Adi Shankara is said to have been born in Kaladi, Kerala in 788 CE on the bank of the Periyar, the largest river in Kerala. Advaita Vedanta by Sankaracharya is a Hindu school of philosophy which was originally known as Purusavada and is a way of spiritual realisation in Hindu tradition Adi Shankaracharya is also known for consolidating the main thoughts associated with Hinduism
- The Bhakti movement was an important historical religious movement in medieval Hinduism that sought to bring religious reforms to all strata of society by adopting the method of devotion to achieve salvation.
Role and Contributions
- Thought not a Bhakti saint, he made a foundation for Bhakti movement
- He opposed the practise of ritual worship.
- He also felt that when a person’s intellect is cleansed by living an ethical life, self-knowledge is reached.
- He also emphasized on Yamas. Within the Yoga philosophy, the Yamas are the ethical guidelines of right life.
- Shankara is believed to have established Mathas in Sringeri, Dwaraka, Puri, and Joshimath for the spread of Advaita Vedanta.
- Tried to revive Hinduism in India while Buddhism was gaining popularity.
- Shankaracharya emulated both the approach of Jnana and Bhakti at the same time. He revitalized the entire Sanatana Dharma with His siddhanta (approach) called Advaita.
- The perfect example of both Bhakti and Jnana is His Vivekachudamani composition. He always said, at the end everything merges into Bhakti.
Advaita Sidhanta’s relevance today
- Mahayana Buddhism says that anyone (including the person in the cycle of samsara) can achieve enlightenment. (In Hinduism, all life goes through birth, life, death, and rebirth and this is known as the cycle of samsara)
- Within Islam there is an idea of annihilation within the divine, Fana and Waḥdat al-Wujūd (Unity of Existence).
How to structure:
- Give an intro about Sankaracharya and his Advaitha Sidhantha
- Briefly explain what Bhakti movement is
- Now discuss the role and contributions of Sankaracharya in Bhakti Movement
- Mention its relevance today