Christian monasticism is the devotional practice of individuals who live ascetic and cloistered lives that are dedicated to Christian worship. It began to develop early in the history of the Christian Church, modeled upon scriptural examples and ideals, including those in the Old Testament, but not mandated as an institution in the scriptures, it has come to be regulated by religious rules and, in modern times, the Canon law of the respective Christian denominations that have forms of monastic living. Those living the monastic life are known by the generic terms nuns; the word monk originated from the Greek monachos "monk", itself from monos meaning "alone". Monks did not live in monasteries at first, they began by living alone, as the word monos might suggest; as more people took on the lives of monks, living alone in the wilderness, they started to come together and model themselves after the original monks nearby. The monks formed communities to further their ability to observe an ascetic life.
According to Christianity historian Robert Louis Wilken, "By creating an alternate social structure within the Church they laid the foundations for one of the most enduring Christian institutions..." Monastics dwell in a monastery, whether they live there in community, or in seclusion. The basic idea of monasticism in all its varieties is seclusion or withdrawal from the world or society; the object of this is to achieve a life whose ideal is different from and at variance with that pursued by the majority of humanity, the method adopted, no matter what its precise details may be, is always self-abnegation or organized asceticism. Monastic life is distinct from the "religious orders" such as the friars, canons regular, clerks regular, the more recent religious congregations; the latter has some special work or aim, such as preaching, liberating captives, etc. which occupies a large place in their activities. While monks have undertaken labors of the most varied character, in every case this work is extrinsic to the essence of the monastic state.
Both ways of living out the Christian life are regulated by the respective church law of those Christian denominations that recognize it. Christian monastic life does not always involve communal living with like-minded Christians. Christian monasticism has varied in its external forms, broadly speaking, it has two main types the eremitical or secluded, the cenobitical or city life. St. Anthony the Abbot may be called St. Pachomius of the second; the monastic life is based on Jesus's amen to "be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect". This ideal called the state of perfection, can be seen, for example, in the Philokalia, a book of monastic writings, their manner of self-renunciation has three elements corresponding to the three evangelical counsels: poverty and obedience. Monks and friars are two distinct roles. In the thirteenth century "...new orders of friars were founded to teach the Christian faith," because monasteries had declined. First-century groups such as the Essenes and the Therapeutae followed lifestyles that could be seen as precursors to Christian monasticism.
Early Christian monasticism drew its inspiration from the examples of the Prophet Elijah and John the Baptist, who both lived alone in the desert, above all from the story of Jesus’ time in solitary struggle with Satan in the desert, before his public ministry. The Carmelites find inspiration in the Old Testament prophet Elijah. From the earliest times within the Christian Church, there were individual hermits who lived a life in isolation in imitation of Jesus's 40 days in the desert, they have left no confirmed only hints in the written record. Communities of virgins who had consecrated themselves to Christ are found at least as far back as the 2nd century. There were individual ascetics, known as the "devout", who lived not in the deserts but on the edge of inhabited places, still remaining in the world but practicing asceticism and striving for union with God. Eremitic monasticism, or solitary monasticism, is characterized by a complete withdrawal from society; the word ` eremitic' comes from the Greek word eremos.
This name was given because of St. Anthony of the Desert, or St. Anthony of Egypt, who left civilization behind to live on a solitary Egyptian mountain in the third century. Though he was not the first Christian hermit, he is recognized as such as he was the first known one. Paul the Hermit is the first Christian known to have been living as a monk. In the 3rd century, Anthony of Egypt lived as a hermit in the desert and gained followers who lived as hermits nearby but not in actual community with him; this type of monasticism is called eremitical or "hermit-like". An early form of "proto-monasticism" appeared as well in the 3rd century among Syriac Christians through the "Sons of the covenant" movement. Eastern Orthodoxy looks to Basil of Caesarea as a founding monastic legislator, as well to as the example of the Desert Fathers. Another option for becoming a solitary monastic was to become an anchoress; this began because there were women who wanted to live the solitary lifestyle but were not able to live alone in the wild.
