This category has the following 10 subcategories, out of 10 total.
Pages in category "Ascetics"
The following 68 pages are in this category, out of 68 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
This category has the following 10 subcategories, out of 10 total.
The following 68 pages are in this category, out of 68 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Asceticism – Asceticism is a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from worldly pleasures, often for the purpose of pursuing spiritual goals. Asceticism is classified into two types, Asceticism has been historically observed in many religious traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism and Judaism. Mainstream Islam has lacked asceticism, except for its minority Sufi sect whose long tradition has included strict asceticism, the practitioners of these religions eschewed worldly pleasures and led an abstinent lifestyle, in the pursuit of redemption, salvation or spirituality. Asceticism is seen in the ancient theologies as a journey towards spiritual transformation, where the simple is sufficient, the bliss is within, the adjective ascetic derives from the ancient Greek term askēsis, which means training or exercise. The original usage did not refer to self-denial, but to the training required for athletic events. Its usage later extended to rigorous practices that are used in all religious traditions, in varying degrees to attain redemption. Asceticism has been classified into natural and unnatural forms of asceticism, natural asceticism is defined as a lifestyle where material aspects of life are reduced to utmost simplicity and minimum. This may include minimal, simple clothing, sleeping on floor or caves, natural asceticism, state Wimbush and Valantasis, does not include maiming the body or harsher austerities that make the body suffer. Self-discipline and abstinence in some form and degree are parts of religious practice within many religious, ascetic lifestyle is associated particularly with monks, nuns, fakirs in Abrahamic religions, and bhikkhus, munis, sannyasis, yogis in Indian religions. Christian authors of antiquity such as Origen, St. Jerome, St. Ignatius, John Chrysostom. Scriptural examples of asceticism could be found in the lives of John the Baptist, Jesus, the twelve apostles, the Dead Sea Scrolls revealed ascetic practices of the ancient Jewish sect of Essenes who took vows of abstinence to prepare for a holy war. An emphasis on a religious life was evident in both early Christian writings and practices. Other Christian practitioners of asceticism include individuals such as Simeon Stylites, Saint David of Wales, according to Richard Finn, much of early Christian asceticism has been traced to Judaism, but not to traditions within Greek asceticism. Some of the thoughts in Christianity nevertheless, Finn states, have roots in Greek moral thought. Virtuous living is not possible when an individual is craving bodily pleasures with desire, the deserts of the Middle East were at one time inhabited by thousands of Christian hermits including St. Anthony the Great, St. Mary of Egypt, and St. Simeon Stylites. In 963 CE, an association of monasteries called Lavra was formed on Mount Athos and this became the most important center of orthodox Christian ascetic groups in the centuries that followed. In the modern era, Mount Athos and Meteora have remained a significant center, sexual abstinence such as those of the Encratites sect of Christians was only one aspect of ascetic renunciation, and both natural and unnatural asceticism have been part of Christian asceticism. The natural ascetic practices have included simple living, begging, fasting and ethical practices such as humility, compassion, patience, such ascetic practices were linked to the Christian concepts of sin and redemption
2. Mohammad Yousaf Abu al-Farah Tartusi – Mohammad Yousaf Abu al-Farah Tartusi, Yousaf Abu al-Farrah Tartoosi or Abul Farah Tartusi was a popular Muslim Sufi saint. He is one of the ancestors of the Sufi Tariqahs which form an unbroken silsilah to the Islamic prophet Mohammad. Yousaf Abu-al Farah Tartusi belonged to Tartus, one of the most populated, as a result, ‘Tartusi’ became a part of his name. His name was Mohammad Yousaf and kuniyat was Abu al-Farah and he is rarely titled as Allaudin as well. His father was Shaikh Abdullah Tartusi, Abu-al Farah Tartusi died and was buried in Tartus, on 3 Shaaban 447 AH/28 October 1055 CE during the Abbasid Caliphate. His Mazar is still in Tartus, Syria and he was the Qutb of his time known for his Karamats. He was the owner of inspiring qualities influencing many devotees towards Islamic mysticism and he had such intense level of Tawakkul and Sabr that worldly matters did not concern him. He was an elevated saint possessing countless marvels and he gained Khilafat from Abu Al Fazal Abdul Wahid Yemeni Tamimi. He spent a lot of time in the service of his Murshid, following the steps of his Murshid, he served as a guide for humanity and continues benefitting seekers spiritually. It scares him, he comes when about wealth, but remains indifferent to the fact that irrevocably passing days of his life, oxford University Press, New York,1998. Tazkira Mashaikh Qadria, Mohammad Deen Kaleem, Noori Kutb Khana Lahore, tareekh Mashaikh Qadria, Mohammad Sadiq Kasuri, Zawia Publications Lahore, Pakistan. Tazkira Mashaikh Qadria Fazila, Asrar Al-Hasan Qadri, Tasawwuf Foundation Lahore, Pakistan, Abu Al Fazal Abdul Wahid Yemeni Tamimi International Qadiri Tariqah, Silsilah of the Qadiri Order
3. Eden ahbez – George Alexander Aberle, known as eden ahbez, was an American songwriter and recording artist of the 1940s to 1960s, whose lifestyle in California was influential on the hippie movement. He was known to simply as ahbe. Ahbez composed the song Nature Boy, which became a No.1 hit for eight weeks in 1948 for Nat King Cole, living a bucolic life from at least the 1940s, he travelled in sandals and wore shoulder-length hair and beard, and white robes. He camped out below the first L in the Hollywood Sign above Los Angeles and he slept outdoors with his family and ate vegetables, fruits, and nuts. He claimed to live on three dollars per week and he was then adopted, in 1917, by a family in Chanute, Kansas, and raised under the name George McGrew. During the 1930s, McGrew lived in Kansas City, where he performed as a pianist, in 1941, he arrived in Los Angeles and began playing piano in the Eutropheon, a small health food store and raw food restaurant on Laurel Canyon Boulevard. The cafe was owned by John and Vera Richter, who followed a Naturmensch and he recalled once telling a policeman, I look crazy but Im not. And the funny thing is that people dont look crazy. Their followers, known as Nature Boys and who included Gypsy Boots, wore long hair and beards and ate only raw fruits and vegetables. During this period, he adopted the name eden ahbez, choosing to spell his name with lower-case letters, claiming only the words God. During this period, he married Anna Jacobsen and had a son, ahbez was covered simultaneously in Life, Time, and Newsweek magazines. Frank Sinatra and Sarah Vaughan later released versions of the song, ahbez faced legal action from a Yiddish music composer, Herman Yablokoff, who claimed that the melody to Nature Boy came from one of his songs, Shvayg mayn harts. Ahbez claimed to have heard the tune in the mist of the California mountains, however, legal proceedings resulted in a payment to Yablokoff of $25,000 in an out-of-court settlement. Ahbez continued to supply Cole with songs, including Land of Love, in 1949, he gave Burl Ives the idea to cover Stan Jones Ghost Riders In The Sky after overhearing Jones recording his own version of the song. He worked closely with jazz musician Herb Jeffries, and, in 1954, the pair collaborated on an album, The Singing Prophet, the album was later reissued as Echoes of Eternity on Jeffries United National label. In the mid 1950s, he wrote songs for Eartha Kitt, Frankie Laine, in 1957, his song Lonely Island was recorded by Sam Cooke, becoming the second and final ahbez composition to hit the Top 40. In 1959, he began recording music, which combined his signature somber tones with exotic arrangements. He often performed bongo, flute, and poetry gigs at beat coffeehouses in the Los Angeles area, in 1960, he recorded his only solo LP, Edens Island, for Del-Fi Records
4. Mahavatar Babaji – Mahavatar Babaji (IPA, is the name given to an Indian saint and yogi by Lahiri Mahasaya and several of his disciples who met Mahavatar Babaji between 1861 and 1935. Some of these meetings were described by Paramahansa Yogananda in his book Autobiography of a Yogi, another first hand account was given by Yukteswar Giri in his book The Holy Science. According to Sri Ms autobiography Sri Guru Babaji, i. e. Mahavatar Babaji was Lord Shiva, in the second last chapter of his book, he mentions Sri Guru Babaji changing his form to Lord Shiva. All of these accounts, along with additional meetings with Mahavatar Babaji, are described in various biographies of those mentioned by Yogananda and it is Mahavatar Babaji who revived in this age the lost scientific meditation technique of Kriya Yoga. John, St. Paul, and other disciples, Babaji said to him, Follow the behest of your guru and go to America. Fear not, you shall be protected and you are the one I have chosen to spread the message of Kriya Yoga in the West. Mahavatar Babajis given name is unknown, so those who met him during that period all called him by the title first given to him by Lahirī, Mahavatar means great avatar, and Babaji simply means revered father. Some of the included two or more witnesses—discussions between those who met Mahavatar Babaji indicate that they all met the same person. There are very few accounts of Babajis childhood, One source of information is the book Babaji and the 18 Siddha Kriya Yoga tradition by Marshal Govindan. According to Govindan, Babaji was named Nagarajan by his parents, ramaiah founded on 17 October 1952, a new organization, Kriya Babaji Sangah, dedicated to the teaching of Babajis Kriya Yoga. They claim that in 1953 Mahavatar Babaji told them that he was born on 30 November 203 CE in a coastal village now known as Parangipettai, Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. Babajis Kriya Yoga Order of Acharyas Trust and their branch organizations claim his place and he was a disciple of Bogar and his birth name is Nagarajan. In the writings of Paramahansa Yogananda in his Autobiography of a Yogi, many references were made to Mahavatar Babaji including from Lahirī, in his book The Second Coming of Christ, Yogananda states that Jesus Christ went to India and conferred with Mahavatar Babaji. This would make Babaji at least 2000 years old, according to Govindans book, Babaji Nagarajs father was the priest of the villages temple. Babaji revealed only those details which he believed to be formative as well as potentially instructive to his disciples, Govindan mentioned one incident like this, One time Nagarajs mother had got one rare jackfruit for a family feast and put it aside. Babaji was only 4 years old at that time and he found the jackfruit when his mother was not around and ate it all. When his mother came to know about it, she flew in blind rage and stuffed a cloth inside Babajis mouth, nearly suffocating him, later on he thanked God for showing him that she was to be loved without attachment or illusion. His Love for his mother became unconditional and detached, when Nagaraj was about 5 years old, someone kidnapped him and sold him as a slave at Calcutta
