Sri Vallabhacharya: Life, Legends And Philosophy

By Subodini Menon

Sri Vallabhacharya Jayanti is celebrated to commemorate the day on which Sri Vallabhacharya saw Lord Sri Krishna in the form of Srinath Ji. Sri Vallabhacharya is a great saint who comes under the Vaishnava Sect, who are the devotees of Lord Vishnu and his avatars. He went on to give rise to the Vedanta sect of Pushti marg.

This year, Sri Vallabhacharya Jayanti falls on the 12th of April. According to the Hindu calendar, the Shukla Paksha Pratipada of the month Magha is the day on which Sri Vallabhacharya Jayanti is observed.

Lord Sri Krishna is a benevolent deity who comes rushing when his devotee prays to him. It doesn't matter what physical or spiritual form the devotee worships him in. Sri Vallabhacharya was a staunch devotee of Lord Sri Krishna and he worshipped his Lord in the form of Srinath Ji. Sri Vallabhacharya also spread his ways of worship as a method to attain Nirvana to all his disciples.

Today, we shall talk about the things that you need to know about the great saint Sri Vallabhacharya. Read on to know more.

The Story Of The Birth Of Sri Vallabhacharya

• Parents Leave For Pilgrimage

Sri Vallabhacharya was born to Lakshman Bhatt and Illammagaru. The legend says that the couple had performed 95 yagnyas as per their Guru's advice. The remaining 5 yagnays had yet to be performed. To perform the yagnya, the couple set out on a pilgrimage to North India. At Varanasi, they performed the remaining yagnyas, but were unable to perform the 'poornahooti' or the finishing ritual. They had to escape due to some issues in the area.

• Birth Of A Weak Baby

They reached Raipur in Madhya Pradesh. Here, Illammagaru gave birth to a weak baby, as she was under physical and mental stress. There was no way to bring the baby to health. Hence, the parents left the baby and returned to their ancestral village.

• Illammagaru Had A Dream

The unfortunate parents were walking back home and night fell on them. They lay down to sleep. The mother, Illammagaru, saw a dream while she slept, in which Lord Sri Krishna appeared. He said, "the boy that you left under the tree for dead is none other than me".

• The Parents Received A Surprise

Illammagaru woke up with a surprise and shook her husband awake. When she narrated the dream to him, he too was taken aback. Both of them ran back to the place where they had abandoned their baby. When they reached the place, they were surprised to see that the baby was surrounded by fire, as if it was protecting him from the elements of the night. In the midst of the fire lay the baby smiling mysteriously. The parents lovingly named their child Vallah. The name Vallah went on to become Sri Vallabhacharya.

The Story Of Sri Vallabhacharya Finding The Idol Of Lord Srinath Ji

It is said that Sri Vallabhacharya noted that a cow would go into the mountain and let her milk down at a particular place. Sri Vallabhacharya followed the cow for many days and saw this auspicious incident.

But no matter how much he thought about it, he couldn't decipher the mystery behind the incident. He then decided to dig that place up. Upon excavating that area, he found an idol of Lord Sri Krishna that Sri Vallabhacharya called Srinath Ji.

Sri Vallabhacharya established the idol in that very place and began to perform ritualistic worship there. It is believed that the specific idol was worshipped for the first time by none other than Sri Vallabhacharya himself.

Teachings Of Sri Vallabhacharya

• Vishuddh Advaitha Vedanta

The philosophy of Sri Vallabhacharya is called Pure Dualism or Vishuddh Advaita Vedanta. It basically revolves around bhakti in its purest form. He believed that the soul and God are not one entity. The soul has only one aim in its life, which is to be united to the God. Pushti Marg or the divine pathway was cited by him as the way to realize God. He said that the scriptures like the Bhagvat Gita, Srimad Bhagvat and the Bramha Sutra, all pointed to the Pushti Marg.

• Love For Lord Krishna

He described Pushti as the divine love for Lord Krishna. It is only the pure Love for Lord Krishna that will lead the soul to Nirvana or salvation. Sri Vallabhacharya said that the mere worshipping of Lord Krishna is not the Key. One must have such love that invokes Vatsalya or the feeling of maternal love for Lord Krishna. Such is the kind of pure love that attracts the Lord.

• He Did Not Agree To The Philosophy Of Adi Shankaracharya

Sri Vallabhacharya said that the soul exists the same way that God exists. The soul will not achieve peace unless it has bhakti. He said one must be self-sacrificing in the devotion to the Lord.

• He Believed That Renunciation Is Important

Sri Vallabhacharya believed that renunciation was important if the actions of Vedic bhakti had to be fruitful. To achieve the God, one should renounce material pleasures, affections and bonds. Ego and pride should be left behind. Everything that holds the mind in bonds should be sacrificed at the feet of Lord Krishna.

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    Read more about: guru
    Story first published: Thursday, April 12, 2018, 6:00 [IST]
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