What is Pushtimarg?

Pushtimarg (The Path of Grace) is a Vaishnav sect of the Hindu religion, founded by Shreemad Vallabhacharyaji (known as Shree Mahaprabhuji) around 1500 AD. Shree Vallabhacharyaji is one of the five main Acharyas of the Hindu Religion. The other four being Shree Shankaracharya, Shree Ramanujacharya, Shree Madhavacharya and Shree Nimbarkacharya. These acharyas have a very significant contribution towards the revival of the Bhakti movement and upbringing of the Hindu Religion. Shree Mahaprabhuji propagated the philosophy of Shuddhadvaita which forms the basis of Pushtimarg devotional practice.

Brief History of Shree Mahaprabhuji

Shree Vallabhacharyaji was born into a very noble and learned Brahmin family in South India. Shree Vallabhacharyaji’s ancestors had a very staunch religious background and included learned Brahmins like Shree Yagnanarayan Bhatt and Shree Ganapati Bhatt who wrote several books on religion and devotion. Shree Vallabhacharyaji was the second son of Shree Lakshman Bhattji and Smt. Illammagaruji. Their ancestors had performed several Somyagnas and Shree Lakshman Bhattji completed 100 Somyagnas. Shree Yagnanarayanji was blessed by Lord Vishnu, that on completion of 100 Soma-yagnas, Lord himself would incarnate in his family.

Thus when 100 Soma-yagnas were complete, Shree Lakshman Bhattji went to Kashi to accomplish his vow of feeding 1.25 lakhs Brahmins. He could not complete this task as there were political disturbances in Kashi. On his way southwards he halted at a place called Champaran. There Illmmagaruji gave birth to a still baby which they kept under a tree and proceeded ahead. On the same night Shree Lakshman Bhattji heard a heavenly voice ordering him to go back to the baby and pick it up as it was misunderstood to be a still born. That baby was no ordinary one, but Shree Vallabh had taken birth. On reaching the spot where they had kept the baby, they found the baby encircled by a divine fire as a protecting spirit.

Shree Vallabh was a brilliant and extra-ordinary child. He finished studying all the Vedas and all the prominent scriptures at a very early age. At the age of 11 he began his pilgrimage. During the second pilgrimage, Lord Krishna appeared in the form of Lord Shreenathji in front of him and ordered him to establish Pushtimarg and promulgate the pushti kind of devotion among the chosen ones and bring them back to their original state in God’s own domain. i.e. Vaikunth or Golok-dham. The question in Shree Vallabh’s mind was that the divine souls in this world are highly influenced by the materialistic world and their souls and body have lost the kind of purity that is needed for their reunion with the Supreme entity i.e. Lord Krishna.

On Shravan Sud Ekadashi Shree Mahaprabhuji along with Damodardas Harsaniji were at Gokul on the banks of Shree Yamunaji. At Govind Ghat Shree Mahaprabhuji was puzzled by a thought. How do the divine beings get an opportunity to serve Shreeji in this Kaliyug? At about midnight Shree Nathji appeared and ordained Shree Mahaprabhuji, that to whomever you or your descendants will give this diksha(Brahmasambandh), I shall consider them my own and that soul who dedicates himself to me will start a new beginning to life and I will absolve their sins of the past and will never abandon that soul, after Brahmasambhand they should offer everything they partake to me first and then receive themselves.