Pustimarg has the essence of this principle traditionally conveyed from upanishads regarding guru as prabhu himself.
In pustimarg, we accept the incarnation of Agni mukha(mouth) of Almighty - i.e Anand Bhrmn himself as MahaPrabhuji ShriVallabhachrya. Its not only our faith but also prescribed previously before the incarnation of shrivallabh. Agnipuran says that “वल्लभो अग्निरूपः श्रीविठ्ठल पुरुषोत्तमः” - ShriVallabh is form of Agni mukha and ShriVitthal is purushottam shrikrishna himself. There are many such intuitions of shastras regarding birth of shrivallabh and vitthal. ShriVitthal himself specifies that “स्ववंशेस्थापिताशेषमहात्म्यः” ShriVallabhachrya established his own divine significane inside his own lineage. This principle is called BinduSrusti parampara. The guru parampara flows on as per linage and their qualities as prescribed by shrivallabh in TatvarthDeepNibandh.
So in pustimarg we consider Guru as shriVallabh and utmost almighty himself.
ShriRanchhodlalji - the 16th decendent achrya follows the pronciples of shriVallabhachrya and ShriVitthalachrya - propogates this principle in minds and hearts of Vaishnavites.
Pushtimarga is a devotional path of Hinduism that emphasizes the importance of loving devotion towards God, particularly towards Lord Krishna. It is one of the most prominent Vaishnavite traditions in India, and its philosophy is based on the teachings of Shri Vallabhacharya, a 16th-century saint and scholar who founded the Vallabh Sampraday.
According to Shri Vallabhacharya, the ultimate goal of human life is to attain the grace of Lord Krishna, which can only be achieved through loving devotion and surrender to the Lord. The path of Pushtimarga is centered around the concept of seva, which means selfless service to God. Seva is not just a physical act, but an attitude of mind and heart that involves complete surrender and devotion to the Lord.
Pushtimarga emphasizes that seva should be performed with utmost love, purity, and sincerity, without any expectation of reward or recognition. Another important aspect of Pushtimarga is the practice of bhakti, or devotional singing and chanting of Lord Krishna's name and glories. Bhakti is believed to be the most effective means of attaining the grace of the Lord and experiencing his divine presence.
Pushtimarga places great importance on the Bhagavata Purana, a sacred Hindu text that describes the life and teachings of Lord Krishna, and devotees often read and recite from it as part of their daily practice. Pushtimarga also has a unique emphasis on the worship of Shri Thakurji, a form of Lord Krishna as a child. Devotees prepare and offer food to Shri Thakurji as a sign of their love and devotion, and the practice is known as seva-panchamritam. Pushtimarga also has a tradition of decorating and adorning the image of Shri Thakurji with beautiful clothing and ornaments, known as shringar.
The followers of Pushtimarg also believe in the importance of satsang, which is the company of holy people. They believe that satsang helps to purify the mind and the soul and is essential for spiritual growth.
Pushtimarg is also known for its unique style of devotional music called "haveli sangeet". Haveli sangeet is a form of music that is sung in the temple and is used to worship Lord Krishna. It is characterized by its lively rhythm and melodious tunes.
The ultimate goal of Pushtimarg is to develop a deep and loving relationship with Lord Krishna, which can be achieved through the practice of devotional service or 'bhakti yoga.' The philosophy stresses the importance of developing an intense and personal connection with the divine, which involves not only the worship of the deity but also the development of a loving and intimate relationship with Him.
In Pushtimarg, the seva (service) of God is considered the highest form of devotion. The devotee is expected to engage in various forms of seva such as decorating the deity, preparing food for the deity, singing bhajans (devotional songs) in praise of the deity, and so on. The ultimate goal of seva is to please the deity and attain their grace.
Another important aspect of Pushtimarg is the role of the guru or the spiritual teacher. The guru is considered a divine guide who helps the devotee in their spiritual journey towards God. The guru not only imparts knowledge about the scriptures and the principles of Pushtimarg but also teaches the devotee the correct way to perform seva and other devotional
Pushtimarg also emphasizes the importance of community service and selfless service to others as a means of serving God. The followers believe in the concept of "seva" or selfless service to God and others, which includes helping those in need, performing acts of kindness and charity, and spreading the message of love and devotion.
The philosophy of Pushtimarg teaches that God is all-pervading and can be experienced in every aspect of life. Therefore, one should be mindful of their actions and thoughts at all times and strive to see the divine in everything around them.
The ultimate goal of Pushtimarg is to attain the "pushti" or grace of Lord Krishna, which is believed to be the ultimate source of joy and happiness. The followers believe that by living a life of devotion, purity, and selfless service, one can attain the divine grace and ultimately be united with God.
The philosophy of Pushtimarg is rooted in the belief in the ultimate reality of Brahm, which is the same as Parmatma and Bhagawan. This oneness of ultimate reality is the basis of Sakar Brahmvad or Shuddhadwait Brahmvad, which is the fundamental doctrine of Vallabhacharya.
