In Hinduism, a swami (Sanskrit: स्वामी svāmī [sʋaːmiː]; sometimes abbreviated sw.), is an ascetic or yogi who has been initiated into a religious monastic order. The meaning of the Sanskrit root of the word is '[he who is] one with his self' (swa stands for 'self'). The term is applied to religious gurus as well as yogis, with or without disciples. The term is also used in Advaita Vedanta. As a direct form of address, or as a stand-in for a swami's name, it is often rendered Swamiji (also Swami-ji or Swami Ji).
Hindi svāmī 'master, lord, prince', used by Hindus as a term of respectful address, < Sanskrit svāmin in same senses, also the idol or temple of a god.
In Bengali, the word (pronounced [ˈʃami]), while carrying its original meaning, also has the meaning of 'husband' in another context. The word also means 'husband' in Malay, in which it is spelled suami, and in Khmer and Odiya. The Thai word for 'husband', sami (สามี), like the Tagalog word for 'spouse', asawa, are also cognates of the word.
Abhaya Caranaravinda Bhaktivedānta Svāmi (born Abhay Charan De; 1 September 1896 – 14 November 1977) was an Indian spiritual teacher and the founder-preceptor of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), commonly known as the "Hare Krishna Movement". Members of the ISKCON movement view Bhaktivedānta Swāmi as a representative and messenger of Krsna Caitanya.Born Abhay Charan De in Calcutta, he was educated at the Scottish Church College in Calcutta. Before adopting the life of a novice renunciate (vanaprastha) in 1950, he was married with children and owned a small pharmaceutical business. In 1959 he took a vow of renunciation (sannyasa) and started writing commentaries on Vaishnava scriptures. In his later years, as a traveling Vaishnava monk, he became an influential communicator of Gaudiya Vaishnava theology to India and specifically to the West through his leadership of ISKCON, founded in 1966. As the founder of ISKCON, he "emerged as a major figure of the Western counterculture, initiating thousands of young Americans." He received criticism from anti-cult groups, as well as a favorable welcome from religious scholars such as J. Stillson Judah, Harvey Cox, Larry Shinn and Thomas Hopkins, who praised Bhaktivedānta Swāmi's translations and defended the group against distorted media images and misinterpretations. In respect to his achievements, religious leaders from other Gaudiya Vaishnava movements have also given him credit.He has been described as a charismatic leader, in the sense used by sociologist Max Weber, as he was successful in acquiring followers in the United States, Europe, India and elsewhere. His mission was to propagate, throughout the world, Gaudiya Vaishnavism, a school of Vaishnavite Hinduism that had been taught to him by his guru, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. After his death in 1977, ISKCON, the society he founded based on a type of Hindu Krishnaism using the Bhagavata Purana as a central scripture, continued to grow. In February 2014, ISKCON's news agency reported reaching a milestone of distributing over half a billion of his books since 1965. His translation of and commentary on the Bhagavad Gītā, titled Bhagavad-Gītā As It Is, is considered by adherents of the ISKCON movement and many Vedic scholars as one of the finest literary works of Vaishnavism translated into the English Language.Arvind Swami
Arvind Swamy is an Indian film actor, model, entrepreneur and television presenter known for his work in Tamil cinema. He was introduced as an actor by Mani Ratnam with the film Thalapathi (1991) and subsequently starred in successful films such as Roja (1992), Bombay (1995), Minsaara Kanavu (1997), Alaipayuthey (2000), and Chekka Chivantha Vaanam (2018).
Swamy also starred in other regional film industries, including Telugu and Malayalam films where he has done films such as Mounam (1995), Daddy (1992) and Devaraagam (1996). He has also appeared in Bollywood, making his appearance in Saat Rang Ke Sapne (1998). Swamy spent a decade in businesses ranging from software engineering, construction, international trade to global outsourcing, before returning to act with works such as Kadal (2013), Thani Oruvan (2015), Dear Dad (2016), Dhruva (2016), Bogan (2016) and Chekka Chivantha Vaanam (2018). He briefly worked as a television presenter as the host of the third season of Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi on Star Vijay.Chinmayananda Saraswati
Swami Chinmayananda Saraswati (born Balakrishna Menon; 8 May 1916 – 3 August 1993) was a Hindu spiritual leader and a teacher who inspired the formation of Chinmaya Mission, a worldwide nonprofit organisation, to spread the knowledge of Advaita Vedanta, the non-dual system of thought found in the Upanishads, which epitomise the philosophical teachings of the Vedas.
Chinmayananda is known for teaching Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, and other ancient Hindu scriptures. From 1951 onward, he spearheaded a global Hindu spiritual and cultural renaissance that popularised the religion's esoteric scriptural texts, teaching them in English all across India and abroad.
