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Vallabhacharya

 

 

Period : 1479–1531 CE

 

Vallabhacharya Birth

Vallabhacharya Birth

Shri Vallabhacharya was born on the eleventh day of dark fortnight of Vaishakh (second month of Hindu calendar) in the year 1479 in Champaranya (Raipur), which is presently in Chattisgarh. His father’s name was Lakshman Bhatt and mother’s name was Yellamma. Lakshamn Bhatt was originally from a village named Kakarwad situated on the banks of river Krishna. His family was learned and Vaishnav devotees. Mother Yellamma was a daughter of a very respectable family. Her father was a priest at the royal family of Vijayanagar. Shri Lakshman Bhatt was an Utaradi Tailang Brahmin. His gotra (family lineage) was Bharadvaj and Sutra (precept) was Apastamb. All the seven generations of Lakshaman Bhatt had performed Som Yagya. It is said that a family where 100 Som Yagya is performed, God incarnates in this family. According to this rule, during Lakshman Bhatt’s time, after completing 100 Som Yagya Shri Vallabhacharya was born. On the occasion of completing 100 Som Yagyas, when Shri Lakshman Bhatt was on his way to Kashi to feed one lakh Brahmins, on the way in Champaranya, Shri Vallabh was born. He was the second son of his father. After coming to Kashi, Shri Lakshaman Bhatt stayed back there forever.

 

At the age of seven, with the guidance of his guru Vishnuchitt, Shri Vallabhacharya started his education and within four years he learnt all Vedas. When Shri Vallabhacharya was eleven years old when his father died.

At the age of seven, with the guidance of his guru Vishnuchitt, Shri Vallabh started his education and within four years he learnt all Vedas. When Shri Vallabh was eleven years old when his father died.

After his education, at a very young age, he started touring whole of India and in twenty years, he covered all of India thrice. While touring, once his mother and other family members had also accompanied him. He also reached Vijaynagar while touring, at his maternal uncle’s invitation. His uncle was on a high post at the court of King Krishnadevrai. There, Shri Vallabhacharya attended the court of Kirshnadev Rai and defeated great scholars in debate and was honoured with the title of Vaishnavacharya. It is said that King Krishnadevrai, in front of all the scholars, made him sit on the golden throne and did Kanakabhishek (bathing with gold).

 

Shri Vallabh

Shri Vallabh

In the second round of his India tour, when he reached Pandharpur for the darshan of Lord Vitthal, he got a divine instinct that he must get married and settle down. Shri Vallabh had lived a life of celibacy till now and had never even thought of getting married. After Maharashtra, while touring Gujarat and then Braj and Kedarnath, he reached Varanasi where a Brahmin named Devdutt offered him to get married to his daughter Mahalakshmi. Taking this as Lord’s order, with the permission of his mother, Shri Vallabh got married to Mahalakshmi. After some time he was blessed with two sons named Gokulnath and Vitthalnath who had also contributed towards taking further the principles set by their father.

 

 

 

After his education, at a very young age, he started touring whole of India and in twenty years, he covered all of India thrice.

While living at Gokul, once Shri Vallabhacharya got a divine intuition to set up a new sect and he set up a new sect based on the Vaishnav principles. His sect is known as Shuddhadvait or Pushtimarg. The first and foremost follower of his sect was Shri Damodar whom Shri Vallabh favoured him with the mantra “Shri Krishna sharanam” and consecrated him in his sect. Shri Damodar always accompanied Shri Vallabh during pilgrimage.

 

Shree Krishna

Shree Krishna

The most important incident of Shri Vallabh’s life was manifestation of “Shri Govardhanji”. It is said that in Gokul, the idol of Shri Krishna holding Govardhan in his hand had manifested. After the manifestation, a saint named Madhvendra Swami offered bhog (food) to the idol who did not accept the bhog till Shri Vallabh offered it with his hands.

After this, Shri Vallabh did pooja of Shri Prabhu and built a small temple. After some time, with the help of a landlord named Puranmall, he built a magnificent temple here and installed Shri Govardhan’s idol with his own hands.

After this, Shri Vallabh did pooja of Shri Prabhu and built a small temple. After some time, with the help of a landlord named Puranmall, he built a magnificent temple here and installed Shri Govardhan’s idol with his own hands.

