Sri Adi Shankaracharya
The permanent charm of the name of Sri Shankara Bhagavatpada, the founderof the Sringeri Mutt, lies undoubtedly in the Advaita philosophy he propounded.It is based on the Upanishads and augmented by his incomparablecommentaries. He wrote for every one and for all time. The principles, which heformulated, systematized, preached and wrote about, know no limitations of time and place.
It cannot be denied that such relics of personal history as still survive of thegreat Acharya have their own value. It kindles our imagination to visualise him inflesh and blood. It establishes a certain personal rapport instead of a vagueconception as an unknown figure of the past.
To those who are fortunate to study his valuable works, devotion and gratitudeswell up spontaneously in their hearts. His flowing language, his lucid style, hisstern logic, his balanced expression, his fearless exposition, his unshakable faithin the Vedas, and other manifold qualities of his works convey an idea of hisgreatness that no story can adequately convey. To those who are denied theimmeasurable happiness of tasting the sweetness of his works, the stories of hisearthly life do convey a glimpse of his many-sided personality.Of the chief incidents in his life, there is not much variation among the severalaccounts entitled 'Shankara Vijayas'. Sri Shankara was born of Shivaguru andAryamba at Kaladi in Kerala. He lost his father in the third year. He receivedGayatri initiation in his fifth year. He made rapid strides in the acquisition of knowledge. In his eighth year he obtained with great difficulty the consent of his