Vallabhacharya

Vallabhacharya
Highlights

Vallabhacharya lived about 400 years ago. His parents dwelled at a place called Champaranya.His father was Lakshmana Bhatta and his mother Illamma.

Vallabhacharya lived about 400 years ago. His parents dwelled at a place called Champaranya.His father was Lakshmana Bhatta and his mother Illamma. They were Telugu Brahmins.

Vallabhacharya

For several generations, the family of Lakshmana Bhatta had been performing Soma Yaga, a kind of sacrifice to God. When a family performs a hundred such Yagas, they say God himself takes birth in that family.

At the end of the 100th Soma Yaga, the parents went to Kasi to feed a lakh of Brahmins. On the way, Vallabha was born. So everyone said that Agni or the Fire God Himself came to be born as Vallabha.

After taking the sacred thread, Vallabha studied the Vedas and Sastras at Kasi for 12 years under a teacher named Madhavendra.

God came to Vallabha in a dream and asked him to marry. Vallabhacharya married at the age of 28. He had a son, who was as radiant as God Vithal himself.

After completing his studies, Vallabhacharya went to Vijayanagar. At that time Krishna Deva Raya was its ruler. He was a patron of vidwans or learned men. He received Vallabhacharya most respectfully. King Krishna Deva Raya found Vallabhacharya more learned than anyone he had met. So he seated the Acharya on a golden throne and honoured him with presents of great value.

The Acharya, however, kept only a small part of it to himself and distributed the rest among other learned men at the court.

Vallabhacharya then went to Ujjain and stayed there for some time. Afterwards, he went to Mathura. From there he went to Brindavan. There he worshipped Lord Krishna with great love and devotion.

His devotion was so great that Lord Krishna appeared before him as Bala Krishna several times. From then on he preached the worship of Bala Krishna as the easiest way of reaching God.

Once he saw a man worshipping both an image of God and a Saligrama. A Saligrama is a sacred stone. God Vishnu is said to live in it. That man believed that the Saligrama was superior to the other images. The Acharya tried to correct him gently: "You should make no difference between the various forms of God," he said. The man did not heed what the Acharya said.

One night he kept the Saligrama on top of the idol and went to sleep. In the morning, when he opened the puja-box, he saw the Saligrama broken to pieces. He came running to the Acharya and fell at his feet. He prayed, “Please forgive me for not heeding your advice." He then told the Acharya about the broken Saligrama.

The Acharya said: "Wash the pieces with God’s abhisheka water and put them together!" Then man did so, and the Saligrama became one whole piece once again.

The Acharya spent his last days at Kashi. One day he went to the Hanuman Ghat to bathe. After his bath, people saw him ascending into heaven with his body shining like the sun. He was 52 years of age at that time.

There is a temple dedicated to him at that ghat.Vallabhacharya’s followers are called Goswamis. They call the path he showed as Pushtimarga.

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