Devotional Thoughts

The effect of linking up to one of the sampradayas

The effect of linking up to one of the sampradayas

Lecture given by Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa on October 14, 2014

Srimad Bhagavatam – 3.12.4

sanakam ca sanandam ca
sanatanam athatmabhuh
sanat-kumaram ca munin
niskriyan urdhva-retasah


In the beginning, Brahma created four great sages named Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana and Sanat-kumara. All of them were unwilling to adopt materialistic activities because they were highly elevated due to their semen's flowing upwards.


Brahma created the nescient engagements – death, desire or anger with frustration, sense of false proprietorship. Then seeing that he is misleading the living entities away from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he purified himself by meditating on the Personality of Godhead and then he began the creation. In the beginning Brahma created four sages, the four Kumaras and he instructed them to create progeny. But they were not interested in material activities. They refused to follow their father’s order to get married and to create progeny because they were highly elevated due to their semen flowing upwards.

4 kumaras

Prabhupada explains that these four Kumaras were such pure devotees that the Vaishnava sampradaya that originated from them is called the Kumara sampradaya. Even though Brahma was given the job of creating this nescient engagement, simultaneously by the master plan of the Supreme Lord he created four Vaishnava sampradayas which are the hope for the living entity to come out of this nescient engagement. Thus in the material world equal opportunity is given to the jiva even though maya is taking the living entities away by this nescient engagement, keeping them forgetful. These four sampradayas bring down the spiritual potency from the spiritual world and it is only by getting in touch with this we can come out of this powerful covering of the living entity, of this attitude of material independent enjoyment and other miseries of this material world – birth, death, etc.

For those living entities who want to have a sense of forgetfulness of their constitutional position as the servant of Krishna, an opportunity is given to engage in sense gratification, independent existence. On one side this opportunity is given and there is an escape route from this material world. One should get connected to one of these four sampradayas in order to come out of this material world. This is a real energy from the spiritual world coming through this sampradaya. All the sampradayas have these four principles of knowledge – sankhya, yoga, vairagya and tapas.

Ours is Brahma sampradaya coming from Brahma, in this parampara. Sri-sampradaya is originating from Lakshmi. Kumara-sampradaya,  also called Nimbarka-sampradaya. Then Rudra-sampradaya, Vishnu-Svami’s.  Sri-sampradaya was later called Ramanuja Sampradaya and Brahma Sampradaya was later called Madhvacharya Sampradaya. So they are all originating from the Lord, by the Lord’s most intimate servant Rudra, Sri, Kumaras and Brahma. And our parampara is coming from Brahma-madhva-gaudiya parampara, gaudiya parampara is added. Madhavendra Puri was in the link of Madhvacharya, in that line of succession, his disciple was Isvara Puri and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took diksa from Isvara Puri. 

The effect of linking up to one of these sampradayas is to get spiritual energy to come out of this ignorance and go back to Godhead. You have to go to the current link, the acharya, and then take initiation from him. Sampradaya acharya is not limited to just material bodies. They are not physically connected, chronologically. Prabhupada uses the word sampradaya acharya. This is in the 10th canto 2nd chapter 31 verse purport: The acharya gives the suitable method for crossing the ocean of nescience by accepting the boat of the Lord's lotus feet. If this method is strictly followed, the followers will ultimately reach the destination by the grace of the Lord. It is therefore said, sampradaya-vihina ye mantras te nisphala matah (Padma Purana). 

If this method is strictly followed – attending mangalarati, chanting 16 rounds, tulasi puja, then deity worship – all these things help us cross the ocean of nescience. The shastra says that if you don’t take the link from the parampara acharya, your mantra is nisphala. Srila Prabhupada has distributed the Hare Krishna maha mantra all over the world and he is continuing to distribute. Those who take this Hare Krishna maha mantra and serve the mantra as instructed by Srila Prabhupada then one gets empowered to come out of this material world and also to pull others out.

In Kali-yuga we are prone to so many offenses when you do Deity worship. But in Hare Krishna maha mantra chanting, there is no time, place,  circumstance – simply attentively, faithfully chant Hare Krishna. Prabhupada writes – your determination to chant Hare Krishna is initiation. The holy name is in the midst of us, just like 5000 years back Krishna was in the midst of everything.  

Just as it is said in this verse – all of them were unwilling to adopt materialistic activities because they were highly elevated due to their semen’s flowing upwards. This is because in spiritual life one needs spiritual intelligence and when we are trapped in this body, even if we want to do devotional service to Krishna, we cannot serve with our spiritual senses. So it is through this material body, this brahmacharya, urdhva-retasah, is extremely important because that gives the spiritual energy in the brain to understand these fine truths of spiritual knowledge. Semen is a very creative energy. Just like say petroleum – you take petroleum, filter it, you get tar in the end, but then you filter it, first you get kerosene, then you get diesel, then petrol and the more fine you will get – high-octane aviation fuel.

Similarly through a certain process, that is what urdhva-retasah means, every brain has got that spiritual realization centre, it needs this aviation spirit. When body is created, this sexual energy is there in the body, that has to be lifted up, it has to be utilised by self-restraint, by following the principles of brahmacharya, it has to be raised. Principles of brahmacharya do not mean that you have to be a brahmachari. Many of our acharyas were grihasthas.  The first principle of brahmacharya is not to give attention to opposite sex. When we follow these things how much of our consciousness is being spent on opposite sex, to that degree we are not following the brahmacharya. Therefore be fully engaged in Krishna’s service, that is highest brahmacharya.

(The above transcripts have been edited for better readability. However they have not been verified and confirmed by the original speaker.)

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