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Shankha-Chakra-Urdhvapundra of the Nimbarka Sampradaya
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The Nimbarka Sampradaya (IAST: Nimbārka Sampradāya, Sanskrit निम्बार्क सम्प्रदाय), also known as the Hamsa Sampradāya, Kumāra Sampradāya, Catuḥ Sana Sampradāya and Sanakādi Sampradāya, is one of the four Vaiṣṇava Sampradāyas. It was founded by Nimbarka (c.7th century CE), and teaches the Vaishnava theology of Dvaitadvaita (dvaita-advaita) or "dualistic non-dualism." Dvaitadvaita states that humans are both different and non-different from Isvara, God or Supreme Being, and is also known as Bhedābheda (bheda-abheda) philosophy.
Sanskrit is a language of ancient India with a 3,500-year history. It is the primary liturgical language of Hinduism and the predominant language of most works of Hindu philosophy as well as some of the principal texts of Buddhism and Jainism. Sanskrit, in its variants and numerous dialects, was the lingua franca of ancient and medieval India. In the early 1st millennium CE, along with Buddhism and Hinduism, Sanskrit migrated to Southeast Asia, parts of East Asia and Central Asia, emerging as a language of high culture and of local ruling elites in these regions.
In Hinduism, a sampradaya can be translated as ‘tradition’, 'spiritual lineage' or a ‘religious system’. It relates to a succession of masters and disciples, which serves as a spiritual channel, and provides a delicate network of relationships that lends stability to a religious identity. The word identity in this respect is problematic. Where identity can be seen as static, sampradaya allows flexibility; one can leave one sampradaya and enter another.
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According to tradition, the Nimbarka Sampradaya Dvait-advait philosophy was revealed by Śrī Hansa Bhagavān to Sri Sankadi bhagwan, one of the Four Kumaras; who passed it to Sri Narada Muni; and then on to Nimbarka. The Four Kumaras, Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanātana, and Sanat Kumāra, are traditionally regarded as the four mind-born sons of Lord Brahmā. They were created by Brahmā in order to advance creation, but chose to undertake lifelong vows of celibacy ( brahmacarya ), becoming renowned yogis, who requested from Brahma the boon of remaining perpetually five years old.Śrī Sanat Kumāra Samhitā, a treatise on the worship of Śrī Rādhā Kṛṣṇa, is attributed to the brothers, just like the Śrī Sanat Kumāra Tantra, which is part of the Pancarātra literature.
Dvaita Vedanta is a sub-school in the Vedanta tradition of Hindu philosophy. Alternatively known as Bhedavāda, Tattvavāda and Bimbapratibimbavāda, Dvaita Vedanta sub-school was founded by the 13th-century scholar Madhvacharya. The Dvaita Vedanta school believes that God and the individual souls (jīvātman) exist as independent realities, and these are distinct. The Dvaita school contrasts with the other two major sub-schools of Vedanta, the Advaita Vedanta of Adi Shankara which posits nondualism – that ultimate reality (Brahman) and human soul are identical and all reality is interconnected oneness, and Vishishtadvaita of Ramanuja which posits qualified nondualism – that ultimate reality (Brahman) and human soul are different but with the potential to be identical.
The Kumaras are four sages (rishis) who roam the universe as children from the Puranic texts of Hinduism, generally named Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana, and Sanatkumara. They are described as the first mind-born creations and sons of the creator-god Brahma. Born from Brahma's mind, the four Kumaras undertook lifelong vows of celibacy (brahmacharya) against the wishes of their father. They are said to wander throughout the materialistic and spiritualistic universe without any desire but with purpose to teach. All four brothers studied Vedas from their childhood, and always travelled together.
Narada is a Vedic sage, famous in Hindu traditions as a traveling musician and storyteller, who carries news and enlightening wisdom. He appears in a number of Hindu texts, notably the Mahabharata telling yudhishtra the prahlada story the Ramayana as warning Ravan. as well as in the Puranas. Once God decided that it was time for Him to descend to earth to set matters right, most lesser Gods came down too as someone or the other to aid and enjoy a ringside view of epochal events. He is also referred to as the king of all sages or rishis, meaning Rishiraj. He was gifted with the boon of knowledge, past, present and future. Once his knowledge became a hindrance in God's designs. He was therefore cursed that although he would tell the truth and warn people, they would never believe him. In Indian texts, Narada travels to distant worlds and realms. He is depicted carrying a khartal and tambura with the name Mahathi and is generally regarded as one of the great masters of the ancient musical instrument. This instrument is known by the name "mahathi" which he uses to accompany his singing of hymns, prayers and mantras. In the Vaishnavism tradition of Hinduism, he is presented as a sage with devotion to Lord Vishnu. Narada is described as both wise and mischievous in some humorous tales. Vaishnav enthusiasts depict him as a pure, elevated soul who glorifies Vishnu through his devotional songs, singing the names Hari and Narayana, and therein demonstrating bhakti yoga. The Narada Bhakti Sutra is attributed to him. He would usually make his entrance vocally chanting Narayana, Narayana before optically appearing in the scene.
