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Adi Shankara 1

Adi Shankara
Adi Shankara

Adi Shankaracharya statue

Date of Birth 788 CE

Place of birth Kalady, Kerala, India

Birth Shankara

Date of death [1]

820 CE

Place of death Kedarnath, Uttarakhand, India

Guru/Teacher Govinda Bhagavatpada

Philosophy Advaita Vedanta

Titles/Honors Introduced Advaita Vedanta, Hindu Revivalism, Founded Dashanami Sampradaya, Shanmata

Adi Shankara (Malayalam: ആദി ശങ്കരൻ, Sanskrit: आदि शङ्करः,

IAST: Ādi Śaṅkara, pronounced [aːd̪i ɕaŋkərə]) (788 CE - 821
CE?[2] ), also known as Śaṅkara Bhagavatpādācārya and Ādi
Śaṅkarācārya, was an Indian philosopher who consolidated the
doctrine of Advaita Vedanta, a sub-school of Vedanta. His
teachings are based on the unity of the soul and Brahman, in which
Brahman is viewed as without attributes. He hailed from Kalady of
present day Kerala.
Shankara travelled across India and other parts of South Asia to
propagate his philosophy through discourses and debates with
other thinkers. He founded four mathas ("monasteries"), which
helped in the historical development, revival and spread of
Advaita Vedanta. Adi Shankara is believed to be the organizer of
the Dashanami monastic order and the founder of the Shanmata
tradition of worship.

His works in Sanskrit, all of which are extant today, concern

themselves with establishing the doctrine of Advaita Shankaracharya with disciples, Painting by Raja Ravi
(Nondualism). He also established the importance of monastic life Varma.

as sanctioned in the Upanishads and Brahma Sutra, in a time when

the Mimamsa school established strict ritualism and ridiculed monasticism. Shankara represented his works as
elaborating on
Adi Shankara 2

ideas found in the Upanishads, and he wrote copious commentaries on

the Vedic Canon (Brahma Sutra, Principal Upanishads and
Bhagavadgita) in support of his thesis. The main opponent in his work
is the Mimamsa school of thought, though he also offers some
arguments against the views of some other schools like Samkhya and
certain schools of Buddhism that he was partly familiar with.

Traditional accounts of Adi Shankara's life can be found in the
Shankara Vijayams, which are poetic works that contain a mix of
biographical and legendary material, written in the epic style. The most
important among these biographies are the Mādhavīya Śaṅkara
Vijayaṃ (of Mādhava, c. 14th century), the Cidvilāsīya Śaṅkara
Vijayaṃ (of Cidvilāsa, c. between 15th century and 17th century), and
the Keraļīya Śaṅkara Vijayaṃ (of the Kerala region, extant from c. Adi Guru Shri Gauḍapādāchārya, the grand guru
17th century).[3] [4] of Shri Adi Shankaracharya and the first
historical proponent of Advaita Vedanta, also
believed to be the founder of Shri
Gaudapadacharya Math

Birth and childhood

Shankara was born to Kaippilly Sivaguru Namboodiri and Aryamba
Antharjanam in or near Kaladi in central Kerala. According to lore, it
was after his parents, who had been childless for many years, prayed at
the Vadakkunnathan temple, Thrissur that Sankara was born under the
star Thiruvathira.[5] [6]
His father died while Shankara was very young. Shankara's
upanayanaṃ, the initiation into student-life, was performed at the age
The birth place of Adi Shankara at Kalady
of five. As a child, Shankara showed remarkable scholarship,
mastering the four Vedas by the age of eight.[7]

From a young age, Shankara was inclined towards sannyasa, but it was only after much persuasion that his mother
finally gave her consent.[8] Shankara then left Kerala and travelled towards North India in search of a guru. On the
banks of the Narmada River, he met Govinda Bhagavatpada, the disciple of Gaudapada. When Govinda
Bhagavatpada asked Shankara's identity, he replied with an extempore verse that brought out the Advaita Vedanta
philosophy. Govinda Bhagavatapada was impressed and took Shankara as his disciple.[9]
The guru instructed Shankara to write a commentary on the Brahma Sutras and propagate the Advaita philosophy.
Shankara travelled to
Adi Shankara 3

Kashi, where a young man named Sanandana, hailing from Chola

territory in South India, became his first disciple. According to legend,
while on his way to the Vishwanath Temple, Sankara came upon an
untouchable accompanied by four dogs. When asked to move aside by
Shankara's disciples, the untouchable replied: "Do you wish that I
move my ever lasting Ātman ("the Self"), or this body made of flesh?"
Realizing that the untouchable was none other than god Shiva himself,
and his dogs the four Vedas, Shankara prostrated himself before him,
composing five shlokas known as Manisha Panchakam.[10] [11]

Adi Sankara Keerthi Sthampa Mandapam,

Kalady, Kerala

At Badari he wrote his famous Bhashyas ("commentaries") and Prakarana granthas ("philosophical treatises").[12]

