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Hinduism

What are some titles given to Hindu religious leaders?

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April 02, 2012 6:31PM

There are many titles in the Hindu religion.

The ancient monastic order of Hinduism consists of members called Swami's which refer to those monks who have renounced inwardly ego-consciousness and worldliness for the superior treasure of God-realization and spirituality. This is considered the ideal meaning of one who has the Swami title although there are many in the Swami tradition who lack God-realization. One might regard the Swami title as an aspiring Yogi.

The commonly used title for heads of the monastic Mathas or monasteries in the Advaita tradition of Hinduism is Shankaracharya.

Mahatama is an honorific title to a great individual such as Mahatma Gandhi and means 'Great Soul'.

Mahasaya is a religious sanskrit title meaning 'great teacher' like Guru and Satguru.

There is Maharishi which means 'great seer'

These and many more can all refer to spiritual leaders in one way or another and I'm sure there are many more title I havent mentioned.
A guru, a Brahman, or a sadhu, among others. This depends on what sect of Hinduism you're talking about.