All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga
Page prepared for the devotee children by Parama Bhakti Dasi
The father of Srinivas was Chaitanya Das. He had another name at first. On a particular occasion he went to Katwa planning to take sannyasa. When he arrived at Katwa he saw a barber who was just about to cut off the hair of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. When Srinivas’ father saw this he became so very sad that the only thing he could say was, “Chaitanya! Chaitanya!” So from that time on everyone called him Chaitanya Das.
Some time later he married, and one day his wife said: “My dear husband, I had a dream in which Lord Chaitanya came to me and He told us to have a child.”
Chaitanya Das said: “Are you just saying this to have a child, or what?”
His wife said: “I am not lying, honestly, Mahaprabhu came to me in a dream and told us to have a child.”
Chaitanya Das was still not convinced and said: “Mahaprabhu is in Jagannath Puri, so we will go there and ask Him personally if this is what He desires.”
Chaitanya Das and his dear wife went on their way to meet Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at Jagannath Puri. When they entered the Dham they saw the sankirtana (chanting of the Holy Name) taking place in front of the Jagannath Temple. Mahaprabhu was in the middle, surrounded by many of His followers and many sannyasis.
But as soon as Mahaprabu saw the couple arrive He made way to welcome them and invited them to come over to see Him. Everyone wondered: “Who are these people? Why are they so special and why is Mahaprabhu giving them special attention?”
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu spoke with them and said: “Chaitanya Das, your wife is right. I want you to have a child and I want you to call the child Srinivas.” Both Chaitanya Das and his wife were very, very happy to receive this order from the Lord.
They stayed in Jagannath Puri for a while and they joined the kirtan of Mahaprabhu. They were so very happy. After some time though they went back to Nabadwip, and some time later a beautiful boy was born.
At a very young age Srinivas met Vishnupriya Devi, the wife of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, but at that time Mahaprabhu had already disappeared from this world.
When Srinivas was about four years old he went into the temple room and he found his father crying and asked: “Father, why are you crying?”
His father said: “I am crying because I have no love for Radha and Krishna and no love for Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. I am so fallen!”
Then Srinivas started crying as well and said: “Oh father, neither do I!” When the mother of Srinivas heard them cry in the temple room she came in and asked why they were both crying and when they told her, she too started to cry.
Srinivas was about eight or nine years old when a sannyasi came to their house. He spoke about Krishna (Krishna-katha) and everyone who was there was very happy and fulfilled. Srinivas’ father said to that sannyasi:
“You are a great preacher, is there anything I can do for you or anything I can give to you?”
The sannyasi then said: “What I desire I cannot tell you, my dear Chaitanya Das.”
Chaitanya Das replied: “What do you mean, ‘you cannot tell’ me? I am a grhasta (a married man) and it is my vow to treat a sannyasi properly, so please do not hesitate, tell me please if there is anything special you need.”
The sannyasi said: “No! I will not tell you, you would not like what I would ask of you.”
When Chaitanya Das heard this he wanted to please the sannyasi even more and said to him: “You must tell what it is you want. I will not let you leave my house until you tell what it is that you desire. Anything you ask, I will give to you.”
In the end the sannyasi told Chaitanya Das what he wanted: “It is your son, Srinivas, that I want, I want to take him with me.”
Chaitanya Das fainted and fell to the floor when he heard the sannyasi’s request. He knew there was no way back!
Their son, Srinivas, the gift they had received from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, had to be returned to his rightful owner.
Later on Srinivas dediced to go to Vrindavan. He was very eager to meet Srila Rupa Goswami there. But when he arrived there a large group of Vaisnavas was having kirtan. When Srinivas asked what the special event was, someone said: “Don’t you know? Rupa Goswami has left the world!” Srinivas’ heart stopped and he fainted.
When he came to, he was in the ashram of Srila Jiva Goswami.
In Vrindavan, Srinivas met Sri Gopal Bhatta Goswami and he became his disciple. Sri Gopal Bhatta Goswami was Srinivas Acharya’s Diksha-Guru (the Guru he received initiation from).
One day Srinivas had a dream to go to Gadadhar Pandit to learn Srimad-Bhagavatam from him. Gadadhar Pandit had the same dream. Gadadhar Pandit told Srinivas to get another copy of the book from Bengal, but when Srinivas returned however, Gadadhar Pandit had left the planet. Srinivas was heartbroken. Sri Gadadhar Pandit had promised to teach Srinivas the Bhagavatam, and simply because he said he would do so, Srinivas became a great teacher of Srimad Bhagavatam. Such is the power of a great devotee of the Lord!
In the early seventeenth century Srinivas was personally trained by Srila Jiva Goswami at the Sri Radha Damodar Temple. Srila Jiva Goswami passed the teachings of the Rupanuga Sampradaya on to him.
Our beloved Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math is in the line of the Rupanuga Sampradaya.
Srila Jiva Goswami also trained Shyamananda and Narottama Das Thakur as well. It was Srila Jiva Goswami who gave Srinivas the title ‘Acharya.’
Srila Jiva Goswami gave Srinivas Acharya, Narottama Das Thakur and Shyamananda Prabhu some very holy books to take along to Bengal. On the way the books were stolen by the King Birhambir. He thought that there were jewels in the trunks, but instead there was something much more precious inside; the Holy Scriptures.
Srinivas Acharya, Narottama Das Thakur and Shyamananda Prabhu looked everywhere for the books. After some time they decided that Srinivas Acharya would stay behind to continue searching, and Srila Narottama Das Thakur and Syamanada Prabhu would travel on.
Finally Srinivas Acharya went to the King’s house. A Bhagavatam reading was going on at the time. There Srinivas explained the proper meaning of the Srimad-Bhagavatam to everyone. The King was very impressed with Srinivas Acharya and showed him the books. He told him that he was the one who had stolen the books and, converted by Srinivas, he begged for initiation at the lotus feet of Srinivas Acharya.
Together with Narottam DasThakur and Shyamananda Prabhu, Srinivas Acharya preached a lot in the north-eastern part of India.
When the Deities were installed and the first ever Gaura Purnima festival took place at Kheturigram, Srinivas Acharya was there as well.
Srinivas Acharya married and he was a very great devotee and very knowledgeable. He always spoke of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He had a daughter, Hemalata Thakurani, and she became a Vaisnava Acharya herself.