Meeting with Mandana Mishra

One of the most famous debates of Adi Shankara was with the ritualist Mandana Mishra. Madana Mishra's guru was
the famous Mimamsa philosopher, Kumarīla Bhaṭṭa. Shankara sought a debate with Kumarīla Bhaṭṭa and met him in
Prayag where he had buried himself in a slow burning pyre to repent for sins committed against his guru: Kumarīla
Bhaṭṭa had learned Buddhist philosophy from his Buddhist guru under false pretenses, in order to be able to refute it.
Learning anything without the knowledge of one's guru while still under his authority constitutes a sin according to
the Vedas.[14] Kumarīla Bhaṭṭa thus asked Adi Shankara to proceed to Mahiṣmati (known today as Mahishi
Bangaon, Saharsa in Bihar)[15] to meet Maṇḍana Miśra and debate with him instead.
After debating for over fifteen days, with Maṇḍana Miśra's wife Ubhaya Bhāratī acting as referee, Maṇḍana Miśra
accepted defeat.[16] Ubhaya Bhāratī then challenged Adi Shankara to have a debate with her in order to 'complete'
the victory. She asks the questions in "kamasutra" in which sankaracharya has no knowledge since he is a true
celibate and sanyasi,So he uses the art of "parakaya pravesa" and his soul joins a dead body of a king.And he
acquires all the knowledge of "art of love" from the queen from questionnaire.Finally Ubhaya Bhāratī allowed
Maṇḍana Miśra to accept sannyasa with the monastic name Sureśvarācārya, as per the agreed rules of the debate.[17]
Adi Shankara 4

Missionary tour
Adi Shankara then travelled with his disciples to Maharashtra and
Srisailam. In Srisailam, he composed Shivanandalahari, a devotional
hymn in praise of Shiva. The Madhaviya Shankaravijayam says that
when Shankara was about to be sacrificed by a Kapalika, the god
Narasimha appeared to save Shankara in response to Padmapada's
prayer to him. As a result, Adi Shankara composed the
Laksmi-Narasimha stotra.[18]

He then travelled to Gokarṇa, the temple of Hari-Shankara and the

Mūkambika temple at Kollur. At Kollur, he accepted as his disciple a
boy believed to be dumb by his parents. He gave him the name,
Hastāmalakācārya ("one with the amalaka fruit on his palm", i.e., one
who has clearly realised the Self). Next, he visited Śṛngeri to establish Sharada temple at Sringeri Sharada Peetham,
the Śārada Pīṭham and made Toṭakācārya his disciple.[19]

After this, Adi Shankara began a Dig-vijaya (tour of conquest) for the propagation of the Advaita philosophy by
controverting all philosophies opposed to it. He travelled throughout India, from South India to Kashmir and Nepal,
preaching to the local populace and debating philosophy with Hindu, Buddhist and other scholars and monks along
the way.
With the Malayali King Sudhanva as companion, Shankara passed through Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and
Vidarbha. He then started towards Karnataka where he encountered a band of armed Kapalikas. King Sudhanva,
with his Nairs, resisted and defeated the Kapalikas. They safely reached Gokarna where Shankara defeated in debate
the Shaiva scholar, Neelakanta.
Proceeding to Saurashtra (the ancient Kambhoja)[20] and having visited the shrines of Girnar, Somnath and Prabhasa
and explaining the superiority of Vedanta in all these places, he arrived at Dwarka. Bhaṭṭa Bhāskara of Ujjayini, the
proponent of Bhedābeda philosophy, was humbled. All the scholars of Ujjayini (also known as Avanti) accepted Adi
Shankara's philosophy.
He then defeated the Jainas in philosophical debates at a place called Bahlika. Thereafter, the Acharya established
his victory over several philosophers and ascetics in Kamboja (region of North Kashmir), Darada (Dabistan) and
many regions situated in the desert and crossing mighty peaks, entered Kashmir. Later, he had an encounter with a
tantrik, Navagupta at Kamarupa.[21]
Adi Shankara 5

Accession to Sarvajnapitha
Adi Shankara visited Sarvajñapīṭha (Sharada Peeth) in Kashmir (now in
Pakistan-occupied Kashmir).[22] The Madhaviya Shankaravijayam states this
temple had four doors for scholars from the four cardinal directions. The
southern door (representing South India) had never been opened, indicating that
no scholar from South India had entered the Sarvajna Pitha. Adi Shankara
opened the southern door by defeating in debate all the scholars there in all the
various scholastic disciplines such as Mimamsa, Vedanta and other branches of
Hindu philosophy; he ascended the throne of Transcendent wisdom of that

Towards the end of his life, Adi Shankara travelled to the Himalayan area of
Kedarnath-Badrinath and attained videha mukti ("freedom from embodiment").
There is a samadhi mandir dedicated to Adi Shankara behind the Kedarnath Statue of Adi Shankara at his
temple. However, there are variant traditions on the location of his last days. One Samadhi Mandir, behind Kedarnath
tradition, expounded by Keraliya Shankaravijaya, places his place of death as Temple, in Kedarnath, India

Vadakkunnathan temple in Thrissur, Kerala.[24] The followers of the Kanchi

kamakoti pitha claim that he ascended the Sarvajñapīṭha and attained videha mukti in Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu).

At least two different dates have been proposed for Shankara:
• 788–820 CE: This is the mainstream scholarly opinion, placing Shankara in mid to late 8th century CE. These
dates are based on records at the Śṛṅgeri Śāradā Pīṭham, which is the only matha to have maintained a relatively
unbroken record of its Acharyas; starting with the third Acharya, one can with reasonable confidence date the
others from the 8th century to the present.[25] 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. Though some researchers
identify the name with Chandragupta II (4th. c. CE), modern scholarship accepts the VikramAditya as being from
the Chalukya dynasty of Badami, most likely Vikramaditya II (733–746 CE),[26] which would place him in the
middle of the 8th c.[25] The date 788–820 is also among those considered acceptable by Swami Tapasyananda,
though he raises a number of questions.[27] It is also acceptable to Keay.[28]
• 509–477 BCE: This dating, more than a millennium ahead of all others, is based on records of the heads of the
Shankara Maṭhas at Dwaraka matha and Puri matha and the fifth Peetham at Kanchi.[29] However, such an early
date is not consistent with the fact that Shankara quotes the Buddhist logician Dharmakirti, who finds mention in
Huen Tsang (7th c.).[25] Also, his near-contemporary Kumarila Bhatta is usually dated ca. 8th c. CE. Most
scholars feel that due to invasions and other discontinuities, the records of the Dwarka and Puri mathas are not as
reliable as those for Sringeri.[25] Thus, while considerable debate exists, the pre-Christian Era dates are usually
discounted, and the most likely period for Shankara is during the 8th c. CE.
Adi Shankara 6

