Jagatguru Adi Guru Shankaracharya was a spiritual leader and a philosopher who amalgamated the doctrine of Advait Vedanta. He is also known as Jagatguru Adi Shankaracharya. Adi Shankaracharya was born in a poor Nambudiri Brahmin family in a village called Kaladi in the southern part of India nowadays Kerala. According to the Hindu Panchang, the birth anniversary of Adi Guru Shankaracharya is celebrated on the Panchami Tithi during Shukla Paksha of Vaishakha month, but the year of the birth is yet very contradictory due to several different beliefs.
Shankaracharya’s parents were the childless couple and prayed to Lord Shiva for the child. It is also believed that Bhagwan Shiva came in front of his father and gave him a boon, and as a result, they got blessed with a Child. Some ancient beliefs also concluded that Bhagwan Shiva took the avatar (Incarnation) on earth as Adi Guru Shankaracharya.
Also Read: Vardhamana Mahaveer Swami: Spiritual Teachings and Biography of Swamiji
The attraction towards the Sannyas and education:
Adi Guru Shankaracharya was attracted towards the Sannyasi (hermit) since his early childhood days but, his mother couldn’t allow him in this direction as she wanted her son to live life as a householder. Guru Shankaracharya’s mother vowed that he would not talk about becoming Sannyasi.
When young Shankaracharya and his mother went to the River Sivataraka for holy bathe, the crocodile caught him. The young Sankaracharya urged her mother to permit him to become Sannyasi; otherwise, that crocodile would eat him, and as a result, her mother released him from the promise.
The young Shankaracharya was liberated, left home, and started his journey to attain the sacred belief. Shankaracharya became the disciple of teacher Govind Bhagavatpada. It is also said that Shakaraacharya at the young age of 7, became a scholar of Vedas and finalized his writing at the age of 16.
Also Read: Mentions & Status of Transgenders in Sanatana Dharma and Vedic Era
Works of Adi Guru Shankaracharya:
Adi Shankaracharya travelled barefoot throughout the country to propagate his views and ideas through debates with other religious thinkers. The theory upon Hinduism and the ideas of the amendment of the prior policy says Hinduism is the sacred religion that talks about the “Atman”, the pure soul.
Shankaracharya worked on the foundation of the Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism through his commentaries (Bhasyas) and emphasized those works from which could derive the main currents of Modern India. The masterpiece commentary by the Shankaracharya was Brahma Sutra and on ten Mukhya (principles) Upanishads. He even made commentaries on the Bhagwat Gita on Prasthana Trayi, and his tertiary notes on the commentary of Vedavyasa on Yogasutra’s are also among his notable contributions. He also worked on the different Stotra’s like Daksinamurti Stotra and the Sivanandalahari Stotra, and many more are also considered the famous poetic works of Sankaracharya.
The works on the seventy-six scriptures are also credited to the Sankaracharya and his visionary beliefs. The commentaries on the Upadesasahasri are the most significant philosophical work of Adi Guru Shankaracharya.
Sankaracharya made several Mathas (Monasteries) while confronting several orthodox Hindu communities and even confronted policies of other religions such as Buddhism and Jainism.
The four principal Matha’s made under his guidance and held by his followers were:
- Puri Govardhanmatha Pritham (East) held by Padmapada, which was based on Rig Veda with a Mahavakya of “Prajnanam Brahma” (Consciousness is Brahman) and was located at Puri, Odisha.
- Sringeri Sarada Pitham (south) held by Suresvara which was based on Yajur Veda with a Mahavakya of “Aham Bhrahmasmi” (I am Brahman) located at Sringeri Chikkamagaluru, Karnataka
- Dvaraka Sarada Pritham (West) held by the Hastamalakacarya, which was based on the Sama Veda with the Mahavakya Tattvamasi (That Thou Art) and is located in Dwarka, Devbhumi Dwarka, Gujarat.
- Badari Jyotirmatha Pritham (North), held by the Totakacarya, based on Atharva Veda with the Ayamatma Brahma (This Atman is Brahman) and is located at the Jyotirmatha, Chamoli, Uttarakhand.
Also Read: Prominence of Women in the Sanatana Dharma and Vedic era
Adi Guru Shankaracharya died at the age of 32 or 33 at Kedarnath. Last time, he was seen when his disciple glimpsed him going behind the Kedarnath temple towards the Himalayas. On the contrary, some studies show that he died in the southern states near his village in Kerala.
Therefore, the invincibility and innovative character of Sanatana Dharma is discovered by the theories of Adi Guru Shankaracharya. He is the spirit of religion and director in making people aware of the Dharma only in the short life span of 32 years; he made several devotees of him due to his hardcore practice in pursuing the fundamental nature of religion by conquering over desires and anger.
Also Read: Corona Virus proves supremacy of the Sanatana Dharma
Also Read: Ablazing the Fallacies of “Varna System” & Caste, in Vedic Scriptures of Sanatana Dharma