Pushtimarg does not discriminate based on caste, creed, color, sex, or age, and it does not require a devotee to give up their householder's life. In fact, being a householder can help one serve Krishna better. The philosophy also diverts all worldly desires towards Krishna, and the world is treated as Krishna's creation, which is as real as Krishna himself.
Shri Krishna is considered the Supreme Deity, and all other deities reside in his form. Therefore, total faith is placed in Krishna alone. In the state of liberation, the entity of the devotee merges into Shri Krishna's blissful form. However, in Pushti bhakti, the devotee does not seek liberation but enjoys Krishna's bliss as a separate divine entity.
The Great Aacharya Of Pushtimarg
Pushtimarg has been enriched by the contributions of many great Acharyas over the centuries. These Acharyas have played a significant role in shaping the philosophy and practice of Pushtimarg, and their teachings continue to inspire and guide the followers of this tradition to this day. Here is a brief introduction to some of the most renowned Acharyas of Pushtimarg:
Shri Vallabhacharya (1479-1531 CE): Shri Vallabhacharya is regarded as the founder of Pushtimarg. Born in Varanasi, he received his education from his father, and later, from the famous scholar Shri Vyasatirtha. Vallabhacharya's philosophy emphasized the attainment of salvation through selfless devotion to Shri Krishna, who he considered as the supreme lord of the universe. He also laid down the basic principles of Pushtimarg, such as the worship of Shri Krishna in the form of the child-god Shri Thakurji, the performance of seva and bhakti with a pure heart, and the importance of the grace of the guru.
Shri Gusainji (1516-1572 CE): Shri Gusainji was the grandson of Shri Vallabhacharya and one of his most prominent disciples. He is revered as the second Acharya of Pushtimarg and made significant contributions to the development of the tradition. Under his guidance, the worship of Shri Krishna in the form of Shri Thakurji became more elaborate and systematic, and he also laid down the guidelines for the performance of the daily seva and bhakti. Shri Gusainji also wrote several devotional hymns and composed the famous "Shodash Granth," a collection of sixteen scriptures that serve as the primary texts of Pushtimarg.
Shri Hariraiji (1605-1661 CE): Shri Hariraiji was the great-grandson of Shri Vallabhacharya and the fourth Acharya of Pushtimarg. He was a prolific writer and composed several devotional works, including the "Vallabhakhyan," a collection of stories about the life and teachings of Shri Vallabhacharya. Shri Hariraiji was also responsible for spreading the teachings of Pushtimarg throughout the country and establishing several new temples and centers of worship.
Shri Vallabhacharya Goswami Shri Vitthalnathji (1684-1751 CE): Shri Vitthalnathji was the sixth Acharya of Pushtimarg and played a significant role in spreading the teachings of the tradition to the masses. He composed several devotional works, including the "Yamunastakam," a hymn in praise of the river Yamuna, and the "Sri Sarvottamstotra," a hymn in praise of Shri Krishna. Shri Vitthalnathji also established several new centers of worship and encouraged the performance of seva and bhakti
Shri Gopinathji (1743-1843 CE): Shri Gopinathji was the eighth Acharya of Pushtimarg and is revered as one of the greatest saints of the tradition. He is said to have possessed extraordinary spiritual powers and was renowned for his ability to heal the sick and perform miracles. Shri Gopinathji also wrote several devotional works, including the "Prembhaktichandrika" and the "Satsangijivan," which are still studied and revered by the followers of Pushtimarg.
These Acharyas played a significant role in the development and propagation of the Pushtimarg tradition. Their contributions are still celebrated and remembered by followers of the tradition today worldwide.
The current - 16th Acharya of Pushtimarg is Shree Ranchhodlalji Goswami. He was born in 1993 in Ahmadabad, Gujrat, India. At a young age, he showed a keen interest in spirituality and was initiated into Pushtimarg by his guru, Shree Vrajnathji Maharaj.
Shree Ranchhodlalji Goswami has dedicated his life to the promotion and propagation of Pushtimarg, and has written numerous books on the philosophy and teachings of Vallabhacharya. He has also established various institutions and temples across India, including the Shree Navneetkrushna Haveli (Shri Navnit Krishna Mandir) - KOCHI.
Under his leadership, the Pushtimarg community has grown and flourished, with devotees from all over the world coming to seek his guidance and blessings. Shree Ranchhodlalji Goswami is widely respected for his deep knowledge of Pushtimarg, his devotion to Lord Krishna, and his commitment to serving the community.
Various arts in pushtimarg.
Servings to ShriKrishna includes the textiles, flowers, food, music, art, decoratives, and many many other essentials as prescribed by Guru. These servings are artistic and skill based.
Pichwai art is one of the unique painting styles primarily used behind krishna swaroops and background . Many varitions of pchwai are served on various festivals, daily routine and seasonal cycles, such pichvais and saj sahitya are also decorative blends made up of various textiles, ambroideris and even jewels.
