Definition - What does Smartism mean?

Smartism is a sect of Hinduism that allows its followers to worship more than one god, unlike in sects like Shaivism and Vaishnavism, in which only Shiva and Vishnu are worshipped, respectively. Smartas, followers of Smartism, may actually worship one or more of the five main Hindu gods - Vishnu, Shiva, Ganesha, Surya and Shakti - as they are all considered equal. This practice is called panchayatana puja in Sanskrit.

Yogapedia explains Smartism

Smartism was founded by the Hindu spiritual guru, Adi Shankaracharya. The idea behind the founding of Smartism was to do away with certain practices in Hinduism, such as animal sacrifice; and also because Adi Shankaracharya believed in the concept of Advaita Vedanta, in which Brahman is the fundamental and highest reality above all gods.

Smartism follows the Vedas, the sacred Hindu texts, and abides by orthodox Hindu philosophy. The sect recognizes God as both Saguna and Nirguna. God as Saguna is a representation of infinite nature and traits such as love, compassion and justice. God as Nirguna symbolizes pure consciousness, or Brahman, the creative principle and key concept of the Vedas.

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