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1. Dada Lekhraj – Lekhraj Khubchand Kripalani, also known as Dada Lekhraj, was the founder of the Brahma Kumaris. Lekhraj Kripalani was born in a Hyderabad, Sindh in 1876 and he became extremely wealthy from a jewellery business in Calcutta. In his fifties, Kripalani reported having visions and retired, returning to Hyderabad, in 1932, Lekhraj established a spiritual organisation called Om Mandali. According to BKWSU claims, a reported that a spiritual being entered in his body. Since then, Lekhraj has been regarded by the BKWSU as a medium of God, in 1937, Lekhraj named some of the members of his satsang as a managing committee, and transferred his fortune to the committee. This committee, known as Om Mandali, was the nucleus of the Brahma Kumaris, several women joined Om Mandali, and contributed their wealth to the association. Organizations like the Indian National Congress and Arya Samaj accused Om Mandali of being a disturber of family peace, some of the Brahma Kumari wives were mistreated by their families, and Lekhraj was accused of sorcery and lechery. He was also accused of forming a cult and controlling his community through the art of hypnotism, to avoid persecution, legal actions and opposition from family members of his followers, Lekhraj moved the group from Hyderabad to Karachi, where they settled in a highly structured ashram. The Bhaibund anti-Om Mandli Committee that had opposed the group in Hyderabad followed them, on 18 January 1939, the mothers of two girls aged 12 and 13 filed an application against Om Mandali, in the Court of the Additional Magistrate in Karachi. The women, from Hyderabad, stated that their daughters were wrongfully being detained at the Om Mandali in Karachi, the court ordered the girls to be sent to their mothers. Om Radhe of the Om Mandali appealed against the decision in the High Court, later, Haris parents were persuaded to let their daughter stay at the Om Mandali. Several Hindus continued their protests against Om Mandali, some Hindu members of the Sindh Assembly threatened to resign unless the Om Mandali was finally outlawed. Finally, the Sindh Government used the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1908 to declare the Om Mandali as an unlawful association, under further pressure from the Hindu leaders in the Assembly, the Government also ordered the Om Mandali to close and vacate its premises. After the partition of India, the Brahma Kumaris moved to Mount Abu in India in April 1950, Lekhraj died on 18 January 1969, and the Brahma Kumaris subsequently expanded to other countries. A Brief Biography of Brahma Baba, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University —official site

2. Foundation (nonprofit) – A foundation is a legal category of nonprofit organization that will typically either donate funds and support to other organizations, or provide the source of funding for its own charitable purposes. Foundations incorporate private foundations and public foundations and this type of non-profit organization differs from a private foundation which is typically endowed by an individual or family. One of the characteristics of the legal entities existing under the status of Foundations, is a diversity of structures and purposes. Nevertheless, there are common structural elements that are the first observed under legal scrutiny or classification. Others may be provided by the authority at each particular jurisdiction. There is no commonly accepted legal definition in Europe for a foundation, there is a proposal for a European Foundation, a legal form that would be recognised throughout Europe, see European Foundation Project. The term foundation, in general, is used to describe a legal entity. Foundations as legal structures and/or legal persons, may have a diversity of forms, unlike a company, foundations have no shareholders, though they may have a board, an assembly and voting members. The foundation has a distinct patrimony independent of its founder, Foundations are often set up for charitable purposes, family patrimony and collective purposes. Foundations in Finland must have state approval and register at the National Board of Patents, a minimum capital of €25,000 is obligatory. A foundation can be created with any purpose and may have economic activity if this is specified in its Bylaws. There are not many Foundations in comparison to the rest of Europe, in practice public administration requires at least €1 million is considered necessary. States representatives have a seat in the Board. German regulations allow the creation of any foundation for public or private purposes in keeping with the concept of a gemeinwohlkonforme Allzweckstiftung, a foundation should not have commercial activities as its main purpose, but they are permitted if they serve the main purpose of the foundation. There is no minimum starting capital, although in practice at least is considered necessary, a German foundation can either be charitable or serve a private interest. If they engage in activities, only the commercially active part of the entity is taxed. A family foundation serving private interests is taxed like any other legal entity, there is no central register for German foundations. Only charitable foundations are subject to supervision by state authorities, family foundations are not supervised after establishment

3. Mount Abu – Mount Abu is a popular hill station in the Aravalli Range in Sirohi district of Rajasthan state in western India near the border with Gujarat. The mountain forms a rocky plateau 22 km long by 9 km wide. The highest peak on the mountain is Guru Shikhar at 1,722 m above sea level and it is referred to as an oasis in the desert as its heights are home to rivers, lakes, waterfalls and evergreen forests. The nearest train station is Abu Road railway station,27 km away, the ancient name of Mount Abu is Arbudaanchal. In the Puranas, the region has been referred to as Arbudaranya and it is believed that sage Vashistha retired to the southern spur at Mount Abu following his differences with sage Vishvamitra. There is another mythology according to which a serpent named Arbuda saved the life of Nandi, the incident happened on the mountain that is currently known as Mount Abu and so the mountain is named Arbudaranya after that incident which gradually became Abu. The conquest of Mount Abu in 1311 CE by Rao Lumba of Deora-Chauhan dynasty brought to an end the reign of the Parmars and he shifted the capital city to Chandravati in the plains. After the destruction of Chandravati in 1405, Rao Shasmal made Sirohi his headquarters, later it was leased by the British government from the then Maharaja of Sirohi for use as the headquarters. The Arbuda Mountains region is said to be abode of the famous Gurjars. The association of the Gurjars with the mountain is noticed in many inscriptions and these Gurjars migrated from the Arbuda mountain region. As early as sixth century CE, they set up one or more principalities in Rajasthan, almost all or a larger part of Rajasthan and Gujarat had been known as Gurjaratra or Gurjarabhumi for centuries before the Mughal period. According to a legend, sage Vasishta performed a yajna at the peak of Mount Abu. In answer to his prayer, a youth arose from the Agnikunda — the first Agnivansha Rajput, Mount Abu town, the only hill station in Rajasthan, is at an elevation of 1,220 m. It has been a retreat from the heat of Rajasthan. The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1960 and covers 290 km² of the mountain, the oldest of these is the Vimal Vasahi temple, built in 1021 AD by Vimal Shah and dedicated to the first of the Jain Tirthankaras. They include the Achaleswar Mahadev Temple and the Kantinath Temple and it is the location of the headquarters of the Brahma Kumaris. The Achalgarh Fort, built in the 14th century by Rana Kumbha of Mewar, is nearby, the Toad Rock is on a hill near the lake. Close to the fort is the Achaleshwar Mahadev Temple, a popular Shiva temple, the Durga Ambika Mata Temple lies in a cleft of rock in Jagat, just outside Mount Abu town

