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The ' Shramana (Skt. Śramaṇa; Pāli. samaṇa) was an Template:Wiki religious Template:Wiki, parallel to, but separate from Template:Wiki Hinduism, although the term Shramana has been mentioned in several later Template:Wiki such as Brihadaranyaka Template:Wiki. The Shramana tradition gave rise to Jainism, Buddhism, and some Template:Wiki schools of Hinduism like Cārvāka, Ājīvika. Some popular concepts in all major Indian religions such as Yoga, , saṃsāra (the cycle of birth and death) and moksha (liberation from that cycle), according to few scholars.


沙門 (Skt; Pali samana; Jpn shamon )

    A seeker of the way. In India, the word originally referred to any ascetic, recluse, Template:Wiki, or other religious practitioner who renounced Template:Wiki life and left home to seek the truth. Later it came to mean chiefly one who renounces the world to practice Buddhism.

Template:Wiki and origin

The Pāli samaṇa and the Sanskrit Śramaṇa refer to renunciate ascetic traditions from the middle of the 1st millennium BCE. They were Template:Wiki, experiential and free-form traditions, Template:Wiki of Template:Wiki; and in religious competition with Brahmin Template:Wiki, who as opposed to Shramanas, stressed mastery of texts and performing rituals.

The Pāli samaṇa and the Sanskrit Śramaṇa are postulated to be derived from the verbal root śram, meaning "to exert effort, labor or to perform austerity". "Śramaṇa" thus means "one who strives" or "laborer" in Sanskrit and Pali. The term was applied to those who wholeheartedly practiced toward enlightenment, and was used for monks. The Shramana traditions are best captured in the term parivrajaka meaning, a Template:Wiki Template:Wiki. The Template:Wiki of wandering monks in Template:Wiki India is partly untraceable. The term 'parivrajaka' was perhaps applicable to all the peripatetic monks of India.

Indian grammarians use the terms 'Sharamana' and 'Brahmin' to illustrate bitter opponents whose differences came from varying religious models. Part of the Shramana tradition remained outside the Hindu fold by rejecting the authority of the Vedas; with the Jains, Buddhists, Ajivikas, and other religious groups developing as a result of this rejection. Part of the Shramana tradition was absorbed into Hindu dharma Template:Wiki with a place for a renunciate sanyasi in it, in the four stages (ashramas) of life.

One of the earliest uses of the word is in the Hindu text Taittiriya Aranyaka (2-7-1) with the meaning of 'performer of austerities'. Buddhist commentaries associate the word's Template:Wiki with the quieting (samita) of evil (pāpa) as in the following phrase from the Dhammapada, verse 265: samitattā pāpānaŋ ʻsamaṇoʼ ti pavuccati ("someone who has pacified evil is called samaṇa").

Śramaṇa Template:Wiki

There are only two references to the word Sramana in Template:Wiki Template:Wiki. One is in Brihadaranyaka Template:Wiki where it is placed next to the term 'tapasa', indicating that the Shramana like the tapasa was a class of Template:Wiki. It has been argued renunciation was not uncommon to the Template:Wiki Template:Wiki, with Yatis, Template:Wiki, Shramanas quoted amongst earliest renouncers. In the pastoral cultures of Template:Wiki people, the renouncer Template:Wiki and Yatis were looked down upon. The renouncers meditated upon death, link between births and death conditioned by attachment to desire. These themes surface in Template:Wiki Template:Wiki for the first time in the Template:Wiki. After passing through henotheism and Template:Wiki, the anthropomorphism of Vedas entered the period of Template:Wiki in the Template:Wiki period.

It is in the Template:Wiki period that theories identifiable with Shramanas come in direct contact with Template:Wiki ideals. According to Ananda Guruge, a renowned Buddhist leader, the Sramana Template:Wiki impacted Template:Wiki education through the Template:Wiki, with debate and discussion replacing parrot-like repetition of the Vedas. Many Template:Wiki compile contradictory positions where the favorite style of debate is to pose questions until the other cannot answer. The infinite regress notwithstanding, Template:Wiki arguments do not involve finding logical contradictions in opposing doctrines. The heterogenous Template:Wiki of Template:Wiki shows infusions of both Template:Wiki and philosophical elements, pointing to evolution of new doctrines from non-brahmanical sources. While the Template:Wiki doctrines of Brahman and Atman can be traced back to the Vedas and Brahmanas, the doctrines of Transmigration (as punarjanma), Karma (as action), and Emancipation (as moksha) do not follow with consistency from Template:Wiki traditions, and are fundamental to the Shramana religions.

