PLEASE TELL ME WAT IS THE DIFF BETWEEN THE VALLABHA SAMPRADAYA AND CHAITANYA SAMPRADAYA?I HAVE CONNECTIONS WITH BOTH AND I AM CONFUSED. - Rhea.
Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Shrila Vallabhacharya is the Acharya chosen by Shrila Vishnuswami who was in turn chosen by Lord Shiva to start a new Vaishnava sampradaya known as Rudra Sampradaya which is one of the four bonafide Vaishnava sampradayas in Kali Yuga.
Shrila Vallabhacharya met Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu many times in Puri Dhaam and also he fed Lord Gauranga at his home in Prayag. Seeing Lord Gauranga dancing in all the seven sankirtana parties simultaneously in the Puri Ratha Yatra, he firmly accepted Lord Gauranga as Lord Krishna Himself. By the mercy of Lord Gauranga, he ultimately got attracted by Kaishora Krishna lila. Earlier he worshiped Lord Krishna as a child. So he accepted initiation from Gadhadhara Pandita at Shri Tota Gopinath temple. But the modern followers of Shrila Vallabhacharya do not accept these facts about the meeting of Shrila Vallabhacharya and Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu and conveniently ignore it.
Unfortunately, the present followers address Shrila Vallabhacharya as Mahaprabhu which is wrong because Mahaprabhu can only be used for Lord Gauranga-Krishna, the source of all Vishnu Tattva, not for jiva tattva (souls) like Shrila Vallabhacharya, even if they are exalted Acharyas. Shrila Vallabhacharya never called himself Mahaprabhu but always used to address Lord Gauranga as Mahaprabhu in Jagannatha Puri Dhaam.
The worship of the Deity of Lord Gopala of Shrila Madhavendra Puri is being performed by the devotee followers of Shrila Vallabhacharya at Nathdwara in Rajasthan, India, as Lord Shrinathji, but they do not publicly accept the fact that Lord Shrinathji is actually the Lord Gopala of Shripad Madhavendra Puri of the Gaudiya sampradaya. The whole of Shri Vrindavana Dhaam knows that it was Shripad Madhavendra Puri who found Lord Gopala in Shri Vrindavana Dhaam where the cow was pouring milk and installed Him on the top of Govardhan hill where the temple still stands but they say that some devotee called Sadhu Pande found Lord Gopala and then He was given to the Gaudiya Vaishnavas. Actually Lord Gopala was given to Shrila Vitthaleshvara dasa, the son of Shrila Vallabhacharya, by the six Goswamis of Vrindavana. Shrila Vitthaleshvara fully knew the glories of Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu.
So there are many intimate links between the Gaudiya and Vallabha sampradaya but unfortunately many in the modern Vallabha sampradaya do not recognize it publicly even though they may know this truth internally. We pray that someday they will accept the same truth which Shrila Vallabhacharya accepted in Shri Jagannatha Puri Dhaam that Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu is the self-same Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.