Akshobhya Tirtha (Akshobhya means “the undisturbed”) is part of an important group of little-known spiritual masters in the Vaisnava lineage.
The acaryas from Sripad Madhvacarya to Madhavendra Puri were a mystery for most of us. Fortunately, there are documents that exist on the lives and teachings of these great souls, and we will make a humble attempt to search them out and publish as much detail as possible for the benefit of humanity at large. Sri Aksobhya Tirtha is a logical beginning point because he is the Guru of one of the most important personalities of our line, Sri Jayatirtha.
From Sankaracarya to Madhvacarya
Aksobhya Tirtha was born in Karnataka, South India on 1238 DC. The documents in India are often given according to the Saka calendar, according to which the year of birth was 1159. Sakabda begins in 78 DC, so at the birthday of Aksobhya we must add 78 years. His birth name was Govinda Sastri.
Govinda was an intelligent young man and particularly attracted to philosophy. He began to study the popular monistic doctrine called Advaita-vada. Propounded by the great philosopher Sankaracarya, this doctrine based on the Upanishads concludes that there is no individuality on the spiritual platform and everything is one homogeneous consciousness which is the ultimate reality of existence.
When Govinda met Sripada Madhvacarya at Udupi, he could understand the superiority of the principles of Dvaita-vada, according to which there is a qualitative difference between the Supreme Soul and the individual soul. This understanding directly opposed Sankaracarya’s monistic viewpoint. Govinda renounced materialistic life and was initiated by one of Madhvacarya’s disciples, Madhava Tirtha.
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