Because of the fear of Muslim invaders, Shri Vallabh’s devotees had to take away this idol to Nathdwara near Udaipur. This idol is now known as Shri Naathji. Shri Naathji is the most worshipped god of Shri Vallabh sect.

With the divine inspiration for campaigning for his principles, Shri Vallabh started the tour of whole of India for the third time and had through debates, establishing the theory of “Pushtimarg”. He consecrated many people with the mantra of “Brahmasambandh” and guided them to a new devotional path of life. According to him “Bhagvat Puran” is the supreme granth (religious book). Wherever he went, he used to organize “Bhagvat Saptah” (reading of Bhagvat in front of public for seven days). In those days in Gujarat, Shri Vallabh attained great success in the propounding of his theory. This sect expanded wonderfully in Rajasthan and other states.

 

Bal Krishna Canvas Painting

Bal Krishna Canvas Painting

The Vallabh sect consider temple as the house of Lord and to serve him every day and they offer all different kinds of food, sweets and daily dress him with different clothes and ornaments. Their Ashtyaam offering is very beautiful. Shri Vallabhacharya was basically a worshipper of the child form of Shri Krishna.

 

 

 

 

The Vallabh sect consider temple as the house of Lord and to serve him every day and they offer all different kinds of food, sweets and daily dress him with different clothes and ornaments. Their Ashtyaam offering is very beautiful. Shri Vallabh was basically a worshipper of the child form of Shri Krishna.

Shri Vallabh And Bal Gopal Painting

Shri Vallabh And Bal Gopal Painting

While on pilgrimage, Shri Vallabh had met Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at Gangasagar. It is said that they had also met at Vrindavan and Gokul. Both of them were great devotees of Krishna. But Shri Chaitanya did the propaganda of Shri Krishna’s sweet emotions or ornamentation whereas Shri Vallabh was inspired for the worship of child Krishna (Bal Gopal).

 

After the third pilgrimage for four years, Shri Vallabh returned to his home in Banaras to live with his mother, wife and two children. After living for sometime at Banaras, Shri Vallabh went to Adel, a village close to GangaYamuna confluence near Prayag. During his stay, while establishing the theory of Pushtimarg, he wrote many books like:

 

– Brahmasutron par Bhasya – which is also known as Anu-bhasya

– Shrimad Bhagvat par bhasya which is known as Subodhini

– Jaimini ke purva –mimansa sutron par bhasya

– Shodash granth

– Tattwarth –deep-nibandh

While on pilgrimage, Shri Vallabh had met Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at Gangasagar. It is said that they had also met at Vrindavan and Gokul. Both of them were great devotees of Krishna. But Shri Chaitanya did the propaganda of Shri Krishna’s sweet emotions or ornamentation whereas Shri Vallabh was inspired for the worship of child Krishna (Bal Gopal).

All these books are in Sanskrit language. Apart from these, he has also written five more books in Braj language.

During the last few days of his life, a monk named Madhvendra Puri consecrated Shri Vallabhacharya. Madhvendra Puri was the same monk who was the first one to inspire Shri Vallabhacharya to learn Bhagvat Puran and later also supported him in building Govardhandhari temple. After renouncing, Shri Vallabh was named Puranand.

 

During the last days of his life, Shri Vallabh had come back to Banaras. It is said that in the last days of his life he had taken a vow of perpetual silence. Feeling free of all the worldly attachments, one day he went on Ganga ghat for bathing. While bathing, a divine light came out of the water and Shri Vallabhacharya was lifted up and while people were watching he disappeared in the sky. This way, in Vikrami Samvat 1587 (year of Viram era), at the age of 52 years, Shri Vallabh left for heavenly abode. As such, there are different opinions regarding his life span. Some people believe that he lived from 1479 to 1532 AD and died at the age of 53 years whereas few others believe his lifetime to be 1473 to 1531 AD thus living for 58 years.

 

Shri Vallabhacharya Temple

Shri Vallabhacharya Temple

There is a temple of him built on the Hanuman ghat. After Shri Vallabhacharya, his son Shri Vitthalnath took up his father’s work. Of all the disciples of Shri Vallabh, Shri Surdas’s name is worthy of quotation.

 

 

 

There is a temple of him built on the Hanuman ghat. After Shri Vallabhacharya, his son Shri Vitthalnath took up his father’s work. Of all the disciples of Shri Vallabh, Shri Surdas’s name is worthy of quotation.

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