Govinda Bhagavatpada (IAST Govinda Bhagavatpāda) was the Guru of the Advaita philosopher, Adi Shankara. We know little of his life and works, except that he is mentioned in all the traditional accounts (Shankara Vijayams) as the teacher of Adi Shankara. He was the disciple of Gaudapada (IAST Gauḍapāda). He is mentioned in the first verse of Adi Shankara's Prakaraņa grantha (treatise) Viveka Chudamani. He is named after Gaudapada in the Guru Parampara (lineage) of Sringeri Sharada Peetham.
Meeting Adi Shankara
- See Life of Adi Shankara for the biography of Adi Shankara
As per the Madhavīya Shankaravijaya, after leaving Kerala, Adi Shankara reached the banks of the river Narmada where he met Govinda Bhagavatpada. The Madhavīya Shankaravijaya states that Adi Shankara once calmed a flood from the Reva River by placing his kamanḍalu (water pot) in the path of the raging water, thus saving his Guru Govinda Bhagavatpada who was immersed in Samādhi in a cave nearby. Govinda Bhagavatpada is said to have asked Adi Shankara who he was. Adi Shankara then replied with a verse composed extempore, that brought out clearly the Advaita philosophy in regard to the Self. Shankara was then initiated as Govinda Bhagavatapada's disciple, thus formally entering sanyasa.
- Bhatta, Rathnakara (2013), Shree Shankarayana (May. 2013).