Several śramaṇa movements are known to have existed in India, even before the 6th century BCE, and these influenced both the Astika and the Nastika traditions of Indian philosophy. It was as a Shramana that the Buddha left his father's palace and practised austerities. The Brahmajāla Sutta mentions many śramaṇas with whom Buddha disagreed. Some scholars opine Sramanas of Jaina tradition were widespread in the Template:Wiki Valley, with the relics of Template:Wiki Valley Template:Wiki representing Jaina Template:Wiki, like the standing nude Template:Wiki figures (Jaina Kayotsarga), idols in Padmasana and images with serpent-heads, and the Bull symbol of Vrshabadeva. However, other scholars opine the Sramana cultures arose and flourished in the Gangetic areas, rather than the Template:Wiki Valley. Additionally, some scholars opine the term Shramana appears in texts of the Brahmanas as a religious order other than the Template:Wiki (i.e., Astika) traditions,. The Shramana tradition of the Jaina religion is considered the oldest of the non-Aryan group, as an Template:Wiki pre-Buddhist religion (Bhaskar, 1972), and is suggested to have existed before the Brahmin Template:Wiki. From rock edicts, it is found that both Brahmans as well as Shramana Buddhist ascetics enjoyed Template:Wiki sanctity.

Though Shramana traditions are associated with Template:Wiki, some shramana traditions were, in fact, peculiar as Template:Wiki, in the sense they Template:Wiki a worldly existence and carried denunciation of Template:Wiki Template:Wiki to the extreme. The Shramana traditions included a range of beliefs, such as the Cārvākas, who on one end of the spectrum lived a luxurious life, to the Template:Wiki, who on the other hand, developed a Template:Wiki of extreme self-mortification. Some Shramanas were openly critical of the sacrificial traditions of the Brahmins and the concepts of Karma, claiming them to be simply a swindle --

    'Don't believe in them - when you're dead, you're dead. All their talk of Karman is nonsense. One of the Template:Wiki said, 'If a man went Template:Wiki of the Ganges and murdered, and tortured, and stole, and plundered and set buildings on fire, he would make no bad Karman. If another man went Template:Wiki of the Ganges and gave in charity, and helped the weak and healed the sick, he would make no good Karman. You live as a combination of the Template:Wiki, but when you die, everything is finished. So borrow money and live as happily as you can, for when you're dead, they can't pursue you.'

The Cārvāka Lokayatas asserted a purely naturalist position, claiming the world consists of merely working out the elements.

Yet another conflict can be found in the works of Dharmakirti, the Template:Wiki 7th-century CE Buddhist logician from Nalanda:

    vedapramanyam kasyacit kartrvadah/ snane dharmeccha jativadavalepah// santaparambhah papahanaya ceti/ dhvastaprajnanam pancalirigani jadye
    The unquestioned authority of the vedas; the belief in a world-creator; the quest for purification through ritual bathings; the arrogant division into castes; the practice of Template:Wiki to atone for sin; - these five are the marks of the crass stupidity of witless men.

While authority of vedas, belief in a creator, path of ritualism and Template:Wiki system of heredity ranks, made up the cornerstones of brahminal schools, the path of Template:Wiki was the main characteristic of all the heterodox schools collectively called the Shramanas.

It was in Shramana traditions that concepts of Karma and Samsara became Template:Wiki themes of debate., and it has been suggested that this may have been introduced into the mainstream by Template:Wiki. In Jainism, Karma is based on Template:Wiki element philosophy, where Karma is the fruit of one's action conceived as Template:Wiki Template:Wiki which stick to a soul and keep it away from natural omniscience. The Buddha conceived Karma as a chain of causality leading to attachment of the Template:Wiki world and hence to rebirth. The Ajivikas of Makkhali Ghosa were a third successful Template:Wiki during this time. They were fatalists and elevated Karma as inescapable fate, where a person's life goes through a chain of consequences and rebirths until it reaches its end. Some famous philosophers of that time, such as Pakkudha Kaccayana and Template:Wiki Kashyapa, denied the existence of Karma. It was indeed the creative Shramana generations of the 500 to 400 BCE, in whom Karma doctrine became the centre of attention, who set far-reaching consequences for lifestyle and thought among Template:Wiki.

In later periods, the Template:Wiki migrated towards the Template:Wiki and Template:Wiki of India and established themselves as prosperous communities in the Chalukya and Rashtrakuta courts. The Digambaras in the Template:Wiki could not Template:Wiki against Template:Wiki ranks at the cost of their survival. It was suicidal for them to follow the Template:Wiki law-books. Therefore in the 8th century CE, Jinasena produced Jain law books in the guise of Template:Wiki glorifying Jain Thirthankaras and declaring Varnas were not of Template:Wiki origin but was promulgated by the first of the twenty-four Template:Wiki, Vrsabha, at the beginning of the Template:Wiki kalpa. Vrashabha prescribed Jain rites for birth, marriage, death and instituted a class of Jain-brahmans.
Śramaṇa Influences

Template:Wiki Hinduism can be regarded as a combination of Template:Wiki and Shramana traditions as it is substantially influenced by both traditions. Among the Astika schools of Hinduism, Vedanta, Samkhya, and Yoga are early and very important philosophies that have influenced and been influenced by the Sramana philosophy, with their origins in the Template:Wiki Valley period of about 3000-2000 BCE. Yoga follows the Samkhya philosophy of liberating oneself from the grip of Prakriti (Template:Wiki) through Template:Wiki effort. Elaborate Template:Wiki are outlined in Yoga to achieve individual liberation through Template:Wiki techniques (Pranayama), physical postures (Asanas) and meditations (Dhyana). Patanjali's Yoga sutra is one product (school) of this philosophy. Other Yogic schools and the Tantra traditions are also important derivatives and branches of the Sramana practices.

The Sramana Template:Wiki later received a boost during the times of Mahavira and Buddha when Template:Wiki ritualism had become the dominant tradition in certain parts of India. Śramaṇas adopted a path alternate to the Template:Wiki rituals to achieve liberation, while renouncing household life. They typically engage in three types of activities: austerities, meditation, and associated theories (or views). As spiritual authorities, śramaṇa were at variance with traditional Brahmin authority. However some Brahmins joined the Sramana Template:Wiki, such as Cānakya and Śāriputra . Similarly, a group of eleven Brahmins accepted Jainism of Mahavira, and become his chief disciples or Ganadharas.

With regard to Buddhism, Randall Collins opined that Buddhism was more a reform Template:Wiki within the educated religious classes, composed mostly of Brahmins, than a rival Template:Wiki from outside these classes, with the largest number of monks in the early Template:Wiki derived from Brahmin origin, and virtually all the monks were recruited from the two upper classes of Template:Wiki

Template:Wiki, the 24th Jina, and Gautama Buddha were leaders of their śramaṇa orders. According to Jain Template:Wiki and the Buddhist Pali Canon, there were also some other śramaṇa leaders at that time. Thus, in the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta (DN 16), a śramaṇa named Subhadda mentions:

    ...those ascetics, samaṇa and Brahmins who have orders and followings, who are teachers, well-known and famous as founders of schools, and popularly regarded as Template:Wiki, like Pūraṇa Kassapa, Makkhali Gosāla, Ajita Kesakambalī, Pakudha Kaccāyana, Sañjaya Belaṭṭhaputta and the Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta... .

Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta (Pāli; Skt.: Nirgrantha Jñātaputra) refers to Template:Wiki . In regard to the above other teachers identified in the Pali Canon, Jain Template:Wiki mentions Pūraṇa Kassapa, Makkhali Gosāla and Sañjaya Belaṭṭhaputta. (The Pali Canon is the only source for Ajita Kesakambalī and Pakudha Kaccāyana.)

