Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
Accurate biographies are difficult to find, yet authorities agree that Sri Nimbarkacarya preached Krishna consciousness about three-hundred years before the advent of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
In Navadvipa Dhama Mahatyam, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that Nimbarka had previously worshiped Lord Siva in Bilva Paksha, Rudradvipa (Navadvipa). Lord Siva appeared before Nimbarka instructing him to take initiation from the four Kumaras, who were meditating nearby. Nimbarka received Radha Krishna mantra and continued living in Navadvipa.
Following the teachings of the Sanat-Kumara Samhita, he worshiped Radha and Krishna with great love. Soon Radha and Krishna appeared before Nimbarka. Then the Divine Couple displayed Their unified form as Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu.
Lord Gauranga said, “Nimbarka, in the future when I begin My sankirtana movement I will personally preach the perfect transcendental philosophy of acintya-bheda-abheda-tattva. I will take the essence of the philosophies of Madhva, Ramanuja, Vishnuswami.
“From you, Nimbarka, I will take two important principles:
(1) The necessity of taking shelter of Srimati Radharani.
(2) The high esteem of the Vraja gopis love for Sri Krishna.”
Lord Gauranga disappeared after instructing Nimbarka. Shedding tears of ecstasy, Nimbarka left Navadvipa to begin his preaching mission.
In Caitanya lila, Nimbarka reappeared as Keshava Kasmiri and received love of Godhead directly from Nimai Pandit.
There are striking similarities between the Gaudiyas and Nimbarkas. The followers of Nimbarka accept the six forms of surrender, practice the nine limbs of bhakti, and believe in the dasa mula (ten cardinal points of Gaudiya philosophy). They also worship Radha and Krishna in Vrndavana.
They worship Srimati Radharani as the topmost devotee, and they accept the gopis love for Krishna is supreme. With beads, bhajans, and kirtans the Nimbarkas chant their version of the maha-mantra:
Radhe Krishna Radhe Krishna
Krishna Krishna Radhe Radhe,
Radhe Syama Radhe Syama,
Syama Syama Radhe Radhe.
In Vrndavana, about one mile from Govardhana, there is the village of Nimgaon, named after Nimbarkacarya, who lived there from childhood and later performed bhajana there. Many of Radha-Krishna’s pastime places in Vrndavana are now maintained by the Nimbarka sect.
In Mathura-Vrndavana, innumerable devotees follow Nimbarka’s path of bhakti. The Sriji Mandir, just off Loi Bazaar in Vrndavana, serves as the center of Nimbarka sampradaya.
Sri Nimbarka Acharya ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!