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Shree Nimbarka
Born620-690 CE
West India
PhilosophyHindu philosophy, Dvaitadvaita, Vedanta

Nimbarka or also known as Nimbāditya was a pre-Śaṅkara Vaiṣṇava leader. He is primarily known for having founded the Kumara Sampradaya and propounded the Svābhāviki-bhedābheda or Dvaitādvaita school of thought. He is known to be the disciple of the Four Kumaras having been initiated into the Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa mantra by them. He is regarded as the incarnation of Sudarśana, Lord Viṣṇu's disc weapon.

Early years

According to tradition, Nimbārka was born in Vaidūryapattanam, the present-day Mungi Village, Paithan in East Maharashtra. His parents were Aruṇa Ṛṣi and Jayantī Devī. Together, they migrated to Mathurā and settled at what is now known as Nimbagrāma (Neemgaon), situated between Barsānā and Govardhan.


According to the Bhavishya Purana, and his eponymous tradition, the Nimbārka Sampradāya, Śrī Nimbārkāchārya appeared in the year 3096 BCE, when the grandson of Arjuna was on the throne. Nimbarka is conventionally dated at the 12th or 13th century, but this dating has been questioned, suggesting that Nimbarka lived somewhat earlier than Shankara, in the 6th or 7th century CE.

According to Roma Bose, Nimbarka lived in the 13th century, on the presupposition that Śrī Nimbārkāchārya was the author of the work Madhvamukhamardana.[1][note 1] Bhandarkar has placed him after Ramanuja, suggesting 1162 AD as the date of his demise.[2] S.N.Dasgupta dated Nimbarka to around middle of 14th century,[3] while S. A. A. Rizvi assigns a date of c.1130–1200 AD.[4]

According to Satyanand, Bose's dating of the 13th century is an erroneous attribution,[5] Malkovsky notes that in Bhandarkar's own work it is clearly stated that his dating of Nimbarka was an approximation based on an extremely flimsy calculation; yet most scholars chose to honour his suggested date, even until modern times.[6] According to Malkovsky, the latest scholarship has demonstrated with a high degree of clarity that Nimbarka and his immediate disciple Shrinivasa flourished well before Ramanuja (1017–1137 CE), arguing that Shrinivasa was a contemporary, or just after Sankaracarya (early 8th century).[6] Ramnarace, after critically analyzing the available research, concludes that Nimbarka must be dated in the 7th century CE.[7]


ange tu vame vrishabhanujam muda, virajmanamanurupasaubhagamsakhi
sahasraih parisevitam sada, smarema devim sakaleshtakamadam

"To the left hand side of Goloka Bihari is the daughter of King Vrishabhanu, Sri Radha, who is as beautiful as the Lord and is worshipped by thousands of handmaidens. She fulfills the wishes of all. Sri Kishori is eternally remembered as Sri Ji."

Sri Nimbarkacharya, on the worship of the divine couple, in, Dasha Shloki[8]

Sri Nimbarkacharya wrote the following books:

  • Vedanta Parijata Saurabh– Commentary on the Brahma Sutras
  • Sadachar Prakasha– Commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita
  • Rahasya Shodasi- Sri Gopala Mantra explained
  • Prapanna Kalpa Valli-Sri Mukunda Mantra explained
  • Prapatti Chintamani– On Supreme surrender
  • Pratah Smarana Stotram
  • Dasa Shloki or Kama Dhenu– Ten Verses
  • Savisesh Nirvisesh
  • Sri Krishna Stavam

His most famous work is the Vedānta-pārijāta-saurabha, commentary on the Brahma-sūtras. It is peculiar in that it does not critic any of the other philosophical schools of India.[note 2]


  1. Bose: "There is a manuscript called " Madhva -mukha-mardana", a criticism of Madhva's religion, attributed to Nimbarka. This places Nimbarka after Madhva, provided the work is really by Nimbarka. The fact that the manuscript is not lent to anybody by the followers of Madhva, perhaps prevented us as well from having it, no reply even being given to our enquiries. It seems Nimbarka undertook the work because it was Madhva's immediate influence upon the people which he had to fight against for making his own campaign successful. Thus, from internal evidences from well-known works by Nimbarka, we can definitely assert that Nimbarka oould not have flourished before Samkara, whereas we are led to think, on the evidence of the manuscript mentioned above, that he did not flourish also before Madhva; i.e. not before the 13th century A.D.[1]
  2. Satyanand (1997:81) proffers two criteria to establish whether or not a Brahma-sūtra commentary is pre-Śaṅkara:A pre-Śaṁkara bhāṣya has, therefore, a two-fold characteristic. First of all, a pre-Śaṁkara bhāṣyakāra is unaware of the points that Śaṁkara raises against his doctrines. Secondly, a pre-Śaṁkara bhāṣyakāra is also unaware of the typical Śaṁkarite doctrines such as Brahma-vivartavāda, Avidyāvāda, Pratibimbavāda,etc., against which he is unable to raise any objections, since he is anterior to Śaṁkara. Among the extant vṛttis on the Brahmasūtras, the [Vedāntapārijāta-]Saurabha alone has this double characteristic.[7]


Printed sources


  1. 1.0 1.1 Bose 1940.
  2. R.G.Bhandarkar, Vaisnavism, Saivaism and minor Religious system (Indological Book House, Varanasi, India) page 62-63
  3. A History of Indian Philosophy (Vol. 3) by Surendranath Dasgupta, (Cambridge: 1921) page 420
  4. Saiyed A A Rizvi- A history of Sufism in India, Vol.1 (Munshi Ram Manoharlal Publishing Private Limited: 1978), page 355
  5. Satyanand, J. Nimbārka: A Pre-Śaṅkara Vedāntin and his philosophy, Varanasi, 1997
  6. 6.0 6.1 Malkovsky, B. The Role of Divine Grace in the Soteriology of Śaṁkarācārya, Leiden: Brill, p.118
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ramnarace 2014, p. 180.
  8. Literature, Nimbark. "Nimbark Philosophy". AKHIL BHARATIYA NIMBARKACHARYA PEETH SALEMABAD, RAJASTHAN. Retrieved 1 January 2009. 

External links