5. Bhikshatana – Bhikshatana or Bhikshatana-murti is an aspect of the Hindu god Shiva as the Supreme mendicant or the Supreme Beggar. Bhikshtana is depicted as a nude four-armed man adorned with ornaments who holds a bowl in his hand and is followed by demonic attendants. Bhikshatana is the form of Bhairava that Shiva assumes to atone for his sin of severing Brahmas fifth head. He wanders the universe in the form of a naked Kapali mendicant, begging for alms with Brahmas kapala as his begging bowl, another legend describes Bhikshtanas visit to the Deodar Forest to dispense the ignorance of sages and lead them to true knowledge. During his visit, he seduces the wives of the sages who come to give him alms, horrified by Bhikshatanas heretic appearance and actions, the sages have a long confrontation with him. Ultimately Bhikshatana triumphs, establishing the worship of the Linga, his aniconic symbol, a variant of the legend narrates how Bhikshatana transforms into Nataraja—Shiva as the Cosmic Dancer. Bhikshatana is an icon in South India, in contrast to North India. Many Tamil language hymns sing of Bhikshatanas wanderings, often narrating of the pining of the love-smitten who are enamoured of him, the Kurma Purana narrates that during a particular council of rishis, the god Brahma arrogantly declared that he was the Supreme Creator of the Universe. Shiva appeared at the assembly as a pillar of light. After deliberation, the council accepted Shiva as the true Creator, angered by Brahmas vanity, Shiva—as the terrifying Bhairava—cut off one head of the five-headed Brahma with a mere flick of his fingernail. As a consequence Brahma died, but the credit he had accumulated over a lifetime of devout asceticism pulled him immediately back from death. Upon his resurrection, Brahma accepted Shivas superiority, the reason for the decapitation of Brahma remains the same in the narratives of the Shiva Purana and the Matsya Purana. In another instance in the Shiva Purana, when an argument erupts between Brahma and Vishnu over who is superior, Shiva appears as a fiery pillar in front of the pair. They decide whoever finds the end of the pillar is superior, Brahma lies about finding the head of the infinite pillar and declares himself as superior. In the Varaha Purana, in which Shiva is born from Brahmas brow, Brahma calls his son a Kapali, in all versions, an infuriated Shiva or Bhairava cuts off Brahmas head as a punishment. However, all Puranas agree that the head of Brahma stuck to Bhairava-Shivas left palm due to the sin of killing Brahma, the most learned Brahmin – Brahmahatya or Brahminicide. To expiate the sin of brahmahatya, Shiva had to perform the vow of a Kapali, in the Kurma and Vamana Puranas, Shivas sin takes corporeal form, becoming a ghoulish woman called Brahmahatya who follows Bhikshatana everywhere he goes. The Kurma Purana further narrates that Bhikshatana wandered the three worlds begging from door to door with a host of bhutas, the women of the houses who came to grant him food became enamoured by his appearance and followed him, singing and dancing
6. Gautama Buddha – Gautama Buddha, also known as Siddhārtha Gautama, Shakyamuni Buddha, or simply the Buddha, after the title of Buddha, was an ascetic and sage, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. He is believed to have lived and taught mostly in the part of ancient India sometime between the sixth and fourth centuries BCE. Gautama taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the śramaṇa movement common in his region and he later taught throughout other regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kosala. Gautama is the figure in Buddhism. He is recognized by Buddhists as a teacher who attained full Buddhahood. Accounts of his life, discourses, and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarized after his death, various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition and first committed to writing about 400 years later. Scholars are hesitant to make unqualified claims about the facts of the Buddhas life. Apart from the Vedic Brahmins, the Buddhas lifetime coincided with the flourishing of influential schools of thought like Ājīvika, Cārvāka, Jainism. Brahmajala Sutta records sixty-two such schools of thought, thus, Buddha was just one of the many śramaṇa philosophers of that time. The times of Gautamas birth and death are uncertain, most historians in the early 20th century dated his lifetime as circa 563 BCE to 483 BCE. These alternative chronologies, however, have not yet accepted by all historians. It was either a republic, or an oligarchy, and his father was an elected chieftain. He obtained his enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, gave his first sermon in Sarnath, no written records about Gautama were found from his lifetime or some centuries thereafter. One Edict of Asoka, who reigned from circa 269 BCE to 232 BCE, another one of his edicts mentions the titles of several Dhamma texts, establishing the existence of a written Buddhist tradition at least by the time of the Maurya era. These texts may be the precursor of the Pāli Canon and they are written in the Gāndhārī language using the Kharosthi script on twenty-seven birch bark manuscripts and date from the first century BCE to the third century CE. The sources for the life of Siddhārtha Gautama are a variety of different and these include the Buddhacarita, Lalitavistara Sūtra, Mahāvastu, and the Nidānakathā. Of these, the Buddhacarita is the earliest full biography, a poem written by the poet Aśvaghoṣa in the first century CE. The Lalitavistara Sūtra is the next oldest biography, a Mahāyāna/Sarvāstivāda biography dating to the 3rd century CE, the Mahāvastu from the Mahāsāṃghika Lokottaravāda tradition is another major biography, composed incrementally until perhaps the 4th century CE
7. John Cassian – Saint John Cassian, John the Ascetic, or John Cassian the Roman, was a Christian monk and theologian celebrated in both the Western and Eastern Churches for his mystical writings. Cassian is noted for his role in bringing the ideas and practices of Christian monasticism to the early medieval West, Cassian was born around 360, most likely in the region of Scythia Minor, although some scholars assume a Gallic origin. The son of parents, he received a good education, his writings show the influence of Cicero. He was bilingual in Latin and Greek, Cassian mentions having a sister in his first work, the Institutes, with whom he corresponded in his monastic life, she may have ended up with him in Marseilles. As a young adult he traveled to Palestine with an older friend Germanus, there they entered a hermitage near Bethlehem. After remaining in that community for three years, they journeyed to the desert of Scete in Egypt, which was rent by Christian struggles. There they visited a number of monastic foundations, approximately fifteen years later, about 399, Cassian and Germanus faced the Anthropomorphic controversy provoked in letter form by Theophilus, Archbishop of Alexandria. Cassian noted that the majority of the received the message of their patriarch with bitterness. Following an unsuccessful journey to Alexandria to protest the matter, Cassian, Cassian and Germanus went to Constantinople, where they appealed to the Patriarch of Constantinople, Saint John Chrysostom, for protection. Cassian was ordained a deacon and was made a member of the attached to the Patriarch while the struggles with the imperial family ensued. When the Patriarch was forced into exile from Constantinople in 404, while he was in Rome, Cassian accepted the invitation to found an Egyptian-style monastery in southern Gaul, near Marseilles. He may also have spent time as a priest in Antioch between 404 and 415, in any case, he arrived in Marseilles around 415. His foundation, the Abbey of St Victor, was a complex of monasteries for men and women, one of the first such institutes in the West, and served as a model for later monastic development. Cassians achievements and writings influenced Saint Benedict, who incorporated many of the principles into his monastic rule, Cassian died in 435 at Marseille. Cassian came very late into writing and did so only when a request was made by one or more important persons and his sources were the same as those of Evagrius Ponticus, but he added his own ideas, which were arranged in extensive collections. Evagrius was, however, the single most important influence on Cassians ideas, due to his reverence for the Origenist monks of Nitria, Kellia, in these, he codified and transmitted the wisdom of the Desert Fathers of Egypt. The Institutes deal with the organization of monastic communities, while the Conferences deal with the training of the inner man. According to Hugh Feiss OSB the Institutes are a counterweight to Sulpicius Severus’ Life of Martin and Dialogues, Cassian, who insists on manual work, had a higher opinion of and close ties with the monastery on the Island of Lerins, founded by Honoratus