Thus they would go to the Bishop for permission who would perform the rite of enclosure. After this was completed the anchoress would live alone in a room that had a window that opened
Sikhism, or Sikhi Sikkhī, from Sikh, meaning a "disciple", "seeker," or "learner") is a religion that originated in the Punjab region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent around the end of the 15th century, has variously been defined as monotheistic and panentheistic. It is one of the youngest of the major world religions, the world's fifth largest organized religion, as well as being the world's ninth-largest overall religion; the fundamental beliefs of Sikhism, articulated in the sacred scripture Guru Granth Sahib, include faith and meditation on the name of the one creator, divine unity and equality of all humankind, engaging in selfless service, striving for justice for the benefit and prosperity of all, honest conduct and livelihood while living a householder's life. In the early 21st century there were nearly 25 million Sikhs worldwide, the great majority of them living in Punjab, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Sikhism is based on the spiritual teachings of Guru Nanak, the first Guru, the nine Sikh gurus that succeeded him.
The Tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, named the Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib as his successor, terminating the line of human Gurus and making the scripture the eternal, religious spiritual guide for Sikhs. The Guru Granth Sahib is notable for being written by the founders of the religion, for including works by members of other religions. Sikhism rejects claims; the Sikh scripture opens with Ik Onkar, its Mul Mantar and fundamental prayer about One Supreme Being. Sikhism emphasizes simran, that can be expressed musically through kirtan or internally through Nam Japo as a means to feel God's presence, it teaches followers to transform the "Five Thieves". Hand in hand, secular life is considered to be intertwined with the spiritual life. Guru Nanak taught that living an "active and practical life" of "truthfulness, self-control and purity" is above the metaphysical truth, that the ideal man is one who "establishes union with God, knows His Will, carries out that Will". Guru Hargobind, the sixth Sikh Guru, established the political/temporal and spiritual realms to be mutually coexistent.
Sikhism evolved in times of religious persecution. Two of the Sikh gurus – Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadur – were tortured and executed by the Mughal rulers after they refused to convert to Islam; the persecution of Sikhs triggered the founding of the Khalsa as an order to protect the freedom of conscience and religion, with qualities of a "Sant-Sipāhī" – a saint-soldier. The Khalsa was founded by Guru Gobind Singh; the majority of Sikh scriptures were written in the Gurmukhī alphabet, a script standardised by Guru Angad out of Laṇḍā scripts used in North India. Adherents of Sikhism are known as Sikhs, which means disciples of the Guru; the anglicised word'Sikhism' is derived from the Punjabi verb Sikhi, with roots in Sikhana, Sikhi connotes the "temporal path of learning". The basis of Sikhism lies in the teachings of his successors. Many sources call Sikhism a monotheistic religion, while others call it a monistic and panentheistic religion. According to Eleanor Nesbitt, English renderings of Sikhism as a monotheistic religion "tend misleadingly to reinforce a Semitic understanding of monotheism, rather than Guru Nanak's mystical awareness of the one, expressed through the many.
However, what is not in doubt is the emphasis on'one'". In Sikhism, the concept of "God" is Waheguru considered Nirankar and Alakh Niranjan; the Sikh scripture begins with Ik Onkar, which refers to the "formless one", understood in the Sikh tradition as monotheistic unity of God. Sikhism is classified as an Indian religion along with Buddhism and Jainism, given its geographical origin and its sharing some concepts with them. Sikh ethics emphasize the congruence between everyday moral conduct, its founder Guru Nanak summarized this perspective with "Truth is the highest virtue, but higher still is truthful living". God in Sikhism is known as the One Supreme Reality or the all-pervading spirit; this spirit has no gender in Sikhism. It is Akaal Purkh and Nirankar. In addition, Nanak wrote; the traditional Mul Mantar goes from Ik Oankar until Nanak Hosee Bhee Sach. The opening line of the Guru Granth Sahib and each subsequent raga, mentions Ik Oankar: ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ॥Transliteration: ikk ōankār sat-nām karatā purakh nirabha'u niravair akāl mūrat ajūnī saibhan gur prasād.
