Vaishnavism is one of the major traditions within Hinduism along with Shaivism and Smarthism. It is called Vishnuism, its followers are called Vaishnavas, it considers Vishnu as the Supreme Lord; the tradition is notable for its avatar doctrine, wherein Krishna is revered in one of many distinct incarnations. Of these, ten avatars of Vishnu are the most studied. Rama, Narayana, Hari, Kesava, Govinda, Sri Nathji and Jagannath are among the popular names used for the same supreme being; the tradition has traceable roots to the 1st millennium BCE, as Bhagavatism called Krishnaism. Developments led by Ramananda created a Rama-oriented movement, now the largest monastic group in Asia; the Vaishnava tradition has many sampradayas ranging from the medieval era Dvaita school of Madhvacharya to Vishishtadvaita school of Ramanuja. The tradition is known for the loving devotion to an avatar of Vishnu, it has been key to the spread of the Bhakti movement in South Asia in the 2nd millennium CE. Key texts in Vaishnavism include the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Pancaratra texts and the Bhagavata Purana.
Vaishnavism originates in the latest centuries BCE and the early centuries CE, as an amalgam of the heroic Krishna Vasudeva, the "divine child" Bala Krishna of the Gopala traditions, syncretism of these non-Vedic traditions with the Mahabharata canon, thus affiliating itself with Vedism in order to become acceptable to the orthodox establishment. Krishnaism becomes associated with bhakti yoga in the medieval period. Although Vishnu was a Vedic solar deity, he is mentioned more compared to Agni and other Vedic deities, thereby suggesting that he had a major position in the Vedic religion. Other scholars state that there are other Vedic deities, such as water deity Nara, who together form the historical roots of Vaishnavism. In the late-Vedic texts, the concept of a metaphysical Brahman grows in prominence, the Vaishnavism tradition considered Vishnu to be identical to Brahman, just like Shaivism and Shaktism consider Shiva and Devi to be Brahman respectively; the ancient emergence of Vaishnavism is unclear, the evidence inconsistent and scanty.
According to Dalal, the origins may be in Vedic deity Bhaga. According to Preciado-Solís, the Vedic deities Nara and Narayana form one of the Vedic roots of Vaishnavism. According to Dandekar, Vaishnavism may have emerged from merger of several ancient theistic traditions, where the various deities were integrated as different avatars of the same god. In Dandekar theory, Vaishnavism emerged at the end of the Vedic period before the second urbanisation of northern India, in the 7th to 4th century BCE. Vasudeva and Krishna, "the deified tribal hero and religious leader of the Yadavas," gained prominence, merged into Bhagavan Vasudeva-Krishna, due to the close relation between the Vrsnis and the Yadavas; this was followed by a merger with the cult of Gopala-Krishna of the cowherd community of the Abhıras at the 4th century CE. The character of Gopala Krishna is considered to be non-Vedic. According to Dandekar, such mergers consolidated the position of Krishnaism between the heterodox sramana movement and the orthodox Vedic religion.
The "Greater Krsnaism", states Dandekar merged with the Rigvedic Vishnu. Syncretism of various traditions and Vedism resulted in Vaishnavism. At this stage that Vishnu of the Rig Veda was assimilated into non-Vedic Krishnaism and became the equivalent of the Supreme God; the appearance of Krishna as one of the Avatars of Vishnu dates to the period of the Sanskrit epics in the early centuries CE. The Bhagavad Gita was incorporated into the Mahabharata as a key text for Krishnaism; the Narayana-cult was included, which further brahmanized Vaishnavism. The Nara-Narayana cult may have originated in Badari, a northern ridge of the Hindu Kush, absorbed into the Vedic orthodoxy as Purusa Narayana. Purusa Narayana may have been turned into Arjuna and Krsna; this complex history is reflected in the two main historical denominations of Vishnavism. The Bhagavats, worship Vasudeva-Krsna, are followers of brahmanic Vaishnavism, while the Pacaratrins regard Narayana as their founder, are followers of Tantric Vaishnavism.
