Sri Vallabha Charya
SriVallabha was born to Lakshman Bhat and Illama. The family of Lakshman Bhat were agnihotri’s. They strongly believed that when one hundred Somayagnas were completed, Narayana’s would appear before them. The 100th yagna got completed during Lakshman Bhat time, when he was awaiting Krishna darshana..he got the news that his wife had conceived. They were expecting Naraya to take birth in their family.
Unfortunately, there were muslim riots in Kashi & they had take refuge ina neighbouring town. Because the mother had suffered from terror and the physical strain of a flight from danger, her infant was born two months prematurely. The baby had shanka & chakra reka on its feet (avatara purusha). As the baby did not show signs of life, the parents placed it under a tree wrapped in a piece of cloth.
Krishna appeared in a dream of Lakshman Bhat and signified that He had taken His birth as the child (amsha avatara) & the child was still alive. The parents were elated and found the child alive & well. They named him Vaishvanara (fire god) but called him Srivallabha. His passion was Srimad Bhagavatham, and he performed 84 sapthahas in his lifetime. He also wrote tipani on Bhagavatham called Subhadhini. He had several compositions, among them were Yamunastakam & Girirajdharya astakam.
Vallabhacharya wished to remain celibate and performed three pilgrimages of India, barefooted. After Panduranga’s darshan in Pandarapur, Panduranga appeared in his dream and asked him to marry(Lakshmi), for He would come as his son. The bride’s father approached him in Vrundavan, Vallabhacharya agreed. He had two sons Vittalnath & Gopinath.
Srinathji (Navaneetha Priya called by acharya)..was dearly looked after by Vallabhacharya and same was later continued by Vittalnath.
Narayana commanded Vallabhacharya to leave the worldly life and to come near Him. It is said that Shrinathji had previously expressed His wish on two different occasions. The third command was accepted by Vallabhacharya as the last verdict. He reached Kasi and according to Vedic traditions, formally renounced the world by taking Sanyasa and a vow of silence. He lived in a hut made of leaves on the Hanuman ghat for about a week. He spent his last days in contemplation of Krishna and suffered agonies of separation from Him.
The members of his family assembled near him for his last darshan. When asked about his advice, Vallabhacharya scribbled three and a half Sanskrit verses in the sand by way of counsel. This collection of verses is known as ‘ShikshaSloki’ . He entered into the waters of the Ganges on the day of Rath Yatra .People witnessed a brilliant flame as it arose from the water and ascended to heaven and was lost in the firmament.
Vittalnath, every thought and action was for Krishna’s delight. Srinathji would directly converse with Vittalnath, from the quantity of sugar needed in the milk to singing His lullaby’s longer.
He was a brilliant devotional teacher..he initated many disciples, among them was a muslim father Alikhan & daughter Pirajadi. He made their devotion so exalted that Pirajadi danced with Krishna while the father played the drum.
Once emperor Akbar presented a Parasmani (a precious stone) to Vittalnath. Vittalnath dropped the mani into Shri Yamunaji.On seeing this Akbar was shocked and demanded that the mani be returned to him.On hearing this Vittalnathput his hand into Shri Yamunaji and took out many identical parasmanis from the water.He told Akbar to choose and take the mani which he had given to Shri Gusainji.Akbar was spellbound on seeing this.
He finally entered the cave in Govardhan, never to be seen again.