"There is one supreme being, the eternal reality, the creator, without fear and devoid of enmity, never incarnated, self-existent, known by grace through the true Guru." Māyā, defined as a temporary illusion or "unreality", is one of the core deviations from the pursuit of God and salvation: where worldly attractions which give only illusory temporary satisfaction and pain which distract the process of the devotion of God. However, Nanak emphasised māyā as not a reference of its values. In Sikhism, the influences of ego, greed and lust, known as the Five Thieves, are believed to be distracting and hurtful. Sikhs believe the world is curren
Beguines and Beghards
The Beguines and the Beghards were Christian lay religious orders that were active in Northern Europe in the Low Countries in the 13th–16th centuries. Their members did not take formal religious vows; that is, although they promised not to marry "as long as they lived as Beguines," to quote one of the early Rules, they were free to leave at any time. Beguines were part of a larger spiritual revival movement of the thirteenth century that stressed imitation of Christ's life through voluntary poverty, care of the poor and sick, religious devotion; the term "beguine" may have been pejorative. Scholars no longer credit the theory expounded in the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition that the name derived from Lambert le Bègue, a priest of Liège. Other theories, such as derivation from the name of St. Begga and from a purported, reconstructed Old Saxon word *beggen, "to beg" or "to pray", have been discredited; the origin of the movement's name will continue to be as uncertain as dates for the beginning of the movement itself.
There is no evidence that Beguines formed part of the Cathar heretical groups. Encyclopedias, when they mention this latter explanation at all, tend to dismiss it. At the start of the 12th century, some women in the Low Countries lived alone and devoted themselves to prayer and good works without taking vows. At first there were only a few of them. Due to the structure of urban demographics and marriage patterns in the Low Countries, in the Middle Ages there were more women than men; these women lived in towns. During the 13th century, some of them bought homes that neighbored each other, formal living spaces for many women formed a community called a beguinage. Beguinages tended to be located near town centers and were close to the rivers that provided water for their work in the cloth industry. Beguines were not nuns. In many cases, the term "Beguine" referred to a woman who wore humble garb and stood apart as living a religious life above and beyond the ordinary practice of ordinary laypeople.
It has been disputed that Marie of Oignies is the earliest beguine. While some women joined communities of like-minded lay religious women, adopting the label “beguine” by virtue of entering a beguinage, many women lived alone or with one or two other like-minded women. Beguines engaged in a range of occupations to support themselves. Women in the Low Countries tended to work in the cities' lucrative wool industry. Parisian beguines were important contributors to the city's burgeoning silk industry. Beguinages were not convents. There was no overarching structure such as a mother-house; each beguinage adopted its own rule. The Bishop of Liège created a rule for beguines in his diocese. However, every community was complete in itself and fixed its own order of living. Many adopted the rule of the Third Order of Saint Francis; these communities were varied in terms of the social status of their members. Several, like the great béguinage of Ghent, numbered their inhabitants by thousands; the Beguinage of Paris, founded sometime before 1264, housed as many as 400 women.
Douceline of Digne founded the Beguine movement in Marseille. This semi-monastic institution was adapted to its age and spread throughout the land; some beguines became known as "holy women", their devotions influenced religious life within the region. Beguine religious life was part of the mysticism of that age. There was a béguinage at Mechelen as early as 1207, at Brussels in 1245, at Leuven before 1232, at Antwerp in 1234 and at Bruges in 1244. By the close of the century, most communes in the Low Countries had a béguinage; as the 13th century progressed, some beguines came under criticism as a result of their ambiguous social and legal status. As a conscious choice to live in the world but in a way that surpassed or stood out from most laypeople, beguines attracted disapprobation as much as admiration. In some regions, the term beguine itself denoted an ostentatiously obnoxiously religious woman; some professed religious, were offended by the cooptation of “religious” status without the commitment to a rule, while the laity resented the implicit disapproval of marriage and other markers of secular life.
