Q. I thought that Sampradaya applies only to those initiated in disciplic succession (according to BG AS IT IS). For eg. I am not initiated in the ISKCON sampradaya at present. But I don’t think that it would be right if I claim to be part of the sampradaya. My question arises due to the fact that even though Srila Bhaktivinod Thakura is not the initiating guru of Gaura Kishora dasa babaji maharaja but still he appears in our sampradaya. Actually Gaurakishora dasa babaji maharaja is disciple of Srila Bhagavata Dasa Babaji who is a disciple of Srila Jagganatha Dasa Babaji (the spiritual master of Srila Bhaktivinod Thakura).

A. One can be considered to be part of a sampradaya if one receives instructions and faithfully adheres to those instructions according to the sampradaya. Initiation into the sampradaya is a formalization of the acceptance of the teachings and instructions of that sampradaya. In our particular disciplic succession, the lineage is traced by the source of primary instruction that one receives. Another way of saying the same thing is that our disciplic line is a siksa line, not a diksa line. You most certainly can be considered part of the sampradaya if you receive instructions from Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. He is your primary siksa guru and others may also be guiding you very nicely in your spiritual progress. This is what constitutes being part of a sampradaya. At some point in time diksa will formally connect you with the disciplic succession, but you may very well be presently part of this sampradaya by taking primary instruction from Srila Prabhupada’s books and teachings.