In India, a specific school of thought was traditionally called a
Shakha (Sanskrit for branch or limb), while an individual follower of a
particular school was called a śākhin.
The focus of many such schools is on Vedic texts, or versions of the Veda
and Hindu philosophy.
Veda means 'knowledge', which is generally seen as a body of Vedic 'texts'
or Hindu 'scriptures', even though the Samaveda (Sanskrit: सामवेद,
sāmaveda, from sāman "melody" + veda "knowledge" ), which is the third
of the four Vedas, consists of a collection (samhita) of hymns and
verses, to be sung, using melodies called Samagana, by the caraṇa,
i.e. followers of this school of philosophy.
The term caraṇa is another term used to describe a school, but rather than
refering to a building or place, it refers to all the people that adhere to
the specific school of thought.
Caraṇa means "conduct of life" or "behavior".
In this tradition, Carana.org has established a school of thought that
many people can identify with. It teaches respect for life, as
expressed in the support for a vegan-organic lifestyle. Furthermore,
to ensure that our children will have a planet to live on,
environmental issues are seen as vitally important and the school has
a strong focus on strategies that will reduce greenhouse gases.
Carana is the name used by followers of our school and if a first name
like Sam (short for Samagana) is used, this will typically refer to a
preference for singing, as opposed to 'knowledge' that
was written down and therefore has become static and detached from
meaning and intent.