Adi Sankara’s

teachings
Dr.T.V.Rao MD

Birth of Adi Sankara

Adi Sankaracharya was born in the year 805 (AD) and is regarded as one of the greatest philosophers, mystic and poet of all times. His parents were Shivaguru and Shivataarakaa (also known as Aryamba). Sankaracharya's father died at an early age and he was brought up by his mother.

Birth place of great saint

Kalady is the birth place of Adi Sankaracharya the great Indian Philosopher 2 shrines in memory of Sankaracharya - one for Dakshinamoorthy and the other for the Goddes Sharada. Kalady, 45 Kms from Cochin The Sri Ramakrishna Adwaitha Ashram is located here. Kaladi is connected to Kochi by road. Distance: 45 KM via Aluva in Kerala

Adi Sankara

Adi Sankara (788 CE - 820 CE), also known as Śaṅkara Bhagavatpādācārya and Ādi Śaṅkarācārya, was an Indian philosopher who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta, the most influential sub-school of Vedanta. His teachings are based on the unity of the soul and Brahman, in which Brahman is viewed as without attributes.

Adi Sankara's and his Philosophy
His works in Sanskrit, all of which are extant today, concern themselves with establishing the doctrine of Advaita ( No dualism). He also established the importance of monastic life as sanctioned in the Upanishads and Brahma Sutra, in a time when the Mimamsa school established strict ritualism and ridiculed monasticism.

Contribution to Hindu Philosophy

In this short span of life he travelled the four corners of the Indian subcontinent and established the four most revered places of worship which are thriving even today.

Hinduism Survives

Sankaracharya occupies a very important position in the history of Indian philosophy. It can be affirmed, without any fear of contradiction, that Bharata Varsha would have ceased to be Bharata Varsha several centuries ago and would never have survived the murderous sword, the devastating fire and the religious intolerance of the successive invaders, if Sankara had not lived the life he lived and taught the lessons he taught. And those lessons are still pulsating in every cell and in every protoplasm of the true aspirant and the true Hindu.

Who is the Supreme Spirit

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 Siva. Guru is directly the supreme spirit — I offer my salutations to this Guru.)

What the wise think

The fool thinks, ‘I am the body’; The Intelligent Man thinks, ‘I am an individual soul united with the body.’ But the Wise Man, in the greatness of his knowledge and spiritual discrimination, Sees the Self as the only reality and thinks, ‘I am Brahman.’"
Sat guru Adi Sankara

Only Brahman is Real

Brahman (the Absolute) is alone real; this world is unreal; and the Jiva or the individual soul is non-different from Brahman.

What is Atman

The Atman is selfevident (Svatahsiddha). It is not established by extraneous proofs. It is not possible to deny the Atman, because It is the very essence of the one who denies It.

Adi Shankara on Lord Siva

Forgive me Oh, Shiva My three great sins! I came on a pilgrimage to Kashi forgetting that, you are omnipresent. In thinking about you I forgot that, You are beyond thought. In praying to You I forgot that, You are beyond words."

Adi Sankaracharya Teachings

The philosophy and teachings of Adi Sankaracharya were based on the Advaita Vedanta. He preached 'Non-Dualism'. It means that each and every person has a divine existence, which can be identified with the Supreme God.

I Meditate on ..,

Pasunam Pathim Papa Nasam Paresam, Gajendrasya Kruthimvasanam Varenyam, Jada Jutamadhye Sphurad Ganagavarim, Mahadevamekam Smarami Smararim 1

I meditate only on that great God, Who is the lord of all beings, Who is the destroyer of sins, Who is the lord of heaven, Who wears the hide of the king of elephants, And who keeps river ‘Ganga’ in the middle of his hair.

I pray and Praise the God

Na Bhoomir Na Chapo Na Vahnir Na Vayur, Ma Cha Akasamasthe Na Thanthra Na Nidhra, Na Greeshmo Na Seetham Na Deso Na Vesho, Na Yasyahimurthitrimurthim Thameede.

Pray and praise that God, Who is the trimurthy*, And who is not affected by
Earth, water, fire, wind, Ether, thanthra, nidhra, Heat, cold, place of stay and attire.

I Salute the Ultimate

Namasthe Namasthe, Vibho Viswamurthe, Namasthe, Namasthe Thapo Yoga Gamya, Namasthe, Namasthe Chidananda Murthe, Namasthe, Namasthe Sruthi Gnana Gamya.

Salutations and salutations, To the store house of knowledge and god of all worlds, Salutations and salutations, To him who should be known by meditation and Yoga, Salutations and salutations, To him who is the ever lasting bliss, Salutations and salutations, To him who should be attained through Vedas.

What is Avidya

The world is not an illusion according to Sankara. The world is relatively real (Vyavaharika Satta), while Brahman is absolutely real (Paramarthika Satta). The unchanging Brahman appears as the changing world because of a superimposition of non-Self (objects) on Self (subject - Brahman). This is called Avidya.

Who is I

The True Self is Brahman (Divine Creator). Brahman is the ‘I’ of ‘Who Am I?’ The Advaita doctrine propagated by Shankara views that the bodies are manifold but the separate bodies have the one Divine in them.

Knowledge purifies

Because samsara (or duality) exists due to ignorance or Avidya, Knowledge (Jnana) alone can make an individual realize his true nature. Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga etc., are necessary only to purify the individual and to help remove this Avidya. All other paths culminate in Jnana.

What is Brahma Jnana

Brahma Jnana is not about acquiring any external knowledge (as Brahman can't be an object of knowledge), it just about removing the Avidya or Maya.

Bhajagovindam enlightens the realities on Life and Death

In 31 simple, sweet and lucid Slokas, giving easy and homely analogies and illustrations for easy understanding, Sri Sankaracharya dissects the human psyche by explaining the fallacy and futility of the human life, if one does not take shelter under Dharma or Truth or God.

Bhajagovindam recited by Enlightened Souls

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.

The Brihadaranyaka says:
Asato Ma Sat Gamaya Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya Mrityor Ma Amritam Gamaya Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.

From the unreal lead me to the real! From darkness lead me to light!

From death lead me to immortality!"

In short span of life guides masses of Humanity

In a short life-span of thirty-two years, Sankaracharya travelled all over India, establishing monasteries, reforming worship procedures in temples, writing philosophical treatises, debating with leaders of other religious traditions and instructing students who flocked to him for spiritual guidance.

Vadakkumnatha Temple, Thrissur

It is believed that Adi

Shankara spent his last days here. Vadakkkunnathan literally means Lord of the North and is one of the largest Shiva temples in Kerala. The Vadakkkumnathan temple is over 2000 years old.

Jeevatma Unites with Paramatma

Advaita Vedanta considers the consciousness of the Self- Jeevatma - as continuous with and indistinguishable from the consciousness of the Supreme or BrahmanParamatma.

Attains Maha Samadhi

Sankaracharya attained Maha Samadhi at the age of 32 in the year 837 AD.

Adi Sankara Traditions are Immortal

Adi Shankara founded four Maṭhas 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.

Adi Sankara’s teachings guide Humanity

Adi Sankara’s Teachings lead Humanity from Ignorance to Enlightenment
Dr.T.V.Rao MD Email doctortvrao@gmail.com

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