4. Rajasthan – Rajasthan is Indias largest state by area. Elsewhere it is bordered by the other Indian states, Punjab to the north, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to the northeast, Madhya Pradesh to the southeast, and Gujarat to the southwest. Rajasthan is also home to two national reserves, the Ranthambore National Park in Sawai Madhopur and Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar. The state was formed on 30 March 1949 when Rajputana – the name adopted by the British Raj for its dependencies in the region – was merged into the Dominion of India. Its capital and largest city is Jaipur, also known as Pink City, other important cities are Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bikaner, Kota and Ajmer. Parts of what is now Rajasthan were partly part of the Vedic Civilisation, kalibangan, in Hanumangarh district, was a major provincial capital of the Indus Valley Civilization. Matsya Kingdom of the Vedic civilisation of India, is said to roughly corresponded to the state of Jaipur in Rajasthan. The capital of Matsya was at Viratanagar, which is said to have named after its founder king Virata. Bhargava identifies the two districts of Jhunjhunu and Sikar and parts of Jaipur district along with Haryana districts of Mahendragarh, bhargava also locates the present day Sahibi River as the Vedic Drishadwati River, which along with Saraswati River formed the borders of the Vedic state of Brahmavarta. Manu and Bhrigu narrated the Manusmriti to a congregation of seers in this area only, the Indo-Scythians invaded the area of Ujjain and established the Saka era, marking the beginning of the long-lived Saka Western Satraps state. Gurjars ruled for many dynasties in this part of the country, up to the tenth century almost the whole of North India, acknowledged the supremacy of the Gurjars with their seat of power at Kannauj. The Gurjar Pratihar Empire acted as a barrier for Arab invaders from the 8th to the 11th century, the chief accomplishment of the Gurjara Pratihara empire lies in its successful resistance to foreign invasions from the west, starting in the days of Junaid. Majumdar says that this was acknowledged by the Arab writers. He further notes that historians of India have wondered at the progress of Muslim invaders in India. Traditionally the Rajputs, Jats, Meenas, REBARI, Gurjars, Bhils, Rajpurohit, Charans, Yadavs, Bishnois, Sermals, PhulMali, all these tribes suffered great difficulties in protecting their culture and the land. Millions of them were killed trying to protect their land, a number of Gurjars had been exterminated in Bhinmal and Ajmer areas fighting with the invaders. Meenas were rulers of Bundi, Hadoti and the Dhundhar region, hem Chandra Vikramaditya, the Hindu Emperor, was born in the village of Machheri in Alwar District in 1501. Hem Chandra was killed in the battlefield at Second Battle of Panipat fighting against Mughals on 5 November 1556, maharana Pratap of Mewar resisted Akbar in the famous Battle of Haldighati and later operated from hilly areas of his kingdom

5. Geographic coordinate system – A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system used in geography that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation, to specify a location on a two-dimensional map requires a map projection. The invention of a coordinate system is generally credited to Eratosthenes of Cyrene. Ptolemy credited him with the adoption of longitude and latitude. Ptolemys 2nd-century Geography used the prime meridian but measured latitude from the equator instead. Mathematical cartography resumed in Europe following Maximus Planudes recovery of Ptolemys text a little before 1300, in 1884, the United States hosted the International Meridian Conference, attended by representatives from twenty-five nations. Twenty-two of them agreed to adopt the longitude of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, the Dominican Republic voted against the motion, while France and Brazil abstained. France adopted Greenwich Mean Time in place of local determinations by the Paris Observatory in 1911, the latitude of a point on Earths surface is the angle between the equatorial plane and the straight line that passes through that point and through the center of the Earth. Lines joining points of the same latitude trace circles on the surface of Earth called parallels, as they are parallel to the equator, the north pole is 90° N, the south pole is 90° S. The 0° parallel of latitude is designated the equator, the plane of all geographic coordinate systems. The equator divides the globe into Northern and Southern Hemispheres, the longitude of a point on Earths surface is the angle east or west of a reference meridian to another meridian that passes through that point. All meridians are halves of great ellipses, which converge at the north and south poles, the prime meridian determines the proper Eastern and Western Hemispheres, although maps often divide these hemispheres further west in order to keep the Old World on a single side. The antipodal meridian of Greenwich is both 180°W and 180°E, the combination of these two components specifies the position of any location on the surface of Earth, without consideration of altitude or depth. The grid formed by lines of latitude and longitude is known as a graticule, the origin/zero point of this system is located in the Gulf of Guinea about 625 km south of Tema, Ghana. To completely specify a location of a feature on, in, or above Earth. Earth is not a sphere, but a shape approximating a biaxial ellipsoid. It is nearly spherical, but has an equatorial bulge making the radius at the equator about 0. 3% larger than the radius measured through the poles, the shorter axis approximately coincides with the axis of rotation

6. Hinduism – Hinduism is a religion, or a way of life, found most notably in India and Nepal. Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, and some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Sanātana Dharma, 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 following the Vedic period, although Hinduism contains a broad range of philosophies, it is linked by shared concepts, recognisable rituals, cosmology, shared textual resources, and pilgrimage to sacred sites. Hindu texts are classified into Shruti and Smriti and these texts discuss theology, philosophy, mythology, Vedic yajna, Yoga, agamic rituals, and temple building, among other topics. Major scriptures include the Vedas and Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include the four Puruṣārthas, the proper goals or aims of human life, namely Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha, karma, samsara, and the various Yogas. Hindu practices include such as puja and recitations, meditation, family-oriented rites of passage, annual festivals. Some Hindus leave their world and material possessions, then engage in lifelong Sannyasa to achieve Moksha. Hinduism prescribes the eternal duties, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings, patience, forbearance, self-restraint, Hinduism is the worlds third largest religion, with over one billion followers or 15% of the global population, known as Hindus. The majority of Hindus reside in India, Nepal, Mauritius, the Caribbean, the word Hindu is derived from the Indo-Aryan/Sanskrit word Sindhu, the Indo-Aryan name for the Indus River in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. The term Hindu in these ancient records is a geographical term, the Arabic term al-Hind referred to the people who live across the River Indus. This Arabic term was taken from the pre-Islamic Persian term Hindū. By the 13th century, Hindustan emerged as an alternative name of India. 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, then spelled Hindooism, was introduced into the English language in the 18th-century to denote the religious, philosophical, 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, and 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, which is broader than the western term religion. Hindu traditionalists prefer to call it Sanatana Dharma, the study of India and its cultures and religions, and the definition of Hinduism, has been shaped by the interests of colonialism and by Western notions of religion. Since the 1990s, those influences and its outcomes have been the topic of debate among scholars of Hinduism, Hinduism as it is commonly known can be subdivided into a number of major currents

7. Samkhya – Samkhya or Sankhya is one of the six āstika schools of Hindu philosophy. It is most related to the Yoga school of Hinduism, Sāmkhya is an enumerationist philosophy whose epistemology accepts three of six pramanas as the only reliable means of gaining knowledge. These include pratyakṣa, anumāṇa and śabda, sometimes described as one of the rationalist school of Indian philosophy, this ancient schools reliance on reason was neither exclusive nor strong. Sāmkhya philosophy regards the universe as consisting of two realities, puruṣa and prakṛti, Jiva is that state in which puruṣa is bonded to prakṛti in some form. This fusion, state the Samkhya scholars, led to the emergence of buddhi, during the state of imbalance, one of more constituents overwhelm the others, creating a form of bondage, particularly of the mind. The end of this imbalance, bondage is called liberation, or kaivalya, 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 essentially inactive, Samkhya is known for its theory of guṇas. Everything, all forms and human beings, state Samkhya scholars, have these three guṇas, but in different proportions. The interplay of these guṇas defines the character of someone or something, of nature, the Samkhya theory of guṇas was widely discussed, developed and refined by various schools of Indian philosophies, including Buddhism. Samkhyas philosophical treatises also influenced the development of theories of Hindu ethics. In the context of ancient Indian philosophies, Samkhya refers to the school in Hinduism based on systematic enumeration. The word samkhya means empirical or relating to numbers, some 19th and 20th century scholars suggested that Samkhya may have non-Vedic origins. For the Sankhya philosophy is, in its essence, not only atheistic, dandekar, similarly 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, here – in Kaushitaki Upanishad and Chandogya Upanishad – the germ are to be found two of the main ideas of classical Samkhya. More recent scholarship offers another perspective, Ruzsa in 2006, for example, states, Sāṅkhya has a very long history. Its roots go deeper than textual traditions allow us to see, the ancient Buddhist Aśvaghoṣa describes Arāḍa Kālāma, the teacher of the young Buddha as following an archaic form of Sāṅkhya. Anthony Warder in 2009, summarizes that Samkhya and Mīmāṃsā schools appear to have been established before Sramana traditions in India, speculations in the direction of the Samkhya can be found in the early Upanishads