In the creation-myth of this universe as narrated by the Paurāṇika literature, Śrī Nārada Muni is the younger brother of the Four Kumāras, who took initiation from his older brothers. Their discussions as guru and disciple are recorded in the Upaniṣads with a famous conversation in the Chāndogya Upaniṣad, and in the Śrī Nārada Purāṇa and the Pañcarātra literature.
Guru is a Sanskrit term for a "teacher, guide, expert, or master" of certain knowledge or field. In pan-Indian traditions, guru is more than a teacher, in Sanskrit guru means the one who dispels the darkness and takes towards light, traditionally a reverential figure to the student, with the guru serving as a "counselor, who helps mold values, shares experiential knowledge as much as literal knowledge, an exemplar in life, an inspirational source and who helps in the spiritual evolution of a student". A guru is also one's spiritual guide, who helps one to discover the same potentialities that the guru has already realized. In the Tagalog language, Indonesian and Malay the word means teacher.
The Upanishads, a part of the Vedas, are ancient Sanskrit texts that contain some of the central philosophical concepts and ideas of Hinduism, some of which are shared with religious traditions like Buddhism and Jainism. Among the most important literature in the history of Indian religions and culture, the Upanishads played an important role in the development of spiritual ideas in ancient India, marking a transition from Vedic ritualism to new ideas and institutions. Of all Vedic literature, the Upanishads alone are widely known, and their central ideas are at the spiritual core of Hindus.
The Chandogya Upanishad is a Sanskrit text embedded in the Chandogya Brahmana of the Sama Veda of Hinduism. It is one of the oldest Upanishads. It lists as number 9 in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads.
Nārada Muni is recorded as main teacher in all four of the Vaiṣṇava Sampradāyas. According to tradition, he initiated Śrī Nimbārkācārya into the sacred 18-syllabled Śrī Gopāla Mantra, and introduced him to the philosophy of the Yugala upāsana, the devotional worship of the divine couple Śrī Rādhā Kṛṣṇa. According to tradition, this was the first time that Śrī Rādhā Kṛṣṇa were worshipped together by anyone on earth other than the Gopis of Vṛndāvana. Śrī Nārada Muni then taught Nimbarka the essence of devotional service in the Śrī Nārada Bhakti Sūtras.Śrī Nimbārkācārya already knew the Vedas, Upaniṣads and the rest of the scriptures, but perfection was found in the teachings of Śrī Nārada Muni.
Vrindavan, also known as Brindaban, is a historical city in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is one of the most sacred places in Vaishnavism. It is located in the Braj Bhoomi region, and is where, according to Hinduism, Lord Shree Krishna spent most of his childhood days. The City is about 11 km away from Mathura, Krishna's birthplace on the Agra-Delhi National Highway as NH-44. The town hosts many temples dedicated to the worship of Radha and Krishna
The Vedas are a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. Hindus consider the Vedas to be apauruṣeya, which means "not of a man, superhuman" and "impersonal, authorless".
According to the Bhavishya Purana, and his eponymous tradition, the Nimbārka Sampradāya, Śrī Nimbārkāchārya appeared in the year 3096 BCE, when the grandson of Arjuna was on the throne. Nimbarka is conventionally dated at the 12th or 13th century, but this dating has been questioned, suggesting that Nimbarka lived somewhat earlier than Shankara, in the 6th or 7th century CE.
The Bhavishya Purana is one of the eighteen major works in the Purana genre of Hinduism, written in Sanskrit. The title Bhavishya means "future" and implies it is a work that contains prophecies regarding the future, however, the "prophecy" parts of the extant manuscripts are a modern era addition and hence not an integral part of the Bhavishya Purana. Those sections of the surviving manuscripts that are dated to be older, are partly borrowed from other Indian texts such as Brihat Samhita and Shamba Purana. The veracity and authenticity of much of the Bhavishya Purana has been questioned by modern scholars and historians, and the text is considered an example of "constant revisions and living nature" of Puranic genre of Hindu literature.