An more pressingly practical problem was the women’s legal standing… where did and should such women stand in relation to ecclesiastical and lay authorities? Beguines seemed to enjoy the best of both worlds: holding onto their property and living in the world as laypeople while claiming the privileges and protections of the professed religious. On the other hand, admirers such as the secular cleric Robert de Sorbon noted that beguines exhibited far more devotion to God than the cloistered, since they voluntarily pursued a religious life without vows and walls, surrounded by the world’s temptations; the power of the beguine label is evident in the “watershed” moments of beguine history, from its first appearance in the sermons of James
Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition which has developed from the practices and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called "Anglicans"; the majority of Anglicans are members of national or regional ecclesiastical provinces of the international Anglican Communion, which forms the third-largest Christian communion in the world, after the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. They are in full communion with the See of Canterbury, thus the Archbishop of Canterbury, whom the communion refers to as its primus inter pares, he calls the decennial Lambeth Conference, chairs the meeting of primates, the Anglican Consultative Council. Some churches that are not part of the Anglican Communion or recognized by the Anglican Communion call themselves Anglican, including those that are part of the Continuing Anglican movement and Anglican realignment. Anglicans base their Christian faith on the Bible, traditions of the apostolic Church, apostolic succession and the writings of the Church Fathers.
Anglicanism forms one of the branches of Western Christianity, having definitively declared its independence from the Holy See at the time of the Elizabethan Religious Settlement. Many of the new Anglican formularies of the mid-16th century corresponded to those of contemporary Protestantism; these reforms in the Church of England were understood by one of those most responsible for them, Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, others as navigating a middle way between two of the emerging Protestant traditions, namely Lutheranism and Calvinism. In the first half of the 17th century, the Church of England and its associated Church of Ireland were presented by some Anglican divines as comprising a distinct Christian tradition, with theologies and forms of worship representing a different kind of middle way, or via media, between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism – a perspective that came to be influential in theories of Anglican identity and expressed in the description of Anglicanism as "Catholic and Reformed".
The degree of distinction between Protestant and Catholic tendencies within the Anglican tradition is a matter of debate both within specific Anglican churches and throughout the Anglican Communion. Unique to Anglicanism is the Book of Common Prayer, the collection of services in one Book used for centuries; the Book is acknowledged as a principal tie that binds the Anglican Communion together as a liturgical rather than a confessional tradition or one possessing a magisterium as in the Roman Catholic Church. After the American Revolution, Anglican congregations in the United States and British North America were each reconstituted into autonomous churches with their own bishops and self-governing structures. Through the expansion of the British Empire and the activity of Christian missions, this model was adopted as the model for many newly formed churches in Africa and Asia-Pacific. In the 19th century, the term Anglicanism was coined to describe the common religious tradition of these churches.
The word Anglican originates in Anglicana ecclesia libera sit, a phrase from the Magna Carta dated 15 June 1215, meaning "the Anglican Church shall be free". Adherents of Anglicanism are called Anglicans; as an adjective, "Anglican" is used to describe the people and churches, as well as the liturgical traditions and theological concepts developed by the Church of England. As a noun, an Anglican is a member of a church in the Anglican Communion; the word is used by followers of separated groups which have left the communion or have been founded separately from it, although this is considered as a misuse by the Anglican Communion. The word Anglicanism came into being in the 19th century; the word referred only to the teachings and rites of Christians throughout the world in communion with the see of Canterbury, but has come to sometimes be extended to any church following those traditions rather than actual membership in the modern Anglican Communion. Although the term Anglican is found referring to the Church of England as far back as the 16th century, its use did not become general until the latter half of the 19th century.
In British parliamentary legislation referring to the English Established Church, there is no need for a description. When the Union with Ireland Act created the United Church of England and Ireland, it is specified that it shall be one "Protestant Episcopal Church", thereby distinguishing its form of church government from the Presbyterian polity that prevails in the Church of Scotland; the word Episcopal is preferred in the title of the Episcopal Church and the Scottish Episcopal Church, though the full name of the former is The Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America. Elsewhere, the term "Anglican Church" came to be preferred as it distinguished these churches from others that maintain an episcopal polity. Anglicanism, in its structures and forms of worship, is understood as a distinct Christian tradition representing a middle ground between what are perceived to be the extremes of the claims of 16th-century Roman Ca
Hinduism is an Indian religion and dharma, or way of life practised in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Sanātana Dharma, "the eternal tradition", or the "eternal way", beyond human history. Scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no founder; this "Hindu synthesis" started to develop between 500 BCE and 300 CE, after the end of the Vedic period, flourished in the medieval period, with the decline of Buddhism in India. Although Hinduism contains a broad range of philosophies, it is linked by shared concepts, recognisable rituals, shared textual resources, pilgrimage to sacred sites. Hindu texts are classified into Smṛti; these texts discuss theology, mythology, Vedic yajna, agamic rituals, temple building, among other topics. Major scriptures include the Vedas and Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, the Āgamas.
