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Dashanami Sampradaya Names

The word Dashanami refers to the ten names which the sannyasins in the philosophical tradition of Adi Shankara can adopt. The names in Dashanami Sampradaya are Saraswati, Bharati, Puri, Tirtha, Asrama, Giri, Parvata, Sagara, Vana and Aranya.

Adi Shankara established four mathas in India, one each in the north, south, east and west to be the focal points of the dashanami order in each region. Each center is associated with the specific name of the order.

The southern mutt was established in Sringeri and Suresvara, the disciple of Adi Shankaracharya, was its first head. The titles of Sarasvati, Bharati and Puri were given to the sannyasins belonging to his mutt. The brahmacharis have the title of Caitanya.

The matha in the western India was established in Dwaraka on the shores of the Arabian Sea, and Hastamalaka was appointed as the first acharya. The titles of the sannyasins belonging to this matha are Tirtha and Asrama. The brahmacharis have the title of Svarupa.

In North India, Shankara established the Jyotirmath near Badarikashrama, on the banks of Alaknanda River. Totakacharya was the first acharya. The titles of Giri, Parvata and Sagara were given to the sannyasins belonging to this matha. The brahmacharis have the title Ananda.

The eastern matha was established at Jagannath Puri in Odisha and Padmapada was the first acharya. The titles of the sannyasins belonging to this matha are Vana and Aranya. The brahmacharis have the title Prakasha.

During the period of Adi Shankaracharya (8th – 9th century CE), there were more than 70 Hindu sects in the country. Shankara met the leaders of these sects and with the assistance of his disciples, awakened them to a sense of unity of the diverse religious practices. He grouped all such spiritual leaders under ten categories, the dashanamis and put them within the jurisdiction of four Mathas.




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