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Celebrated by the followers of Vallabhacharaya and Lord Krishna, Vallabhacharya Jayanti falls on Magh Shukla Paksh Pratipada. This year, we are celebrating his 539th birthday, on 12th April.
Who Was Vallabhacharya?
Lord Vallabhacharya was the founder of the Pushti Sect, which was founded after his own interpretation of the Vedanta philosophy. He also founded the philosophy of Shudh Advaita. His stories are famous in the Brij and Nathdwar region of India.
He belonged to a Telugu Brahmin family. Lord Krishna had commanded Yagnanaraya, one of the ancestors of Vallabhacharya that he would take birth in the same family after 100 years. So, Yagnanaraya came to the earth again as Vallabhacharaya, a son to Lakshmanna Bhatta and Illama, on the eleventh day of the waning phase of the moon, that is Krishna Paksh Of Chaitra month, in the year 1479 AD. While his other ancestors had lived in Andhra Pradesh, Lakshmanna Bhatt had migrated to Varanasi.
A story also goes that Vallabha had taken birth as a premature baby. The parents therefore left the boy under a tree. That night, Lord Krishna himself appeared in the dream of Illama, Vallabhacharya's mother and told her that he himself had taken birth as a baby to them. They rushed to the place and saw that the baby was being guarded by a divine fire. The mother immediately grabbed him close to her bosom.
Vallabhacharya went to school when he was seven years old. As a child of eleven, he had mastered the books on all of the six systems of philosophies, had read the Vedas and the Upanishads, and could recite 100 mantras from the beginning to end in the reverse order as well.
Vallabhacharya - As The Learned Traveller
A story goes according to which, once in the court of Tulava King Krishnadeva Raya, Vallabhacharya had won a debate and earned 100 gold mohurs. Since then, he is also
known as Jagadguru and Acharya.
He visited the holy places of Venkateshvar and Lakshmana Balaji and left a remarkable impression in the hearts of the public there and therefore was conferred the title of Bala Saraswati. Vallabhacharya had explained the meaning of Bhagvata Purana at 84 places, popularly known as Chaurasi Baithak.
Krishna Appears Before Vallabhacharya
Once in his dream, Krishna had appeared before him in the form of Shrinathji to disclose the "Brahma Sambandh" to him. When he woke up, he asked his disciple, Damodar Das, whether he also heard some sounds at night.
Damodar Das replied that while he did hear some sounds, he could not infer the meaning. Vallabhacharya was by now sure it had been God himself who had appeared in his dream.
A Look At His Personal Life
All through his life, Vallabhacharya wanted to remain a celibate. However, following his Guruji's advice, he married Mahalakshmi and had two sons named Gopinath and Vitthalnath. Vitthalnath is also known as Gosainji.
Vallabhacharya Jayanti Celebrations
This form of Lord Krishna is worshipped till today by his followers with the same zeal and religious fervor. Temples are decorated with flowers and songs and aarti is sung after Lord Krishna's Puja.
While his processions are conducted in the streets, people are educated about his teachings and legends through these. His stories are available in Sanskrit as well as in Braj. Sweets are then distributed among people as prasad.