Chinmayananda inspired the formation of Chinmaya Mission in 1953. Founded by his disciples and led by him, it is a spiritual, educational, and charitable nonprofit organization that encompasses more than 300 centres in India and internationally. He authored 95 publications, including commentaries on the major Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita. He was a visiting professor of Indian philosophy at several American and Asian universities and he conducted university lecture tours in many countries.Dashanami Sampradaya
Dashanami Sanyasi (IAST Daśanāmi Saṃpradāya "Tradition of Ten Names") is a Hindu monastic tradition of "single-staff renunciation" (ēka daṇḍi sannyāsi) generally associated with the Advaita Vedanta tradition. The disciples of Adi Shankaracharya are also called "Dash Nam Sanyasi" as the Title is further divided into ten groups viz. Giri, Puri, Bharati, Ban, Aranya, Sagar, Aashram, Saraswati, Tirtha, and Parwat. Dashnam Sanyasins are associated mainly with the four Maths in four corners of India, established by Adi Shankaracharya. Initially all the disciples were Sanyasins who embraced sanyas either after marriage or without getting married.
Single-staff renunciates are distinct in their practices from Shaiva trishuldhari or "trident-wielding renunciates" and Vaishnava traditions of Tridandi sannyāsis.In the 8th century a section of the (Ēkadaṇḍisannyāsins) were organized by Adi Shankara into four maṭhas. However, the association of the Dasanāmis with the Shankara maṭhas remained nominal. Any Hindu, irrespective of class, caste, age or gender can seek sannyāsa as an Ēkadaṇḍi renunciate in the Dasanāmi tradition.Dayananda Saraswati
Dayanand Saraswati pronunciation (12 February 1824 – 30 October 1883) was an Indian social leader and founder of the Arya Samaj, a reform movement of the Vedic dharma. He was the first to give the call for Swaraj as "India for Indians" in 1876, a call later taken up by Lokmanya Tilak. Denouncing the idolatry and ritualistic worship prevalent in India at the time, he worked towards reviving Vedic ideologies. Subsequently, the philosopher and President of India, S. Radhakrishnan called him one of the "makers of Modern India", as did Sri Aurobindo.Those who were influenced by and followed Dayananda included Madam Cama, Pandit Lekh Ram, Swami Shraddhanand, Pandit Guru Dutt Vidyarthi, Shyamji Krishna Varma (who established India House in England for Freedom fighters,) Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Lala Hardayal, Madan Lal Dhingra, Ram Prasad Bismil, Mahadev Govind Ranade, Ashfaq Ullah Khan, Mahatma Hansraj, Lala Lajpat Rai, and others. One of his most influential works is the book Satyarth Prakash, which contributed to the Indian independence movement.
He was a sanyasi (ascetic) from boyhood, and a scholar. He believed in the infallible authority of the Vedas. Maharshi Dayananda advocated the doctrine of Karma and Reincarnation. He emphasized the Vedic ideals of brahmacharya, including celibacy and devotion to God.
Among Maharshi Dayananda's contributions are his promoting of the equal rights for women, such as the right to education and reading of Indian scriptures, and his commentary on the Vedas from Vedic Sanskrit in Sanskrit as well as in Hindi.International Society for Krishna Consciousness
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), known colloquially as the Hare Krishna movement or Hare Krishnas, is a Gaudiya Vaishnava Hindu religious organisation. ISKCON was founded in 1966 in New York City by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada known to his followers as Guru and spiritual master. Its core beliefs are said to be based on select Hindu scriptures, particularly the Bhagavad Gita and the Bhagavata Purana, and the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, which has had adherents in India since the late 15th century and American and European converts since the early 1900s in North America. In West Virginia, the Prabhupada's Palace of Gold is now a shrine for the founder, who died in 1977.The movement has been the subject of controversies. It is labelled a sect by many anti-cult organizations, but the New York State Supreme Court considers it as a "bonafide religion". ISKON also faced multiple accusations of child abuse, that its leaders acknowledged.The organization was formed to spread the practice of Bhakti yoga, in which those involved (bhaktas) dedicate their thoughts and actions towards pleasing Krishna, their Supreme Lord. Its most rapid expansions in membership as of 2007 have been within India and especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union, in Russia, Ukraine, and the rest of the ex-Soviet aligned states of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.Krishnananda Saraswati
Swami Krishnananda Saraswati (25 April 1922 – 23 November 2001) was a disciple of Sivananda Saraswati and served as the General Secretary of the Divine Life Society in Rishikesh, India from 1958 until 2001. Author of more than 40 texts, and lecturing extensively, on yoga, religion, and metaphysics, Krishnananda was a prolific theologian, saint, yogi and philosopher.