Gautama Buddha regarded extreme austerities and self-mortification as useless or unnecessary in attaining enlightenment, recommending instead a "middle way" between the extremes of Template:Wiki and self-mortification. Devadatta, a cousin of Gautama, caused a split in the Buddhist saṅgha by demanding more rigorous practices. Followers of Template:Wiki continued to practice fasting and other austerities.

The śramaṇa idea of wandering began to change early in Buddhism. The bhikṣu started living in monasteries (Pali, Skt. vihāra), at first during the rainy seasons, but eventually permanently. In Template:Wiki Jainism also, the tradition of wandering waned, but it was revived in the 19th century. Similar changes have regularly occurred in Buddhism.
Śramaṇa philosophy

Indian philosophy is a confluence of Śramaṇic (self-reliant) traditions, Bhakti traditions with Template:Wiki of deities and Template:Wiki ritualistic Template:Wiki Template:Wiki. These co-exist and influence each other. Śramaṇas held a view of samsara as full of suffering (or dukkha). They practiced Ahimsa and rigorous Template:Wiki. They believed in Karma and Moksa and viewed rebirth as undesirable.

Vedics, on the contrary believe in the efficacy of rituals and sacrifices, performed by a privileged group of people, who could improve their life by pleasing certain Gods. The Template:Wiki Template:Wiki of mendicancy and renunciation, that the worldly life is full of suffering and that emancipation requires abandoning desires and withdrawal into a Template:Wiki Template:Wiki life, is in stark contrast with the Template:Wiki Template:Wiki of an active and ritually punctuated life. Traditional Template:Wiki belief holds that a man is born with an obligation to study the Vedas, to procreate and rear Template:Wiki offspring and to perform sacrifices. Only in later life may he meditate on the Template:Wiki of life. The idea of devoting one's whole life to mendicancy seems to disparage the whole process of Template:Wiki Template:Wiki life and obligations. Because the Sramanas rejected the Vedas, the Vedics labelled their philosophy as "nastika darsana" (heterodox philosophy).

Beliefs and concepts of Śramaṇa philosophies :-

    Denial of creator and omnipotent Gods
    Rejection of the Vedas as revealed texts
    Affirmation of Karma and rebirth, Samsara and transmigration of Soul.
    Affirmation of the attainment of moksa through Ahimsa, renunciation and austerities
    Denial of the efficacy of sacrifices and rituals for purification.
    Rejection of the Template:Wiki

Ultimately, the sramana philosophical concepts like ahimsa, karma, re-incarnation, renunciation, samsara and moksa were accepted and incorporated by the Brahmins in their beliefs and practices, e.g. by abandoning the Template:Wiki of animals. According to Gavin Flood, concepts like karmas and reincarnation entered mainstream brahaminical thought from the sramana or the renounciant traditions. According to D. R. Bhandarkar, the Ahimsa dharma of the sramanas made an impression on the followers of Brahamanism and their law books and practices.

Following are the two main schools of Sramana Philosophy that have continued since Template:Wiki times in India:
Jain philosophy
Main article: Jain philosophy
Further information: Anekantavada, Syādvāda, and Jainism and non-creationism

Jainism derives its philosophy from the teachings and lives of the twenty-four Template:Wiki, of whom Mahavira was the last. Acharyas Umasvati (Umasvami), Kundakunda, Haribhadra, Yaśovijaya Gaṇi and others further developed and reorganized Jain philosophy in its Template:Wiki form. The distinguishing Template:Wiki of Jain philosophy are its belief in the Template:Wiki existence of soul and matter, predominance of karma, the Template:Wiki of a creative and omnipotent God, belief in an eternal and uncreated universe, a strong emphasis on non-violence, an accent on Template:Wiki and multiple facets of truth, and morality and ethics based on liberation of the soul. The Jain philosophy of Anekantavada and Syādvāda, which posits that the truth or reality is perceived differently from different points of view, and that no single point of view is the complete truth, have made very important contributions to Template:Wiki philosophy, especially in the areas of Template:Wiki and Template:Wiki.
Buddhist philosophy

