Guru - Teachers of Humanity

Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu

Chaitanya is a popular shortened form of Kṛṣṇa-Chaitanya (whose consciousness is of Kṛṣṇa), the religious name taken at his ascetic initiation (Sannyāsa) by Viśvambhara Miśra (1486-1533), an ecstatic devotee and Vaiṣṇava revivalist. To his devotees, Chaitanya is the paradigm of an emotionally intense, loving devotion (prema-bhakti) to Kṛṣṇa - which humans may aspire to emulate while never reaching the perfection of their divine/human exemplar.

Leo Tolstoy | Biography

Russian writer Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy was born on his family’s estate of Yasnaia Poliana (Bright Meadow), in Tula Province. In 1855 he wanted to found a new religion, free of dogma and mysticism. Happiness would be achieved on earth, by following the voice of one’s conscience. Beginning in the early 1870s, Tolstoy engaged in a moral and religious quest that was to continue until the...

Plato | Life and Legends

Plato | Life and Legends ca. 428– 348 BC. PLATO was born at Aegina in B.C. 430, the same year that Pericles died of a noble family which traced its descent from Codrus (ca 1089–1068 BC), the last hero -king of Attica. Little is told us of his early years beyond some stories of the divinity which hedged him in his childhood, and a dream...

Rāmānuja Ācārya | Life | Short

In this article we will describe briefly the main events in the life of the great Rāmānujācārya, the practical founder of the Viśiṣṭādvaita system, referring to the names and characteristics of the most important of his immediate followers, and shall conclude with a short summary of his philosophy as disclosed in his works. The present article is a shorter and condensed version of a more...

Maṇavāḷa Mamunigal and Tamil Śrī Vaishnavism

The next writer of note in this school of Vaishnavas was the well-known Maṇavāḷa Mamunigal, whose name has been appropriated for the heading of this article. He was born near Āḻvār-Tirunāgari about 1370 A. D., and is said to have lived for 73 years, up to 1443 A. D. Of well-built proportions and extremely fair, almost white, in appearance, he soon attracted attention by his...

Śrī Vedanta Deśika | 1268-1369

Veṅkaṭanātha, later known as Śrī Vedanta Deśika,the leader of Śrī Vaishnavas in 13-14 century was born in South of India about the month of September in the year 1268 A. D. He early impressed his contemporaries with his greatness, and a belief grew up, based on the dreams of his parents, that he was an avatar of the God of Tirupati, and that his birth...

Śrī Yamunacharya Ālavandār

Just before Rāmānuja there lived another great Vaishnava whose life and teachings had a tremendous influence on Rāmānuja, although in fact the two of them never met. This was Śrī Yamunacharya, also known as Ālavandār - "The Conqueror." Yamunacharya was born around AD 918 in the city of Madurai in south India, which was then the capital of the mighty Pāndya kings. His grandfather was...

Puṇḍarīkākṣa | Śrī Vaishnavism after Nāthamuni

Sage Nāthamuni is said to have had eight pupils, of whom Puṇḍarīkākṣa was the most important and is recognised as having continued the spiritual teachings of his preceptor. Puṇḍarīkākṣa is said to have been born about 826 A.D. at Tiruvallari, North of Śrīraṅgam, in the Choliah caste of Brahmins. Pundarikaksha was also called by the name of “Uyyakondar ” or “Saviour of the new Dispensation,”...

Śrī Nāthamuni | Forefather of Śrī Vaishnavism

A learned Vaiṣṇavite scholar named Raṅganāthāchārya, more usually called Nāthamuni, or the sage Nātha lived in the town of Śrīraṅgam, near Trichinopoly, during the latter half of the 9th century A.D. and the beginning of the 10th. He was probably a descendant of early Vaishnava immigrants, from the banks of the Jumna and other parts of the north, who carried the Bhāgavata or the Pāñcharātra...

Life of Buddha Shakyamuni

On the eve of Vesakha in 588 BC, while meditating with mind tranquillized and purified, in the first watch of night (6pm-10pm)Siddhartha Śākyamuni developed that supernormal knowledge which enabled him to remember his past lives. In the second watch (10pm-2am), Buddha developed the clairvoyant supernormal vision, which enabled him to see the death and rebirth of beings. In the last watch (2am-6am), he developed the...