Famous Indian Theologians

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 
Chanakya
(Philosopher, Theologian)

Chanakya
4
Birthdate: 0371 BC
Birthplace: India
Died: 0283 BC

Chanakya was an ancient Indian philosopher, teacher, jurist, economist, and royal advisor. Widely regarded as the pioneer of economics and political science in India, Chanakya is believed to have played a key role in the formation of the great Maurya Empire. He authored the ancient Indian political treatise, the Arthashastra, which is considered as one of the seminal texts on statecraft.

 2 
Swami Vivekananda
(Hindu Monk)

Swami Vivekananda
9
Birthdate: January 12, 1863
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Died: July 4, 1902

The founder of the Ramakrishna Mission and Ramakrishna Math, Swami Vivekananda was an Indian Hindu monk, philosopher, and spiritual leader. He is credited with introducing the Indian philosophies of Yoga and Vedanta to the Western world. He is also credited with elevating the status of Hinduism as a major religion in the modern world by raising interfaith awareness.

 3 
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
(Indian Minister of Education (1947-58))

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
4
Birthdate: November 11, 1888
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Died: February 22, 1958

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was an Indian independence activist, Islamic theologian, and scholar. He played a key role in the Indian independence movement, serving as a senior leader of the Congress. His contribution to the Indian education system is recognized across India by celebrating his birthday as National Education Day

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 4 
Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi
(Islamic Scholar, Reformer)

Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi
6
Birthdate: June 14, 1856
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bareilly
Died: October 28, 1921

Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi, also known as Ala-Hazrat, was a renowned Islamic scholar and an Urdu poet. Born in Bareilly, British India, he belonged to a family of Rohilla Pushtuns who had migrated from Qandahar. He wrote about various subjects such as philosophy, science, and astronomy.

Paramahansa Yogananda
4
Birthdate: January 5, 1893
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: March 7, 1952

Paramahansa Yogananda was an Indian Hindu monk, yogi, and guru. He is known for introducing the teachings of meditation and Kriya Yoga through his organization Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) / Yogoda Satsanga Society (YSS) of India to millions across the world. He authored the book Autobiography of a Yogi and is considered the Father of Yoga in the West.

 6 
Ashraf Ali Thanwi
(Former writer who authored several hundred books including Bayan Ul Quran and Bahishti Zewar)

Ashraf Ali Thanwi
3
Birthdate: 1862 AD
Birthplace: Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: 1943 AD

Ashraf Ali Thanwi was not just a prominent Indian Sunni Islamic scholar but had also penned countless books, such as Bayan Ul Quran, on various aspects of Islam. Apart from making efforts to retain the authority of Islamic scholarly tradition, he also supported the Muslim League and the creation of Pakistan.

 7 
Adi Shankara
(Advaita Philosopher)

Adi Shankara
0
Birthdate: 0700 AD
Birthplace: Kaladi, India
Died: 0750 AD
Indian philosopher and theologian Adi Shankaracharya, or Adi Shankara, promoted the Hindu philosophy of Advaita Vedanta. His Sanskrit works talk about concepts such as the Ātman and Nirguna Brahman. He criticized the Mīmāṃsā school and explained the differences between Hinduism and Buddhism. He also established four "mathas," or monasteries.
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 8 

Bhai Vir Singh
2
Birthdate: December 5, 1882
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Amritsar, Punjab, British India
Died: June 10, 1957

Bhai Vir Singh was an Indian poet, scholar, and theologian. He was a prominent figure of the Sikh revival movement and made significant contributions to the renewal of Punjabi literary tradition. The son of a physician, he received both traditional indigenous training as well as modern English education. He was one of the founders of the Punjab & Sind Bank. 

 9 
Bede Griffiths
(Theologian, Catholic priest)

Bede Griffiths
2
Birthdate: December 17, 1906
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Walton-on-Thames
Died: May 13, 1993

British-born priest Bede Griffiths spent 25 years in a Benedictine monastery before moving to India, where he lived in South Indian ashrams and established the Christian Ashram Movement, mingling principles of Christianity and Hinduism. He was also known as Swami Dayananda and penned 12 books on the Christian-Hindu inter-spirituality.

 10 
Shah Waliullah Dehlawi
(Muslim Scholar)

Shah Waliullah Dehlawi
3
Birthdate: February 21, 1703
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Delhi, India
Died: August 20, 1762

Trained in Islamic education by his father, who established the Madrasah-i Rahimiyah, Shah Waliullah Dehlawi had memorized the Qur'an by age 7. He grew up to be a prominent Islamic theologian who modernized Islam with ideas such as taṭbīq and the practice of ijtihad. Asrār al-dīn remains his best-known work.

 11 
Abhinavagupta
(Philosopher)

Abhinavagupta
3
Birthdate: 0950 AD
Birthplace: Kashmir
Died: 1016 AD

Abhinavagupta was a 1st-century philosopher, mystic, and aesthetician from Kashmir. He was also known as a musician, dramatist, theologian, and poet. Born into a family of scholars and mystics, he received his training from multiple teachers. His best-known work is Tantrāloka, an encyclopedic treatise covering a wide range of topics. Despite traveling widely, he was not a wandering monk.