Story Of Adi Shankaracharya.
Adi Shankaracharya Life Story, Shri Adi Shankaracharya, Adi Guru Shankaracharya.
Story of Adi Shankaracharya – Shri Shankar was born, according to the current tradition, on Vaisakha Sudha panchami (around May) in the village Kaladi near Ernakulam in Kerala. His birth date varies from the sixth century BC to the eighth century AD. The traditional date is Kaliyuga 2593 or 509 BC. Proffessor Telang, however, on the basis of a reference to punna Vervan, in the “Bramh Sutra Bhasya” of Shankar, whom he (Telang) identifies with the Buddhist king of Magadh, holds that he must have lived in the sixth century AD. But modern orientalists like Max Mueller and others have somehow fixed it as 788 to 820 AD…. And Das Gupta and Radhakrishanan the well-known writers on the history of Indian philosophy, have accepted and repeated it in their books.
Whatever may have been the exact date, it is the consensus of opinion that he lived after Bhagwan Buddha. He lived at a time when Vedic religion faced a critical situation brought about by quarrelling sects and by fanatics with unholy zeal and degrading practices.
He lived at a time when Vedic religion faced a critical situation brought about by quarrelling sects and by fanatics with unholy zeal and degrading practices.
Shri Adi Shankaracharya was born in a highly orthodox Nambudari Brahmin sect of Krsna-Yajur-Veda, Taittiriya Sakha. His father was Shivguru and mother was Aryamba, both of whom were great devotees of Lord Shiva. They were childless and prayed for a son. Hence they named their child after the name of Lord Shiva …“ Shankar.”
Shri Adi Shankaracharya displayed uncommon precocity from childhood itself. Hearing once, he could learn anything. Whatever he read he remembered, whatever he heard he never used to forget. Listening from his father he started chanting the Ved Mantras when he was only two years old. He was three when his father passed away. At five his mother had his upanayan (sacred thread) ceremony conducted and sent him to Gurukul for initiation. Very quickly he learnt the four Vedas and six shastras from the guru when normally it would take 30-32 years for a student to complete his entire study, Shri Shankar completed his studies when he was only six.
Very quickly he learnt the four Vedas and six shastras from the guru when normally it would take 30-32 years for a student to complete his entire study, Shri Shankar completed his studies when he was only six.
In his gurukul days, he went for alms to a poor Brahmani house. She was so poor that she could give only a dry amala as alms, which she was going to eat, as she was hungry for the last few days. Deeply touched at heart, Shri Shankar prayed to the goddess Mahalakshmi And Devi Mahalakshmi caused a shower of gold amalakas on the poor brahmini’s house. Her house was filled with gold. The eighteen verses of Shankar’s prayer to Mata Lakshmi go by the name “Kanakadhara stotram” At the age of seven Shri Shankara left the house of the Guru and returned home.
Once his mother fainted on the way, while she was going to take bath in the river Purna that was at some distance from his house. After this incidence, Shri Adi Shankaracharya prayed to the river. Pleased with his prayer river Purna changed its course and was flowing through the neighbourhood of his home like another Ganga. His fame reached the ears of the king of Kerala. The King offered him great honour and wealth but Shri Shankar completely refused it, as he had no charm for it.
His fame reached the ears of the king of Kerala. The King offered him great honour and wealth but Shri Shankar completely refused it, as he had no charm for it.
His mission was to establish the Vedic religion once again which was at its lowest ebb due to the supremacy of Buddhism. It was a time of a complete cultural crisis. Shri Adi Shankaracharya’s great compassionate heart was filled with an intense urge to bring about a new state of things in the country. For the accomplishment of this task supreme self- sacrifice and dedication were necessary. So Shri Shankar decided to renounce personal worldly considerations and dedicate himself fully to the upliftment of the country and its dharma.
He asked for Sanyas but his mother would not permit it, as he was the only child she had. But one day the mother and the son went to a nearby river for a bath, suddenly a crocodile caught hold of his leg and was dragging Shri Adi Shankaracharya into the deep waters. Shankar pleaded his mother to grant him permission to become a sanyasi before he passed away. Having no option his mother permitted him and the miracle happened, the crocodile left his leg and disappeared. This way with divine help Shankar got the permission from his mother, which she would have never given otherwise. After getting permission from his mother Shri Adi Shankaracharya left Kaladi in search of his guru. He was only eight years old at that time.
His mission was to establish the Vedic religion once again which was at its lowest ebb due to the supremacy of Buddhism.
Walking on foot, overcoming all the hindrances he came to Onkareshwar on the bank of river Narmada in Central India. There he found his Guru the Great Saint Shri Govindpad. Shri Govindpaad formally initiated him into the holy order of Vedic sanyas. Shri Shankar lived with his guru for about three years and learnt the spiritual truths and the disciplines under Govind Bhagvatpad. Shri Govinpad directed him to write a philosophical commentary on the Vedanta Sutras known also as the Bramh Sutras, then interpreted in a diverse theological way. Taking leave of his preceptor, Adi Shankaracharya left the Narmada bank and in course of time reached Kashi. There he convinced everybody with his philosophy.
