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<b>Sampradayas are not Enclosures </b>
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Jai Jai ShriGokulesh

A number of Dharma-Margas or Dharma-Sampradayas of our country are as old as Bharat's culture itself. Today this false belief is being spread out that our social unity breaks down by different Dharma-Sampradayas. In a way power-loving political leaders spread jealousy, quarrels and disquiet in society by exciting groups of labourers, farmers, employees, students, Adivasis etc. belonging to different languages, provinces, districts and castes. Should we believe, then, that any language or province etc., is an element that disunites all classes and breaks up the social unity ? Or if we believe in it, how can we be free from it ? In fact, different Sampradayas are the centres to provide training of religious courses. They are such types of schools that enhance moral prosperity of the society along with its spiritual promotion. Because of these Sampradayas sensible people experience all-pervading necessity and well-being of religion in society and not of disunity and divisibility.

In fact all scriptural Sampradayas have come into being for the people of different interest & nature by the command of Bhagavan. That is what the scripture says. All Sampradayas have got different fields of working like Action, Knowledge, Devotion etc. Hence, ideally, there should not arise any question of conflict, opposition or rivalry of one Sampradaya with any other Sampradaya. For example, there are innumerable schools throughout the world that impart learning and training of different subjects to the students of different classes and groups. When our social unity and harmony is not endangered by these innumerable schools, how can the social unity and harmony be harmed by our schools of Dharma which can be counted on the tips of our fingers ? Hence, it should be understood that the tradition of Bharata's Dharma - Sampradaya is not the symbol of narrowness or divisibility but it is the symbol of universal and all-pervading necessity of Dharma. If one can look into the all-pervasiveness contained in this variety, there remains no reason of any fear or doubt. Thus, true nature and significance of Dharma - Sampradaya is discussed.

As it is said, all scriptural Sampradayas have been propounded by the command of Bhagavan for different classes of people. Hence, all Sampradayas are complete, necessary and good in their own ways.

If any one wants to enter into any Dharma-Sampradaya, how shall he decide which Dharma-Sampradaya will suit him ?

It is very easy to decide. What will a student interested in science and desiring to make advancement in the field of science do ? No doubt, he will seek admission to that school in which the subject of his choice is taught very well. Similarly, one should enter into that Sampradaya in which his favourite course of obtaining Bhagavan is taught. But it should be remembered that a clever-wise student seeks admission only to that school which has got recognition from the respective authority. Similarly, one should take care to see that the Sampradaya in which he is going to enter is not against from the principles of the scriptures like Vedas etc., the bases of Hindu Sanatana Dharma. Moreover, one should never commit an error of following more than one Sampradayas at a time. Traveler who places his legs in two boats can't reach across. Hence, in the Gita, Shri Krshna says :

Shreyan svadharmo vigunah, paradharmatsvanushthitat; svadharme nidhanam shreyah, paradharmo bhayavah. Meaning : One's own duty is much better even if it is not practiced properly than others' duty that is practiced accurately. It is better if one has to die for the sake of one's own duty, but to follow other's duty is very dangerous.

In his treatise : Sarvanirnaya-Nibandha Shri Vallabhacarya says :

1Svadharmacaranam shktya…Vidharmacca nivartanam Meaning : One should practice one's own Dharma as much as possible, but should keep away from others' Dharma.

Salient features of Sampradaya : Every Sampradaya that is well-established and well-thought consists of minimum these four aspects : 1. Philosophical 2. Doctrinal 3. Practical and 4. The aspect of fruit.

Corresponding to these four aspects there remain four kinds of instructions of the Acaryas of Sampradaya. We shall discuss all these kinds from the point of view of the philosophy and theology of 'Shuddhadvaita2-Pushti-Bhakti-Sampradaya'.

Philosophical Instruction : What is the supreme truth, what is the nature as well as the origin of beings and the universe, and which kind of relation the Supreme Self has with the sentient beings and the insentient world { the answers in reply to these questions is called Tatvopdesh, the philosophical instruction. For example, Shri Krshna is the progenitor of the universe, none of gods and goddesses or incarnations other than Shri Krshna are the Supreme Brahma etc. is Tatvopadesha. Philosophical aspect is the true base of other three aspects for any Sampradaya.

