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Frequently Asked Questions

This page answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, the Seva Ashram, Srila Sridhar Maharaj and Srila Govinda Maharaj, and explains some of the basic principles of our Krishna Conscious philosophy.

Who am I?
Who is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu?
What is Sankirtan ?
What is the Disciplic Succession ?


I am not this body

"As the embodied soul continually passes, in this life, from boyhood to youth, to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The wise man is not confused by such a change." [ Bhagavad-gita 2:13 ]

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Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in the year 1486, in Mayapur, West Bengal, India.

Srila Rupa Goswami has glorified Lord Chaitanya as being the most munificent Lord, who has appeared to freely distribute life's most precious gift, pure love of Godhead. He is praised as being the most merciful Lord because He distributes His mercy without discrimination to all, without any consideration if one is qualified or not.

Although He is the Supreme Lord, Krishna, He has appeared as a devotee, and has revealed the most sublime sentiments and the natural disposition of a devotee. He teaches us by His own example how to establish a connection with the Lord through the practice of pure devotion.

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When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared, He brought His dearest servitors with Him, personalities such as Lord Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Adwaita Acharya, Sri Gadadhar Pandit, Srivas Thakur, and other exalted associates, and along with these devotees He spread the Yuga-dharma, or the practice most recommended for the attainment of pure love for Sri Sri Radha-Krishna. That process is Hari-nam Sankirtan, or the congregational chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

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The disciplic succession, known as the guru parampara, is a succession of spiritual masters in which the revealed truth is passed on from self-realized gurus to their disciples in an uninterupted line.

The highest truth of Krishna consciousness comes down to us through this succession of instructing spiritual masters. The disciplic succession is the link which connects us with the Supreme Lord, who likes to distribute Himself through His agent, or the spiritual master.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is nondifferent from Sri Radha Krishna, appeared five hundred years ago in India; He chose to accept a place in the disciplic succession known as the Brahma Madhva Sampradaya. Lord Brahma was the first person to receive the revealed truth from Lord Krishna Himself, and is therefore the head of the sampradaya. Madhva refers to Madhava Acharya, who was an especially prominent teacher in this succession. Since the time of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the succession has been known as the Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya, because of His contribution and relevent role. Mahaprabhu's followers are also known as Gaudiya Vaishnavas, and are also called Rupanugas, in honor of Srila Rupa Goswami, who was most prominent among the associates of Lord Chaitanya, and who was empowered to present Mahaprabhu's teachings and conclusions.

In recent times, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur, who appeared in the last century, has purely represented the teachings established by Srila Rupa Goswami. Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur prayed for an empowered personality to continue his teachings, and his prayers were answered in the person of his son, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, who presented Krishna consciousness extensively throughout India at the beginning of this century.

Among Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur's exalted disciples, two personalities appear as most renowned: Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev Goswami Maharaj and Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad is the great inaugurator of Krishna consciousness in the Western world who spread the teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu everywhere. Srila Sridhar Maharaj, the founder of the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, was appreciated by Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad for his high realizations and ability to present the most sublime conclusions of Krishna Consciousness.

After Srila Sridhar Maharaj's departure in 1988, his disciple, Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev Goswami Maharaj has represented the disciplic succession, and is the successor and present acharya (or divine guardian) of Srila Sridhar Maharaj's mission, the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. Srila Govinda Maharaj has also travelled throughout the world and presented Mahaprabhu's teachings extensively. His ability to purely represent the disciplic succession has distinguished Srila Govinda Maharaj as a jagat guru, or world teacher.

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