Śrī-Sampradāya
(Śrī Vaishnava Parampara)

Śrī Sampradaya (Sri Vaishnava Parampara) means the Vaishnava-sect of (the Vaishnava-lineage starting from) Bhagavati Śrī i.e. Bhagavati Sita Ji. The first Acharya (guru) of Śrī-Sampradāya (Sri Sampradaya or Śrī Rāmāvat Sampradāya) is Bhagavati Sita. Shri Ramavat Sampradaya (Śrī-Rāmāvat-Sampradāya , श्री रामावत सम्प्रदाय ) believes Śrī Rāma is the original cause of all the causes, the eternal two-armed Mahā-Vishnu, and the Svayam Bhagavān (the original personality of godhead and the source of all other Vishnu-Tattva-s). The original name of Śrī-Rāmāvat-Sampradāya is Śrī-Sampradāya (Shri Sampradaya, श्री-सम्प्रदाय) as the first acharya (Guru, Preceptor) of this Sampradāya is Bhagvati Sita (also called as Śrī-Devī in Vedas, Upanishad, Ramayana, etc). Śrī-Ramavat-Sampradāya is also known as Śrī-Rāmānanda-Sampradāya , श्री रामानन्द सम्प्रदाय ) as it was more popularised by Jagadguru Shri Ramanandacharya (Jagadguru Śrī Rāmānandacharya, जगद्गुरु श्री रामानन्दाचार्य ) in northern region of Bhāratvarsha (India) among people without any discrimination on the basis of their caste, creed and religion etc.

Sri-Sampradaya means Ramavat Sampradaya or Ramanand Sampradaya (the sect starting from Bhagavati Sri Sita Ji), while Ramanuj sampradaya is called Sri-Vaishnav Sampradaya (the sect of Lakshmi Ji). Thus, there have been two lineages which are associated with Sri (original Sri is Sita Ji), one lineage is of Jagadguru Ramanandacharya which accepts two-armed Sri Rama as Para-Swarupa (original-swarupa) of Bhagavan (i.e. Bhagavan himself), and another lineage is of Jagadguru Ramanujacharya which accepts Sri Narayana as Para-swarupa and Lakshmi as the first Acharya. Shri Ramavat Sampradaya is widely popular in northern part of India. Some people who are not well acquainted with Shri Rāmāvat Sampradāya (in which Bhagavan Sri Rama has been worshiped as Para-swarupa of Bhagavan and Para-Brahman since time immemorial, and later on revived by Bhagavad Ramananda in Kaliyuga) think that Śrī-Sampradāya of Jagadguru Ramanandacharya is a branch of Śrī-Sampradāya of Jagadguru Ramanujacharya ( जगद्गुरु श्री रामानुजाचार्य ). However, Śrī-Sampradāya of Jagadguru Rāmānujacharya should be taken as branch of eternal Śrī-Sampradāya of Jagadguru Ramanandacharya. How? Each Sampradaya follows a Vedantic-philosophy which is same in its different branches. Both, Jagadguru Shri Ramanujacharya (who was incarnation of Śesa or Lakshman Ji) and Jagadguru Bhagavad Rāmānandāchārya (who was incarnation of Lord Sri Rāma) propagated the same Vishishtadvaita Vedanta (Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta; विशिष्टाद्वैत) as their Vedantic-Philosophy, however this Vishishtadvaita Vedantic philosophy is existed for a long time even before them. Vishishtadvaita Vedanta was first propounded by Sage Bodhāyana (Bodhayan rishi) of Sri Sampradaya Ramavat-Tradition. Jagadguru Ramanujacharya especially came north India to learn this Vishishtadvaita-Vedanta from Bodhayana-Vritti and propagated it in South India. Later on Bhagavad Ramananda propagated the same Vishishtadvaita-Vedanta of Sage Bodhayana in northern part of India. Thus, Shri Ramanand Sampradaya and Shri Ramanuja Sampradaya both follow the Vishishtadvaita-Vedanta which was first propagated by a Ramavat Rishi, sage Bodhayana; there are only regional or time differences, not philosophical differences between these two Sampradaya.

Bhagavad Ramanuja wrote Sri-Bhashya, and Bhagavad Ramananda wrote Anand-Bhashya which are their commentary on Sri Badarayana's Vedanta Sutra in accordance of Vishishtadvaita Vedanta. Bhagavan Ramanandacharya has given his Guru-Parampara in Sri-Ramarchan Paddhati starting from Bhagavati Sri Sita Ji. Shri Ramanuji Vaishanava scholars also treat Bhagavad Ramananda as their own and they have put Bhagavad Ramanujacharya at 10th postion in his lineage as his Purvacharya. [ click here to see the lineage usually given by Shri Vaishnava scholars of Shri Ramanuja-sect.)].

Jagadguru Ramanuja accepted Sri Sri Lakshmi-Narayana as the principle-deity, and Jagadguru Ramananda accepted Sri Sri Sita-Ram as the principle deity. There have been many prominent Acharyas [even before and After Ramanuja] and some Alwars in Ramanuji-tradition who were great Ram-Bhakta and they surrendered exclusively to (took exlusively Sharanagati of) Bhagavan Sri Rama. Sage Bodhayana who belonged to eternal Śrī-Sampradāya Rāmāvat-Tradition chanted Ram-Mantra, is one common link between Lakshmi-Narayan Sampradaya (of Ramanuja) and Sri Sita-Ram Sampradaya (of Ramananda).

Thus, within Sri-Sampradaya there are two flows (traditions), one accepts Sri Sri SitaRam as the principle-deity, the Para-swarupa of Bhagavan (in Ramanandi Parampara), and another take Lakshmi-Narayana as the principle deity (in Ramanuji Parampara). Jagadguru Ramanujacharya's sect is also known as Śrī-Sampradāya, their name is also Lakshmi Sampradaya or Lakshmi-Narayana Sampraday as they are especially devoted to Maa Lakshmi (the consort of Lord Vishnu), instead of being especially devoted to Bhagavati Śrī-Devi (Bhagavati Sita) who is the original cause of innumerable Lakshmi-s. Therefore the Sect of Bhagavan Ramanujacharya is originated from Lakshmi-Devi, the manifestation of Śrī-Devi. While Ramanandi sect is originally originated from Śrī-Devi herself i.e Bhagvati Sita. Lakshmi Devi, Bhu-Devi. Neela-Devi, these all are the expansions of Śrī-Devi (Maa Sita). With proper consideration of Veda-s and Vedavtaara Shri-Mad Valmiki Ramayana, one can truly realise and appreciate that Sri Ramanandi-Sampradaya or Sri Ramavat Sampradaya alone is rightly adorned with the name 'Śrī-Sampradāya' in its perfect sense. Sri Ramanandi Sampradaya is simply called Sri-Sampradaya.


Q. Is there any difference between Śrī-Devi and Lakshmi-devi?

A. Yes, there are some differences between Śrī-Devi and Lakshmi-devi. Śrī-Devi (Bhagavati Sita) is the original ParaShakti and eternal consort of Paratpar Purusa Śrī Rāma in Saket Loka, while Lakshmi-devi is expansion of that Śrī-Devi (Maa Sita). Lakshmi-Devi, Bhu-devi, Neela-devi are manifestations of Śrī-devi, so they are not separate entity from Śrī-devi. Hence, these all expansions are also wives of Paratpar Purusa Śrī Rāma in original form of ParaShakti Bhagvati Sita.

श्रीश्च ते लक्ष्मीश्च पत्नयावहोरात्रे (शुक्ल यजुर्वेद, ३१।२२)

śrīśca tē lakṣmīśca patnayāvahōrātrē (śukla yajurvēda, 31।22)

Purusha Sukta of Shukla-Yajurveda says:
“O' Paratpar Purusa (Rama), You have two wives : 1) Śrī-Devi (Bhagavati Sita), and 2) Lakshmi-Devi (Maya Sita). (Thus here shruti distinguishes between Shri-Devi and Lakshmi Devi who both are wives of Bhagavan.)”

