An address given at the University of Stockholm in September of 1973, by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. In order to enter into spiritual life, two things are required. As enunciated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, one needs the mercy of the Supreme Lord and the mercy of the spiritual master:
In order to enter into spiritual life, two things are required. As enunciated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, one needs the mercy of the Supreme Lord and the mercy of the spiritual master:
brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija
The livinq entities are wandering throughout the universe changing bodies, transmigrating from one body to another, from one place to another, and from one planet to another.Brahmanda bhramite: they are rotating within this material universe.
This science is unknown to the modern educators-how the spirit soul is transmigrating from one body to another, and how he is being transferred from one planet to another. But we have explained this in our book Easy Journey to Other Planets. In fact, the guru can help you transmigrate from this planet directly to the spiritual sky, Vaikunthaloka, where there are innumerable spiritual planets. The topmost planet in the spiritual sky is Krsna's planet, called Goloka Vrndavana. The Krsna consciousness movement is trying to give information of how one can be transferred directly to the Goloka Vrndavana planet, Krsnaloka. That is our mission.
Lord Krsna says: Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh "This Supreme science was thus received through the chain of Disciplic Succession, and the Saintly Kings understood it in this way."
This Bhagavad-gita As It Is is received through this disciplic succession:
10. Jaya Tirtha
17. Brahmanya Tirtha
18. Vyasa Tirtha
20. Madhavendra Puri
21. Isvara Puri, (Nityananda, Advaita)
22. Lord Caitanya
23. Rupa, (Svarupa, Sanatana)
24. Raghunatha, Jiva
28. (Baladeva) Jagannatha
31. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
32. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
The second phase is marked after Vyasadev with Sripada Madhvacarya, who took his birth at Udupi somewhere between the years of A.D. 1119 and A.D. 1239. While the chronological gap between the manifestations of Sri Vyasadev and Madhvacarya is long, as Srila Prabhupada wrote in a letter to Dayananda (12-04-68): "Regarding parampara system, there is nothing to wonder for big gaps. We have to pick up the prominent acarya and follow from him."
Sri Madhvacarya claimed to be a direct disciple of Vyasa, from whom he directly received the Vedanta. Their relationship is not stated to be one of initiation, and in fact, Madhva is described as having taking initiation from the Sankara line. From his base in Udipi, he went on to establish what continues today as a strict system of succession.
The third phase of the succession is marked by the appearance of Lord Caitanya in Gauda-desa, Bengal. Lord Caitanya took birth in Navadvipa, Bengal in the year A.D. 1407. Lord Caitanya did not formally initiate anyone, and it is stated by Sanatana Goswami that, as an incarnation, he would not personally do so.
Prior to Lord Caitanya's appearance Madhavendra Puri appeared, and he initiated several of Caitanya's associates, including Sri Advaita and Nityananda prabhu. Madhavendra Puri also initiated Lord Caitanya's own guru, Isvara Puri. As stated in Caitanya-caritamrta, Madyam lila 4:197, Sri Madhavendra Puri introduced the conception of conjugal love for the first time in the Madhvacarya-sampradaya, and this conclusion was later revealed by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Following Lord Caitanya, the modern age of the Gaudiya Sampradaya was marked by the appearance of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, who took birth in A.D. 1838 in the Nadia District of West Bengal. Following Srila Bhaktivinode in the disciplic succession is his son, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, who appeared in 1874 in Puri. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta took initiation from Gaurakisora das Babaji. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta became the spiritual master of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the most recent Sampradaya Acarya, who appeared in 1896 in Calcutta.