Advaita Acarya was one of the leading figures in the genesis of the Bengali Vaisnava movement in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In her groundbreaking study, Rebecca Manring considers the role of hagiography in one school of Bengali Vaisnavism against the backdrop of regional religious history, examining the ways in which Advaita's followers designed and used his life story for political and religious purposes. Advaita rose to early prominence as the right-hand man to Caitanya, the founder of the movement, but Advaita's school and its promotion of conservative brahman values began to lose adherents in the next generation as other, less tradition-bound groups came to the fore. In the late nineteenth century Advaita's followers reasserted their place in Bengali Vaisnavism by demonstrating, through their hagiographies, that they alone represented Caitanya's, and hence Advaita's, original vision and that they alone had kept it untainted despite the potential for contamination from external forces. Manring analyzes how members of Advaita's school sustained their claim for the religious superiority of an individual and recreated themselves in light of the changing circumstances of nineteenth-century Bengal.