An acharya ("acariya" in
Pali) is an important religious teacher ( guru) who teaches by his own example (from Sanskrit'achara', behavior). Often he is a head of a sampradaya. The word has different meanings in Hinduism, Buddhismand Jainism.
Hindu religion, an acharya (आचार्य) is a "Divine personality" (महापुरुश) who is believed to have descended (अवतार) to teach and establish bhaktiin the world and write on the philosophy(िसद्धांत) of devotion to God (भगवान्). [ [http://encyclopediaofauthentichinduism.org/glossary.htm Glossary - Encyclopedia of Authentic Hinduism ] ]
Examples of acharyas in the Hindu tradition are:
Adi Sankaracharya [Although famous for being the proponent of " advaitavad", he established the supremecy of " bhakti" to Krishn.]
Ramanujacharya [He propagated the " bhakti" of " Bhagwan" " Vishnu". Source: [http://www.jagatguru.in/ramanuj.htm Ramanujacharya] ]
Madhvacharya [His philosophy is called " dvaitavad". His primary teaching is that "the only goal of a soul is to selflessly and wholeheartedly love and surrender to God" Source: [http://www.encyclopediaofauthentichinduism.org/articles/70_saints_acharyas.htm] ]
Nimbarkacharya [His writings say that Radha Krishn are the supreme form of God.]
Vallabhacharya [" Pushtimarg"]
Caitanya Mahaprabhu[" Achintya bheda abheda"]
Acharya Shree Koshalendraprasadji Maharaj- NarNarayan Dev Gadi)
Acharya Shree Rakeshprasadji Maharaj(Swaminarayan Sampradaya - LaxmiNarayan Dev Gadi)
Jainism, an Acharya is a monk who is one of the five revered panch-paremeshtis, and thus worthy of worship. The word "Suri" is equivalent to Acharya.Fact|date=July 2008
An Acharya is the highest leader of a Jain order. He is the final authority in his monastic order and has the authority to ordain new monks and nuns. He is also authorized to consecrete new idols, although this authority is sometimes delegated to scholars designated by him.
Some of the famous Jain Acharyas in approximate chronological order, are:
Ganahar Sudharma Swami
Bhadrabahu(undivided sangha, Chandragupta Mauryawas his disciple) (325 BCE)
Kundakunda, (Digambar tradition) (2nd century CE)
Samantabhadra, (Digambar tradition) (3-4 rth century CE)
Siddhasen Diwakar, (claimed by both) (5nd century CE)
Haribhadra,(Svetambar tradition), (700-750 CE)
Virasena, (Digambar tradition), (790-825 CE)
Jinasena, (Digambar tradition), preceptor of Rashtrakutarulers, (800-880 CE).
Nemichandra, (Digambar tradition)
Hemachandra,(Svetambar tradition), preceptor of Kumarapala, (1089–1172 CE)
Hira Vijaya Suri, (Svetambar tradition), who was invited by Akbar, the Mughal emperor
*Rajendrasuri (Svetambar tradition)(1827-1906)
Shantisagar, (Digambar tradition) (1872-1955)
Modern Jain Acharyas include
DigambarAcharyas Vidyasagar, and Vidyanandand Svetambar Padma Sagar Suri, Subodhsagar Suri, Yashodev Suri, and Jayantsain Suri. In the Terapanthasub-sect Acharya Bhiksu, Acharya Tulsi& Acharya Mahaprajna, and in the Sthanakvasisub-sect Acharya Sushil Kumarhave been the leading Acharyas.
Some sects, for example the Terapanthi Svetambaras, have a single Acharya. Others have multiple independent Acharyas.
An Acharya, like any other Jain monk, is expected to wander except for the four months of the monsoon (varsha-vas). The
Bhattarakas, who head institutions, are technically junior monks, who are permitted to stay in the same place. Osho, who was born into a Jain community, was known as Acharya Rajneeshuntil 1971.
* [http://www.bhaktamar.com Bhaktamar Stotra - Composed by Acharya Manatunga]
* [http://library.iskconmedia.com/acaryas Books by Vaishnava Acaryas] Collection of books in PDF Format - ISKCON Media Vedic Library
* [http://vedabase.net/a/acarya Scriptural References to 'acarya']
* [http://www.jainworld.org/general/prem/Chapter%20VIII%20fe.htm Jain Monks, Statesmen and Aryikas] Dr. K. C. Jain
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