ADI SHANKARACHARYA BIOGRAPHY IN PDF

Shankara travelled across the Indian subcontinent to propagate his philosophy through discourses and debates with other thinkers. He is reputed to have founded four mathas "monasteries" , which helped in the historical development, revival and spread of Advaita Vedanta of which he is known as the greatest revivalist. There are at least fourteen different known biographies of Adi Shankara's life. Of these, the Brhat-Sankara-Vijaya by Citsukha is the oldest hagiography but only available in excerpts, while Sankaradigvijaya by Vidyaranya and Sankaravijaya by Anandagiri are the most cited. Scholars note that one of the most cited Shankara hagiographies, Anandagiri's, includes stories and legends about historically different people, but all bearing the same name of Sri Shankaracarya or also referred to as Shankara but likely meaning more ancient scholars with names such as Vidya-sankara, Sankara-misra and Sankara-nanda. Adi Shankara died in the thirty third year of his life, [21] and reliable information on his actual life is scanty.

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Lord Shiva, also known as Dhakshinamurthy, who spreads the Universal Truth not by words but by his silence and by his sign of his hand which is held in the form of "Chin Mudra". About years ago, when the spiritualisation of the people greatly reduced, all the Gods and the Rishis went to Kailash and pleaded with Lord Shiva to revive the world. Lord Shiva agreed with their request and informed that he will be born in this world. Lord Brahma, Indra and others also agreed to be born in this world to help Lord Shiva.

One day when Sankara was taking bath, a crocodile caught hold of his leg. Sankara called out to his mother. Aryambal came running and to her horror she found her son in the grip of the crocodile and she cried that se did not know how to help her son. Sri Sankara informed his mother that his life was nearing to an end, but if he became a Sanyasi, he could start a new life as a sannyasi.

Thus Sri Sankara obtained permission from his mother to become a sannyasi. Sri Sankara realised that it was not an ordinary person and understood that it was Lord Shiva himself who had come along with His consort and the four Vedas.

He prostrated before the Lord and sang five slokas called "Manisha Panchakam". Lord Shiva presented himself along with Visalakshi and blessed Sri Sankara. However, Mandana Mishra admired the intelligence of Sri Sankara and started discussions with him after completing the rituals. Sri Sankara said that there should be a judge to decide the winner and suggested that Sarasawani, the wife of Mandana Mishra, to be the judge. Sarasawani, who was extremely intelligent and learned, realised that Sri Sankara was none other than Lord Shiva, did not want to declare her husband as the loser.

She suggested that both of them should wear a garland of flowers and whichever garland fades first, that person would be the loser.

Naturally, Sri Sankara won. Sri Sankara accepted this and started discussion with this lady. Saraswani showered questions like rain and Sri Sankara gave very beautiful answers and Sarasawani acknowledged him, and followed Sri Sankara and her husband's footsteps.

In Kaladi, Kerala, a learned brahmin, by the name of Sivaguru, and his wife, Aryambal, spent their life in pooja and in giving alms to poor and in other good deeds. This childless couple went to Trichur and performed puja for 48 days to Lord Vadakkunathan Lord Shiva and prayed for a son. Lord Shiva melted in their devotion and appeared before them and told them "I am extremely happy with your devotion and you will get what you want.

But tell me whether you want a number of dull children or a son who is extremely intelligent, who will live for a short period only. Lord Dakshinamurthy, pleased with the reply, was born to Aryambal under the star "Thiruvaithhirai". As the Lord had already promised that he will be born to do good to this world, the child was named Sankara. Sam means prosperity and Karathi means te giver.

All the visitors stood in awe at the divinity of the child and said "This is not an ordinary child". As Shankara grew up, he attraced everybody with his intelligence and kindness. At the age of three, he was given "Aksharabyas", i. At the age of four, he lost his father. At the age of five, he was initiated in Brahmacharyam i. As per the practice the brahmachari has to go from house to house and take alms and submit this to his guru.

