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This article is about a title used in the Advaita tradition. For the philosopher Shankara, see Adi Shankara

Shankaracharya (IAST: Śaṅkarācārya, Shankara acharya) is a commonly used title of heads of monasteries called mathas in the Advaita Vedanta tradition. The title derives from Adi Shankara, a 8th-century CE reformer of Hinduism. He is honored as Jagadguru, a title that was used earlier only to Lord Krishna.

The popular view among historians is that there were four mathas (religious orders):

Shankaracharya is also seen as an avatar of Shiva (Shankara). Shankaracharya is responsible for founding many punyakshetras along the length and breadth of India, by taming avatars of Parvati and imprisoning her essence in Sri Chakras.

Adi Shankaracharya wished to grace the Indian subcontinent by establishing 4 Major Mathas in the 4 corners of the peninsula- North (Jyothirmath), South (Sringeri), East(Puri), West(Dwarka) - to propagate the philosopy of advaita vedanta and to promulgate the concept of Sanatana Dharma thus establishing dharma or righteousness, as the way of life of people. His primary 4 disciples took charges of each math and thus establishing a strong Guru-Sishya parampara (a lineage of masters-disciples) in every math, that continues to guide people till today, with reverence and support by the entire nation.

Further reading[edit]

  • Mukhyananda, Swami (2006) Sri Shankaracharya: life and philosophy: An elucidative and reconciliatory interpretation, 4th ed.; OCLC 426914596; Kolkata; Advaita Ashrama

See also[edit]

scholar; mathematician; first Śaṅkarācārya to visit the West

siddha; highly respected Śaṅkarācārya of Jyotirmāyā Pīṭha, Śaṅkara Matha, Badrināth

Śaṅkarācārya of Śṛṅgeri

Śaṅkarācārya of Śṛṅgeri

Śaṅkarācārya of Śṛṅgeri

Esoteric Buddhism by A.P. Sinnett, pp 81 ISBN 1438503652


External links[edit]