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In Indian religions and society, an acharya (IAST: ācārya) is a preceptor or instructor in religious matters; founder, or leader of a sect; or a highly learned person or a title affixed to the names of learned people. The designation has different meanings in Hinduism, Buddhism and secular contexts.
Acharya is sometimes used to address a teacher or a scholar in any discipline, e.g.: Bhaskaracharya, the mathematician.
The Sanskrit phrase Acharam Grahayati Acharam Dadati Iti Va means Acharya (or teacher) is the one who teaches good conduct to one's students. A female teacher is called an achāryā, and a male teacher's wife is called an achāryāni 
Prominent acharyas in the Hindu tradition are as given below :
- Adi Sankaracharya
- Nimbarkacharya
- Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
- Acharya Sandipani
- Bhadreshdas Swami
In Buddhism, acharya is a senior teacher. Notable acharyas:
In Jainism, an acharya is the highest leader of a Jain order. Acharya is one of the Pañca-Parameṣṭhi (five supreme beings) and thus worthy of worship. They are the final authority in the monastic order and has the authority to ordain new monks and nuns. They are also authorized to consecrate new idols, although this authority is sometimes delegated to scholars designated by them.
In scientific/mathematical scholarship
In Sanskrit institutions, acharya is a post-graduate degree.
- Platts, John T. (1884). A dictionary of Urdu, classical Hindi, and English. London: W. H. Allen & Co.[permanent dead link]
- Vinod Singh (1 October 2018). Higher Education for Sustainable Development and Millennium Development Goals. CCLP Worldwide. pp. 282–. ISBN 978-93-5321-685-6.
The role of Guru or Acharya was also very significant in this traditional education system. The word 'Acharya' can be derived as 'Acharam Grahayati Acharam Dadati Iti Va'. It means- Acharya or teacher is that who teaches good behavior to his pupils
- Ram Nath Sharma; Rajendra Kumar Sharma (1996). History of Education in India. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. pp. 35–. ISBN 978-81-7156-599-3.
- Suhas Chatterjee (1998). Indian Civilization and Culture. M.D. Publications Pvt. Ltd. pp. 273–. ISBN 978-81-7533-083-2.
- Ram Nath Sharma; Rajendra Kumar Sharma (1996). History of Education in India. Atlantic. p. 35. ISBN 8171565999.
- [viswakarma community] Although famous for being the proponent of advaita vad, he established the supremacy of bhakti to Krishn.
- He propagated the bhakti of Bhagwan Vishnu. Source: Ramanujacharya Archived 26 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- His philosophy is called dvaita vad. His primary teaching is that "the only goal of a soul is to selflessly and wholeheartedly love and surrender to God" Source: 
- His writings say that Radha Krishna are the supreme form of God.
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