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
The alvars spelt as alwars or azhwars were Tamil poet-saints of South India who espoused bhakti to the Hindu god Vishnu or his avatar Krishna in their songs of longing and service. They are venerated in Vaishnavism, which regards Vishnu or Krishna as the Supreme Being. Many modern academics place the Alvars date between 5th century to 10th century CE, however traditionally the Alvars are considered to have lived between 4200 BCE - 2700 BCE. Orthodoxy posits the number of alvars as ten, though there are other references that include Andal and Madhurakavi Alvar, making the number twelve. Andal is the only female saint-poet in the 12 Alvars. Together with the contemporary sixty three Shaiva Nayanars, they are among the most important saints from Tamil Nadu; the devotional outpourings of Alvars, composed during the early medieval period of Tamil history, helped revive the bhakti movement, through their hymns of worship to Vishnu and his avatars. They praised 108 "abodes" of these Vaishnava deities.
The poetry of the Alvars echoes bhakti to God through love, in the ecstasy of such devotions they sang hundreds of songs which embodied both depth of feeling and felicity of expressions. The collection of their hymns is known as Divya Prabandha; the Bhakti literature that sprang from Alvars has contributed to the establishment and sustenance of a culture that broke away from the ritual-oriented Vedic religion and rooted itself in devotion as the only path for salvation. In addition they helped to make the Tamil religious life independent of a knowledge of Sanskrit; as part of the legacy of the Alvars, five Vaishnava philosophical traditions have developed at the stages. The word azhwar has traditionally been etymologized as from Tamil.'Azh','to immerse oneself' as'one who dives deep into the ocean of the countless attributes of god'. However Indologist Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan has established from epigraphy and textual evidence that the traditional term Āḻvār for Vaiṣṇavaite Tamil poet saints has been a corruption of the original Āḷvār.
It is investigated with a multi-faceted approach using philology, linguistics and religion. Palaniappan shows that what was Āḷvār meaning'One who rules', or' Master' got changed through hypercorrection and folk etymology to Āḻvār meaning'One, immersed'. Palaniappan cites inscriptional evidence and literary evidence from Vaishnavaite tradition itself for a gradual sound change from Āḷvār to Āḻvār over a period of two centuries from the 9th to the 11th century involving references to religious leaders in Vaiṣṇavism, Śaivism and Jainism and to political personalities, he states: "āḻvār is but a corrupt form of āḷvār, used interchangeably with nāyanār in secular and religious contexts in the Tamil land" and "... Notwithstanding the Vaiṣṇava claim of unbroken teacher-student tradition, the fact that Nāthamuni has used the form āļvār but Piļļān, a disciple and younger cousin of Rāmānuja, ended up using the form āḻvār suggests that there has been an error in transmission somewhere along the teacher-student chain between the two teachers.
This error was due to the influence of the sound variation that has occurred in the Srirangam area and elsewhere". The original word ஆள்வார் compares with the epithet'Āṇḍãḷ' ( for the female canonized Vaishnava saint Gōdai and they share the same verb Tamil. Āḷ, the former being the honorific non-past form and the latter the feminine past form of that same verb. Palaniappan’s findings on ‘Āḻvār’ have been accepted by scholars like Prof. Alexander Dubyanskiy. In his article on Āṇṭāḷ, Dubyanskiy says, “Āṇṭāḷ was among the twelve Āḻvārs, the poet-saints, adepts of Viṣṇu, canonized by the tradition, which accepted the interpretation of the meaning of the word āḻvār as “submerged, plunged,” from the verbal root āḻ, “to plunge, to be in the deep.” But it was convincingly shown by S. Palaniappan that the term in question was represented by the word āḷvār, which reads as “those who rule, lords”, was applied in the texts, both Śaiva and Vaiṣṇava, to Śiva and Viṣṇu accordingly. In the course of time the term underwent the process of sound variation, took the form āḻvār and acquired the folk etymology, accepted and fixed by the tradition.
It is worth noting here that this interpretation agrees well with the meaning of the poetess’ nickname Āṇṭāḷ, which means “she who rules.” Alvars are considered the twelve supreme devotees of Vishnu, who were instrumental in popularising Vaishnavism in the Tamil-speaking regions. The alvars were influential in promoting the Bhagavata cult and the two Hindu epics, namely and Mahabaratha; the religious works of these saints in Tamil, songs of love and devotion, are compiled as Nalayira Divya Prabandham containing 4000 verses and the 108 temples revered in their songs are classified as Divya desam. The verses of the various azhwars were compiled by Nathamuni, a 10th-century Vaishnavite theologian, who called it the "Dravida Veda or Tamil Veda"; the songs of Prabandam are sung in all the Vishnu temples of South India daily and during festivals. The saints belonged to different castes; as per tradition, the first three alvars, Poigai and Pey were born miraculously. Tirumizhisai was the son of a sage.
