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Please share their differences as well as similarities in detail. 

Thank you.

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Similarities is-->> all living entities are part and parcel of Supreme Lord.  All Vaishnavas believe in Supreme lord. All read the same texts Gita, and Bhagwatam. All all four sampradayas were started by Lord Himself.

Ramanujan was considered Adishesha or Ananta Himself( plenary expansion of Lord) , While Adi Shankaracharya was considered to be Lord SHiva Himself, like wise..Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is considered as Sri Krishna in Radha Rani mood Himself.  Nimbaraka is started by Sanat kumaras who are plenary expansion of Lord Himself.

Difference actually there only---. in the philosophy.  As different school of thoughts came up during different time periods.

According to the necessity they proposed different philosophies but ultimately all are same. All paths lead to the same Supreme Lord.

To know different Sampradayas in Vaishnavism. We must start with Shivism.. Advaita philosophy proposed by Adi Shankara charya.

Adi Shankara or Shankara, was an early  8Th. Centurary ..Indian philosopher and theologian who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta

The term Advaita refers to its idea that the soul (true Self, Atman) is the same as the highest metaphysical Reality (Brahman). "A'" in advaita means NO.. Dvai means two.

There is no two. There is only one.  

EXAMPLE.. Sky or space is in continuation with the space between the marbles in a container. It means..Brahman ( supersoul) is only present in the body of living entities who are conditioned by the Maya.  ONCE maya is gone.. Living entity is conscious of Supreme Brahman. It is called enlightenment.

They are Impersonalists.. They believe in formless God. They do Nirguna Brahman realization.

Having said that.. about Advaita..

Now we come to Dvaita ( Gaudiya Sampradaya) --  Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (A.D. 1486-1534) also strongly opposed Shankara’s Mayavada philosophy of Adwaita and established the principle that took the previous acharya’s teachings to a new level, called achintya-bhedabheda-tattva

Both Bheda (difference) and Abheda (oneness) are present between Supreme Lord and Individual beings,

 Thus we (individual souls) and God are different as well as same. The individual souls and supersoul are same in quality but different in quantity just like sun and it’s rays or gold and it’s particles. 

soul and the Supersoul to two friendly birds sitting on the same tree. One of the birds (the individual atomic soul) is eating the fruit of the tree, and the other bird (Kṛṣṇa) is simply watching His friend. Of these two birds – although they are the same in quality – one is captivated by the fruits of the material tree, while the other is simply witnessing the activities of His friend. 

Sri Vishishtadvaita is the main principle of Sri-Vaisnav Sampradaya. 

Sri Ramaujacharya Propounded this doctrine and philosophy 

            The main exponent of the Sri sampradaya, born in 1016 (some say in 1055), propagated the doctrine called visista-advaita, "oneness with varieties of the Lord and His energies". 

Vishishtadvaita is the main principle of Sri-Vaisnav Sampradaya. 

As we know Shreemad-Bhagvad Gita is universally accepted.Elements which were described by Sri Lord Krishna to Arjun is all are Sri Vishitadvaita principle.

Let's we will understand Sri-Vishistadvaita Principle from Shreemad-Bhagvad Gita.

क्षेत्रज्ञं चापि मां विद्धि सर्वक्षेत्रेषु भारत। क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञयोर्ज्ञानं यत्तज्ज्ञानं मतं मम।।13.3।। -And know Me also as the Kṣetrajña in all Fields, O Arjuna. The knowledge of both the Field and its Knower is, in My view, the highest knowledge. Even Sri-Ramanuja is also commented in Sri-Bhasya:" The Characteristics & Form of nature and soul are to live as body of Supreme Lord.

अहमात्मा गुडाकेश सर्वभूताशयस्थितः। अहमादिश्च मध्यं च भूतानामन्त एव च।।10.20।।

-I am the Self, O Gudakesha (Arjuna —Conqueror-of-sleep), dwelling in the hearts of all beings. I verily am the beginning, the middle and also the end of all beings.

Understanding by Visishadivata: In the body there is one soul and also there is one super-soul who is also present within the body. ( Four-armed Visnu).So, That's mean Supreme Lord, living-entity(we) and nature is not one.It's rebuttal or disclose the principle of Advaita.

And Lord is entering the body as parmatma and residing there along with Jiva.. assisting Jiva in all funcitons.. Yet the supersoul cannot be separate from soul ( atma or jiva). Because without Supersoul's intervention the soul ( jiva) is incapable for taking any action on its own.

