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Adwaitacharya, Goswami


Adwaitacharya, Goswami (1434-1558) Vaisnava philosopher. Born in the Varendra Brahmin family of Navagram-laur village of Srihatta (now Sylhet), Adwaitacharya was the oldest of Chaitanyadevs companions. His family name was Kamalaksh. Once he moved to Shantipur of Nadia district and settled permanently at Babla village. He got the title adwaitacharya after he had been initiated by Madhabendra Puri who was the guru (spiritual guide or initiator) of Sri chaitanya. Adwaitacharya became famous for his wisdom and bhakti (devotion) before the birth of Chaitanya and was a guide of the devotees of Navadwip.

As a companion of Nityananda he took part in preaching of vaisnavism introduced by Chaitanya. Adwaita first formally obeyed Nimai (or Sri Gouranga) as the real god. He introduced Chaitanyadev as avatar on the occasion of rathayatra in Puri. In 1513, when Sri Chaitanya came at Shantipur Adwaitacharya welcomed him by singing the verses from Vidyapati. He established the Krishna image Madangopal at Shantipur.

Adwaitacharya had two wives: Sridevi and Sitadevi. bijoy krishna goswami was a descendant of the Adwaita family.

There are several biographies about Adwaitacharya; one of them is in Sanskrit and four others in Bangla. Balyalilasutra (1487) in Sanskrit is about Adwaitacharyas childhood and was written by Harakrishna Das. The first book on him in Bangla Adwaitaprakash (1569) was written by Ishan Nagar. The second biography is Adwaitamangal by Haricharan Das. Another book, with the same title, was composed by Shyamdas but its manuscript is no longer extant. The fourth book, Adwaitavilash, was written by Narahari Das in the 18th century. These books contain many references to the association of Adwaitacharya with Chaitanyadev. [Sambaru Chandra Mohanta]