(Last Updated on : 28/11/2012)
Vallabhacharya was born in 1479 AD. He was a Tailang Brahman
belonging to the Telugu region but was born in Banaras. He received Sanskrit education. He started his education at the age of seven by studying four Vedas
. He mastered the six systems of Indian philosophy. He also learnt philosophical systems of Adi Sankara, Ramanuja
, Madhva, Nimbarka along with the Buddhist and Jain schools. His impression on the public was an embodiment of knowledge.
Teachings of Vallabhacharya
He traveled throughout India meeting scholars. He called himself an incarnation of the Lord Agni
. He had not acknowledged any human teacher. He says that he had learnt his system direct from Lord Krishna
. He preached the worship of Lord Vishnu in the form of Krishna. Philosophically his school is called Shuddhadvaita meaning pure monism. To him Bhakti was not only a means but an end also. A true devotee will live and sport for ever with Lord Krishna. According to him Bhakti
is given by God. The released souls rise to Lord Krishna`s heaven or Vyapi-Vaikuntha. In the heaven there is also Vrindavan where Radha, Gopis and Gopas reside. He visited Mathura
and many other sacred places and finally settled at Banaras.
Vallabhacharya taught that there was no distinction between Brahmin and the individual soul and the latter could get rid of bondage by Bhakti. He asked his followers to offer everything in the service of Krishna. According to Vallabha only individuals who have the grace of Krishna can be successful in the path of devotion. He advocated the worship of idols of Krishna. Later the rituals of this sect became very complicated. Many followers of Vallabha composed poems on Krishna in Hindi language
and thus contributed greatly to the spread of Krishna cult.
The cult is called, `seva` and also known as Pushtimarga. Pushtimarga, the path of divine grace is based on the "Vishudhadvaita" philosophy, initially shown by Shri Vallabhacharya. Shri Vallabha strongly suggested that Lord Shri Krishna is the ultimate God. Thus, Shri Krishna`s blessings alone and only can free humans from the painful cycle of birth and death. Shri Vallabhacharya wrote many books, but many of them are not available today due to lack of proper perseverance.
Many important books / articles / padas written by Vallabhacharya and the Acharyas of Vallabhkul are still available and famous in Vaishnava society. Yamunashatakam, Navaratnam and many other padas, and Subodhinji book are very important for Vaishnavas to read and understand. This sect is very popular among the rich business class of Western India. He breathed his last in the year 1531.