8. Catharism – Catharism was a Christian dualist or Gnostic revival movement that thrived in some areas of Southern Europe, particularly northern Italy and southern France, between the 12th and 14th centuries. The followers were known as Cathars and are now remembered for a prolonged period of persecution by the Catholic church which did not recognise their belief as truly Christian. It appeared in Europe in the Languedoc region of France in the 11th century, the beliefs are believed to have been brought from Persia or the Byzantine Empire. Cathar beliefs varied between communities, because Catharism was initially taught by ascetic priests who had set few guidelines, the Catholic Church denounced its practices including the Consolamentum ritual, by which Cathar individuals were baptized and raised to the status of perfect. Though the term Cathar has been used for centuries to identify the movement, in Cathar texts, the terms Good Men or Good Christians are the common terms of self-identification. The idea of two Gods or principles, one being good and the evil, was central to Cathar beliefs. All visible matter, including the body, was created by this evil god. This was the antithesis to the monotheistic Catholic Church, whose principle was that there was only one God. From the beginning of his reign, Pope Innocent III attempted to end Catharism by sending missionaries and by persuading the local authorities to act against them. In 1208 Innocents papal legate Pierre de Castelnau was murdered while returning to Rome after excommunicating Count Raymond VI of Toulouse, who, in his view, was too lenient with the Cathars. Pope Innocent III then abandoned the option of sending Catholic missionaries and jurists, declared Pierre de Castelnau a martyr and launched the Albigensian Crusade which all but ended Catharism. The origins of the Cathars beliefs are unclear, but most theories agree they came from the Byzantine Empire, mostly by the trade routes and spread from the First Bulgarian Empire to the Netherlands. The name of Bulgarians was also applied to the Albigensians, and that there was a substantial transmission of ritual and ideas from Bogomilism to Catharism is beyond reasonable doubt. St John Damascene, writing in the 8th century AD, also notes of a sect called the Cathari, in his book On Heresies. He says of them, They absolutely reject those who marry a second time, conclusions about Cathar ideology continue to be fiercely debated with commentators regularly accusing their opponents of speculation, distortion and bias. There are a few texts from the Cathars themselves which were preserved by their opponents which give a glimpse of the workings of their faith. One large text which has survived, The Book of Two Principles, elaborates the principles of theology from the point of view of some of the Albanenses Cathars. Cathars, in general, formed a party in opposition to the Catholic Church
9. Sri Chand – Sri Chand Ji, also referred to as Baba Sri Chand, was the founder of the ascetic sect of Udasi and was the elder son of Guru Nanak, first Guru and founder of Sikhism. Sri Chand Ji is said to have composed an Aarta – a poem in name of his father, many of his compositions are know to be part of the Udasi scripture, Matra Sahib. The 17th Ashtapadi of Sukhmani Sahib is said to have composed by Sri Chand on the occasion of a visit by Guru Arjan. There were some differences between Sri Chand ji and Guru Amardas, however there was reconciliation between Sri Chand and Guru Ramdas, Guru Arjan and Guru Hargobind and it is even said that Guru Ramdas had fallen to his feet, in respect of his relation with Guru Nanak. He died at Kiratpur on 13 January 1629
10. Saint David – Saint David was a Welsh bishop of Mynyw during the 6th century, he was later regarded as a saint. He is the saint of Wales. David was a native of Wales, and a large amount of information is known about his life. However, his date is uncertain, suggestions range from 462 to 512. He is traditionally believed to be the son of Saint Non, the Welsh annals placed his death 569 years after the birth of Christ, but Phillimores dating revised this to 601. Many of the tales about David are found in the Buchedd Dewi. Rhygyfarch claimed it was based on documents found in the cathedral archives, the tradition that he was born at Henfynyw in Ceredigion is not improbable. He became renowned as a teacher and preacher, founding monastic settlements and churches in Wales, Dumnonia, St Davids Cathedral stands on the site of the monastery he founded in the Glyn Rhosyn valley of Pembrokeshire. Around 550, he attended the Synod of Brefi, where his eloquence in opposing Pelagianism caused his fellow monks to elect him primate of the region, as such he presided over the synod of Caerleon around 569. A white dove, which became his emblem, was seen settling on his shoulder, john Davies notes that one can scarcely conceive of any miracle more superfluous in that part of Wales than the creation of a new hill. David is said to have denounced Pelagianism during this incident and he was declared archbishop by popular acclaim according to Rhygyfarch, St Davids metropolitan status as an archbishopric was later supported by Bernard, Bishop of St Davids, Geoffrey of Monmouth and Gerald of Wales. No personal possessions were allowed, even to say my book was considered an offence and he lived a simple life and practised asceticism, teaching his followers to refrain from eating meat and drinking beer. King Henry, I wear it for an honour, for I am Welsh, you know. Rhigyfarch counted Glastonbury Abbey among the churches David founded and he had had a vision of Jesus who said that the church had been dedicated long ago by Himself in honour of His Mother, and it was not seemly that it should be re-dedicated by human hands. So David instead commissioned an extension to be built to the abbey, one manuscript indicates that a sapphire altar was among the items Henry VIII of England confiscated from the abbey during the Dissolution of the Monasteries a thousand years later. Though the exact date of his death is not certain, tradition holds that it was on March 1, the two most common years given for his death are 601 and 589. The monastery is said to have filled with angels as Christ received his soul. His last words to his followers were in a sermon on the previous Sunday
11. Essenes – The Essenes were a sect of Second Temple Judaism that flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE which some scholars claim seceded from the Zadokite priests. Being much fewer in number than the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the Essenes lived in cities but congregated in communal life dedicated to asceticism, voluntary poverty. Many separate but related groups of that era shared similar mystic, eschatological, messianic. These groups are referred to by various scholars as the Essenes. Josephus records that Essenes existed in large numbers, and thousands lived throughout Roman Judaea and these documents preserve multiple copies of parts of the Hebrew Bible untouched from possibly as early as 300 BCE until their discovery in 1946. Some scholars dispute the notion that the Essenes wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls, rachel Elior questions even the existence of the Essenes. The first reference is by the Roman writer Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, Pliny relates in a few lines that the Essenes do not marry, possess no money, and had existed for thousands of generations. Unlike Philo, who did not mention any particular location of the Essenes other than the whole land of Israel, Pliny places them in Ein Gedi. A little later, Josephus gave an account of the Essenes in The Jewish War, with a shorter description in Antiquities of the Jews. Claiming first hand knowledge, he lists the Essenoi as one of the three sects of Jewish philosophy alongside the Pharisees and the Sadducees. He relates the same information concerning piety, celibacy, the absence of property and of money, the belief in communality. Pliny, also a geographer, located them in the desert near the shore of the Dead Sea. In several places, however, Josephus has Essaios, which is assumed to mean Essene. Josephus identified the Essenes as one of the three major Jewish sects of that period, Philos usage is Essaioi, although he admits this Greek form of the original name that according to his etymology signifies holiness to be inexact. Gabriele Boccaccini implies that a convincing etymology for the name Essene has not been found and it is recognized as the etymology of the form Ossaioi and Essaioi and Esseni spelling variations have been discussed by VanderKam, Goranson, and others. In medieval Hebrew Hassidim replaces Essenes, while this Hebrew name is not the etymology of Essaioi/Esseni, the Aramaic equivalent Hesiim known from Eastern Aramaic texts has been suggested. Others suggest that Essene is a transliteration of the Hebrew word chitzonim, another theory is that the name was borrowed from a cult of devotees to Artemis in Asia Minor, whose demeanor and dress somewhat resembled those of the group in Judaea. Flavius Josephus in Chapter 8 of The Jewish War states,2. For there are three philosophical sects among the Jews
12. Francis of Assisi – Saint Francis of Assisi, born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, informally named as Francesco, was an Italian Roman Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the mens Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis, Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history. Pope Gregory IX canonized Francis on 16 July 1228, along with Saint Catherine of Siena, he was designated Patron saint of Italy. In 1219, he went to Egypt in an attempt to convert the Sultan to put an end to the conflict of the Crusades, by this point, the Franciscan Order had grown to such an extent that its primitive organizational structure was no longer sufficient. He returned to Italy to organize the Order, once his community was authorized by the Pope, he withdrew increasingly from external affairs. Francis is also known for his love of the Eucharist, in 1223, Francis arranged for the first Christmas live nativity scene. He died during the hours of 3 October 1226, while listening to a reading he had requested of Psalm 142. Pietro was in France on business when Francis was born in Assisi, upon his return to Assisi, Pietro took to calling his son Francesco, possibly in honor of his commercial success and enthusiasm for all things French. Since the child was renamed in infancy, the change can hardly have had anything to do with his aptitude for learning French, as some have thought. While going off to war in 1202, Francis had a vision that directed him back to Assisi, in 1205, Francis left for Apulia to enlist in the army of Walter III, Count of Brienne. Francis lived the high-spirited life typical of a young man. In 1201, he joined an expedition against Perugia and was taken as a prisoner at Collestrada. It is possible that his conversion was a gradual process rooted in this experience. Upon his return to Assisi in 1203, Francis returned to his carefree life, in 1204, a serious illness led him to a spiritual crisis. A strange vision made him return to Assisi, deepening his ecclesiastical awakening, on a pilgrimage to Rome, he joined the poor in begging at St. Peters Basilica, an experience that moved him to live in poverty. Francis returned home, began preaching on the streets, and soon gathered followers and his Order was authorized by Pope Innocent III in 1210. He then founded the Order of Poor Clares, which became a religious order for women. As a youth, Francesco became a devotee of troubadours and was fascinated with all things Transalpine, in this account, he was selling cloth and velvet in the marketplace on behalf of his father when a beggar came to him and asked for alms
