Nimbarka - The Disciplic Tradition Today

The Disciplic Tradition Today

Upon reaching the leader Svāmī Harivyāsa Devacārya, the 35th leader, the tradition was reformed. He anointed twelve of his senior disciples to lead missions throughout the land. The most famous are Svāmī Paraśurāma Devācārya and Svāmī Svabhūrāma Devācārya.

Svāmī Paraśurāma Devācārya was to remain the leader of the entire movement. He was given the śālagrāma deity known as Śrī Sarveśvara that was handed down through time it is believed from Nimbārka himself. The 48th and current leader of the entire Nimbārka Sampradāya (the disciplic tradition of Nimbārka) is H.D.H. Jagadguru Nimbārkācārya Svāmī Śrī Rādhāsarveśvara 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. He established the Mandir at the birth site of Shri Nimbarkacharya 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.

Svāmī Svabhūrāma Devācārya 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.

In his following disciplic lineages, there are many branches, including the line of Kathia Baba. Svami Svabhuram Devacarya was the elder disciple of Swami Shri Harivyasa Devacarya, and Kathiya Baba follows this tradition of saints. Other notable saints of that line of Gurus (Parampara) include the famous Saint Swami Chatur Chintamani Nagaji Maharaj, who started the Vraja Parikrama. This tradition has been continuously maintained over 528 years by the Acharyas of the Svabhurama Dwara (Branch).In this same tradition Svami Ramdas Kathia Baba came to Vrindavan and made his first monastery there. Currently this parampara is led by the 57th Acharya of Svabhuram Dwara of Nimbarka Sampradaya, Swami Ras Bihari Das Kathia Baba at Sri Kathia Baba Ka Sthan, Sridham Vrindavan, India. This ashram is known as the Gurugadi, or seat of the Guru, of this sampradaya as a continuation of the lineage of Swami Ram Das Kathia Baba, Swami Santadas Kathiababa and Swami Dhananjaya Das Kathia Babaji Maharaj. Swami Dhananjaya Das Kathia Babaji built several ashrams. The present Acharya Swami Ras Bihari Dasji Kathia Baba has constructed 20 new temples and monasteries in India and abroad. Another Acharya of this lineage is Swami Brindaban Bihari Das Mahanta Maharaj at Kathia Baba ka Ashram, Shivala, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh and Sukhchar, 24-Parganas (North), West Bengal, who has undertaken projects for orphans and aged persons, building schools and elderly care homes. He travels relentlessly to spread Nimbarka Philosophy through world religion conferences held in US, UK, Sweden, Africa, Bangaladesh and other different cities across the globe.

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.

Another of the famous leaders was Sri Radhavallabh Sharan Devacharya who presided at the Baijiraj Temple in Udaipur, Rajasthan. He is succeeded by Mahant Sri Mohansharan Ji. In Abu Road, Swami Shri Yugal Sharan Ji Brahmachari takes care of Shri Pat Narayan Dham, a wondrous centre worshipping an ancient deity of Lord Visnu. He provides top level Ayurvedic care and has thousands of patients visiting daily.

The Mithila Kunj Ashram is operated by disciples in the tradition of Swami Shri Mukund Devacharya, another of Swami Shri Harivyas Devacharya's 12 main disciples. At Vamshi Vata, the site of austerities of Harivyasa's preceptor, Swami Shri Shribhatta, the branch of Swami Shri Uddhava Ghamanda Devacharyaji has its headquarters. Swami Uddhava Ghamanda Devacharya ji, another of the 12 disciples of Swami Shri Harivyasa Devacharya is of note for his establishment of the practise of Rasa Lila performances, which continue today and are performed by devotees initiated in other sects and even folk artists. His disciples are led by Swami Roop Kishor Devacharya based at Shri Chain Bihari Ji Kunj.

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