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
Shaivism is one of the major traditions within Hinduism that reveres Shiva as the Supreme Being. The followers of Shaivism are called "Shaivites" or "Saivites", it is one of the largest sects that believe Shiva — worshipped as a creator and destroyer of worlds — is the supreme god over all. The Shaiva have many sub-traditions, ranging from devotional dualistic theism such as Shaiva Siddhanta to yoga-oriented monistic non-theism such as Kashmiri Shaivism, it considers the Agama texts as important sources of theology. The origin of Shaivism may be traced to the conception of Rudra in the Rig Veda. Shaivism has ancient roots, traceable in the Vedic literature of 2nd millennium BCE, but this is in the form of the Vedic deity Rudra; the ancient text Shvetashvatara Upanishad dated to late 1st millennium BCE mentions terms such as Rudra and Maheshwaram, but its interpretation as a theistic or monistic text of Shaivism is disputed. In the early centuries of the common era is the first clear evidence of Pāśupata Shaivism.
Both devotional and monistic Shaivism became popular in the 1st millennium CE becoming the dominant religious tradition of many Hindu kingdoms. It arrived in Southeast Asia shortly thereafter, leading to thousands of Shaiva temples on the islands of Indonesia as well as Cambodia and Vietnam, co-evolving with Buddhism in these regions. In the contemporary era, Shaivism is one of the major aspects of Hinduism. Shaivism theology ranges from Shiva being the creator, destroyer to being the same as the Atman within oneself and every living being, it is related to Shaktism, some Shaiva worship in Shiva and Shakti temples. It is the Hindu tradition that most accepts ascetic life and emphasizes yoga, like other Hindu traditions encourages an individual to discover and be one with Shiva within. Shaivism is one of the largest traditions within Hinduism. Shiva means kind, gracious, or auspicious; as a proper name, it means "The Auspicious One". The word Shiva is used as an adjective in the Rig Veda, as an epithet for several Rigvedic deities, including Rudra.
The term Shiva connotes "liberation, final emancipation" and "the auspicious one", this adjective sense of usage is addressed to many deities in Vedic layers of literature. The term evolved from the Vedic Rudra-Shiva to the noun Shiva in the Epics and the Puranas, as an auspicious deity, the "creator and dissolver"; the Sanskrit word śaiva or Shaiva means "relating to the god Shiva", while the related beliefs, history and sub-traditions constitute Shaivism. The reverence for Shiva is one of the pan-Hindu traditions, found across India, Sri Lanka and Nepal. While Shiva is revered broadly, Hinduism itself is a complex religion and a way of life, with a diversity of ideas on spirituality and traditions, it has no ecclesiastical order, no unquestionable religious authorities, no governing body, no prophet nor any binding holy book. Shaivism is a major tradition within Hinduism, with a theology, predominantly related to the Hindu god Shiva. Shaivism has many different sub-traditions with regional differences in philosophy.
Shaivism has a vast literature with different philosophical schools, ranging from nondualism and mixed schools. The origins of Shaivism a matter of debate among scholars; some trace the origins to the Indus Valley civilization, which reached its peak around 2500–2000 BCE. Archeological discoveries show seals. Of these is the Pashupati seal, which early scholars interpreted as someone seated in a meditating yoga pose surrounded by animals, with horns; this "Pashupati" seal has been interpreted by these scholars as a prototype of Shiva. Gavin Flood characterizes these views as "speculative", saying that it is not clear from the seal if the figure has three faces, or is seated in a yoga posture, or that the shape is intended to represent a human figure. Other scholars state that the Indus Valley script remains undeciphered, the interpretation of the Pashupati seal is uncertain. According to Srinivasan, the proposal that it is proto-Shiva may be a case of projecting "later practices into archeological findings".
Asko Parpola states that other archaeological finds such as the early Elamite seals dated to 3000–2750 BCE show similar figures and these have been interpreted as "seated bull" and not a yogi, the bull interpretation is more accurate. The Rigveda has the earliest clear mention of Rudra in its hymns such as 2.33, 1.43 and 1.114. The text includes a Satarudriya, an influential hymn with embedded hundred epithets for Rudra, cited in many medieval era Shaiva texts as well as recited in major Shiva temples of Hindus in contemporary times. Yet, the Vedic literature only present scriptural theology, but does not attest to the existence of Shaivism; the Shvetashvatara Upanishad composed before the Bhagavad Gita about 4th century BCE contains the theistic foundations of Shaivism wrapped in a monistic structure. It contains the key terms and ideas of Shaivism, such as Shiva, Maheswara, Bhakti, Atman and self-knowledge. According to Gavin Flood, "the formation of Śaiva traditions as we understand them begins to occur during the period from 200 BC to 100 AD."
