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A matha (also written math or mutt) Sanskrit: मठ maṭha) is a term for monastic and similar religious establishments of Hinduism and Jainism. A matha is usually more formal, hierarchical, and rule-based than an ashram.
- 1 Hinduism
- 2 Jainism
- 3 References
The oldest matha follows the Advaita Vedanta tradition and they are headed by Shankaracharyas, a title derived from the name of Ādi Śankara, a prominent religious teacher of the eighth century. Ādi Śankara established the following mathas, with each of his four main disciples in charge: Sureshwaracharya, Hastamalakacharya, Padmapadacharya, and Totakacharya respectively. The four Āmnāya mathas founded by Ādi Śankara, all of which are Smartist, are:
- Śringeri Śāradā Pīṭham, at Shringeri, Karnataka
- Dvaraka Pitha, at Dwarka, Gujarat
- Govardhana matha, at Puri, Odisha
- Jyotirmath, in Uttarakhand
In addition, these Advaita mathas also claim they were founded by Ādi Śankara:
- Svarnavalli Matha at Swarnavalli near Sodhe, Sirsi, Karnataka
- Ramachandrapura Math at Haniya, Hosanagara, Karnataka
- Kanchi matha, at Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu
- Sriranga Narayana Jeeyar Mutt
- Thirumalai Periya Jeeyar Mutt
- Ahobila Mutt
- Parakala Mutt
- Srirangam Srimad Andavan Ashramam
Only the pontiffs of these mathas have the right to perform puja to Lord Udupi Shri Krishna. They assume the right to perform puja to Krishna at Udupi one after the other. Each pontiff's right to perform puja to Krishna expires every 2 years; this is called Paryaya.
There are many other mathas. These mathas were all formed by the disciples of Śrī Madhvācārya. Śrī Padmanābha Tīrtha was the first disciple of Madhvacharya who formed most of the mathas except the matha which have the right to perform Puja to Krishna in Udupi.
Other Dvaita mathas
- Gauḍīya Maṭha
- Narasingha Chaitanya Matha
In the Indian state of Kerala several ancient Mathas prescribing the doctrine of Purva Mimamsa(A ancient branch of vedic hinduism) are run by the orthodox Nambudiri Brahmin families.Some of these Mathas include the Thazhamon Madom and the Melpathur Madom .Some of the later mathas have started prescribing to the Advaita Vedanta reasoning that Adi Shankara was himself a Nambudri.Thease family run mathas are mostly found in south-central Kerala.
Other Hindu Mathas
- Ramakrishna Math
- Sree Rama Dasa Matha,Chenkottukonam, Thiruvananthapuram
- S S M Ashramam at Garlavoddu.
- Kashi Math, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh (Vaishnava - Dvaita)
- Gokarna Math, Poinguinim, Canacona, Goa (Vaishnava - Dvaita)
- Chitrapur Math, Shirali, Karnataka (Smartha - Advaita )
- Shri Gaudapadacharya Math, Kavale, Ponda, Goa (Smartha - Advaita )
- Sri Samsthan Dabholi Math, Dabholi, Goa (Smartha - Advaita )
Kongu Nadu mathas
In Kongu Nadu, there are mathas run by the kulagurus or caste-clan gurus. There are around sixty such mathas, both Smartist and Shaiva, who guide people from the various native castes of this region. Their acharya is Sringeri Sharada Peetham.
The term matha is also used for Jain monasteries.
Here is a list of Jain Mathas:
- Shravana Belgola
- Kanakagiri Jain Matha
- Sonda Jain Math
- Lakkavalli Jain Matha