On a Dwadasi day Sankara happened to go to the house of a very poor lady jand asked for the alms. The lady did not have a single grain of rice in her house to give. However she had kept a single Amla fruit for herself as it was a Dwadasi day. She unhesitatingly gave this Amla fruit to Sankara as she could not send a Brahmachari empty handed. Sankara was moved by her selflessness and the poverty of the lady and prayed to Goddess Lakshmi in a beautiful sloka which is called "Kanaka Dhara Stotram".

On completion of this stotram, Goddess Lakshmi appeared in person and showered a rain of golden coins on the poor lady's house. One day, the rishis came to him and reminded him of his duty to the land in spreading spiritualism.

Sankara agreed it was time to become a Sanyasi and go all over the country to kindle religious ferver. Sri Sankara went in the search of a Guru to be formally initiated as a Sannyasi. At the banks of the river Narmada, he found the river gushing forth into floods. By using his powers, he encapsulated the river in his Kamandal a vessel sannyasi's carry and released it in the banks of the river. Sri Govinda Bagawathpathar, an ascetic who saw this, marvelled at Sri Sankara dn took him on as a Shishya.

Sri Govinda Bagawathpadar taught various vedas to Sri Sankara. He also taught about Advaita, the principle that every one in this world is the manifestation of God and that God and Atman are one and the same.

He advises Sri Sankara to go out in the world and spread this truth throughout the country. Sri Sankara went to Kasi and by that time, he had a lot of disciples. One of them, Sanandhyaya, was drying the clothes of his Guru and suddenly Sri Sankara called him to the other bank of the river as he needed the clothes urgently.

Sanandhyaya, little realising that he would drown, starts walking into the river. However, the Grace of his Guru resulted in a lotus materialising wherever he was keeping his foot. When asked as to how did he cross the river, he says that when his Guru calls, he is not to worry about anything. Sri Sankara named him as Padma Padar lotus feet. Once, in Kasi, when Sri Sankara was going to the Vishwanath Temple, his path was blocked by an "untouchable" who was accompanied by his wife and 4 dogs.

The disciples of Sri Sankara shouted at him to make way, and to keep a distance. The untouchable smiled and said, ""According to your principle of Advaita, which you practice, all the Jivatma are same as God. How do you ask me to go? How am I different from your Paramacharya?

What you say is unreasonable. How can I go away from myself? When Shri Sankara was 16, a very old Brahmin of ill health started arguments with him about Brahmasutra bashyam which Shri Sankara had written. Shri Sankara was astounded by his intelligence and arguments but they continued their discussion. The arguments continued for days together and the more Shri Sankara argued, his ideas crystallised more and more and he understood that the old man was none other than Vyasa Rishi, who was the creator of Brahmasutra.

Sri Sankara said that he has done a great disrespect to the sage by entering into an argument. Vyasa Rishi said "I fully agree with your bashyam and I wanted to establish that yours is correct. I bless that you should live another 16 years and you should spread this Advaita throughout the country.

Sri Sankara learnt that there was a great learned person by the name Mandana Mishra who lived in Mahishmati and who followed the Karma Mimaamsa method of devotion. Sri Sankara arrived at his house and found his house was closed and Mandana Mishra was carrying out some rituals inside his house.

Sri Sankara entered the house by using his powers and entered the house. Mandana Mishra became very angry and shouted at Sri Sankara.

But Sri Sankara smiled and explained the uselessness of such rituals. As per the original condition, Mandana Mishra became an ascetic and started to leave the house. Unable to bear the separation, Sarasawani stood transfixed and told Sri Sankara that according to our faith, the husband and wife, even though have two bodies, are spiritually one and she would be incomplete without her husband.

In their travels, they reached the junction of the Tunga and Bhadra rivers in Karnataka,. While Sri Sankara and Mandana Mishra were walking, Sarasawani did not move and stood fixed in the sands of Tungabadra. Sri Sankara turned back and realised by his divine powers that Sarasawani did not want to proceed any further and created a seat for her for spreading the Advaita.