Jiva( soul), prakruti( nature) and the Parmatma are all having an ontological relationship.

The soul cannot exist himself without the intervention of Supersoul. It is dependent on the Supersoul. So they look separate from each other but infact there is oneness.

As opposed to advaita philosophy Sri Vaishnava Sampradaya says .. Lord exists as Brahman ( sarvavyapi, Nirguna form) , Lord exists as Parmatma ( working along with Soul residing in the bodies of all living beings) and Lord has a Sagun Swaroopa also..which is very beautiful.

This is called Vishistha advaita.. qaulified monosim.  


            The main exponent of Brahma sampradaya, born in 1238 (some say in 1199), propagated the philosophy called Dvaita or Visistha Dvaita ("duality with differences", or "different differences"). The center of the Madhva school is Udupi, the birthplace of Madhva.

            According to this philosophy, there is a substantial distinction between Isvara (God), jiva (individual soul) and jagat (material energy). Isvara is always independent (sva-tantra) while the jivas (souls), prakriti(material energy), kala (time), karma (reactions to activities), etc., are dependent realities (para-tantra). Such differences are elaborated in five categories (pancha-bheda) as between Isvara and jiva, Isvara and jada (prakriti), jiva and jiva, jiva and jada, jada and jada (or between an object and another).


            The main exponent of the Kumara or Chatuhsana sampradaya (this knowledge was transmitted to the four Kumaras by the Hamsa avatara), who lived in the 13th century and propagated the doctrine called dvaita advaita, "simultaneous oneness and duality".


            The fourth Vaishnava acharya, Vishnusvami, representative of the Rudra sampradaya (who worship the avatara of God known as Narasimhadeva) is less known than the other three.

Actually there is some confusion about him, as it seems there have been three Vishnu Svamis: Adi Vishnu Svami (around 3rd century BCE, who introduced the traditional 108 categories of sannyasa), Raja Gopala Vishnu Svami (8th or 9th century CE), and Andhra Vishnu Svami (14th century).

 The emphasis of this school, called suddha-advaita ("pure monism").


differences is in some rituals, pooja vidhana, and some minute details esp. the tilaks and external paraphernalia.,

the assigned mantras.. Like.. Sri Samrpadaya manta is Om namo narayanaaya.

Mahamantra goes with Gaudiya Sampradaya.

and Yugal mahamantra for Nimbarka sampradaya.

~~smiles~~ best part is all the praising Lord only none other.

Pls. don't go after differences it is again a false ego to consider my sampradya is great then rest all.

It is just like those muslims who say... My allah and my religion is great rest all are fools.

This is not what all sampradayas speak.. ALL Vaishnavas are equally dear to Lord and all Sampradayas say only one thing to see Lord in all beings.

SB 7.7.55 — In this material world, to render service to the lotus feet of Govinda, the cause of all causes, and to see Him everywhere, is the only goal of life. This much alone is the ultimate goal of human life, as explained by all the revealed scriptures.


I'm only studying the various sects and sub sects of hinduism. I'm not partial to any sect. I'm studying each of them from a neutral perspective. 

Also could you please enlighten me on issues like post death situations. Like what happens to the jivatman and paramatman after the flesh body dies? Does the supersoul rides on the individual soul's back and then leaves the deceased flesh body? Thank you.

 I am sorry, I have a very limited book knowledge..... but I never came across this line anywhere in Gita and Bhagwatam. Neither I heard this from anyone till now.

For me I think to read and digest completely Gita and Bhagwatam is only seeming impossible.

One more thing is... Lord's activities cannot be know fully ever. 

 Can you explain to me.. How lord manifested in so many forms ( many Krishnas') during Rasleela to please all the gopikas? and after the rasleela was over.. Where did those all forms go back into? 

Or can you explain to me ... during the leela of Brahma pride breaking lila Lord took so many forms of gopa balaks and cows forms who were captured by Lord Brahma to test Sri Krishna's powers. After that lila what exactly happened.. when the  cow herd boys where returned back .. did the lord unmanifest ?? did all the gopa balaks and cows which were manifested during the leela how did the enter back into the Krishna from whom they came out? 

This all is not give in any book.

This is only performed by mystic yoga and potency of Lord's Mahamaaya.

Even this how the jiva enters a new lord is present in the heart region.. How he exits along with jiva when there is death of the material body.. Is inconceivable and unexplainable.

It is better not to speculate.

Neither we know what does Lord enjoy as Parmatma ( Supersoul) in being with the jiva like a friend and observing the actions as a witness to the activities of jiva.

