Rooted in Vedic Tradition

Gaudiya Vaishnava

Gaudiya Vaishnavism is a Vaishnava religious movement revived by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in 16th century India. “Gaudiya” refers to Gaudadesa (present day Bengal/Bangladesh) with Vaishnavism meaning the worship of Vishnu. Its philosophical basis is primarily that of the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam, as well as other Puranic scriptures and Upanishads such as the Isha Upanishad, Gopala Tapani Upanishad, and Kali Santarana Upanishad.

The term Gaudiya Vaishnava refers to one who follows the path of Sanatan Dharma. Sanatan means that which is eternal. And Dharma means function. Since the body is temporary, Sanatan Dharma refers to the eternal relationship (prema) between the soul and God.The focus of Gaudiya Vaishnavism is the devotional worship (bhakti) of Radha and Krishna. Most popularly this worship takes the form of singing Radha and Krishna’s holy names which is known as kirtan. Gaudiya Vaishnavism is rooted in the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya sampradaya referring to its traditional origins in the succession of spiritual masters (gurus) coming from Krishna himself.

Bhakti Yoga

Yoga

The word yoga comes from the sanskrit root yuj which means to link or connect. In Bhagavad-gita, Krishna tells Arjuna that “Of all yogis, the one with great faith who always abides in Me, thinks of Me within himself, and renders transcendental loving service to Me – he is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.”

Bhakti

Exclusive loving devotion to the Supreme Lord, devoid of any other desire (health, wealth, enjoyment) than that which is beneficial or pleasing to the Lord, is called bhakti. Krishna says, “Only by undivided devotional service can I be understood as I am…” Bhakti Yoga is the expression of love and affection by which one connects to the Supreme Transcendental Personality, Sri Krishna.

sadhavo hrdayam mahyam
sadhunam hrdayam tv aham
mad-anyat te na jananti
naham tebhyo manag api

(Srimad Bhagavatam 9.4.68)

“The pure devotee is always within the core of My heart, and I am always in the heart of the pure devotee. My devotees do not know anything else but Me, and I do not know anyone else but them.”

Kirtan

The simplest and most prominent limb of Bhakti Yoga, Kirtan is the practice of glorifying the Supreme Lord by singing of his names, form, qualities and pastimes. Kirtan is transcendental sound vibration that descends from the spiritual realm into the heart. The Vedic scriptures declare that in this age of Kali, of quarrel and hypocrisy, the only way to attain perfection is through chanting the names of the Supreme Lord. There is no other way!!! The congregational chanting of the names of Krishna cleanses the heart of all sufferings and enables one to fully taste the bliss of transcendental love for Krishna at every moment.

Maha Mantra

In Kalisantaran Upanishad the greatest Mantra for bestowing transcendental love for God is:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Guru

The embodied soul is prone to four defects: imperfect senses, illusion, making mistakes, and cheating others. Because of this, he is unable to free himself from illusion. In Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krsna instructs that if one wants to know the truth, he must approach the right person, a tattva-darsi. Tattva-darsi means “one who has actually seen or experienced the Absolute Truth.” Unless one finds such a person who has actually seen and knows the Absolute Truth, there is very little chance of spiritual advancement.
“Any person who seriously desires to achieve actual happiness must seek out a bona fide spiritual master (guru) and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of a spiritual master is that he must have realized the conclusion of the Vedic scriptures by deliberation and argument and thus be able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken complete shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, are to be understood as bona fide spiritual masters.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.29.55)