Sources of authority and eternal truths in its texts play an important role, but there is a strong Hindu tradition of questioning authority in order to deepen the understanding of these truths and to further develop the tradition. Prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include the four Puruṣārthas, the proper goals or aims of human life, namely Dharma, Artha and Moksha. Hindu practices include rituals such as puja and recitations, meditation, family-oriented rites of passage, annual festivals, occasional pilgrimages; some Hindus leave their social world and material possessions engage in lifelong Sannyasa to achieve Moksha. Hinduism prescribes the eternal duties, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings, forbearance, self-restraint, compassion, among others; the four largest denominations of Hinduism are the Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Smartism. Hinduism is the world's third largest religion. Hinduism is the most professed faith in India and Mauritius, it is the predominant religion in Bali, Indonesia.
Significant numbers of Hindu communities are found in the Caribbean, North America, other countries. The word Hindū is derived from Indo-Aryan/Sanskrit root Sindhu; the Proto-Iranian sound change *s > h occurred between 850–600 BCE, according to Asko Parpola. It is believed that Hindu was used as the name for the Indus River in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. According to Gavin Flood, "The actual term Hindu first occurs as a Persian geographical term for the people who lived beyond the river Indus", more in the 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I; the term Hindu in these ancient records did not refer to a religion. Among the earliest known records of'Hindu' with connotations of religion may be in the 7th-century CE Chinese text Record of the Western Regions by Xuanzang, 14th-century Persian text Futuhu's-salatin by'Abd al-Malik Isami. Thapar states that the word Hindu is found as heptahindu in Avesta – equivalent to Rigvedic sapta sindhu, while hndstn is found in a Sasanian inscription from the 3rd century CE, both of which refer to parts of northwestern South Asia.
The Arabic term al-Hind referred to the people. This Arabic term was itself taken from the pre-Islamic Persian term Hindū, which refers to all Indians. By the 13th century, Hindustan emerged as a popular alternative name of India, meaning the "land of Hindus"; the term Hindu was used in some Sanskrit texts such as the Rajataranginis of Kashmir and some 16th- to 18th-century Bengali Gaudiya Vaishnava texts including Chaitanya Charitamrita and Chaitanya Bhagavata. These texts used it to distinguish Hindus from Muslims who are called Yavanas or Mlecchas, with the 16th-century Chaitanya Charitamrita text and the 17th-century Bhakta Mala text using the phrase "Hindu dharma", it was only towards the end of the 18th century that European merchants and colonists began to refer to the followers of Indian religions collectively as Hindus. The term Hinduism spelled Hindooism, was introduced into the English language in the 18th century to denote the religious and cultural traditions native to India. Hinduism includes a diversity of ideas on spirituality and traditions, but has no ecclesiastical order, no unquestionable religious authorities, no governing body, no prophet nor any binding holy book.
Because of the wide range of traditions and ideas covered by the term Hinduism, arriving at a comprehensive definition is difficult. The religion "defies our desire to define and categorize it". Hinduism has been variously defined as a religion, a religious tradition, a set of religious beliefs, "a way of life". From a Western lexical standpoint, Hinduism like other faiths is appropriately referred to as a religion. In India the term dharma is preferred, broader than the Western term religion; the study of India and its cultures and religions, the definition of "Hinduism", has been shaped by th
Buddhism is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions and spiritual practices based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are recognized by scholars: Theravada and Mahayana. Most Buddhist traditions share the goal of overcoming suffering and the cycle of death and rebirth, either by the attainment of Nirvana or through the path of Buddhahood. Buddhist schools vary in their interpretation of the path to liberation, the relative importance and canonicity assigned to the various Buddhist texts, their specific teachings and practices. Observed practices include taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, observance of moral precepts, monasticism and the cultivation of the Paramitas.