13. Gabriel Urgebadze – Gabriel, born Goderdzi Urgebadze was a Georgian Orthodox monk venerated for his dedicated monastic life and piety. With many miracles ascribed to him, Gabriels grave at Mtskheta has attracted a number of pilgrims. The Georgian Orthodox Church officially canonized him as Holy Father St. Gabriel, Confessor and Fool for Christ, Gabriel was born as Goderdzi Urgebadze in Tbilisi in the family of a Communist Party functionary, who was murdered in 1931. After a compulsory service in the Soviet army, he decided to join the life and was ordained into monkhood under the name of Gabriel in 1955. He made himself famous by tearing down a banner depicting Vladimir Lenin during an International Workers Day parade in downtown Tbilisi in 1965 and he was arrested, tried, ruled to be psychotic, and confined to a mental hospital for seven months. An account of incident was also published in the West. Gabriel spent much of his life at the convent of Saint Nino, a nunnery attached to the Samtavro church in Mtskheta. He died there in 1995 and was buried at the Samtavro churchyard, the monk Gabriel is believed by the Orthodox followers to have possessed powers of healing and prophecy, while his remains are considered to be incorrupt. The oil from a lamp which burned at his tomb in Mtskheta was also considered to have been miraculous. The grave became a popular site of pilgrimage. In 2012, the Georgian Orthodox Church officially recognized him as a saint, the church officials and the nun eventually dismissed the rumors as false. The relics of Gabriel were exhumed for reburial into a crypt within the Samtavro monastery in February 2014. Prior to the reburial, his body was rested at four major Orthodox cathedrals in Georgia, on 31 January 2017, a meeting dedicated to the Venerable Confessor Gabriel was held at St Tikhon’s Orthodox University of Humanities in Moscow. Those who attended the meeting were shown a documentary about the life, Confessor of Christ in present day Georgia, The Orthodox Word,1992, USA Official website, www. monkgabriel. ge
14. Mahatma Gandhi – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was the preeminent leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights, the honorific Mahatma —applied to him first in 1914 in South Africa—is now used worldwide. In India, he is also called Bapu and Gandhiji and he is unofficially called the Father of the Nation. After his return to India in 1915, he set about organising peasants, farmers, Gandhi famously led Indians in challenging the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km Dandi Salt March in 1930, and later in calling for the British to Quit India in 1942. He was imprisoned for years, upon many occasions, in both South Africa and India. Gandhi attempted to practise nonviolence and truth in all situations, and he lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven with yarn hand-spun on a charkha. He ate simple food, and also undertook long fasts as a means of both self-purification and social protest. Eventually, in August 1947, Britain granted independence, but the British Indian Empire was partitioned into two dominions, a Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan. As many displaced Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs made their way to their new lands, religious violence broke out, especially in the Punjab, eschewing the official celebration of independence in Delhi, Gandhi visited the affected areas, attempting to provide solace. In the months following, he undertook several fasts unto death to promote religious harmony, the last of these, undertaken on 12 January 1948 when he was 78, also had the indirect goal of pressuring India to pay out some cash assets owed to Pakistan. Some Indians thought Gandhi was too accommodating, among them was Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist, who assassinated Gandhi on 30 January 1948 by firing three bullets into his chest. Mahatma Gandhis birthday,2 October, is commemorated in India as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday and his father, Karamchand Uttamchand Gandhi, served as the diwan of Porbandar state. The Gandhi family originated from the village of Kutiana in what was then Junagadh State, in the late 17th or early 18th century, one Lalji Gandhi moved to Porbandar and entered the service of its ruler, the Rana. In 1831, Rana Khimojiraji died suddenly and was succeeded by his 12-year-old only son, as a result, Rana Khimojirajjis widow, Rani Rupaliba, became regent for her son. She soon fell out with Uttamchand and forced him to return to his village in Junagadh. While in Junagadh, Uttamchand appeared before its Nawab and saluted him with his hand instead of his right. In 1841, Vikmatji assumed the throne and reinstated Uttamchand as his diwan, in 1847, Rana Vikmatji appointed Uttamchands son, Karamchand, as diwan after disagreeing with Uttamchand over the states maintenance of a British garrison. Although he only had an education and had previously been a clerk in the state administration
15. Gorakhnath – Guru Gorakshanath was an influential founder of the Nath Hindu monastic movement in India. He is considered as one of the two disciples of Matsyendranath. His followers are found in Indias Himalayan states, the western and central states and these followers are called yogis, Gorakhnathi, Darshani or Kanphata. The details of his biography are unknown and disputed, hagiographies describe him as more than a human teacher and someone outside of laws of time who appeared on earth in different ages. Historians state Gorakshanath lived sometime during the first half of the 2nd millennium CE, estimates based on archaeology and text range from Briggs 11th- to 12th-century to Griersons estimate of the 14th-century. Gorakshanath is considered a Maha-yogi in the Hindu tradition and he did not emphasize a specific metaphysical theory or a particular Truth, but emphasized that the search for Truth and spiritual life is valuable and a normal goal of man. Gorakshanath championed Yoga, spiritual discipline and a life of self determination as a means to reaching samadhi. Gorakshanath, his ideas and yogis have been popular in rural India, with monasteries and temples dedicated to him found in many states of India. Among urban elites, the movement founded by Gorakhnath has been ridiculed, historians vary in their estimate on when Gorakshanath lived. Historical texts imply that Gorakhnath was originally a Buddhist in a region influenced by Shaivism, Gorakhnath led a life as a passionate exponent of ideas of Kumarila and Adi Shankara that championed the Yoga and Advaita Vedanta interpretation of the Upanishads. The hagiography on Gorakhnath describe him to have appeared on several times. The legends do not provide a time or place where he was born, north Indian hagiographies suggest he originated from northwest India. Other hagiographies on Gorakhnath in Bengal and Bihar suggest he originated from eastern region of India and these hagiographies are inconsistent, and offer varying records of the spiritual descent of Gorakshanath. All name Adinath and Matsyendranath as two teachers preceding him in the succession, Gorakshanath is a revered The Nath tradition states that its traditions existed before Gorakhnath, but the movements greatest expansion happened under the guidance and inspiration of Gorakshanath. He produced a number of writings and even today is considered the greatest of the Naths and it has been purported that Gorakshanath wrote the first books on Laya yoga. In India there are caves, many with temples built over them. According to Bhagawan Nityananda, the shrine of Gorakshanath is at Nath Mandir near the Vajreshwari temple about one kilometer from Ganeshpuri, Maharashtra. According to legends Gorakshanath and Matsyendranath did penance in Kadri Temple at Mangalore and they are also instrumental in laying Shivlingam at Kadri and Dharmasthala
16. Gwladys – For other women named Gwladys, see Gwladys. Gwladyss other children were Cynidr, Bugi, Cyfyw, Maches, Glywys II, today her main church and associated school is in Bargoed. The mediæval lives of Cadoc and of Gwynllyw preserve different legendary details of Gwladys, among the best attested of all of Brychans half-Irish saintly children, she is also mentioned in Welsh king-lists. Both saints lives agree that Gwladys, daughter of Brychan married Gwynllyw, here, when her father refused to allow their marriage Gwynllyw accompanied by 300 men abducted her from Talgarth. A pitched battle occurred which was stopped by the intervention of King Arthur and Cai and Bedwyr who supported Gwynllyw. This act only occurred after Cai managed to persuade Arthur not to abduct the beautiful Gwladys himself, however, both lives agree that Gwynllyw later became a hermit and local saint. It was the prompting of Cadoc and Gwladys that led Gwynllyw to abandon his life of violence, a vision led him to found a hermitage on what is now Stow Hill in Newport, South Wales. The Ladys Well at Tredegar may also have dedicated to her and so, it has been suggested, once was St. Basils. Saint Gwladys life Pictures of The Chapel of St Gwladys, Pont Ebbw, Near Newport, Mon St Gwladys Bargoed School St Gwladys Church, Bargoed
