The Sri Rupanuga Sampradaya
The disciplic succession [also known as a Sampradaya or Guru Parampara] is a succession of Spiritual Masters through which a particular conception of spiritual knowledge is transmitted from Guru to disciple. The Revealed Truth comes down to us through this succession of instructing Spiritual Masters. The Krishna conscious disciplic succession is the link which connects us to the Supreme Lord Krishna, who likes to distribute Himself through His agent, or the Spiritual Master. [See Sri Guru and His Grace.]
Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is nondifferent from Sri Sri Radha-Krishna, appeared some five hundred years ago in India; He chose to accept a place in the disciplic succession known as the Brahma Madhva Gaudiya 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 Sri Madhvacharya, 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 relevant role. Mahaprabhu's followers are known as Gaudiya Vaishnavas, and are also called Rupanugas, in honor of Srila Rupa Goswami -- the most prominent of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's associates -- who was empowered to present Mahaprabhu's teachings and conclusions.
In recent times, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, who appeared in the nineteenth century, has purely represented the teachings established by Srila Rupa Goswami. Srila Bhaktivinoda 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 Prabhupad, who presented Krishna consciousness extensively throughout India at the beginning of this century. Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur received diksha initiation from Srila Gaura Kisora Das Babaji Maharaj, a babaji disciple of Srila Bhagavat Das Babaji Maharaj, who was the babaji disciple of Srila Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj.
Among Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupad's exalted disciples, two are world-famous: Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar 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 from this world in 1988, his disciple, Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj has represented the Gaudiya Vaishnava disciplic succession, and is the chosen successor and President Acharya [Divine Guardian] of Srila Sridhar Maharaj's Mission, the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. Srila Govinda Maharaj has also traversed the globe on many World Tours to preach the message of Mahaprabhu extensively. His ability to purely represent the disciplic succession has distinguished Srila Govinda Maharaj as a jagat guru, or world teacher.