According to Hardy, there is evidence of early "southern Krishnaism," despite the tendency to allocate the Krishna-traditions to the Northern traditions. South Indian texts show close parallel with the Sanskrit traditions of Krishna and his gopi companions, so ubiquitous in North Indian text and imagery. Early writings in Dravidian culture such as Manimekalai and the Cilappatikaram present Krishna, his brother, favourite female companions in the similar terms. Hardy argues that the Sanskrit Bhagavata Purana is a Sanskrit "translation" of the bhakti of the Tamil alvars. Devotion to southern Indian Mal may be an early form of Krishnaism, since Mal appears as a divine figure like Krishna with some elements of Vishnu; the Alvars, whose name can be translated "sages" or "saints", were devotees of Mal. Their poems show a pronounced orientation to the Vaishnava, Krishna, side of Mal, but they do not make the distinction between Krishna and Vishnu on the basis of the concept of the Avatars. Yet, according to Hardy the term "Mayonism" should be used instead of "Krishnaism" when referring to Mal or Mayon.
Most of the Gupta kings, beginning with Chandragupta II were known as Parama Bhagavatas or Bhagavata Vaishnavas. After the Gupta age, Krishnaism rose to a major current of Vaishnavism, Vaishnavism developed into various sects and subsects
Ajivika is one of the nāstika or "heterodox" schools of Indian philosophy. Purportedly founded in the 5th century BCE by Makkhali Gosala, it was a śramaṇa movement and a major rival of vedic religion, early Buddhism and Jainism. Ājīvikas were organised renunciates. Original scriptures of the Ājīvika school of philosophy may once have existed, but these are unavailable and lost, their theories are extracted from mentions of Ajivikas in the secondary sources of ancient Indian literature. Scholars question whether Ājīvika philosophy has been and summarized in these secondary sources, as they were written by groups competing with and adversarial to the philosophy and religious practices of the Ajivikas, it is therefore that much of the information available about the Ājīvikas is inaccurate to some degree, characterisations of them should be regarded and critically. The Ājīvika school is known for its Niyati doctrine of absolute determinism, the premise that there is no free will, that everything that has happened, is happening and will happen is preordained and a function of cosmic principles.
Ājīvikas considered the karma doctrine as a fallacy. Ajivika metaphysics included a theory of atoms, adapted in Vaisheshika school, where everything was composed of atoms, qualities emerged from aggregates of atoms, but the aggregation and nature of these atoms was predetermined by cosmic forces. Ājīvikas were considered as atheists. They believed that in every living being is an ātman -- a central premise of Jainism. Founded in what is now the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Ājīvika philosophy reached the height of its popularity during the rule of the Mauryan emperor Bindusara, around the 4th century BCE; this school of thought thereafter declined, but survived for nearly 2,000 years through the 14th century CE in the southern Indian states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The Ājīvika philosophy, along with the Cārvāka philosophy, appealed most to the warrior and mercantile classes of ancient Indian society. Ajivika is derived from Ajiva which means "livelihood, mode of life"; the term Ajivika means "those following special rules with regard to Iivelihood", sometimes connoting "religious mendicants" in ancient Sanskrit and Pali texts.
Aaseevagam can be split as aasu + eevu + agam. Where "aasu" means errorless and available knowledge, "eevu" means solutions and "agam" means the place. Ajivika means a place; the name Ajivika for an entire philosophy resonates with its core belief in "no free will" and complete niyati "inner order of things, self-command, predeterminism", leading to the premise that good simple living is not a means to salvation or moksha, just a means to true livelihood, predetermined profession and way of life. The name came to imply that school of Indian philosophy which lived a good simple mendicant-like livelihood for its own sake and as part of its predeterministic beliefs, rather than for the sake of after-life or motivated by any soteriological reasons; some scholars spell Ajivika as Ajivaka. Ājīvika philosophy is cited in ancient texts of Buddhism and Jainism to Makkhali Gosala, a contemporary of the Buddha and Mahavira. Exact origins of Ājīvika is unknown, but accepted to be the 5th century BCE. Primary sources and literature of the Ājīvikas is lost, or yet to be found.
