New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: Sankaracharya Jayanti is an annual festival dedicated to Adi Sankaracharya, one of the most celebrated spiritual gurus and philosophers in the country. It is observed on Panchami tithi in the Hindu month of Vaisakh. This year it is being celebrated on April 28 (Tuesday).

Who was Adi Shankara?

Adi Shankara was born to a Nambudiri Brahmin couple in Kaladi, Kerala. His parents were ardent devotees of Lord Shiva and thus they named him Ishta Devta. It is believed that Shankara was the incarnation of Shiva.

Adi wished to live an ascetic life from a very young age. But, her mother did not want him to lead a life of Sanyasi (hermit). Thus, he waited for the right time to get her mother's approval. Once when he was taking bath in a river, a crocodile bit his leg. He used this opportunity to take her mother's consent. Even though the crocodile held his limb, he asked his mother to accept his wish of becoming a sanyasi. After realising that her son was not an ordinary child but a divine soul, she agreed to let him become a sanyasi. 

Adi Shankara's Advait Vedanta Philosophy

Adi Shankara is credited to reviving Sanatan Dharma in Hindusim. He re-established Advait Vedant's philosophy. It states that inner spirit is not different from Brahman, the highest order of the universe, or the supreme power that governs us all. The ultimate aim is to achieve enlightenment (freedom from the materialistic world) by gaining knowledge.

Shankara breathed his last at the young age of 32 in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand-- a Hindu pilgrimage site in the foothills of Himalayas-- and the journey of one of the greatest philosophers in the earth come to an end but his teachings continue to inspire several generations.

Posted By: James Kuanal