Arjuna is a central character of the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata. Arjuna was the son of Pandu in the Kuru Kingdom. In his, previous birth he was a saint named Nara who was the lifelong companion of another saint, Narayana, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu who took rebirth as Lord Krishna. He was the third of the Pandava brothers and was married to Draupadi, Ulupi, Chitrāngadā, and Subhadra at different times. His children included Srutakarma, Iravan, Babruvahana, and Abhimanyu.
According to Roma Bose, Nimbarka lived in the 13th century, on the presupposition that Śrī Nimbārkāchārya was the author of the work Madhvamukhamardana.Bhandarkar has placed him after Ramanuja, suggesting 1162 AD as the date of his demise. S.N.Dasgupta dated Nimbarka to around middle of 14th century, while S. A. A. Rizvi assigns a date of c.1130–1200 AD.
According to Satyanand, Bose's dating of the 13th century is an erroneous attribution,Malkovsky notes that in Bhandarkar's own work it is clearly stated that his dating of Nimbarka was an approximation based on an extremely flimsy calculation; yet most scholars chose to honour his suggested date, even until modern times. According to Malkovsky, the latest scholarship has demonstrated with a high degree of clarity that Nimbarka and his immediate disciple Shrinivasa flourished well before Ramanuja (1017–1137 CE), arguing that Shrinivasa was a contemporary, or just after Sankaracarya (early 8th century). According to Ramnarace, summarising the available research, Nimbarka must be dated in the 7th century CE.
According to tradition, Nimbārka was born in Vaidūryapattanam, the present-day Mungi Village, Paithan in East Maharashtra. His parents were Aruṇa Ṛṣi and Jayantī Devī. Together, they migrated to Mathurā and settled at what is now known as Nimbagrāma (Neemgaon), situated between Barsānā and Govardhan.
The Nimbarka Sampradaya is based on Nimbarka's Dvait-advait philosophy, duality and nonduality at the same time, or dualistic non-dualism.
According to Nimbarka, there are three categories of existence, namely Isvara (God, Divine Being); cit ( jiva , the individual soul); and acit (lifeless matter). Cit and acit are different from Isvara, in the sense that they have attributes (Guna) and capacities (Swabhaava), which are different from those of Isvara. At the same time, cit and acit are not different from Isvara, because they cannot exist independently of Him. Isvara is independent and exists by Himself, while cit and acit exist in dependence upon Him. Difference means a kind of existence which is separate but dependent, (para-tantra-satta-bhava); while non-difference means impossibility of separate existence (svatantra-satta-bhava).
According to Nimbarka, the relation between Brahman, on the one hand, and the souls (cit) and universe (acit) on the other, is a relation of natural difference-non-difference (svabhavika-bhedabheda).Nimbarka equally emphasises both difference and non-difference, as against Ramanuja, who makes difference subordinate to non-difference, in as much as, for him cit and acit do not exist separately from Brahman, but are its body or attributes.
Nimbarka accepts parinamavada, the idea that the world is a real transformation (parinama) of Brahman, to explain the cause of animate and inanimate world, which he says exist in a subtle form in the various capacities (saktis), which belong to Brahman in its natural condition. Brahman is the material cause of the universe, in the sense that Brahman brings the subtle rudiments into the gross form, by manifesting these capacities.
For Nimbarka the highest object of worship is Krishna and His consort Radha, attended by thousands of gopi's, or cowherdesses, of the celestial Vrindavan. Devotion, according to Nimbarka, consists in prapatti, or self-surrender.
The Highest Reality, according to Nimbarka, is Brahman, Krishna or Hari, a personal God. There is nothing that is equal to Him, nothing that is superior. He is the Lord of all, and Controller of all. He is called Brahman because of the unsurpassed greatness of His nature and qualities, because He is beyond any limit of any kind of space, time or thing.
Brahman is the sole cause of creation, maintenance and destruction of the Universe. All beings arise from Him, nothing is superior to Him. The Lord alone is the first cause, the manifestor of all names and forms, and none else.
