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The Hindu Denominations Throughout The World

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Never heard that before: "Brahma Sampradaya associated with Vishnu, who is the para brahma or universal creator, not to be confused with the other Brahma, who is the four faced god in Hindu religion and the principle acharya in Madhvacharya."


<table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="10" cellspacing="1"><tbody><tr><td>The Hindu Denominations Throughout The World




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Author: Victor Epand

</td> </tr> <tr><td> In today's world, Hinduism comprises of numerous sects or denominations. The main divisions in the current Hinduism are the Shaivism, Shaktism, Vaishnavism, and Smartha. Each of these four denominations will often times share rituals, beliefs, and traditions.




However, each of these denominations will often have a totally different philosophy on how to achieve life's ultimate goal, which is moksa or liberation. An established philosophical school within a denomination is called a sampradaya and a traditional lineage of teachers from any sampradaya is known as a parampara. The presence of the different denominations and schools within Hinduism should not be viewed as a schism.




On the contrary, there is absolutely no animosity between the schools nor among the Hindu followers as a whole. Instead, there is a strong belief that there are many paths that can ultimately lead to the One God or the Source, which ever a person chooses to call that ultimate Truth. Instead, there is a healthy cross pollination of ideas and logical debate that serves to refine each school's philosophy.




It is not uncommon, or disallowed, for an individual to follow one school, but then take the point of view of another school concerning a totally different issue. According to the Adherents site, the majority of Hindus are Vaishnavas, though they will often mix in some aspects of the Smarta viewpoint. The Birla Mandir is one of the most famous Vaishnavite temples in India.




Vaishnavism is the monotheistic tradition worshiping of Vishnu, or his forms of Krishna and Rama as the supreme or svayam bhagavan. This also happens to be the largest denomination, with currently has almost six million followers. The different Vaishnava schools, which are known as sampradayas, and the principle teachers, which are known as acharyas, connected with them such as Rudra Sampradaya was the principle acharya in Vallabhacharya.




Brahma Sampradaya associated with Vishnu, who is the para brahma or universal creator, not to be confused with the other Brahma, who is the four faced god in Hindu religion and the principle acharya in Madhvacharya. Gaudiya Vaishnavism is associated with this sampradaya and is associated with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, International Society for Krishna Consciousness belongs to this sampradaya.




Sri Sampradaya is associated with Laksmi as the principle acharya in Ramanujacharya. Kumara Sampradaya is the tradition associated with Four Kumaras as the principle acharya in Nimbarka, hence Nimbarka Sampradaya. Vaikhanasa tradition in the principle acharya of Vaikhanasa. Modern Vaishnava groups attached to the main sampradayas such as Swaminarayan Sampraday, which stems from the Sri Sampradaya.




Saivites are those who primarily worship God Siva as the Supreme God. They are both immanent and transcendent. Currently, there are over two million followers of Saivism. Saivism embraces at the same time Monism, specifically Nondualism, and Dualism. It focuses on yoga, meditation, and love for all beings.




Major theological schools of Saivism include Kashmir Saivism, Saiva Siddhanta and Virasaivism. To Saivites, God Siva is both with and without form, because He is the Supreme Dancer, Nataraja. He is the linga, without beginning or end.


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