Maha Kumbha 2013 : Dashanami Sampradaya

Dashanami Sampradaya or Dasanami, literally Tradition of Ten Names (Dasa meaning ten and Naama meaning name in Sanskrit), is a Hindu monastic tradition of Ekadandis or wandering renunciates carrying a single staff or stick of knowledge, generally associated with the Advaita Vedanta tradition. It is supposed that they differ in their practices from the tridandi-sannyasis (who carry a triple staff) or Vaishnava sannyasis. The tridandi sanyasis keep the sacred thread on, upon accepting renunciation, while the Ekadandis often do not wear the sacred thread upon accepting renunciation.
The Ekadandi vedantins aim for moksha as the existence of the self in its natural condition indicated by the destruction of all its specific qualities. Any Hindu, irrespective of class, caste, age or gender can seek Sanyasa as an Ekadandi monk under the Dashanami tradition.
The Ekadandis or Dasanamis had established monasteries in India and Nepal in ancient unknown times [3]. After the decline of Buddhism, a section of the Ekadandis were organized by Adi Shankara in the 8th century in India to be associated with four mutts to provide a base for the growth of hinduism. However, the association of the dasanamis with the Shankara mutts remained a nominal one.

Ten Names (Dashanami)

Hindus who take up sanyasa in the Ekadandi tradition take up one of the ten names associated with this sampradaya.
1.    Saraswati
2.    Tirtha
3.    Aranya
4.    Bharati
5.    Ashrama
6.    Giri: The Kriya Yoga tradition comes under the Giri order.
7.    Parvata
8.    Sagara
9.    Vana
10.  Puri
  • Saraswati, Puri and Bharati are associated with the Sringeri Sharada Peetham. 
  • Tirtha and Ashrama are associated with the Dwaraka Pitha. 
  • Giri, Parvata and Sagara are associated with Jyotirmath. 
  • Vana and Aranya are associated with the Govardhana matha at Puri.
However, it is to be noted that the association of the Ekadandis with the above mathas is only a nominal one. One of the reasons for the nominal affiliation is believed to stem from the understanding of varna Varna in Hinduism as supposedly fixed by birth by the Shankara mutts, while the Dasanamis continue to allow anyone seeking Sanyasam into their fold irrespective of caste or gender. An example, is the Kriya Yoga tradition that admits anyone irrespective of caste, creed, sex and religion.

Prominent Dashanamis

  • Adi Shankaracharya 
  • Tulsidas
  • Swami Dayanand Saraswati
  • Swami Sahajanand Saraswati
  • Agehananda Bharati
  • Mahamandleshwar Shri Swami Vishveshwaranand Giri
Statue of Adi Shankara at his Samadhi Mandir in Kedarnath, India

Swamin Sahjanand Saraswat
Agehananda Bharati`s

Shri 1008 Mahamandleshwar Swami Vishveshwaranand Ji Maharaj
Bodhinatha Veylonswamiji with Swamiji (Left) at the Maryland Murugan Temple Nalur Festival


Swami Akhilesh (Karaganda, Kazakhstan)

Swami Satyananda Saraswati giving darshan

Vedic fire ritual - Yajna, with Swami Satyananda


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