A Comparison of the Doctrine of Sri Caitanya with those of Nimbarka and Vallabha – Rabin Bangoer
The purpose of this essay is to compare the doctrine of Sri Caitanya, the founder of the Gaudiya-vaisnava tradition, with those of Nimbarka and Vallabha. To what extent are they related? Which one is most appealing? There are four Vaisnava sampradayas [established doctrine transmitted from one teacher to another]. Their acäryas (founders, teachers) are:
Ramanuja (1017 – 1137 CE)
Madhva (1238 – 1317 CE)
Nimbarka (±1400 CE)
Vallabha (1473 – 1531 CE).
They have all written a devotional commentary on the Vedic scriptures, in particular the Vedanta. Initially, I wanted to discuss all four sampradayas, but this is beyond the scope of this essay. I have chosen Nimbarka and Vallabha because they are historically closer to Sri Caitanya (1486 – 1533 CE). Throughout this essay, I have inserted the meaning of Sanskrit words from the Monier-Williams dictionary (Bontes 2001) in square brackets.