Adi Shankara, well-known by the respectable salutation of Jagadguru Shankaracharya that he earned because of feats that he achieved for the revival of Sanatan Dharma in a very short life span, was born in Kerala. However, Shankaracharya’s fame and the massive respect that he has among the followers of Sanatan Dharma make him the spiritual leader of entire India. He travelled the length and breadth of India to awaken the conscience of people and, once again, make them realise the glories of our scriptures and motivate, tutor, educate and enlighten the masses to take the path to Dharma.
Today, as we celebrate his Avtaran Divas or Janma Jayanti, we should know as literature enthusiasts that Adi Shankaracharya was not only one of the greatest Indian philosophers but also a very critical observer and author who wrote many critical editions of ancient Hindu scriptures and offered new perspectives to the readers interested in reading those. His critical commentary on Upnishads, Bhagavad Gita and Brahma Sutras are very famous among the readers of ancient Hindu text. Adi Shankaracharya is also known for establishing four Mathas in all four districts of the nation – modern Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Karnataka and Odisha.
The great saint lived only for 32 years and achieved many great feats in his short lifetime. Other than doing pad-yatra across the nation and establishing the four Mathas, Adi Shankaracharya also produced some great poetical works of great significance. Mahishasur-Mardini Strotam is one such work that we all might have heard at some point in life. Yes, that has been composed, a beautiful devotional and rhythmic composition in Sanskrit, by Adi Shankaracharya!
Jagad Guru Shankaracharya’s main contribution will be remembered by practitioners of Advaita Philosophy. He realised the depth of human existence and its true meaning and offered the same to others. He tried to make his disciples well-versed in Advaita Vedanta and that’s still continuing in our country – thanks to Adi Shankaracharya. Yes, there are many dualities and shortcomings that Adi Shankaracharya pointed out in the continuing Buddhist way of life at that time. He had his differences with the erosion of the Buddhist values that were degrading with time. You can read about these differences in his biographies and other books on his philosophy and vision.
You can start reading about Adi Shankaracharya and his importance in our lives by getting a good biography of him. The one by Pavan K Varma should be an ideal starter for you. You can get the book from Amazon India in various formats – Kindle, Paperback or Hardcover:
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