In his lifetime, Adi Shankara established four amnaya peethams in four directions of India and appointed his chief disciples as the pontiffs. (Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham is also established by Adi Shankara but it is not considered as an amnaya peetham among these four. It is considered as fifth one). I asked a related question about these mutts some months ago.

  • East : Pooramnaya Shri Govardhana Peetham (Govardhana Math)

  • West : Paschimamnaya Shri Sharada Peetham (Kalika Math)

  • North : Uttaramnaya Shri Jyotish Peetham (Jyotir math)

  • South : Dakshinamnaya Sri Shringeri Sharada Peetam (Sringeri Math)

Each of the mutts are associated with a Veda and a sampradaya also. The Dakshinamnaya Sri Shringeri Sharada Peetham website gives the sampradaya each math is affiliated to.

  • Govardhana Math : Bhogavala sampradaya

  • Sringeri Math : Bhurivala sampradaya

  • Kalika Math : Kitavala

  • Jyotir Math : Nandavala

What are these sampradayas each math is affiliated to? Are they about different branches of dashanami sampradaya? Or they about different philosophies in advaita?

  • Interesting, I've never heard of these different Sampradayas. They may have some connection to Bhamati and Vivarana, the two main sub-schools of Advaita. Also, I wonder what Sampradaya the Kanchipuram Shankaracharya Matham is affiliated with. Dec 1, 2017 at 5:51
  • This is a gratuitously offensive question - leaving out Kanchi. Adi Sankara only has a legendary history and the question is needlessly creating controversy and hurting sentiments.
    – S K
    Dec 1, 2017 at 11:56
  • @SK Sringeri muTh is the authority on all things Sankarachary. "Legendary history" is fanciful and incorrect.
    – user1195
    Dec 1, 2017 at 12:18
  • "Sringeri muTh is the authority on all things Sankaracharya" @moonstar For those who prefer to live in the 21st century, there is no "authority" in religious matters. There are otherwise respectable people who say Adi sankara's date is 5th century b.c.
    – S K
    Dec 1, 2017 at 12:25
  • @SK How is it offensive? what did you find so controversy creating in the question? Dec 1, 2017 at 17:48

2 Answers 2


Govardhan Math

  1. Amnaya -Purba

  2. Sampradaya- Bhogabaara

  3. Titles of Sannyasins- Vana & Aranya

  4. Titles of Brahmacharins- Prakash

  5. Kshetra- Puridham

6.Devata- Jagannath

7.Devi- Vimala

8.Acharya- Padmacharyya

9.Teertha- Samudra

10.Veda- Rigveda

  1. Mahavakya- Prajnanam Brahma

  2. Gotra- Kashyapa

  3. Areas under this Math- Anga(Assam), Banga, Kalinga, Magadh (Southern Bihar) and Utkal(Odissa)

Sarada Math

  1. Amnaya- Paschima

  2. Sampradaya- Keetavara

  3. Titles of Sannyasins- Tirtha & Ashrama

  4. Titles of Brahmacharins- Swarup

  5. Kshetra- Dwaraka

6.Devata- Siddheswar

7.Devi- Bhadrakali

8.Acharya- Hastaamalaka

9.Teertha- Gomati

10.Veda- Saamaveda

  1. Mahavakya- Tat Tvam Asi

  2. Gotra- Abigata

  3. Areas under this Math- Sindhu(Punjab),Sauvir, Saurastra (Surat), Maharastra


  1. Amnaya- Uttara

  2. Sampradaya- Anandavara

  3. Titles of Sannyasins- Giri, Parvata & Sagara

  4. Titles of Brahmacharins- Ananda

  5. Kshetra- Badrikashrama

6.Devata- Narayana

7.Devi- Purnagiri

8.Acharya- Totakacharya

9.Teertha- Alakaananda

10.Veda- Atharva

  1. Mahavakya- Ayam Aatmaa Brahma

  2. Gotra- Bhrigu

  3. Areas under this Math- Kuru (Hariyana), Kashmir,Kamvoja,Panchaala(Punjab-Himachal)

Sringeri Math

  1. Amnaya- Dakshina

  2. Sampradaya- Bhuribaara

  3. Titles of Sannyasins- Saraswati, Bharati & Puri

  4. Titles of Brahmacharins- Chaitanya

  5. Kshetra- Rameswara

6.Devata- Adi- Varaha

7.Devi- Kamakshi

8.Acharya- Sureswaracharya

9.Teertha- Tungabhadra

10.Veda- Yajur

  1. Mahavakya- Aham Brahmaasmi

  2. Gotra- Bhurbuvah

  3. Areas under this Math- Andhra, Dravira, Kerala, Karnataka

Reference : Hariyana ki Vedanta-Parampara Aur Baba Totapuri, Vaidya Banamali Dutta Sharma, Published by Dhruva Sharma 1986, page 165-168


The word "Bhoga-Vaara" comes because this sect is designed to protect (Nivaarana/Vaarana) people from thirst of "Bhoga" and show them right direction.

