Sri-Srinivasa-Acharya-Appearance-Day-April-30-2018

Sri Srinivasa Acharya is one of the chief Vaishnava teachers in the generation immediately following Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. His parents, Gangadhara Bhattacharya and Lakshmi Priya lived in the village of Chakhandi, in Burdwan district of Bengal. Gangadhara was a great devotee of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Lakshmi Priya would sing the glories of Lord Chaitanya into the child’s ears, and this would make Srinivasa joyful. As he grew, he learned to chant the names of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krishna. He studied under the famed Dhananjaya Vidyavachaspati, who taught him all branches of Vedic learning, including religion, logic, poetry, political science, grammar and Ayurveda.

According to the Prema-vilasa, Dhananjaya Vidyavachaspati said that he had nothing to teach Srinivasa. The Prema-vilasa also relates that the goddess of learning appeared to Srinivasa in a dream and told him she would make him proficient in all the scriptures. Still, Srinivasa became known as Dhananjaya Vidyavachaspati’s prize pupil, and as such he was the pride of Chakhandi.

Srinivasa Acharya was the disciple of Gopala Bhatta Goswami and Jiva Goswami. He organized the first Gaura Purnima festival. This was attended by Narottama Das Thakur, Sri Shyamananda and thousands of other devotees. Several books offer details of his daily life in Vishnupura and Jajigram.

In the early morning he would read from scriptural books, explaining and interpreting them for his disciples. The study of these books would occupy him until ten o’clock in the morning. Then, till two in the afternoon, he would chant on beads occasionally worshiping Krishna according to his inner meditation. From four o’clock to six in the evening he would perform congregational chanting with his disciples. The form of kirtana for which he became famous is called Manohar Shoy. Some say it is the only authentic classical style that has survived. At night he used to instruct his disciples and talk with them of Krishna's pastimes.

Srinivasa composed five songs. He also wrote a commentary on the four essential verses of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. His other works include the famous Goswami-ashtaka (eight prayers to the Six Gosvamis). His literary work has left a unique mark on the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition.