process, realizing that, indeed, Śhrī Nimbārka was a divine incarnation. They henceforth referred to him as Śhrī Nimbārka Bhagavān and learned from him the truth of all existence. His parents happily remained in the āśhrama while the renounced Śhrī Nimbārka began his work. Accompanied by a few disciples, Śhrī Nimbārka set out on foot across the country, overnighting in the forests on the edge of villages and towns enroute. He departed in the springtime towards the north, passing Indra-prastha before having darśhana at Haridwar, Rishikesh, Gaṅgotri, Yamu-notri and finally at Śhrī Badrinātha. He then trekked to Śhrī Muktinātha and Dāmodarakuṇḍa high in the Himalayas. Having paid obeisance to the natural origin of all Śhālagrāmas at Dāmodarakuṇḍa and worshiped Śhrī Sarveśhvara Bhagavān with the holy waters of the lake, he turned southeast, aiming for Purī. As he was descending through the Himalayan foothills in what is now Assam, his disciples made camp on the banks of the vast Brahmaputra River. They rested a few days there, reacclimatizing to the heat of the plains, observ-ing the river in its autumnal spate. Purifying Footprints: the Spiritual Revival of Bhārata One afternoon as Śhrī Nimbārka was walking on the banks of the river, he heard the desperate cries for help of nearly 100 people on a large mer-chant vessel that was sinking in the middle of the raging waters. As he watched, the boat sank and the people were adrift in the dangerous rap-ids. Helplessly looking on, one disciple noticed that Śhrī Nimbārka was nowhere to be seen. The next second, cries of relief and amazement filled the air as the boat magically reemerged. Śhrī Nimbārka was seated in the middle of the now buoyant vessel. He helped all those who were swept away back onto the boat and guided it safely to shore. The grateful sur-vivors sought to reward Śhrī Nimbārka with great sums of money, but the renounced āchārya asked them instead to use the wealth to help the poor and destitute in the area. They all became his disciples. It is thought that some of them are ancestors of Śhrīmanta Śhaṅkaradeva, the found-er of the later Mahāpuruxīya Dharma in the 15th century, of which the Śhrībhaṭṭa Devāchārya (c.1440-1520) was the first-ever author to compose Vāṇī poetry in Braj Bhāṣhā, and was an inspiration to other nascent Vaiṣhṇava traditions in Braj at that time. His disciple, Śhrī Harivyāsa Devāchārya (c.1470-1540), was a great reformer who charged his 12 main disciples with spreading the tradition throughout Bhārata. Śhrī Paraśhurāma Devāchārya (1525-1607) was anointed as the next leader of the sampradāya out of those 12. He performed austerities in Rajasthan near Lake Pushkar, worked tirelessly to eradicate fanaticism and promoted interreligious dia-logue in the late 16th century, being in close proximity to the tomb of the Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti. Successors of Paraśhurāma’s lineage are the Jagadgurus of the entire Nimbārka Sampradāya. Paraśhurāma’s elder god-brother, Śhrī Svabhūrāma Devāchārya, sim-ilarly worked to eradicate fanaticism and protected Hindus, establish-ing 52 centres in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Mathura. A sizeable number of modern Nimbārkīs are part of his branch. Another famous monk among the 12 disciples was Śhrī Uddhavaghamaṇḍa Devāchārya, who initiated the Rāsa Līlā performances of the pastimes of Śhrī Rādhā-Kṛiṣhṇa. Śhrī Mukundaśharaṇa Devāchārya was dispatched towards Mithilā, and there are still many followers in this sub-lineage. Today, followers of the Nimbārka Sampradāya are found throughout India, Nepal, Bangladesh and the diasporas. Hundreds of temples, mon-asteries, schools, orphanages, hospitals, clinics and libraries are main-tained by Nimbārkīs. The 48th Jagadguru Nimbārkāchārya, Swāmī Śhrī Rādhāsarveśhvaraśharaṇa Devāchārya Jī Mahārāja, presided over the dif-fuse tradition from the headquarters near Pushkar, in the village of Śhrī Nimbārka Tīrtha. He was instrumental in many intrafaith, interfaith and humanitarian initiatives, including the rebuilding of the birth-site tem-ple of Śhrī Nimbārka Bhagavān in Mūṅgī Paiṭhan. His Bhagavad-dhāma-praveśa took place on 14th January 2017 while this history was being written; and in the sidebar on page 48 we glimpse the passing on of the power of the paramparā to the 49th Jagadguru. There are many dedicated monks in this sub-lineage; among them, Śhrī Yugal Śaraṇ Brahmachārī has developed a world-famous ayurvedic center around his monastery, Pāṭnārāyaṇ Dhām, in Abu Road. Many householder devotees of the Paraśurāma sub-lineage also manage centers, and Keśhav Śharaṇ Śukla has recently opened a Nimbārkī temple in Boston, USA. From among the Śhrī Svabhūrāma sub-lineages, Swāmī Shri Gopāl Śharaṇ Devāchārya ( H induism T oday ’ s Hindu of the Year in 2009) has inspired dozens of Hindu temples serving the Indian diaspora in the West, especially in the U.K., Canada, USA and Germany, while found-ing the Śhrī Golok Dhām Āśhrams in Delhi and Vrindavan. The Kāṭhiyā Bābā sub-lineage is renowned for the monks’ strict ascetic rules, includ-ing wearing a chastity belt made from wood. Swāmī Śhrī Rāśh Behārī Dās Kāṭhiyā Bābā of this tradition is well known internationally, and has cen-ters in Bengal and Bangladesh, as does Swāmī Śhrī Vṛindāvana Behārī Dās Kāṭhiyā Bābā. Swāmī Mohan Śharaṇ Devāchārya (Bal Sant) has developed religious centers in Nepal around Chatarā Dhām. In the lineage of Śhrī Devāchārya Jī, followers of Swāmī Śhrī Haridās Jī are prevalent in vast numbers in Vṛindāvana, with ancient centers at Ṭaṭiyā Sthān Āśhram, Gorilāl Kuñj, Swāmī Haridās Sevā Sansthān and others. These and other numerous notable monks, along with scholars such as Prof. Vaidyanāth Jhā, Prof. R. V. Joshi and Prof. Madan Mohan Agarwal, Kathā preachers such as Śhrī Devakīnandan Ṭhākur, Śhrī Morarī Bāpū, priests and householder devotees have drawn their spiritu-al inspirations from the work of Śhrī Nimbārka Bhagavān. july/august/september, 2017 hinduism today 45 brahma ch ari vrajvih ari sh aran Left: The Śhrī Rādhā Golokavihārī Bhagavān Mandir at Shri Golok Dham Ashram in New Delhi. Right: Pictured at a flag-hoisting ceremony during the Ujjain Kumbh Mela (left to right): the 48th Jagadguru Nimbārkāchārya Śhrī Śhrījī Mahārāj of blessed memory; Swāmī Govind Dev Giri Jī (founder of the renowned Maharshi Ved Vyas Pratishthan and numerous Vedic colleges); and the newly enthroned 49th Jagadguru Nimbārkāchārya, Śhrī Śhyām Śharaṇ Devāchārya Jī Śhrī Śhrījī Mahārāj.