The word "Keeta-Vaara" comes because this sect is designed to protect everybody, even the Keetas by showering mercy.

The word "Ananda-Vaara" comes because this sect is designed to protect (Nivaarana/Vaarana) people from Ananda of "Vilasa" and show them right direction.

The word "Bhuri-Vaara" comes because this sect is designed to protect (Nivaarana/Vaarana) people from thirst of "Bhuri-Vastus" like gold etc and show them right direction. (Ref. Ibid page 165-168).

From the reference book, I provided many additional informations (like gotras, upadhis of brahmacharins and areas of control)in the list given which were not there in the link provided in the question.

  • My question is what are Bhogavala, Nandavala, Bhurivala, Kitavala Sampradayas mentioned in the question. Not about the location and their Shankaracharyas. Feb 9, 2019 at 17:19
  • You should read complete question before answering. If you are unclear, you can ask a clarification in comments. Don't post answers in a flow. I have mentioned the question itself is about traditions in the title, gave a list and I asked what are these traditions clearly in the question itself. I have taken that from Sringeri site without regional influence. Your answer contains wrong pronunciation of Sanskrit words (Purba, Yotirmath) and you say my words are wrong?! It is not a vague question. If you want examples of vague questions, my questions are not the ones to look at. Feb 10, 2019 at 2:36
  • Moreover, this answer just contains the information of the page sringeri.net/history/amnaya-peethams I have linked in the question and nothing new. So, this adds nothing new to the question. Feb 10, 2019 at 2:39
  • @Sarvabhouma please dont brand typo as mistake in sanskrit, pl write correct sanskrit,pl dont ask such vague questions and pl never instruct me what i shd do or not do.If u see anything obsectionable, pl flag or report to the moderators. I must not receive instructios from you any further. – Partha 1 hour ago Delete
    – user17294
    Feb 10, 2019 at 13:12
  • It's not a vague question at all. Read the question properly and answer.You're just repeating what's given in the linked page I gave in the question. This doesn't answer my question at all. My question is about 4 sampradayas & not about Vedas or acharya who was appointed as pontiff. My question is entirely different. I already gave the link to page. It says Bhogavala, Kirtivala. what is Purba or Bhogabaara? that's not correct Sanskrit as far as I know. You should not ask anyone to stop giving instructions because this is a public site with Community moderation.This doesn't address my question. Feb 10, 2019 at 13:33

In his PHD thesis, Dazey (1987) discusses these four sampradāyas associated with the four pīṭhas of Daśanāmi sampradāya. I would be quoting that discussion below -

There's an interesting further division of the Order (Daśanāmī) into subgroups called gotra-s and sampradāya-s. Each of the four pīṭhas has a gotra name and a sampradāya name associated with it. All members of the two or three lineages (Sāgara, Vana, etc.) attached to a particular pīṭha said to belong to the gotra and the sampradāya associated with that pīṭha. ~ (Dazey 1987: 452-453)

The sampradāya names, gotras, lineages, etc. of the four āmnāya pīṭhas, can be known in detail from the Mahāmnāya texts, for their source text and translation, refer Clarke (2006:274-286). The table on Shringeri site which mentions pīṭhas, devatās, kṣetra, etc. follows Mahāmnāyas.
A better (and detailed) chart, based on Mahāmnāyas, is mentioned in Clarke (2006: 118-119) .

Although the division of the Order into groups called gotra-s and sampradāya-s seems to be purely formal with no distinctive social function assigned to them individually by contemporary Daśanāmins, the term gotra itself may present a clue to the underlying model for the Daśanāmī Order as a whole..... ~ (Dazey 1987: 452-453)

So, as per Dazey, the four sampradāya names (associated with the four pīthas) don't have any distinctive social function assigned to them by contemporary Daśanāmins. Therefore, these sampradāya names don't exactly denote different sampradāyas (like say Śrī Vaiṣṇavas have Vaṭakalai and Teṉkalai divisions), and this would get clearer from the below explanation.

