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  • It is stated in this article that Lucius M. Plutarch (46 AD-120 AD) was the first known person to have used the word gymnosophist. However, it is also stated that Philo of Alexandria (25 BCE-50 AD)used it in one of his treatises when referring to Indian sadhus. It is true that Philo wrote about them in his essay on Essenes. If it is true what the Wikipedia article says, Plutarch wrote about them before he was 5 years old! The reason is that Philo died when Plutarch was only 4 years old. Due to the obvious mistake I will change the article to state that Plutarch wrote about them instead of stating that Plutarch was the FIRST one who wrote about them. I leave this note, so the editors can verify by themselves what I say is true and do not revert the entry to its previous mistaken state. If anyone finds out this error again, in case my correction is reverted, please correct it.
  • Note that Tirthika (Pali Titthiya) is used specifically for non-Buddhists by the Buddhists. Thus a tirthika cannot be a Buddhist. See
See Samannaphala Sutta where Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta (Lord Mahavira) is specifically mentioned as a Titthiya.Malaiya (talk) 00:54, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
  • The order of Dashanami naga sadhus was founded by the Sankaracharya. I am not aware of the history of naga sadhus before him.Malaiya (talk) 01:03, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
  • One of the citations is
"A history of Hindu civilisation during British rule: Volume 1, 1894, page 72, Self-immolation is ancient practice of India called Maha-nirvana."
I did not find the text "Self-immolation is ancient practice of India called Maha-nirvana." in the book. It is a Google book.
  • Another citation is

"Can the Subaltern Speak?: Reflections on the History of an Idea By Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Rosalind C. Morris" Note that it refers to self immolation of widows.

Malaiya (talk)


Calanus as per the article is a Jain monk,but this article mentions him of self immolating chanting vedic mantras. Jains never chant Vedic mantras,because they never believe in it its a rival system.please clarify.Nijgoykar (talk

@Nijgoykar (talk · contribs) - Thanks for pointing out - I have reverted the vandalism on the article page Calanus.- Jethwarp (talk) 06:22, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

I have added a reference from Porphyry which clearly classifies Gymnosophists into 2 categories - the Brahmins & The Samanaeans. From the overall context of vegetarianism, its is more or less certain that by Samaneans Porphyry means the "Shramans" (Jains, Buddhists, Ajivika etc). And the "naked saints" among the Shramans would have to be Jains Digambaras OR Ajivikas (as other Shramans from history (e.g. Buddhists) were known to be clothed). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:20, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Also, While it is true that typically Sramanas do not commit violence, there are at least two concrete historical examples when they were responsible for unthinkable violence. One of the most famous Jain Saints Haribhadra ordered hundreds of Buddhist monks (having lost a debate) to jump into boiling oil & kill themselves.Devadatta a Sramana & a former student of Buddha, encouraged Prince Ajātasattu to kill his father King Bimbisāra (making it the first recorded instance of patricide in Indian History) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:40, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

This article is a sham! I had given a rather explanatory reference from Porphyry clearly suggesting that Gymnosophists could be either Jain or Hindu Monks. The entire contribution was wiped out. Any good reasons except for bullying your way into religious propaganda and/or trying to be a historical revisionist hack??

WIKIPEDIA: A SOURCEBOOK OF FACTS NOT A SOURCEBOOK OF PLUMBER JACK's OPINION ON HOW THE WORLD WILL END The reason I consider this article to be a violation of spirit of Wikipedia is because it tries to come up with its own judgment on what is clearly unknown or unestablished in PEER REVIEWED RESEARCH JOURNALS. On Wikipedia, one is supposed to say the facts, point to the references (preferably a research citation and if not at least a reference from an acclaimed book from classical times.) Wikipedia does not want you to "use your opinion" on who is violent and who is not. If we go this way, soon we will have pharmaceutical drug articles where a user says - "oh drug A is the best drug for this ailment because it worked wonders for me. And hence drug A is better than drug B because I have tried both!" Or we will have an article which says "oh this soap is better than that soap. No sweat great perfume - my opinion - go for it". Much worse, we will have people saying "oh looks this religion says so and so in its basic tenets and that religion doesn't - so you can see in your sleep who scores!?" Wikipedia is a source book of facts and at least in principle the last thing it wants to become is a source book of "garden variety" opinions. There is a place to publish your opinions that you derive from observing history, if you think they really have great merit - IT IS RESEARCH JOURNALS - if they do accept your entry. To publish your "startling revelation, bordering on pseudo-enlightenment" on Wikipedia, as if "ITS A FACT" - is bullshitting of the highest order.

ON USING PROPER SOURCES: Gayatri Chakravorty, for instance, is a secondary source not a primary one. On top of that, she is certainly not a historian. To say that Gayatri Chakravorty says that so and so monk read Vedas is an argument full of poverty. Gayatri Chakravorty's understanding of this is as not an inch more than Obama's or Osama's opinion on what the monk was reading. PRIMARY SOURCES PLEASE !! Now, Porphyry himself is a primary source because he is a classical writer who was known for his other philosophical works in his times. In our times however is best known for his studies on vegetarianism and vegetarian people across the world in his times. Like Herodotus, before him, Porphyry is invaluable, because he is the only remaining source for several gems of insight, from an era where rigorous historical facts are hard to come by.