Adi Shankara founded four Maṭhas (Sanskrit: मठ) to guide the Hindu
religion. These are at Sringeri in Karnataka in the south, Dwaraka in
Gujarat in the west, Puri in Orissa in the east, and Jyotirmath
(Joshimath) in Uttarakhand in the north. Hindu tradition states that he
put in charge of these mathas his four main disciples:
Sureshwaracharya, Hastamalakacharya, Padmapadacharya, and
Totakacharya respectively. The heads of the mathas trace their
authority back to these figures. Each of the heads of these four mathas
takes the title of Shankaracharya ("the learned Shankara") after the first
विद्याशंकर मंदिर (Vidyashankara temple) at Sringeri
Shankaracharya. The table below gives an overview of the four Sharada Peetham, Sringeri
Amnaya Mathas founded by Adi Shankara and their details.[30]

Śishya Maṭha Mahāvākya Veda Sampradaya

Hastāmalakācārya Govardhana Prajñānam brahma (Brahman is Knowledge) Rig Veda Bhogavala


Sureśvarācārya Śārada Pīṭhaṃ Aham brahmāsmi (I am Brahman) Yajur Veda Bhūrivala

Padmapādācārya Dvāraka Pīṭhaṃ Tattvamasi (That thou art) Sama Veda Kitavala

Toṭakācārya Jyotirmaṭha Pīṭhaṃ Ayamātmā brahma (This Atman is Brahman) Atharva Nandavala

Philosophy and religious thought

Advaita ("non-dualism") is often called a monistic system of thought.
The word "Advaita" essentially refers to the identity of the Self
(Atman) and the Whole (Brahman[31] ). Advaita Vedanta says the one
unchanging entity (Brahman) alone exists, and that changing entities
do not have absolute existence, much as the ocean's waves have no
existence in separation from the ocean. The key source texts for all
schools of Vedānta are the Prasthanatrayi–the canonical texts
consisting of the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma
The Hamsa (Sanskrit: "swan") is an important
Adi Shankara was the first in the tradition to consolidate the siddhānta motif in Advaita Vedanta. Its symbolic meanings
("doctrine") of Advaita Vedanta. He wrote commentaries on the are as follows: firstly, upon verbally repeating
hamsa, it becomes soham (Sanskrit, "I am That").
Prasthana Trayi. A famous quote from Vivekacūḍāmaṇi, one of his
Secondly, even as a hamsa lives in water its
prakarana granthas that succinctly summarises his philosophy is: feathers are not sullied by it, a liberated Advaitin
lives in this world full of Maya but is untouched
Brahma satyaṃ jagat mithyā, jīvo brahmaiva nāparah
by its illusion. Thirdly, a monk of the Dashanami
Brahman is the only truth, the spatio-temporal world is an order is called a Paramahamsa ("supreme
illusion, and there is ultimately no difference between hamsa")

Brahman and individual self.

Advaita Vedanta is based on śāstra ("scriptures"), yukti ("reason") and anubhava ("experience"), and aided by
karmas ("spiritual practices").[32] This philosophy provides a clear-cut way of life to be followed. Starting from
childhood, when learning has to start, the philosophy has to be realised in practice throughout one's life, even up to
death. This is the reason why this philosophy is called an experiential philosophy-the underlying tenet being "That
Adi Shankara 7

thou art", meaning that ultimately there is no difference between the experiencer and the experienced (the world) as
well as the universal spirit (Brahman). Among the followers of Advaita, as well those of other doctrines, there are
believed to have appeared Jivanmuktas, ones liberated while alive. These individuals (commonly called Mahatmas,
great souls, among Hindus) are those who realised the oneness of their self and the universal spirit called Brahman.
Adi Shankara's Bhashyas (commentaries) on the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras are his
principal works. Although he mostly adhered to traditional means of commenting on the Brahma Sutra, there are a
number of original ideas and arguments to establish that the essence of Upanishads is Advaita. He taught that it was
only through direct knowledge that one could realize Brahman. "A perception of the fact that the object seen is a
rope will remove the fear and sorrow which result from the illusory idea that it is a serpent". Cited from Shankara's
"Vivekachuudaamani"/ verse #12/translated by Mohini M Chatterji. This metaphor was borrowed from Yogacara
Buddhist thinkers, who used it in a different context.[33]
Adi Shankara's opponents accused him of teaching Buddhism in the garb of Hinduism, because his non-dualistic
ideals seemed rather radical to contemporary Hindu philosophy. However, although Advaita proposes the theory of
Maya, explaining the universe as a "trick of a magician", Adi Shankara and his followers see this as a consequence
of their basic premise that Brahman alone is real. Their idea of Maya emerges from their belief in the reality of
Brahman, as opposed to Buddhist doctrines of emptiness, which emerge from the empirical Buddhist approach of
observing the nature of reality.

