The Rudra Sampradaya


According to Sree Vishnuswami the individual soul (jiva) is a constituent part of the Substantive Reality (vastu); the power of the vastu is maya; the activity of the vastu is the world; none of these being separate from the ‘Vast’.

The first point to be noticed in this connection is that Vishnuswami does not identify the individual soul ( jiva) with the Brahman; neither does he conceive of the individual soul ( jiva) as independent of the Brahman. His metaphor to bring out the relationship between the two, is that of the sparks of a great fire and the fire from which the sparks issue. Therefore, in the Scriptures the individual soul (jiva) has been sometimes called the Brahman, being qualitatively the same; and in other passages the individual soul (jiva) has been differentiated from the Brahman. In the next place the world being the activity of the Brahman, is also real and eternal. The origin and dissolution of the world as found in the Scriptures, mean its temporary disappearance but not substantive loss. The world is the unchanged transformation of the Brahman, just as the different ornaments made of gold are unchanged gold. Godhead, according to Vishnuswami, is the Embodiment of existence, self-consciousness and bliss in the embrace of the twin powers of ‘Hladini’ (that which delights and is delighted) and ‘Samvit’ (that which knows and makes known), as distinct from the bound soul who is, on the other hand, the source of all misery and enveloped in nescience. In his state of pure monistic consciousness the soul (jiva) is established in the relationship of servant to Godhead, which is the natural condition for the soul (jiva) who in the pure state is a fractional part of the whole, viz., Godhead. Godhead is the Lord of ‘maya’ the soul (jiva) is subduable by the deluding or limiting energy (maya). Godhead is self-manifest and transcendental bliss. The soul (jiva), although also self-manifest by reason of his being an integral part of the Whole, is located in the plane of misery, due to his attachment for a second entity besides Godhead. Godhead is ever free and never submits to any adjunctive modifications. He is possessed of transcendental qualities, is all-knowing, all-powerful, the Lord of all, the Regulator of all, the Object of worship of all, the Awarder of the fruit of all actions, the Abode of all beneficent qualities and substantive existence, consciousness and bliss.

Sree Vishnuswami following in the footsteps of Sree Rudra, was the worshipper of Sree Panchashya (Man-lion). He admits the Bodily Form of Godhead made of the principles of existence, consciousness and bliss, and the eternal co-existence of worship, worshipper and the worshipped. In his own words ‘the emancipated also, playfully assuming bodily forms, serve the Lord’. The main authorities recognized by the Vishnuswami community (sampradaya) are ‘Nrisimha  tapani,’ ‘Sreemad Bhagavatam’and ‘Sree Vishnupuranam’ Of the works of Vishnuswami himself the ‘sarbajna sukta’ alone is mentioned. The Vishnuswami school counts very few adherents at the present day. Sree Vallabhacharya, although he calls himself his follower, differs in certain respects from the views of Sree Vishnuswami.