Sankaracharya

Sankaracharya
Highlights

Sankaracharya. Sankaracharya is one of the greatest religious teachers of our country, and of the world. He taught us some great truths about God.

Sankaracharya is one of the greatest religious teachers of our country, and of the world. He taught us some great truths about God. He was born about 1200 years ago in. Kaladi, a village in Kerala. His father was Sivaguru and his mother Aryamba. But he lost his father when he was a child. His relatives gave him the sacred thread in his fifth year or so. Sankara learnt all the Vedas and Sastras from his teachers before he was seven years old.

One day he and his mother went for a bath in the river Purna near his village.
While he was bathing, a crocodile in the river caught hold of Sankara’s leg. He shouted for help. No one came to help him. His mother heard him, and started crying. Sankara said, “Mother, they say it is a second birth to become a sanyasi. So, if you permit me to become one, the crocodile may leave me!” Aryamba, to save the life of her son, said “Yes.” The crocodile released its hold on Sankara. He came ashore safely. Thus at the tender age of eight, Sankara became a sanyasi. Sanyasis should give up everything- mother, father, home, property, everything. They must wander from place to place, and pray to God all the time. So, leaving his mother at home alone, Sankara travelled to Gujarat. There were no trains or buses in those days. He walked all the distance. On the bank of the river Narmada in Gujarat, there was a rishi called Govindapada. Sankara sat at his feet and learnt religious truths from him. He then went to Kasi. There he wrote many important books, explaining the Vedas and sastras.
He argued with learned pandits there. He taught them the truth about God as he saw it. He founded mathas spreading his message, teaching, religious truths. Sankara lived for only 32 years. But within that short time, he did much to spiritualise the Indian way of living.
We honour him on the fifth day of the bright half of Chaitra every year.
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