श्रीदेवी त्रिविधं रूपं कृत्वा भगवत्सङ्कल्पानु-
गुण्येन लोकरक्षणार्थं रूपं धारयति । (सीता-उपनिषद्)

śrīdēvī trividhaṃ rūpaṃ kṛtvā bhagavatsaṅkalpānu-
guṇyēna lōkarakṣaṇārthaṃ rūpaṃ dhārayati । (sītā-upaniṣad)

“Bhagavati Sita who is Śrī-Devi manifested herself in three forms Lakshmi devi, Bhu devi and Neela devi through her sankalpa.”

Note:- Bhagavati Sita is a Vedic-deity in Rig-Veda, and Atharva-Veda. Para-Shakti in her ultimate form is Bhagavati Sita who is the consort of Paratpar Purusha Śrī Rāma, the cause of all causes. From that ParaShakti, Innumerable Lakshmi-s are manifested.

वसुधाया हि वसुधां श्रियः श्रीं भर्तृवत्सलाम् ।
सीतां सर्वानवद्याङ्गीमरण्ये विजने शुभाम् ॥ (वाल्मीकि रामायण ६.१११.२४)

vasudhāyā hi vasudhāṃ śriyaḥ śrīṃ bhartṛvatsalām । sītāṃ sarvānavadyāṅgīmaraṇyē vijanē śubhām ॥ (vālmīki rāmāyaṇa 6.111.24)

“Bhagavati Sita is the earth of the earth, and the Śrī of Bhagavati Śrī (i.e. original Śrī-devi; śriyaḥ śrīṃ : meaning Sītā is none, but the original divinity herself, the origin of all the goddesses who can be called as Śrī such as Bhagavati Lakshmi, Bhagavati Radha etc and her innumerable manifestations).”

सीता साक्षात् महालक्ष्मीः सर्वकारण कारणं ॥ (पद्मपुराण, पाताल-खंड २२/५७)

sītā sākṣāt mahālakṣmīḥ sarvakāraṇa kāraṇaṃ ॥ (padma-purāṇa, pātāla-khaṃḍa 22/57)

“Bhagavati Sita herself is Bhagvati Maha-lakshmi, the cause of all the causes (the cause of innumerable Lakshmi-s etc).”

In Vedic-scriptures, Vedas are compared with Bhagavati Sita, and only one truth is laid down everywhere in all the scriptures directly and indirectly:

सर्वेषां वेदशास्त्राणां रहस्यंतेप्रकाशितम् ।
एको देवो रामचंद्रो व्रतं एको तदर्चनम् ।
मंत्रोऽप्येकश्च तन्नाम शास्त्रं तद् ध्येवतत्स्तुतिः ॥
( श्रीपद्मपुराण, पातालखण्ड ३५।५१ )

sarvēṣāṃ vēdaśāstrāṇāṃ rahasyaṃtēprakāśitam ।
ēkō dēvō rāmacaṃdrō vrataṃ ēkō tadarcanam ।
maṃtrō'pyēkaśca tannāma śāstraṃ tad dhyēvatatstutiḥ ॥
(śrī-padma-purāṇa, pātālakhaṇḍa 35।51 )

“The most secret truth (Rahasya) of all the Veda-s and Shastra-s ( Vedic-scriptures) is revealed that we all should worship one supreme Personality of godhead - Bhagavan Shri Rama alone, we should have only one Vratam - the worship of Lord Śrī Rāma. For chanting, we should have only one hymn (Mantra) - Shri Rama's name (Rama Naam), and we should have only one shastra - where his exploits are sung and eulogized i.e. Shri Ramayanam.”

There is none superior than the Puruṣa, He is the most superior. Puruṣa sukta of Vedas is an eulogy of Bhagavan Shri Rama alone, as he is the consort of the original Para-shakti Bhagavati Śrī-Devi (Bhagavati Sita) as per the hymn of śukla yajurvēda 31।22, and the Purusha-Sukta is again confirmed first time after Vedas in Ādi-Kāvya Śrī Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa. Even in Gita Bhagavan Krishna says 'Uttam Purusa is someone else..' indicative of Paratpar Purusa Lord Rama.

Initially, Paratpar Puruṣa disported with one wife Bhagavati Śrī (Sita) only, and then Bhagavati Śrī expanded herself into many, as Lakshmi also who became the wife of Bhagavān (Mahā-)Vishṇu (the four-armed form of Rāma) in Mahā-Vaikuntha.

(As Shri Ramanujacharya's sect is devoted primarily to Bhagvati Lakshmi, instead of primeval Bhagavati Shri, so they are actually the Sampradaya of Bhagavati Lakshmi (Lakshmi Sampradaya). Bhagavad Ramanujacharya learnt the philosophy of Vishishtadvaita from sage Bodhayana who originally belonged to Śrī-Sampradāya, the sampradaya of Bhagavati Śrī Sītā.)

The Ramanandi sect or Ramavat-sampradaya is originally started from the primeval Bhagavati Śrī -devi (Bhagvati Sita). Innumerable number of Lakshmi-s are expansions of Maa Sita (the original Shri-devi, the Shri of Shri, Maha-lakshmi) who lives in her Sita-loka (Saket Loka) with her consort Sarveshvar Bhagavan Śrī Rāma where none can enter without her grace.

About Sri-Ramavat Sampradaya:-

Sri-Ramavat Sampradaya (worship of Lord Ram as Para-Brahman) description is found in Rig-Veda 10.111.7, Sam-Veda, Yajur-Veda, Atharva Veda, various Upanishada-s, Shri Valmiki Ramayana, and in various Purana-s and Samhitas, etc.

Philosophy:- Sri-Vaishnava Sampraday of RAmavat sect believes in Vishistadwaita sidhhanta which is described in Vedas, Upanishads, Ramayana, Puranas, Samhitas, smriti-s, etc. It says that jivatma, Para Brahma Lord Rama and Prakriti are different from each other. Sage Bodhayana, Bhagavad Ramanauja, and Bhagavad Ramananda appeared in Kaliyuga, and propagated it as their Vedantic-philosophy. Bhagavad Ramanuja learnt this philosophy from the Bodhayana-vriti of Sage Bodhayana, and propagated it in South. Bhagavad Ramananda brought the Bhakti from South to North.

Dhyeya:- Sri-Sampraday believes in worship of Lord Shri Sita-Ram as Para-Brahman. This is very much clear from following quotations taken from Veda-s, Upanishada-s, Valmiki Ramayanam, MahaRamayana,

सच॑न्त॒ यदु॒षसः सूर्ये॑ण चि॒त्राम॑स्य के॒तवो॒ राम॑विन्दन्
आ यन्नक्ष॑त्रं॒ ददृ॑शे दि॒वो न पुन॑र्य॒तो नकि॑र॒द्धा नु वे॑द॥ (ऋग्वेद १०.१११.७)

sacanta yaduṣasaḥ sūryēṇa citrāmasya kētavō rāmavindan
ā yannakṣatraṃ dadṛśē divō na punaryatō nakiraddhā nu vēda ॥ (ṛgvēda 10.111.7)

“The wise devotees through Bhakti achieved Bhagavan Shri Rāma (Rāmavindan) as like the Uṣa - the less-bright rays (allusion or metaphor for devotee Jiva-s in wifely-mode or Sakhi mode of devotion) follow the sun and achieve the effulgent Surya (ShriRāma) at the dawn, after achieving him they shine very beautifully (along with ShriRāma).”

