India is rightly known as the land of saints. Its soil is the birthplace of
numerous spiritual luminaries who have given India its ‘Indianness’. Indeed
it is said in the Hindu scriptures that it is the saints who make a place
of pilgrimage sacred. Here you will find more than 200 books on Indian
saints and the literature penned by them. Some of the prominent saints who
have graced this land with their footprints are:
Q1. Who was the
first saint in Hinduism?
According to the Matsya Purana,
sage Manu was the first man (and the first human) created by God. In the above Purana it was
mentioned that Lord Brahma
created, using his divine powers, the Goddess Shatrupa (as Saraswati was first
called) and out of the union of Brahma and Shatrupa was born Manu. Manu is also
the author of Manusmriti,
which means "Manu's laws/rules." Manusmriti is believed to be the
word of Brahma, the Hindu creator of the universe. Hinduism holds Manusmriti in
high esteem, classifying the work as the authoritative statement on the
principles of dharma (the Sanskrit word for "duty" or
Q2. What are
Hindu saints called?
Hindu saints have often renounced the world, and are
variously called Gurus, sadhus, rishis, swamis, and other names. Many people
conflate the terms "saint" and "sant", because of their
Q3. What do
Hindu saints do?
There is no prescribed canonization progression in
Hinduism, but over time many persons have reached the status of saints among
their followers and among Hindus in general. Hindu saints have often renounced
the world, and are variously called Gurus, sadhus, rishis, swamis, and other
names. A guru guides the spiritual progress of their students (known as shishya). Through the guru's spiritual,
psychological, and practical insight, instructions are tailored according to
what they see is required for the student to learn and advance spiritually.
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