Although the general meaning and function of sampradāya as a teaching lineage is clear, the rationale behind the actual sampradāya names used in Daśanāmi Order is far from apparent. The names are : Ānandavāra attached to Jyotir maṭha in north, Kīṭavāra attached to Dvārakā in the west, Bhūrivāra attached to Śṛṅgerī in the south, and Bhogavāra attached to Purī in the east. The usual explanation given for these names is that they indicate the peculiar ascetic qualities to be cultivated by the members of the sampradāya.

There are various explanations of these terms given in the oral tradition. Ānandavāra is said to mean those who find ānanda in whatever food they happen to get without begging, or an alternative explanation, those whose ānanda is not derived from worldly pleasures. Those who eat as little as insects (kīṭa) are called Kīṭavāra, or another explanation, the Kīṭavāras are those whose karuṇā extends even to insects (kīṭas). Bhūrivāra is explained as those who renounce gold (bhūri) and other wealth ; or as those who live off the abundant (bhūri) vegetation of the forests. The Bhogavāra-s are said to be those who are particularly indifferent to bhoga.

The etymological history of these terms is obscure, and several theories could be advanced to explain them. For e.g., they may be connected with astrology calculations (kīṭa is the sign scorpio, bhūri can mean many, bhoga can mean part of the ecliptic of the 27 nakṣatras, ānanda means both 16 th muhūrta and a yr in the cycle of Jupiter, and vāra can mean time or moment) or they may refer to group insignias, such as fly whisk or sieve made of hair (vāra can also mean the hair of an animal's tail). Unfortunately, there's little evidence to support these conjectures. What is clear, however, is that the traditional explantions given by contemporary Daśanāmins emphasize the ascetic character of the four non-householder teaching traditions.

~ (Dazey 1987 : 476-477)

Here, Dazey primarily follows Ghurye (1953:97) & Rose (1914:357) in explaining the sampradāya names, but Clarke (2006: 121-122) adds that in Daśanāmī practice these sampradāya names are merely a way of identification of one's lineage.

The origin of the four sampradāya names, Ānandavāra, Bhūrivāra, Bhogavāra and Kīṭavāra, that are given in the texts cited, similarly defies adequate explanation. Most commentators follow Ghurye (1964:86) in explaining, somewhat vaguely, the sampradāya in terms of life-style. However, in Daśanāmī practice, the sampradāya names, as wth the gotra-s, simply confirm to which of the four groups of lineages the initiate belongs, and do not signify a different life-style. The sampradāya names are used by Daśanāmīs as an identificatory title, such as, for example, Mahant Lāl Purī, Bhūrivāra. (It can be seen, according to the Mahāmnāyas, that Bhūrivāra indicates a Purī, Bhāratī or Sarasvatī ; Ānandavāra indicates a Giri, Parvata or Sāgara; etc.)


  • Okay, so from what I understood Sri Vaishnava sampradayas have a reason for their names and distinctions while Smarta sampradayas don't, but what about the 2 main schools of Advaita Bhamati I forgot the other one. Wouldn't the Sampradayas follow or closely align with one of these two schools?
    – Haridasa
    Mar 30 at 21:58
  • Bhāmati and Vivaraṇa prasthānas, they just have a difference in approach, nothing more, the followers of each strain have the same practices. Also, the difference b/w the two is purely a logical one and how they approach the non-dual Brahman via their interpretation of Śāṅkarabhāṣya on Brahmasūtras. And most Advaitins, either follow Bhāmati or Vivaraṇa prasthāna, or they might lean to one, but accept both as being valid. I take both as being valid, but prefer the style of Bhāmati primarily. There are also some Advaitins, who don't seem to belong to either of the two strains.
    – Bingming
    Mar 30 at 22:13
  • Isn't Bhamati primarily leaning on Vachapati Misra's interpretation of Advaita?
    – Haridasa
    Mar 30 at 22:18
  • Yes, Bhāmati prasthāna follows Bhāmati i.e. Vācaspati's comm. on Śāṅkarabhāṣya on Brahmasūtras. advaita-vedanta.org/avhp/bhavir.html
    – Bingming
    Mar 30 at 22:19

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