This Brahman is both the upadana (material cause) and the Nimitta (efficient cause). It is the material cause in the sense that it enables its natural saktis, viz. the cit and the acit in their subtle forms, to be manifested in gross forms; and it is the efficient cause in the sense that it unites the individual souls with their respective fruits of actions and means of enjoyments.
Nimbarka discusses two aspects of Brahman. On one hand, Brahman is eternal and great, the greatest of the great, the highest of the high, the creator, etc. of the Universe, high above the individual soul, of which He is the Lord and the ruler. But, on the other aspect He is the abode of infinite beauty, bliss and tenderness, and in intimate connection with the soul. He is the abode of supreme peace, supreme grace, and the ocean of all sweetness and charms.
Thus, Brahman possessed of attributes and adorable by all, has four forms or vyuhas (i.e., Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha) and appears under various incarnation as Matsya, Kurma etc.
The cit or individual soul is of the nature of knowledge (jnana-svarupa); it is able to know without the help of the sense-organs and it is in this sense that words like prajnana-ghanah svayamjyotih jnanamayah etc. as applied to jiva are to be understood. The jiva is the knower also; and he can be both knowledge and the possessor of knowledge at the same time, just as the sun is both light and the source of light. Thus the soul, who is knowledge, and his attribute, knowledge, though they are both identical as knowledge, can be at the same time different and related as the qualified (dharmin) and the quality (dharma), just as the sun and his light, though identical as light (taijasa), are still different from each other. Thus there is both a difference and a non-difference between the dharmin and dharma; and the extreme similarity between them implies, not necessarily their absolute identity, but only a non-perception of their difference.
The jiva is also ego (ahamarthah). This ego continues to persist not only in the state of deep sleep, (because our consciousness immediately after getting up from sleep has the form slept happily or knew nothing) but also in the state of liberation. It even belongs to the Parabrahman. Hence it is that Krishna refers to Himself so frequently in the first person in the Gita, of which the chief object is thus Purusottama, who is omniscient and at the same time non-different from the ego or asmadartha.
The jiva is also essentially active (kartr). This quality belongs to it in all its conditions, even after release. But the kartrtva is not independent. The jiva is also enjoyer (bhoktr) essentially in all its conditions.
For his knowledge and activity, however, the jiva depends on Hari; thus, though resembling Him in being intelligent and knower, he is at the same time distinguished from him by his dependence. This quality of dependence or of being controlled (niyamyatva) is the very nature of jiva even in the state of release, just as niyamyatva or the quality of being the controller, forms the eternal nature of Isvara.
The jiva is atomic in size; at the same time his attribute, knowledge, is omnipresent, which makes it possible that he can experience pleasure and pain in any part of the body, just as, for instance, the light of a lamp can spread far and wide and illumine objects away from the lamp. The Jivas are different and in different bodies, and so are infinite in number.
The acit is of three different kinds: viz. prakrta, aprakrta, and kala. Prakrta, or what is derived from Prakrti, the primal matter, aprakrta is defined negatively as that which is not the product of prakrti, but its real nature is not clearly brought out. These three categories in their subtle forms are as eternal as the cit or the individual souls.
[Nimbarka does not explain what exactly the aprakrta is, nor does he define kala more precisely, beyond noticing, as pointed out above,that the aprakrta and the kala are species of the acit. But, Purusottamacarya of the Nimbarka school has, in his Vedantaratna-manjusa, described acit aprakrta as the material cause of the dhama(celestial abode) of Brahman and the bodies and ornaments etc.of Brahman and his associates.]
Prakrti, or the primal matter-the stuff of the entire universe is real and eternal like the individual souls, and like them, though eternal and unborn, has yet Brahman for its cause. It consists of the three qualities of sattva, rajas and tamas, such as prakrit, mahat, ahankara etc. (just similar to 24 principles of the Sankhyas).
The jiva has his true form distorted and obscured owing to his contact with karma resulting from ignorance, which is beginningless, but which can come to an end, by the grace of God, when its true nature is fully manifested. Ignorance is a part of God and is the basis of cosmic manifestation i.e. the arising of God with attributes.
To attain deliverance, the jiva has to commence with a complete submission to the Paramatman, or prapatti, whose six constituents are:
God's grace extends itself to those who are possessed of these 6 constituents of prapatti, i.e., who are prapanna; and by that grace is generated bhakti consisting of special love for him, which ultimately ends in the realisation (saksatkara) of the Paramatman. For a devotee knowledge of the following 5 things is quite necessary:
The basic practice consists of the worship of Sri Radha Madhav , with Sri Radha being personified as the inseparable part of Sri Krishna. Nimbarka refers to five methods to salvation, namely karma (ritual action); vidya (knowledge); upasana or dhyana (meditation); prapatti (surrender to the Lord/devotion); Gurupasatti (devotion and self-surrender to God as Shri Radha Krsna).
