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Adi Shankaracharya

Current Affairs

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.

His Works

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.

Other Contributions

  • 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.

Advaita Philosophy

  • 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.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/life-work-and-legend-of-adi-shankara-advaita-master-philosopher-nonpareil-7609385/ , https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adi_Shankara

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