8. Yoga (philosophy) – Yoga philosophy is one of the six major orthodox schools of Hinduism. Ancient, medieval and most modern literature often refers to the Yoga school of Hinduism simply as Yoga and it is closely related to the Samkhya school of Hinduism. The Yoga schools systematic studies to better oneself physically, mentally and spiritually has influenced all 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 Pratyakṣa, 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, senses, feelings, activity and mind. During the state of imbalance or ignorance, one of more constituents overwhelm the others, 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, the Yoga school of Hinduism differs from the closely related non-theistic/atheistic Samkhya school by incorporating the concept of a personal, yet essentially inactive, deity or personal god. Advaita Vedanta, and other schools of Hinduism, accept, adopt and build many of the teachings. 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, युञ्जते मन उत युञ्जते धियो विप्रा विप्रस्य बृहतो विपश्चितः Seers of the vast illumined seer yogically control their minds and their intelligence. Rigveda, however, does not describe Yoga philosophy with the 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. Gavin Flood translates it as. having become calm and concentrated, one perceives the self, the practice of pranayama is mentioned in hymn 1.5.23 of Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, and 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 and it influenced and was influenced by other schools and Indian philosophies. Patanjalis Yoga Sutras may be a synthesis of these three traditions, the third concept that the Yoga Sutras synthesize into its philosophy is the ancient ascetic traditions of isolation, meditation and introspection. The systematic collection of ideas of the Yoga school of Hinduism is found in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 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, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa, the Yoga school of Hindu philosophy is most closely related to the Samkhya school

9. Nyaya – Nyāya, literally means rules, method or judgment. It is also the name of one of the six schools of Hinduism. This schools most significant contributions to Indian philosophy was systematic development of the theory of logic, methodology, Nyaya schools epistemology accepts four out of six Pramanas as reliable means of gaining knowledge – Pratyakṣa, Anumāṇa, Upamāṇa and Śabda. In its metaphysics, Nyaya school is closer to Vaisheshika school of Hinduism than others and it holds that human suffering results from mistakes/defects produced by activity under wrong knowledge. Moksha, it states, is gained through right knowledge and this premise led Nyaya to concern itself with epistemology, that is the reliable means to gain correct knowledge and to remove wrong notions. False knowledge is not merely ignorance to Naiyyayikas, it includes delusion, correct knowledge is discovering and overcoming ones delusions, and understanding true nature of soul, self and reality. Naiyyayika scholars approached philosophy as a form of realism, stating that anything that really exists is in principle humanly knowable. To them, correct knowledge and understanding is different than simple, reflexive cognition, an influential collection of texts on logic and reason is the Nyayasutras, attributed to Aksapada Gautama, variously estimated to have been composed between 6th-century BCE and 2nd-century CE. Nyaya is a Sanskrit word which means method, rule, specially a collection of general or universal rules, in some contexts, it means model, axiom, plan, legal proceeding, judicial sentence, or judgment. In the theory of logic, and Indian texts discussing it, in philosophical context, Nyaya encompasses propriety, logic and method. Nyaya is related to other concepts and words used in Indian philosophies, Hetu-vidya, Anviksiki, Pramana-sastra, Tattva-sastra, Tarka-vidya, Vadartha. Some of these subsume or deploy the tools of Nyaya, the historical development of Nyaya school is unclear, although Nasadiya hymns of Book 10 Chapter 129 of Rigveda recite its spiritual questions in logical propositions. In early centuries BCE, states Clooney, the early Nyaya scholars began compiling the science of rational, coherent inquiry, by 2nd century CE, Aksapada Gautama had composed Nyayasutras, a foundational text for Nyaya school, that primarily discusses logic, methodology and epistemology. The Nyaya scholars that followed refined it, expanded it, later Nyaya scholars, such as Udayana, examined various arguments on theism and attempted to prove existence of God. Other Nyaya scholars offered arguments to disprove the existence of God, the Nyaya metaphysics recognizes sixteen padarthas or categories and includes all six categories of the Vaisheshika in the second one of them, called prameya. These sixteen categories are pramāṇa, prameya, saṁśaya, prayojana, dṛṣṭānta, siddhānta, avayava, tarka, nirṇaya, vāda, jalpa, vitaṇḍā, hetvābhāsa, chala, jāti and nigrahasthāna. The Nyaya school of Hinduism developed and refined many treatises on epistemology that widely influenced other schools of Hinduism, Nyaya treated it as theory of knowledge, and its scholars developed it as Pramana-sastras. Pramana, a Sanskrit word, literally is means of knowledge and it encompasses one or more reliable and valid means by which human beings gain accurate, true knowledge

10. Vedanta – Vedanta or Uttara Mīmāṃsā is one of the six orthodox schools of Indian philosophy. It represents the divergent philosophical views of more than 10 schools—all developed on the basis of a textual connection called the Prasthanatrayi. The Prasthanatrayi is a term for the Principal Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras. Vedanta does not stand for one comprehensive or unifying doctrine, over time, Vedanta adopted ideas from other orthodox schools like Yoga and Nyaya, and, through this syncretism, became the most prominent school of Hinduism. Many extant forms of Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Shaktism have been shaped and influenced by the doctrines of different schools of Vedanta. The word Vedanta literally means the end of the Vedas and originally referred to the Upanishads, Vedanta was concerned with the jñānakāṇḍa or Vedic knowledge part called the Upanishads. The denotation of Vedanta subsequently widened to include the philosophical traditions based on to the Prasthanatrayi. The Upanishads may be regarded as the end of Vedas in different senses and these mark the culmination of Vedic thought. These were taught and debated last, in the Brahmacharya stage, Vedanta is one of the six orthodox schools of Indian philosophy. It is also called Uttara Mīmāṃsā, the latter enquiry or higher enquiry, and is contrasted with Pūrva Mīmāṃsā. Pūrva Mīmāṃsā deals with the karmakāṇḍa or rituals part in the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavadgita and the Brahma Sutras constitute the basis of Vedanta. All schools of Vedanta propound their philosophy by interpreting these texts, collectively called the Prasthanatrayi, literally, the Upanishads, or Śruti prasthāna, considered the Sruti foundation of Vedanta. The Brahma Sutras, or Nyaya prasthana / Yukti prasthana, considered the foundation of Vedanta. The Bhagavad Gita, or Smriti prasthāna, considered the Smriti foundation of Vedanta, the Brahma Sutras attempted to synthesize the teachings of the Upanishads. The diversity in the teaching of the Upanishads necessitated the systematization of these teachings and this was likely done in many ways in ancient India, but the only surviving version of this synthesis is the Brahma Sutras of Badarayana. The Bhagavad Gita, due to its syncretism of Samkhya, Yoga, the Upanishads do not present a rigorous philosophical inquiry in the form of identifying various doctrines and then presenting arguments for or against them. They form the basic texts and Vedanta interprets them through rigorous philosophical exegesis, varying interpretations of the Upanishads and their synthesis, the Brahma Sutras, led to the development of different schools of Vedanta over time of which three, four, five or six are prominent. Some scholars are inclined to consider it as a rather than a school of Vedanta