Performed conscientiously in a proper spirit, with one's varna (caste) and asrama (phase of life) thereby giving rise to knowledge which is a means to salvation).
Not as a subordinate factor of karma but also not as an independent means for everyone; only for those inclined to spending vast lengths of time in scriptural study and reflection on deeper meanings.
It is of three types. First is meditation on the Lord as one's self, i.e. meditation on the Lord as the Inner Controller of the sentient. Second is meditation on the Lord as the Inner Controller of the non-sentient. Final one is meditation on Lord Himself, as different from the sentient and non-sentient. This is again not an independent means to Salvation for all, as only those qualified to perform the upasana (with Yajnopavitam) can perform this Sadhana.
Devotion and self-surrender to God as Shri Radha Krsna. This method of attaining Salvation, known as Prapatti Sadhana, contains elements of all the other means, and is most importantly, available to all. Men, women, foreigners, all classes and castes (or non-castes) are permitted to seek liberation through this, the most important Sadhana. It is referred to as Sadhana (or Apara) Bhakti – devotion through regulations. This in turn leads to Para Bhakti – the highest devotion characterised by Madhurya Rasa – the sweet emotions of devotion experienced by those perfected in Sadhana Bhakti.
Devotion and self-surrender to guru. Best realised as a part in Prapatti, and not as an independent means, although it can be so.
Sri Nimbarka made the "Bhasya" (commentary in which alle the words of the verses are used, in contradistinction to a tika, which is a more free commentary) of the Brahmasutra on his Dvaitadvaita Vedanta (Principle of Dualism-Nondualism) in his famous book "Vedanta Parijata Sourabha".
Sri Nimbarkacharya wrote the following books:
Svāmī Harivyāsa Devacārya (c.1470-1540 CE), the 35th leader, reformed the tradition. He was given the śālagrāma deity known as Śrī Sarveśvara that was handed down through time it is believed from Nimbārka himself. He anointed twelve of his senior disciples to lead missions throughout the land. The most famous are Svāmī Paraśurāma Devācārya (c.1525-1610 CE) and Svāmī Svabhūrāma Devācārya (fl. 16th century).
Svāmī Svabhūrāma Devācārya (fl.16th century CE) was born in Budhiya Village, outside Jagadhri and Yamunanagar near Kurukshetra in modern Haryana, India. He established over 52 temples in Punjab, Haryana and Vraja during his lifetime; his current followers are found mostly in Vṛndāvana, Haryana, Punjab, Bengal, Rajasthan, Orissa, Assam, Sikkim, Bihar, other regions in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, also in significant numbers in Nepal.
In his sub-lineage, there are many branches. Notable saints of this sub-branch include:
The famous teacher and leader Svāmī Haripriyā Śaraṇa Devācārya, founded the temple and monastery at Bihari Ji Ka Bageecha, Vṛndāvana, sponsored by his disciple, the philanthropic Shri Hargulal Beriwala and the Beriwala Trust in the 19th century.
The predecessor of the current successor was Svāmī Lalitā Śaraṇa Devācārya, who died in July 2005 at the age of 103. One of his other disciples is the world-renowned Svāmī Gopāla Śaraṇa Devācārya, who has founded the Monastery and temple known as the Shri Golok Dham Ashram in New Delhi and Vṛndāvana. He has also helped ordinary Hindus who are not Vaiṣṇava to establish temples overseas. Of note are the Glasgow Hindu Mandir, Scotland, UK: the Lakshmi Narayan Hindu Mandir, Bradford, UK; and the Valley Hindu Temple, Northridge, CA. He has also facilitated major festivals at the Hindu Sabha Mandir in Brampton, Canada.
The 48th leader of the Nimbārka Sampradāya is H.D.H. Jagadguru Nimbārkācārya Svāmī Śrī Rādhā Śarveshavara Śaraṇa Devācārya, known in reverence as Śrī Śrījī Māhārāja by his followers. His followers are mainly in Rajasthan and Vṛndāvana, Mathura. He established the Mandir at the birth site of Śrī Nimbārkācārya in Mungi Village, Paithan, Maharashtra in 2005. In addition, he oversees the maintenance of thousands of temples, hundreds of monasteries, schools, hospitals, orphanages, cow-shelters, environmental projects, memorial shrines, etc., and arranges various scholarly conventions, religious conferences, medical camps & outreach, etc.
