Guru-parampara: The List of 32, Part 7

BY: ROCANA DASA - 24.8 2018

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati's Guru-parampara List

In an article entitled Sri Gaudiya Kantahara ("The Necklace of the Gaudiya Bhaktas") by Atulakrsna Dattaji [9], a disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur's, we find a copy of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta's Sri Guru-parampara. Included are both the Sanskrit verse and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta's translation of it into a Bengali poem. According to Atulakrsna Dattaji, the Sanskrit version he presents was composed by Bhaktisiddhanta Thakur, except for a section at the end (blue text in parenthesis), which was later added by his disciples.

Following is the Sanskrit version:

The Brahma-Madhva Gaudiya Sampradayasri-krsna-brahma-devarsi-badarayana-sanjnakan 
sri-madhva-sri-padmanabha-sriman-nrhari-madhavan
aksobhya-jayatirtha-sri-jnanasindhu-dayanidhin
sri-vidyanidhi-rajendra-jayadharman-kramadvayam
purusottama-brahmanya-vyasatirthams ca samstumah
tato laksmipatim sriman-madhavendran ca bhaktitah
tac chisyan srisvaradvaita-nityanandan-jagat-gurun
devam-isvara-sisyam-sri-caitanyan ca bhajamahe
sri-krsna-prema-danena yena nistaritam jagat
kali-kalusa-santaptam karuna-sindhuna svayam
mahaprabhu-svarupa-sri-damodarah-priyankarah
rupa-sanatanau dvau ca gosvami-pravarau prabhu
sri-jivo-raghunathas ca rupa priyo maha-matih
tat-priyah kaviraja-sri-krsna-dasa-prabhur matah
tasya priyottamah srilah sevaparo narottamah
tad-anugata-bhaktah sri-visvanathah sad-uttamah
tad asaktas ca gaudiya-vedantacarya-bhusanam
vidyabhusana-pada sri-baladeva-sad-asrayah
vaisnava-sarvabhauma-sri-jagannatha-prabhus tatha
sri-mayapura-dhamnas tu nirdesta-sajjana-priyah
suddha-bhakti-pracarasya muli-bhuta ihottamah
sri-bhaktivinodo devas tat-priyatvena visrutah
tad-abhinna-suhrd-varyo maha-bhagavatottamah
sri-gaura-kisorah saksad-vairagyam vigrahasritam
(mayavadi-ku-siddhanta-dhvanta-rasi-nirasakah
visuddha-bhakti-siddhantaih svanta-padma-vikasakah
devo 'sau paramo hamso mattah-sri-gaura-kirtane
pracaracara-karyesu nirantaram-mahotsukah
hari-priya-janair-gamya om visnu-pada-purvakah
sri-pado bhakti-siddhanta-sarasvati-mahodayah
sarve te gaura-vamsyas ca parama-hamsa-vigrahah
vayam ca pranata dasas tad ucchista-grahagrahah)

Following is Srila Bhaktisiddhanta's rendition of these Sanskrit verses into the form of a Bengali poem. The English translation made by the Thakur's disciples also follows.

krsna haite catur-mukha, haya krsna sevonmukha, 
brahma haite naradera mati
narada haite vyasa, madhva kahe vyasa-dasa, 
purna-prajna padmanabha-gati
nrhari madhava vamse, aksobhya-paramahamse, 
sisya bali' angikara kare
aksobhyera sisya jaya-tirtha name paricaya, 
tanra dasye jnanasindhu tare
taha haite dayanidhi, tanra dasa vidyanidhi, 
rajendra haila tanha ha'te
tanhara kinkara jaya-dharma name paricaya, 
parampara jana bhala mate
jayadharma-dasye khyati, sri purusottama yati, 
ta'ha ha'te brahmanya-tirtha suri
vyasa-tirtha tanra dasa, laksmi-pati vyasa-dasa, 
taha ha'te madhavendra puri
mahavendra puri-vara, sisya-vara sri isvara, 
nityananda sri-advaita-vibhu
isara-purike dhanya, karilena sri caitanya, 
jagad-guru-gaura-mahaprabhu
mahaprabhu sri-caitanya, radha-krsna nahe anya, 
rupanuga-janera-jivana
visvambhara priyankara, sri svarupa damodara, 
sri gosvami rupa-sanatana
rupa-priya mahajana, jiva raghunatha hana, 
tanra priya kavi krsna dasa
krsna dasa priya-vara, narottama sevapara, 
yanra pada visvanatha asa
visvanatha bhakta-satha, baladeva jagannatha, 
tanra priya sri bhaktivinoda
mahabhagavata-vara, sri-gaura-kisora-vara, 
hari-bhajanete yanra moda
sri varsabhanavi-bara, sada sevya-sevapara, 
tanhara dayitadasa nama
ei saba hari-jana, gaurangera nija-jana, 
tandera ucchiste mora kama

