Shankaracharya

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Adi shankara
Adi Shankaracharya with his four disciples - Padmapadacharya, Sureshwaracharya, Hastamalakacharya & Totakacharya

Shankaracharya (Sanskrit: शङ्कराचार्य, IAST: Śaṅkarācārya, "Shankara-acharya") is a religious title used by the heads of amnaya monasteries called mathas in the Advaita Vedanta tradition of Hinduism. The title derives from Adi Shankara; teachers from the successive line of teachers dating back to him are known as Shankaracharyas.[1][2]

Establishment of the tradition[edit]

According to a tradition developed in the 16th century, Adi Shankara set up four monasteries known as Mathas or Peethams, in the North, South, East and West of India, to be held by realised men who would be known as Shankaracharyas. They would take on the role of teacher and could be consulted by anyone with sincere queries of a spiritual nature.[3][4]

The table below gives an overview of the four Amnaya Mathas founded by Adi Shankara, and their details.[5]

Shishya
(lineage)
Direction Maṭha Mahāvākya Veda Sampradaya Present Shankaracharya
Padmapāda East Puri Govardhanmaṭha Pīṭhaṃ Prajñānam brahma (Consciousness is supreme being) Rig Veda Bhogavala Swami Nischalananda Saraswati
Sureśvara South Sringeri Śārada Pīṭhaṃ Aham brahmāsmi (I am the supreme being) Yajur Veda Bhūrivala Sri Bharati Tirtha
Hastāmalakācārya West Dvāraka Kalika Pīṭhaṃ Tattvamasi (That thou art) Sama Veda Kitavala Swami Sadanand Saraswati
Toṭakācārya North Badari Jyotirmaṭha Pīṭhaṃ Ayamātmānam brahma (This Atman is supreme being) Atharva Veda Nandavala Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati

Etymology[edit]

The word Shankaracharya is composed of two parts, Shankara and Acharya. Acharya is a Sanskrit word meaning "teacher", so Shankaracharya means "teacher of the way of Shankara".[1]

Further reading[edit]

  • Mukhyananda, Swami (2006) Sri Shankaracharya: life and philosophy: An elucidative and reconciliatory interpretation, 4th ed.; OCLC 426914596; Kolkata; Advaita Ashrama
  • Esoteric Buddhism by A.P. Sinnett, pp 81 ISBN 1438503652

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Snow, Michael J. Mindful philosophy. Milton Keynes. ISBN 9781546292388. OCLC 1063750429.
  2. ^ Aditya Thakur (1 November 2014). "Just A Handful Of Hindus Know Adi Shankaracharya Revived Their Religion". Topyaps. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  3. ^ Waite, Dennis, 1948- (2010). The book of one : the ancient wisdom of Advaita ([2nd ed.] ed.). Winchester, UK: O Books. ISBN 9781846943478. OCLC 573397586.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Barrett, David V. (2001). The new believers : a survey of sects, cults, and alternative religions. Barrett, David V. London: Cassell. ISBN 0304355925. OCLC 44933824.
  5. ^ "Adi Shankara's four Amnaya Peethams". Archived from the original on 26 June 2006. Retrieved 20 August 2006.

External links[edit]