11. Advaita Vedanta – Advaita Vedanta is a school of Hindu philosophy and religious practice, and one of the classic Indian paths to spiritual realization. The term Advaita refers to its idea that the soul is the same as the highest metaphysical Reality, Advaita Vedanta traces its roots in the oldest Upanishads. It relies on three textual sources called the Prasthanatrayi and it gives a unifying interpretation of the whole body of Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras, and the Bhagavad Gita. Advaita Vedanta is the oldest extant sub-school of Vedanta, which is one of the six orthodox Hindu philosophies, though its roots trace back to the 1st millennium BCE, the most prominent exponent of the Advaita Vedanta is considered by the tradition to be 8th century scholar Adi Shankara. Advaita Vedanta emphasizes Jivanmukti, the idea that moksha is achievable in this life in contrast to Indian philosophies that emphasize Videhamukti, Advaita Vedanta is one of the most studied and most influential schools of classical Indian thought. Many scholars describe it as a form of monism, others describe the Advaita philosophy as non-dualistic, beyond Hinduism, Advaita Vedanta interacted and developed with the other traditions of India such as Jainism and Buddhism. Advaita Vedanta texts espouse a spectrum of views from idealism, including illusionism, in modern times, its views appear in various Neo-Vedanta movements. It has been termed as the example of Hindu spirituality. The Advaita Vedanta school has referred to historically by various names, such as Advaita-vada, Abheda-darshana, Dvaita-vada-pratisedha. According to Richard King, a professor of Buddhist and Asian studies, traditional Advaita Vedanta centers on the study of the sruti especially the Principal Upanishads, along with the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita. Within the Vedanta tradition of Hinduism are many sub-schools, of which Advaita is one, unlike Buddhism, but like Jainism, all Vedanta schools consider the existence of Atman as self evident. The Vedanta tradition also posits the concept of Brahman as the eternal, the sub-schools of Vedanta disagree on the relation between Atman and Brahman. The Advaita darsana considers them to be identical, Advaita Vedanta believes that the knowledge of ones true self or Atman is liberating. Correct knowledge, which destroys avidya, psychological and perceptual errors related to Atman and Brahman, is obtained through three stages of practice, sravana, manana and nididhyasana, the Vedanta tradition of Hinduism rejects the dualism of Samkhya. Advaita, like all Vedanta schools, states that Brahman is both the efficient and the cause, that from which the origination, subsistence. What created all existence is also present in and reflected in all beings and inert matter and this Brahman it postulates is sat-cit-ananda. Second, how did cit Brahman create material world, third, if ananda Brahman is pure bliss, why did the empirical world of sufferings arise. These are the questions that Advaita Vedanta thinkers have historically attempted to answer, Advaita establishes its truths, in part, from the oldest Principal Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita and numerous other Hindu texts

12. Vishishtadvaita – Vishishtadvaita, the philosophy of the Sri Sampradaya, is one of the most popular schools of the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy. Vedanta literally means the end of the Vedas, primarily the word Vedanta stood for Upanishads, afterwords, its denotation widened to include all thoughts developed out of the Upanishads. VishishtAdvaita is a school of Vedanta philosophy. It is non-dualism of the whole, in which Brahman alone exists. It can be described as qualified monism or qualified non-dualism or attributive monism and it is a school of Vedanta philosophy which believes in all diversity subsuming to an underlying unity. Vedanta Desika defines Vishishtadvaita using the statement, Asesha Chit-Achit Prakaaram Brahmaikameva Tatvam, Brahman, the Vishishtadvaitic thought is considered to have existed for a long time, and it is surmised that the earliest works are no longer available. The names of the earliest of these philosophers is only known through Ramanujas Veda artha Sangraha, in the line of the philosophers considered to have expounded the VisishtAdvaitic system, the prominent ones are Bodhayana, Dramida, Tanka, Guhadeva, Kapardi and Bharuci. Besides these philosophers, Ramanujas teacher Yamunacharya is credited with laying the foundation for what culminates as the Sri Bhasya, Bodhayana is considered to have written an extensive vritti on the Purva and Uttara Mimamsas. Tanka is attributed with having written commentaries on Chandogya Upanishad and Brahma Sutras, nathamuni of the ninth century AD, the foremost Acharya of the Vaishnavas, collected the Tamil prabandhas, classified them, made the redaction, set the hymns to music and spread them everywhere. Ramanuja is the proponent of Vishishtadvaita philosophy. The philosophy itself is considered to have existed long before Ramanujas time, Ramanuja continues along the line of thought of his predecessors while expounding the knowledge expressed in the Upanishads, Brahma Sutras and Bhagavad Gita. Swaminarayan, the founder of Swaminarayan Hinduism, also propagated this philosophy, there are three key principles of Vishishtadvaita, Tattva, The knowledge of the 3 real entities namely, jiva, ajiva and Ishvara. Hita, The means of realization, as through bhakti and prapatti, purushartha, The goal to be attained, as moksha or liberation from bondage. Pramana refers to the knowledge, arrived at by thorough reasoning. Pramana forms one part of a triputi, perception refers to knowledge obtained by cognition of external objects based on sensory perception. In modern-day usage this will also include knowledge obtained by means of observation through scientific instruments since they are an extension of perception, anumana — the knowledge gained by means of inference. Inference refers to knowledge obtained by deductive reasoning and analysis, Shabda — the knowledge gained by means of shruti. Shruti refers to knowledge gained from scriptures - primarily the Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras, when an issue cannot be settled through sensory perception alone, it is settled based on inference, that is, whichever is the more logical argument

13. Shuddhadvaita – Vallabhacharyas pure form philosophy is different from Advaita. The Shrinathji temple at Nathdwara, and compositions of eight poets, though the tradition originated near Vrindavana in the current Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, in modern times followers of Shuddadvaita are concentrated in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. In the ancient Vedic tradition of knowledge and comprehension of reality, vedas primarily contain references to the adwait nature of Brahm. However, depending on how a scholar perceives those verses, s/he might see duality— dwait aspect as well and he won the title of acharya by traveling and debating advaita scholars from a young age. In 1493-94 Vallabhacharya is said to have identified an image of Krishna at the Govardhan hill at Braj and this image, now called Shrinathji and located at Nathdwara, Rajasthan, is central to the worship by Vallabha followers. According to Vallabha tradition, one night in 1494, Vallabhacharya received the Brahmasambandha mantra from Krishna himself at Gokula. The eight-syllable mantra, śri kṛṣṇaḥ śaraṇaṃ mama, is passed onto new initiates in Vallabh sampradaya, the school of in-essence monism or purified non-dualism of Vallabha sees equality in essence of the individual self with God. There is no difference between the two. However, unlike Shankaras Advaita, Vallabha does not deny God as the whole, the individual soul is not the Supreme clouded by the force of avidya, but is itself Brahman, with one attribute rendered imperceptible. The soul is both a doer and enjoyer and it is atomic in size, but pervades the whole body through its essence of intelligence. Unlike Advaita, the world of Maya is not regarded as unreal and he is not only the creator of the universe but is the universe itself. Vallabha cites the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad account, that Brahman desired to become many, and he became the multitude of individual souls, although Brahman is not known, He is known when He manifests Himself through the world. Bhakti is the means of salvation, though Jnana is also useful, karmas precede knowledge of the Supreme, and are present even when this knowledge is gained. The highest goal is not Mukti or liberation, but rather eternal service of Krishna, Vallabha distinguishes the transcendent consciousness of Brahman as Purushottama. Vallabha lays a great stress on a life of unqualified love, in all the philosophical traditions, it is common practice to describe how the Supreme Entity Brahm is related to us and our surroundings. In the system of Suddhadwait Vedant, otherwise known as Brahmvaad, every other thing has proceeded from it at the time of creation, is non-different from it during creation and merges into it at the time of dissolution. The two other well known categories namely the animate souls and the objects are respectively its parts. The animate souls are its parts because they retain to some extent the essential qualities thereof namely consciousness, the inanimate objects are its modification because the above said qualities are absent therein

