|informal (US), (Canadian) short for mathematics Brit equivalent: maths|
in Hinduism, any monastic establishment of world renouncers or sannyasis. The first mathas were founded by the great teacher Shankara in the 8th century CE. Shankara was said to have established four mathas at strategic points in India as bulwarks for Hindu missionary activity and as centres for the 10 religious orders of his group: the Govardhana Matha in Puri on the east coast for the Aranya and Vana orders; the Jyotih Matha, near Badrinath in the Himalayas, for the Giri, Parvata, and Sagara orders; the Sarada Matha in Dvaraka on the west coast for the Tirtha and Asrama orders; and the Srngeri Matha in South India for the Bharati, Puri, and Sarasvati orders. A fifth matha, the Saradapitha in Kancipuram near Madras, arose later.
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