Hindu saints

There is no formal canonization process in Hinduism, but over time many men and women 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.[1]

Many people conflate the terms "saint" and "sant", because of their similar meanings. The term sant is a Sanskrit word "which differs significantly from the false cognate, 'saint'..." Traditionally, "sant" referred to devotional Bhakti poet-saints of two groups: Vaishnava and a group that is referred to as "Saguna Bhakti".[2][3]

Some Hindu saints are given god-like status, being seen as incarnations of Vishnu, Shiva, and other aspects of God, sometimes many years after their deaths. This explains another common name for Hindu saints, "godmen".[4]

Hindu saints have come from many walks of life including the blind (Bhima Bhoi, Surdas, and Tulsidas[5]), orphaned (Andal,[6] Kabir[7]), former criminals (Kaladutaka [1], Valmiki) and former concubines (Kanhopatra and Shatakopa).[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Robin Rinehart (1 January 2004). Contemporary Hinduism: Ritual, Culture, and Practice. ABC-CLIO. pp. 87–90. ISBN 978-1-57607-905-8. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  2. ^ Karine Schomer; W. H. McLeod (1 January 1987). The Sants: Studies in a Devotional Tradition of India. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 2–3. ISBN 978-81-208-0277-3. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  3. ^ Jacqueline Jones (2009). Performing the Sacred: Song, Genre, and Aesthetics in Bhakti. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-109-06430-8. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  4. ^ Kenneth L. Woodward (10 July 2001). The Book of Miracles: The Meaning of the Miracle Stories in Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam. Simon & Schuster. p. 267. ISBN 978-0-7432-0029-5. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  5. ^ P. 126 A history of Hindu civilisation during British rule By Pramatha Nath Bose OL 67794W
  6. ^ P. 48 A History of Indian Literature, 500-1399: From Courtly to the Popular By Śiśira Kumāra Dāsa. New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi (2005) OL 17012582M
  7. ^ P. 355 Awakening Indians to India By All India Chinmaya Yuva Kendra. (Paperback) OCLC 296288988
  8. ^ Narasimhachari, H. Daniel Smith & M. (1997). Handbook Of Hindu Gods, Goddesses And Saints. Sundeep Prakashan. ISBN 978-81-7574-164-5.