This is all a big secret a leela of Lord. 

There was a shishya..he was a serving a guru and one day gave him a mantra said son start practicing this mantra now its time you do practice. The shishya said no no guru ji.. I have to learn understand more and read more books have to get to the end of the knowledge.

Then the guru ji told.. Son pick up some mud in ur hand and let me know how much of it that u could get hold of.

Disciple said I could gather a handful of the mud.  Then the guru thru illusion showed the disciple that....look at that big mountain of mud.  What you are endeavoring is trying to hold the whole mountain in your hands. 

in this process u are slipping the mud that is there in you hands right now also. Whatever knowledge you have attained is enough and start practicing the mantra you will realize more and learn more. This is what the guru ji told to the disciple.

It is good to study and understand question and learn more but.. Lord and His activities cannot be understood after some extent.

It is not good to speculate on this matter also as someone said in the previous discussion.

one more important thing is jivatma and parmatma do not exist in flesh. They are not able to capture it.

One Scientist tried to keep a dying body in a glass enclosure to capture the  soul leaving the body. He was unsuccessful in this ..

If you are saying they are present in flesh.. or heart.. then when the surgeons cut the heart open or the body open why is the jivatama or parmatma not visible?

Well..., You cannot probably say its location is in flesh.

They are spead over the body as a Chetana Shakti... The Life force. The main pumping organ for life is Heart.. so we say the location of Supersoul is in the heart region.

SB 7.2.41 — Every conditioned soul receives a different type of body according to his work, and when the engagement is finished the body is finished. Although the spirit soul is situated in subtle and gross material bodies in different forms of life, he is not bound by them, for he is always understood to be completely different from the manifested body.

SB 7.2.43 — As fire, although situated in wood, is perceived to be different from the wood, as air, although situated within the mouth and nostrils, is perceived to be separate, and as the sky, although all-pervading, never mixes with anything, so the living entity, although now encaged within the material body, of which it is the source, is separate from it.

SB 7.2.44 — Yamarāja continued: O lamenters, you are all fools! The person named Suyajña, for whom you lament, is still lying before you and has not gone anywhere. Then what is the cause for your lamentation? Previously he heard you and replied to you, but now, not finding him, you are lamenting.

 This is contradictory behavior, for you have never actually seen the person within the body who heard you and replied. There is no need for your lamentation, for the body you have always seen is lying here.

SB 7.2.45 — In the body the most important substance is the life air, but that also is neither the listener nor the speaker. Beyond even the life air, the soul also can do nothing, for the Supersoul is actually the director, in cooperation with the individual soul

 The Supersoul conducting the activities of the body is different from the body and living force.

The individual soul is tiny and only pervades the body that it resides in.  However, the Supreme Soul resides in the hearts of all living beings.  He notes their karmas, keeps an account of them, and gives the results at the appropriate moment.  He accompanies the soul from lifetime to lifetime into whatever body it receives.  If the soul is given a dog’s body in a particular lifetime, the Supreme Soul accompanies it there as well, and bestows the results of past karmas.  Thus, there is such a difference between the fortunes of dogs.  Some are stray dogs living wretched lives in the streets of India, while others are pet dogs living in luxury in the United States.  This stark difference takes place as a result of their stock of karmas, and it is the Supreme Soul who hands out the reactions of karmas, while accompanying the soul life after life, into whatever species it goes.

The Supreme Soul who resides in the heart of all living beings also exists in the personal form as the four-armed Kshirodakshayi Vishnu (more commonly known as “Vishnu”).  There is a popular saying in Hindi:  mārane vāle ke do hāth, bachāne vāle ke chār hāth  “The person coming to kill has two arms, but the Protector sitting within has four arms.”  This four-armed personality being referred to is the Paramātmā, or the Supreme Soul. 

This much is only enough to understand for us that.==>. Supersoul (He) accompanies the soul from lifetime to lifetime into whatever body it receives.  If the soul is given a dog’s body in a particular lifetime, the Supreme Soul accompanies it there as well, and bestows the results of past karmas. 

More than this is not given in Gita or Bhagwat.. We don't need to know also as.. Lord cannot be conceivable with our material minds.

Hare Krishna.

Thank you.

Hare Krishna

The main belief in these 4 groups is that Lord Krishna is the only proven God.

How come Brahma is the first one to receive this knowledge from Krishna, when Krishna says in the Gita that he gave this knowledge first to Sun God? Please clear my confusion. Thank you.

