Adi Shankaracharya

Year of birth : 788
Place of birth : Kaladi, present day Kerala India
Parents : Shivaguru, Shivataraka(Aryamba)
Teacher/Guru : Govinda Bhagavatpada
Website :


“ He who has killed the shark of the senses with

the sword of firm dispassion can cross the

sea of samsara without impediment. ”

“ Who are you ? Who am I ? From Where did I come ?

Who is my mother, who is my father ? -- enquire

thus and you will, then realise that the entire world

of experience, all the worries and problems are but

a dream, a mere hallucination, born of imagination and delusion.

With such a realization, you will be freed from the

delusions of the world. ”

“ Reality can be experienced only with the eye of

understanding, not just by a scholar.

What the moon is like must be seen with one's own eyes.

How can others do it for you? ”

Books by the Master

“ Śrī Dakshināmūrti Stotram: Stava Raja , Astakam, Samsmaranam and Upanishat (stepping Stone to Vedant) “ …

“ Saundarya Lahari of Śakarācārya “… “ Nirguna Manasa Puja: Worship of the Attributeless One in the Mind “ …

“ Vivekachudamani of sri shankaracharya “ …" Brahmasutra-bhashya Vol 1 2 3 " ... " Vol 4 Upanishad-bhashya,

vol. 1: Isa, Kena [2], Katha, Prasna " ... " vol 5 Upanishad-bhashya, vol. 2: Mundaka, Mandukya, Aitareya " ...

" Vol 6 Upanishad-bhashya, vol. 3: Taittiriya, Chhandogya 1-3 " ...

" Vol 7. Upanishad-bhashya, vol. 4: Chhandogya 4-8 " ... " Vol 8. Upanishad-bhashya, vol. 5: Brihadaranyaka 1-2 " ...

" Vol 9. Upanishad-bhashya, vol. 6: Brihadaranyaka 3-4 " ...

" Vol 10. Upanishad-bhashya, vol. 7: Brihadaranyaka 5-6, Nrisimhapurvatapani " ...

" Vol 11. Bhagavad-Gita-bhashya, vol. 1: chaps. 1-9 " ... 

" Vol 12. Bhagavad-Gita-bhashya, vol. 2: chaps. 10-18 " ...

" Vol 13. Vishnusahasranama and Sanatsujatiya Bhashyas " ...

" Vol 14 Upadeshasahasri " ... " Vol 15. Miscellaneous Prakaranas vol. 1: Aparokshanubhuti, etc. [7 works] " ...

" Vol 16. Miscellaneous Prakaranas vol. 2: Prabodhasudhakara, [25 works] " ...

" Vol 17. Stotras, vol. 1 [30 works] " ... " Vol 18. Stotras, vol. 2 [35 works, plus Lalita Trisatistotra Bhashya] " ...

" Vol 19. Prapanchasara, vol. 1 " ... " Vol 20. Prapanchasara, vol. 2 " ... " Panchikarana "


Adi Shankara also known as (Adi) Shankaracharya and Shankara Bhagavatpada, was a Hindu philosopher from Kaladi in present day Eranakulam district, Kerala, India who consolidated the doctrine of advaita vedānta. As a child, Shankara showed remarkable scholarship, mastering the four Vedas. At the age of 8, he was inclined towards sannyasa, he then left Kerala and travelled towards North India in search of a guru. On the banks of the Narmada River, he met his guru, Govinda Bhagavatpada the disciple of Gaudapada at Omkareshwar.

After this, Adi Shankara began a Dig-vijaya "tour of conquest" for the propagation of the Advaita philosophy by controverting all philosophies opposed to it. He travelled throughout India, from South India to Kashmir and Nepal, preaching to the local populace and debating philosophy with Hindu, Buddhist and other scholars and monks along the way. Adi Shankara held discourses and debates with the leading scholars of all these sects and schools of philosophy to controvert their doctrines. He unified the theistic sects into a common framework of Shanmata system. One of the most famous debates of Adi Shankara was with the ritualist Maṇḍana Miśra, who held the view that the life of a householder was far superior to that of a monk. This view was widely shared and respected throughout India at that time. Finally, he answered all questions put to him and Maṇḍana Miśra accepted sannyasa, as per the agreed-upon rules of the debate.

Adi Shankara wrote Bhashyas on the ten major Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita. Adi Shankara, in order to bring unity among various Hindu sects of those times, wrote five pancharathnam stotras for each of the following prime deities. The deities were Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti, Ganesh and Surya. Those five stotras are Ganesha pancharathnam and Lalitha pancharathnam. His works in Sanskrit establish the doctrine of advaita, the unity of the ātman and nirguna brahman, brahman without attributes. His works elaborate on ideas found in the Upanishads. Shankara travelled across the Indian subcontinent to propagate his philosophy through discourses and debates with other thinkers. 

Adi Sankara organised the Hindu monks of these ten sects or names under four Maṭhas(monasteries), with the headquarters at Dvārakā in the West, Jagannatha Puriin the East, Sringeri in the South and Badrikashrama in the North. Each math was headed by one of his four main disciples, who each continues the Vedanta Sampradaya.

Even though he lived for only thirty-two years his impact on India and on Hinduism was striking. He reintroduced a purer form of Vedicthought. His teachings and tradition form the basis of Smartism and have influenced Sant Mat lineages. He is the main figure in the tradition of Advaita Vedanta. He was the founder of the Daśanāmi Sampradāya of Hindu monasticism and Ṣaṇmata of Smarta tradition. He introduced the Pañcāyatana form of worship.

Towards the end of his life, Adi Shankara travelled to the Himalayan area of Kedarnath-Badrinath and attained videha mukti ("freedom from embodiment"). There is a samadhi mandir dedicated to Adi Shankara behind the Kedarnath temple. However, there are variant traditions on the location of his last days. One tradition, expounded by Keraliya Shankaravijaya, places his place of mahasamadhi (leaving the body) as Vadakkunnathan temple in Thrissur, Kerala. The followers of the Kanchi kamakoti pitha claim that he ascended the Sarvajñapīṭha and attained videha mukti in Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu).