Saint Adi Shankaracharya

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Saint Adi Shankaracharya, was born as Shankara in around 788 AD in a Brahmin family in Kaladi village of Kerala. He was born very late after marriage to Sivaguru and Aryamba It is beleived that Aryamba was a great dissiple of Lord Shiva. She was blessed by Lord Shiva, in which he promised her to be her son as his incarnation.

Adi Shankracharya was very bright and brilliant right from his childhood. He mastered all the Vedas and the Vedanta in gurukul itself and could recite the epics and Puranas by heart.

Adi Shankaracharya was inclined towards sanyasa right from his childhood.Once, he was taking bath in the Purna River when Shankaracharya was attacked by a crocodile.His mother could not rescue him so he asked her to give him the permission to renounce the world.Helplessly she agreed to it. Shankaracharya recited the mantras of renunciation and soon the crocodile left him.Then he started the life of Shankara as an ascetic.

He left Kerala and moved towards South India in search of a Guru.On the banks of Narmada River, Shankara met Govinda Bhagavatpada whom he regarded as Guru.Under the guidance of his Guru, Shankara mastered Hatha, Raja and Jnana Yoga.Thereafter he received initiation in the knowledge of Brahma.

Thus was born Adi Shankaracharya, whose aim in life was to spread the Vedic teachings of the Brahma Sutras throughout the world. Adi Shankaracharya believed in the greatness of the holy Vedas and was a major proponent of the same. Not only did he infuse a new life into the Vedas, but also advocated against the Vedic religious practices of ritualistic excesses. He founded four Shankaracharya Peethas in the four corners of India, which continue to promote his philosophy and teachings.