Adi Shankara

Painting of Adi Shankara, exponent of Advaita Vedanta with his disciples by [[Raja Ravi Varma]] Adi Shankara (8th c. CE), also called Adi Shankaracharya (, ),), Shankara Bhagavatpadacharya () or Shankaracharya, sometimes spelled Sankaracharya.}} was an Indian Vedic scholar and teacher (''acharya'') of Advaita Vedanta. Reliable information on Shankara's actual life is scanty, and his true impact lies in his "iconic representation of Hindu religion and culture," despite the fact that most Hindus do not adhere to Advaita Vedanta. He is seen as "the one who restored the Hindu ''dharma'' against the attacks of the Buddhists (and Jains) and in the process helped to drive Buddhism out of India." Tradition also portrays him as the one who reconciled the various sects (Vaishnavism, Shaivism, and Saktism) with the introduction of the form of worship, the simultaneous worship of five deities – Ganesha, Surya, Vishnu, Shiva and Devi, arguing that all deities were but different forms of the one Brahman, the invisible Supreme Being.

The historical influence of his works on Hindu intellectual thought has been questioned. Until the 10th century Shankara was overshadowed by his older contemporary Maṇḍana Miśra, and there is no mention of him in concurring Hindu, Buddhist or Jain sources until the 11th century. The popular image of Shankara started to take shape in the 14th century, centuries after his death, when Sringeri ''matha'' started to receive patronage from the kings of the Vijayanagara Empire and shifted their allegiance from ''Advaitic'' Agamic Shaivism to Brahmanical Advaita orthodoxy. Hagiographies dating from the 14th-17th centuries deified him as a ruler-renunciate, travelling on a digvijaya (conquest of the four quarters) across the Indian subcontinent to propagate his philosophy, defeating his opponents in theological debates. These hagiographies portray him as founding four mathas ("monasteries"), and Adi Shankara also came to be regarded as the organiser of the Dashanami monastic order, and the unifier of the Shanmata tradition of worship. The title of Shankaracharya, used by heads of certain monasteries in India, is derived from his name.

Due to his later fame, over 300 texts are attributed to him, including commentaries (''Bhāṣya''), introductory topical expositions (''Prakaraṇa grantha'') and poetry (''Stotra''). However, most of these are likely to be written by admirers or pretenders or scholars with an eponymous name. Works known to be written by Shankara himself are the ''Brahmasutrabhasya'', his commentaries on ten principal Upanishads, his commentary on the ''Bhagavad Gita'', and the ''Upadeśasāhasrī''. The authenticity of Shankara being the author of has been questioned and mostly rejected by scholarship.

His authentic works present a harmonizing reading of the ''shastras'', with liberating knowledge of the self at its core, synthesizing the Advaita Vedanta teachings of his time. The central concern of Shankara's writings is the liberating knowledge of the true identity of ''jivatman'' (individual self) as ''Ātman-Brahman'', taking the Upanishads as an independent means of knowledge, beyond the ritually-oriented Mīmāṃsā-exegesis of the Vedas. Shankara's Advaita shows influences from Mahayana Buddhism, despite Shankara's critiques; and Hindu Vaishnava opponents have even accused Shankara of being a "crypto-Buddhist," a qualification which is rejected by the Advaita Vedanta tradition, highlighting their respective views on ''Atman'', ''Anatta'' and ''Brahman''. Provided by Wikipedia
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1
by Śaṅkara, Śaṅkara
Published 1882
Book
2
by Śaṅkara, Śaṅkara
Published 1884
Book
3
by Śaṅkara
Published 1925
Microfilm Book
4
by Śaṅkara
Published 1870
Other Authors: ...Śaṅkara...
Book
5
by Śaṅkara
Published 1925
Book
6
by Śaṅkara
Published 1925
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