The 4 bona-fide spiritual lineages/sampradayas

Vaisnava Sampradaya Acaryas
Lord Caitanya with Acaryas: Sri Nimbarka, Sri Ramanujacarya,
Sri Madhvacarya, Sri Visnuswami (from top center, clockwise)

“Vamana, Brahma, Ananta Sesha and Sanaka Kumara will appear as brahmanas by the order of Visnu, for the preservation of eternal rightas eousness in kali yuga. Visnuswami, Madhvacarya, Ramanuja and Nimbaditya will appear respectively a portion of Vamana, Brahma, Ananta Sesha and Sanaka Kumara. These four saviours will be the establishers of the four authorised and empowered spiritual channels of disciplic succession in the period calculated from the reign of King Vikrama in 54 B.C. subsequently through the 432,000 year cycle of kali yuga. These four authorised and empowered spiritual channels of disciplic succession are to be fully accepted by all beings; as any word, combination of words or formulation of sound frequencies, invoked or addressed, audible or inaudible, secret or revealed, ancient or contemporary outside their auspices prove to have absolutely no efficacy.”

Garga Samhita, 10:61:23-26

“There are four Sampradayas from the beginning of the creation. One is called Brahma Sampradaya, and is coming down by disciplic succession from Brahma; another Sampradaya is coming down from Laksmi, called Sri Sampradaya; another is coming down from the Kumaras, they are known as Nimbarka Sampradaya; another Sampradaya is coming from Lord Siva, Rudra Sampradaya or Visnu Swami. These are four bona fide Sampradayas that are accepted by the bona fide spiritualists. The Impersonalist Sampradaya is not original, neither the Impersonalist Sampradaya or party can help us. At the present moment there are so many Sampradayas, but we have to test them about their method of disciplic understanding. Anyway, all the four Sampradayas above mentioned, they are after worshipping the Supreme Lord Visnu, in His different Expansions, and some of them are in favor of worshipping Radha Krishna.”

Srila Prabhupada Letter to Upendra, 02-13-68, Boston

“There are four sects of worshipful devotees of the Lord, and the chief amongst them are the Brahma-sampradaya, Rudra-sampradaya and Sri-sampradaya, descending directly from Lord Brahma, Lord Siva and the goddess of fortune, Laksmi, respectively. Besides the above-mentioned three sampradayas, there is the Kumara-sampradaya, descending from Sanat-kumara. All of the four original sampradayas are still scrupulously engaged in the transcendental service of the Lord up to date, and they all declare that Lord Krsna, Mukunda, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and no other personality is equal to Him or greater than Him.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1:18:21 Purport

“Therefore there is no difference of conclusions amongst the Vaisnava acaryas regarding the Lord and the devotees. Lord Caitanya asserts that the living entity (jiva) is eternally the servitor of the Lord and that he is simultaneously one with and different from the Lord. This tattva of Lord Caitanya’s is shared by all four sampradayas of the Vaisnava school (all accepting eternal servitude to the Lord even after salvation), and there is no authorized Vaisnava acarya who may think of the Lord and himself as one.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 2:4:21

“In the Vaisnava-sampradaya, some devotees worship Radha-Krsna, and others worship Sita-Rama and Laksmi-Narayana. Some also worship Rukmini-Krsna. All of these are the same, and all of the devotees are Vaisnavas. Whether one chants Hare Krsna or Hare Rama, it is not very important. Worship of the demigods, however, is not recommended.”

Teachings of Lord Kapila, Verse 44

“The philosophers known as kevaladvaita-vadis generally occupy themselves with hearing the Sariraka-bhasya, a commentary by Sankaracarya advocating that one impersonally consider oneself the Supreme Lord. Such Mayavada philosophical commentaries upon Vedanta are simply imaginary, but there are other commentaries on Vedanta philosophy. The commentary by Srila Ramanujacarya, known as Sri-bhasya, establishes the visistadvaita-vada philosophy. Similarly, in the Brahma-sampradaya, Madhvacarya’s Purnaprajna-bhasya establishes suddha-dvaita-vada. In the Kumara-sampradaya, or Nimbarka-sampradaya, Sri Nimbarka establishes the philosophy of dvaitadvaita-vada in the Parijata-saurabha-bhasya. And in the Visnusvami-sampradaya, or Rudra-sampradaya, which comes from Lord Siva, Visnusvami has written a commentary called Sarvajna-bhasya, which establishes suddhadvaita-vada.

A Vaisnava should study the commentaries on Vedanta-sutra written by the four sampradaya-acaryas, namely Sri Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Visnusvami and Nimbarka, for these commentaries are based upon the philosophy that the Lord is the master and that all living entities are His eternal servants. One interested in studying Vedanta philosophy properly must study these commentaries, especially if he is a Vaisnava. These commentaries are always adored by Vaisnavas.”

Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya lila 2:95

Siva Tattva – All about lord Siva on this link below: (Perfection of Yoga)

Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya lila 20.108-109

“It is the living entity’s constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa because he is the marginal energy of Kṛṣṇa and a manifestation simultaneously one with and different from the Lord, like a molecular particle of sunshine or fire. Kṛṣṇa has three varieties of energy.


Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura (an elevated spiritual master) explains these verses as follows:

Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī (an eternal associate of the Lord) asked Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu (other name for Kṛṣṇa) “Who am I?”

In answer, the Lord replied, “You are a pure living entity. You are neither the gross material body nor the subtle body composed of mind and intelligence. Actually you are a spirit soul, eternally part and parcel of the Supreme Soul, Kṛṣṇa. Therefore you are His eternal servant. You belong to Kṛṣṇa’s marginal potency. There are two worlds – the spiritual world and the material world – and you are situated between the material and spiritual potencies. You have a relationship with both the material and the spiritual world; therefore you are called the marginal potency. You are related with Kṛṣṇa as one and simultaneously different. Because you are spirit soul, you are one in quality with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but because you are a very minute particle of spirit soul, you are different from the Supreme Soul. Therefore your position is simultaneously one with and different from the Supreme Soul. The examples given are those of the sun itself and the small particles of sunshine and of a blazing fire and the small particles of fire.” Another explanation of these verses can be found in Ādi-līlā, Chapter Two, verse 96.

Where do I come from? From the marginal potency of the Supreme Lord, called taṭasthā-śakti. Taṭastha-śakti – literally: the taa (marginally) stha (situated) śakti (energy); the marginal energy of Śrī Bhagavān Krishna in which the jīvas are situated. Although the jīvas are part and parcel of the internal energy (cit śakti) of the Lord, they are subject to be overcome by Śrī Bhagavān’s external illusory energy, māyā, and be covered over, thus they are known as taastha, or marginal. Therefore our position is in between the spiritual nature and the material nature, taṭastha. Taṭastha means in between.

Where do I go from here? That depends on the free will of the spirit soul, to either choose to remain in illusion or go towards its spiritual uplift.

What is my duty (what are my duties)? To find out how to cross over the ocean of material existence and be eternally liberated.

What are the threefold miseries? That of miseries caused by other living entities (adhibhautika), miseries caused by the mind, (adhyātmika) or miseries caused by the demigods through nature (adhidaivika).

How can I overcome them? This begins the journey of self-realisation

Recommended reading:

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Blessed be  🙂

Creation and the origin of sound

The material building blocks of this world are eight material elements – solid (bhumi), liquid (apa), radiating (anala), gaseous (vayu), ethereal (kha), mind (manas), intelligence (buddhi) and false ego (ahankara). (Bhagavad-Gita As It Is (text 7 verse 4).

What follows is a progressive manifestation of material elements and objects, beginning with the most subtle ones, together with their controlling agents, demigods. (Srimad-Bhagavatam canto 2. chapter 10, text 15-30).

In the beginning there was darkness of pradhana, the unmanifested material energy. When agitated by Lord Vishnu’s powerful glance in the form of energy of time (kala-sakti), it was awakened to the stage called mahat (the great matter). Gradually the following elements were generated: ahankara (false ego), manah (mind) and buddhi (intelligence), tan matras (sense objects) and panca bhutas (the five gross material elements). Together they form Karana-sagara or Causal ocean. The Lord then expanded Himself and entered into the Causal ocean.

From His body came forth the seeds of millions of universes. The Lord then expanded and laid down within each and every universes. In his navel lake a small transcendental seed was generated, which grew into a lotus flower that contains all the planetary systems. Within that lotus the first created being, lord Brahma appeared. He was perplexed about his origin and destiny, but suddenly from nearby he heard two syllables ta – pa (Practice austerities!) Thus initiated by the Supreme Lord, Brahma underwent severe austerities and was rewarded with Vedic wisdom for his great task of secondary creation.

The first living entity that appeared from lord Brahma was pranava, the transcendental sound omkara (Aum) om. From om came all the sounds of the alphabet. This sound is the source and basis of all knowledge (Veda). It is transmitted orally in successions or lineages (parampara) and later it is given a written, scriptural form (Vedas and related scriptures).

Explanatory notes:

GOD = Generator, Operator and Destroyer

G represents lord Brahma the presiding deity of the mode of passion and the secondary creator of creation.

O represents Lord Vishnu the expansion form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, Who presides over the mode of goodness and He who maintains creation.

D represents lord Siva the presiding deity of the mode of ignorance and he who initiates mahapralaya or the great universal dissolution of the material cosmos. Lord Siva was manifested from the third eye of lord Brahma.


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