So there are four paramparā systems. They are known as, at the present moment, Rāmānuja-sampradāya, Brahma-sampra..., Brahma-samprada..., yes, Madhva-sampradāya, Brahma-sampradāya, Madhva-sampradāya, the same, and Rudra-sampradāya and Śrī-samp..., Śrī, Rāma, Kumāra-sampradāya. These is four sampradāyas. So we should hear from the sampradāya-ācārya by disciplic succession.
- 1 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 2 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 3 Lectures
- 4 Conversations and Morning Walks
SB Canto 4
The four Kumāras are paramparā spiritual masters of the Vaiṣṇava sampradāya. Out of the four sampradāyas, namely Brahma-sampradāya, Śrī-sampradāya, Kumāra-sampradāya and Rudra-sampradāya, the disciplic succession of spiritual master to disciple known as the Kumāra-sampradāya is coming down from the four Kumāras. So Pṛthu Mahārāja was very respectful to the sampradāya-ācāryas.
SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13
The ācārya gives the suitable method for crossing the ocean of nescience by accepting the boat of the Lord's lotus feet, and if this method is strictly followed, the followers will ultimately reach the destination, by the grace of the Lord. This method is called ācārya-sampradāya. It is therefore said, sampradāya-vihīnā ye mantrās te niṣphalā matāḥ (Padma Purāṇa). The ācārya-sampradāya is strictly bona fide. Therefore one must accept the ācārya-sampradāya; otherwise one's endeavor will be futile.
A Vaiṣṇava should study the commentaries on the Vedānta-sūtra written by the four sampradāya-ācāryas, namely Śrī Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī and Nimbārka, 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 Vedānta philosophy properly must study these commentaries, especially if he is a Vaiṣṇava. These commentaries are always adored by Vaiṣṇavas.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
That paramparā should be followed. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). If we want to understand really Vedic literature, then we must follow the paramparā system. There are four sampradāyas, paramparā: the Rāmanuja Sampradāya, Madhvācārya Sampradāya, Viṣṇu Svāmī Sampradāya, Nimbārka Sampradāya. So we belong to the Madhvācārya Sampradāya. Fortunately, all these ācāryas, even Śaṅkarācārya, they appeared from South India. This sampradāya, ācārya-sampradāya, is going on all over India. So every sampradāya has got his commentary on the Brahma-sūtra. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says here, brahma sūtra-padaiś caiva hetumadbhir viniścitaiḥ (BG 13.5). Unless a sampradāya, the four sampradāyas, they do not comment on the Brahma-sūtra, he'll not..., that sampradāya is not accepted. And if you do not accept the sampradāya..., sampradāya-vihīnā ye mantrās te niṣphalā matāḥ.
And the python can eat even a full horse, what to speak of other animals. But still, Kṛṣṇa supplies him food. He hasn't got to go anywhere. So sometimes saintly persons, they sit down in one place. If Kṛṣṇa sends him food he will eat; otherwise he will starve. In our ācārya-sampradāya, Mādhavendra Purī, Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura, they were doing that. In Vṛndāvana Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura, he was blind. He was sitting in one place, and Kṛṣṇa used to come and supply him milk.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1974 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Yes! So ācārya, who is ācārya? Then next question will be: who is ācārya? Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). Those who are coming, the ācārya-sampradāya. Śrī-sampradāya, Rudra-sampradāya, the four sampradāyas. So unless... Sampradāya vihīnā ye mantrās te viphalāḥ... Unless one comes to the ācārya disciplic succession, whatever nonsense he speaks, it is all useless. This is the most important thing, ācāryopāsanam.
Prabhupāda: Yeah, then we shall accept. Sādhu-śāstra-guru-vākya tinete karīyā aikya. Śāstra will say, and guru will say, "Yes, it is rightly said." Saintly person also will accept. Just like Kṛṣṇa is accepted by Arjuna. Paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān. He immediately mentioned that "Such sage, authorities, accept. The śāstra says." Not that because Kṛṣṇa was His friend, he accepted blindly. No. That is corroboration. Whether it is mentioned in the śāstras, whether other saintly persons... Just like there are so many avatāras, but we have got our ācārya-sampradāya, Rāmānuja, Yamunācārya. Whether they are accepting? Not a third class man accepted, and it is accepted. The ācārya. Ācāryavān puruṣo veda. This is the way of accepting.
Prabhupāda: So according to Vedic way, Kṛṣṇa is the Absolute Truth. Kṛṣṇa is Absolute Truth, accepted by the ācāryas. Indian civilization is carried on the advice of the ācārya-sampradāya. So all the ācāryas like Śaṅkarācārya, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, they all accept Kṛṣṇa as the Absolute Truth. So when we hear from Kṛṣṇa then we get absolute knowledge.
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Śūnyavādī. Śūnyavādī. That is śūnyavādī. Nirviśeṣa-śūnyavādī. Śūnyavādī, they say, "There is no God, and there is nothing, fact. Everything is combination of some illusory things." This is śūnyavādī. And the Māyāvādī, they say, "Yes, there is God, but He has no form." Therefore we have to kill both of them. Nirviśeṣa-śūnyavād-pāścātya-deśa-tāriṇe. The whole Western world are filled up with these śūnyavādi and impersonalists. India is also nowadays, but there are, still there are devotees in the ācārya-sampradāya. They are fighting against śunyavāda and nirviśeṣa.
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Indian man: It must be understood literally, you say.
Prabhupāda: Yes, why not? Suppose you have got some philosophy. So you can explain your philosophy differently. Why should you take Bhagavad-gītā and explain your philosophy? Is it honesty?
Indian man: All the ācāryas have been doing it.
Prabhupāda: No ācāryas are doing it. All lower-class men. No ācāryas do it. Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Nimbārka, these are ācāryas. Śaṅkarācārya, Caitanya, they never did it. Outsiders, who did not care for the authority of the ācārya, they did it. Otherwise, we are the ācārya sampradāya. They'll never do that. Ācāryavān puruṣo veda. Ācāryopāsanam. That is bona fide process of knowledge. Ācāryopāsanam. Amānitvam adambhitvam. Ācāryopāsanam. This is the process of knowledge. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). This is the ācārya. Ācārya will never interpret things like that. You see Rāmānujācārya's comments on Bhagavad-gītā. Nothing changed. But in every śloka he has given evidence from the Vedas, from the Upaniṣads. Ācārya will never change.
Prabhupāda: Śāstra? Śāstra means it is authorized. Just like Bhagavad-gītā is śāstra because it is spoken by Kṛṣṇa, the supreme authority. Therefore all the ācāryas, they accept it. Still the ācārya-sampradāyas are there. Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī, Śaṅkara, they accept all this. And at the time of...