Pushti Marg FAQ


Pushti Marg - what philosophy is it ?
Shuddhadvita, pure monoism.

Which Hindu sect(s) does Pushti Marg cover ?
Pushti = path of grace and Rudra Marg = path of the Rudra

Who initiated the philosophy and marg ?
Vishnuswami is the initial proponent of the philosophy and later Shri Vallabhacharya revived it in 15th Century.

Which form of God do we worship ?
Krushna is the THE GOD of Pushti Marg.

Who is the Adi-Guru of the Pushti Marg ?
Yamunaji is the adi-guru.  She initiated Vallabhacharya in the marg.

Who are the current gurus of Pushti Marg ?
Male descendants of Shri Gusaiji are currently the official gurus of Pushti Marg.

How does someone get initiated into the Pushti Marg ?
Request for initiation has to be made to a balak from the Vallabh-kul.
2)    You have to fast for a day before the day of initiation.
3)    On the day of the initiation, offer yourself to Shri Krushna.
4)    Balak will give a “Brahma sambandh mantra” to initiate a relationship (sambandha) between you and God (Bhraman).

What is a BhramaSambandha mantra ?
This is the mantra recited at the time of initiation into Pushti Marg.

What is the aim of the marg ?
To realise that we are part and parcel of divine lila and thus regain the sat, chitt and ananda we have forgotten about over several lifetimes.

What are the unique features of Pushti Marg ?
Seva of Shri Krushna, comprising of Raag, Bhog and Shringar, as espoused by Shri Gusaiji are the unique feature of the marg.

What is Seva ?
Service offered out of love and devotion to God.  There is no compulsion and no insistence on it.  Desire to do seva must come from within for it to
be a transformational force in your own life.  There are different ways of doing the seva and these depend on your own bhava.

What is Raag in Pushti Marg ?
Raag refers to two things in Pushti Marg.  1st and foremost its "desire" or  "attachment" to God.  2nd type of raag is that of music.  Pushti marg
advanced the classical Dhrupad style of singing, popular in north India  around 15th Century.  Pushti Marg's own mode of Drupad style is now known
as "Haveli sangeet".

What is "bhog" in Pushti Marg ?
Bhog generally refers to the food offered to the deity in Pushti Marg.
Once the food has been offered and accepted by God, it is considered to be a sacrament and is referred to as "prasad".  
Bhog also means "enjoyment of worldly materials".  In Pushti Marg, everything, including material possessions, are first offered to god and than enjoyed as his prasad.

What is "shringar" in Pushti Marg ?
Shringar generally means "embellishments", such as jewellery and makeup.
In Pushti Marg, this goes beyond the narrow confines of jewellery and encompasses everything from soft furnishing, decor to clothes and general
"ambience" of the seva.

Who are the Vallabh-kul ?
Descendants of Shri Vallabh are the Vallabh-kul.

Who is the "Tilkayat" in Pushti Marg ?
Tilkayat is "first amongst his peers" in the line of Shri Vallabh and Shri Gusaiji.  In effect, Tilkayat is the male heir of Vallabh-kul entrusted with the seva of Shri Nathji.  As such the title of "Tilkayat" was given to the head of the sect by emperor Jahangir to denote "He who is offered the first Tilak" in a gathering of Vallabh-kul descendants.

Who are Balaks ?
Balaks are the male descendants of Shri Vallabh.

Who are Betijis ?
Betijis are the female descendants of Shri Vallabh.

Who are vahujis ?
Vahujis's are the dauther-in-laws married into the Vallabh-kul.

Who are Maharajs ?
Technically all adult Balaks can call themselves Maharajas.  This generally alludes to the opulent life style of some of the wealthiest balaks.
Generally, all balaks who control / run a major haveli and have a lot of disciples are respectfully referred to as Maharajas.

Who are JJs ?
JJ is generally used to refer to God in Pushti Marg.  Recently, this appellation is being applied Vallabh-kul  as well.

Who are the Ashta-chhap singers in Pushti Marg ?
They are the first eight singer of Pushti Marg, personally initiated by Shri Vallavh and Shri Gusaiji in 15th and 16th centuries.

What is Haveli Sangeet ?
Since its inception in the 15th century, Pushti marg has advanced the classical style of north Indian music called "Dhrupad".  Pushti Marg's own mode of Drupad style is now known as "Haveli sangeet".

What are Paadas ?
Paadas are hymns and poems sung in Pushti Marg to praise the Lord and his lilas.  Paadas written by the 15th Century astachap poets are considered to
be authentic accounts of their experiences of divine lila.  Paadas are sung in a classical Indian raagas in the Drupad style.  Paadas cover lilas as they would have been in every season, every time of the day and every range of emotion (bhava) a devotee can feel.  Paadas are usually short and punchy, delivering their message to God in an intense burst of emotions.
Padas are designed to be sung in the presence of the God during seva, either in the haveli or at home.
Paads are different from most "bhajans" in that they are usually upbeat and often describe the lila of the Lord or glorify God.  Rarely are they downbeat and rarely do they disparage their life or society around them.

What is kirtan ?
Kirtan is usually collective singing of God's name.  It's usually a repetitive singing of a series of divine names.  Kirtan is often a short verse of easy to remember and easy to repeat names of God or a short catchy hymn that can be sung easily by most people.  Kirtans are sung as part of congregational worship.

What is a Haveli ?
Temples of Pushti Marg are called Haveli.  Strictly speaking, Haveli is a mansion and where God lives is considered to be no less than a divine
mansion on earth.
Haveli is different from a temple in that it is often arranged and set out like a house rather than a temple.  It is usually a series of halls, rooms, open verandas and courtyards drawing you into the heart of the building.
Haveli is often a working home of a resident Balak and his extended family.

Why are there eight darshan times at a Haveli ?
Unlike a temple, Haveli is considered to be a "home" of the deity.  As such, deity is busy with his daily life and only gives darshan at specific times when he is relaxing in his sitting room. Usually these times coincide with a meal of some sort.

What is Arti ?
Arti is (a collection of) lamps that are waved in a clockwise direction in front of the deity to remove the "evil eye".  Number of lamps included in
the arti usually depends on the time of day and festival.  (OR IS IT USUALLY 5 NO MATTER WHAT ?)

How many times is arti offered to the Lord
In a typical day, arti is offered six times a day.  Dhoop is offered once a day.
Unlike typical Hindu sects, arti is not "taken" by the laity.  It is an express of intense longing and hence not shared.

How old is Pushti Marg ?
Pushti Marg, as envisioned by Shri Vallabh, was founded in 1492 AD. 



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