14. Buddhism – Buddhism is a religion and dharma that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on teachings attributed to the Buddha. Buddhism originated in India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, from where it spread through much of Asia, two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars, Theravada and Mahayana. Buddhism is the worlds fourth-largest religion, with over 500 million followers or 7% of the global population, Buddhist schools vary on the exact nature of the path to liberation, the importance and canonicity of various teachings and scriptures, and especially their respective practices. In Theravada the ultimate goal is the attainment of the state of Nirvana, achieved by practicing the Noble Eightfold Path, thus escaping what is seen as a cycle of suffering. Theravada has a following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Mahayana, which includes the traditions of Pure Land, Zen, Nichiren Buddhism, Shingon, rather than Nirvana, Mahayana instead aspires to Buddhahood via the bodhisattva path, a state wherein one remains in the cycle of rebirth to help other beings reach awakening. Vajrayana, a body of teachings attributed to Indian siddhas, may be viewed as a branch or merely a part of Mahayana. Tibetan Buddhism, which preserves the Vajrayana teachings of eighth century India, is practiced in regions surrounding the Himalayas, Tibetan Buddhism aspires to Buddhahood or rainbow body. Buddhism is an Indian religion attributed to the teachings of Buddha, the details of Buddhas 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. Some hagiographic legends state that his father was a king named Suddhodana, his mother queen Maya, and he was born in Lumbini gardens. Some of the stories about Buddha, his life, his teachings, Buddha was moved by the innate suffering of humanity. He meditated on this alone for a period of time, in various ways including asceticism, on the nature of suffering. He famously sat in meditation under a Ficus religiosa tree now called the Bodhi Tree in the town of Bodh Gaya in Gangetic plains region of South Asia. He reached enlightenment, discovering what Buddhists call the Middle Way, as an enlightened being, he attracted followers and founded a Sangha. Now, as the Buddha, he spent the rest of his teaching the Dharma he had discovered. Dukkha is a concept of Buddhism and part of its Four Noble Truths doctrine. It can be translated as incapable of satisfying, the unsatisfactory nature, the Four Truths express the basic orientation of Buddhism, we crave and cling to impermanent states and things, which is dukkha, incapable of satisfying and painful. This keeps us caught in saṃsāra, the cycle of repeated rebirth, dukkha

15. Jainism – Jainism, traditionally known as Jain Dharma, is an ancient Indian religion belonging to the śramaṇa tradition. The central tenet is non-violence and respect all living beings. The three main principles of Jainism are ahimsa, anekantavada and aparigraha, followers of Jainism take five main vows, ahimsa, satya, asteya, brahmacharya and aparigraha. Jain monks and nuns observe these vows absolutely whereas householders observe them within their practical limitations, self-discipline and asceticism are thus major focuses of Jainism. The word Jain derives from the Sanskrit word jina, a human being who has conquered all inner passions like attachment, desire, anger, pride, greed, etc. is called Jina. Followers of the path practiced and preached by the jinas are known as Jains, Parasparopagraho Jivanam is the motto of Jainism. Jains trace their history through a succession of teachers and revivers of the Jain path known as Tirthankaras. In the current era, this started with Rishabhdeva and concluded with Mahavira, Jains believe that Jainism is eternal and while it may be forgotten, it will be revived from time to time. The majority of Jains reside in India, with 6-7 million followers, Jainism is smaller than many other major world religions. Outside of India, some of the largest Jain communities are present in Canada, Europe, Kenya, the UK, Suriname, Fiji, contemporary Jainism is divided into two major sects, Digambara and Śvētāmbara. Namokar Mantra is the most common and basic prayer in Jainism, major Jain festivals include Paryushana and Daslakshana, Mahavir Jayanti, and Diwali. The principle of ahimsa is the most fundamental and well-known aspect of Jainism, the everyday implementation of the principle of non-violence is more comprehensive than in other religions and is the hallmark for Jain identity. Jains believe in avoiding harm to others thoughts, speech. According to the Jain text, Purushartha Siddhyupaya, killing any living being out of passions is hiṃsā, Jains extend the practice of nonviolence and kindness not only towards other humans but towards all living beings. For this reason, vegetarianism is a hallmark of Jain identity, if there is violence against animals during the production of dairy products, veganism is encouraged. Jainism has an elaborate framework on types of life and includes life-forms that may be invisible. Therefore, after humans and animals, insects are the living being offered protection in Jain practice. For example, insects in the home are often escorted out instead of killed, Jainism teaches that intentional harm and the absence of compassion make an action more violent

16. Vaishnavism – Vaishnavism is one of the major traditions within Hinduism along with Shaivism, Shaktism, and Smartism. It is also called Vishnuism, its followers are called Vaishnavas, the tradition is notable for its avatar doctrine, wherein Vishnu is revered in one of many distinct incarnations. Of these, ten avatars of Vishnu are the most studied, Krishna, Rama, Narayana, Vāsudeva, Hari, Vithoba, Kesava, Madhava, Govinda and Jagannath are among the popular names used for the same supreme. The tradition has traceable roots to the 1st millennium BCE, as Bhagavatism, later 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, new Vaishnavism movements have been founded in the modern era such as the ISKCON of Prabhupada. The tradition is known for the devotion to an avatar of Vishnu. Key texts in Vaishnavism include the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Pancaratra texts, Krishnaism becomes associated with bhakti yoga in the medieval period. Although Vishnu was a Vedic solar deity, he is mentioned less often compared to Agni, Indra and other Vedic deities, other scholars state that there are other Vedic deities, such as water deity Nara, who together form the historical roots of Vaishnavism. The ancient emergence of Vaishnavism is unclear, the evidence inconsistent, according to Dalal, the origins may be in Vedic deity Bhaga, who gave rise to Bhagavatism. 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, closely before the urbanisation of northern India. This earliest phase was established the time of Pāṇini who, in his Astadhyayi and this was followed by a merger with the cult of Gopala-Krsna of the cowherd community of the Abhıras at the 4th century CE. The character of Gopala Krishna is often 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, then 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, 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, finally, the Narayana-cult was also included, which further brahmanized Vaishnavism. The Nara-Narayana cult may have originated in Badari, a ridge of the Hindu Kush. Purusa Narayana may have later turned into Arjuna and Krsna

