Adi Shankara

Discussion in 'Hindu Saints' started by garry420, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. garry420

    garry420 Well-Known Member

    Adi Shankara is one of the most popular and greatest philosophers India has ever known. He is accredited with being the founder of one of the sub-schools of Vedanta known as Advaita Vedanta. In as much as he fully believed in the Vedas concept, he was against religious practices and religious were exaggerated. Adi is also the one who started the famous monastic order referred to as Dashanami in addition to the convention of worship known as Shanmata. This is a brief biography of Adi Shankara, the great Indian philosopher and poet.

    Born in the 8th century A.D to a Brahmin family in the Kaladi, Kerala, he was given the name Shankara as he was believed to be Lord Shiva reincarnated. Historians say that the Lord Shiva appeared to Adi’s mother, Aryamba in a vision and informed her that her firstborn child would be his reincarnation. From a very young age, Adi Shankara had a strong penchant as far as spiritual issues were concerned. In his formative years, he easily recited the Epics and Puranas as well as mastering the Vedas while in Gurukul. His disciples adopted his teachings and fully believed in them.

    It is said that right from his childhood years, he was interested in leading a simple and meaningful life devoid of the pleasures the world had to offer. A crocodile attacked him while showering in the Purna River and in as much as his mother tried all she could to help him, she was unable. When he saw how helpless she was, he asked her to permit him to renounce and deny the world. His mother had little option other than agreeing. Upon being granted the permission, Adi Shankara recited the mantra and the crocodile left immediately. He then started living an ascetic life from there on and went to Southern India looking for a Guru.

    It was in the banks of the Narmada River that he met Govinda Bhagavatpada, and since Adi was very well learned as far as the Puranas and Vedas were concerned, Govinda readily agreed to be his Guru. He taught him a lot on the attainment of spiritual knowledge. Under Govinda, Adi Shankara learned various forms of yoga such as Jnana yoga, Raja and hatha. After receiving the knowledge of Brahma, he started being referred to as Shankaracharya. His life mission was to distribute Brahma Sutras teachings everywhere in the world.

    This great philosopher believed in ��non-dualism’. In addition, he also believed and taught that all people have an existence that is divine and can easily identify with the Supreme cosmic power. He said that even though human bodies are full of diversity, the soul is singular (one) among all humans. He also said that one discarded the highest form of life and knowledge when they started believing in a finite life. One of his most popular teachings was that self realization was the only way to connecting with God and attaining Moksha. In as much as he died while still young, he left behind a wealth and a treasure of spiritual knowledge for generations to tap and learn from his work.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2015

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