Aadi Shankara

Aadi Shankara was borne at Kaladi near Kochi in Kerala. His contributions in reviving Sanatana Dharma are immense and simply humanly not possible. When Baba Bakhoran Dass (BBD) visited Mahishi in Saharsa district of Bihar for the first time, BBD was astonished to comprehend as to how come Aaadi Shankara could make it to visit the god for shaken place called Mahishi – non accessible place during seventies in Koshi belt to have discourse with the great scholar named Shri Mandan Mishra. Smt. Sharda Devi wife of Shri Mandan Mishra was also equally learned and so was the parrot of Shri Mandan Mishra. It goes by saying that for engaging any discourse, first you have to interact with the Parrot, after that it was Sharda Devi, and only after defeating her, one will get chance to have discourse with Shri Mandan Mishra. During first visit, Aadi Shankara could not make it through and was defeated by Sharda Devi. He had to go back and study the subject for next round of discourse. It is so amazing to know that even today, it is not possible to visit Mahishi and come back to Patna within 24 hours by surface transport after completing any fruitful discourse, and this great human being could do it centuries ago from Kerala – the entire path having only hurdles and challenges of all sorts – right from communication to food. Just examine his contributions:

• He survived only for 32 years.
• He mastered all the Vedas by the age of 8 and completed study of all sastras by the age 12.
• He completed writing all the bhasya (Commentaries) by the time he was 16.
• Today, it is very rare for boys to receive brahmopadesha (upnanayan – investiture ceremony) by the age of 8. Even if the parents are earnest and perform the upanayan sanskar (thread ceremony) by the age of 8, it is rare for such Vatuks to perform sandhyavandana.
• He has written commentaries on Upanishads, Bhagvadgeeta, Vishnusahastranam, Lalita Trishati and many other texts. All these were completed by the time HE was 16.
• In the remaining 16 years, he toured the length and breadth of this country on foot.
• In all places he held discussions with great scholars of their time who held wrong views of Vedanta and was able to convince them of right concept of Vedanta.
• He thus re-established sanatana dharma on a firm footing all over the country.
• There were no signs of fatigue and no instance of force or punishment.
• He did not have any arms or weapons.
• He was never partial, never differentiated among people and never thought of helping only a few selected people.
• The only person to hold idealism that was guided by moral values, live in prosperity and eschew immorality.
• He not only resurrected dharma, but also ensured its continuity by establishing four peetham at Jagannathpuri in Odisha (East), Shringeri – Karnataka (South) Badrinath in Uttarakhand (North) and Dwarka – Gujarat in West to ensure that learned sages would always be available to guide the people and thereby sustain dharma.

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Author: mahesh3006

A retired development banker with strong bias towards rural development through microcredit