Adi Shankaracharya was born to a couple namely Shivagaru and Aryambal after years of earnest prayers to Lord Shiva. It is believed that Lord Shiva appeared in his dream to Shivagaru, and granted his prayer for a child, but giving 2 options:: A knowledgeable son who will be short-lived or a normal son who will have a longer life span. And Shivagaru selected the former one. In this way, his parents named him Shankara who means the one born with Lord Shiva's grace and considered him as an incarnation of Lord Shiva.
The very fact that Hinduism is still a dynamic and all-encompassing religion stands as ample testimony to the deeds of Adi Shankaracharya. Apart from being the champion of Advaita philosophy, one of his invaluable contributions towards Hinduism was the reordering and restructuring of the ancient Sanyasaorder. He propagated the eternal code of life contained in the Veda, which still flows as the dynamic force underlying and unifying all humanity.
Adi Shankaracharya is considered to be the ideal Sannyasi. It is commonly accepted that he lived about one thousand two hundred years ago though there are historical sources that indicate that he lived in an even earlier period. He was born in Kalady, Kerala and in his short life span of 32 years, his accomplishments seem a marvel even today, with our modern conveyances and other facilities. At the tender age of eight, burning with the desire for Salvation, he left home in search of his Guru.
From the age of 16 to 32, Shankaracharya went forth, traveling across the length and breadth of ancient India bringing to the hearts of the masses the life-giving message of the Vedas.
Apart from his immense intellectual & organizational abilities, Shankaracharya was an exquisite poet, with a heart brimming with Love of the Divine.
He established 4 Ashrams in 4 corners of India & entrusted his 4disciples to teach and propagate Advaita through them.
Adi Shankaracharya formulated the six sect system of worship which brought to therefore the main godheads –Vishnu, Shiva, Shakti, Kartik, Ganesha, and Surya. He also formulated the rituals and rites to be followed in most of the major temples in India.
He composed 72 devotional and meditative hymns like Soundarya Lahari, SivanandaLahari, Nirvana Shatakam, Maneesha Panchakam. He also wrote 18 commentaries on the major scriptural texts including the Brahma Sutras, the Bhagavad-Gita, and 12major Upanishads. He also authored 23 books on the fundamentals of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy which expounds on the principles of the non-dual Brahman. This is the glory of Shree Adi Shankaracharya! Om Namah Shivaya!!
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