The Divine Light Mission/Elan Vital was founded by Sri Hans Maharaj Ji (1900-1966) in the 1930’s in India. When Maharaj Ji died Prem Pal Singh Rawat , the youngest of 4 sons and only 8 years old at the time declared himself to be his father’s spiritual successor and a satguru or Perfect Master. The movement based on yoga and meditation practices has restructured considerably and considers it self a secular personal-growth movement and not a religious organization.

Gandhi’s Satyagraha was started by Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1947) who is probably the best known Indian of the 20th Century. He was primarily an educator and reformer. His ultimate aim was to re-establish Rama-rajya, the reign of Lord Rama-or, in more Western terms, the “kingdom of God on Earth.” His means to free India from British Rule was satyagraha (grasping the truth) based on ahimsa (non-violence) with an unswerving faith in God. He followed many orthodox practices and was particularly fond of the Bhagavad Gita.

The Gaudiya Math was founded by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja (1869-1936) in 1918 creating a modern institution dedicated to promote Vaishnavism. The original Gaudiya Math was now divided into several Maths with different names and spiritual leaders but with almost identical philosophy and practices.

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) or the Hare Krishna Movement as it is commonly called was founded by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami (called Srila Prabhupada by his followers) in 1966. The Hare Krishna movement is a strand of Gaudiya (Bengali) Vaishnavism belonging to the Madhva Sampradaya one of the main Vaishnava traditions. It is based on teachings of a great Vaishnava saint Chaitanya (1486-1534), considered an incarnation of Radha and Krishna. He opposed the rigid caste system by widely popularizing the congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra and by creating brahmanas from those born of lower varnas (castes). Chaitanya and his followers presented a unique Vaishnava doctrine called Acintya Bheda Abheda Tattva, which means that the Supreme Being is inconceivably and simultaneously one and different from His Creation and the Individual Soul, which was meant to bring to a closure the philosophical differences between the Advaita and Dvaita traditions.

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