Everything, known about Ājīvika history and its philosophy is from secondary sources, such as the ancient and medieval texts of India. Inconsistent fragments of Ājīvika history is found in Jain texts such as the Bhagvati Sutra and Buddhist texts such as the Samaññaphala Sutta, Buddhaghosa's commentary on Sammannaphala Sutta, with a few mentions in Hindu texts such as Vayu Purana; the Ājīvikas reached the height of their prominence in the late 1st millennium BCE declined, yet continued to exist in south India until the 14th Century CE, as evidenced by inscriptions found in southern India. Ancient texts of Buddhism and Jainism mention a city in the 1st millennium BCE named Savatthi as the hub of the Ājīvikas. In part of the common era, inscriptions suggests that the Ājīvikas had a significant presence in the South Indian state of Karnataka, prominently in Kolar district and some places of Tamil Nadu; the Ājīvika philosophy spread in ancient South Asia, with a Sangha Geham for Ājīvikas on the island now known as Sri Lanka and extending into the western state of Gujarat by the 4th century BCE, the era of the Maurya Empire.
Riepe refers to Ājīvikas as a distinct heterodox school of Indian tradition. Raju states that "Ājīvikas and Cārvākas can be called Hindus", adds that "the word Hinduism has no definite meaning". Epigraphical evidence suggests that emperor Ashoka, in the 3rd century BCE, considered Ājīvikas to be more related to the schools of Hinduism than to Buddhists, Jainas or other Indian schools of thought. Makkhali Gosala is considered as the founder of the Ājīvika movement; some sources state that Gosala was only a leader of a large Ājīvika congregation of ascetics, but not the founder of the movement himself. The Swiss Indologist Jarl Charpentier and others suggest the Ājīvika tradition existed in India well before the birth of Makkhali Gosala, citing a variety of ancient Indian texts. Gosala was believed to be born in Tiruppatur of Tiruchirappalli district in Tamil Nadu and was the son of Mankha, a professional mendica
Yoga philosophy is one of the six major orthodox schools of Hinduism. Ancient and most modern literature refers to the Yoga school of Hinduism as Yoga, it is related to the Samkhya school of Hinduism. The Yoga school's systematic studies to better oneself physically and spiritually has influenced all other schools of Indian philosophy; the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a key text of the Yoga school of Hinduism. The epistemology of the Yoga school of Hinduism, like the Sāmkhya school, relies on three of six Pramanas as the means of gaining reliable knowledge; these include Anumāṇa and Sabda. The metaphysics of Yoga is built on the same dualist foundation as the Samkhya school; the universe is conceptualized as composed of two realities in the Samhkya-Yoga schools: Puruṣa and prakriti. Jiva is considered as a state in which puruṣa is bonded to prakriti in some form, in various permutations and combinations of various elements, feelings and mind. During the state of imbalance or ignorance, one or more constituents overwhelm the others, creating a form of bondage.
The end of this bondage is called liberation, or moksha, by both the Yoga and Samkhya schools of Hinduism. The ethical theory of the Yoga school is based on Yamas and Niyama, as well as elements of the Guṇa theory of Samkhya; the Yoga school of Hinduism differs from the related non-theistic/atheistic Samkhya school by incorporating the concept of a "personal, yet inactive, deity" or "personal god". While the Samkhya school suggests that jnana is a sufficient means to moksha, the Yoga school suggests that systematic techniques and practice, or personal experimentation, combined with Samkhya's approach to knowledge, is the path to moksha. Yoga shares several central ideas with the Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism, with the difference that Yoga philosophy is a form of experimental mysticism, while Advaita Vedanta is a form of monistic personalism. Advaita Vedanta, other schools of Hinduism, accept and build upon many of the teachings and techniques of Yoga; the origins of the Yoga school of Hinduism are unclear.
Some of its earliest discussions are found in 1st millennium BCE Indian texts such as the Katha Upanishad, the Shvetashvatara Upanishad and the Maitri Upanishad. The root of "Yoga" is found in hymn 5.81.1 of the Rig Veda, a dedication to rising Sun-god in the morning, interpreted as "yoke" or "yogically control". युञ्जते मन उत युञ्जते धियो विप्रा विप्रस्य बृहतो विपश्चितः Seers of the vast illumined seer yogically control their minds and their intelligence... Rigveda, does not describe Yoga philosophy with the same meaning or context as in medieval or modern times. Early references to practices that became part of Yoga school of Hinduism, are made in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, the oldest Upanishad. Gavin Flood translates it as, "...having become calm and concentrated, one perceives the self, within oneself." The practice of pranayama is mentioned in hymn 1.5.23 of Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, the practice of pratyahara is mentioned in hymn 8.15 of Chandogya Upanishad. The Katha Upanishad, dated to be from about the middle of the 1st millennium BCE, in verses 2.6.6 through 2.6.13 recommends a path to Self-knowledge, calls this path Yoga.