Theravada Buddhism has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia such as Myanmar and Thailand. Mahayana, which includes the traditions of Pure Land, Nichiren Buddhism and Tiantai, is found throughout East Asia. Vajrayana, a body of teachings attributed to Indian adepts, may be viewed as a separate branch or as an aspect of Mahayana Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism, which preserves the Vajrayana teachings of eighth-century India, is practiced in the countries of the Himalayan region and Kalmykia. Buddhism is an Indian religion attributed to the teachings of the Buddha born Siddhārtha Gautama, known as the Tathāgata and Sakyamuni. Early texts have his personal name as "Gautama" or "Gotama" without any mention of "Siddhārtha," which appears to have been a kind of honorific title when it does appear; the details of Buddha's life are mentioned in many Early Buddhist Texts but are inconsistent, his social background and life details are difficult to prove, the precise dates uncertain. The evidence of the early texts suggests that he was born as Siddhārtha Gautama in Lumbini and grew up in Kapilavasthu, a town in the plains region of the modern Nepal-India border, that he spent his life in what is now modern Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Some hagiographic legends state that his father was a king named Suddhodana, his mother was Queen Maya, he was born in Lumbini gardens. However, scholars such as Richard Gombrich consider this a dubious claim because a combination of evidence suggests he was born in the Shakyas community – one that gave him the title Shakyamuni, the Shakya community was governed by a small oligarchy or republic-like council where there were no ranks but where seniority mattered instead; some of the stories about Buddha, his life, his teachings, claims about the society he grew up in may have been invented and interpolated at a time into the Buddhist texts. According to the Buddhist sutras, Gautama was moved by the innate suffering of humanity and its endless repetition due to rebirth, he set out on a quest to end this repeated suffering. Early Buddhist canonical texts and early biographies of Gautama state that Gautama first studied under Vedic teachers, namely Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, learning meditation and ancient philosophies the concept of "nothingness, emptiness" from the former, "what is neither seen nor unseen" from the latter.
Finding these teachings to be insufficient to attain his goal, he turned to the practice of asceticism. This too fell short of attaining his goal, he turned to the practice of dhyana, which he had discovered in his youth, he famously sat in meditation under a Ficus religiosa tree now called the Bodhi Tree in the town of Bodh Gaya in the Gangetic plains region of South Asia. He gained insight into the workings of karma and his former lives, attained enlightenment, certainty about the Middle Way as the right path of spiritual practice to end suffering from rebirths in Saṃsāra; as a enlightened Buddha, he attracted followers and founded a Sangha. Now, as the Buddha, he spent the rest of his life teaching the Dharma he had discovered, died at the age of 80 in Kushinagar, India. Buddha's teachings were propagated by his followers, which in the last centuries of the 1st millennium BCE became over 18 Buddhist sub-schools of thought, each with its own basket of texts containing different interpretations and authentic teachings of the Buddha.
The Four Truths express the basic orientation of Buddhism: we crave and cling to impermanent states and things, dukkha, "incapable of satisfying" and painful. This keeps us caught in saṃsāra, the endless cycle of repeated rebirth and dying again, but there is a way to liberation from this endless cycle to the state of nirvana, namely following the Noble Eightfold Path. The truth of dukkha is the basic insight that life in this mundane world, with its clinging and craving to impermanent states and things is dukkha, unsatisfactory. Dukkha can be translated as "incapable of satisfying," "the unsatisfactory nature and the general insecurity of all conditioned phenomena". Dukkha is most translated as "suffering," but this is inaccurate, since it refers not to episodic suffering, but to the intrinsically unsat
A sadhu spelled saddhu, is a religious ascetic, mendicant or any holy person in Hinduism and Jainism who has renounced the worldly life. They are sometimes alternatively referred to as sannyasi or vairagi, it means one who practises a ″sadhana″ or keenly follows a path of spiritual discipline. Although the vast majority of sādhus are yogīs, not all yogīs are sādhus; the sādhu is dedicated to achieving mokṣa, the fourth and final aśrama, through meditation and contemplation of Brahman. Sādhus wear simple clothing, such saffron-coloured clothing in Hinduism, white or nothing in Jainism, symbolising their sannyāsa. A female mendicant in Hinduism and Jainism is called a sadhvi, or in some texts as aryika; the term sadhu appears in Rigveda and Atharvaveda where it means "straight, leading straight to goal", according to Monier Monier-Williams. In the Brahmanas layer of Vedic literature, the term connotes someone, "well disposed, willing, effective or efficient, secure, virtuous, righteous, noble" depending on the context.
