sampradaya-vihina ye mantras te nisphala matah
atah kalau bhavisyanti catvarah sampradayinah
sri-brahma-rudra-sanakah vaisnavah ksiti-pavanah
catvaras te kalau bhavya hy utkale purusottamat
ramanujam sri svicakre madhvacaryam caturmukhah
sri visnusvaminam rudro nimbadityam catuhsanah
Any mantra that does not come in disciplic succession is considered to be useless. Therefore, four divine individuals will appear in the age of Kali to found disciplic schools. The founders of these four Vaisnava sampradayas are Laksmi, Brahma, Rudra and Sanaka Rishi, and their teachings will spread from Purusottama (Jagannatha Puri) in Orissa. Ramanuja was chosen by Goddess Laksmi to represent Her sampradaya; Madhvacarya was chosen by the four-headed Brahma; Visnusvami was chosen by Rudra and Nimbaditya was chosen by the four Kumaras. (Padma Purana)
The Gaudiya sampradaya of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has its foundation in the disciplic succession of spiritual masters descending originally from the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna Himself who disseminated divine knowledge to Brahma, who in turn passed on that knowledge to his disciple Narada. In this way transcendental truth has descended into this world through a chain of perfected spiritual masters to the present day.