Doctrinal Instruction : The narration of moral rules and regulations for planning practical life on the bases of philosophical thought is called Siddhantopadesha {the doctrinal instruction. For example, to perform Shri Krshna's service is the spiritual duty of every being, to resort in any god or goddess other than Shri Krshna is an offence for the disciple of the Pushti-Bhakti sect etc. are the Doctrinal Instructions.

Practical Instruction : The directions as to how and how not to place doctrine in practical life are given in Vyavaharopadesha {The Practical Instruction. For example, having initiation of Brahmasambandha from an efficient Guru and enshrining Shri Krshna's Svarupa ( idol ) in home, one should perform Shri Krshna's worship with one's own body, mind and wealth. One shouldn't have initiation from an improper Guru and should not perform worship in any public places except at one's home. Worship should not be got performed other person by offering money and other objects. One should not accept money or any object from any other person for worship.

Instruction regarding the Fruit : The doctrines and description regarding the fruit {that one obtains after the accomplishment of the course of the Sampradaya in accordance with its doctrines{ is propounded in Falopadesha {the Instructions regarding the fruit. For example, devotee's mind gets constantly attached to Shri Krshna when he performs the worship of Shri Krshna in one's own home with one's own body and wealth. He becomes free from worldly I-ness and My-ness.As against this if 1. Shri Krshna is worshiped at public places like Havelis and temples 2. if the worship of Shri Krshna is performed with money received from others 3. if the worship is got performed through some other person by making a payment {nobody's mind will be attached to Shri Krshna. The mind of the donor is spoiled with pride. The receiver of money becomes Devalaka -a sinner. The preceptor who performs worship in public-temple or Haveli, later or sooner, becomes a paid worshiper or public servant or govt. servant and ultimately becomes a sinner in the eyes of scripture.

The Internal and External phases of Spiritual course : Every Sampradaya has two phases of its course : 1.The external Phase and 2. The internal Phase. For a school-student to go to school, to respect the teachers, to wear the uniform etc., are the external phases. While to revise, to discuss and to remember the lessons are the internal aspects. As these two aspects are necessary for obtaining education, so both the External and Internal aspects of the religious course are equally important in any Sampradaya. In the devotional path of Pushti, hearing, singing and remembering Shri Krshna's names, form and Lila are the internal aspects of its course. Performance of Shri Krshna's worship with one's own body and wealth is the External phase. When these two phases join together, perfection in following the devotional course can be achieved.

Comments: 1 Comment(s)

By gopal
29 November 2004
Jai Jai ShriGokulesh,

Definition : Its a tradition in which the Mantra of the favourite god's name is given in the initiation to the disciple with the complete knowledge of that religious cult by the Guru for his upliftment is called "Sampradaya'.

Necessity of the Sampradaya : In the present fields of education Science, Art and Commerce are the chief branches of learning in Bharat. In Science; chemistry, Biology, Physiology, Physics etc., are the sub-branches. Similarly, there are sub-branches of learning in Art and Commerce. Every student has no liking for all the branches of learning. For this reason, at higher stage, educational institutions introduce different faculties of education for the students having interest in different branches of learning. The purpose lies behind introducing different sections of education is that the student may concentrate without deviating his mind on the subject of his choice.

In this world Bhagavan has not made all beings of the same nature and liking. Different scriptural Dharma-Sampradays have come into existence by the ordainment of Bhagavan to serve an auspicious purpose that beings of different likings may obtain the knowledge of their path and may live their life accordingly.

What may happen if different Dharma-Sampradayas do not exist ?

Suppose there are no different sections like Science, Art etc. in the field of education. In that case, there remains no scope with students for the advanced study of his favourite subject. Again, he will have to study by force those subjects in which he is not interested. Similarly, if beings of different motives and likings do not find Dharma-Sampradayas showing their favourite means to attain Bhagavan, how can they progress in their spiritual life ? Moreover, Bhagavan has created this world as His playground, and sport cannot take place without variety. For this reason it is necessary that there be different Sampradayas for different beings.

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