When Sri Sankara was in Sringeri, he divined by his superior powers that his mother was in her deathbed, and as per his promise while taking Sanyas that he would be by her side while she breathes her last, he reached Kaladi and paid his last respects to the old lady. Aryambal was happy that her son had come back. Sri Sankara prayed to Lord Venkateswara who appeared in person and blessed Aryambal.

Sri Sankara did the last rites for his mother but the people of Kaladi said that a Sanyasi does not have the right to do the last rites, but he did not hear that and carried the body of Aryambal and put her in the pyre himself and lit it himself. After the death of his mother, he went all over the country and converted the people of other faith to Advaita.

He revived a number of temples and using his powers, he established a number of Yentras in these temples to spread the blessings of Parasakthi. During his travels, he arrived at Mukambi, a religious place in Karnataka. A poor brahmin came to Sri Sankara with his deaf and dumb son and prostrated before Sri Sankara. Sri Sankara asked the boy, "who are you? The dumb and deaf child, for the first time, opened his mouth and explained, "The body is not me, it is the Paramatma who is my body.

Hastaa means hand and Amalakan means amala. Hastaamalaka became one of the principle disciples of Sri Sankara. Sri Sankara, with his three principle disciples, namely, Padmapadar, Sureshwarar Mandana Mishra and Hastaamalaka, went from place to place, and preached Advaita. Sri Sankara gave intense training to his disciples. One of the other disciples, Giri, while listening to the discourses, would not ask any doubts, would not open his mouth, and would be silent all the time.

Some of the other disciples thought that this Giri was a dumb idiot and did not know anything. One day, all the disciples were ready to listen to Sri Sankara's discourses.

Sri Sankara waited for Giri to arrive. Ultimately, Giri turned up but instead of keeping silent on that day, burst forth into eight slokas which had never been heard by the disciples earlier. These were the creation of Giri. On hearing this, all the disciples felt ashamed and praised Giri. These slokas are called "Thotaka ashtakam". Giri was named as Thotakar by Sri Sankara.

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Sri Sri Jagadguru Shankaracharya Mahasamsthanam, Dakshinamanaya Sri Sharada Peetham, Sringeri

Apart from being the champion of Advaita philosophy, one of his invaluable contributions towards Hinduism was the reordering and restructuring of the ancient Sannyasa order. Bhagavan 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 which indicate that he lived in a 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 Liberation, he left home in search of his Guru. From the southern state of Kerala, the young Shankara walked about kilometers— to the banks of the river Narmada, in the central plains of India, to his Guru— Govindapada.

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The Life of Adi Shankaracharya

To those who are fortunate to study his valuable works, devotion and gratitude swell up spontaneously in their hearts. His flowing language, his lucid style, his stern logic, his balanced expression, his fearless exposition, his unshakable faith in the Vedas, and other manifold qualities of his works convey an idea of his greatness that no story can adequately convey. To those who are denied the immeasurable happiness of tasting the sweetness of his works, the stories of his earthly life do convey a glimpse of his many-sided personality. The Madhaviya is the the most authentic and widely known among the different Sankaravijayas today. It is certainly the most popular such text in the Advaita tradition, and is also known as the Samkshepa Sankarajaya. The popularity of this work derives from the fame of its author, Madhava, who is actually Jagadguru Sri Vidyaranya, the 12th Acharya of the Sriingeri Sharada Peetham.

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Adi Shankara

Lord Shiva, also known as Dhakshinamurthy, who spreads the Universal Truth not by words but by his silence and by his sign of his hand which is held in the form of "Chin Mudra". About years ago, when the spiritualisation of the people greatly reduced, all the Gods and the Rishis went to Kailash and pleaded with Lord Shiva to revive the world. Lord Shiva agreed with their request and informed that he will be born in this world. Lord Brahma, Indra and others also agreed to be born in this world to help Lord Shiva.

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