Shankaracharya Jayanti 2020: A look at the great Indian philosopher’s life
Adi Shankaracharya was an Indian philosopher from the 8th century who is responsible for consolidating the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta. Advaita Vedanta is a Hindu school of philosophy which was originally known as Purusavada and is a way of spiritual realisation in Hindu tradition. Advaita refers to the concept that Atman, which is the true self, is the same as Brahman, the highest metaphysical reality of the universe.
Adi Shankaracharya is also known for consolidating the main thoughts associated with Hinduism. His Sanskrit works talk about the unity of atman and Nirguna Brahman. In support of his thesis, he wrote several commentaries on the Vedic canon. His works talk about the ideas mentioned in the Upanishads in more detail and his publications also criticised the Mimamsa school of Hindusim, which was known for being oriented ritually.
Shankaracharya is also known as the one who explained the key difference between Hinduism and Buddhism, explaining that while Hinduism believes that the soul exists, according to Buddhism there is no soul.
In order to talk about his beliefs and philosophy, Shankaracharya all across the Indian subcontinent and held various debates and lectures with other thinkers. He made people understand the significance of monastic life as mentioned in the Upanishads and the Brahma Sutra, during a time when the Mimamsa school had put in place rituals and also ridiculed the practice of Monasticism.
Shankaracharya had founded four mathas (monasteries) which contributed to the historical development and spreading of Advaita Vedanta. Shankaracharya is known as the greatest revivalist of Advaita Vedanta.