अष्टचक्रा नवद्वारा देवानां पूरयोध्या तस्यां हिरण्मय: कोश: स्वर्गो लोको ज्योतिषावृत:।
यो वैतां ब्रह्मणो वेद अमृतेनावृतां पुरीं तस्मै ब्रह्म च ब्रह्मा च आयु: कीर्तिं प्रजां ददु: ॥ (इति तैत्तिरीयशाखान्तर्गतारणमध्ये )

aṣṭacakrā navadvārā dēvānāṃ pūrayōdhyā tasyāṃ hiraṇmaya: kōśa: svargō lōkō jyōtiṣāvṛta:।
yō vaitāṃ brahmaṇō vēda amṛtēnāvṛtāṃ purīṃ tasmai brahma ca brahmā ca āyu: kīrtiṃ prajāṃ dadu: ॥ [taittirīya-āranyaka]

“Ayodhya, the city of gods, has eight circles and nine gates. Therein resides the golden sheath in center (i.e. the effulgent Shri Rama). It is the world of heaven. The bright light (known as Brahm-Jyoti) has covered it. This supreme abode of Brahman i.e. Ayodhya is full of nectar. Brahman (Rama who dwells in Ayodhya) and his potency known as Braahm-shaktis (potencies of Brahman) grant him the life (immortality), fame (glory) and offspring, to whoever knows the city of Brahman, permeated by nectar and nectar only.”

राम एव परं ब्रह्म तत्त्वं श्रीरामो ब्रह्म तारकम् ॥ (रामरहस्योपनिषत् 1/4-5)

rāma ēva paraṃ brahma tattvaṃ śrīrāmō brahma tārakam ॥(rāmarahasyōpaniṣat 1/4-5)

“Shri Rama alone is Para-Brahm, the supreme essence, He alone is Tarak-Brahm.”

तेषाम् अपि महातेजा रामः सत्य पराक्रमः ॥
इष्टः सर्वस्य लोकस्य शशांक इव निर्मलः। (वाल्मीकि रामायण १-१८-२६ख, २७क )

tēṣām api mahātējā rāmaḥ satya parākramaḥ ॥
iṣṭaḥ sarvasya lōkasya śaśāṃka iva nirmalaḥ । (vālmīki rāmāyaṇa 1-18-26b, 27a)

“Among all brothers, the great resplendent Shri Rama, whose valour itself is his truthfulness, is the Ishta (the one worshipped as the favorite-deity is called Ishta) for all the worlds, and cynosure to eyes like the tranquil moon.”

अक्षरं ब्रह्म सत्यं च मध्ये चान्ते च राघव ॥ (वाल्मीकि रामायण 6.117.14)

akṣaraṃ brahma satyaṃ ca madhyē cāntē ca rāghava ॥ (vālmīki rāmāyaṇa 6.117.14)

“O' Raghava! You are the immutable Brahma, the Supreme Absolute truth abiding in the begining, the middle and the end.”

त्वं यज्ञ्स्त्वं वषट्कारस्त्वमोंकारः परात्परः ॥ (वाल्मीकि रामायण 6.117.20)

tvaṃ yajñstvaṃ vaṣaṭkārastvamōṃkāraḥ parātparaḥ ॥ (vālmīki rāmāyaṇa 6.117.20)

“O' Shri Rama! You are (the presiding deity of) Yajna, You are the Vashat-Kar, and You are the Aum-Kar, and You are the higher than highest (god).”

सीता लक्ष्मीर्भवान् विष्णुर्देवः कृष्णः प्रजापतिः ॥ (वाल्मीकि रामायण 6.117.28)

sītā lakṣmīrbhavān viṣṇurdēvaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ prajāpatiḥ ॥ (vālmīki rāmāyaṇa 6.117.28)

“O' Raghava! Your consort Sita's manifestion is Lakshmi, and You are Vishnu, You are Shri Krishna and You are the Prajapati (the supreme guardian of all living beings).”

पोषणं भरणाधारं शरण्यं सर्वव्यापकम्।
कारुण्यं षड़्भिः पूर्णो रामस्तु भगवान स्वयम् ॥ (महारामायण)

pōṣaṇaṃ bharaṇādhāraṃ śaraṇyaṃ sarvavyāpakam।
kāruṇyaṃ ṣaḍa़bhiḥ pūrṇō rāmastu bhagavāna svayam ॥(mahārāmāyaṇa)

“Due to His being sustainer of all the worlds, bestower of all the divine virtues on His devotees, the only support of the whole cosmos, the only one fit to take refuge in, all pervading, supremely compassionate and having comprehensiveness in all these six virtues, Sri Rama is ‘Svayam Bhagavan’ (means Bhagavan Himself).”

रामपादनखज्योत्स्ना परब्रह्मेति गीयते । ( अगस्त्यसंहिता)

rāmapādanakhajyōtsnā parabrahmēti gīyatē । (agastya-saṃhitā)

“The moon-light coming from the nails of Shri Rama is described as the Parabrahman by scriptures.”

Gyeya: Gyeya means the true knowledge to be sought. In Ramavat-Sampradaya, the true knowledge about Bhagavan can be acquired through study of Shri Valmiki Ramayana. Ramayana gives the knowledge of Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha, and Bhakti of the supreme Purusa Bhagavan Shri Ram. Shri Valmiki Ramayana is manifestation of all the four Veda-s in single form. Therefore, it should be daily recited by followers of Sri-Ramavat Sampradaya.

वेदवेद्ये परेपुंसि जाते दशरथात्मजे ।
वेदः प्राचेतसादासीत् साक्षाद् रामायणात्मना ॥
तस्माद्रामायणं देवि! वेद एव न संशयः ॥ (अगस्त्य संहिता)

vēdavēdyē parēpuṃsi jātē daśarathātmajē ।
vēdaḥ prācētasādāsīt sākṣād rāmāyaṇātmanā ॥
tasmādrāmāyaṇaṃ dēvi! vēda ēva na saṃśayaḥ ॥ (agastya saṃhitā)

“Supreme being is known through Vedas only. When that Supreme being born as son of Dasratha (Śrī Rām) in Ayodhya, that time all Vedas manifested themselves through the mouth of sage Valmiki, the son of sage Pracheta, directly as the Ramayana. Therefore O' Devi, there is no doubt that Ramayana is Vedas itself.”

In both Ramanandi and Ramanuji sects, Valmiki Ramayan is regarded as the Veda-Avatar (the incarnation of Vedas), and there is not a grain of untruth present in Valmiki Ramayana. Therefore, Ramayana is held as the supreme authority to explain the deep imports of Vedas. One can have some idea about the supreme glory of Valmiki Ramayan from this fact that Bhagavad Ramanuja studied Valmiki Ramayan 12 times from his Guru to understand the real imports of it.

In Kaliyuga, Sage Valmiki reincarnated as Goswami Tulsidas, and He wrote the Ramcharitmanas which is the best scripture for one and all to learn everything about the supreme personality.

Dhaam: Dhaam means the abode of Bhagavan, to be attained by Jivas after liberation. As per Atharva-Veda, Ayodhya or Saket Loka is the Supreme Abode of Purusa of Veda-s i.e. Sarveshvar Bhagvan Shri RAma.

अष्टचक्रा नवद्वारा देवानां पूरयोध्या
तस्यां हिरण्मय: कोश: स्वर्गो ज्योतिषावृत:॥ (अथर्ववेद १०.२. ३१)

aṣṭacakrā navadvārā dēvānāṃ pūrayōdhyā
tasyāṃ hiraṇmayaḥ kōśaḥ svargō jyōtiṣāvṛtaḥ ॥ (atharvavēda 10.2. 31)

“Ayodhya (which is in center of 8-petaled lotus) has eight circles and nine gates, It is the city of gods, there in the center resides the golden sheath i.e. Shri Rama in center, It is the world of heaven (the supreme abode) which is coverted with divine-light (Brahm-jyoti).[Atharv-ved 10.2.31]”

Above hymn states the supremacy of the dwelling-place (AyodhyA or Saket-Loka) of Shri Rama as there is no other name of supreme abode comes excpet Ayodhya in mantra of Vedas.

The central region of Maha-Vaikuntha in Padma-Purana is also named as Ayodhya, where the most superior personality Sarveshvar Bhagvaan Shri Rama resides along with his consort Bhagvati Sita and Nitya-Parshada-s. While Goloka, Mathura are located west of Saket-Ayodhya in spiritual planet of Maha-Vaikuntha.