In the Hindu Epics, the term implies someone, a "saint, seer, holy man, chaste, honest or right". The Sanskrit terms sādhu and sādhvī refer to renouncers who have chosen to live lives apart from or on the edges of society to focus on their own spiritual practices; the words come from the root sādh, which means "reach one's goal", "make straight", or "gain power over". The same root is used in the word sādhanā, which means "spiritual practice", it means one who practises a ″sadhana″ or a path of spiritual discipline. There are 4 to 5 million sadhus in India today and they are respected for their holiness, it is thought that the austere practices of the sadhus help to burn off their karma and that of the community at large. Thus seen as benefiting society, sadhus are supported by donations from many people. However, reverence of sadhus is by no means universal in India. For example, Nath yogi sadhus have been viewed with a certain degree of suspicion amongst the urban populations of India, but they have been revered and are popular in rural India.
There are naked sadhus. Sadhus engage in a wide variety of religious practices; some practice asceticism and solitary meditation, while others prefer group praying, chanting or meditating. They live a simple lifestyle, have few or no possessions, survive by food and drinks from leftovers that they beg for or is donated by others. Many sadhus have rules for alms collection, do not visit the same place twice on different days to avoid bothering the residents, they walk or travel over distant places, visiting temples and pilgrimage centers as a part of their spiritual practice. Celibacy is common, but some sects experiment with consensual tantric sex as a part of their practice. Sex is viewed by them as a transcendence from a personal, intimate act to something impersonal and ascetic. Shaiva sadhus are renunciates devoted to Shiva, Vaishnava sadhus are renouncers devoted to Vishnu; the Vaishnava sadhus are sometimes referred to as vairagis. Less numerous are Shakta sadhus, who are devoted to Shakti.
Within these general divisions are numerous sects and subsects, reflecting different lineages and philosophical schools and traditions. Within the Shaiva sadhus are many subgroups. Most Shaiva sadhus wear a Tripundra mark on their forehead, dress in saffron, red or orange color clothes, live a monastic life; some sadhus such as the Aghori share the practices of ancient Kapalikas, where they beg with a skull, smeared their body with ashes from the cremation ground, experiment with substances or practices that are abhorred by society. The Dashanami Sampradaya sadhus belong to the Smarta Tradition, they are said to have been formed by the philosopher and renunciant Adi Shankara, believed to have lived in the 8th century CE, though the full history of the sect's formation is not clear. Among them are the Naga subgroups, naked sadhu known for carrying weapons like tridents, swords and spears. Said to have once functioned as an armed order to protect Hindus from the Mughal rulers, they were involved in a number of military defence campaigns.
In the ambit of non-violence at present, some sections are known to practice wrestling and martial arts. Their retreats are still called chhaavni or armed camps, mock duels are still sometimes held between them. Female sadhus exist in many sects. In many cases, the women that take to the life of renunciation are widows, these types of sadhvis live secluded lives in ascetic compounds. Sadhvis are sometimes regarded by some as manifestations or forms of the Goddess, or Devi, are honoured as such. There have been a number of charismatic sadhvis that have risen to fame as religious teachers in contemporary India—e.g. Anandamayi Ma, Sarada Devi, Mata Amritanandamayi, Karunamayi; the Jain community is traditionally discussed in its texts with four terms: sadhu, sadhvi or aryika and sravika. As in Hinduism and Buddhism, the Jain householders support the monastic community; the sadhus and sadhvis are intertwined with the Jain lay society, perform Murtipuja and lead festive rituals, they are organized in a hierarchical monastic structure.
There are differences between the Svetambara sadhus and sadhvi traditions. The Digambara sadhus own no c