Published on: November 6, 2021




Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a 12-foot statue of Adi Shankaracharya at Kedarnath, where the acharya is believed to have attained samadhi


  • Born in Kaladi village, Kerala on banks of river Periyaar
  • In one legend, a crocodile caught hold of the young Shankara while bathing in the Periyar, and told his mother it would let him go if she allowed him to take sanyas.
  • In a lifespan of just 32 years, he is said to have visited all the important spiritual centres of the time — from Kanchi (Kancheepuram) to Kamrup (Assam), and Kashmir and the Kedar and Badri dhams, as well as Sringeri, Ujjain, Kashi, Puri, and Joshimath.
  • Established four Math (Monastery) at Shingeri, Puri, Dwaraka and Badrinath– for propagation of Sanathana Dharma.
  • Established the ritual practices at the Badri and Kedar dhams, and to have debated with tantrics in Srinagar.
  • Identified as the author of 116 works — among them the celebrated commentaries (bhashyas) on 10 Upanishads, the Brahmasutra and the Gita, and poetic works including Vivekachudamani, Maneesha Panchakam, and Saundaryalahiri.
  • His biography – Shankaravijayas (Conquests of Shankara)


Shankara’s great standing is derived from his commentaries of the prasthanatrayi (Upanishads, Brahmasutra and Gita), where he explains his understanding of Advaita Vedanta


  • Articulates a philosophical position of radical nondualism, a revisionary worldview which it derives from the ancient Upanishadic texts
  • Upanishads reveal a fundamental principle of nonduality termed ‘brahman’, which is the reality of all things
  • Brahman is transcending individuality and empirical plurality.
  • Essential core of one’s self (atman) is brahman
  • Atman is pure non-intentional consciousness.
  • One without a second, nondual, infinite existence, and numerically identical with brahman.
  • Entails tying a metaphysics of brahman to a philosophy of consciousness