Guru-parampara: The List of 32, Part 2

BY: ROCANA DASA - 14.8 2018

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi lila 6:40

In his purport to Adi 6.40, Srila Prabhupada narrates the List of 32 up to and including Madhavendra Puri:

Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Adi 6.40:

"The Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika (22) clearly states the disciplic succession of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas as follows: "Lord Brahma is the direct disciple of Visnu, the Lord of the spiritual sky. His disciple is Narada, Narada's disciple is Vyasa, and Vyasa's disciples are Sukadeva Gosvami and Madhvacarya. Padmanabha Acarya is the disciple of Madhvacarya, and Narahari is the disciple of Padmanabha Acarya. Madhava is the disciple of Narahari, Aksobhya is the direct disciple of Madhava, and Jayatirtha is the disciple of Aksobhya. Jayatirtha's disciple is Jnanasindhu, and his disciple is Mahanidhi. Vidyanidhi is the disciple of Mahanidhi, and Rajendra is the disciple of Vidyanidhi. Jayadharma is the disciple of Rajendra. Purusottama is the disciple of Jayadharma. Sriman Laksmipati is the disciple of Vyasatirtha, who is the disciple of Purusottama. And Madhavendra Puri is the disciple of Laksmipati."

There are several interesting differences between the List of 32 in Bhagavad-gita As It Is and the list given above, from Cc Adi 6.40. [Table1/Chart 1-2] For example, in the Gita, Krsna is the first Name on the List, while His Name is given as Visnu in Adi 6.40. In Adi 6.40, Sukadeva Goswami is mentioned as a disciple of Vyasa along with Madhvacarya, although Sukadeva is not included on the List of 32 in the Gita. In Adi lila 6.40, the name following Jnanasindhu is his disciple Mahanidhi, while in the Gita, Mahanidhi is listed by the name Dayanidhi.

The 17th person mentioned in the Gita list, Brahmanya Tirtha, is not mentioned at all in Adi 6.40. At first read, one might see this as an omission, but Srila Prabhupada goes on to say in his purport that "Sriman Laksmipati is the disciple of Vyasatirtha, who is the disciple of Purusottama". In other words, he is specifying that Vyasatirtha is the disciple of Purusottama, not Brahmanya Tirtha. While on its face, this doesn't explain the absence of Brahmanya Tirtha in the Adi 6.40 list, it does clarify Vyasatirtha's position in the order. We also find that while the guru-parampara lists produced by Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati include Purusottama and Brahmanya, the earlier list found in Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika by Sri Kavi Karnapura gives a single combined name, "Brahmana Purusottama".


Srila Prabhupada's Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam 7.6.1, New York, April 9, 1969

The next mention of the guru-parampara list is found in Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam 7.6.1, New York, April 9, 1969 [Table1/Chart 3]:

"From Brahma to Narada, from Narada to Vyasadeva, from Vyasadeva to Madhvacarya, from Madhvacarya to Mad... I am making shortcut. From Madhvacarya to Madhavendra Puri, from Madhavendra Puri to Isvara Puri, from Isvara Puri to Lord Caitanya, from Lord Caitanya to Svarupa Damodara, from Svarupa Damodara to six Gosvamis, Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, from Gosvamis to Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, the author of Caitanya-caritamrta, and from him Narottama dasa Thakura, and from Narottama dasa Thakura, Visvanatha Cakravarti, from Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura to Jagannatha dasa Babaji, from Jagannatha dasa Babaji to Bhaktivinoda Thakura, from Bhaktivinoda Thakura to Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, and from Gaurakisora dasa Babaji my spiritual master, and then we are descended."

The List of 32 given by Srila Prabhupada during this Bhagavatam lecture is presented in a more conversational manner: he says "I am making shortcut" and skips 14 early members of the list, picking up with Madhavendra Puri, who marks an important point in the disciplic succession, just prior to the advent of Lord Caitanya.

We also note that in this narration of the list of Sampradaya Acaryas, Srila Prabhupada goes from Lord Caitanya to Svarupa Damodara, to the six Gosvamis, Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, and from the Gosvamis to Krsnadasa Kaviraja. In the List of 32 in Bhagavad-gita As It Is, the list is presented this way:

22. Lord Caitanya 
23. Rupa, (Svarupa, Sanatana) 
24. Raghunatha, Jiva 
25. Krsnadasa

Going from Visvanatha Cakravarti to Jagannatha dasa Babaji, to Bhaktivinoda Thakura, we also note that Srila Prabhupada does not mention in this conversation Baladeva Vidyabhusana, whose name is included in the Gita's List of 32, item #28, which reads: "(Baladeva) Jagannatha".