त्रिपाद्विभूतेर्लोकास्तु असंख्याताः प्रकीर्तिताः। शुद्धसत्वमयाः सर्वे ब्रह्मानंदसुखाह्वयाः॥
तद्विष्णोः परमंधाम यांति ब्रह्मसुखप्रदम्। नानाजनपदाकीर्णं वैकुण्ठं तद्धरेः पदम्॥
प्राकारैश्चविमानैश्चसौधैरत्नमयैर्वृतम्। तन्मध्ये नगरी दिव्या साऽयोध्येति प्रकीर्तिता
मणिकाञ्चनचित्राढ्यप्राकारैस्तोरणैर्वृता प्रियः॥
(Padma-puraNa uttar-228.1, 10-12)

“There are innumerous divine abodes (Like Goloka, Mathura, and many other Vaikuntha-planets) in tripaad-vibhuuti (across divine virajaa river) and all of those are made up of Shuddha-sattva and all filled with supreme bliss of Brahm (Brahmaananda)! There is the supreme abode of Vishnu (beyond all lokas). The devotees and servants of Lord’s lotus-feet reside in the supreme (Maha-) Vaikuntha loka, that Supreme abode of Bhagavan Vishnu, the very embodiment and bestower of the bliss of Brahm.

At the very center of that (supreme abode Vaikuntha) is situated the divine city renowned by the name of AyodhyA (In Padma-puran this Ayodhya is called by another name Shri Rama-Puri), which is adorned and filled all around by amazing multi-storied buildings and picturesque Vimaans.”

The incarnations of Bhagavan Shri Ramachandra , they are Vaikuntha Vishnu, Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Vaman, Narasimha, Krishna along with their eternal consorts live in different part of the Supreme abode of Vaikuntha, the spiritual sky.

People devoted to Lord Sita-Ram go to the Supreme abode of Saket-loka, situated in the supreme realm of spiritual world Vaikuntha. People worshiping different forms of Lord Rama i.e. Narayana, Trivikrma, Varaha, Matsya, Krishna go to their respective loka-s situated at different places in that vast spiritual sky of Vaikuntha in Tripad-Vibhuti.

Parampara (Śrī-Sampradāya unbroken Lineage)

०१) सर्वावातारी सर्वेश्वर साकेतबिहारी भगवान श्री राम (नित्य-बिहारी, एवं विभूति-लोक प्राकट्य: श्री रामनवमी, त्रेतायुग)

०२) सर्वेश्वरी साकेतबिहरिणी श्री सीता (नित्य-बिहारिणी, एवं वैशाख शुक्ल नवमी, त्रेतायुग )

०३) श्री हनुमान (कार्तिक कृष्ण चतुर्दशी)

०४) श्री ब्रह्मा (अक्षय नवमी, सतयुग)

०५) श्री वशिष्ठ (ऋषि पंचमी, सतयुग)

०६) श्री पराशर (आश्विन शुक्ल १५, सतयुग)

०७) श्री व्यास (गुरु पूर्णिमा, द्वापर युग)

०८) श्री शुकदेव (श्रावण शुक्ल १५, द्वापर युग)

०९) श्री पुरुषोत्तमाचार्य (बोधायन ऋषि) (पौष कृष्ण १२, विक्रम संवत पूर्व ५६९-३२०)

१०) श्री गंगाधराचार्य (माघ कृष्ण ११, वि.पू. ४७९-२८९)

११) श्री सदानन्दाचार्य (माघ शुक्ल ५, वि.पू. ३३७-८०)

१२) श्री रामेश्वरानन्दाचार्य (वैशाख शुक्ल ३, वि.पू. १३६-२३६)

१३) श्री द्वारानन्दाचार्य (फाल्गुन १५, विक्रम संवत १९६-३७६)

१४) श्री देवानन्दाचार्य (वैशाख शुक्ल १०, वि.सं. ३२६-५२६)

१५) श्री श्यामानन्दाचार्य (आश्विन शुक्ल २, वि.सं. ४८६-६८६)

१६) श्री श्रुतानन्दाचार्य (श्रावण शुक्ल ७, वि.सं. ६३६-८३६)

१७) श्री चिदानन्दाचार्य (चैत्र पूर्णिमा, वि.सं. ७४६-८९६)

१८) श्री पूर्णानन्दाचार्य (वैशाख कृष्ण १३, वि.सं. ८६६-१०६७)

१९) श्री श्रियानन्दाचार्य (वैशाख शुक्ल ९, वि.सं. १०२६-१२०६)

२०) श्री हर्यानन्दाचार्य (आश्विन शुक्ल ११, वि.सं. ११५६-१३५६)

२१) श्री राघवानन्दाचार्य (चैत्र शुक्ल ११, वि.सं. १२०६-१३९६)

२२) श्री रामावतार जगद्गुरु भगवद् श्री रामानन्दाचार्य (माघ कृष्ण ७, वि.सं. १३५६-१५३२)

२३) जगद्गुरु श्री अनंतानन्दाचार्य
(जगद्गुरु भगवद् श्री रामानन्दाचार्य के १२ शिष्य : (१) श्री अनन्तानन्दजी (२) श्री कबीरजी (३) श्री सुखानन्दजी (४) श्री सुरसुरानन्दजी (५) श्री पद्मावतीजी (६) श्री नरहर्यानन्दजी (७) श्री पीपाजी (८) श्री भावानन्दजी(९) श्री रैदासजी (१०) श्री धनाजी (११) श्री सेनजी एवं (१२) सुरसुरानन्दजीकी पत्नी श्री सुरसुरीजी

२४) श्रीरंगाचार्य, (अनंतानन्द जी के ६ शिष्य: श्री गयेश, श्री करमचंद, श्री अल्ह्दास , श्री कृष्णदास पयहारी, श्री सारीरामदास, और श्री रंगाचार्य)

२५) श्री नरहरिदास (नरहर्यानन्द)

२६) श्री वाल्मीकीय-अवतार गोस्वामी तुलसीदास जी (श्रावण शुक्ल सप्तमी, वि.सं. १५५४-१६८०)

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अन्य श्रीरामानंदी-आचार्य, एवं वर्तमान जगद्गुरु श्री रामभद्राचार्य जी

01) Sarvāvātārī Sarvēśvar Sākētabihārī Bhagavān Śrī Rāma (Nitya-Bihārī, and appearance day in Vibhūti-Lōka : Śrī Rāmanavamī, Trētāyuga)

02) Sarvēśvarī Sākētabihariṇī Śrī Sītā (Nitya-Bihāriṇī, and appearance day in Vibhūti-Lōka : Vaiśākha Śukla Navamī, Trētāyuga )

03) Śrī Hanumāna (Kārtika Kṛṣṇa Caturdaśī)

04) Śrī Brahmā (Akṣaya Navamī, Satayuga)

05) Śrī Vaśiṣṭha (ṛṣi Paṃcamī, Satayuga)

06) Śrī Parāśara (Āśvina Śukla 15, Satayuga)

07) Śrī Vyāsa (Guru Pūrṇimā, Dvāpara Yuga)

08) Śrī Śukadēva * (Śrāvaṇa Śukla 15, Dvāpara Yuga)

09) Śrī Puruṣōttamācārya (Bōdhāyana ṛṣi) * (Pauṣa Kṛṣṇa 12, Vikrama Saṃvat Pūrva 569-320)

10) Śrī Gangādharācārya (Māgha Kṛṣṇa 11, Vi.Pū. 479-289)

11) Śrī Sadānandācārya (Māgha Śukla 5, Vi.Pū. 337-80)

12) Śrī Rāmēśvarānandācārya (Vaiśākha Śukla 3, Vi.Pū. 136-236)

13) Śrī Dvārānandācārya (Phālguna 15, Vikrama Saṃvat 196-376)

14) Śrī Dēvānandācārya (Vaiśākha Śukla 10, Vi.Saṃ. 326-526)

15) Śrī Śyāmānandācārya (Āśvina Śukla 2, Vi.Saṃ. 486-686)

16) Śrī Śrutānandācārya (Śrāvaṇa Śukla 7, Vi.Saṃ. 636-836)

17) Śrī Cidānandācārya (Caitra Pūrṇimā, Vi.Saṃ. 746-896)

