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In Indian religions and society, an acharya is a preceptor or instructor in religious matters; founder, or leader of a sect; or a highly learned man or a title affixed to the names of learned men. The designation has different meanings in Hinduism, Buddhism and secular contexts. It is also a Brahmin surname found in Nepal and across India, including Odisha, West Bengal and Maharashtra.

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 man or a title affixed to the names of learned men. The designation has different meanings in Hinduism, Buddhism and secular contexts. It is also a Brahmin surname found in Nepal and across India, including Odisha, West Bengal and Maharashtra.

Acharya is sometimes used to address a teacher or a scholar in any discipline, e.g.: Bhaskaracharya, the mathematician. It is also a common suffix in Viswabrahmin names, e.g.: sankaracharya. In South India, this suffix is sometimes shortened to Achar, e.g., TKV Desikachar.