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Jagadguru (Sanskrit जगद्गुरु), literally meaning the Guru of the world, is a title used in Sanatana Dharma. Traditionally, it has been bestowed upon or used for acharyas belonging to the Vedānta school (among the six traditional schools of thought in Hinduism) who have written Sanskrit commentaries on the Prasthānatrayī (literally the three sources) - the Brahma Sutra (the original scripture of Vedānta), the Bhagavad Gita (part of the Mahābhārata) and the principal Upanishads. Historically, Jagadgurus have established a lineage (Paramparā), established an institution to spread Dharma, who have been based in Varanasi, famous for being the centre of Sanskrit study and the "Capital Of all Knowledge". Now it is the authority of Kashi Vidvat Parishad to confer the title of Original Jagadguru.[1]

Origin and history of the term[edit]

जगद्गुरु is of Sanskrit origin where जगत् (jagat) means 'the entire world' and गुरु (guru) means 'spiritual master'. In the classics and scriptures, the word has been used for several Devas. In the Mahābhārata, Arjuna addresses Shree Krishna as the 'Supreme Master of the entire world'. The Sanskrit poet Kālidāsa uses the word जगद्गुरु for Shiva in his great poem (Mahākāvya) titled Kumārasambhava.[2] In the Rāmacaritamānasa, the poet-saint Tulasidas uses the same word for Rāma.[3]

Notable Jagadgurus[edit]

  • Adi Shankara (789-821) (also known as "Shankaracharya"), or Shankara Bhagavatpaada: Founder of Advaita school of vedanta.[4][5]
  • Shrimad Ramanujacharya: Wrote Sribhashya, commentary on Brahma Sutras. He also established Vishistadvaita Siddhanta.[5]
  • Shrimad Madhvacharya: Founder of the Dvaita school of vedanta.[5]
  • Shrimad Nimbarkacharya: Founder of Dvaitadvaita school of vedanta.[5]
  • Shrimad Kripalu Maharaj: He received the title of Jagadguru at the age of 34 by Kashi Vidvat Parishad (the oldest and most recognised body of Varanasi's intellectuals) on Makar Sankranti day, 14 January 1957.He not only unified all the eastern and western philosophies but also interconnected the philosophies proposed by the former four Jagadgurus. Besides making Radha Tattva popuplar worldwide, he also depicted Samartha-rati Madhurya Bhakti as the ultimate goal of the souls.[5][6][7]


  1. ^ Varanasi, the centre for Kashi Vidvat Parishad
  2. ^ Kumārasambhava, Canto 6, Verse 15 and also Canto 8, verse 24.
  3. ^ Rāmacaritamānasa, Araṇya Kāṇḍa, verse 3.9.
  4. ^ jagadguru shankaracharya&f=false Jesus in Kashmir The Lost Tomb By Suzanne Olsson
  5. ^ a b c d e Saraswati, S.P. 2007. The True History and The Religion of India. New Delhi: Macmillan Publishers.
  6. ^ Melton, G. 2003. The Encyclopedia of American Religions. [[Gale (publisher)|Gale]]
  7. ^ Singh, K. 28 January 2007. Varanasi seer's memory is phenomena. [[The Tribune|Tribune India]]