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The Inspiration of Sri Adi Shankara (Shankaracharya)


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Where do we begin to describe someone who accomplished so much in such a short 32 year lifetime?

Adi Shankara, also known as Shankaracharya, is a remarkable Saint who gives a new meaning to the word “efficiency.”

He advanced the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta, was a distinguished teacher, developed exceptional disciples, organized the Ten Orders of Sannyasa which are still in existence today, and wrote profound spiritual hymns for all of the deities!

A single thread of Dharma (His ideal of perfection) weaved through all of His actions, keeping Him focused on advancing Hinduism as He paved the way for the rest of us.

Whether we realize it or not, this great Sage has touched each and every one of us.

Shankarachya as an Enlightened Philosopher propounded Advaita Vedanta Philosophy. The core of Advaita Vedanta is the recognition of the unity of the Atman (the individual soul) with Brahman (the Supreme Divine Consciousness beyond all attributes). Shankaracharya was the first to consolidate the siddhānta (the “doctrine”) of Advaita Vedanta.

The word “advaita” means non-duality or no duality, and is often called a monistic system of thought.

It essentially refers to the identity of the Self or Soul (Atman) with the Whole of Creation, or the Universal Consciousness (Brahman).

Advaita Vedanta says that the one Unchanging Entity (Brahman) alone exists as the one reality and that changing entities do not have absolute existence.

This is much the same as the ocean’s waves, which have no existence separate from the ocean.

Advaita Vedanta can be summed up in this simple, yet sacred wisdom:


The world changes. Therefore, it is not Truth. It is an illusion of Truth. Just as when seeing a coiled rope, we mistakenly feel a sense of apprehension thinking that it may be a snake. In the same way, when we see the material world, we mistake it for reality.

When we realize that the rope is actually not a snake, we feel reprieve. In the same way, when we see that the material world is not Eternal, we realize God.

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