Author

Adi Shankara cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Adi Shankara

8th-century Hindu philosopher and theologian

787   -   819

language of expression: Sanskrit
occupation: philosopher
student of: Govinda Bhagavatpada

Adi Shankaracharya (Sanskrit: आदि शङ्कराचार्यः [aːdɪ ɕɐŋkɐɽɐ]) was an Indian philosopher and theologian who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta. He is credited with unifying and establishing the main currents of thought in Hinduism.His works in Sanskrit discuss the unity of the Ātman and Nirguna Brahman "brahman without attributes". He wrote copious commentaries on the Vedic canon (Brahma Sutras, Principal Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita) in support of his thesis. His works elaborate on ideas found in the Upanishads. Shankara's publications criticised the ritually-oriented Mīmāṃsā school of Hinduism. He also explained the key difference between Hinduism and Buddhism, stating that Hinduism asserts "Ātman (Soul, Self) exists", while Buddhism asserts that there is "no Soul, no Self".Shankara travelled across the Indian subcontinent to propagate his philosophy through discourses and debates with other thinkers. He established the importance of monastic life as sanctioned in the Upanishads and Brahma Sutra, in a time when the Mīmāṃsā school established strict ritualism and ridiculed monasticism. He is reputed to have founded four mathas ("monasteries"), which helped in the historical development, revival and spread of Advaita Vedanta of which he is known as the greatest revivalist. Adi Shankara is believed to be the organiser of the Dashanami monastic order and unified the Shanmata tradition of worship.
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works

1

Vivekachudamani

Sanskrit poem ascribed to Adi Shankara

author: Adi Shankara

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