"Vyaasa Tiirtha's disciple" (Laksmipati) and "Krishna Chaitanya's
initiator's initiator" (Madhavendra Puri) are distinct individuals.
>There is no record of
>Vyaasa Tiirtha having had such a disciple, either.
Vyaasa Tiirtha must have had hundreds of disciples; were all of them
recorded? Apparently, B.N.K. Sharma knows of no such record:
"As for Vyasatirtha himself, there is nothing to show that he could
not have had a North Indian disciple of the name of Laksmipati, who
might have been initiated into the Bhakti Pantha, which he transmitted
to Madhavendra Puri and other monks obviously of an Advaitic order."
(Sharma, _History of the Dvaita School of Vedanta and Its Literature_,
>As such, the
>listing is prima facie incorrect, and is stated to be so by
>B.N.K. Sharma, et al.
Acutally, BNK Sharma does not in his _History of the..._ explicitly
say that the list is incorrect. I have already mentioned the above
statement that leaves open the possibility of Laksmipati being a
disciple of Vyaasa Tiirtha who then transmitted those teachings to
Advaitic monks. To further support the possibility of such a thing, Sharma
asserts "As a matter of fact, Madhva himself received orders from
Acyutapreksa, who for all practical purposes represented an Advaitic order...
In this way, Caitanya himself might have inherited the gospel of Bhakti from
his teacher Isvara Puri" (ibid).
BNK Sharma also points out that Vyaasa Tiirtha had many disciples
belonging to Advaitic orders. Of course, a "Puri" could not have been
ordained a yati by a Maadhva "Tiirtha", but then again, the Gaudiya
parampara never claims to consist only of sannyasa ordination links,
including instead any spiritual initiation; in some cases, such as
that of Bhaktivinoda Thakur and Gaura-kishora das Babaji, the link was
purely shiksha (many of the later links were not even ordained
sannyasis). Listing links in such a fashion should not be considered
unusual by Maadhvas, since Madhva lists only Vyaasa as his guru
despite having taken sannyasa-diksha from Acyutapreksha Tiirtha.
However, BNK Sharma feels that that it is more probable that the
Gaudiya bhakti movement came through Vishnu Puri, who would have been
a grand-disciple of Rajendra Tiirtha (well known to Maadhvas of the
Vyaasaraaja Matha; he apparently headed North and never returned to
South India). However, Sharma does not explicitly rule out the former
link; he only states a Puri "could not have _belonged_ to the Madhva
_order_" (ibid; emphasis Sharma's), which must mean the order of
>Besides, the sannyaasii-s of the Gaudiya
>tradition follow rules very similar to those of the Ramanuja tradition
>(wearing the sacred thread, reciting the Gayatri, being tri-daNDi,
>etc.), but dissimilar in all these respects to those of the Maadhva or
>Advaita traditions. This is further evidence against the claimed
>link, for if the claimed link were authentic, the practices would be
>identical to that of Maadhva sannyaasii-s.
Actually, parivrajaka sannyaasa in the Gaudiya tradition had
practically ceased to exist for several generations in the Gaudiya
line and was restarted by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami
Prabhupada, who sought to further daivi-varNaashrama. I don't know if
the prior Gaudiya sannyaasis followed the Maadhva or Raamanuja
traditions. [I suppose this could be determined by looking at the
paintings at Ruupa Goswami's samadhi and seeing if he wore a sacred
thread or not]. In any case, sannyasa-diksha was not considered the
primary definition of links in the Gaudiya parampara, so this is
hardly an issue -- the most that can be claimed is the same as Sharma
states, that these yatis cannot "_belong_ to a Madhva _order_." This
could also be determined in other ways, such as the fact that Gaudiya
sannyasis are not hindered from crossing the ocean or bathing with
water obtained from plumbing systems (as opposed to only natural