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Dashnami – The Ten orders of Shaivite Ascetics – Dashanami

Dasnami, or the Dashnami, is the ten orders of Shaivite ascetics, founded by Adi Shankaracharya. Dashanami Shiva sects exist even today and they are strict followers of the worship of Shiva. Each of the ten orders in Dasnami is attached to one of the four mutts founded by Adi Shankaracharya – the four mutts are Badrinath, Puri, Dwaraka and Sringeri.

The ten orders are:
  1. Aranya,
  2. Ashrama,
  3. Bharati
  4. Giri
  5. Parvata
  6. Puri
  7. Saraswati
  8. Sagara
  9. Tirtha and
  10. Vana.

Mutt heads, Gurus, Swamis or other saints of the orders incorporate the name of the order in their names. Thus we come across Swamijis like Paramanand Giri, Veda Narayana Tirtha etc.

Dashnami Saints wear saffron colored dress and they wear three horizontal lines made with ash – tilak – on forehead and other parts of the body. They also wear rosary consisting of 108 rudraksha beads. Majority of the Dashanami saints grow their beards and wear their hair loose or tie in a topknot.

Naga sadhus are also part of the Dashanami sect.