18) Śrī Pūrṇānandācārya (Vaiśākha Kṛṣṇa 13, Vi.Saṃ. 866-1067)

19) Śrī Śriyānandācārya (Vaiśākha Śukla 9, Vi.Saṃ. 1026-1206)

20) Śrī Haryānandācārya (Āśvina Śukla 11, Vi.Saṃ. 1156-1356)

21) Śrī Rāghavānandācārya (Caitra Śukla 11, Vi.Saṃ. 1206-1396)

22) Śrī Rāmāvatāra Jagadguru Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānandācārya (Māgha Kṛṣṇa 7, Vi.Saṃ. 1356-1532)

23) Jagadguru Śrī Anantānandācārya
(The twelve Śiṣya of Jagadguru Śrī Rāmānandācārya : (1) Śrī Anantānandajī (2) Śrī Kabīr, (3) Śrī Sukhānand, (4) Śrī Surasurānand, (5) Śrī Padmāvatī,(6) Śrī Naraharyānand, (7) Śrī Pīpā, (8) Śrī Bhāvānand, (9) Śrī Raidās, (10) Śrī Dhanā, (11) Śrī Sēna, and (12 Śrī Surasurī (Wife of Śrī Surasurānand )

24) Śrīrangācārya, (6 Śiṣya of Anaṃtānanda: Śrī Gayēśa, Śrī Karamacaṃd, Śrī Alhdāsa , Śrī Kṛṣṇadāsa Payahārī, Śrī Sārīrāmadāsa, and Śrī Rangācārya)

25) Śrī Naraharidāsa (Narharyānand)

26) Śrī Vālmīkīya-Avatāra Gōsvāmī Tulasīdās Jī (Śrāvaṇa Śukla Saptamī, Vi.Saṃ. 1554-1680)

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To many other Ramanandi-Acharyas, and present Jagadguru Śrī Rāmabhadrācārya Jī

The Vikram Samvat calendar is 56.7 years ahead (in count) of the Gregorian calendar. For example, Goswami Tulsidas appeared in Vikram Samvat 1554, and as per Gregorian calendar in 1497 CE. Similarly, Jagadguru Ramananda appeared in Vikram Samvat 1356 or say 1299 CE. In Vikram Samvat, The new year begins with the first day of Chaitra-Navaratri i.e. Chaitra Shuddha 1 or Chaitra Shukla Paksha Prathama; which usually falls in March–April in the Gregorian calendar.

Jagadguru Bhagavad Ramanandachary

Bhagavad Ramananda was the incarnation of Bhagavan Shri Rama himself. Bhagavan Shri Ram appeared in the form of ascetic (Jagadguru Ramananda) in Kaliyuga to protect the fallen souls (Jivas), and Bhagavad Ramananda preached the Bhakti, Sharanagati, and Naam of Bhagavan Shri Rama. Bhagavad Ramananda appeared in 1299 CE (Vikram Samvat 1356) in Teerthraj Prayag, Many southern Vaishnavas and scholars tried to prove Ramananda to be of Southern-origin from South India, and as their own.

॥ ३५ ॥
(श्री)रामानंद पद्धति प्रताप अवनि अमृत ह्वै अवतर्यो॥
देवाचारज दुतिय महामहिमा हरियानँद।
तस्य राघवानंद भये भक्तन को मानद॥
पृथ्वी पत्रावलम्ब करी कासी अस्थायी।
चारि बरन आश्रम सबही को भक्ति दृढ़ाई॥
तिन के रामानंद प्रगट बिश्वमंगल जिन बपु धर्यो।
(श्री)रामानंद पद्धति प्रताप अवनि अमृत ह्वै अवतर्यो॥
[श्रीभक्तमाल पद - ३५]

“Nābhādās Ji says - The magnificence of the approach (devotion) of the Śrī-sect of Jagadguru Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānandāchārya towards Bhagavan Shri Rama appeared on this earth as a pure nectar in the form of Mantra-Raaj (Rama-mantra Parampara started by Bhagavati Sri Sita Ji). In that parampara, Hariyananda appeared after Devanandacharya, and his disciple was Sri Vaishnavacharya Raghavananda who lived in Kashi (Varanasi) and had great reverence for all devotees of Bhagavan. Then, Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānandāchārya appeared in front of Sri Raghavananda with a divine form of ascetic for the welfare of world. Devotion (of Bhagavan Shri Rama) was again strenghthened in Kaliyuga by Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānandāchārya among all four Varnas (Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra), and four Ashrama-s (Brahmcharya, Grihasta, Vanprasth, Sannyasa). ” [Śrī Bhaktamāla pada 35]

॥ ३६ ॥
(श्री) रामानँद रघुनाथ ज्यों दुतिय सेतु जगतरन कियो॥
अनंतानंद कबीर सुखा सुरसुरा पद्मावती नरहरी।
पीपा भावानंद रैदास धना सेन सुरसुर की घरहरी॥
औरो सिष्य प्रसिष्य एक ते एक उजागर।
जगमंगल आधार भक्ति दसधा के आगर॥
बहुत काल बपु धारी के प्रनत जनन को पार दियो।
(श्री) रामानँद रघुनाथ ज्यों दुतिय सेतु जगतरन कियो॥
[श्रीभक्तमाल पद - ३६]

“Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānandāchārya, who is Bhagavān Śrī Rāma himself appeared in Kaliyuga, built such a great bridge which became the means for the deliverance of Jivas, to bring them across the ocean of mundane existence, just as in the past (in the Treta-yuga) Bhagavan Raghunath had constructed a bridge over the mighty ocean, and thus, innumerable Jivas were delivered and brought to supreme abode by him, (and innumerable Jivas are still being liberated by following Shri Ramanand-Padhati, Sri-sect). He proclaimed everyone has right in Prapatti, and Bhakti of Shri Rama. The twelve Mahabhagavats appeared as his twelve disciples, they are : (1) Śrī Anantānand, (2) Śrī Kabīr, (3) Śrī Sukhānand, (4) Śrī Surasurānand, (5) Śrī Padmāvatī , (6) Śrī Naraharyānand, (7) Śrī Pīpā (8) Śrī Bhāvānand (9) Śrī Raidās (10) Śrī Dhanā (11) Śrī Sēna and (12) Śrī Surasurī (Wife of Śrī Surasurānanda). His disciples, and the disciples of his disciples were illustrious and greatly renowned in the world. They championed (became the abode of) the Dashadha-Bhakti (the ten (10) forms of Bhakti, the 10th form is Prema-Bhakti, Rasika-Bhakti), and thus, they became the cause of the happiness and welfare of this world ! Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānandāchārya remained present in this world for a long time, and whoever surrendered to him, He brought everyone in the supreme abode.” [Śrī Bhaktamāla pada 36]

Jagadguru Ramanandacharya was very generous, and accepted disciples from all walks of life, irrespective of gender, caste, religion or social status. First time, He broke the orthodox traditions prevalent those days, and accepted even women (Padmāvati Ji, Sursuri Ji), Shudra (Raidas Ji who was a cobbler) as his disciples. Glory of Jagadguru Ramanandacharya was so spread that even a King (Pipa ji) left his kingdom & everything and surrendered to Bhagavad Ramananda, and he became one of the 12 disciples of Jagagduru Ramanandacharya. The divinity of Bhagavad Ramananda attracted the the hearts of 25 lacs (2.5 million) Muslims, they followed him to Ayodhya where they came back again into their original faith of Sanatan Dharma after taking bath in Sarayu river, and thereafter they accepted and followed Vaishnavism whole life; those people had renounced their original faith (Sanatan-dharma) earlier due to fear and persecutions by Sultans.