Krishnananda was President of the Sivananda Literature Research Institute and the Sivananda Literature Dissemination Committee. He served as editor of the Divine Life Society’s monthly paper, Divine Life, for 20 years.List of Hindu gurus and sants
A guru is defined as a "teacher, spiritual guide, [or] godman," by author David Smith in his works in "Religions in the Modern World: Traditions and Transformations." To obtain the title of guru, one must go through a standard initiation process referred to as Diksha, in which they receive a mantra, or sacred Sanskrit phrase.
This is a list of Religious people in Hinduism, including gurus, sant, monks, yogis and spiritual masters.Nithyananda
A Rajasekaran, known popularly as Nithyananda (also called Paramahamsa Nithyananda, born c. 1977–1978 in Tiruvannamalai, India) is an Advaita Vedanta Hindu self-styled godman. He is believed by his disciples to be an avatar – a reincarnated deity (named Mahasadashiva). He is the founder of Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam, which is based in India but has devotees on a broader international scale, with temples, gurukulas, and ashrams in many countries. Various legal controversies involving Nithyananda – both accused and accusing – have appeared in Indian and occasionally international press; many are still unresolved as of June 2018. His name is sometimes given with various honorific titles, as in "H.H. Sri Nithyananda", and "Swami-ji Nithyananda".Raghavendra Tirtha
Shri Raghavendra (Śrī Rāghavēndra Tīrtha) (c.1595–c.1671) was a Hindu scholar, theologian and saint. He was also known as Sudha Parimalacharya (Sudhā Parimaḷācārya). His diverse oeuvre include commentaries on the works of Madhva, Jayatirtha and Vyasatirtha, interpretation of the Principal Upanishads from the standpoint of Dvaita and a treatise on Purva Mimamsa. He served as the pontiff of the Madhvacharya Mutt at Kumbakonam from 1624 to 1671. Raghavendra was also an accomplished player of the Veena and he composed several songs under the name of Venu Gopala. His tomb at Mantralayam (Brindavana) attracts thousands of visitors every year.Ramakrishna
Ramakrishna Paramahansa Ramkṛiṣṇa Pôromôhongśa (রামকৃষ্ণ পরমহংস) (ಶ್ರೀ ರಾಮಕೃಷ್ಣ ಪರಮಹಂಸ) ; 18 February 1836 – 16 August 1886), born Gadadhar Chatterjee or Gadadhar Chattopadhyay, was an Indian Hindu mystic and saint in 19th century Bengal. Ramakrishna experienced spiritual ecstasies from a young age, and was influenced by several religious traditions, including devotion toward the goddess Kali, Tantra (shakta), Vaishnava (bhakti), and Advaita Vedanta. Reverence and admiration for him among Bengali elites led to the formation of the Ramakrishna Mission by his chief disciple Swami Vivekananda.Ramakrishna Mission
Ramakrishna Mission (RKM) is a Hindu religious and spiritual organisation which forms the core of a worldwide spiritual movement known as the Ramakrishna Movement or the Vedanta Movement. The mission is named after and inspired by the Indian saint Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and founded by Ramakrishna's chief disciple Swami Vivekananda on 1 May 1897. The organization mainly propagates the Hindu philosophy of Vedanta–Advaita Vedanta and four yogic ideals–jnana, bhakti, karma, and Raja Yoga.Apart from religious and spiritual teaching the organization carries out extensive educational and philanthropic work in India. This aspect came to be a feature of many other Hindu movements. The mission bases its work on the principles of karma yoga, the principle of selfless work done with dedication to God. The Ramakrishna Mission has centers around the world and publishes many important Hindu texts. It is affiliated with the monastic organisation Ramakrishna Math, with whom it shares members.Ramdev
Ramdev (pronunciation ) (born as Ramkishen Yadav on 25 December 1965) is an Indian yoga guru known for his work in ayurveda, business, politics and agriculture.He co-founded the Patanjali Ayurved Ltd. with his colleague Acharya Balkrishna and has shown interest in political issues.Shivakumara Swami
Shivakumara Swami (born Shivanna; 1 April 1907 – 21 January 2019) was an Indian supercentenarian, humanitarian, spiritual leader and educator. He was a Lingayat religious figure, he joined the Siddaganga Matha in 1930 Karnataka and became head seer from 1941. He also founded the Sri Siddaganga Education Society. Described as the most esteemed adherent of Lingayatism, he was referred to as Nadedaaduva Devaru (walking God) in the state.Before his death at the age of 111 years, 295 days, he was one of the oldest people living in India. In 2015, he was awarded by the Government of India the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian award.Sivananda Saraswati
Sivananda Saraswati (or Swami Sivananda; 8 September 1887 – 14 July 1963) was a Hindu spiritual teacher and a proponent of Yoga and Vedanta. Sivananda was born Kuppuswami in Pattamadai, in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. He studied medicine and served in British Malaya as a physician for several years before taking up monasticism. He lived most of his life near Muni Ki Reti, Rishikesh.