Buddhist philosophy is a system of doctrines based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, (480-400 BCE), the son of a chieftain of the Sakya tribe, later known as the Buddha. The Buddha found a Middle Way that ameliorated the extreme Template:Wiki found in the Sramana religions. Buddhism is a non-theistic philosophy, which is especially concerned with dependent origination and sunyata.
Usage of "Śramaṇa" in Jain texts
This article improperly uses one or more religious texts as primary sources without referring to secondary sources that critically analyze them. Please help improve this article by adding references to reliable secondary sources, with multiple points of view. (June 2013)

Jain monastics are known as Śramaṇas, while lay practitioners are called shravakas. The religion or code of conduct of the monks is known as Śramaṇa Dharma. Jain canons like Ācāranga Sūtra and other later texts contain many references to Sramanas. One verse defines a good Śramaṇa:

    Disregarding (all Template:Wiki) he lives together with clever monks, insensitive to pain and pleasure, not hurting the movable and immovable (beings), not killing, bearing all: so is described the great sage, a good Sramana.

The chapter on renunciation contains a Śramaṇa vow of non-possession:

    I shall become a Śramaṇa who owns no house, no property, no sons, no cattle, who eats what others give him; I shall commit no sinful action; Master, I Template:Wiki to accept anything that has not been given.' Having taken such vows, (a Template:Wiki) should not, on entering a village or free town, take himself, or induce others to take, or allow others to take, what has not been given.

Acaranga Sutra gives three names of Mahavira, the twenty fourth Tirthankara, one of which was Śramaṇa:

    The Venerable ascetic Mahavira belonged to the Kasyapa gotra. His three names have thus been recorded by tradition: by his parents he was called Vardhamana, because he is devoid of love and hate; (he is called) Sramana (i.e. ascetic), because he sustains dreadful dangers and Template:Wiki, the noble nakedness, and the miseries of the world; the name Venerable Ascetic Mahavira has been given to him by the gods.

Another Jain canon, Sūtrakrtanga describes the Śramaṇa as an ascetic who has taken Mahavrata, the five great vows:

    He is a Śramaṇa for this reason that he is not hampered by any Template:Wiki, that he is free from desires, (abstaining from) property, killing, telling lies, and Template:Wiki intercourse; (and from) wrath, Template:Wiki, deceit, greed, love, and hate: thus giving up every passion that involves him in sin, (such as) killing of beings. (Such a man) deserves the name of a Śramaṇa, who subdues (moreover) his senses, is well qualified (for his task), and abandons his body.

In a disputations with other Template:Wiki teachers, Template:Wiki Ardraka, who became disciple to Mahavira, tells Makkhali Gosala the qualities of Sramanas:

    He who (teaches) the great vows (of monks) and the five small vows (of the laity 3), the five Âsravas and the stoppage of the Âsravas, and control, who avoids Karman in this blessed life of Śramaṇas, him I call a Śramaṇa.

Influence on Hinduism

Sramana gave rise to several elements which were subsequently adopted by several Indian religions. The Template:Wiki of the cycle of birth and death, the Template:Wiki of samsara, the Template:Wiki of liberation and yoga are ultimately from Sramana. The Hindu ashrama system of life was an attempt to institutionalize Shramana ideals within the Template:Wiki Template:Wiki structure. The Shramana Template:Wiki also influenced the Aranyakas and Template:Wiki in the Template:Wiki tradition.
Śramaṇa in Template:Wiki Template:Wiki

Various references to "śramaṇas", with the name more or less distorted, have been handed down in Template:Wiki Template:Wiki about India.
Template:Wiki (c. 10 CE)

