Dashnami Sanyasi

Dashnami Sanyasi (दशनामी सन्यासी) are one of the Hindu religious cultural group. One portion of Sanyasi people live in Nepal too. Literally Dash (दश) means Ten in Nepali language. Dashnami includes people having 10 last names (Surnames).

It is a Hindu monastic tradition of Ekadandi sanyasis generally associated with the 'Advaita Vedanta' tradition. They are distinct in their practices from the Saiva sanyasi (Tridandi) and from Vaisnav sanyasi. The Tridandi sanyasi continue to wear Janai (the sacred thread  accross the shoulder) after renunciation, while Ekadandi sanyasi do not. Any Hindu, irrespective of class, caste, age or gender can seek sanyas (सन्यास / Renunciation) as an Ekadandi monk under the Dasnami tradition.

Sri Adi Shankaracharya (788-820 AD) organized a part of the Ekadandi monks under an umbrella grouping of ten names to provide an organized base for the growth of Hinduism. Later on these 10 groups became 10 surnames. But today many of these branch are different and not in control of Shankara Math. Some of the branch started their own tradition and beliefs during centuries.

10 Surnames of Dasnami in are :-

Giri (गिरी) (Peak of mountain)
Puri (पुरी) (A town)
Bharathi (भारती) (the Goddess of speech)
Ban or Van (बन)   (the forest)
Tirtha (तिर्थ) (A shrine or pilgrimage)
Parvat (पर्वत) (a mountain)
Sagar (सागर) (the ocean)
Saraswati (सरस्वती) (the Goddess of learning)
Aashram (आश्रम)  (Hermitage)
Aranya (आरन्य) (forest) 



Background

Vedanta  (वेदान्त) or Utter Mimamsa is one major school of thought in HinduismPrasthanatrayi (प्रस्थानत्रयी),  the three basic texts of Hindu philosophy, Upanishads (उपनिषदः), Brahma Sutras (ब्रह्म सूत्र) and Bhagavad Gita (श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता) are the basis of Vedanta tradition. There are at least 10 sub-school of thoughts in Vedanta tradition, of which Advaita Vedanta is one and well known.

Adi Shankaracharya (788-820 AD) is the key figure in Advaita Vedanta tradition though it was initiated way before (before 400 AD). He systematized the works of preceding philosophers. He brought all the Vedic communities together. He synthesized and rejuvenated the doctrine of Advaita.

Adi Shankaracharya established the Dashanami Sampradaya, organizing a section of the Ekadandi monks under an umbrella grouping of ten names. Several other Hindu monastic and Ekadandi traditions remained outside the organisation of the Dasanamis. He organized the Hindu monastics of these ten sects under four maṭhas (मठ). Each maṭha was headed by one of his four main disciples, who each continues the Vedanta Sampradaya. All the 10 sects ware assigned to the respective different maths, though anyone of the sects could join any other different math.

1. Govardhana matha or Jagannatha Puri in the esat  (Puri, Odisha, India) WS
     - Ban (बन), Aranya (आरन्य) 
2. Dvaraka Pitha in the west (Dwarka, Gujarat, India)
     - Tirtha (तिर्थ), Aashram (आश्रम) 
3. Jyotirmath Pitha in the north (near Badrinath, Uttarakhand, India)
     - Giri (गिरी), Parvat (पर्वत), Sagar (सागर)
4. Sringeri Sharada Peetha in the south (Chikkamagalur district, Karnataka, India) WS
     - Puri (पुरी), Saraswati (सरस्वती), Bharathi (भारती)



Gotras of Dashnami

Puri, Saraswati, Bharati :Bhaveswa
Tirtha, Ashram :Adhigata
Ban, Aranya :Kashyap
Giri, Parvat, Sagar :Bhrigu


See Also

List of Gotra and Thari