Adi Shankaracharya, regarded as one of the most philosophical and religious leaders in Santana Dharma and Indian History. Not because the immense knowledge he had in Vedas and Upanishads but because he made a sheer number of contributions in a short span of his life of 32 years. Shankaracharya crisscrossed North to South, East to West about three times almost 1200 years ago intending to unite India as an entity.
Born in a village named Kaladi, Kerala around 788 A.D. he had a keen interest in spiritual knowledge right from childhood. At the age of 8, he attained Sanyasa. At the age of 16, he wrote commentaries on Brahmasutra, Bhagwat Geeta and Upanishads. He was a metaphysician with a dynamic personality, amazing grasping power and astounding moral and spiritual force. There is no denying the fact that he is one of the few individuals who has impacted Sanatana Dharma the most. With his enormous capacities, he influenced and organised people all over the country. At the time when different sects were emerging, the Vedas were forgotten by the people, Shankara travelled all over India to restore the Vedas. He organised the monks of sects under four monasteries namely Dwaraka in the West, Jagannatha Puri in the East, Badrikashrama in the North and Sringeri in the South to extend wisdom of Vedas. These monasteries exist till date and preserve the teachings and influence of Shankara. He has been entitled with the title of Jagat Guru or Adi Guru.
Shankara advocated Advaita philosophy (Non-dualism), which regards God and human as aspects of the same unified consciousness. He denounced the fake notions related to Religion, Philosophy, Spirituality and also preached that all deities are part of the Invisible Supreme being. Adi Shankaracharya edified disciplines, engaged people in philosophical activities which helped revive the thought of uniting all the human beings. At the time when there were rare means of transportation, he travelled with a motive of uniting India and its’ social structure. Scholars state that its’ due to his righteous conduct and intense labour that Vedic religion got rekindled, he cleared all the cobwebs which gathered with passage of time and projected a new light over it. The glory of which spread worldwide making India culturally and Spiritually rich.
by Ashmita Badoni