Template:Wiki wrote an account of an Template:Wiki sent by an Indian king "named Pandion (Pandyan Template:Wiki?) or, according to others, Porus" to Template:Wiki around 13 CE. He met with the Template:Wiki at Template:Wiki. The Template:Wiki was bearing a diplomatic letter in Template:Wiki, and one of its members was a "Sarmano" (Σαρμανο) who burnt himself alive in Athens to demonstrate his faith. The event made a sensation and was quoted by Template:Wiki and Template:Wiki . A tomb was made to the "Sarmano", still visible in the time of Plutarch, which bore the mention "ΖΑΡΜΑΝΟΧΗΓΑΣ ΙΝΔΟΣ ΑΠΟ ΒΑΡΓΟΣΗΣ" (Zarmanochēgas indos apo Bargosēs – The sramana master from Template:Wiki in India).
Clement of Alexandria (150-211)

Clement of Alexandria makes several mentions of the Sramanas, both in the context of the Template:Wiki and the Template:Wiki:

    Thus philosophy, a thing of the highest utility, flourished in antiquity among the Template:Wiki, shedding its light over the nations. And afterwards it came to Template:Wiki. First in its ranks were the Template:Wiki of the Template:Wiki; and the Chaldeans among the Assyrians; and the Druids among the Gauls; and the Samanaeans among the Template:Wiki ("Σαμαναίοι Βάκτρων"); and the philosophers of the Template:Wiki; and the Magi of the Template:Wiki, who foretold the Saviour's birth, and came into the land of Judaea guided by a Template:Wiki. The Indian gymnosophists are also in the number, and the other barbarian philosophers. And of these there are two classes, some of them called Sarmanae ("Σαρμάναι"), and Brahmanae ("Βραχμαναι").

To Clement of Alexandria, "Template:Wiki" apparently means "Template:Wiki Template:Wiki", as in a passage of the Stromata:

    It was after many successive periods of years that men worshipped images of human shape, this practice Template:Wiki introduced by Artaxerxes, the son of Darius, and father of Ochus, who first set up the Template:Wiki of Aphrodité Anaitis at Template:Wiki and Susa; and Ecbatana set the example of worshipping it to the Template:Wiki; the Template:Wiki, to Damascus and Sardis.

Porphyry (233-305)

Porphyry extensively describes the habits of the Sramanas (whom he calls Samanaeans) in his "On Abstinence from Animal Food" Book IV . He says his information was obtained from "the Template:Wiki Bardesanes, who lived in the times of our fathers, and was familiar with those Template:Wiki who, together with Damadamis, were sent to Caesar"

    For the polity of the Template:Wiki Template:Wiki distributed into many parts, there is one tribe among them of men divinely wise, whom the Greeks are accustomed to call Gymnosophists. But of these there are two sects, over one of which the Brahmins preside, but over the other the Samanaeans. The race of the Brahmins, however, receive divine wisdom of this kind by succession, in the same manner as the priesthood. But the Samanaeans are elected, and consist of those who wish to possess divine knowledge.

    All the Brahmins originate from one stock; for all of them are derived from one father and one mother. But the Samanaeans are not the offspring of one family, Template:Wiki, as we have said, collected from every Template:Wiki of Template:Wiki...

On entering the order:

    The Samanaeans are, as we have said, elected. When, however, any one is desirous of Template:Wiki enrolled in their order, he proceeds to the rulers of the city; but abandons the city or village that he inhabited, and the wealth and all the other property that he possessed. Having likewise the superfluities of his body cut off, he receives a garment, and departs to the Samanaeans, but does not return either to his wife or children, if he happens to have any, nor does he pay any attention to them, or think that they at all pertain to him. And, with respect to his children indeed, the king provides what is necessary for them, and the relatives provide for the wife. And such is the life of the Samanaeans. But they live out of the city, and spend the whole day in conversation pertaining to divinity. They have also houses and temples, built by the king".

On life and death:

    They are so disposed with respect to death, that they unwillingly endure the whole time of the Template:Wiki life, as a certain servitude to Template:Wiki, and therefore they hasten to liberate their souls from the bodies [with which they are connected]. Hence, frequently, when they are seen to be well, and are neither oppressed, nor driven to desperation by any evil, they depart from life.

Śramaṇa in contemporary Template:Wiki

Template:Wiki novelist Template:Wiki, long interested in Eastern, especially Indian, spirituality, wrote Siddhartha, in which the main character becomes a Samana upon leaving his home (where he was a Brahmin).