Historical and cultural impact

Part of a series on
Hindu philosophy

Samkhya · Yoga · Nyaya · Vaisheshika · Purva Mimamsa · Vedanta (Advaita · Vishishtadvaita · Dvaita · Achintya Bheda Abheda)

Gautama · Jaimini · Kanada · Kapila · Markandeya · Patañjali · Valmiki · Vyasa
Adi Shankara · Basava · Dnyaneshwar · Chaitanya · Gangesha Upadhyaya · Gaudapada · Jayanta Bhatta · Kabir · Kumarila Bhatta ·
Madhusudana · Madhva · Namdeva · Nimbarka · Prabhakara · Raghunatha Siromani · Ramanuja · Vedanta Desika · Tukaram · Tulsidas ·
Vachaspati Mishra · Vallabha
Aurobindo · Coomaraswamy · Dayananda Saraswati · Gandhi · Krishnananda · Narayana Guru · Prabhupada · Ramakrishna · Ramana
Maharshi · Radhakrishnan · Sivananda · Vivekananda · Yogananda

Shankara developed a monastic order on the Buddhist model, and also borrowed concepts from Buddhist
Pande (1994: p. 255) identifies the entwined relationship of Buddhism and the view of Shankara:
The relationship of Śaṅkara to Buddhism has been the subject of considerable debate since ancient
times. He has been hailed as the arch critic of Buddhism and the principal architect of its downfall in
India. At the same time he has been described as a Buddhist in disguise. Both these opinions have been
expressed by ancient as well as modern authors--scholars, philosophers, historians and sectaries.[35]
Adi Shankara 8

While Shankara is given credit for the defeat of Buddhism in Hindu literature, he was in fact active after Buddhism
had almost entirely faded from prominence. In particular, he was not a contemporary of the last great Indian
Buddhist philosopher, Dharmakirti. When Shankara came north to the intellectual centers there, he borrowed many
of the ideas that had been formulated by Buddhist philosophers of the past.[36]
In his exposition that the world is an illusion, Shankara borrowed arguments from Madhyamaka and Yogacara,
though he disagreed with them on some matters.[37] Despite this, Shankara described the Buddha as an enemy of the
At the time of Adi Shankara's life, Hinduism was increasing in influence in India at the expense of Buddhism and
Jainism. Hinduism was divided into innumerable sects, each quarreling with the others. The followers of Mimamsa
and Sankhya philosophy were atheists, insomuch that they did not believe in God as a unified being. Besides these
atheists, there were numerous theistic sects. There were also those who rejected the Vedas, like the Charvakas.
Adi Shankara held discourses and debates with the leading scholars of all these sects and schools of philosophy to
controvert their doctrines. He unified the theistic sects into a common framework of Shanmata system. In his works,
Adi Shankara stressed the importance of the Vedas, and his efforts helped Hinduism regain strength and popularity.
Many trace the present worldwide domination of Vedanta to his works. He travelled on foot to various parts of India
to restore the study of the Vedas.
Even though he lived for only thirty-two years, his impact on India and on Hinduism was striking. He reintroduced a
purer form of Vedic thought. His teachings and tradition form the basis of Smartism and have influenced Sant Mat
lineages.[38] He is the main figure in the tradition of Advaita Vedanta. He was the founder of the Daśanāmi
Sampradāya of Hindu monasticism and Ṣaṇmata of Smarta tradition. He introduced the Pañcāyatana form of
Adi Shankara, along with Madhva and Ramanuja, was instrumental in the revival of Hinduism. These three teachers
formed the doctrines that are followed by their respective sects even today. They have been the most important
figures in the recent history of Hindu philosophy. In their writings and debates, they provided polemics against the
non-Vedantic schools of Sankhya, Vaisheshika etc. Thus they paved the way for Vedanta to be the dominant and
most widely followed tradition among the schools of Hindu philosophy. The Vedanta school stresses most on the
Upanishads (which are themselves called Vedanta, End or culmination of the Vedas), unlike the other schools that
gave importance to the ritualistic Brahmanas, or to texts authored by their founders. The Vedanta schools hold that
the Vedas, which include the Upanishads, are unauthored, forming a continuous tradition of wisdom transmitted
orally. Thus the concept of apaurusheyatva ("being unauthored") came to be the guiding force behind the Vedanta
schools. However, along with stressing the importance of Vedic tradition, Adi Shankara gave equal importance to
the personal experience of the student. Logic, grammar, Mimamsa and allied subjects form main areas of study in all
the Vedanta schools.
Regarding meditation, Shankara refuted the system of Yoga and its disciplines as a direct means to attain moksha,
rebutting the argument that it can be obtained through concentration of the mind. His position is that the mental
states discovered through the practices of Yoga can be indirect aids to the gain of knowledge, but cannot themselves
give rise to it. According to his philosophy, knowledge of brahman springs from inquiry into the words of the
Upanishads, and the knowledge of brahman that shruti provides cannot be obtained in any other way.[39] Moreover,
Shankara was committed to the caste system.[40] He also believed that the most important access to highest truth was
Vedic texts, and that access to these liberating texts should be socially restricted to upper-caste males.[40]
It has to be noted that it is generally considered that for Shankara the Absolute Reality is attributeless and
impersonal, while for Madhava and Ramanuja, the Absolute Truth is Vishnu. This has been a subject of debate,
interpretation, and controversy since Shankara himself is attributed to composing the popular 8th century Hindu
devotional composition Bhaja Govindam (literal meaning, "Worship Govinda"). This work of Adi Shankara is
considered as a good summary of Advaita Vedanta and underscores the view that devotion to God, Govinda, is not
only an important part of general spirituality, but the concluding verse drives through the message of Shankara:
Adi Shankara 9