17. Shaktism – Shaktism is a major tradition of Hinduism, wherein the metaphysical reality is considered feminine and the Devi is supreme. It includes a variety of goddesses, all considered aspects of the supreme goddess. Shaktism has different sub-traditions, ranging from those focussed on gracious Lakshmi to fierce Kali, the Sruti and Smriti texts of Hinduism are an important historical framework of the Shaktism tradition. In addition, it reveres the texts Devi Mahatmya, the Devi-Bhagavata Purana, the Devi Mahatmya in particular, is considered in Shaktism to be as important as the Bhagavad Gita. Shaktism is known for its various sub-traditions of Tantra, as well as a galaxy of goddesses with respective systems and it consists of the Vidyapitha and Kulamārga. The pantheon of goddesses in Shaktism grew after the decline of Buddhism in India, wherein Hindu and Buddhist goddesses were combined to form the Mahavidya, the most common aspects of Devi found in Shaktism include Durga, Kali, Amba, Lakshmi, Parvati and Tripurasundari. The goddess-focussed tradition is popular in West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Nepal and the neighboring regions. Yet, they are declared equivalent aspects of gender neutral Brahman, of Prajapati, the goddesses often mentioned in the Vedic layers of text include the Ushas, Vac, Sarasvati, Prithivi, Nirriti, Shraddha. Goddesses such as Uma appear in the Upanishads as another aspect of Brahman, hymns to goddesses are in the ancient Hindu epic Mahabharata, particularly in the later added Harivamsa section of it. The archaeological and textual evidence implies, states Thomas Coburn, that the Goddess had become as much a part of the Hindu tradition, as God, by about the third or fourth century. The literature on Shakti theology grew in ancient India, climaxing in one of the most important texts of Shaktism called the Devi Mahatmya, the Devi-Mahatmya is not the earliest literary fragment attesting to the existence of devotion to a goddess figure, states Thomas B. Coburn – a professor of Religious Studies, but it is surely the earliest in which the object of worship is conceptualized as Goddess, with a capital G. Other important texts of Shaktism include the Shakta Upanishads, as well as Shakta-oriented Upa Puranic literature such as the Devi Purana and Kalika Purana, the Lalita Sahasranama. The Tripura Upanishad is historically the most complete introduction to Shakta Tantrism, along with the Tripura Upanishad, the Tripuratapini Upanishad has attracted scholarly bhasya in the second half of 2nd-millennium, such as by Bhaskararaya, and by Ramanand. These texts link the Shakti Tantra tradition as a Vedic attribute, Shaktas conceive the Goddess as the supreme, ultimate, eternal reality of all existence, or same as the Brahman concept of Hinduism. She is considered to be simultaneously the source of all creation, its embodiment and the energy that animates and governs it, according to V. R. Ramachandra Dikshitar – a professor of Indian history, in Shaktism theology Brahman is static Shakti and Shakti is dynamic Brahman. Shaktism views the Devi as the source, essence and substance of everything in creation and its texts such as the Devi-Bhagavata Purana states, I am Manifest Divinity, Unmanifest Divinity, and Transcendent Divinity. I am Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, as well as Saraswati, Lakshmi, I am the Sun and I am the Stars, and I am also the Moon

18. Shaivism – Shaivism is one of the major traditions within Hinduism that reveres Shiva as the Supreme Being or its metaphysical concept of Brahman. The followers of Shaivism are called Shaivas or Saivas, like much of Hinduism, 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 both the Vedas and the Agama texts as important sources of theology, Shaivism has ancient roots, traceable in the Vedic literature of 2nd millennium BCE, but this is in the form of the Vedic deity Rudra. In the early centuries of the era is the first clear evidence of Pāśupata Shaivism. Both devotional and monistic Shaivism became popular in the 1st millennium CE and 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 aspects of Hinduism. Shaivism theology ranges from Shiva being the creator, preserver, destroyer to being the same as the Atman within oneself and it is closely related to Shaktism, and some Shaiva worship in Shiva and Shakti temples. It is the Hindu tradition that most accepts ascetic life and emphasizes yoga, Shaivism is one of the largest traditions within Hinduism. Shiva literally means kind, friendly, 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, the term Shiva also 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, the Sanskrit word śaiva or Shaiva means relating to the god Shiva, while the related beliefs, practices, history, literature and sub-traditions constitute Shaivism. The reverence for Shiva is one of the traditions, found widely across India, Sri Lanka. While Shiva is revered broadly, Hinduism itself is a complex religion, Shaivism is a major tradition within Hinduism, with a theology that is predominantly related to the Hindu god Shiva. Shaivism has many different sub-traditions with regional variations and differences in philosophy, Shaivism has a vast literature with different philosophical schools, ranging from nondualism, dualism, and mixed schools. The origins of Shaivism are unclear and 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 that suggest a deity that appears like Shiva. Of these is the Pashupati seal, which scholars interpreted as someone seated in a meditating yoga pose surrounded by animals. This Pashupati seal has been interpreted by scholars as a prototype of Shiva

19. Pashupata Shaivism – Pashupata Shaivism is the oldest of the major Shaivite Hindu schools. The philosophy of the Pashupata sect was systematized by Lakulish in the 2nd century A. D, the main texts of the school are Gaṇakārikā, Pañchārtha bhāshyadipikā and Rāśikara-bhāshya. The date of foundation of the school is uncertain, however, the Pashupatas may have existed from the 1st century CE. Gavin Flood dates them to around the 2nd century CE and they are also referred to in the epic Mahabharata which is thought to have reached a final form by 4th century CE. The Pashupata movement was influential in South India in the period between the 7th and 14th century, but it no longer exists, Pashupata Shaivism was a devotional and ascetic movement. Pashu in Pashupati refers to the effect, the word designates that which is dependent on something ulterior, whereas, Pati means the cause, the word designates the Lord, who is the cause of the universe, the pati, or the ruler. To free themselves from worldy fetters Pashupatas are instructed to do a pashupata vrata, haradattacharya, in Gaṇakārikā, explains that a spiritual teacher is one who knows the eight pentads and the three functions. They recognize that those depending upon another and longing for independence not be emancipated because they still depend upon something other than themselves. According to Pashupatas, spirits possess the attributes of the Supreme Deity when they become liberated from the germ of every pain, in this system the cessation of pain is of two kinds, impersonal and personal. Impersonal consists of the cessation of all pains, whereas the personal consists of development of visual and active powers like swiftness of thought. The Lord is held to be the possessor of infinite, visual, Pañchārtha bhāshyadipikā divides the created world into the insentient and the sentient. The insentient is unconscious and thus dependent on the conscious, the insentient is further divided into effects and causes. The effects are of ten kinds, the earth, four elements and their qualities, the causes are of thirteen kinds, the five organs of cognition, the five organs of action, the three internal organs, intellect, the ego principle and the cognising principle. These insentient causes are responsible for the illusive identification of Self with non-Self. The sentient spirit, which is subject to transmigration is of two kinds, the appetent and nonappetent, the appetent is the spirit associated with an organism and sense organs, whereas the non-appetent is the spirit without them. Union in the Pashupata system is a conjunction of the soul with God through the intellect and it is achieved in two ways, action and cessation of action. Union through action consists of pious muttering, meditation etc. cessation of suffering in other systems like Sankhya occurs through the mere termination of miseries, but in Pashupata school it is the attainment of supremacy or of divine perfections. In other philosophies, the world is that which has come into existence

