Sankara and Vedanta
the Bhagavad Gita;
«TAT TVAM ASI» (you are THAT).
In the early centuries of Kali Yuga the religions of Buddhism and Jainism predominated.
At that time, lies, injustice, dishonesty and reprehensible conduct were on the agenda. And that's not all;
even the cultured pandits, scholars and intellectuals of the time began to give distorted interpretations of the Vedas. The true face of the scriptures was obscured: a real pitfall for the people he had
faith in the Vedas and sacred scriptures.
Thus it was that God decided to send a child to a couple whose names were Shivaguru and Aryâmba to a village in Kerala named Kaladi.
Shankara had just reached three years of age when his father Shivaguru died. It is interesting in this regard to note how the Divine works. Ten days before he died, Shivaguru had in vision a great bright light, which sent him this message: "Fulfill the initiation (upanayanam) of your son."
Shivaguru hurriedly made arrangements for the celebration of the upanayanam of his three-year-old son. And the boy learned to recite the Gâyatrî Mantra ever since. After the loss of the father, the mother, afflicted with pain, devoted herself to the education of the child. He took him to a guru, who gave him all the knowledge of the scriptures by thread and by sign.
By the age of sixteen, Shankara had completed the study of the four Vedas and six philosophical systems; study, for the accomplishment of which, ordinarily, not even fifty years would be enough. Shankara was a prodigy. He could grasp anything at the first hint of a topic. Even the guru was
amazed at his genius. The mother who longed to see her married son was somewhat distressed by the idea that Shankara should become a renunciate and did not want to grant him permission.
going to the river to collect water, the young Shankara followed her ardently begging:
"Mother, allow me to take the vows of the sannyâsa." But she disagreed. When the woman entered the water to wash, Shankara dived into the river and, after going under the water for a while, raised a hand and shouted: «Mother, grabbed a crocodile from me. Do you at least give me permission to make me sannyâsin now? '
And the mother: «If sannyâsa can save you from the crocodile, do what
it is better to live. "Then Shankara came out of the river and said to his mother," In the ocean of samsâra I was there to be
drowned by a crocodile presented in the form of a wife. By allowing me to become a sannyâsin, I got rid of the crocodile's grip. Nobody can marry a sannyâsin. "
His mission began with wanderings, Shankara visited all the sacred temples of the nation.
Each trip had to be done on foot. He reached many scholars and priests with totally distorted ideas out of ignorance or convenience and from constructive disputes and faced with Divine Love) He always came out victorious. He divulged the Advaita doctrine that he used to sustain with this declaration: «Different are the bodies, different the forms, but unique and only one is the inner Self. The Divine is present in everything
like the juice of the sugar cane which always remains the same regardless of the cane
from which it is extracted. "
Adi Shankara was able to convince all scholars about the truth of Advaita. Men are dazzled by the illusion of the multiplicity of names and forms, but at the basis of all this diversity there is only one divine reality. Nothing can exist without a foundation. All faiths recognize this fact. God is one; the goal is unique.
Shankara was among the most important figures who ever embodied both for India and for the whole world. It restored vigor to the eternal religion, exposing charlatans and false priests.
From him arose the highest philosophy, from which Socrates and therefore Plato, Plotinus and so on took their cues.
He made the most important and profound comments of the Vedanta. Among the most authoritative comments of the Baghavad Gita in human history, his signature could not be missing.
Shankara died at the young age of thirty-two; but He had completed the mission for which He had come.
Before leaving this world, he went to get five lingams and put them in five
different points (cities): Puri, Dwaraka, Sringeri, Benares and Kanchi. In the latter location he installed the Yoga Lingam.
HIS TEACHING Advaita vedanta (non-dualism) cannot be understood or studied, it can only be experienced, it is the plenary experience of non-duality, which is beyond the constructions of thought. Advaita is the philosophy, if you can call it that, of NON-DUALITY. Indeed it cannot be classified even among philosophies, It is a CONSCENTIAL STATE. To better express the concept of Advaita we use these simple words: Advaita is the culmination of all religions and spiritual doctrines, it is the common goal of all philosophical commitment and all religious practice. Advaita maintains that everything is God (Bramhan), but also the word "God" is limiting, as it is beyond any word and thought itself, Bhraman has no terms of comparison or opposition but is the Abyss where all pairs of opposites are canceled and resolved. God is the only Eternal Reality, insofar as it is constant and imperishable, on the contrary the whole manifest universe perceivable by the senses and the mind is not real, since they, like everything that is matter, are transitory. Shankara thus attempted to divert people's thoughts from the world of the senses by directing them towards God.