"Worship Govinda, worship Govinda, worship Govinda, Oh fool! Other than chanting the Lord's names, there is no
other way to cross the life's ocean". Bhaja Govindam invokes the almighty in the aspect of Vishnu; it is therefore
very popular not only with Sri Adi Shankaracharya's immediate followers, the Smarthas, but also with Vaishnavas
and others.
A well known verse, recited in the Smarta tradition, in praise of Adi Shankara is:
श्रुति स्मृति पुराणानामालयं करुणालयं|
नमामि भगवत्पादशंकरं लॊकशंकरं ||
Śruti smṛti purāṇānāṃālayaṃ karuṇālayaṃ|
Namāmi Bhagavatpādaśaṅkaraṃ lokaśaṅkaraṃ||
I salute the compassionate abode of the Vedas, Smritis and Puranas known as Shankara Bhagavatpada,
who makes the world auspicious.
Adi Shankara begins his Gurustotram or Verses to the Guru with the following Sanskrit Sloka, that has become a
widely sung Bhajan:
Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru Deva Maheshwara. Guru Sakshath Parambrahma, Tasmai Shri Gurave
Namaha. (tr: Guru is the creator Brahma, Guru is the preserver Vishnu, Guru is the destroyer Shiva. Guru is
directly the supreme spirit — I offer my salutations to this Guru.)

Adi Shankara's works deal with logically establishing the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta as he saw it in the
Upanishads. He formulates the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta by validating his arguments on the basis of quotations
from the Vedas and other Hindu scriptures. He gives a high priority to svānubhava ("personal experience") of the
student. His works are largely polemical in nature. He directs his polemics mostly against the Sankhya, Buddha,
Jaina, Vaisheshika and other non-vedantic Hindu philosophies.
Traditionally, his works are classified under Bhāṣya ("commentary"), Prakaraṇa grantha ("philosophical treatise")
and Stotra ("devotional hymn"). The commentaries serve to provide a consistent interpretation of the scriptural texts
from the perspective of Advaita Vedanta. The philosophical treatises provide various methodologies to the student to
understand the doctrine. The devotional hymns are rich in poetry and piety, serving to highlight the relationship
between the devotee and the deity.
Adi Shankara wrote Bhashyas on the ten major Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita. In his works,
he quotes from Shveshvatara, Kaushitakai, Mahanarayana and Jabala Upanishads, among others. Bhashyas on
Kaushitaki, Nrisimhatapani and Shveshvatara Upanishads are extant but the authenticity is doubtful.[41] Adi
Shankara's is the earliest extant commentary on the Brahma Sutras. However, he mentions older commentaries like
those of Dravida, Bhartrprapancha and others.[42]
In his Brahma Sutra Bhashya, Adi Shankara cites the examples of Dharmavyadha, Vidura and others, who were born
with the knowledge of Brahman acquired in previous births. He mentions that the effects cannot be prevented from
working on account of their present birth. He states that the knowledge that arises out of the study of the Vedas could
be had through the Puranas and the Itihasas. In the Taittiriya Upanishad Bhashya 2.2, he says:[43]
Sarveśāṃ cādhikāro vidyāyāṃ ca śreyah: kevalayā vidyāyā veti siddhaṃ
It has been established that everyone has the right to the knowledge (of Brahman) and that the supreme
goal is attained by that knowledge alone.
Among the independent philosophical treatises, only Upadeśasāhasrī is accepted as authentic by modern academic
scholars. Many other such texts exist, among which there is a difference of opinion among scholars on the authorship
of Viveka Chudamani. The former pontiff of Sringeri Math, Shri Shri Chandrashekhara Bharati III has written a
voluminous commentary on the Viveka Chudamani.
Adi Shankara 10

Adi Shankara also wrote commentaries on other scriptural works, such as the Vishnu sahasranāma and the
Sānatsujātiya.[44] Like the Bhagavad Gita, both of these are contained in the Mahabhārata.

In 1983 a film directed by G. V. Iyer named Adi Shankaracharya was premiered, the first film ever made entirely in
Sanskrit language in which all of Adi Shankaracharya's works were compiled.[45] [46]

See also
• List of Advaita Vedanta-related topics
• Shri Gaudapadacharya Mutt
• Adi Shri Gauḍapādāchārya
• Shri Govinda Bhagavatpadacharya
• Mandukya Upanishad
• Advaita

• Isayeva, Natalia (1993). Shankara and Indian Philosophy. Albany: State University of New York Press (SUNY).
• Keay, John (2000). India: A History. New York: Grove Press. ISBN 0-8021-3797-0.
• Mudgal, S.G. (1975). Advaita of Shankara: A Reappraisal. New Delhi: Motilal Banarasidass.
• Swami, Tapasyananda (2002). Sankara-Dig-Vijaya: The Traditional Life of Sri Sankaracharya by
Madhava-Vidyaranya. India: Sri Ramakrishna Math. ISBN 81-7120-434-1.
• Greaves, Ron (March 2002). From Totapuri to Maharaji: Reflections on a Lineage (Parampara). 27th Spalding
Symposium on Indian Religions, Oxford.

Further reading
• Ingalls, Daniel H. H. (1954). "Saṃkara's Arguments Against the Buddhists" [47]. Philosophy East and West
(Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press) 3 (4): 291–306. doi:10.2307/1397287.