The Yoga school of Hinduism is mentioned in foundational texts of other orthodox schools such as the Vaisesikha Sutras, Nyaya Sutras and Brahma Sutras, which suggests that the Yoga philosophy was in vogue in the 1st millennium BCE. It was influenced by other schools and Indian philosophies. There are, for example, numerous parallels in the concepts in the Samkhya school of Hinduism and the Abhidharma schools of thought from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century AD, notes Larson. Patanjali's Yoga Sutras may be a synthesis of these three traditions. From the Samkhya school of Hinduism, the Yoga Sutras adopt the "reflective discernment" of prakrti and purusa, its metaphysical rationalism, as well its three epistemic methods to gaining reliable knowledge. From Abhidharma Buddhism's idea of nirodhasamadhi, suggests Larson, the Yoga Sutras adopt the pursuit of an altered state of awareness, but unlike Buddhism, which believes that there is neither self nor soul, Yoga is physicalist and realist like Samkhya in believing that each individual has a self and soul.
The third concept that the Yoga Sutras synthesize into its philosophy is the ancient ascetic traditions of isolation and introspection. The systematic collection of ideas of the Yoga school of Hinduism is found in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. After its circulation in the first half of the 1st millennium CE, many Indian scholars reviewed it published their Bhāṣya on it, which together form a canon of texts called the Pātañjalayogaśāstra; the Yoga school of Hinduism has been included as one of the six orthodox schools in medieval era Indian texts. The other schools are Samkhya, Vaisheshika and Vedanta; the Yoga school of Hindu philosophy is most related to the Samkhya school. In both, the foundational concepts include two realities: Prakriti; the Purusha is defined as that reality, pure consciousness and is devoid of thoughts or qualities. The Prakriti is the empirical, phenomenal reality which includes matter and mind, sensory organs and the sense of identity. A living being is held in both schools to be the union of matter and mind.
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Samkhya or Sankhya is one of the six āstika schools of Hindu philosophy. It is most related to the Yoga school of Hinduism, it was influential on other schools of Indian philosophy. Sāmkhya is an enumerationist philosophy whose epistemology accepts three of six pramanas as the only reliable means of gaining knowledge; these include anumāṇa and śabda. Sometimes described as one of the rationalist schools of Indian philosophy, this ancient school's reliance on reason was exclusive but strong. Samkhya is dualist. Sāmkhya philosophy regards the universe as consisting of puruṣa and prakṛti. Jiva is; this fusion, state the Samkhya scholars, led to the emergence of ahaṅkāra. The universe is described by this school as one created by purusa-prakṛti entities infused with various permutations and combinations of variously enumerated elements, feelings and mind. During the state of imbalance, one of more constituents overwhelm the others, creating a form of bondage of the mind; the end of this imbalance, bondage is called kaivalya, by the Samkhya school.
The existence of God or supreme being is not directly asserted, nor considered relevant by the Samkhya philosophers. Sāṃkhya denies the final cause of Ishvara. While the Samkhya school considers the Vedas as a reliable source of knowledge, it is an atheistic philosophy according to Paul Deussen and other scholars. A key difference between Samkhya and Yoga schools, state scholars, is that Yoga school accepts a "personal, yet inactive, deity" or "personal god". However, Radhanath Phukan, in the introduction to his translation of the Samkhya Karika of Isvarakrsna has argued that commentators who see the unmanifested as non-conscious make the mistake of regarding Samkhya as atheistic, though Samkhya is as much as theistic as Yoga is. Samkhya is known for its theory of guṇas. Guṇa, it states, are of three types: sattva being goodness, compassion and positivity. All matter, states Samkhya, in different proportions; the interplay of these guṇas defines the character of someone or something, of nature and determines the progress of life.
