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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):

The existence of such multiple mathas occurs because a Guru or descendant of the Shankaracharya lineage could have had many disciples. This could have resulted in the branching out of the parent institution. It is also possible that a Guru might have died without naming a successor, leading to the formation of rival groups. For example, the Jyotir Math and Govardhan matha have had broken lineages and were later revived.

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.

Kolkota: A Sri Chakra exists on the deity's tongue.

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]

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


External links[edit]