Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a 12-foot statue of Adi Shankaracharya at Kedarnath (Uttarakhand), where the acharya is believed to have attained samadhi at the age of 32 in the ninth century.
Birth and Death
- He was born on 11th May 788 AD, at Kaladi village, near Kochi, Kerala on the bank of the Periyar, the largest river in Kerala.
- He was born to Nambudiri Brahmin parents, Siva Guru and Arya Antharjanam.
- The Sringeri records state that Shankara was born in the 14th year of the reign of “Vikramaditya”, but it is unclear as to which king this name refers.
- He is believed to have attainnnned samadhi at Kedarnath; however, Kanchi and Thrissur are also talked about as places where Adi Shankara spent his last days.
Adi Shankara is generally identified as the author of 116 works — among them the celebrated commentaries (bhashyas) on 10 Upanishads, the Brahmasutra and the Gita, and poetic works including Vivekachudamani.
- He was responsible for reviving Hinduism in India to a great extent when Buddhism was gaining popularity.
- He established four Mathas in the four corners of India at Shingeri, Puri, Dwaraka and Badrinath– for propagation of Sanathana Dharma.
- He propounded the philosophy of Advaita (Monism).
- Advaita Vedanta articulates a philosophical position of radical nondualism, a revisionary worldview which it derives from the ancient Upanishadic texts.
- The fundamental thrust of Advaita Vedanta is that the atman is pure non-intentional consciousness. It is one without a second, nondual, infinite existence, and numerically identical with brahman.
- His great standing is derived from his commentaries of the prasthanatrayi (Upanishads, Brahmasutra and Gita), where he explains his understanding of Advaita Vedanta.