External links

• Complete Works of Adi Shankara [48]
• Advaita Vedanta Anusandhana Kendra [49]
• Complete works of Adi Shankara [50]
• Advaita Vedanta Library [51] (Archived [52] 2009-10-24)
• Some major works of Adi Shankaracharya [53]
• Adi Sankara's Books [54]
• Shastra Nethralaya, Rishikesh [55]
Adi Shankara 11

• "Guru Parampara of Sringeri Sharada Peetham" [56]. Archived from the original [57] on 2006-06-19.
• Sankara's date supporting the 788–820 CE date [58]
• Material supporting the 509–477 BCE dates [59] (PDF)

Life and teachings

• Brief life history of Adi Shankara with informative additional links [60]
• Adi Śańkara [61]—short introduction to his life & philosophy (by Peter J. King)
• Biography of Shankara [62] by Swami Sivananda

• Shringeri Sharada Peetham [63]

[1] Sharma, Chandradhar (1962). "Chronological Summary of History of Indian Philosophy". Indian Philosophy: A Critical Survey. New York:
Barnes & Noble. p. vi.
[2] http:/ / dictionary. reference. com/ browse/ Shankara+ Charya?o=100084& qsrc=2871& l=dir
[3] Vidyasankar, S.. "The Sankaravijaya literature" (http:/ / www. advaita-vedanta. org/ avhp/ sankara-vijayam. html). . Retrieved 2006-08-23.
[4] Tapasyananda, Swami (2002). Sankara-Dig-Vijaya. viii.
[5] Tapasyananda, Swami (2002). Sankara-Dig-Vijaya. pp. 14.
[6] Tapasyananda, Swami (2002). Sankara-Dig-Vijaya. pp. 17.
[7] Tapasyananda, Swami (2002). Sankara-Dig-Vijaya. pp. 28–29.
[8] Tapasyananda, Swami (2002). Sankara-Dig-Vijaya. pp. 40–50.
[9] Tapasyananda, Swami (2002). Sankara-Dig-Vijaya. pp. 51–56.
[10] Adi Shankara. "Manisha Panchakam" (http:/ / www. celextel. org/ adisankara/ manishapanchakam. html). . Retrieved 2006-08-04.
[11] Tapasyananda, Swami (2002). Sankara-Dig-Vijaya. pp. 57–62.
[12] Tapasyananda, Swami (2002). Sankara-Dig-Vijaya. pp. 62–63.
[13] Tapasyananda, Swami (2002). Sankara-Dig-Vijaya. pp. 70–73.
[14] Tapasyananda, Swami (2002). Sankara-Dig-Vijaya. pp. 77–80.
[15] "Pilgrimages- Maheshwar" (http:/ / www. 1upindia. com/ pilgrimages/ maheshwar. html). . Retrieved 2006-06-26.
[16] Tapasyananda, Swami (2002). Sankara-Dig-Vijaya. pp. 81–104.
[17] Tapasyananda, Swami (2002). Sankara-Dig-Vijaya. pp. 117–129.
[18] Tapasyananda, Swami (2002). Sankara-Dig-Vijaya. pp. 130–135.
[19] Tapasyananda, Swami (2002). Sankara-Dig-Vijaya. pp. 136–150.
[20] See Link: (http:/ / www. geocities. com/ advaitavedant/ shankarabio. htm). Archived (http:/ / www. webcitation. org/ 5kmBtzjii)
[21] Tapasyananda, Swami (2002). Sankara-Dig-Vijaya. pp. 160–185.
[22] "Photos of Sharada Temple (Sarvajna Pitha), Sharda, PoK" (http:/ / closing. photos. yahoo. com/ uk/ photos_closed. php). . Retrieved
[23] Tapasyananda, Swami (2002). Sankara-Dig-Vijaya. pp. 186–195.
[24] Tapasyananda, Swami (2002). Sankara-Dig-Vijaya. xxv-xxxv.
[25] Vidyasankar, S.. "Determining Shankara's Date — An overview of ancient sources and modern literature" (http:/ / www. advaita-vedanta.
org/ avhp/ dating-Sankara. html). . Retrieved 2006-06-26.
[26] K. A. Nilakantha Sastry, A History of South India, 4th ed., Oxford University Press, Madras, 1976.
[27] Tapasyananda, Swami (2002). Shankara-Dig-Vijaya. pp. xv-xxiv.
[28] The dating of 788–820 is accepted in Keay, p. 194.
[29] "(53) Chronological chart of the history of Bharatvarsh since its origination" (http:/ / encyclopediaofauthentichinduism. org/ articles/ 53. 3.
htm). encyclopedia of authentic hinduism. . This site claims to integrate characters from the epics into a continuous chronology. They present
the list of Dwarka and Kanchi Acharya's, along with their putative dates.

However, the succession of Acharya's at these two mathas were often disrupted by geopolitical realities, and these
records are not considered as reliable as the Sringeri chronology. Also, such an early date would be in conflict with
much else in Indian chronology. According to these revisionist models, these are the actual dates, and it is other
collateral dates, such as the date of Buddha (which serves as an anchor for modern academic history of India), that
Adi Shankara 12

need to be moved back.