Various fine art skills are also seen in decorating aartis. Such aartis are decorsted with various geomatrical shapes and non geometrical drawings and designs. Hence importance of drawings and paintings is found in various blends. such traditions are also followrd in sanji Parampara in months of Bharda pad. Various crafts of paper, jwellary, clothes and flowers are served to lord during occations of Fulmandali, hindola, palna and Bangla manoraths.
The diety that is the idol of shri krishna is adorned with various jews, fabrics flowers and other prescious articles. The royal servings also includes various prescious toys, swings, thrones and many more artistic articles. The shringar Parampara includes various turbans and dwellings of shrikrishna according to various bhaavs, such turbans include pagh, tipara, mukut, paga, pheta, kirit, and many more. The jewelleries includes gold silver dimand emerald and other prescious stones. These singars are dwelled as per the traditions founded by ShriGusainji and other achryas.
Beside shringar, the divine shrine is also served with various food dishes prepared with traditional and pure recipies called samagree/bhog Parampara. Bhog means to absordb enjoyment. These bhog samagries are prepared according to ‘paak shashtra’ traditions according to various times and festivals. KhatRas - that is six flavours of Madhur(sweet), aml(acid), kshar(salt), tikht(spicy), kashay(non salty) and katu(bitter) are served with balaced diet.
Many performing arts are significant mediums of serving lord krishna. Since devarshi Narad to vishnuswami, then to Bilvamangalacharya, then to shree vallabacharya and their after also in Pustimarg - kirtan Parampara flows divinly since thousand of years. The importance of kirtan seva is prescribed in bhagwad purana to narad panchratna everewhere. Here the specific sangeet shashtra is compulsory to practice and provide perfect and expressing divine entertaining services to provide hapiness to the lord.
It includes literature prescribed as Vishnu pad, dhruv pad and other bhakti journas of Indian classical music. It includes various raagas (melodies), swaravalis (musical notes), taal (musical cycles),and prabandh (the composition). Such blends of pure ,ancient ,traditional and devotinal classical music is also called haveli sangeet in some areas of Gujarat. Later in 1950’s this name was given to this journa by Aakash vani. Pushtimargiya kirtan pranalika includes the principals of traditional classical music. It includes Nyasa, Apnyasa, Swar, gram, murchhana and other concepts of Raaga theory. According to it daily time cycle and seasonal cycle has also to be maintained. For eg, raagas like bhairav, bibhas, raam kali, devgandhar etc are sung in the dawn period, raagas like todi aasawari, Bilawal, dhanyashree, are used for late morning period, raagas like Sarang and its varitions are sung in noon time and raagas like purvi govari nat are used pre dusk period where as post dusk bihag kalyan kedar adana are used.
Night raagas such as malkos naiki etc are sung, similarly seasonal cycles includes raaagas such as megh malhar in rains, vasant is spring and others like wise. Various instruments are also used in various differend times and season as priscribed in Pushti traditions, to name few are pakhawaj, jaanj, tanpura, sarangi, veena etc. are used daily.
Seasonal instruments are upang, chanf , nagara, kinnari, madal, etc.
Various dance and drama forms such jogi leela, dhadhi leela, Daan leela etc are also a part of haveli culture.
The literature used in haveli kirtans are ‘pashyanti vani’ that is divine experiences experessed by various bhagwadi and bhakts. These compositions are purely classical and melodiously composed. Geet Govinda of jaydevji, poems of bilvamangalacharya and other ashtapadis written and composed by shri gusaiji, shri hariraiji and other masters are used as Sanskrit prabandha which is an important jounra of haveli sangeet. Kirtan parampara also includes literary and music comotitions of ashta chhap namely, surdas Parmanand das, krishnadas , kumbhan das, Govind swami, cheet swa mi, chadrubhuj das and nand das. Apart from these kirtans composed by HitHarivanshji, haridas swami tansen, Harinarayan shyamdas, dhondhikalavant, ras khan and many other divinely experienced bhaktas are also sung before the divine shrine of lord krishna. Haveli sangeet / kirtan parampara is the purest ancient traditional form of dhrupad dhamar custom and the base for other journas of classical music like khayal, thumri, chaiti, gori, jhula, etc.
Pustimarg is path of grace and graceful attrations of pustimarg are its traditional festivals. Various festivals celebrated according to fixed miti(dates) are called Parvas. They are Rakhshabandhan, dushera, thakurani teej, diwali, holi etc . Other forms of festivals are celebration days of anniversaries and occations called utsavs. They are NandMahotsav, Annakutotsav etc. It also includes birth dates of achryas such as Mahaprabhuji utsav, Gusainji utsav etc. The another occations which are celebrated on divine wishes for servings to shrikrushna by present achryas are called manoraths. They can be named Kunvara, chhapanbhog and others. There are seasonal celebrations of Vasant(spring), varsha(Rain), Grishma(summer), sheet(winter) etc also. All of these utsav, manorath and parvas are celebrated as per culture, customs and traditions in prescribed way with multi dimentional music, art and other forms with devotional feeling of serving the supreme lord.