The 49th and current leader of the entire Nimbārka Sampradāya is H.D.H. Jagadguru Nimbārkācārya Svāmī Śrī Shyām Śaraṇa Devācārya, known in reverence as Śrī Śrījī Māhārāja by his followers. He is based in Nimbārka Tīrtha Rajasthan, India. He is the current leader of the Sampradāya, who worships the śālagrāma deity known as Śrī Sarveśvara. His followers are mainly in Rajasthan and Vṛndāvana, Mathura.
Gaudiya Vaishnavism is a Vaishnava Hindu religious movement inspired by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486–1534) in India. "Gauḍīya" refers to the Gauḍa region with Vaishnavism meaning "the worship of Krishna". Its theological basis is primarily that of the Bhagavad Gītā and Bhāgavata Purāṇa as interpreted by early disciples of Chaitanya such as Sanātana Gosvāmin, Rūpa Gosvāmin, Jīva Gosvāmin, Gopala Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmin, and others.
Vishishtadvaita is one of the most popular schools of the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy. Vedanta literally means the end of the Vedas.VishishtAdvaita is a non-dualistic school of Vedanta philosophy. It is non-dualism of the qualified whole, in which Brahman alone exists, but is characterized by multiplicity. It can be described as qualified monism or qualified non-dualism or attributive monism. It is a school of Vedanta philosophy which believes in all diversity subsuming to an underlying unity.
Karma is a concept of Hinduisms which explains causality through a system where beneficial effects are derived from past beneficial actions and harmful effects from past harmful actions, creating a system of actions and reactions throughout a soul's (Atman's) reincarnated lives forming a cycle of rebirth. The causality is said to be applicable not only to the material world but also to our thoughts, words, actions and actions that others do under our instructions.
Paramatman or Paramātmā is the Absolute Atman, or supreme Self, in various philosophies such as the Vedanta and Yoga schools in Hindu theology, as well as other Indian religions like Sikhism. The Paramatman is the "Primordial Self" or the "Self Beyond" who is spiritually practically identical with the Absolute, identical with the Brahman. Selflessness is the attribute of Paramatman, where all personality/individuality vanishes.
Rupa-Goswami (1489–1564) was a devotional teacher (guru), poet, and philosopher of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition. With his brother Sanatana Goswami, he is considered the most senior of the six Goswamis of Vrindavan associated with Caitanya Mahaprabhu, a hidden avatar (incarnation) of Krishna in Kali Yuga.
Hinduism incorporates diverse views on the concept of God. Different traditions of Hinduism have different theistic views, and these views have been described by scholars as polytheism, monotheism, henotheism, panentheism, pantheism, monism, agnostic, humanism, atheism or Nontheism.
The concept of God in Hinduism varies in its diverse traditions. Hinduism spans a wide range of beliefs such as henotheism, monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, pandeism, monism, atheism and nontheism.
Radha-Krishna are collectively known within Hinduism as the combined forms of feminine as well as the masculine realities of God. Radha and Krishna are the primeval forms of God and His pleasure potency respectively in the Gaudiya Vaishnava school of thought. In some schools of Vaishnavism, Krishna is referred to as Svayam Bhagavan, and Radha is illustrated as the primeval potency of the three main potencies of God, Hladini, Sandhini (eternality) and Samvit of which Radha is an embodiment of the feeling of love towards the almighty Lord, Krishna (Hladini). With Krishna, Radha is acknowledged as the Supreme Goddess, for it is said that Krishna or God is only satiated by devotional service in loving servitude and Radha is the personification of devotional service to the supreme. She is also considered in Vaishnavism as the total feminine energy and also as the Supreme Lakshmi (Adi-Lakshmi). Various devotees worship her with the understanding of her merciful nature as the only way to attain Krishna. Radha is also depicted to be Krishna himself, split into two, for the purpose of His enjoyment.
Shuddadvaita is the "purely non-dual" philosophy propounded by Vallabhacharya, the founding philosopher and guru of the Vallabha sampradāya or Puṣṭimārga, a Hindu Vaishnava tradition focused on the worship of Krishna. Vallabhacharya's pure form (nondualist) philosophy is different from Advaita. The Shrinathji temple at Nathdwara, and compositions of eight poets, including Sur, are central to the worship by the followers of the sect.