17. Gwynllyw – Saint Gwynllyw Milwr or Gwynllyw Farfog, known in English in a corrupted form as Woolos the Warrior or Woolos the Bearded was a Welsh king and religious figure. He was King of Gwynllwg in South Wales and is the legendary founder, according to medieval tradition he was a feared warlord and raider who knew King Arthur, but later found religion and became a hermit founding St Woolos Cathedral in Newport. He was the father of one of the most revered Welsh saints, the medieval lives of Saint Cadoc by Lifris and of Saint Gwynllyw preserve legendary details of Gwynllyw, though details frequently differ. He is also noted in Welsh king lists, the saints lives note that his deeds were celebrated by Welsh bards, indicating he had a widespread popular following. Although saints lives frequently exaggerate it does seem likely that a monarch of this name existed, Gwynllyw was the son of King Glywys, whose powerful kingdom of Glywysing was centred on Glamorgan, and supposedly extended as far as east as the River Towy. He was a descendant of Macsen Wledig according to accounts, while his mother Guaul was equally distinguished. The kingdom was split on Glywys death amongst his sons, of whom Gwynllyw was the eldest and most powerful, the central area of his rule consisted of the cantref Gwynllwg that was named after him and later known in English as Wentloog hundred. One of Gwynllyws brothers was Saint Petroc, an important Cornish, the saints lives portray King Gwynllyw as an active and merciless warrior who attacked and raided nearby kingdoms. The Life of Saint Cadoc describes him as partial to thieves. These raids included attacking his northern neighbour Brycheiniog, in one such raid described in Life of Saint Cadoc Gwynllyw accompanied by 300 men abducted Gwladys the beautiful daughter of King Brychan of Brycheiniog, as Brychan had refused to let him marry her. She was one of Brychans famous twenty-four children, a pitched battle occurred which was only stopped by the intervention of King Arthur and Cai and Bedwyr who supported Gwynllyw and his warband in the battle. This tale of abduction seems similar to elements in the tale Culhwch and Olwen and this is the earliest reference to Arthur in a Saints life. According to the Life of Saint Gwynllyw this battle never occurred, gwaldys soon had a son, the famous saint Cadoc. To celebrate his sons birth Gwynllyw went on another raid stealing cattle from Caerwent, when Saint Tatheus came courageously to demand the return of a cow, the King was so impressed he decided in return to send his son to Tathyw at Caerwent to be educated. Gwynllyw supposedly had other children also saints Cynidr, Bugi and Egwine, Bugi was married to Peren verch of King Lot/Llawdden/Greidal ap Arthwys. One, Maches, the sister of Cadoc according to tradition, was killed by robbers who were stealing her finest ram, tathan, to whom the murderers confessed their crime, built a church on the spot. Once grown Cadoc was deeply religious and, according to sources, it was his example and preaching that persuaded Gwynllyw to abandon his life of violence. King Gwynllyw then had a dream in which an angel spoke to him, Gwynllyw went forth and when he saw the same ox as in his dream he founded a hermitage there on what is now Stow Hill in Newport, South Wales which he built out of wood
18. Jacob of Nisibis – Jacob of Nisibis, was a Syriac bishop still venerated as a saint. He was the bishop of Nisibis after Babu and he was called the Moses of Mesopotamia for his wisdom. He was also the father of the renowned Assyrian Ephrem the Syrian. Jacob was appointed bishop, in 309, of the Christian community of Nisibis in Mesopotamia, Jacob of Nisibis, also known as James of Nisibis and as Jacob of Nusaybin, is recorded as a signatory at the First Council of Nicaea in 325. He was the first Christian to search for the Ark of Noah and he founded the basilica and theological School of Nisibis after the model of the school of Diodorus of Tarsus in Antioch. It was not until the 10th century that the Persian Sage who had incorrectly identified with Jacob of Nisibis was finally identified with Aphrahat. Jacob was the teacher and spiritual director of Saint Ephrem the Syrian, much of Jacobs public ministry, like that of other Assyrian ascetics, can be seen as socially cohesive in the context of the Late Roman East. Jacob of Nisibis died peacefully in Nisibis, according to some in A. D.338 and he is commemorated in the Eastern Orthodox Church on January 13 and on October 31. He is commemorated in the Coptic Synaxarion on the 18th day of Month of Tobi, in the Roman Catholic Church he is commemorated on 11 May. This is where the great Jacobus came from to embrace the quietness of a solitary life, the Origin of Monasticism in Mesopotamia. Church History, Vol.20, No.4, russell, Paul S. Nisibis as the background to the Life of Ephrem the Syrian
19. Kalamukha – The Kalamukha were a medieval Shaivite sect of the Deccan Plateau who were among the first professional monks of India. Their earliest monasteries were built in Mysore, information regarding the Kalamukha sect takes the form of inscriptions relating to temple grants and texts usually written by their opponents. They appear to have been an offshoot of the Pashupata sect and their name was derived from kālāmukha, meaning black-faced, which refers to their painting of a black streak as a symbolic caste mark on their face. Theirs was not, however, a school based purely on the agamas as they also took heed of the orthodox Śruti and were well-versed in the Vaisheshika, the Kalamukhas were themselves subdivided, with at least two divisions, called the Saktiparisad and the Simhaparisad. The former of these were found over an area and the latter were mostly concentrated around the districts of Dharwar. Among the references are a Kalamukha temple recorded in Srinivaspur in 870, another with a college at Chitradurga in 947, and their major centre was at Balligavi and other temple sites included one at Vijayawada. There is a gap in the evidence of them for around two centuries, after which they are well documented until the Vijayanagara era. Ramanuja, a Vaishnavite acharya, may have confused the Kalamukha with the Kapalikas in his Sri Bhasya work, in which he noted them as eating from a skull, such practices were common for the Kapalikas but are atypical for the Kalamukhas. His writings may have been coloured by his experienced of being a member of a different school and being forced by the Kalamukhas, there was also possibly a desire to discredit because of an element of fear or jealousy driven by the then rising popularity of the Kalamukhas. Nonetheless, for many scholars such as R. G. Bhandarkar believed the Kalamukhas to be a more extreme sect than the Kapalikas
20. Lahiri Mahasaya – Shyama Charan Lahiri, best known as Lahiri Mahasaya, was an Indian yogi and a disciple of Mahavatar Babaji. He was also known as Yogiraj and Kashi Baba. He revived the science of Kriya Yoga when he learned it from Mahavatar Babaji in 1861. Lahiri Mahasaya was also the guru of Yukteswar Giri, Mahasaya is a Sanskrit, spiritual title translated as large-minded. Lahiri lived with his family in Varanasi rather than in a temple or monastery and he achieved a substantial reputation among 19th century Hindu religionists. He became known in the West through Paramahansa Yogananda, a disciple of Yukteswar Giri, Yogananda wrote that Lahiri was chosen by Mahavatar Babaji to reintroduce the lost practice of Kriya Yoga to the world. Lahiris disciples included both of Yoganandas parents as well as Yoganandas own guru, Lahiri Mahasaya prophesied that the infant Yogananda would become a yogi, and As a spiritual engine, he will carry many souls to Gods kingdom. Lahiri was born into a Brahmin family in the Ghurni village in Nadia district of Bengal Province and he was the youngest son of Muktakashi, wife of Gaur Mohan Lahiri. His mother died when he was a child — there is little known about her. At the age of three or four, he was seen sitting in meditation, with his body buried in the sand up to his neck. When Lahiri was five, the ancestral home was lost in a flood, so the family moved to Varanasi. As a child, he studied Urdu and Hindi, gradually moving on to Bengali, Sanskrit, Persian, French and English at the Government Sanskrit College, reciting the Vedas, bathing in the Ganges, and worship were part of his daily routine. In 1846, he was married to Srimati Kashi Moni and they had two sons, Tincouri and Ducouri, and three daughters, Harimoti, Harikamini and Harimohini. His two sons were considered saints and his wife became his disciple and was affectionately called by Guru Ma. His work as an accountant in the Military Engineering Department of the English government took him all over India, after the death of his father, he took on the role of supporting the entire family in Varanasi. In 1861, Lahiri was transferred to Ranikhet, in the foothills of the Himalayas, one day, while walking in the hills, he heard a voice calling to him. After climbing further, he met his Guru Mahavatar Babaji, who initiated him into the techniques of Kriya Yoga, Babaji told Lahiri that the rest of his life was to be given to spreading the Kriya message. Soon after, Lahiri Mahasaya returned to Varanasi, where he began initiating sincere seekers into the path of Kriya Yoga, over time, more and more people flocked to receive the teachings of Kriya from Lahiri