Jagadguru Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānandāchārya declared it emphatically:

सर्वे प्रपत्तेरधिकारिणो मताः शक्ता अशक्ता पदयोर्जगत्पतेः।
अपेक्षते तत्र कुलं बलञ्च नो न चापि कालो न विशुद्धताऽपि वा॥

sarvē prapattēradhikāriṇō matāḥ śaktā aśaktā padayōrjagatpatēḥ।
apēkṣatē tatra kulaṃ balañca nō na cāpi kālō na viśuddhatā'pi vā॥

“Oh, Śrī Rāma, the king of all the worlds! Irrespective of one's age, gender, caste, (social) status, physique, purity etc, in my opinion Everyone is rightfully eligible for the Prapatti [Sharanagati - to take refuge] in your lotus feet! Whether a Jiva is competent or incompetent, strong or weak, rich or poor, of higher or lower class, pure or impure, in all states, he is rightfully eligible to take Sharanagati [refuge] in your lotus feet. Nothing is expected from Jivas in Prapatti [surrendering into lotus feet of Lord Rama].” (- Sri Vaishnava Matabuj Bhaskar, Jagadguru Aadya Ramanandacharya)

Bhagavad Ramananda preached universal acceptance of everyone under the devotion of Lord Sri Ram, He preached - “Let no one ask a man’s caste or with whom he eats. If a man is devoted to Hari, he becomes Hari’s own.”

It is same like once a woman is married to her husband, her caste changes.. similarly once a Jiva accepts his relation with Sri Rama, surrender in the lotus feet of Shri Rama, he should be recognized as a Vaishnava, rather than that of a higher or lower caste.

Bhagavad Ramananda was such revolutionary Jagadguru who preached “In Bhakti, Vaishnavas born in Higher Varnas shouldn't hesitate at all in doing Seva (service) of Vaishnavas born in lower Varnas, as Shastras recommend it...”

None was so much generous as like Bhagavad Ramananda, if people and scriptures hail him as the incarnation of Sarveshwar Bhagavan Shri Rama, then it is not some exaggeration. He had the compassion and mercy like all merciful Bhagavan Shri Rama himself, whose best friend was Nishad-Raj Guha, who called Shabari as his mother...

Bhagavad Ramananda stressed on the worship of the Dvibhuj-swarupam, Narakruiti (द्विभुस्यैव रामस्य सर्वशक्तेः शिरोमणे प्रियोत्तम - Oh dear! worship the two-armed Shri Rama, who is Shiromani (crown Jewel) among all, and the Supreme Lord of all divinities!)

Same thing is recommended by Parampara-Acharya, Paramhamsa Shuka-deva Goswami, the narrator of Shrimad Bhagavatam: —

सुरोऽसुरो वाप्यथ वानरो नरः सर्वात्मना यः सुकृतज्ञमुत्तमम् ।
भजेत रामं मनुजाकृतिं हरिं यः उत्तराननयत्कोशलान्दिवमिति ॥
[श्रीमद भागवत महापुराण ५.१९.८]

suro 'suro vāpy atha vānaro naraḥ sarvātmanā yaḥ sukṛtajñam uttamam
bhajeta rāmaḿ manujākṛtiḿ hariḿ ya uttarān anayat kosalān divam iti
[Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 5.19.8]

“Whether one is a god or a demon, a man or a creature other than man, such as a beast or bird, all should worship Lord Rāma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has a form of human being. There is no need of great austerities or penances to worship the Lord Rāma, He becomes easily satisfied even from a small service done to him (such a compassionate lord he is. Thus He is satisfied, and as soon as He is satisfied, the devotee is successful.). [Indeed, No one can match his compassion towards his devotees, that] Lord Śrī Rāma brought all the citizens of Ayodhyā to his divine abode (divam).”

Such extreme affection and causeless-mercy on fallen souls is never been seen in any other god or the god of gods... Without considering who is worthy who is not, Shri Rama brought everyone in his divine eternal Madhurya abode and lodged them in Santanik-Vanam in Maha-Vibhuti... so Sage Shukadeva says worship, worship and worship Bhagavan Shri Rama...

Reason is dvibhuj-swarupam, Manujakriti Hari has all the charms, and attraction.. and scriptures hail it as the most superior form.

Bhagavad Ramananda preached — A devotee (Jiva) can have following Bhava in relations with Bhagavan Shri Rama in Bhakti :

1. Sevak — Sevya (Servant — Master)
2. Sesha — Seshi (Parts — Whole, eternal friends)
3. Putra — Pita (Son/daughter — Parents or Parents - son)
4. Bhogya — Bhokta (To be enjoyed — Supreme Enjoyer)
5. Bharya — Bharta (Wife / Sakhi — Husband / Priyatam)
etc.

Jagadguru Ramananda is accepted as the incarnation of Sri Ram himself in Ramavat Sampradaya. The glory of Bhagavad Ramananda shines so great that the most sects like Kabir-Panth, Nanak-Panth, Ramanuji-Tradition, etc all treats him as their own.

[1]* Sage Shuka-deva Goswami (Shuka-Goswami) was son of Sage Ved-VyAs. Shuka-deva narrated Shrimad Bhagvatam to Parikshit Maharaj and in his Bhagvata, he hinted about the form of his Ishta-Deva (iṣṭa-deva) by taking refuge of Lord Sri Rama alone. In Vaishanvism, Sharanagati (taking refuge) in the lotus feet of iṣṭa-deva is the most important and the final component of devotion. Shuka-Goswami didn't take refuge in the feet of any other incarnation of Lord Rama in Bhagavata, except in the lotus feet of the consort of Sita.

[2]* Jagadguru Ramanujacharya extensively studied the Bodhyana-Vritti, the work of Sage Bodhyana propounding Vishishtadvaita Vedanta philosophy and then he propagated the same knowledge of Sage Bodhayan. Thus, Shri-Vaishnava-sect of Bhagavad Ramanujacharya is celebrated as the branch of Shri Ramavat Sampraday of Sage Bodhayana. This same Ramavat sect was revived later on by Jagadguru Ramananda, and hence this Ramavat sect is popularly known as Ramanandi sect.

Thus, Sri Ramanandi-Sampradaya is the eternal and original Sri-Sampradaya recognized within Vaishnava Chatuh Sampradaya, as it has unbroken lineage which exists in all 4-Yugas. It doesn't start in Kaliyuga.

Original Sri Sampradaya among Chatuh (4) Vaishnava Sampradayas

In the Galata conference of Vaishnavas belonging to different sects, among Vaishnava Chatuh-Sampradaya (four Vaishnava-lineages), the Ramanandi-s the disciplic descendents of Bhagavad Ramananda represented the Sri sect (Sri-Sampradaya). And they were recognized historically the original members of the Vaishnava chatuh sampradaya (four bonafide Vaishnava Sampradayas) together with the sects founded by Nimbarka, Madhvacarya, and Visnuswami. And a new arrangement was sealed by the subdivision of the four sects into fifty-two "doors" (dvaras). Each door, or a spiritual clan, was said to have been established by a prominent Vaishnava ascetic who was a spiritual descendant of Jagadguru Ramanand, Jagadguru Nimbarka, Jagadguru Madhvacharya, Jagadguru Visnuswami. All members of the four main Vaisnavite sects traced their spiritual descent back to a founder of a spiritual clan. Anyone who could not trace his descent back to the founder of a spiritual clan was not a member of any of the four sects of the catuh sampradaya. Of the fifty-two spiritual clans (52 dvaras), thirty-six were founded by Ramanandi ascetics and twelve were founded by Nimbarki ascetics. The remaining four spiritual clans were founded by ascetics of the Madhvacarya, and Visnuswami sects. The thirty-six founders of the Ramanandi spiritual clans fall within the first and sixth generations of Ramanand's descendants. Following Nabha Ji's list of twelve disciples, twenty-seven spiritual clans were founded by Anantanand and his descendants; four spiritual clans were founded by Sursurananda and his descendants. Śrī Sukhānand, Śrī Naraharyānand, Śrī Bhāvānandajī, and Śrī Pīpājī each founded a spiritual clan. Thus, Sri Ramanandi sect is the original Sri Sampradaya, and It became the largest Vaishnava sect in India with 36 Dvaras (spiritual clans) out of total 52 dvaras. In every meeting of the four bonafide Vaishnava-sects, Ramanand Sampradaya represents the Sri-Sect.

