ADVAITA GURU PARAMPARA
Parampara means the unbroken lineage. Guru parampara means the unbroken lineage of gurus. Advaita guru parampara means the unbroken lineage of gurus who practice the advaita philosophy. Any art or philosophy will have a guru parampara and it is the same with the advaita philosophy.
In advaita philosophy there are two types of guru parampara.
- Sanyasa guru parampara
- Grahasta guru parampara
Sanyasa guru parampara started with Baghavan Shiv in the form of Lord Dakshinamoorthy. He taught the Brahma vidya to Sanakati Brahma Rishis as his students (sishyas). The Sanakati Brahma Rishis are four brothers; they are Sanaka (ancient), Sanatana (eternal), Sanandana (ever joyful) and Sanat kumar (ever youthful). They are the mind born sons of Lord Brahma. They are always very young in the form of children and when they were born they were at the verge of enlightenment. Lord Dakshinamoorthy did not teach them orally, instead he showed the chinmudra and the Sanakati Rishis were so intelligent to understand the entire philosophy from that single mudra.
Sanakati Brahma Rishis taught this knowledge to Sage Narada. Sage Narada taught this knowledge to Suka Brahmarishi. Suka Brahmarishi is the son of Ved Vyasa. This is the sanyasa guru parampara. In the sanyasa guru parampara the knowledge was taught to the sishyas (students). The sishyas are not the children of the guru.
The second type of guru paramapara is the grahasta guru parampara. In this guru parampara Brahma vidya was taught to the children of the gurus along with the other students; and the children played a very important role in taking the knowledge to the next generation. Grahasta guru parampara started with Lord Brahma. He taught Brahma vidya to his son Sage Vasishta. Sage Vasishta taught this knowledge to his son Sage Shakti. Sage Shakti taught this knowledge to this son Sage Parasara Maharshi. Sage Parasara Maharshi taught this knowledge to Sage Ved Vyasa. Sage Ved Vyasa taught this knowledge to his son Suka Brahmarishi. Thus, Suka Brahmarishi received this knowledge from the sanyasa guru parampara as well as the grahasta guru parampara.
Suka Brahmarishi went into meditation for a long time and then he taught this knowledge to Sri guru Gaudapada. Guru Gaudapada taught Brahma vidya to Sri guru Govind Baghavad pada and Sri guru Govind Baghavad pada taught this knowledge to Sri Adi Sankaracharya. Sri Adi Sankaracharya revived the Brahma vidya or it is famously know as Advaita philosophy, especially in the period when Advaita philosophy was going through a very low phase. About the mutts established by Adi Sankaracharya and the Desanama sampradaya (titles) started by the acharya we will see in the next article.