April 30, 2017:
“Like the appearance of silver in mother of pearl, the world seems real until the Self, the underlying reality, is realized.”
― Adi Shankaracarya
‘RELIGION is realisation, it is not mere learning’– This message which stands deeply in the minds of every Hindu is not just a mental conception. This is not a stretch of the imagination Nor is it a decision arrived at by vehement vituperation and incongruent argumentation promulgated by an ordinary intellectual prodigy. This is the assertion of Shankara, India’s greatest philosopher-saint, the incarnation of Lord Shiva, reverently known as Srimath Adi Shankaracharya. This year, in 2017, to commemorate him, devotees celebrate his birth anniversary as Adi Shankaracharya Jayanti on Aril 30.
The Indian Guru and philosopher Adi Shankara was born in Kalady which is situated in Kerala during 788 C.E. and he was disappeared at the young age of 32 in year 820 C.E.
According to the Hindu Calendar, Adi Shankaracharya Jayanti is observed on Panchami Tithi during Shukla Paksha of Vaishakha month and currently, falls between April and May.
Shankaracharya consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanata (अद्वैत वेदान्त) and revived it at a time when Hindu culture was on the decline.
Adi Shankaracharya, who brought out Santana Dharma, from the clutches of rituals, is also considered as an incarnation of Lord Shiva by many people. It was Shankaracharya who had revived the teachings of Upanishads. He is also the creator of many Hindu holy texts like Vedantas. It is said that he lived his life as a saint and gave a new direction to the Hindu religion.
Scholars differ regarding the period in which Adi Shankara lived but his birthday is celebrated annually on the same day – on the 5th day of the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) of Vaisakha.
Here are a few interesting facts about the day:-
- Arsha Vidya Satsanga (AVS), a group dedicated to re-establish the cultural self-identity of Hindus, celebrated the Shankara Jayanthi to commemorate the birthday of jagad guru Sri Adi Shankaracharya – a great reviver of Vedic Sanatana Dharma, at Keshav Smruti, Houston on Apr 21, 2012.
- Puja and Havan are organised in many Shankaracharya Mathas on the sacred day of Adi Shankaracharya Jayanti. He is worshipped all around the country.
- Many satsangs are also organized on this day. To commemorate him, Sanatan Dharma is also discussed in these places on this day.
- It is believed that worshipping Adi Shankaracharya on this day relieves a person from all his problems.
- Two popular rituals such as Dharma yatras and Shobha yatras are also organized on this day.
- People recite his compositions and Prasad (sacred food) is cooked and distributed. This day is also celebrated by giving donations to the poor people.
- Vedic scholars from all over India take part in the Veda Sammelan conducted on the occasion.
- Examinations are conducted for advanced students of the Vedas.
- Devotees fast for a day and worship Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesh, Lord Surya, and Devi.
- They also recite the Bhagavad Gita and other Hindu mantras. Feeding Brahmans on this day is believed to be a charitable act.
Adi Shankara was a repository of vast and deep knowledge and was the embodiment of ‘para vidya’ which is defined as ‘yaha tad aksharam adhigamyathe’. He was mainly responsible for the resurrection of Hinduism from its shambles and re-established the authenticity of the Hindu holy texts Vedas to its pristine glory which was earlier rendered to redundancy due to the continuous onslaught from other religions mainly Buddhism.
– by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram Twitter @NikitaTayal6