The Samkhya theory of guṇas was discussed and refined by various schools of Indian philosophies. Samkhya's philosophical treatises influenced the development of various theories of Hindu ethics. Samkhya referred to as Sankhya, Sāṃkhya, or Sāṅkhya, is a Sanskrit word that, depending on the context, means "to reckon, enumerate, deliberate, reasoning by numeric enumeration, relating to number, rational." In the context of ancient Indian philosophies, Samkhya refers to the philosophical school in Hinduism based on systematic enumeration and rational examination. The word samkhya means relating to numbers. Although the term had been used in the general sense of metaphysical knowledge before, in technical usage it refers to the Samkhya school of thought that evolved into a cohesive philosophical system in early centuries CE; the Samkhya system is called so because "it ` enumerates' twenty true principles. Some 19th and 20th century scholars suggested. Richard Garbe stated in 1898, "The origin of the Sankhya system appears in the proper light only when we understand that in those regions of India which were little influenced by Brahmanism the first attempt had been made to solve the riddles of the world and of our existence by means of reason.
For the Sankhya philosophy is, in its essence, not only atheistic but inimical to the Veda." Dandekar wrote in 1968, "The origin of the Sankhya is to be traced to the pre-Vedic non-Aryan thought complex". Some scholars disagreed with this view. Surendranath Dasgupta, for example in 1922, Samkhya can be traced to Upanishads such as Katha and Maitrayani, the "extant Samkhya" is a system that unites the doctrine of permanence of the Upanishads with the doctrine of momentariness of Buddhism and the doctrine of relativism of Jainism. Arthur Keith in 1925 stated, "Samkhya owes its origin to the Vedic-Upanisadic-epic heritage is quite evident," and "Samkhya is most derived out of the speculations in the Vedas and the Upanishads."Johnston in 1937, analyzed available Hindu and Buddhist texts for the origins of Samkhya wrote "the origin lay in the analysis of the individual undertaken in the Brahmanas and earliest Upanishads, at first with a view to assuring the efficacy of the sacrificial rites and in order to discover the meaning of salvation in the religious sense and the methods of attaining it.
Here – in Kaushitaki Upanishad and Chandogya Upanishad – the germ are to be found two of the main ideas of classical Samkhya."Chandradhar Sharma in 1960 affirmed that Samkhya in the beginning was based on the theistic absolute of Upanishads, but on under the influence of Jaina and Buddhist thought it rejected theistic monism and was content with spiritualistic pluralism and atheistic realism. This explains why some of the Samkhyas, e.g. Vijnanabhiksu in the sixteenth century, tried to revive the earlier theism in Samkhya. More recent scholarship offers a
Swami Vivekananda, born Narendranath Datta, was an Indian Hindu monk, a chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna. He was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century, he was a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India, contributed to the concept of nationalism in colonial India. Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Mission, he is best known for his speech which began with the words - "Sisters and brothers of America..." in which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893. Born into an aristocratic Bengali Kayastha family of Calcutta, Vivekananda was inclined towards spirituality, he was influenced by his guru, from whom he learnt that all living beings were an embodiment of the divine self. After Ramakrishna's death, Vivekananda toured the Indian subcontinent extensively and acquired first-hand knowledge of the conditions prevailing in British India.
He travelled to the United States, representing India at the 1893 Parliament of the World's Religions. Vivekananda conducted hundreds of public and private lectures and classes, disseminating tenets of Hindu philosophy in the United States and Europe. In India, Vivekananda is regarded as a patriotic saint, his birthday is celebrated as National Youth Day. Vivekananda was born Narendranath Datta in a Bengali family at his ancestral home at 3 Gourmohan Mukherjee Street in Calcutta, the capital of British India, on 12 January 1863 during the Makar Sankranti festival, he was one of nine siblings. His father, Vishwanath Datta, was an attorney at the Calcutta High Court. Durgacharan Datta, Narendra's grandfather was a Sanskrit and Persian scholar who left his family and became a monk at age twenty-five, his mother, Bhubaneswari Devi, was a devout housewife. The progressive, rational attitude of Narendra's father and the religious temperament of his mother helped shape his thinking and personality. Narendranath was interested in spirituality from a young age and used to meditate before the images of deities such as Shiva, Rama and Mahavir Hanuman.
