Jagadguru (Sanskrit: जगदगुरु), literally meaning the Guru of the universe, is a title used in Sanātana Dharma. Traditionally, it has been bestowed upon or used for Ācāryas belonging to the Vedānta school (among the six traditional schools of thought in Hinduism) who have written Sanskrit commentaries on the Prasthānatrayī (literally, 'the three sources') – the Brahma sūtras (the original scripture of Vedānta), the Bhagavad-gītā (part of the Mahābhārata) and the Principal Upaniṣads. Historically, Jagadgurus have established a lineage (Paramparā), established an institution to spread Dharma, who have been based in Varanasi, famous for being the centre of Sanskrit study and the "Capital of All Knowledge".
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Origin and history of the term
Jagadguru is of Sanskrit origin where जगत् (jagat) means 'the entire world' and गुरु (guru) means 'spiritual master' (literally, 'dispeller of darkness'). In the classics and scriptures, the word has been used for several Devas. In the Mahābhārata, Arjuna addresses Śrī Kṛṣṇa as the 'Supreme Master of the entire world'. Jagadguru Śrīpāda Ādi Śaṅkarācārya uses the title Jagadguru for Śrī Kṛṣṇa in his Śrī Kṛṣṇa-āṣṭakam. The Sanskrit poet Kālidāsa uses the word Jagadguru for Lord Śiva in his great poem (Mahā-kāvya) titled Kumārasambhava. In the Rāmacaritamānasa, the poet-saint Tulasidāsa uses the same word for Lord Rāma. Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Prabhupāda uses it for Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in his song Guru Paramparā. A. C. Bhaktivedānta Svāmi Prabhupāda uses it for Lord Kṛṣṇa in his composition Mārkine Bhāgavata-Dharma.
- Śrīpāda Śaṅkarācārya (Sanskrit: श्रीपाद शंकराचार्य) (A.D. 788–820) (also known as "Ādi Śaṅkara" (Sanskrit: आदि शंकर)), or Śaṅkara Bhagavatpāda (Sanskrit: शंकर भगवत्पाद): Founder of Advaita school of Vedānta.
- Śrīpāda Rāmānujācārya (Sanskrit: श्रीपाद रामानुजाचार्य) (1017–1137): Founder of Viśiṣṭādvaita school of Vedānta.
- Śrīpāda Madhvācārya (Sanskrit: श्रीपाद मध्वाचार्य) (A.D. 1239–1319) (also known as "Pūrna Prajña" (Sanskrit: पूर्णा प्रज्ञ) or "Ānanda Tīrtha Bhagavatpāda" (Sanskrit: आनन्द तीर्थ भगवत्पाद): Founder of the Dvaita school of Vedānta.
- Śrī Nimbārkācārya (Sanskrit: श्री निम्बार्काचार्य): Founder of Dvaitadvaita school of Vedānta.
- Śrī Vāllābhacārya (Sanskrit: श्री वल्लभाचार्य) (1479–1531): Founder of Shuddhadvaita school of Vedānta.
Gurus honoured with Jagadguru title
- Shankaracharya, Adi. "Shri Krishna-ashtakam". Krsna Kirtana Songs. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
- Kumārasambhava, Canto 6, Verse 15 and also Canto 8, verse 24.
- Rāmacaritamānasa, Āraṇya Kāṇḍa, verse 3.9.
- Sarasvati, Bhaktisiddhanta. "Guru Parampara". Krsna Kirtana Songs. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
- Bhaktivedanta Swami, A.C. "Markine Bhagavata-Dharma". Krsna Kirtana Songs. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
- Saraswati, Prakashanand (2007). The True History and Religion Of India: A Concise Encyclopedia of Authentic Hinduism (First ed.). New Delhi: Macmillan Publishers. ISBN 0230630650. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
- "Spiritual Guru Jagadguru Kripalu Maharaj passes away". Zee News. 15 November 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- Melton, J. Gordon (2003). The Encyclopedia of American Religions. Gale. ISBN 978-0-7876-9696-2.
- Singh, Khushwant (28 January 2007). "Varanasi seer's memory is phenomenal". The Tribune. Tribune India. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- "Nikhildarshan-Samanvayacharya". jkpliterature. Retrieved 31 May 2016.