This post may be taken as a side note to the Conversation 039 – Vaishnava Sampradayas (Tradition/Spiritual Lineage)
The subtle variations of intrepretations by great acharyas of various sampradayas/schools and the many liberated souls, combined with our own understandings of their philosophies that give rise to brainstorming with meaningful interesting discussions thus clearing our doubts and ignorance and broadens our insights.
You would be knowing the four bonafide/primary Vaishnava Sampradayas:
1. Sri/Maha Lakshmi – the consort of Lord Naarayana/Maha Vishnu (Sri Ramanujacharya – an expansion of Lakshmana/Sankharshana/Aadishesha – http://sriramanujar.tripod.com/ramanuja.html),
2. Brahma (Sri Madhvacharya – the (self-proclaimed?) third avatar or incarnation of Vayu, wind god, the son of Vishnu – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madhvacharya / http://globalpress.hinduismnow.org/global-press-originals/god/madhvacharya-third-incarnation-vayu/),
3. Rudra/’Lord Shiva (Sri Vishnuswami (https://gaudiyahistory.iskcondesiretree.com/vishnu-swami/) + Sri Vallabhacharya (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vallabha) ) and
4. Gaudiya (Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu – a devotee incarnation of Lord Shri Krishna – http://www.krishna.com/info/chaitanya-mahaprabhu).
All of them are identified by subtle variations and even have sub sects in them having further subtle differences in their main tenets.
For example, Sri Sampradaya is branched into two subsects – the Northeners (Vadagalai – the sect i belong to by birth 🙂 ) – the progressive, and the Southerners (Thengalai) – the more orthodox…
This article by my favourite Stephen Knapp that briefly explains various aspects of this and is worth reading. – https://www.sanskritimagazine.com/indian-religions/hinduism/sampradayas-four-main-chains-discipline-successions-hinduism/
You may excuse my limited knowledge of variations between various manifestation of Lord Krishna/Lord Maha Vishnu/Lord Naaraayanaa and the interchange in terms of name/usage – Lila-incarnations, incarnations, expansions, primary expansions, secondary expansions, expansions of an expansion, portions, plenary portions, portions of plenary portions etc.
But the ultimate thing to note is that they are all specially empowered beings designated with a specific purpose during the course of their descent into the material plane and subsequent ascent into the spiritual plane once their mission/purpose is accomplished.
They are Nitya (https://www.yogapedia.com/definition/5717/nitya), determined to bless us jiva souls to also to transcend/ascent to their plane and it is up to us to utilize the teachings and follow their path (in whatever ideology that one may find comfortable to follow because of their modes of material nature -apart from the above four , not to ignore / forget the Advaita school of thought propounded by Aadi Shankaracharya, an empowered expansion of Lord Shiva/Rudra as mentioned in the Padma Purana and Shiva Purana, refutations of this school of thought is the primary factor behind the tenets of the vaishnava sampradayas that came into existence/prominence after the ascent and descent of Aadi Shankara).
It’s only the spiritual evolution and the realisation of the impermenance, ever-changing and ever-transforming attributes of the material universe and the need to transcend beyond it that is of primary importance.
This concludes my 150th blog post!
Note: Regarding transcendence, one may refer to this amazing, mind-blowing book – Transcendence – My Spiritual experiences with Pramukh Swamiji and be blown over by it! – A dialogue between The People’s President, The Missile Man, above all a great human being to have walked on this earth, Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam(1931-2015) and Pramukh Swamiji(1921-2016) – the acharya from the lineage of Bhagwan Swami Narayan school of Vaishnava Sampradaya – the treatise Vachanamruta being the bible of the teachings of this Sampradaya, and the establishment of Akshardham temples all over the world under his leadership, particularly the amazing Akshardham temple at Noida, New Delhi, India.
These are the books that has the capability to alter the course of our thought process for good!