According to Chakravarti, Shiva rose to prominence as he was identified to be the
Shri Siddharudha Swami was an Indian spiritual leader, mystic of the Advaita Vedanta stream. Sadguru Siddharudha Maharaj lived in the style of an ascetic throughout his life, he condemned practice of casteism and conceived divinity in everything that exists, as well as disagreeing with the common notion that Brahmins were the only ones entitled to liberation believing that everyone is entitled. Considered to be an incarnation of Shiva, one of the Trinity deities of Hinduism, Siddharudha renounced his home and his family ties at the young age of 6 years, set himself the goal of finding his Satguru or spiritual master. Siddharudha surrendered himself, as a student, to the realized soul Shri Gajadandaswami, served at his ashram. According to the book Siddharoodh Charitra by Shivadas, Siddharudha was blessed by his guru and was asked to undertake a pilgrimage with the purpose of helping those in need, dispelling ignorance, revealing the right path to spiritual enlightenment to those who were seeking.
Thenceforth, Siddharudha traveled from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, delivering the right wisdom for spiritual awakening and methodical liberation to all those who were cognizant of his exemplary standards of spiritual practice before setting down at Hubli, where he was recognized for his spiritual knowledge & immaculate sainthood. People sought him out from neighbouring states for solace, satisfaction of desires and spiritual enlightenment, he was entombed at his ashram. He was believed to be working miracles for his devotees. A proverb runs by in a native Indian Language kannada: Siddharudhara Jolige Jagakkella holige which signifies the food, served at his ashram and the miracles that occur of it, he served the people without any discrimination, having a Muslim disciple named Kabirdas, known for his dedication to him. Parampoojya Shri Kalavati Devi, was his supreme disciple. Known as Rukmabai Mallapur, she herself is well known as a supreme saint, whose samadhi is found at Shri Harimandir at Angol near Belgaum.
He had Gurunatharudha. His samadhi is just beside the samadhi of Sri Siddharudha Swami in Hubli Matha, he gave sannyasa to Swami Muktananda, who studied at his ashram in Hubli until Siddharudha's death in 1929, he left to study with a disciple of Siddharudha called Muppinarya Swami at his Sri Airani Holematt in Ranebennur Haveri District shri guru had a disciple,shri shivaputra appaji who's samadhi is situated at 20 metres distance from siddharoodh math. At present shri abhinav shivaputra swamigi is head of that math. Sri Iychanda Bolliappa from Devanageri village was his supreme devotee. Swami Bolliappa was a regular visitor to Siddharudha mata in cherambane village, kodagu district, Karnataka. Siddharudha Maharaj is an acknowledged Hindu master of the Advaita Vedanta stream of Vedic thought and has many followers throughout India in the villages of Karnataka and Maharashtra. Official Website Siddharoodha's stories and biography
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
In Indian religions and society, an acharya is a preceptor or instructor in religious matters. The designation has different meanings in Hinduism and secular contexts. Acharya is sometimes used to address a teacher or a scholar in any discipline, e.g.: Bhaskaracharya, the mathematician. The term "acharya" is most said to include the root "char" or "charya", thus it connotes "one who teaches by conduct", i.e. an exemplar. In Hinduism, an acharya is a formal title of a teacher or guru, who has attained a degree in Veda and Vedanga. Prominent acharyas in the Hindu tradition are as given below: Adi Sankaracharya Ramanujacharya Madhvacharya Nimbarkacharya VallabhacharyaChaitanya MahaprabhuAcharya Sandipani Bhadreshdas Swami In Buddhism, acharya is a senior teacher. Notable acharyas: Pema Chödrön acharya at Gampo Abbey In Jainism, an acharya is the highest leader of a Jain order. Acharya is one of the Pañca-Parameṣṭhi and thus worthy of worship, they are the final authority in the monastic order and has the authority to ordain new monks and nuns.
They are authorized to consecrate new idols, although this authority is sometimes delegated to scholars designated by them. An acharya, like any other Jain monk, is expected to wander except for the Chaturmas. Bhaṭṭārakas, who head institutions, are technically junior monks, thus permitted to stay in the same place. Bhaskaracharya Mahaviracharya Bhaskaracharya I In Sanskrit institutions, acharya is a post-graduate degree. A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Srikanta Acharya Scriptural References to'acarya' Jain Monks and Aryikas Dr. K. C. Jain