Bhagavad Ramanuja's sect an idependent branch of eternal Sri-Sampradaya. There are only regional or time differences, not the philosophical differences between the Ramanandi-sect and Ramanuji-sect. Both follow the same Vishishtadvaita philosophy and have everything same, except in place of Sita-Ram, Lakshmi-Narayan are taken as Avatari-Swaurpa of Bhagavan in Ramanuji-sect.

Sita Ji
Bhagavati Sita

श्रीसीतानाथसमारम्भां श्रीरामानन्दार्यमध्यमाम्।
अस्मदाचार्यपर्यन्तां वन्दे श्रीगुरुपरम्पराम्॥

śrī-sītānātha-samārambhāṃ śrīrāmānandārya-madhyamām।
asmadācārya-paryantāṃ vandē śrī-guru-paramparām॥

"Beginning from Bhagavān Śrī Sītā-nāth (the consort of Śrī Sītā Jī) i.e. Śrī Rāma himself, through Jagadguru Ādya Rāmānandāchārya in middle, down to our own Ācārya, I salute the entire lineage of gurus of Śrī-Sampradāya."

Two divine Guru-Paramparā-s of Śrī-Sampradāya:

Sarvēśvar Bhagavān Śrī Rāma

Sarvēśvarī Śrī Sītā mahārānī → Hanumān jī (in tripād-Vibhuti) → Brahmā jī → To others

Mahāśambhu → Pārvatī jī
(Sadāśiva in tripād-Vibhuti)

Śrī Viṣṇu jī → Śrī Lakṣmī jī

Brahmā jī

and so on


Four-Vaishnava Sampradaya :

Four Vaishnava Sampradayas are:-

1) Sri Sampradaya (Ramavat or Ramanand Sampradaya) :- Param-Acharya : Bhagavati Sita Ji

2) Brahmaa Sampradaya (Madhva Sampradaya) :- Param-Acharya : Brahmaa Ji

3) Rudra Sampradaya (Vishnu-swami Sampradaya) :- Param-Acharya: Bhagavan Shankar Ji

4) Sanakadik Sampradaya (Nimbarka Sampradaya) :- Param-Acharya : Sanakadik Muni

The Param-Acharyas of all these 4 Vaishnava Sampradayas, they all have surrendered exclusively into lotus feet of Bhagavan Shri Rama in Vedic-scriptures, and they all chant Shri Rama Mantra. Bhagavati Sita Ji is the dearest consort of Bhagavan Shri Rama, and so nothing more is to be said about her exclusive devotion in Shri Rama, She has surrendered into lotus feet of Raghupati. Lord BrahmA recieved Shri Ram mantra from Hanuman Ji in some Kalpa, in some other Kalpas from Shri Hari Vishnu (Shri Rama himself). The Ishta-deva of Bhagavan Shankara (who is Parama-Acharya of Rudra-Sampradaya) is Lord Shri Rama alone, Lord Shiva has taken the refuge in lotus feet of Shri Rama in whole vedic-scripture, and He always chants the name of Shri Rama along with his consort Bhagavati Parvati. Param-Acharya of Sanakadik Sampradaya, the four Kumaras also chant all the time the name of Shri Rama as per their Sri-mukh Vachana (own testimony) in Skand-Purana. Thus, Param-Acharyas of all four Vaishnava-Sampradayas are completely dependent on Shri Rama alone.

( चाहें ब्रह्मा हों, चाहें रूद्र शिव हों, चाहें सनकादिक हों, या चाहें वायु (हनुमान), चाहें रामानुज लक्ष्मण हों सभी ने प्रभु श्री राम (श्री राम रूप) की अनन्य शरणागति ले रखी है, और भगवती 'श्री' का कहना हीं क्या वो तो श्री राम की अर्धांगिनी हीं हैं - अतः चारो वैष्णव सम्प्रदाय भगवान श्री राम के हीं परमाश्रित हैं।)

Therefore, Goswami Tulsidas Ji has said in Shri Ramacharitmanas:

अतः गोस्वामी तुलसीदासजीने यह उचित हीं कहा है –

साधक सिद्ध बिमुक्त उदासी। कबि कोबिद विरक्त संन्यासी॥
जोगी शूर सुतापस ग्यानी। धर्म निरत पंडित बिग्यानी॥
तरहिं न बिनु सेए मम स्वामी। राम नमामि नमामि नमामि॥
(श्रीरामचरितमानस ७.१२४.३-४)

“Strivers and perfect souls, the liberated and the unworldly-minded, the seers and learned men, those knowing the secrets of Karma (duty) and those who have renounced all action, Yogis (mystics), and valiant heroes, great ascetics and wise men, pious souls and men of erudition and even men who have realized the Self— — none of these can cross the ocean of mundane existence without adoring my lord, Shri Rama, to whom I bow again and again and yet again.”

On the same pattern in Bhagavatam, the narrator of Bhagavatam, Sage Shukadeva specifically says everyone in this cosmos should worship Bhagavan Shri Rama.

 

Rasopasna
(rasōpāsanā, śrṛṃgārōpāsanā, mādhuryōpāsanā, Rasikōpāsanā)

रमन्ते रसिका यस्मिन् दिव्यानेकगुणाश्रये स्वयं यद्रमते तेषु रामस्तेन प्रयुज्यते ।

ramantē rasikā yasmin divyānēkaguṇāśrayē svayaṃ yadramatē tēṣu rāmastēna prayujyatē ।

“Rasika devotees delight in Śrī Rāma, the only abode of divine virtues, and Śrī Rāma also delights in those devotees. That is why He is known as Rāma.”

रामो रमयतां श्रेष्ठः ।[श्री वाल्मीकि रामायण 2-53-1]

rāmō ramayatāṃ śrēṣṭhaḥ । [śrī vālmīki rāmāyaṇa 2-53-1]

Śrī Rāma is the foremost among those who delight the minds of people.

Thus, 'Rama' means the one who is foremost among those who delight the mind of others, and the one delights/disports with his devotees. The real Rasarajtva (being full of Rasa and Rasa only, the giver of all Rasa-s) is siddha (defined) from the name Rama alone. The word 'Rama' also means Ananda, He is the reservoir of bliss, he is the supreme Ananda, hence he is the foremost in delighting minds of Yogi-Bhaktas, and Rasika-devotees. Shri Rama attracts the minds of greatest of Yogis, Yogi-Bhaktas meditate upon him to derive the supreme bliss. As like ocean is full of water, similarly Rama is full of Rasa and Rasa only, He is the original source of bliss (Ananda), 'Rama' is Purna-Anandam (bliss to infinite extent). Since, Shri Rama attracts the minds of great Yogis and Rasika-devotees, therefore He is the culmination of all-aishwarya as well as all-Madhurya.

In Madhuryopasana, Rasika-devotees are drenched in the loving-devotion (Prema, प्रेमा-भक्ति ) , they are enchanted on Shri Rama's Madhurya i.e. his beauty, and all-sweetness. Not even a billion of cupids could be a match to the beauty, elegance, and charm of Shri Rama. Shri Rama is the supreme Rasaraj (the original source of all Rasa-s). They love Bhagavan Shri Rama as their Priyatam (beloved) in bhava (mood) of his Sakhi (female-friend) or Premika (lover or secret-lover) or Kanta (wife) or Dasi (maid-servant). The Rig Veda Hymn 10.111.7 says devotees should follow Shri Rama as like rays follow the sun, thus Madhuryopasana of Shri Rama is the most ancient Madhuryopasana and a purely Vedic-Upasana. (for more read: Shri Rama, the Aadi-purusha of Vedas and Rasopasana)

Rasika-devotees worship Priya-Priyatam Shri Shri Sita-Rama through Bhāva-deha (Bhav-deh भाव देह) of a Sakhi (female-friend) or Sister or Dasi (servant) of Shri Sita Ji, those Sakhi-s of Sita Ji have only one desire to see the happiness on the countenance of their Priya-Priyatam Nitya Kishori-Kishore Shri Shri SitaRama, and the efforts of all Sakhi-s are directed towards this only in their loving-devotion, their sole happiness is present in the happiness of their beloved Priya-Priyatam Shri Shri SitaRama. To worship Bhagavan Shri Shri SitaRama in mood of a Sakhi, one needs to surrender to a Shringaropasaka Ramavat Vaishnava Guru to get all guidance and necessary instructions. Whaterver is received through the grace of Sita Ji and Guru (immediate preceptor Sakhi), the heart of a Sakhi finds extreme satisfaction and real bliss in that only. It can be felt when true love (Prema) is achieved.

