The importance of sampradaya

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Apr 29 22:32:56 CDT 2002

On Thu, 25 Apr 2002, Ashish Chandra wrote:

> I thought Smartas were those that followed the Smritis, not necessarily
> followers of Adi Shankaracharya and his line. For example, we follow the
> smritis but I don't know if I have ever heard that we are followers of his
> tradition, even though there is much reverence for the Jyotirmath Peetha.

This is another one of those words that can have different meanings in
different contexts.  Yes, in the broadest sense, a Smarta is a follower of
Smrtis.  Such a definition would include all astikas even Vaishnavas
Shaivas etc.

A more typical usage is to describe the sampradaya of which Shankaracharya
is the most famous exponent (but not the founder.)  In many cases it
involves a formal affiliation with a math but it can include all those who
share his approach to tradition.

The third usage is to describe certain Brahman castes of Southern India

I meant the latter two definitions--those people who have a formal
allegience whether by birth or disciplehood to the smarta ideals.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>
It's a girl! See the pictures -

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