The Necessity of Disciplic succession (or parampara)

The Necessity of Disciplic succession (or parampara)
Bhaskarananda Das

What is meant by disciplic succession? It is the process of transmitting spiritual knowledge through the qualified teachers one after another without any break.

Bhagavad Gita knowledge is received through disciplic succession as stated in Gita itself in the beginning of the fourth chapter. ‘The Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasv?n, and Vivasv?n instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Ik?v?ku. This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in the course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it appears to be lost. That very ancient science of the relationship with the Supreme is today told by Me to you because you are My devotee as well as My friend and can therefore understand the transcendental mystery of this science.’ (Gita 4.1-4.3). Here clearly, Lord Sri Krishna is speaking Gita to Arjuna as the science of yoga was lost in due course of time and so he is interested in starting new disciplic succession. And also, another important point is that Lord Krishna is telling Gita to Arjuna as he is his devotee as well as his friend. This is very the proper attitude to understand the mystery of Gita. One has to hear Gita from Lord Krishna or his bonafide representative in the line of disciplic succession with all the submissiveness as Arjuna did. Then, one will see the real benefits of Bhagavad Gita.

And also, Padma Purana states ‘sampradayavihina ye mantras te nisphala matah or ‘Mantras which are not received in sampradaya are considered fruitless’. So connecting to a disciplic succession is a very important step in one’s spiritual life. Just like, one has to go to accredited University to study medicine. One can’t go to any person or institution without proper accreditation and claim that he is authorized to practice medicine.