Paramarth and Param-Purusharth
( परमार्थ एवं परम-पुरुषार्थ / Paramārtha and Parama-Puruṣārtha)

Paramarth literally means the supreme fruit, the ultimate achievement, the real wealth, etc. As per Vaishnava-acharyas of Shri Sampradaya (श्री सम्प्रदाय śrī sampradāya Sri Sampradaya), Paramarth is the Prema (Pure loving-devotion) of Bhagavan (Shri Rama, the original personality of Godhead). This is achieved after Guru-Kripa and darshan of Bhagavan. A real Vaishnana doesn't hanker after liberation, instead he wants the true love in Bhagavan, He ignores even Mukti (liberation) for the Prema (true loving-devotion). So, the real goal of a Vaishnava is achieving the Prema (true love) in Bhagavan Shri Rama. Prema is the real ornament, the real wealth, the ultimate fruit, the supreme achievement for a Jiva (devotee-soul).

Purusharth literally means the endeavour or the object of Jiva's Pursuit. As per acharyas of Sri Sampradaya, Param-Purushartha for devotee-souls is Sarv-Vidhi-Kainkaryam of Bhagavan Shri Shri SitaRama (i.e. Service of Bhagavan Shri Shri SitaRama in all possible ways) in spirtual world after achieving their Prema (true loving-devotion). In divya-Saket or during Avatara in Bhaum-Ayodhya, after liberation a devotee soul achieves nearness of Param-Aanand-Sindhu Bhagavan Shri Shri SitaRama, and keeps immersing self in the ocean of supreme bliss seeing their divine-leela, and in love devotee-soul does Sarv-Vidhi-Kainkaryam to see the blooming countenance of Priya-Priyatam, this alone is Param-Purushartha. When true love arises in a devotee soul, a devotees-soul craves to see the happiness on the countenance of his beloved Priya-Priyatam Bhagavan Sri Sri SitaRama, and therefore, a devotee soul is eternally engaged in Sarv-Vidhi Kainkaryam of Priya-Priyatam in spiritual world of Saketa, all efforts of mukta-Jivas in Prema are directed for this only. This is called Param-Purusharth or Pancham-Purusharth.

Sri Rama, the Ishta of all worlds, for one and all
( इष्टः सर्वस्य लोकस्य ― श्री राम / iṣṭaḥ sarvasya lōkasya ― Śrī Rāma)

Supreme Purusa Shri RAma
Bhagavan Shri Rama is Rupa-sindhu (रूप-सिंधु, the ocean of all beauty-elegance-&-charm), gun-sindhu (गुनसिंधु the ocean of all virtues and qualities) and Sheel-Sindhu (the ocean of all virtues and piety which are innate and inherent, having innately sweetest nature and disposition).

Bhagavan Sri Rama is well known and renowned in the world for his Maryada-leela i.e. leela of an ideal personality. However, it is not known to many that in Sri Ramavatara (śrī rāmāvatāra) when Bhagavan himself descends to Martyaloka (material world) with his consort Sita and Nitya Parshada-s, to do Martyaloka-Leela, then before his marriage and after the marriage, Bhagavan Shri Rama performs many secret Madhurya Leela-s too along with his Para-shakti Sita and her female-friends. Many Madhurya-Leela-s of Lord Rama are very secret and completely hidden from common-folk, Yet greatly relished among great-saints and Pure-devotees of Bhagavan Sri Rama, as these Madhurya-leela of Bhagavan is there for devotees only. His Madhurya-leela is for nurturing devotee's wish and infusing Pure love among his devotees.

They who participated in Shri Rama's secret Madhurya-leela during Rama-avatar, they were already accomplished souls (accomplished Madhura-devotees) of this world, as well as the Nitya Sakha-Sakhis who had descended along with him from Sri Saket loka in Maha-Vibhuti. His Madhurya-leela was revealed to a specific groups of devotees and great souls. And, his Maryada-leela of an ideal personality was revealed for all alike, to be emulated by everyone. Thus, Bhagavan Shri Rama is a complete personality, Purn Purushottama in true sense, He has both aspects at suitable places i.e. the secret Madhurya-leela revealed to (and participated by) great devotees only for nurturing their wish, as well as the renowned Maryada-leela of an ideal personality renowned in whole world. Thus, Shri Rama is the most ideal and the perfect form to be worshipped by all categories of devotees.

Therefore, everyone should worship Shri Rama. He alone is the Ishta for all the worlds, for everyone, from beasts to birds, from demons to gods, from women to men, from common men to the greatest of Yogis, from Maryada-Pusht devotees to Pushti-pusht (Shuddh-Pusht) devotees as per the interests of an individual soul, in short for one and all.

This is the specialty and uniqueness of Shri Ramavatar, He is for one and all, for all types of devotees.

There are many scriptures which describe the Madhurya Leela of Lord Ramachandra. The Rasikopasana (Madhuropasana) of Shri Ram and Sita is the most ancient among all Madhuropasana-s of other deities. Madhuropasana of Shri Rama has its basis in Vedas, and Adi-Kavya Valmiki-Ramayana, as Shri Rama is the Aadi-Purusha (Primeval Purusha) and source of all avatara-s, similarly Aadi-Kavya Valmiki Ramayana is the principle-source of all scriptures. The Scriptures describe that Lord Rama performed 100 Mahā-Rāsas (Maha-Rasa dance) with Sita and her Sakhi-s, out of those 100 Mahā-Rasa one was incomplete due to intervention of an evil crow, celestial Jayanta who was the son of Indra. That incomplete MahaRasa was completed by Lord Rama in his whole Krishna-Avatar.

Not only Sri-Sampradaya (Shri Ramavat sect of Jagadguru Ramanandacharya), but even AzhvArs of Sri-Vaishnava Sampradaya of Jagadguru Ramanujacharya too, have relished the Madhurya Parak Bhakti of Lord Rama :

One of the prominent AzhvArs of Sri-Vaishnavism penned a hymn that addresses Sri Rama through the viewpoint of a "heroine's" plaintive cry:

The words of the girl pining for Shri Rama:

Supreme Purusa Shri RAma

My heart, even you are not on my side!
The long night stretches out like an aeon
without break of dawn.
If my KAkutstha with his shining, angry bow
does not come, I shall kill myself,
-- I don't know how.
I've been born as a woman, sinner that I am.
Even the sun does not rise; He hides his face,
refusing to see such grief.

- NammAzhvAr (TiruvAymoLi 5.4.3-4)

न रामरूपादीनां केवलं स्त्रीपुरुषाणामेव दृष्टिचित्तापहारकत्वमुपपद्यते
किंतु स्थावरजंगमात्मकस्य सर्वं जगतोऽपि ।।
श्रीकृष्णस्तु वेणुरणनैः स्त्रियादिमोहनः ।
अयं तु स्वसौन्दर्येण स्त्रिपुं साधारण सर्वजन्तुमोहकः ।।

[Sundar-mani-Sandarbh by Sri-VaishNavAchArya SwAmi MadhurAcharya]

“Sri Krsna is an enchanter of only women, and that too with the help of His flute; but this RAma, with just His natural beauty, enchants women, men, and even casual animals also!”

These are few words of great Rasika devotees of Shri Rama.

SitaRama-Charan-Chancharik,
SiyaRaghavendra Sharan

Links:
Is there any difference between Śrī-Devi and Lakshmi-devi?

Śrī-Ramavat Sampradaya

Parampara (Śrī-Sampradāya unbroken Lineage)

Original Sri Sect

Four Vaishnava Sampradayas

Rasikopasna

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