Shri AdiShankara Charya - Hinduism's Greatest Thinker

Shri Adi Shankaracharya - Hinduism's Greatest Thinker. He founded the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta and Dashanami Sampradaya.
Shri Adi Shankaracharya - Hinduism's Greatest Thinker

The treasure I have found cannot be described in words, the mind cannot conceive of it.”                                                                                                                          - Adi Shankaracharya


The great man knows no bounds and yet remains in his bounds. Such a tangled and inspirational figure was Adi Shankaracharya who was born in 788 CE in the southern city of Kerala going by the name Kaladi then and Kochi now. He was born to father Sivaguru and mother Aryamba.
In his life span of 32 years, he achieved great feats with his spontaneity when he left his home to seek the guru Govindapada who eventually made him reach the unknown and earn the title of being an eminent personality in the field of unbounded spirituality and unhindered intellect. He stayed with the guru for 4 years and in his further conquests founded the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta and Dashanami Sampradaya.
His journey to become a sagacious man was not a coherent path, it came along with many hurdles and thorns that poked him all along the way, but with his sword of patience and robe of calmness, he took a deep dive into the pool of liberation and earned a name as being one of the most famous personality who is remembered by many even in today's kalyug.


His works included ‘Brahma Sutra’ also known by the name ‘Brahmasutrabhasya’ which underlines the basic philosophy of Vedanta Hinduism. He wrote accounts on Bhagwad Gita and numerous principles of Upanishads which include the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, the Chandogya Upanishad, the Aitareya Upanishad, the Taittiriya Upanishad, the Kena Upanishad, the Isha Upanishad, the Katha Upanishad, the Mundaka Upanishad, the Prashna Upanishad, and the Mandukya Upanishad. He sang with the gods and for the goddesses through numerous poems he composed. ‘Upadesasahasri’ is the most important of his philosophical works.


Today we shall see his struggles and its relevance in this 21st century. Our world which has prominently been marked with greediness and laced with betrayal, the teachings and the life of the divine guru can help us purify it with his lifelong teachings. Let us start and untangle the teachings for our polluted brains.

Be Spontaneous

HIS STORY: He left his house for a journey with no destination but a hopeful heart. In today’s world when we embark on a journey we first do the SWOT analysis about what is that we can get out of it and eventually mess up the whole experience by clouding it with our negativity. He undertook the journey of 2000 km to seek the unknown and when all the positive energies laced with determination became fruitful he found what he sought.
OUR LESSON: Adi Shankaracharya tells us to be spontaneous and go on a journey with no destination. It will teach us lessons that our job or books won't ever teach.

Start Living Life Rather Than Planning It

HIS STORY: He took the shelter of his guru and learned for four years. He then took on to become a writer and propounded the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta. In following years he became a traveller to seek the masses and make his teachings reach them. Once he felt he was done with that, he became a theologian and then a teacher.
OUR LESSON: Adi Shankaracharya teaches us to take every role with passion and treat all the things at par. In today’s world when we have made a formula and allotted the varying degrees of importance to each work, he advocates the policy in which every work is equal. A millionaire cannot build his house without a plumber, a carpenter, and a painter. The work of all of these and the work the millionaire does stand at the same level, as we need each other’s skill to enhance our life. Treat every job and work with respect. Just put your whole heart into it.

Don’t Take Criticism To Your Heart

HIS STORY: Even a revered figure like Adi Shankaracharya was not spared from the wrath of people. His teachings were criticized and looked down upon. But he never left his heart and answered all of them with a speech full of determination and confidence.
OUR LESSON: This teaches us to never take the criticism on our hearts and follow the life’s principles with full resolute. If people judge you, they waste their own mind space. The judgment won’t ever have any effect on you if you pay no heed and keep on doing the good work.

It is Okay to be afraid and Let Go

HIS STORY: When Adi Shankracharaya was a kid, he once got out to take bath with his mother at the nearby pond. When he dived into the pool, he was scared out of his wits. He cried and tried to save his life and called for her mother. His mother came and pulled him out. He tried again to go in but failed to put on the robe of bravery. But once he accepted his fear, he was able to experience something descend on him that made him trust himself. He said, “So what if I am scared of water, there are going to be many things that I will excel at.”
OUR LESSON: Adi Shankaracharya teaches us to let go and never be very harsh on ourself. Forgive yourself for the things not done and rejoice for the things that you won, no matter how small or large you think they were.


  • “When our false perception is corrected, misery ends also.”
  • “You never identify yourself with the shadow cast by your body, or with its reflection, or with the body you see in a dream or in your imagination. Therefore you should not Identify yourself with this living body, either."
  • “When the Great Reality is not known the study of the scriptures is fruitless; when the Great Reality is known the study of the scriptures is also fruitless.”
  • “Where renunciation and longing for liberation are weak, tranquillity and the other virtues are a mere appearance, like the mirage in the desert.”
  • “Having read all the shastras and well grounded in them, they grow conceited that they are all knowing, accomplished and worthy of respect; filled with love and hate they presume themselves respectable; they are only packages esteemed for carrying heavy loads over long distances in difficult and tortuous ways.”


He lived a life with full determination without thinking about the fruits that would follow. In a span of 32 years he achieved great feats and on the D-day left for the holy abode in the year 820 CE by entering a cave in the revered city of Kedarnath and took the plunge into the lap of the gods on his wings of calmness.

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