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It is well known that Jagadguru Adi ShankarAchArya established 4 dhAms, one each in east, west, north and south, with the objective of preserving and propagating SanAtana Dharma.
ShankarAchArya described the kshetra , devta , shakti , and teertha associated with each of these mathas.
He also described the divisions among SanyAsis and BrahmAchAris following from matha divisions.

We take a look at these distinguishing features of each Matha one by one.
ShArdA matha in Dwarka related to West direction is the first आम्नाय ( tradition)

It's said to have been established in 489 BCE.

The date given here and to be given later are as per tradition. The dates given by historians are much recent belonging to 7-8th century CE.
The sampradAya related to this Matha is said to be so filled with kindness towards living beings that it saves even the कीट ( insects ) from dying.

From कीट ( Keeta ) comes कीटवार ( KeetvAra) , the name of this SampradAya.
The first AchArya of this tradition was Shri SureshvarA

The sanyAsis of this tradition take the names ( पद ) Teertha ( तीर्थ ) and Ashrama (आश्रम )
The name of this kshetra ( क्षेत्र ) is Dwarka kshetra.

Siddheshvara ( सिद्धेश्वर ) is their devta

Bhadrakali ( भद्रकाली ) is their devi

Their Veda is SAmaveda

Their Teertha is Gomati
The jurisdiction of the ShAradA matha includes to Sindh, Kuchchh , Saurasthra, Maharashtra and other areas in western direction.

' तत्त्वमसि ' is the mahAvAkya of this matha. It means ' thou are that' it's taken from ChhAndogya Upanishad related to SAmaveda.
sanyAsi who bathes in the triveni sangam ( confluence ) of

तत् (tat) , त्वं (tvama) and असि ( Asi) takes the name तीर्थ (Teertha)

sanyAsi who is in the TuriyAshrama ( state of pure consciousness) and is free from cycle of birth and death is given the name आश्रम ( Ashrama)
The BrahmAcharis of this tradition are involved in worship of AchArya and as a result of following स्वधर्म ( Svadharma ) are always immersed in स्वानंद ( Svananda) and are known as स्वरूप ( Svarupa ) BrahmAchAris.
Govardhana matha in Puri related to East direction is the second आम्नाय ( tradition)

It's said to have been established in 486 BCE.
The sampradAya related to this tradition undertakes the task of helping living beings find निवृति (Nivruti ) or turning away from various भोग ( Bhoga). Hence this sampradAya is known as भोगवार (BhogwAra )
The first AchArya of this tradition was Shri PadmapAda

The sanyAsis of this tradition take the पद ( names) वन ( Vana) and आरण्य ( Aranya)
The name of this kshetra ( क्षेत्र ) is Purushottam kshetra.

Jagannatha is their devta

Vimla is their devi

Their Veda is Rigveda and their Gotra is kAshyapa

Their Teertha is Mahodadhi , the great sea ( At puri )
Govardhan Matha's jurisdiction includes Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, North East and E. UP upto PrayAga
Their MahavAkya is प्रज्ञानम् ब्रह्म ( PrajnAnam Brahma) , taken from Aitareya Upanishad w related to Rigveda.

प्रज्ञानम् ब्रह्म means "Brahma is PrajnAnanam ( knowledge
SanyAsis of this matha who are free from all kinds of desires reside in desolate places like वन ( Vana) or forests take the name वन ( Vana)

Similarly, some sanyAsis take the name आरण्य ( Aranya), resident of forest.
The BrahmAchAri of this matha has the knowledge of the self illuminating ब्रह्मतत्व ( BrahmAtattva) and is an expert in योगविद्या (Yoga Vidya) and hence is known as प्रकाश (PrakAsh )
Jyotirmatha, also known as shrimatha, related to North direction is the third आम्नाय ( tradition)

It was established in 484 BCE.
This sampradAya which cures the प्रवृत्ति ( Pravruti) or indulgence in worldly pleasures or आनंद (Ananda ) is known as आनंदवार (AnandavAra) sampradAya.
The first AchArya of this tradition was Shri तोटक (Totaka)

The sanyAsis of this tradition take the पद ( names) गिरी (Giri), पर्वत (Parvata) and सागर (SAgara)
The name of this kshetra ( क्षेत्र ) is BadrikAshrma kshetra.

NArAyana is their devta

PurnAgiri is their devi

Their Veda is atharvaveda and their Gotra is Bhrigu

Their Teertha is alaknandA river
Jyotirmatha's jurisdiction includes Kashmir, Western UP, Punjab, Haryana and other northern areas

Their MahavAkya is अयमात्मा ब्रह्म ( ayamAtma BrahmA) , taken from mAndukya Upanishad related to atharvaveda.

अयमात्मा ब्रह्म means " This Atma is BrahmA"
SanyAsis of this matha who reside on small mountains or गिरी ( Giri ) take the name गिरी ( Giri)

Similarly, पर्वत ( Parvata) sanyAsis draw their name from bigger mountains or पर्वत ( Parvata)
The sanyAsi who accumulates ज्ञानरत्न ( Jnana ratna ) from ocean of truth or तत्त्वसागर and never crosses मर्यादा ( maryAdA) like an ocean takes the name सागर ( SAgar )

The BrahmAchAris of this maths take the name आनंद ( Ananda)
Shringeri - ShArdA Matha related to South direction is the fourth आम्नाय ( AmnAya) or tradition.

This sampradAya is called भूरिवार (BhurivAra ) sampradAya.

There is lot confusion regarding its date of establishment even within traditional sources.
The first AchArya of this tradition was Shri hastAmalaka

The sanyAsis of this tradition take the पद ( names) सरस्वती (Sarasvati), भारती (BhArati) and पुरी (Puri)
The name of this kshetra ( क्षेत्र ) is Rameshwaram kshetra.

AdivArAha is their devta

KAmAkshi is their devi

Their Veda is Yajurveda and their Gotra is भूर्भवः (bhurbhavah )

Their Teertha is TungabhadrA
Shringeri Matha's jurisdiction includes Andhra Pradesh, KarnAtakA , Kerala and Tamil Nadu and other southern areas
Their MahavAkya is अहम ब्रह्मा अस्मि ( aham BrhamA Asmi ) , taken from BrihadAranyak Upanishad related to Yajurveda.
अहम ब्रह्मा अस्मि means "I am BrahmA"
SanyAsi always engaged in Yogavidya, expert in VedapAtha with proper स्वर (svara) are 'Sarasvati'
SanyAsi well versed in all vidyAs , free from all vikAras and unaware of दुःखभारम ( Dukha BhAram) are named BhArati.

Chaitanya is the name taken by BrahmAcharis of this matha.
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