The first preceptor of the Nimbarka Sampraadaya was Sri Hamsa Bhagawan. He was invoked by Lord Brahma to enlighten the Sanakadi Quaternity (Sanaka, Sanandan, Sanatana and Sanat Kumar, the sons of Bramha) onBrahma Tattva (The Supreme Knowledge). Sri Hamsa Bhagawan is an incarnation of the Lord Himself and epitomizes wisdom. He condescended on the earth for the well-being of mankind. The Sampraday, hence, was initially known as Sri Hamsa Sampraday. Sri Hamsa Bhagawan instated the Sanakadi Quaternity into the Guru Parampara of the Sampraday. This inscribes the beginning of the Sanakadi Sampraday or Kumara Sampraday. Thereafter, Sri Narad Bhawan was inducted into the Acharya Guru Parampara of the Sampradaya who was followed by Sri Nimbarkacharya. The Nimbarka Sampradaya derives its nomenclature from Him. The Nimbarka Sampradaya emerged in the azure firmament of spirituality as a beacon of hope for millions of agonized mortals. The word “Nimbarka” speaks volumes about the cardinal attribute of the sect. The word Nimbarka has been derived from two other words, viz. Nimba (i.e. Neem Tree which is known for the bitter taste of its leaves) and Arka (i.e. Sun). The word portends the rise of the sect as the resplendent sun (Arka) which, by virtue of its radiance, would allay the bitterness (an attribute of Nimba) unleashed by the material world.
The Nimbarka Sampradaya has a rich lineage of Acharyas who are well acclaimed for their spiritual perseverance. The 50th Acharya of the sect, Sri Indradasji Maharaj, was instructed by his preceptor to don a wooden girdle around his waist, as a means of spiritual penance. Over the years his descendents have sustained this practice of wearing the girdle. The Acharyas of the Nimbarka Sampraday, thereafter, have acquired fame as Kathia Baba.