He was the founder of the Divine Life Society (DLS) in 1936, Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy (1948) and author of over 200 books on yoga, Vedanta, and a variety of subjects. He established Sivananda Ashram, the headquarters of the DLS, on the bank of the Ganges at Sivanandanagar, 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from Rishikesh.Sivananda Yoga, the yoga form propagated by his disciple Vishnudevananda, is now spread in many parts of the world through Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres. These centres are not affiliated with Sivananda's ashrams, which are run by the Divine Life Society.Swami Rama
Swāmī Rāma (1925–1996) was an Indian yógī.Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda (Bengali: [ʃami bibekanɔndo] (listen); 12 January 1863 – 4 July 1902), born Narendranath Datta (Bengali: [nɔrendronatʰ dɔto]), was an Indian Hindu monk, a chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna. He was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century. He was a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India, and contributed to the concept of nationalism in colonial India. Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission. He is perhaps best known for his speech which began with the words - "Sisters and brothers of America ...," in which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893.
Born into an aristocratic Bengali Kayastha family of Calcutta, Vivekananda was inclined towards spirituality. He was influenced by his guru, Ramakrishna, from whom he learnt that all living beings were an embodiment of the divine self; therefore, service to God could be rendered by service to humankind. After Ramakrishna's death, Vivekananda toured the Indian subcontinent extensively and acquired first-hand knowledge of the conditions prevailing in British India. He later travelled to the United States, representing India at the 1893 Parliament of the World's Religions. Vivekananda conducted hundreds of public and private lectures and classes, disseminating tenets of Hindu philosophy in the United States, England and Europe. In India, Vivekananda is regarded as a patriotic saint, and his birthday is celebrated as National Youth Day.Swami Vivekananda Airport
Swami Vivekananda International Airport (IATA: RPR, ICAO: VARP), formerly known as Raipur Airport , is the primary airport serving the state of Chhattisgarh, India. The airport is located at Mana between Raipur (15 km (9.3 mi)) and Naya Raipur 10 km (6.2 mi). It is the 29th busiest airport in India by passenger traffic and 32nd busiest by aircraft movement.
On 24 January 2012, the International airport was renamed after Swami Vivekananda, as a tribute to the popular saint who spent two of his teenage years in Raipur.Swaminarayan
Swaminarayan (IAST: Svāmīnārāyaṇa, 3 April 1781 – 1 June 1830), also known as Sahajanand Swami, was a yogi, and an ascetic whose life and teachings brought a revival of central Hindu practices of dharma, ahimsa and brahmacharya. He is believed by followers as a manifestation of God.Swaminarayan was born Ghanshyam Pande in Chhapaiya, Uttar Pradesh, India in 1781. In 1792, he began a seven-year pilgrimage across India at the age of 11 years, adopting the name Nilkanth Varni. During this journey, he did welfare activities and after 9 years and 11 months of this journey, he settled in the state of Gujarat around 1799. In 1800, he was initiated into the Uddhav sampradaya by his guru, Swami Ramanand, and was given the name Sahajanand Swami. In 1802, his guru handed over the leadership of the Uddhav Sampraday to him before his death. Sahajanand Swami held a gathering and taught the Swaminarayan Mantra. From this point onwards, he was known as Swaminarayan. The Uddhav Sampraday became known as the Swaminarayan Sampraday.
Swaminarayan developed a good relationship with the British Raj. He had followers not only from Hindu denominations but also from Islam and Zoroastrianism. He built six temples in his lifetime and appointed 500 paramahamsas to spread his philosophy. In 1826, Swaminarayan wrote the Shikshapatri, a book of social principles. He died on 1 June 1830 and was cremated according to Hindu rites in Gadhada, Gujarat. Before his death, Swaminarayan appointed his adopted nephews as acharyas to head the two dioceses of Swaminarayan Sampraday. Swaminarayan is also remembered within the sect for undertaking reforms for women and the poor, and performing non-violent yajñas (fire sacrifices) on a large scale.Trailanga
Trailanga Swami (also Tailang Swami, Telang Swami) (reportedly 1607–1887) was a Hindu yogi and mystic famed for his spiritual powers who lived in Varanasi, India. He is a legendary figure in Bengal, with stories told of his yogic powers and longevity. According to some accounts, Trailanga Swami lived to be 280 years old, residing at Varanasi between 1737 and 1887. He is regarded by devotees as an incarnation of Shiva. Sri Ramakrishna referred to him as "The walking Shiva of Varanasi".