eventually picked up the lotus leaf which had been concealing the nose-stud. Mani Manjari praised him profusely for helping her to find the nose-stud. They then rushed to the spot were Radha and Krsna were taking rest.
All of the confidantes of Radha were anxiously waiting for Mani Manjari to return with the nose-stud. When they caught sight of Mani Manjari and Ramacandra, they happily received them, relieved to hear that the lost ornament had been recovered. Sri Rupa Manjari took the nose-stud and skillfully placed it through the hole on Radha's nose. Back in its rightful position, the nose-stud throbbed slowly along with the breathing of Sri Radha.
Sri Rupa Manjari gently grasped one of Radha's legs and began to massage it. After some time, Sri Guna Manjari requested Mani Manjari to massage the other leg of Sri Radha. With great ecstasy, Mani Manjari accepted this service. Later Sri Guna Manjari told her that she had kept for he
r the remnants of Sri Radha's chewed betel leaf. Mani Manjari happily accepted it and was most pleased to see that she had also kept a portion of it for her confidante (Ramacandra).
Srimati approached Srinivasa and very humbly submitted that being ignorant and unqualified she was completely dependent on the mercy of her husband to understand what was right and what was wrong. Dedicating herself fully to Sri Acarya, she begged that her husband take her into his confidence as he had done with Ramacandra.
Pleased by her submissive spirit, Srinivasa took her and Ramacandra to a secluded place and told them that he had kept tied up in the edge of his cloth a piece of betel leaf which had been chewed by Sri Radha. He took out the betel leaf and gave it first to Ramacandra and them to his wives. The taste and sweet smell of it swept them away into a state of divine ecstasy. They were unable to control their emotions and tears of joy flowed profusely from their eyes. Srinivasa reminded his wives how extraordinarily fortunate they were to have obtained the chewed betel leaf, a boon which even Lord Brahma is desirous of achieving. He further explained that they were now elevated to the platform of devotion equal to that of Ramacandra. Sri Acarya stated that Ramacandra was his life, as was Narottama. These two disciples he could not be separated.
Madhava - Sat, 01 Nov 2003 19:33:50 +0530
JayF - Tue, 24 May 2005 06:44:28 +0530
All glories to Srinivasa Acarya. may we always hold him dear in our hearts and never forget such an exalted personality.
Srijiva - Tue, 24 May 2005 23:59:55 +0530
Amazing. I found Srinivasa Acarya's biographic accounts to be truly fascinating. For Ramachandra to join Srinivasa's meditation and help Mani Manjari to find Radha's nose plug...tooo cool.