During the stay at Kashi one morning Adi Shankaracharya found a chandal standing on his way to the Kashi Vishwanath temple. Shankar asked him to clear the path. But the outcast did not move and asked, “from which, do you want and, what, to go where? Do you want this body, which has been similarly built out of food? Or do you want one living consciousness to go away from another? What do you say, oh! Learned Brahmin? Which do you want to differentiate; this body of matter or the living Chaitanya?
Walking on foot, overcoming all the hindrances he came to Onkareshwar on the bank of river Narmada in Central India. There he found his Guru the Great Saint Shri Govindpad.
Shri Adi Shankaracharya realised that the very purpose of all his teachings, that the self-alone is the sole Reality, has been summarised by the chandal. Shankar immediately understood the Vedantik purport of the chandals question and also conjectured that the Lord himself had come in the form of a chandal to test if Shankar has realised the truth that he had been teaching. He then uttered in reply, those immortal slokas, which go by name of “Manishapanchak”. From Kashi, he went to Badrikasharam where he spread his philosophy and wrote so many books. Then he travelled to North Kashi.
When he was sixteen years old he met sage Vyasa, who approved the Writings of Shri Shakar and extended his life for 16 more years (as Shri Adi Shankaracharya’s life was only for sixteen years) so that Shri Shankar could spread the philosophy all over the world. (Shankar’s parents had been asked if they want a son who will live a long life and not be illustrious or a son who will have a short life but will be famous in the whole world, and they had opted for the later)And then Shri Vyas suggested him to meet kumaril Bhatt. Shri Adi Shankaracharya came to Prayag and met the great and learned Mimansa philosopher Shri Kumaril Bhatt, who nearing his life’s end directed Shankar to Mandan Mishra the greatest scholar of that time.
When he was sixteen years old he met sage vyasa, who approved the Writings of Shri Shakar and extended his life for 16 more years (as Shri Shankar’s life was only for sixteen years) so that Shri Shankar could spread the philosophy all over world.
Reaching Mahishmati (City of Mandan Mishra) Shri Shankar challenged Mandan for debate. The debate went on for several days and finally, Mandan accepted the superiority of Adi Shankaracharya’s view and became one of his chief sannyasin disciples under the name of Sureshwaracharya. Then he went for DIGVIJAY (complete win) of his philosophy. And he had so great a following that thousands of people joined him in his Dig Vijay Yatra. The famous king Sudhanwan also joined him with his army to give protection. They kept travelling from “Kerala“ to Kashmir and Afghanistan to Nepal, Convincing people with his philosophy. The philosophy which talked about “Adwait”. Which spread the philosophy of “ Aham Bramhasmi, Tat twam asi, Sarvam khalvidan Bramh, Pajananam bramh and ayamatma bramh” And this understanding of Adwait created peace, love and harmony in society. To establish this Vedic philosophy which is basically a philosophy of humanity… he kept travelling, talked to people and convinced them in debate and if somebody was not ready to listen, willing to fight then he fought as well. At last succeeded in establishing this philosophy bringing peace, harmony and non- violence to the society…he went to Badrikasharam.
At last successfully in establishing this philosophy bringing peace, harmony and non- violence to the society…he went to Badrikasharam.
There he established four MATHAs (Centers) of knowledge north, south, east and west part of India and put his disciples to take care of these Matha’s and see that this basic Vedic philosophy is being practised by the people and society is not corrupted by ill minds again. Then he walked to the Himalayas and disappeared. He was just 32 years old at that time. Thus Shankar was a great towering personality who within the course of a short life, brought about a thorough revolution in the social, religious, spiritual and philosophical life and thought of India. He laid the foundation of modern Hinduism on a composite, comprehensive, and all-inclusive universal basis. He had such a brilliant mind, scientific viewpoint, and rational approach that he appeals to the people of today. He appears just as modern in many respects, as if he were living today, for he was concerned with eternal universal thoughts. Some of the special problems he dealt with in those days are here even today, and the solution that he suggested are applicable even now. That is why he appeals to all modern people as well.
Shri Adi Shankaracharya was also a brilliant writer. His Sanskrit is mellifluous, and at the same time very forceful, impressive, and direct. His commentaries on the Upanishads, “The Bramh Sutras” and “The Gita”, and other works like “The Vivekacudamani”, and the “Updesa-sahasri” elucidate the different aspects and tenets of the adwait philosophy and its practical implications, in simple, non- technical charming language, both in prose and verse, and shows ways and means to the realisation of the highest truth. His numerous beautiful and profound hymns exhort us to devote ourselves to the lord and to strive for fulfilment in life by realizing the highest truth. Shankar was a great illuminated sage, philosopher, scholar and poet. He was also a man of action, a great reformer and organizer, and a stabilizer of society by the resuscitation of ethical and spiritual values. His life and philosophy is still a source of inspiration for a vast majority of people.
Shankar was a great illuminated sage, philosopher, scholar and poet. He was also a man of action, a great reformer and organizer, and a stabilizer of society by the resuscitation of ethical and spiritual values. His life and philosophy is still a source of inspiration for a vast majority of people.