Adi Shankaracharya

Adi Shankaracharya

Adi Shankaracharya founded the Advaita Vedanta. Born in a simple Brahmin family approximately in the 8th century A.D in Kaladi, Kerala, he was named as Shankara and is considered to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva. It is said that Shankaracharya's mother Aryamba had a vision that Lord himself told her that he would incarnate in the form of her first-born child. Right from childhood he showed a penchant towards spiritual knowledge. He could easily recite the Puranas and the Epics and mastered the Vedas during his early years in Gurukul.

From a young age Shankara was inclined towards sannyasa. He then left Kerala and travelled towards North India in search of a guru. On the banks of the Narmada River, he met Govinda Bhagavatpada, the disciple of Gaudapada. When Govinda Bhagavatpada asked Shankara’s identity, he replied with an extempore verse that brought out the Advaita Vedanta philosophy. Govinda Bhagavatapada was impressed and took Shankara as his disciple. Shankara wrote a commentary on the Brahma Sutras and propagate the Advaita philosophy. Adi Shankaracharya aim in life was to spread the Vedic teachings of the Brahma Sutras throughout the world.

Adi Shankara began a Dig-vijaya (tour of conquest) for the propagation of the Advaita philosophy by controverting all philosophies opposed to it. He travelled throughout India, from South India to Kashmir and Nepal, preaching to the local populace and debating philosophy with Hindu, Buddhist and other scholars and monks along the way.

Adi Shankara founded four Mathas to guide the Hindu religion. Adi Shankara wrote Bhashyas on the ten major Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita. Shankara mastered in Hatha, Raja and Jnana Yoga under the guidance of his guru. The philosophy and teachings of Adi Sankaracharya were based on the Advaita Vedanta. He preached 'Non- Dualism'. It means that each and every person has a divine existence, which can be identified with the Supreme Lord. At his last moment he admitted Narayana, or Krsna, to be the Supreme Personality of god head. He wrote a bhajan "Bhaj Govinda" which completely discribe about Supreme Personality of god Head i.e Krishna.

Bhajans by Adi Shankaracharya