20. Shaiva Siddhanta – Saiva siddhānta, provides the normative rites, cosmology and theological categories of Agamic and Vedic Shaivam combined. Being a dualistic philosophy, the goal of Shaiva Siddhanta is to become a soul through Lord Sivas Grace. This tradition was once practiced all over India, however the Muslim subjugation of North India restricted Shaiva Siddhanta to the south, where it merged with the Tamil Saiva movement expressed in the bhakti poetry of the Nayanars. It is in historical context that Shaiva Siddhanta is commonly considered a southern tradition. The Tamil compendium of songs known as Tirumurai, the Shaiva Agamas and Meykanda or Siddhanta Shastras. Shaiva Siddhanta encompasses tens of millions of adherents, predominantly in Tamil Nadu, the name of the school could be translated as the settled view of Shaiva doctrine or perfected Shaivism. Saiva Siddhantas original form is uncertain, some hold that it originated as a monistic doctrine, espoused by Tirumular. Such a notion of liberatory initiation appears to have borrowed from a Pashupata tradition. At the time of the development of the theology of the school, the question of monism or dualism. From the fifth to the eighth CE Buddhism and Jainism had spread in Tamil Nadu before a forceful Shaiva bhakti movement arose, between the seventh and ninth centuries, pilgrim saints such as Sambandar, Appar and Sundarar used songs of Shiva’s greatness to refute concepts of Buddhism and Jainism. Manikkavacakars heart-melting verses, called Tiruvacakam, are full of visionary experience, divine love, the Bhakti movement should not be exaggerated as an articulation of a class struggle, there is nevertheless a strong sense against rigis structures in the society. In the twelfth century Aghorasiva, the head of a monastery of the Amardaka order in Chidambaram, took up the task of amalgamating Sanskrit. Aghorasiva was successful in preserving the Sanskrit rituals of the ancient Āgamic tradition, to this day, Aghorasiva’s Siddhanta philosophy is followed by almost all of the hereditary temple priests, and his texts on the Āgamas have become the standard puja manuals. His Kriyakramadyotika is a vast work covering all aspects of Shaiva Siddhanta ritual, including the daily worship of Siva, occasional rituals, initiation rites, funerary rites. In Tamil Shaiva Siddhanta, the thirteenth century Meykandar, Arulnandi Sivacharya, Siva is an efficient but not material cause. They view the soul’s merging in Siva as salt in water, Saiva Siddhanta today is practiced widely among the Hindus of southern India and Sri Lanka, especially by members of the Vellalar community. It is also prevalent among Hindus of the Tamil diaspora around the world, prominent Siddhanta societies, temples and monasteries also exist in a number of other countries. The United States island of Kauai, a part of Hawaii, is home to the Saiva Siddhanta Church and this was founded by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, which is currently under the auspices of Subramuniyaswamis designated successor, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami

21. Tantra – Tantra is the esoteric traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism that co-developed most likely about the middle of 1st millennium CE. The term tantra, in the Indian traditions, also means any systematic broadly applicable text, theory, system, method, instrument, in Hinduism, the tantra tradition is most often associated with its goddess tradition called Shaktism, followed by Shaivism and Vaishnavism. In Buddhism, the Vajrayana tradition is known for its extensive tantra ideas, Tantric Hindu and Buddhist traditions have influenced other religious traditions such as Jainism, Sikhism, the Tibetan Bön tradition, Daoism, and the Japanese Shintō tradition. Tantra as genre of literature in Hinduism have been influential to its arts, icons, Hindu puja, temples and iconography are tantric in nature. The Hindu texts that describe these topics are called Tantras, Āgamas or Samhitās, in Buddhism, its tantra-genre literature has influenced the artworks in Tibet, historic cave temples of India, and imagery in southeast Asia. Tantra literally means loom, warp, weave, the connotation of the word tantra to mean an esoteric practice or religious ritualism is a colonial era European invention. The term is based on the metaphor of weaving, states Ron Barrett and it implies interweaving of traditions and teachings as threads into a text, technique or practice. The word appears in the hymns of the Rigveda such as in 10.71 and it is found in many other Vedic era texts, such as in section 10.7.42 of the Atharvaveda and many Brahmanas. In these and post-Vedic texts, the meaning of Tantra is that which is principal or essential part, main point, model, framework. The term “Tantra” after about 500 BCE, in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism is a bibliographic category, the same Buddhist texts are sometimes referred to as tantra or sutra, for example, Vairocabhisambodhi-tantra is also referred to as Vairocabhisambodhi-sutra. The various contextual meaning of the word Tantra varies with the Indian text, the earliest definitions and expositions on Tantra come from the ancient texts of Panini, Patanjali and the literature of the language-focussed, ritual-oriented Mimamsa school of Hindu philosophy. The word tantra, states Patanjali, means principal, main, Patanjali also offers a semantic definition of Tantra, stating that it is structural rules, standard procedures, centralized guide or knowledge in any field that applies to many elements. The ancient Mimamsa school of Hinduism uses the term tantra extensively, for example, When an action or a thing, once complete, becomes beneficial in several matters to one person, or to many people, that is known as Tantra. For example, a lamp placed amidst many priests, in contrast, that which benefits by its repetition is called Āvāpa, such as massaging with oil. Medieval texts present their own definitions of Tantra, in modern era scholarship, Tantra has been studied as an esoteric practice and ritualistic religion, sometimes referred to as Tantrism. There is wide gap between what Tantra means to its followers, and what Tantra has been represented or perceived as since colonial era writers began commenting on Tantra, many definitions of Tantra have been proposed ever since, and there is no universally accepted definition of Tantra. André Padoux in his review of Tantra definitions offers two, then rejects both, another definition, more common among observers and non-practitioners, is some set of mechanistic rituals, omitting entirely the ideological side. According to David N. Lorenzen, two different kinds of definitions of Tantra exist, a definition and a broad definition

22. Jaimini – Jaimini was an ancient Indian scholar who founded the Mimansa school of Hindu philosophy. He is traditionally attributed to be the author of the Mimamsa Sutras text and he is estimated to have lived around the 4th-century BCE. His school is considered non-theistic, but one that emphasized rituals parts of the Vedas as essential to Dharma, jaiminis guru was Badarayana, the latter founded the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy, emphasizing the knowledge parts of the Vedas, and credited with authoring Brahma Sutras. Jaimini is most known for his great treatise Purva Mimamsa Sutras, also called Karma-mimamsa, the text founded the Purva-Mimamsa school of Ancient Indian philosophy, one of the six Darsanas or schools of Ancient Indian philosophy. Dated to ca. the 4th century BCE, the text contains about 3,000 sutras and is the text of the Mimamsa school. The text aims at an exegesis of the Vedas with regard to practice and religious duty. Jaiminis Mimamsa is a ritualist counter-movement to the Self-knowledge speculations of the Vedanta philosophy and his Mimamsa Sutra was commented upon by many, of which Śābara was among the earliest. He divided the Veda into four, namely Rig, Yajur, Sama, the histories and the Puranas are said to be the fifth Veda. - Brahmanda Purana 1.4.21 One of the major Puranas, samaveda Guru Purnima Indian Mathematics Purva Mimansa homepage

23. Gaudapada – Gauḍapāda, also referred as Gauḍapādacharya, was an early medieval era scholar of the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy. While details of his biography are uncertain, his ideas inspired others such as Adi Shankara who called him a Paramaguru, Gaudapada was the author or compiler of the Māṇḍukya Kārikā, also known as Gaudapada Karika. The text consists of four chapters, of which Chapter Four uses Buddhist terminology thereby showing it was influenced by Buddhism, however, doctrinally Gaudapadas work is Vedantin, and not Buddhist. The first three chapters of Gaudapadas text have been influential in the Advaita Vedanta tradition, the century in which Gaudapada lived and his life details are uncertain. Estimates vary from early 6th to 7th century CE and he is generally dated from estimates for Adi Shankara, whose teacher Govinda Bhagavatpada is presumed to be the direct disciple of Gaudapada. Shankara in some texts, refers to Gaudapada as the teacher who knows the tradition of the Vedānta. Assuming how long each lived and when, Gaudapada is estimated to have lived sometime in the 7th century CE, alternatively, states Potter, the phrase teachers teacher should not be taken literally, and more in the sense of another phrase he uses for Gaudapada, namely Paramaguru. He may have been the guru of Sankaras teacher, but was likely a more distant guru, another estimate places him around the early 6th century. This estimate is based on Buddhist literature, and particularly those of scholars Bhavaviveka, Santaraksita, Bhavaviveka was a contemporary of Dharmapala, states Karl Potter, while Chinese texts and travel accounts place Dharmapala in the mid 6th century CE. Assuming the Buddhist and Chinese records are reliable, and for Bhavaviveka to have quoted Gauḍapada kārikās, Gaudapada must have lived around 500 CE, or sometime in the first half of 6th century CE. But, it is certain that Gaudapada lived after the 4th century because he cites some Buddhist views of Nāgārjuna and Asanga, Gaudapada wrote or compiled the Māṇḍukya Kārikā, also known as the Gauḍapāda Kārikā and as the Āgama Śāstra. Some scholars, states Karl Potter, doubt that Gaudapada Karika was written by one author, the Māṇḍukya Kārikā is a concise explanation, in verse form, of the doctrines in Mandukya Upanishad, one of the shortest but a profound Upanishad, consisting of just 12 sentences. Even before the time of Adi Shankara, Mandukya Upanishad was considered to be a Śruti, in later periods it acquired a higher value, and expressing the Upanishadic essence. Gaudapadas text, adds Nakamura, was treasured but not considered a Sruti by Advaita scholars, while Ramanuja, most of Chapter Three of the compilation of Gaudapada Karika was complete by 400–500 CE, states Nakamura. He estimates that most of Chapter One was complete by 300–400 CE, while Chapter Two which presupposes Chapter One can be dated to have been complete after Chapter One. Most of the Chapter Four was written sometime between 400 and 600 CE, the Self resides in ones body in three forms, waking state, sleeping dreamy state and in deep sleep state, according to Potters translation. The description of these states of self are similar, states Arvind Sharma, to found in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. Gaudapada presents the traditional theories about life in vogue, before and in his times

