Goswami

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Goswami (Devanagari: गोस्वामी IAST, Assamese: গোস্বামী) which is pronounced as ) and also called Gosain or Gusain is a title often bestowed on people who choose the path of Sannyasa. It is most often used as Hindu caste.

Etymology

Goswamis are renounced teachers in the religious traditions of India. The title "goswami" comes from two words: "go," meaning senses, and "swami," meaning master. Thus goswamis are meant to be masters of the senses, those who have conquered the material world and can safely lead others to liberation. Those who can use the title "goswami" are usually those who have taken the sannyasa vows, belonging to the order of Hindu life in which they renounce all family, material and social ties, take a vow of celibacy and live only to teach the ways ofGod.

History

The exact origin of the Goswamis is difficult to ascertain. The Goswami Brahmins are mentioned in the Vedas, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Bhagavata and even the Bhavisyottara Purana by different names and titles. They might come from Central Asia and Eastern Europe to the Indian sub-continent. Most of the Indian Goswamis belong to Indo Aryan ethnicity.

Widespread buddhism saw a decline in the number of Hindu monks in India. With the decline of Buddhism, there was no organised structure that could provide an impetus for the resurgence of the vedic dharma. One of the major achievements of Adi shankara was to organize a...
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