21. Leoluca – He is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. Born in the Sicilian town of Corleone, he died about a years later, after eighty years of monastic life, in Monteleone Calabro. Today he is a saint of both towns, and his feast day is celebrated on March 1. Saint Luke was born in Corleone, Sicily in the 9th century AD and his parents Leo and Theoktiste baptized him Leo, in honour of his father. They were a pious and wealthy family who raised him in the nurture and he was orphaned at an early age when his parents died, and devoted himself to managing the estate and supervising the herds as a shepherd. It is not known how long he stayed at the monastery at Agira, before going to Calabria however, he made a special point of going on pilgrimage to visit the tombs of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Rome. In Calabria, he went to the Monastery of Mula, at Mount Mula, one of the highest peaks of the Orsomarso mountains, here he became a monk, excelling in the virtues and in obedience, remaining there for six years. Here they founded a new monastery, living there in asceticism for another seven years, once more they left and moved on to Vena to continue the spiritual struggle for another ten years. Here they built another monastery, which by the time of Hegumen Christophers death had more than one-hundred monks in it, Saint Luke himself lived the solitary life nearby at Mormanno, Calabria. A little later, after the death of Abbot Christopher, Saint Luke became Abbot of the Monastery of Mount Mula, according to legend, God granted to him the gift of Wonderworking, and many faithful flocked to him to receive his blessing and be healed. The Venerable Luke was thought to have healed the sick, exorcized demons, raised paralytics and he prayed without ceasing, and remained out in the cold up to twenty days, in order to intensify his ascetic struggle. It is said that he lived the last days of his life in meditation, fasting, in old age, he called the monks to come to him, and foretold his end. He delegated the responsibility of the position of Hegumen to the monk Theodore, having received Holy Communion, the Venerable Luke fell asleep in peace and was buried in the church of the Blessed Theotokos. News of Saint Lukes death spread slowly to Corleone, and it is only in the 13th century that there is evidence of a dedicated to him in his birthplace. In 1420 there are references to a Brotherhood of San Leoluca. Saint Lukes intercession is credited with saving the city of Corleone during an outbreak of the plague of 1575, in 1624 he was made the patron saint of Vibo Valentia as well. In addition, the apparition of Saint Leo Luke and Saint Anthony is credited with preventing a Bourbon invasion of Corleone on 27 May 1860. Some historians assert that Saint Luke was buried in Monteleone Calabro, now Vibo Valentia, in Calabria and it stated that they were located in the grotto of the Church of Santa Ruba, and that they were confirmed by paleontological analysis
22. Macarius of Egypt – Macarius of Egypt was an Egyptian Christian monk and hermit. He is also known as Macarius the Elder, Macarius the Great, Macarius was born in Upper Egypt. A late tradition places his birthplace in the village of Shabsheer, in Al Minufiyah Governorate, St. Macarius is known for his wisdom. His friends and close kin used to call him “Pidar Yougiron” which meant the “old young man” or “the young man with the elders’ wisdom. ”At the wish of his parents he entered into marriage, shortly after, his parents departed as well. Macarius subsequently distributed all his money among the poor and needy and he found a teacher in an experienced Elder, who lived in the desert not far from the village. The Elder accepted the youth, guided him in the science of watchfulness, fasting and prayer. Seeing his virtues, the people of his village brought him to the bishop of Ashmoun who ordained him priest, a while later, a pregnant woman accused him of having defiled her. Macarius did not attempt to himself, and accepted the accusation in silence. However, when the womans delivery drew near, her labor became exceedingly difficult and she did not manage to give birth until she confessed Macariuss innocence. A multitude of people came asking for his forgiveness. While at the desert, he visited Anthony the Great and learned from him the laws, when he returned to the Scetic Desert at the age of forty, he presided over its monastic community for the rest of his life. Ten years after going into the desert, he became a priest, for a brief period of time, Macarius was banished to an island in the Nile by the Emperor Valens, along with Saint Macarius of Alexandria, during a dispute over the doctrine of the Nicene Creed. At their return on 13 Paremhat, they were met by a multitude of monks of the Nitrian Desert, numbered fifty thousand, among whom were Saint Pishoy, Macarius died in the year 391. After his death, the natives of his village of Shabsheer stole the body, pope Michael V of Alexandria brought the relics of Saint Macarius back to the Nitrian Desert on 19 Mesori. Today, the body of Saint Macarius is found in his monastery, Fifty Spiritual Homilies were ascribed to Macarius a few generations after his death, and these texts had a widespread and considerable influence on Eastern monasticism and Protestant pietism. The Macarian Homilies have thus influenced Pietist groups ranging from the Spiritual Franciscans to Eastern Orthodox monastic practice to John Wesley to modern charismatic Christianity, however, modern patristic scholars have established that it is not likely that Macarius the Egyptian was their author. In addition to the homilies, a number of letters have been ascribed to Macarius, Gennadius recognizes only one genuine letter of Macarius, which is addressed to younger monks. The first letter, called Ad filios Dei, may indeed be the letter by Macarius the Egyptian that is mentioned by Gennadius
23. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu – Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was a spiritual leader who founded Gaudiya Vaishnavism. He is considered as the most merciful manifestation of Krishna, Chaitanya was the proponent for the Vaishnava school of Bhakti yoga, based on Bhagavata Purana and Bhagavad Gita. Of various incarnations of Vishnu, he is revered as Krishna, popularised the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra and his followers, Gaudiya Vaishnavas, revere him as a Krishna with the mood and complexion of his source of inspiration Radha. His birthday is celebrated as Gaura-purnima, Chaitanya is sometimes referred to by the names Gauranga or Gaura due to his fair complexion, and Nimai due to his being born underneath a Neem tree. He was very mischievous in his young days and he was a brilliant student and Nimai was his nickname. At an early age he became a scholar and opened a school, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is revered as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. Chaitanya means living force, Maha means Great and Prabhu means ‘Lord’ or ‘Master and he was born as the second son of Jagannath Mishra and his wife Sachi Devi, who lived in the town of Dhaka Dakhhin, Srihatta, now Sylhet, Bangladesh. According to Chaitanya Charitamruta, Chaitanya was born on the full night of 18 February 1486. When travelling to Gaya to perform the ceremony for his departed father, Chaitanya met his guru. He spent the last 24 years of his life in Puri, Odisha, the Gajapati king, Prataprudra Dev, regarded Chaitanya as Krishnas avatar and was an enthusiastic patron and devotee of Chaitanyas sankeertan gatherings. It was during these years that Chaitanya is believed by his followers to have sunk deep into various Divine-Love and these works are in Bengali with some Sanskrit verses interspersed. In addition to there are other Sanskrit biographies composed by his contemporaries. Chief among them are the works, Sri Chaitanya Charitamritam Mahakavyam by Kavi Karnapura, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu united in himself two aspects, ecstatic devotee of Krishna and Krishna himself in inseparable union with Radha. According to the hagiographies of 16th-century authors, he exhibited his Universal Form identical to that of Krishna on a number of occasions, notably to Advaita Ācārya, Gaudiya Vaishnavas consider Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to be Lord Krishna himself, but appearing in covered form. The Gaudiya Vaishnava acharya Bhaktivinoda Thakura have also found out the manuscript of Chaitanya Upanishad of the atharvaveda section. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has left one written record in Sanskrit called Siksastakam, Chaitanyas epistemological, theological and ontological teachings are summarised as ten roots or maxims. The statements of amnaya are the chief proof, by these statements the following ten topics are taught. Krishna is the Supreme Absolute Truth, Krishna is endowed with all energies
24. Mahavira – Mahavira, also known as Vardhamāna, was the twenty-fourth and last Jain Tirthankara. Mahavira was born into a family in what is now Bihar, India. At the age of 30, he left his home in pursuit of spiritual awakening, and abandoned worldly things, including his clothes, for the next twelve-and-a-half years, Mahavira practiced intense meditation and severe penance, after which he became kevalī. For the next 30 years, he travelled throughout the Indian subcontinent to teach Jain philosophy, Mahavira taught that the observance of the vows ahimsa, satya, asteya, brahmacharya and aparigraha is necessary to elevate the quality of life. He gave the principle of Anekantavada, Syadvada and Nayavada, the teachings of Mahavira were compiled by Gautama Swami and were called Jain Agamas. Most of these Agamas are not available today, jains believe Mahavira attained moksha at the age of 72. In Jainism, a Tirthankara signifies the founder of a tirtha which means a fordable passage across the sea of interminable births and deaths, according to the Jain texts, twenty-four Tirthankaras grace each half of the cosmic time cycle. Mahavira was the last Tirthankara of avasarpani, Samantabhadra, an illustrious Digambara monk, who lived in the 2nd century A. D. called the tīrtha of Mahavira by the name Sarvodaya. Mahavira is often called the founder of Jainism, but this was not the case because the Jain tradition recognizes his predecessors, in addition to that, Parshvanatha is accepted as a historical figure. According to Jain texts, Mahaviras childhood name was Vardhamāna, because of the prosperity in the kingdom at the time of his birth. He was called Mahavira because of the acts of bravery he performed during his childhood, Mahavira was given the title Jīnā, which later became synonymous with Tirthankara. Buddhist texts refer to Mahavira as Nigaṇṭha Jñātaputta, Nigaṇṭha means without knot, tie, or string and Jñātaputta, refers to his clan of origin as Jñāta or Naya. He is also known as Sramana, in the Gregorian calendar, this date falls in March or April and is celebrated as Mahavir Jayanti. Traditionally, Kundalpur in the ancient city of Kashtriya Kund Lachhuar is regarded as his birthplace, in the present-day Sikandra Division of Jamui district, according to Jainism, after his birth, anointment and abhisheka —carried out by Indra on Mount Meru. Most modern historians agree he was born at Kundagrama, now Basokund in Muzaffarpur district in the state of Bihar, Jain traditions date Mahavira as living from 599 B. C. to 527 B. C. Western historians date Mahavira as living from 480 BC to 408 BC, some Western scholars suggest Mahavira died around 425 BC. His height was seven cubits as per the description given in Aupapatika Sutra, as the son of a king, Mahavira had all luxuries of life at his disposal. According to the chapter of the Śvētāmbara text Acharanga Sutra
25. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was born Mahesh Prasad Varma and became known as Maharishi and Yogi as an adult. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi became a disciple and assistant of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, the Maharishi credits Brahmananda Saraswati with inspiring his teachings. In 1955, the Maharishi began to introduce his Transcendental Deep Meditation to India and his first global tour began in 1958. His devotees referred to him as His Holiness, and because he often laughed in TV interviews he was referred to as the giggling guru. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Maharishi achieved fame as the guru to the Beatles, The Beach Boys, in the late 1970s, he started the TM-Sidhi programme that claimed to offer practitioners the ability to levitate and to create world peace. The Maharishis Natural Law Party was founded in 1992, and ran campaigns in dozens of countries and he moved to near Vlodrop, the Netherlands, in the same year. In 2000, he created the Global Country of World Peace, a non-profit organization, in 2008, the Maharishi announced his retirement from all administrative activities and went into silence until his death three weeks later. His initiatives include schools and universities with campuses in countries including India, Canada, the United States. The Maharishi, his family and close associates created charitable organisations and for-profit businesses including health clinics, mail-order health supplements and organic farms. The birth name, birth date, and caste of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi are not known with certainty, in part because of the tradition of ascetics, many accounts say he was born Mahesh Prasad Varma into a Kayastha family living in the Central Provinces of British India. A different name appears in the Allahabad University list of distinguished alumni, Srivastava. and an obituary says his name was Mahesh Srivastava. Various accounts give the year of his birth as 1911,1917 or 1918, authors Paul Mason and William Jefferson say that he was born 12 January 1917 in Jabalpur, Central Provinces. The place of birth given in his passport is Pounalulla India, Mahesh came from an upper-caste family, being a member of the Kayastha caste, a high-status caste whose traditional profession is writing. Mahesh studied physics at Allahabad University and earned a degree in 1942, Coplin refers to bala brahmachari as both a title and a name, and considers that it identified him as a fully dedicated student of spiritual knowledge and life-long celibate ascetic. The Maharishi recalls how it took two and a half years to attune himself to the thinking of Brahmananda Saraswati and to gain a very genuine feeling of complete oneness. At first Brahmachari Mahesh performed common chores but gained trust and became Guru Devs personal secretary and he was trusted to take care of the bulk of Swami Brahmananda Saraswatis correspondence without direction, and was also sent out to give public speeches on Vedic themes. Brahmachari Mahesh remained with Swami Brahmananda Saraswati until the latter died in 1953, although Brahmachari Mahesh was a close disciple, he could not be the Shankaracharyas spiritual successor because he was not of the Brahmin caste. The Shankaracharya, at the end of his life, charged him with the responsibility of travelling and teaching meditation to the masses, later the technique was renamed Transcendental Meditation
26. Karni Mata – Karni Mata, was a female Hindu warrior sage born in the Charan caste. Also known as Shri Karniji Maharaj, she is worshiped as the incarnation of the warrior goddess Durga by her followers and she is an official deity of the royal family of Jodhpur and Bikaner. She lived a life and was widely revered during her own lifetime. At the request of the Maharajas of Bikaner and Jodhpur, she laid the stones of Bikaner Fort and Mehrangarh Fort. The most famous of her temples is in the town of Deshnoke, near Bikaner in Rajasthan. The temple is famous for its white rats, which are treated as sacred, another temple dedicated to her during her lifetime differs from others in that it does not contain an image or idol of her, but rather contains a foot-print to symbolize her visit to that place. Karni mata is also referred to as Nari Bai, according to tradition, Karni mata was originally the wife of depoji Charan of the village of Sathika. However, she expressed to her husband her unwillingness to engage in matrimonial relations. He initially humoured her, thinking that she would relent in time, instead of doing so Karni arranged for him to marry her own younger sister Gulab so that he might have a proper married life. She herself remained celibate all her life, with the concurrence, Karni lived in her in-laws village for about two years before leaving with her followers and a herd of cattle to live a nomadic life, camping at sunset. One such camp was made at the village of Jangloo, but a servant of Rao Kanha, Karni Mata declared her follower Rao Ridmal of Chandasar as new ruler of the village and continued on her journey. When she reached near Deshnok, Rao Kanha himself came to oppose her camping, Karni Mata stopped wandering further, and settled there. Her husband Depoji died in 1454, in 1453, she gave her blessing to Rao Jodha of Jodhpur for conquering Ajmer, Merta and Mandor. In 1457 she went to Jodhpur at Rao Jodhas request, to lay the cornerstone of the fort at Jodhpur and her first temple was constructed in the village of Mathania during her lifetime by her follower Amara Charan. In 1472, she arranged the marriage of Rao Bika, the son of Rao Jodha. In 1485, she laid the stone of the fort of Bikaner at the request of Rao Bika. In 1538, Karniji went to visit the Maharaja of Jaisalmer, on 21 March of that year she was travelling back to Deshnok with her stepson Poonjar and a few other followers. They were near Gadiyala and Girirajsar of the Kolayat tehsil in Bikaner district when she asked the caravan to stop for water and she disappeared there, reportedly at the age of 151 years
27. Matsyendranath – Matsyendranātha, Macchindranāth or Mīnanātha was a saint and yogi in a number of Buddhist and Hindu traditions. He is traditionally considered the founder of hatha yoga as well as the author of some of its earliest texts and he is also seen as the founder of the natha sampradaya, having received the teachings from Shiva. He is especially associated with kaula shaivism and he is also one of the eighty-four mahasiddhas and considered the guru of Gorakshanath, another important figure in early hatha yoga. He is revered by both Hindus and Buddhists, and is regarded as an incarnation of Avalokiteśvara. Other sources give his birthplace as Bengal, the Newar people of Nepal claim his birthplace is Bungamati near Kathmandu. He is mentioned in the Sabaratantra as one of the twenty four Kapalika siddhas, legends tell that Matsyendra was born under an inauspicious star. This warranted his parents to throw the baby into the ocean and it is here that the baby was swallowed by a fish where he lived for many years. The fish swam to the bottom of the ocean where Shiva was imparting the secrets of yoga to his consort, upon overhearing the secrets of yoga, Matsyendra began to practice yoga sadhana inside the fishs belly. After twelve years he finally emerged as an enlightened Siddha and this is often given as the origin of his name Lord of the Fishes or He Whose Lord is the Lord of the Fishes. Other versions of the legend exist, including one in which Matsyendra was born as a fish, tibetan renditions of the story tell of a fisherman turned siddha named Mina who is eaten by a fish while working in the Bay of Bengal. Some scholars draw parallels between this legend and the Biblical story of Jonah and the Whale, as a result, Patan faced drought for a long time. The king of Patan, on the advice of his advisers, invited Matsyendranath, Gorakshanaths guru, when Gorakhnath learned that his teacher was in Patan, he released all the rain showering serpents and went to see him. As soon as the rain showering serpents were set free, Patan again got plenty of rainfall every year, after that day, the locals of Patan worshiped Matsyendranath as the god of rain. James Mallinson, Alexis Sanderson, David Gordon White and others theorize that many works were attributed to him posthumously and he was known to be sympathist of hermits and occultists. Matsyendranath did a lot to bring social and religious awakening by combining the best in Buddhism and Hinduism. Matsyendranath is typically listed as having eight disciples, the list of his disciples varies between different temples and lineages, but commonly includes Gorakshanath, Jalandharnath, Kanifnath, Gahininath, Bhartrinath, Revan Nath, Charpatinath and Naganath. Along with Matsyendranath, they are called the Navnath, while Gorkshanath is generally considered a direct disciple of Matsyendranath, it is likely they lived hundreds of years apart. Macchindranāth is a god of rain worshiped by both Hindus and Buddhists in Nepal, Hindus regard him as an incarnation of Shiva while Buddhists regard him as an incarnation of Avalokiteśvara
