[Advaita-l] Acharya and Achari

Srikanta Narayanaswami srikanta.narayanaswami at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 22 01:04:32 CDT 2011

It is common to see some south-Indian names among madhva-s and srIvaiShNavas
such as 'GaruDAchAr', 'HayavadanAchAr/ya', 'KrishNamAchAri', 'Varadaachari',
'LakshmInarasimhAchAriyAr'.  Such names are hardly seen among smarta-s
either of the Tamil region or the Kannada/Telugu regions. The suffix
'AchAri' is found in some people of the carpenter profession. There is a
'shivAchAriyar' sect known as 'G/kurukkaL' in Tamil Nadu.

Even though the name 'ShankarachArya' is as popular as  'MadhvaachArya' and
'RamanujAchArya' is there anything exclusively 'vaiShNavite' about the word
'AchArya/AchAri' ?

Although not strictly 'Advaitic' this question came to my mind and I have
expressed it.


with reference to the above mail,Acharya means a teacher with Achara and who is a preceptor.But, the word Achari is a caste suffix.They are normally lingayats or who  owe allegiance to Basaveshwar.Even there are some acharis  among Goldsmiths.Acharis need not be Vaishnavites.Shivacharyas in TamilNadu are also called Shivachari in Karnataka.

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