He was fascinated by wandering monks. Naren was naughty and restless as a child, his parents had difficulty controlling him, his mother said, "I prayed to Shiva for a son and he has sent me one of his ghosts". In 1871, at the age of eight, Narendranath enrolled at Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's Metropolitan Institution, where he went to school until his family moved to Raipur in 1877. In 1879, after his family's return to Calcutta, he was the only student to receive first-division marks in the Presidency College entrance examination, he was an avid reader in a wide range of subjects, including philosophy, history, social science and literature. He was interested in Hindu scriptures, including the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas. Narendra was trained in Indian classical music, participated in physical exercise and organised activities. Narendra studied Western logic, Western philosophy and European history at the General Assembly's Institution.
In 1881 he passed the Fine Arts examination, completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1884. Narendra studied the works of David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Baruch Spinoza, Georg W. F. Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer, Auguste Comte, John Stuart Mill and Charles Darwin, he became fascinated with the evolutionism of Herbert Spencer and corresponded with him, translating Spencer's book Education into Bengali. While studying Western philosophers, he learned Sanskrit scriptures and Bengali literature. William Hastie wrote, "Narendra is a genius. I have travelled far and wide but I have never come across a lad of his talents and possibilities in German universities, among philosophical students, he is bound to make his mark in life". Narendra was known for the ability at speed reading. Several incidents have been given as examples. In a talk, he once quoted verbatim, three pages from Pickwick Papers. Another incident, given is his argument with a Swedish national where he gave reference to some details on Swedish history that the Swede disagreed with but conceded.
In another incident with Dr. Paul Deussen's at Kiel in Germany, Vivekananda was going over some poetical work and did not reply when the professor spoke to him, he apologized to Dr. Deussen explaining that he was too absorbed in reading and hence did not hear him; the professor was not satisfied with this explanation but Vivekananda quoted and interpreted verses from the text leaving the professor dumbfounded about his feat of memory. Once, he requested some books written by Sir John Lubbock from a library and returned them the next day claiming that he had read them; the librarian refused to believe him until cross examination about the contents convinced him that Vivekananda was being truthful. Some accounts have called Narendra a shrutidhara. In 1880 Narendra joined Keshab Chandra Sen's Nava Vidhan, established by Sen after meeting Ramakrishna and reconverting from Christianity to Hinduism. Narendra became a member of a Freemasonry lodge "at some point before 18
Smarta tradition is a movement in Hinduism that developed during its classical period around the beginning of the Common Era. It reflects a Hindu synthesis of four philosophical strands: Mimamsa, Advaita and theism; the Smarta tradition rejects theistic sectarianism, it is notable for the domestic worship of five shrines with five deities, all treated as equal – Vishnu, Brahma and Devi. The Smarta tradition contrasted with the older Shrauta tradition, based on elaborate rituals and rites. There has been considerable overlap in the ideas and practices of the Smarta tradition with other significant historic movements within Hinduism, namely Shaivism, Brahmanism and Shaktism; the Smarta tradition is aligned with Advaita Vedanta, regards Adi Shankara as its founder or reformer. Shankara championed the ultimate reality is impersonal and Nirguna and any symbolic god serves the same equivalent purpose. Inspired by this belief, the Smarta tradition followers, along with the five Hindu gods include a sixth impersonal god in their practice.
The tradition has been called by William Jackson as "advaitin, monistic in its outlook". The term Smarta refers to Brahmins who specialize in the Smriti corpus of texts named the Grihya Sutras, in contrast to Shrauta Sutras. Smarta Brahmins with their focus on the Smriti corpus, contrast from Srauta Brahmins who specialize in the Sruti corpus, rituals and ceremonies that follow the Vedas. Smarta स्मार्त is an adjective derived from Smriti; the smriti are a specific body of Hindu texts attributed to an author, traditionally written down but revised, in contrast to Śrutis considered authorless, that were transmitted verbally across the generations and fixed. Smarta has several meanings: Relating to memory Recorded in or based on the Smriti Based on tradition, prescribed or sanctioned by traditional law Orthodox Brahmin versed in or guided by traditional law and Vedanta doctrineIn Smarta tradition context, the term Smarta means "follower of Smriti". Smarta is specially associated with a "sect founded by Shankaracharya", states Monier Williams.