28. Mendicant orders – By contrast, the mendicants avoided owning property, did not work at a trade, and embraced a poor, often itinerant lifestyle. They depended for their survival on the goodwill of the people to whom they preached, what is called the mendicant movement in Church history arose primarily in the 13th century in Western Europe. Until that time the monks of Europe worked at their trade in their monastery, renouncing personal property, they owned all things in common as a community after the example of chapters 2 and 4 of the Acts of the Apostles. With the rise of Western monasticism, monasteries attracted not only individuals aspiring to become monks and nuns, the idea that Christ came down to earth poor and that the true Church must be the church of the poor clashed with this image. The desire for true Christian authenticity was thus seen by some to contrast to the reality of the empirical Church, the twelfth century saw great changes in western Europe. As commerce revived, urban centers arose and with them an urban middle class, new directions in spirituality were called for. Ecclesiastical reform became a theme of the cultural revival of this era. In response to crisis, there emerged the new mendicant orders founded by Francis of Assisi. The mendicant friars were bound by a vow of poverty and dedication to a way of life, renouncing property. Their survival was dependent upon the good will and material support of their listeners and it was this way of life that gave them their name, mendicant, derived from the Latin mendicare, meaning to beg. The mendicant movement had started in France and Italy and became popular in the poorer towns and cities of Europe at the beginning of the thirteenth century. The refusal of the mendicants to own property and therefore to pay taxes was seen as threatening the stability of the established Church which was planning a crusade. Francis came to this manner of life through a period of personal conversion, the Franciscans spread far and wide the devotion to the humanity of Christ, with the commitment to imitate the Lord. The Franciscan movement summarized and surpassed all the others and this was not only in the obvious holiness of Francis of Assisi, but also in the personality of the followers whom Francis attracted. Many of them were priests and men of learning whose contributions were notable in the rapid evolution, notable Franciscans include Anthony of Padua, who were inspirations to the formation of Christian mendicant traditions. While on a visit to southern France, Saint Dominic met the Albigensians, before this time, religious life had been monastic, but with Dominic the secluded monastery gave way to priories in the cities. With deep insight the Franciscans and Dominicans put into practice a pastoral strategy suited to the social changes, the emergence of urban centers meant concentrated numbers of the homeless and the sick. This created problems for the churches who found themselves unable to address these issues
29. Pavhari Baba – Pavhari Baba was an Indian ascetic and saint. He was born near Varanasi in a Brahmin family, in his childhood he went to Ghazipur to study under the tutelage of his uncle who was a follower of Ramanuja or Shri sect. After finishing his studies he travelled to many places, at Girnar in Kathiawar he was initiated into Yoga. He then came back to Ghazipur and built a hermitage in his house where he used to practise meditation. He was noted for his humility, politeness and spirit of welfare, one night a thief entered his hermitage. When the thief ran away leaving the stolen things behind, as Pavhari Baba had woken up from sleep, he chased the thief, the incident had deep impact on the thief who later became a monk and a follower of Pavhari Baba. In 1890 Swami Vivekananda went to Ghazipur and met him, According to Sister Nivedita, Baba died by burning in 1898, which is considered as self-immolation. Though Pavhari Baba gained popularity as a yogi, his life is shrouded with mystery and he was born in village premapur, post-premapur, District Jaunpur, Jaunpur in a Brahmin family. In his childhood he was taken to Ghazipur to study and there he lived in his uncles house and his uncle was a Naishthika Brahmachari and a follower of Ramanuja or Shri sect. He owned a piece of land in Ghazipur which Pavhari Baba got in inheritance and he was a diligent student of Vyākaraṇa and Nyaya and had demonstrated mastery in many branches of Hindu philosophy in his youth. In his youth, he visited many pilgrimages as a Brahmachari and he acquired knowledge of Dravidian languages. He had also acquaintance with the Vaishnavas of Chaitanya Mahaprabhus order, at Girnar in Kathiawar, he was first initiated into Yoga. He also became a disciple of a Sannyasi and from him he learned Advaita Vedanta, Vivekananda related this act of Pavhari Baba with the practice of Hindu yogis who choose cave or similar spots to practice yoga where temperature is even and where there is not any distracting sound. In this cave he used to meditate for days, and thus he became known by the sobriquet Pavhari Baba which means pav(pawan means air, ahaari means food air-eating holy man. People from far and wide sought to visit Baba and it is said he use to communicate with visitors from behind a wall as no ones shadow specially any women should fall on him as he was bal bramachari. Once he did not come out of his hermitage for five years, but, later he came out from his place. Pvahari Baba was noted for his polite and kind behaviour, when he met Vivekananda he used expressions like this servant, my honour etc which surprised and pleased Vivekananda. People also used to admire his humility and spirit of welfare, Swami Nikhilananda mentioned an incident in his book Vivekananda, a biography
30. Peace Pilgrim – Peace Pilgrim born Mildred Lisette Norman, was an American non-denominational spiritual teacher, mystic, pacifist, vegetarian activist and peace activist. In 1952, she became the first woman to walk the length of the Appalachian Trail in one season. She also walked across the United States at least eight times, starting on January 1,1953, in Pasadena, California, she adopted the name Peace Pilgrim and walked across the United States for 28 years. A transcript of a 1964 conversation with Peace Pilgrim from a broadcast on KPFK radio in Los Angeles and she stopped counting miles in that year, having walked more than 40,000 km for peace. Mildred Lisette Norman was born on a farm in Egg Harbor City, New Jersey, in 1908. Her mother, Josephine Marie Ranch, was a tailor, and her father, Ernest Norman, although poor, the family were admired in a community of German immigrants, whose relatives originally settled the area after escaping Germany in 1855. In 1933 she eloped with Stanley Ryder and moved to Philadelphia in 1939 and she said that this awakening was a direct, mystical experience of the creators love. She claimed that this spurred her to start her decades-long walking journey for peace. Her pilgrimage spanned almost three decades beginning January 1,1953, in Pasadena, California, the Korean War was in progress. She continued walking for 28 years, spanning the American involvement in the Vietnam War, Peace Pilgrim was a frequent speaker at churches, universities, and local and national radio and television. Expressing her ideas about peace, she referred to only as Peace Pilgrim. She had no backing, carried no money, and would not even ask for food or shelter. When she began her pilgrimage she had taken a vow to remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace, walking until given shelter and fasting until given food. On July 7,1981, while being driven from the Chicago area to an engagement near Knox, Indiana. At the time of her death, she was crossing the United States for the seventh time, after her death, her body was cremated, and her ashes were interred in a family plot near Egg Harbor City, New Jersey. Friends of Peace Pilgrim is an all-volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to making information about the life, books and booklets have been sent to over 100 countries. The book has been translated into 12 languages and the booklet into over 20 languages, in 2005 Peace Pilgrim Park was created in her hometown of Egg Harbor City, New Jersey on part of the site of the former Neutral Water Health Resort Sanitarium. Since 2007 an annual Peace Pilgrim Celebration has been observed in the park, in 2017 she was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame
31. Pelagius – Pelagius was an Irish or British ascetic moralist, who became well known throughout the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity. He opposed the idea of predestination and asserted a version of the doctrine of free will. He was accused by Augustine of Hippo and others of denying the need for aid in performing good works. They understood him to have said that the only grace necessary was the declaration of the law, Pelagius denied Augustines theory of original sin. His adherents cited Deuteronomy 24,16 in support of their position, Pelagius was declared a heretic by the Council of Carthage. His interpretation of a doctrine of free will became known as Pelagianism and he was well educated, fluent in both Greek and Latin, and learned in theology. He spent time as an ascetic, focusing on practical asceticism and he was well known in Rome, both for the harsh asceticism of his public life and the power and persuasiveness of his speech. His reputation earned him early in his career even from such pillars of the Church as Augustine. However, he was accused of lying about his own teachings to avoid public condemnation. Most of his life was spent defending his doctrine against Christian theologians who held that Pelagius was spreading novelties in the Faith unknown to the apostolic tradition. Due to some calling him a heretic, little of his work has come down to the present day except in the quotes of his opponents, from what we are able to piece together from the few sources available. It seems that the Celtic monk held to a view of the prevenience of Gods grace. He is said by his contemporaries, such as Augustine of Hippo, Prosper of Aquitaine, Marius Mercator, Jerome apparently thought that Pelagius was Irish, suggesting that he was stuffed with Irish porridge. Tall in stature and portly in appearance, Pelagius was highly educated and he spoke and wrote Latin and Greek with great fluency and was well versed in theology. Pelagius became better known around 380 when he moved to Rome, there he enjoyed a reputation of austerity, he also corresponded with St. Paulinus of Nola. Pelagius became concerned about the moral laxity of society and he blamed this laxity on the theology of divine grace preached by Augustine, among others. He began to teach a very strict, rigid moralism, emphasizing a natural, when Alaric sacked Rome in 410, Pelagius and his follower Caelestius fled to Carthage, where he continued his work. By 415, he was in Jerusalem, Pelagianism quickly spread, especially around Carthage