Nope. Brahma was confused..and dived back along the Lotus stalk to know his origin.. But couldn't find so he meditated for 100 yrs. to get inspired to know. He was not told directly by Lord.

let us see these verses in bhagwatam to understand further.

SB 2.4.22 — May the Lord, who in the beginning of the creation amplified the potent knowledge of Brahmā from within his heart and inspired him with full knowledge of creation and of His own Self, and who appeared to be generated from the mouth of Brahmā, be pleased with me.

SB 2.5.17 — Inspired by Him only, I discover what is already created by Him [Nārāyaṇa] under His vision as the all-pervading Supersoul, and I also am created by Him only.

read the purport.

" Brahmā is inspired by the Lord to create, subsequent to the main creation by the Lord, through the agency of material nature"

The Vedic knowledge was therefore first impregnated within Brahmā, and it appears that Brahmā distributed the Vedic knowledge. Brahmā is undoubtedly the speaker of the Vedic knowledge, but actually he was inspired by the Lord to receive such transcendental knowledge, as it directly descends from the Lord. The Vedas are therefore called apauruṣeya, or not imparted by any created being. Before the creation the Lord was there (nārāyaṇaḥ paro ’vyaktāt),

and therefore the words spoken by the Lord are vibrations of transcendental sound. There is a gulf of difference between the two qualities of sound, namely prākṛta and aprākṛta. The physicist can deal only with the prākṛta sound, or sound vibrated in the material sky, and therefore we must know that the Vedic sounds recorded in symbolic expressions cannot be understood by anyone within the universe unless and until one is inspired by the vibration of supernatural (aprākṛta) sound,

which descends in the chain of disciplic succession from the Lord to Brahmā, from Brahmā to Nārada, from Nārada to Vyāsa and so on. No mundane scholar can translate or reveal the true import of the Vedic mantras (hymns). They cannot be understood unless one is inspired or initiated by the authorized spiritual master.


The Blessed Lord said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvan, and Vivasvan instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Iksvaku. ( BG chapter 4 text 1)

Notice the since of yoga is being told.

Read the purport of this verse.

 "the Gita was spoken by the Lord to His disciple, the sun-god Vivasvan, a rough estimate is that the Gita was spoken at least 120,400,000 years ago; and in human society it has been extant for two million years. It was respoken by the Lord again to Arjuna about five thousand years ago. That is the rough estimate of the history of the Gita, according to the Gita itself and according to the version of the speaker, Lord Sri Krsna. It was spoken to the sun-god Vivasvan because he is also a ksatriya and is the father of all ksatriyas who are descendants of the sun-god, or the surya-vamsa ksatriyas. Because Bhagavad-gita is as good as the Vedas, being spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, this knowledge is apauruseya, superhuman. Since the Vedic instructions are accepted as they are, without human interpretation, the Gita must therefore be accepted without mundane interpretation. The mundane wranglers may speculate on the Gita in their own ways, but that is not Bhagavad-gita as it is. Therefore, Bhagavad-gita has to be accepted as it is, from the disciplic succession, and it is described herein that the Lord spoke to the sun-god, the sun-god spoke to his son Manu, and Manu spoke to his son Iksvaku."

Since of yog..Gita.. Spoken directly by Lord to Vaivasvan ( sun God).. That is not Veda as good as Vedas..>>>"Since the Vedic instructions are accepted as they are, without human interpretation, the Gita must therefore be accepted without mundane interpretation.

" Because Bhagavad-gita is as good as the Vedas, being spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, this knowledge is apauruseya, superhuman."

DID You observe --==>>"Brahmā is undoubtedly the speaker of the Vedic knowledge, but actually he was inspired by the Lord to receive such transcendental knowledge, as it directly descends from the Lord." "INSPIRED < IMPREGNATED INTO BRAHMA but not spoken directly. MOREOVER>> BRAHMA GOT VEDIC KNOWLEDGE.


Hare Krishna.

correction --"Science of yoga" in the place of since of yog.

Pls. excuse. typing error.

Thank You.

Same in essence. I have seen in south india that many sri vaishanavas visit ISKCON and vice-versa. There are subtle shades of difference but same in essence.

No Guru teaches you something different from another. the teachings are the same just different expressions of the same knowledge. All the sampradays teach the exact same philosophy everything. what has happened tho is that are some people that are maybe misinterpereting the teachings but it is really supposed to be exactly the same thing. so what you get in Prabhupadas literary works is all you need to actually read. all Guru teach 100% exactly same thing. unless they are actually not a bona fide guru to begin with.


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