Shankaracharya Order
(est. seventh century C.E.)
   The Shankaracharya Order is an order of renun-ciants said to have been founded by the great seventh-century VEDANTA philosopher SHANKARA (also known as Shankaracharya). It is formally known as the Dashanami (10 Names) Order, because its renunciants or SANNYASIS all take one of 10 names: Aranya, Ashrama, Bharati, Giri, Parvata, Puru, Sarasvati, Sagara, Tirtha, and Vana. They also add the affix ANANDA (transcendent bliss). Examples would be Brahmananda (he who has realized the bliss of BRAHMAN) Sarasvati and Agehananda (he who has realized bliss in home-lessness) Bharati.
   Shankaracharya’s aim was to establish a rigor-ously disciplined, intellectually capable group of mendicants who could challenge and defeat the Buddhists of his time and who would debate the theistic Hindus who clung to Vedic orthodoxy. He established four centers or MATHS in four parts of India for this purpose: the Vimala Pitha at Puri in Orissa, the Jyoti Matha in BADRINATH in the HIMALAYAS, the Kalika Pitha in DVARAKA in Gujarat, and the Sharada Pitha in Shringeri in Karnataka.
   It is still said that the Dashanamis of the Shan-karacharya Order are the most respected group of religious mendicants in India. They are highly learned in SANSKRIT and VEDANTA philosophy and often are educated in English as well. The order is devoted to noninjury and nonviolence; however, they hired militant mendicants carrying tridents to defend them against attacks by militant Vaish-navite SADHUS or mendicants. Battles between these groups are famous for their carnage. There are currently six “regiments” of Dashanami NAGAS, special naked renunciants who defend the faith.
   The heads of the four maths are all named Shankaracharya. They oversee extensive organiza-tions with schools and social outreach centers. These schools rely on a network of locally trained Sanskrit pandits, experts who train students in the traditions of Hinduism, making these maths a valuable cultural resource.
   Further reading: Austin B. Creel and Vasudha Naray-anan, eds., Monastic Life in the Christian and Hindu Traditions: A Comparative Study (Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 1990); Klaus K. Klostermaier, A Survey of Hinduism (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1990).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Holy Shankaracharya Order — (est. 1974)    The Holy Shankaracharya Order was founded in 1974 by Swami Lakshmy Devyashram (d. 1981), a disciple of Swami SHIVANANDA SARASWATI (1887–1963). Swami Lakshmy had started on a spiritual path alone when she met the late Shivananda,… …   Encyclopedia of Hinduism

  • Shankara — (seventh century C.E.)    founder of Vedanta philosophy    Shankara was the great seventh century philo sophical genius who created the first widely known school of VEDANTA. He is also known as Shankaracharya.    Shankara was born in Kerala to a… …   Encyclopedia of Hinduism

  • Yogananda, Paramahansa — (1893–1952)    kriya yoga teacher and founder of Self Realization Fellowship    The founder of the influential SELF REALIZATION FELLOWSHIP (SRF), Paramahansa Yogananda was one of the most successful missionaries for yoga in the West.    Born… …   Encyclopedia of Hinduism

  • Maharishi Mahesh Yogi — in 1973 Born Mahesh Prasad Varma 12 January 1917 Jabalpur, Central Provinces and Berar, British India …   Wikipedia

  • Jagadguru Swami Sri Bharati Krishna Tirthaji Maharaja — Jagadguru Swami Sri Bhārati Kŗşņa Tīrthaji Mahāraja (Sanskrit: जगद्गुरु स्वामि श्री भारती कृष्ण तीर्थजी महाराज; March, 1884 ndash; February 2, 1960) was the Jagadguru (literally, teacher of the world ; assigned to heads of Hindu mathas) of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Vasai — Infobox Indian Jurisdiction native name = Vasai | type = city | latd = 19.47 | longd = 72.8 locator position = right | state name = Maharashtra district = Thane leader title = leader name = altitude = 11 population as of = population total =… …   Wikipedia

  • Adi Shankara — with disciples. Born 788 CE Kalady, present day Kerala, India Died 820 CE …   Wikipedia

  • Naigaon — is the name of a railway station on the Mumbai suburban railway on the Western Railway (India) railway line. Naigaon is closely connected to Vasai Road. It mainly consists of Marathi speaking muslims,Hindus and Christians. The language spoken by… …   Wikipedia

  • Nigamananda — Swami Nigamananda स्वामी निगमानंद (Paramahansa Shrimad Swami Nigamananda Saraswati Deva) Born 18 August 1880(1880 08 18) Kutabpur, Nadia district (Now in Bangladesh) …   Wikipedia

  • Dal Lake — For the lake in Kangra district (Himachal Pradesh), see Dal Lake (Himachal Pradesh). Dal Lake डल झील Dal Lake and the shikaras Location Srinagar …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”