[30] "Adi Shankara's four Amnaya Peethams" (http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20060626233820/ http:/ / www. sringerisharadapeetham. org/
html/ History/ amnaya. html). Archived from the original (http:/ / www. sringerisharadapeetham. org/ html/ History/ amnaya. html) on
2006-06-26. . Retrieved 2006-08-20.
[31] Brahman is not to be confused with Brahma, the Creator and one-third of the Trimurti along with Shiva, the Destroyer and Vishnu, the
[32] See "Study the Vedas daily. Perform diligently the duties ("karmas") ordained by them" from Sadhana Panchakam (http:/ / www.
sankaracharya. org/ sadhana_panchakam. php) of Adi Shankara
[33] Karel Werner, in Karel Werner, ed., The Yogi and the Mystic. Routledge, 1995, page 67.
[34] Peter Harvey, An Introduction to Buddhism. Cambridge University Press, 1990, page 140.
[35] Govind Chandra Pande (1994). Life and thought of Śaṅkarācārya. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. ISBN 8120811046, 9788120811041. Source:
(http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=xKJCLHc1mAQC& printsec=frontcover& source=gbs_v2_summary_r& cad=0#v=onepage&
q=sramana& f=false) (accessed: Friday March 19, 2010), p.255
[36] Randall Collins, The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change. Harvard University Press, 2000, pages 239-240.
[37] Randall Collins, The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change. Harvard University Press, 2000, page 248.
[38] Ron Geaves (March 2002). From Totapuri to Maharaji: Reflections on a Lineage (Parampara). 27th Spalding Symposium on Indian
Religions, Oxford.
[39] Anantanand Rambachan, The limits of scripture: Vivekananda's reinterpretation of the Vedas. University of Hawaii Press, 1994, pages 124,
125: (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=b9EJBQG3zqUC& pg=PA124& dq=brahma+ as+ opposed+ to+ brahman& lr=#PPA124,M1).
[40] Routledge encyclopedia of philosophy: Irigaray to Lushi chunqiu, Volume 5. Taylor & Francis 1998, page 460.
[41] Vidyasankar, S. "Sankaracarya" (http:/ / www. advaita-vedanta. org/ avhp/ sankara. html). . Retrieved 2006-07-24.
[42] Mishra, Godavarisha. "A Journey through Vedantic History -Advaita in the Pre-Sankara, Sankara and Post- Sankara Periods" (http:/ / www.
ochs. org. uk/ downloads/ classes/ gmishra02mmas04. pdf) (pdf). . Retrieved 2006-07-24.
[43] Subbarayan, K. "Sankara, the Jagadguru" (http:/ / www. svbf. org/ sringeri/ journal/ vol1no3/ sankara. html). . Retrieved 2006-07-24.
[44] Johannes Buitenen (1978). The Mahābhārata (vol. 3) (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=wFtXBGNn0aUC& pg=PA182&
dq=sanatsujatiya& cd=19#v=onepage& q=sanatsujatiya& f=false). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226846652
[45] Adi Shankaracharya (http:/ / www. imdb. com/ title/ tt0085138/ ) at the Internet Movie Database
[46] Complete Movie on Youtube (http:/ / www. youtube. com/ watch?v=3ePzneq-Wnk& feature=PlayList& p=41A0CAF8DFA3924F&
playnext=1& playnext_from=PL& index=42), YouTube
[47] http:/ / ccbs. ntu. edu. tw/ FULLTEXT/ JR-PHIL/ ew27155. htm
[48] http:/ / www. sankara. iitk. ac. in/
[49] http:/ / www. advaita-vedanta. org/
[50] http:/ / www. shankaracharya. org/
[51] http:/ / www. geocities. com/ advaitavedant/ index. htm
[52] http:/ / www. webcitation. org/ 5kmBtb1bg
[53] http:/ / sanskritdocuments. org/ doc_z_misc_shankara/ doc_z_misc_shankara. html
[54] http:/ / www. celextel. org/ adisankara/
[55] http:/ / www. Shastranethralaya. org/
[56] http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20060619031752/ http:/ / www. sringerisharadapeetham. org/ html/ History/ guruparampara. html
[57] http:/ / www. sringerisharadapeetham. org/ html/ History/ guruparampara. html
[58] http:/ / www. advaita-vedanta. org/ avhp/ dating-Sankara. html
[59] http:/ / www. easterntradition. org/ original%20sankaracarya. pdf
[60] http:/ / www. advaita-vedanta. org/ avhp/ sankara-life. html
[61] http:/ / users. ox. ac. uk/ ~worc0337/ authors/ shankara. html
[62] http:/ / www. dlshq. org/ saints/ sankara. htm
[63] http:/ / www. sringerisharadapeetham. org/
Article Sources and Contributors 13