"The teachings of pure devotional service to Krsna begins with Krsna Him- self. He revealed this divine knowledge to the four-headed Brahma, who taught it to Narada. Narada taught it to Vyasa, who taught it to his servant, Madhvacarya. From Madhvacarya it passed to Padmanabha, Narahari, and Madhava. Madhava's disciple was Aksobhya. Aksobhya's disciple was Jayatirtha, whose foremost disciple was Jnanasindhu. After Jnanasindhu was Dayanidhi, whose disciple was Vidyanidhi, also known as Vidyadhiraja Tirtha. His disciple was Rajendra Tirtha, whose principle disciple was Jayadharma, also known as Vijayadhvaja Tirtha, the famous Bhagavatamcommentator. His disciple was Purusottama Tirtha, whose foremost disciple was Brahmanya Tirtha. His disciple was Vyasatirtha, whose disciple was Laksmipati Tirtha. In this way one should understand the guru-parampara.

Laksmipati Tirtha initiated Sri Madhavendra Puri, the best of sannyasis, whose favorite disciple was Isvara Puri. Two of his foremost disciples were the two great incarnations of Godhead, Lord Nityananda and Advaita Prabhu. Lord Caitanya made Isvara Puri greatly fortunate by accepting him as guru. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is none other than Sri Radha-Krsna combined. He is the life and soul of the Rupanuga Vaisnavas. The most dear follower of Sri Caitanya, who was also known as Visvambhara, was Svarupa Damodara, whose principle followers were Rupa and Sanatana Gosvami. The beloved followers of Rupa and Sanatana were Sri Jiva and Raghunatha dasa, whose dearmost servant was Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami. The dearmost follower of Krsnadasa was Narottama dasa Thakura. Narottama's follower, Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, had no desire other than the service of Narottama's lotus feet. The foremost devotee of Visvanatha was Baladeva Vidyabhusana, and then Jagannatha dasa Babaji. The dear servant of Jagannatha dasa Babaji was Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Bhaktivinoda Thakura was followed by Sri Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji, a great devotee, whose only pleasure was the service of Sri Hari.

All these pure devotees of the Lord represent the dynasty of Sri Gauranga, the Gaura-vamsa. Their holy feet are my only refuge. I am devoid of any real service to them, but hope that one day their service may be mine. I am only a fallen tridandi-sannyasi by the name of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati."

In the case of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta's list of the disciplic succession, commonly known as Sri Guru-parampara -- in the Sanskrit verse, Bengali poem, and disciple-translation to English -- we find that Bhaktisiddhanta has followed almost identically the list provided by Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana in his Prameya-ratnavali, which Srila Prabhupada also followed in his List of 32 in Bhagavad-gita As It Is. [Table1/Chart 7-9] Again, we find a few slight variations in spelling. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta uses Visvambhara as a name for Svarupa Damodar. The names are not presented in a numbered list, so parenthetical groupings can't be easily compared.

In comparing all the iterations of the Sampradaya Acarya lists discussed thus far, three items have been particularly anomalous: the listings for Dayanidhi/Mahanidhi, Purusottama, and Brahmanya Tirtha. We see that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta used Dayanidhi, as Baladeva Vidyabhusana did, rather than Mahanidhi, as Kavi Karnapura did.

In the case of Purusottama and Brahmanya Tirtha, we see that again Srila Bhaktisiddhanta has replicated Baladeva Vidyabhusana's list. From Srila Bhaktisiddhanta's poem: "His disciple [Vijayadhvaja Tirtha] was Purusottama Tirtha, whose foremost disciple was Brahmanya Tirtha." Kavi Karnapura wrote: "Another disciple of Jayadharma was Brahmana Purusottama. Purusottama's disciple was Vyasatirtha". This may be another indication of why Srila Prabhupada gave the list in the way that he did in his purport to Adi lila 6.40, and in his letter to Upendra.