See Late Middle Kingdoms - The Late-Classical Age and Classical Hinduism The Vedanga texts, states Alf Hiltebeitel, are Smriti texts that were composed in the second half of the Vedic period that ended around 500 BCE. The Vedanga texts include the Kalpa texts consisting of the Srautasutras and Dharmasutras, many of which were revised well past the Vedic period; the Grihyasutras and Dharmasutras, states Hiltebeitel, were composed between 600 BCE and 400 CE, these are sometimes called the Smartasutras, the roots of the Smriti tradition. The Smriti texts accept the knowledge in the Sruti, but they interpret it in a number of ways, which gave rise to six darsanas of Hindu philosophy. Of these, states Hiltebeitel, the Mimamsa and Vedanta have sometimes been called the Smarta schools which emphasize the Vedas with reason and other pramanas, in contrast to Haituka schools which emphasize hetu independent of the Vedas while accepting the authority of the Vedas. Of the two Smarta traditions, Mimamsa focussed on Vedic ritual traditions, while Vedanta focussed on Upanishadic knowledge tradition.
Around the start of the common era, thereafter, a syncretism of Haituka schools, the Smarta schools with ancient theistic ideas gave rise to a growth in traditions such as Shaivism and Shaktism. Hiltebeitel and Flood locate the origins of a revived orthodox Smarta Tradition in the Classical Period of Hinduism with nondualist interpretation of Vedanta, around the time when different Hindu traditions emerged from the interaction between Brahmanism and local traditions; the revived Smarta Tradition attempted to integrate varied and conflicting devotional practices, with its ideas of nondual experience of Atman as Brahman. The rapprochement included the practice of pancayatana-puja, wherein a Hindu could focus on any saguna deity of choice such as Vishnu, Durga, Surya or Ganesha, as an interim step towards realizing the nirguna Brahman; the growth of this Smarta Tradition began in the Gupta period, was dominated by Dvija classes, in particular the Brahmins, of the early medieval Indian society.
This Smarta Tradition competed with other major traditions of Hinduism such as Shaivism and Shaktism. The ideas of Smarta Tradition were influential, creative with concepts such as of Harihara and Ardhanarishvara, many of the major scholars of Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Bhakti movement came out of the Smarta Tradition. Medieval era scholars such as Vedanta Desika and Vallabhacharya recognized Smarta Tradition as competing with Vaishnavism and other traditions. According to Jeffrey Timm, for example, in verse 10 of the Tattvarthadipanibandha, Vallabhacharya states that, "Mutually contradictory conclusions are non-contradictory when they are considered from their respective contexts, like Vaishnava, etc."According to Murray Milner Jr. a professor of Sociology, the Smarta tradition refers to "Hindus who tend toward Brahmanical orthodoxy in both thought and behavior". Smartas are committed to a "relatively unified Hinduism" and they reject extreme forms of sectarian isolationism, reminiscent of the European discourse about church and Christian sects.
The tradition, states Milner, has roots that emerged sometime between 3rd century BCE and 3rd century CE, likel
The Nimbarka Sampradaya known as the Hamsa Sampradāya, Kumāra Sampradāya, Catuḥ Sana Sampradāya and Sanakādi Sampradāya, is one of the four Vaiṣṇava Sampradāyas. It was founded by Nimbarka, teaches the Vaishnava theology of Dvaitadvaita or "dualistic non-dualism." Dvaitadvaita states that humans are both different and non-different from Isvara, God or Supreme Being, is known as Bhedābheda philosophy. According to tradition, the Nimbarka Sampradaya Dvait-advait philosophy was revealed by Śrī Hansa Bhagavān to Sri Sankadi bhagwan, one of the Four Kumaras; the Four Kumaras, Sanandana, Sanātana, Sanat Kumāra, are traditionally regarded as the four mind-born sons of Lord Brahmā. They were created by Brahmā in order to advance creation, but chose to undertake lifelong vows of celibacy, becoming renowned yogis, who requested from Brahma the boon of remaining perpetually five years old. Śrī Sanat Kumāra Samhitā, a treatise on the worship of Śrī Rādhā Kṛṣṇa, is attributed to the brothers, just like the Śrī Sanat Kumāra Tantra, part of the Pancarātra literature.