Article Sources and Contributors

Adi Shankara  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=372175329  Contributors: 478jjjz, Abecedare, Ahoerstemeier, Akarkera, Aksi great, Alan Au, Alexfiles, Algont, Alpheus,
Alren, Amalas, Amartyabag, Ameinias, Amithchandhran, Amitsoni81, Anand v21, Anandg408, Andries, Animesh78, Apnavana, Appaiah, AppleJuggler, Arjun024, Arl123wiki, ArunShanbhag,
Aruton, Arvind Iyengar, Arvindn, Ashok Prabhu, Athmaiyer, Auntof6, Auric, B9 hummingbird hovering, Babub, BalajiRamasubramanian, Bang write, Baqu11, Bark4nai, Barticus88, Benne,
Bhadani, Bhairava11, Bharatadesam, Bharatveer, Bijee, Blucr0n, BostonMA, Brhaspati, Brianhe, Brighterorange, Bsskchaitanya, Buddhipriya, Butsuri, C21K, CFynn, CNRNair, Casmurthy,
Chancemill, Cibu, Colsinghdr, CommonsDelinker, Cribananda, Cyberoger, DaGizza, Dangerous-Boy, Daniel2000, DanielCD, Davidcannon, Daviddariusbijan, Dbachmann, Deeptrivia,
Discospinster, Dolive21, Donleavy1, Drmulgund, Dupz, Dwaipayanc, Dysprosia, Editor2020, Editorofthewiki, Ekabhishek, Epabhith, Epolk, Fauncet, Fconaway, FeloniousMonk, Filosofico,
Frankly speaking, Fratrep, Fredrik, Gaius Cornelius, Ganeshk, Gaura79, Gdo01, Gimmetrow, Gnanapiti, Goethean, Goposky, Gregbard, Gregory Shantz, Gurubrahma, HPN, Hadal, Haham
hanuka, Hanuman Das, Harishaluru, Harryboyles, Haruo, Health Researcher, Hemanshu, IW.HG, Imc, Imursnikhil, India Gate, IndianCow, Indologistjha, J04n, Jammedfly, Jimbo Quails, Jkelly,
JohnOwens, Jossi, Jpxt2000, Kannan91, Karimpuli, Karl-Henner, Kaysov, Kbdank71, Keraunos, Kevin B12, Keynes.john.maynard, Kh7, Kjrajesh, Kkrystian, Knowledge Seeker, Krishgaay,
Kwamikagami, Leolaursen, Lestrade, Lightmouse, LordSimonofShropshire, Lostintherush, LyleHoward, Madhava 1947, Magicalsaumy, Maitasti, Makks2010, Mankar Camoran, Mayasutra,
MeInsha, Mel Etitis, Mitsube, Mkarja, Mouchoir le Souris, Mporter, Msikma, Mukerjee, Nad, Nataraja, Natarajan Dhandapany, Naveen Sankar, Nharipra, Nichalp, Nicke Lilltroll,
Nirmalanarayanan, Nkarty, Omicronpersei8, OneGuy, Oo64eva, OpelC, Open2universe, Optimate, Pannir, Paxse, Piano non troppo, PoccilScript, Poda, Pramukh Arkalgud Ganeshamurthy,
Pranathi, Praveenp, Priyanath, Promykg, Raamah, Raj2004, Rama's Arrow, RandomP, Raul654, Ravikiran r, RedHillian, Redtigerxyz, Riana, Rjwilmsi, Robert1947, RobertG, Roland zh,
Roland2, Rursus, STGM, Sam Spade, Samir, SandyGeorgia, Sap.prabhu, Satyadev, Schutz, Sethie, Shahab, Sharnak, Shivohum, Shrivathsa, Shyamsunder, Siva1979, Skbhat, Solidentry,
SpacemanSpiff, Sri1968, Sridhar Babu, Sriram sh, Srkris, Ssri1983, Sulfis, Swami Vimokshananda, Sweetprashanth, Sydney Ambrose, Syiem, THF, Tarakananda, Template namespace
initialisation script, The7thmagus, TheMandarin, TheNeon, TheSNB, Thunderboltz, Tom Radulovich, Tommy2010, Tony Sidaway, Tpbradbury, Treisijs, Tripping Nambiar, Tseno Maximov,
Ttpaam, Tuxide, Twas Now, Venkkatesh, Vensub 2002, Venu62, Vidyasankar, Vijayanandga, Viswanathbhai, Vivin, Whoami, Wiki5d, Wikijos, Worldwidescout, Writtenright, Wsiegmund,
Xaven, Xcentaur, Yogacharya, Zachlipton, Zanimum, Zzuuzz, రవిచంద్ర, 475 anonymous edits

Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors

File:Adi Shankara Statue.jpg  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Adi_Shankara_Statue.jpg  License: unknown  Contributors: Babub, Gregbard
File:Raja Ravi Varma - Sankaracharya.jpg  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Raja_Ravi_Varma_-_Sankaracharya.jpg  License: Public Domain  Contributors: Raja Ravi
File:Shri Gaudapadacharya Statue.jpg  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Shri_Gaudapadacharya_Statue.jpg  License: GNU Free Documentation License  Contributors:
Ashok Prabhu. Original uploader was Ashok Prabhu at en.wikipedia
Image:Kaladi shankarabirthplace.jpg  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Kaladi_shankarabirthplace.jpg  License: Public Domain  Contributors: Original uploader was
Thunderboltz at en.wikipedia
Image:SankaraSthampaMandapam small.jpg  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:SankaraSthampaMandapam_small.jpg  License: Public Domain  Contributors: Kaladian
Image:Sringeri Sharadha temple.jpg  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Sringeri_Sharadha_temple.jpg  License: unknown  Contributors: Babub
File:Adi shankara.jpg  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Adi_shankara.jpg  License: Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 2.5  Contributors: Original uploader was
Priyanath at en.wikipedia
Image:Vidyasankara.JPG  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Vidyasankara.JPG  License: Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 2.5  Contributors: Calvinkrishy,
Roland zh, 1 anonymous edits
Image:SwansCygnus olor.jpg  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:SwansCygnus_olor.jpg  License: GNU Free Documentation License  Contributors: BenAveling, Ejdzej,
GunnerPoulsen, MPF, 1 anonymous edits
Image:om.svg  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Om.svg  License: Public Domain  Contributors: AnonMoos, BRUTE, Bdk, Davin7, Editor at Large, Exact, Gregory Orme,
Herbythyme, Marshie, Mystical Sadhu, Nilfanion, Nishkid64, Rugby471, The Evil IP address, Toyboy84, Wutsje, Xhienne, 47 anonymous edits

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