24. Adi Shankara – Adi Shankara was a philosopher and theologian from India who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta. He is credited with unifying and establishing the main currents of thought in Hinduism and his works in Sanskrit discuss the unity of the ātman and Nirguna Brahman brahman without attributes. He wrote copious commentaries on the Vedic canon in support of his thesis and his works elaborate on ideas found in the Upanishads. Shankaras publications criticised the ritually-oriented Mīmāṃsā school of Hinduism and he also explained the key difference between Hinduism and Buddhism, stating that Hinduism asserts Atman exists, while Buddhism asserts that there is no Soul, no Self. Shankara travelled across the Indian subcontinent to propagate his philosophy through discourses and debates with other thinkers and he established the importance of monastic life as sanctioned in the Upanishads and Brahma Sutra, in a time when the Mīmāṃsā school established strict ritualism and ridiculed monasticism. He is reputed to have founded four mathas, which helped in the development, revival. Adi Shankara is believed to be the organiser of the Dashanami monastic order and he is also known as Adi Shankaracharya, Shankara Bhagavatpada, sometimes spelled as Sankaracharya, Śaṅkarācārya, Śaṅkara Bhagavatpāda and Śaṅkara Bhagavatpādācārya. There are at least fourteen different known biographies of Adi Shankaras life, many of these are called the Śankara Vijaya, while some are called Guruvijaya, Sankarabhyudaya and Shankaracaryacarita. Of these, the Brhat-Sankara-Vijaya by Citsukha is the oldest hagiography but only available in excerpts, other significant biographies are the Mādhavīya Śaṅkara Vijayaṃ, the Cidvilāsīya Śaṅkara Vijayaṃ, and the Keraļīya Śaṅkara Vijayaṃ. Some biographies are probably forgeries by those who sought to create a basis for their rituals or theories. Adi Shankara died in the thirty third year of his life, the Sringeri records state that Shankara was born in the 14th year of the reign of VikramAditya, but it is unclear as to which king this name refers. This conforms to the chronology calculated based off the Hindu Puranas, 44–12 BCE, the commentator Anandagiri believed he was born at Chidambaram in 44 BCE and died in 12 BCE. 6th century CE, Telang placed him in this century, sir R. G. Bhandarkar believed he was born in 680 CE. 788–820 CE, This was proposed by early 20th scholars and was accepted by scholars such as Max Müller, Macdonnel, Pathok, Deussen and Radhakrishna. The date 788–820 is also among those considered acceptable by Swami Tapasyananda, sometime between 700-750 CE, late 20th-century scholarship has questioned the 788-820 CE dates, placing Adi Shankaras life of 32 years in the first half of the 8th century. The popularly accepted dating places Adi Shankara to be a scholar from the first half of the 8th century CE and his father died while Shankara was very young. Shankaras upanayanam, the initiation into student-life, had to be delayed due to the death of his father, Shankaras hagiography describe him as someone who was attracted to the life of Sannyasa from early childhood. A story, found in all hagiographies, describe Shankara at age eight going to a river with his mother, Sivataraka, to bathe, Shankara called out to his mother to give him permission to become a Sannyasin or else the crocodile will kill him

25. Ramakrishna – Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Ramkṛiṣṇo Pôromôhongśo,17 February 1836 –16 August 1886), born Gadadhar Chatterjee or Gadadhar Chattopadhyay, was an Indian mystic and yogi during the 19th-century. Admiration for him amongst Bengali elites led to the formation of the Ramakrishna Mission by his chief disciple Swami Vivekananda. Ramakrishna was born on 17 February 1836, in the village of Kamarpukur, in the Hoogli district of West Bengal, into a poor, pious. Kamarpukur was untouched by the glamour of the city and contained rice fields, tall palms, royal banyans, a few lakes and his parents were Khudiram Chattopadhyay and Chandramani Devi. According to his followers, Ramakrishnas parents experienced supernatural incidents and visions before his birth, in Gaya his father Khudiram had a dream in which Lord Gadadhara, said that he would be born as his son. Chandramani Devi is said to have had a vision of light entering her womb from Shivas temple, although Ramakrishna attended a village school with some regularity for 12 years, he later rejected the traditional schooling saying that he was not interested in a bread-winning education. Kamarpukur, being a transit-point in well-established pilgrimage routes to Puri, brought him contact with renunciates. He could read and write in Bengali, Ramakrishna describes his first spiritual ecstasy at the age of six, while walking along the paddy fields, a flock of white cranes flying against a backdrop of dark thunder clouds caught his vision. He reportedly became so absorbed by this scene that he lost outward consciousness, Ramakrishna reportedly had experiences of similar nature a few other times in his childhood—while worshipping the goddess Vishalakshi, and portraying god Shiva in a drama during Shivaratri festival. From his 10th or 11th year of school on, the trances became common, early on, these experiences have been interpreted as epileptic seizures, an interpretation which was rejected by Ramakrishna himself. Ramakrishnas father died in 1843, after which family responsibilities fell on his elder brother Ramkumar, when Ramakrishna was in his teens, the familys financial position worsened. Ramkumar started a Sanskrit school in Calcutta and also served as a priest, Ramakrishna moved to Calcutta in 1852 with Ramkumar to assist in the priestly work. In 1855 Ramkumar was appointed as the priest of Dakshineswar Kali Temple, Ramakrishna, along with his nephew Hriday, became assistants to Ramkumar, with Ramakrishna given the task of decorating the deity. When Ramkumar died in 1856, Ramakrishna took his place as the priest of the Kali temple, after Ramkumars death Ramakrishna became more contemplative. He began to look upon the image of the goddess Kali as his mother, Ramakrishna reportedly had a vision of the goddess Kali as the universal Mother, which he described as. Houses, doors, temples and everything else vanished altogether, as if there was nothing anywhere, and what I saw was an infinite shoreless sea of light, a sea that was consciousness. However far and in whatever direction I looked, I saw shining waves, one after another, rumors spread to Kamarpukur that Ramakrishna had become unstable as a result of his spiritual practices at Dakshineswar. Ramakrishna himself mentioned that they could find the bride at the house of Ramchandra Mukherjee in Jayrambati, the five-year-old bride, Saradamani Mukhopadhyaya was found and the marriage was duly solemnised in 1859

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