In the creation-myth of this universe as narrated by the Paurāṇika literature, Śrī Nārada Muni is the younger brother of the Four Kumāras, who took initiation from his older brothers. Their discussions as guru and disciple are recorded in the Upaniṣads with a famous conversation in the Chāndogya Upaniṣad, in the Śrī Nārada Purāṇa and the Pañcarātra literature. Nārada Muni is recorded as main teacher in all four of the Vaiṣṇava Sampradāyas. According to tradition, he initiated Śrī Nimbārkācārya into the sacred 18-syllabled Śrī Gopāla Mantra, introduced him to the philosophy of the Yugala upāsana, the devotional worship of the divine couple Śrī Rādhā Kṛṣṇa. According to tradition, this was the first time that Śrī Rādhā Kṛṣṇa were worshipped together by anyone on earth other than the Gopis of Vṛndāvana. Śrī Nārada Muni taught Nimbarka the essence of devotional service in the Śrī Nārada Bhakti Sūtras. Śrī Nimbārkācārya knew the Vedas, Upaniṣads and the rest of the scriptures, but perfection was found in the teachings of Śrī Nārada Muni.
According to the Bhavishya Purana, his eponymous tradition, the Nimbārka Sampradāya, Śrī Nimbārkāchārya appeared in the year 3096 BCE, when the grandson of Arjuna was on the throne. Nimbarka is conventionally dated at the 12th or 13th century, but this dating has been questioned, suggesting that Nimbarka lived somewhat earlier than Shankara, in the 6th or 7th century CE. According to Roma Bose, Nimbarka lived in the 13th century, on the presupposition that Śrī Nimbārkāchārya was the author of the work Madhvamukhamardana. Bhandarkar has placed him after Ramanuja. S. N. Dasgupta dated Nimbarka to around middle of 14th century, while S. A. A. Rizvi assigns a date of c.1130–1200 AD. According to Satyanand, Bose's dating of the 13th century is an erroneous attribution, Malkovsky notes that in Bhandarkar's own work it is stated that his dating of Nimbarka was an approximation based on an flimsy calculation. According to Malkovsky, the latest scholarship has demonstrated with a high degree of clarity that Nimbarka and his immediate disciple Shrinivasa flourished well before Ramanuja, arguing that Shrinivasa was a contemporary, or just after Sankaracarya.
According to Ramnarace, summarising the available research, Nimbarka must be dated in the 7th century CE. According to tradition, Nimbārka was born in Vaidūryapattanam, the present-day Mungi Village, Paithan in East Maharashtra, his parents were Aruṇa Ṛṣi and Jayantī Devī. Together, they migrated to Mathurā and settled at what is now known as Nimbagrāma, situated between Barsānā and Govardhan; the Nimbarka Sampradaya is based on Nimbarka's Dvait-advait philosophy and nonduality at the same time, or dualistic non-dualism. According to Nimbarka, there are three categories of existence, namely Isvara. Cit and acit are different from Isvara, in the sense that they have attributes and capacities, which are different from those of Isvara. At the same time and acit are not different from Isvara, because they cannot exist independently of Him. Isvara exists by Himself, while cit and acit exist in dependence upon Him. Difference means a kind of existence, separate but dependent,. According to Nimbarka, the relation between Brahman, on the one hand, the souls and universe on the other, is a relation of natural difference-non-difference.
Nimbarka emphasises both difference and non-difference, as against Ramanuja, who makes difference subordinate to non-difference, in as much as, for him cit and acit do not exist separately from Brahman, but are its body or attributes. Nimbarka accepts parinamavada, the idea that the world is a real transformation of Brahman, to explain the cause of animate and inanimate world, which he says exist in a subtle form in the various capacities, which belong to Brahman in its natural condition. Brahman is the material cause of the universe, in the sense that Brahman brings the subtle rudiments into the gross form, by manifesting these capacities. For Nimbarka the highest object of worship is Krishna and His consort Radha, attended by thousands of gopi's, or cowherdesses, of the celestial Vrindavan. Devotion