Jump to navigation Jump to search
Vallabhacharya (1479–1531 CE), also known as Vallabha, was an Indian philosopher who founded the Krishna-centered PushtiMarg sect of Vaishnavism in the Braj region of India, and the philosophy of Shuddha advaita (Pure Nondualism).
- Their almost simultaneous appearance in Bengal and Central India represents an ‘unusually strong current of similar ideas and sentiments! through- out the country. ‘Vallabhacharya was the son of Lakshmana Bhatt, a Telingana Brahman, and was born at Varanasi in a. D. 1479. At twelve, Vallabha had already discovered a new Vaishnava religion, and started on a pilgrimage to preach it. He is said to have gone to the court of Krishna Dévariya of Vijayanagar, where he defeated some Shaiva pandits in discussion. It is said that while at Vrindavan, he was visited by Krishna in person. Vallabha insisted on the ‘‘complete identity of both soul and world with the Supreme Spirit”. His monism was known as Suddhaadwaita or “Pure Non-Duality”. According to him Bhakti was both ‘the means and the end; it is given by God; it comes by His grace. He conceived of Brahma as the material cause of the world, and believed that through His grace salvation could be achieved. His was the Pushti-Marg, or path of salvation through His Grace (anugraha). Pushti in its highest form enabled one to attain God; in the ordinary way it enabled one to attain the objects of one’s desires. Vallabha regarded the teacher on earth as divine, receiving divine honours. Vallabha differed from Ramanuja in so far that he believed in Suddha-adwaita, recognising no distinction between Soul and God— Soul was not His part but Him. Otherwise he also followed in the footsteps of the twelfth century master. Rimanuja’s advocacy of intense devotion to Vishnu is fully realised in Vallabh’s faith. According to both, Gurii was comparable to God. Above all, to both of them, God was full of grace, and love for His creation In essence Vallabh’s teachings were good, in practice they became “wordly". Eliot thinks that with Vallabh the vision which is generally directed Godwards and forgets the flesh, turned earth- wards and forgot God. The literature of the Vallabhacharis re- peatedly states that the Guri is the same as the deity, and often the ‘worship tended to be licentious when women worshipped the deity in the form of the priest, In the sixteenth century the Radhi- ‘Vallabhis, who gave pre-eminence to Radha, made the worship a farce bordering on obscenity. In the words of Monier Williams, “Vallabhacharyaism became in its degenerate form the Epicureanism of the East”,
- K.S. Lal, Twilight of the Sultanate (1963) p. 305-6
- The Mlechchhas have surrounded all the holy places with the result that they have become infected with evil. Besides, the holy people are full of sorrow. At such a time Krishna alone is my way.
- Vallabha in Shrikrsnashrayah, that make up the Sodashagrantha in Richard Barz (1992). Bhakti Sect Of Vallabhacarya. Motilal UK Books of India. p. 16. ISBN 978-8121505765. also in Jain, M. (2019). Flight of deities and rebirth of temples: Espisodes from Indian history.