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PUSHTIMARG

Word 'Pushti' means 'Grace' and 'Marg' means 'Path' to reach God. There are many schools of thought or margs to obtain the grace of the Lord and reach him.

As we are Pushti Vaishnavs, we follow the path of pushtimarg.

This path of spiritual grace is introduced to us by Shree Vallabhacharyaji. He, after a deep study, contemplation and personal experience has simplified the path to experience the Lord and has given us certain easy principles to follow. E.g. we go to different schools, the subjects to be studied are the same but each school follows its own protocol, starting from the uniform to the types of teachers and methods of teaching. We being followers of Pushti school of thought practice the set of rules laid by our Guru Shree Vallabh.

In sanskrit Pushti means 'Krupa(grace)'. Thus pushtimarg is a marg in which we can experience God by the grace of God himself. It is also called 'Krupa marg'.

Thus in this marg God showers his grace on us.

Pushti also means spiritual nourishments. It is a path of devotion through God's grace. To follow this path one has to be initiated by Guru one who is from lineage of Shree Mahaprabhuji (Vallabhacharyaji).

As we saw earlier, we are vaishnavs and follow Pushtimarg, so we call ourselves as 'PUSHTIMARGIYA VAISHNAVS'.

CHARACTERISTICS OF 'PUSHTIMARG'

a. Pushtimarg was initiated and shown by Shri. Mahaprabhuji.
b. In Pushtimarg instead of worship, the emphasis, is on 'Seva' (Service) to Shri Krishna. Thus it is also called 'Bhaktimarg'.
c. In Bhaktimarg, vaishnavs carry on 'Seva' along with the responsibilities of family & society. We do not take sanyas. And seva is performed with the help and support of all family members.
d. To follow 'Pushtimarg', one has to be initiated by the 'Guru of Acharya' or as we call Goswami balak who has to be of the lineage of Shri. Mahaprabhuji.
e. The uniqueness of the tradition of 'Pushtimarg' is 'Grah Seva' (to worship and serve Thakorji at home).
f. An individual or family graced by God can do seva after taking permission and initiation 'Brahma-sambandh' from Vallabhkul Balak, who sanctifies (Pushtavs) the Chitraji or Swaroop of Thakorji for the Vaishnav.
g. In this path, 'Seva' is done selflessly without asking the Lord for anything in return and sing his glories.
h. Wearing Tulsi Kanthi (For men, women & Children) and doing tilak (U) for males are the main symbols of Pushtimarg. The Ladies should wear a red bindi and wear a saree.

'BRAHMA SAMBANDH'

 Pushtiparivar_Brahma-Sambandh_01.JPG 

Hence in simple words, establishing your relationship with lord is 'Bhrahmasambandh'.

In our Pushtimarg, we can perform Shri Thakorji's seva only after getting initiated by our 'Guru', who gives us this 'Mantra'.

There are 2 types of Mantras:
1) Naam Mantra
2) Nivedan Mantra

Naam Mantra:
To take initiation in Naam Mantra, we go to our 'Guru' only. One from 'Sri Vallabhacharya's lineage'. He they says 'Ashtakshar Mantra' ie 'Shri Krishna Sharanam Mama', in our ears three times and puts tulsi Kanthi around our neck and entitles us to become Pushtimargiya Vaishnav.
This Ashtakshar Mantra should be chanted everyday by Vaishnavs which helps us to experience the Lord.

Nivedan Mantra, Brahmasambandh Mantra (or) Gadhya Mantra
This Mantra is again given only by Vallabhkul Balak. The essence of this mantra is total surrender to 'Lord'.
Like sparks of fire that fly away from the eternal fire, we are driven away from our Lord for years together and are aimlessly going about forgetting that our duty is to be with the Lord. The Guru reminds us about this duty and reunites us with Lord.

Preparations for Brahmasambandh:

Mental:

1. One should make a conscious decision to get initiated.
2. Decide who you want to accept as your Guru.

Physical:

1. Fast the previous day with only fruits and milk.
2. On the day of Brahmasambandh, Shampoo your hair, take a bath, wear new clothes, be in Aparas. Do not eat or drink anything before the initiation. Take on offering (usually cash) as Guru Dakshina for the Guru and for Thakorji. After receiving Brahmasambandh prostrate to the Guru & Thakorji and respectfully offer your guru dakshina to the guru and your offering to the Lord (Bhet).
3. The initiation (The Deeksha): After finishing the above formalities, the acharya calls you in front of the Lord that he is worshipping and gives you the Ashtakshara mantra or the Brahmasambandh mantra by whispering in into your ear three times and makes you repeat it three times. You are given two leaves of Tulsi in your hand. Once you have repeated the mantra thrice along with him, he collects back the Tulsi dal from you and he offers it to the Lord he is worshipping. Thus uniting you to the Lord and requesting him to accept you. He gives you a Tulsi mala to be worn around your neck (kanthi). By this initiation, YOu are blessed with the grace of Guru and the Lord.
4. The meaning of Brahmasambandh Mantra: It has been ages, I (the individual soul) have been separated from you Shree Krishna (Brahma - The supreme Lord). I do not experience the pangs of separation, but I want to join you. So, I surrender to you (samarpan) my body, senses, soul, intellect and their activities, my family and my belongings. This surrender to the Lord by the initiation by the guru is the essence of the Brahmasambandh Mantra. This is called Gadhya Mantra and is in Sanskrit.

The difference between two Mantras

Ashtakshar Mantra Brahmasambandh Mantra
It can be recited at any time of the day anywhere. It can be recited in the presence of the Lord.
There is no need to follow 'Apras' to recite this mantra. It has to be recited in 'Apras'.
Here, you are accepting the Lord's feet, (Sharan). Here, you totally surrender yourselft, your family & your belongings to the Lord (samarpan).
It has 8 letters It has 84 letters, last 5 letters are called Panchakshar Mantra.

 

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Last Update: August 24th, 2016
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