Goloka also known as Goloka Vrindavana, Krishnaloka or Gokula, is the eternal supreme abode of Lord Krishna and Radha. In the Bhagavata Purana,Krishna is especially portrayed as the highest person who resides in Goloka.
The Brahma Saṁhitā is a Sanskrit Pañcarātra text, composed of verses of prayer spoken by Brahma glorifying the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa or Govinda at the beginning of creation. It is revered within Gauḍiya Vaiṣṇavism, whose 16th-century founder, Caitanya Mahāprabhu (1486–1534), rediscovered a part of the work, the 62 verses of Chapter 5, which had previously been lost for a few centuries, at the Adikeshav Temple in Thiruvattar, Tamil Nadu, South India. Mitsunori Matsubara, in his Pañcarātra Saṁhitās and Early Vaisṇava Theology dates the text at ca 1300 CE. The text contains a highly esoteric description, with the Kāma-Gāyatṛi, of Kṛṣṇa in His abode Goloka.
The Urdhva Pundra is a tilak worn by Vaishnavites to show that they are devotees of Vishnu. It is generally worn on the forehead, but may also be worn on other parts of the body. The markings are made either as a daily ritual, or on special occasions, and denote which particular lineage, or sampradaya the devotee belongs to. The different Vaishnava sampradayas each have their own distinctive style of tilak based on the siddhanta of their particular lineage. The general tilak pattern is of two or more vertical lines resembling the letter U, which commonly represent the feet of Vishnu.
Madhavendra Puri also known as Madhavendra Puri Goswami is a Vaishnava saint who appeared in the 14th century. He was initiated in to Dvaita Vedanta of Madhvacharya of Udupi region of Karnataka, and was highly revered in Vallabhacharya's Pushtimarg and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's Gaudiya Vaishnavism, both sects that emanate from the famed Vrindavan region.
The Brahma Sampradaya (Brahma-sampradāya) refers to the disciplic succession (sampradaya) of gurus starting with Brahma. The term is most often used to refer to the beliefs and teachings of Madhvacharya and his Dvaita philosophy.
Svayam Bhagavān is a Sanskrit theological term for the concept of absolute representation of God as Bhagavan - The Supreme Personality who possesses all riches, all strength, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation.
Swami Tripurari, also known as Swami BV Tripurari or Tripurari Swami, is an American author, poet, and guru, described as "a prominent master in the Gaudiya Vaishnava lineage", and "one of the leading practitioners of Bhakti-yoga in the West."
This is a list of works by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati (1874-1937), a Gaudiya Vaishnava leader and religious reformer. This list includes his original works, commentaries on canonical Vaishnava texts, and articles in periodicals Sajjana-toshani and the Gaudiya.
Ukhra Nimbarka Peeth Mahanta Asthal is a 250-year-old Mutt of the Nimbarka Vaishnava Sampradaya. It is situated at Ukhra in the district of Purba Bardhaman in the state of West Bengal in India near the city of Durgapur. This Mutt has been closely associated with the Zamindars of Ukhra, the Handa family, and has served as the spiritual beacon of the area. Since its foundation this Mutt has propagated Vaishnavism of the Nimbarka Sampradaya far and wide in the area and gained many important personalities as adherents of its philosophy.
Shri Haridas Shastri (1918-2013) was an Indian Gaudiya Vaisnava scholar and practitioner. A prolific Sanskrit scholar, he wrote more than a hundred books, including translations from the Sanskrit of several Gauḍīyā books and his own commentaries on them. His original works include the highly regarded book, the Vedānta- darśanam bhāgavata bhāṣyopetam, his translations of the Sat Sandarbhas, and his translations of Śrī-caitanya-bhāgavata, Śrī-caitanya-caritāmṛta and Śrī-caitanya-maṅgala. Jonathan Edelmann at the University of Florida has called Shastri "arguably the most prolific and well-educated Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava “insider” scholar of the twentieth century" and "a voice distinct from the more well known Gaudīya-Maṭh and ISKCON". Among his disciples is the noted Gauḍīyā scholar and practitioner, Dr. Satyanarayana Dasa. He is not to be confused with another Gauḍīya Scholar by the same name, Shri Haridas das babaji, who was the compiler of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Abhidhāna, a voluminous encyclopedia on Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism.