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Shankaracharya Jayanti 2017: Here is why the Philosopher-Saint is believed to be an incarnation of Hindu Lord Shiva!

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.

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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

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  • paneendra

    Sadhus and yatris came to Shankarcharya hill Srinagar on Shankarajayanti, and offered prayers for One India Strong India and Peace in kashmir.

  • paneendra

    people pray for One India Strong India and Peace in Kashmir at Shankarcharya hill Srinagar on Shankarajayanti.

  • paneendra

    veda chanting by kanchi team at lal chowk, Srinagar J&K in presence of Swami Vishwatmanand Saraswati maharaj will soon bring peace at Kashmir as part of Shankarajayanti . It is first time that the place which is sometimes known for violence has witnessed veda chanting. BY devine blessings the few misguided Youngsters will leave the path of violence and will return to shanti marga soon.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYHDFlzUvlI

  • paneendra

    One India Strong India volunteers – Bharat mata ki Jai at shankaracharya hill Srinagar April 30 shankarajayanti

  • paneendra

    Yatris having langar at Shankaracharya hill at Srinagar on April 30 Shankarajayanti, More and More yatris are coming and praying for peaceful Kashmir and One India Strong India at Shankaracharya hill srinagar.

  • paneendra

    Swami Vishwatamanand Sarswati enter Shankaracharya hill at Srinagar on April 30 Shankarajayanti, He came offered the prayers and gave the message of a strong and Peaceful Bharat.
    https://youtu.be/FI_QJbro-Rk

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  • paneendra

    Sadhus and yatris came to Shankarcharya hill Srinagar on Shankarajayanti, and offered prayers for One India Strong India and Peace in kashmir.

  • paneendra

    people pray for One India Strong India and Peace in Kashmir at Shankarcharya hill Srinagar on Shankarajayanti.

  • paneendra

    veda chanting by kanchi team at lal chowk, Srinagar J&K in presence of Swami Vishwatmanand Saraswati maharaj will soon bring peace at Kashmir as part of Shankarajayanti . It is first time that the place which is sometimes known for violence has witnessed veda chanting. BY devine blessings the few misguided Youngsters will leave the path of violence and will return to shanti marga soon.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYHDFlzUvlI

  • paneendra

    One India Strong India volunteers – Bharat mata ki Jai at shankaracharya hill Srinagar April 30 shankarajayanti

  • paneendra

    Yatris having langar at Shankaracharya hill at Srinagar on April 30 Shankarajayanti, More and More yatris are coming and praying for peaceful Kashmir and One India Strong India at Shankaracharya hill srinagar.

  • paneendra

    Swami Vishwatamanand Sarswati enter Shankaracharya hill at Srinagar on April 30 Shankarajayanti, He came offered the prayers and gave the message of a strong and Peaceful Bharat.
    https://youtu.be/FI_QJbro-Rk

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Shankaracharya: A remarkable genius that Hinduism produced (Book Review)

The irony is that most leading scientists, particularly outside India but also within, have little knowledge of the structure of Shankara's philosophy and the transparent interface it has with scientific discoveries today.

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He was greatly influenced by three basic texts of Hindu philosophy: Upanishads, the Brahma Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita
He was greatly influenced by three basic texts of Hindu philosophy: Upanishads, the Brahma Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita.

Title: Adi Shankaracharya: Hinduism’s Greatest Thinker; Author: Pavan K. Varma; Publisher: Tranquebar Press; Pages: 364; Price: Rs 699

This must be one of the greatest tributes ever paid to Shankaracharya, the quintessential “paramarthachintakh”, who wished to search for the ultimate truths behind the mysteries of the universe. His genius lay in building a complete and original philosophical edifice upon the foundational wisdom of the Upanishads.

A gifted writer, Pavan Varma, diplomat-turned-politician and author of several books including one on Lord Krishna, takes us through Shankara’s short but eventful span of life during which, from having been born in what is present-day Kerala, he made unparalleled contributions to Hindu religion that encompassed the entire country. Hinduism has not seen a thinker of his calibre and one with such indefatigable energy, before or since.

Shankara’s real contribution was to cull out a rigorous system of philosophy that was based on the essential thrust of Upanishadic thought but without being constrained by its unstructured presentation and contradictory meanderings.

He was greatly influenced by three basic texts of Hindu philosophy: Upanishads, the Brahma Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita. He wrote extensive and definitive commentaries on each of them. Of course, the importance he gave to the Mother Goddess, in the form of Shakti or Devi, can be traced to his own attachment to his mother whom he left when he set off, at a young age, in search of a guru and higher learning.

The irony is that most leading scientists, particularly outside India but also within, have little knowledge of the structure of Shankara's philosophy and the transparent interface it has with scientific discoveries today.
Shankara wrote hymns in praise of many deities but his personal preference was the worship of the Mother Goddess.

Against all odds, Shankara created institutions for the preservation and propagation of Vedantic philosophy. He established “mathas” with the specific aim of creating institutions that would develop and project the Advaita doctrine. He spoke against both caste discriminations and social inequality, at a time when large sections of conservative Hindu opinion thought otherwise.

Shankara was both the absolutist Vedantin, uncompromising in his belief in the non-dual Brahman, and a great synthesiser, willing to assimilate within his theoretical canvas several key elements of other schools of philosophy. He revived and restored Hinduism both as a philosophy and a religion that appealed to its followers.

Also Read: Hinduism: The Nine Basic Beliefs that you need to know

Varma rightly says that it must have required great courage of conviction as well as deep spiritual and philosophical insight for Shankaracharya to build on the insights of the Upanishads a structure of thought, over a millennium ago, that saw the universe and our own lives within it with a clairvoyance that is being so amazingly endorsed by science today. The irony is that most leading scientists, particularly outside India but also within, have little knowledge of the structure of Shankara’s philosophy and the transparent interface it has with scientific discoveries today.

Shankara wrote hymns in praise of many deities but his personal preference was the worship of the Mother Goddess. The added value of the book is that it has, in English, a great deal of Shankara’s writings. Unfortunately, most Hindus today are often largely uninformed about the remarkable philosophical foundations of their religion. They are, the author points out, deliberately choosing the shell for the great treasure that lies within. This is indeed a rich book. (IANS)