There are a number of other books on non-duality itself, which over the centuries have been attributed to Shankara, but which many scholars now believe were probably written by followers. The only text that is not a commentary on something else, and which most authorities agree was definitely written by Shri Shankara himself, is this text, known as The Thousand Teachings, or Upadesasahasri in Sanskrit. Even this text was probably not put into its current arrangement by Shankara. It consists of a prose part, and a longer metrical section, which can be read separately. It establishes the non-dual view that our difficulties are caused by our ignorance of our own true Self, and that the means to liberation or realization, that is, to lasting happiness and true fulfilment, is knowledge of our true Self. The only effective antidote to ignorance of Self is knowledge of Self.
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Of these, the Brhat-Sankara-Vijaya by Citsukha is the oldest hagiography but only available in excerpts, while Sankaradigvijaya by Vidyaranya and Sankaravijaya by Anandagiri are the most cited.
These dates are based on records at the geri rad Pha, which is the only matha to have maintained a relatively unbroken record of its Acharyas; starting with the third Acharya, one can with reasonable confidence date the others from the 8th century to the present. Though some researchers identify the name with Chandragupta II 4th century CE , modern scholarship accepts the VikramAditya as being from the Chalukya dynasty of Badami, most likely Vikramaditya II CE , which would place him in the middle of the 8th century.
Also, such an early date would be in conflict with much else in Indian chronology. According to these revisionist models, these are the actual dates, and it is other collateral dates, such as the date of Gautama Buddha which serves as an anchor for modern academic history of India , that need to be moved back. However, such an early date is not consistent with the fact that Shankara quotes the Buddhist logician Dharmakirti, who finds mention in Xuanzang 7th century.
Most scholars feel that due to invasions and other discontinuities, the records of the Dwaraka and Govardhana mathas are not as reliable as those of Sringeri. Sir R. Bhandarkar believed he was born in CE. His mother disapproved.
A story, found in all hagiographies, describe Shankara at age eight going to a river with his mother, Sivataraka, to bathe, and where he is caught by a crocodile. The mother agrees, Shankara is freed and leaves his home for education. He reaches a Saivite sanctuary along a river in a north-central state of India, and becomes the disciple of a teacher named Govindapada.
Most mention Shankara studying the Vedas, Upanishads and Brahmasutra with Govindapada, and Shankara authoring several key works in his youth, while he was studying with his teacher. Different and widely inconsistent accounts of his life include diverse journeys, pilgrimages, public debates, installation of yantras and lingas, as well as the founding of monastic centers in north, east, west and south India.
Modern era Indian scholars such as Belvalkar as well as Upadhyaya accept five and thirty nine works respectively as authentic. Scholars suggest that these stotra are not sectarian, but essentially Advaitic and reach for a unified universal view of Vedanta. However, in that commentary, he mentions older commentaries like those of Dravida, Bhartrprapancha and others which are either lost or yet to be found. Paul Hacker has also expressed some reservations that the compendium Sarva-darsana-siddhanta Sangraha was completely authored by Shankara, because of difference in style and thematic inconsistencies in parts.
The commentary on the Tantric work Lalita-trisati-bhasya attributed to Adi Shankara is also unauthentic. The affirmations of the ruti, it is argued, need to be verified and confirmed by the knowledge gained through direct experience anubhava and the authority of the ruti, therefore, is only secondary. Sengaku Mayeda concurs, adding Shankara maintained the need for objectivity in the process of gaining knowledge vastutantra , and considered subjective opinions purushatantra and injunctions in ruti codanatantra as secondary.
Rituals and rites such as yajna a fire ritual , asserts Shankara, can help draw and prepare the mind for the journey to Self-knowledge. However, his works and philosophy suggest greater overlap with Vaishnavism, influence of Yoga school of Hinduism, but most distinctly his Advaitin convictions with a monistic view of spirituality.
Without hate, without infatuation, without craving, without greed; Neither arrogance, nor conceit, never jealous I am; Neither dharma, nor artha, neither kama, nor moksha am I; I am Thought, I am Joy, I am He, I am He. Without sins, without merits, without elation, without sorrow; Neither mantra, nor rituals, neither pilgrimage, nor Vedas; Neither the experiencer, nor experienced, nor the experience am I, I am Thought, I am Joy, I am He, I am He.
According to Adi Shankara, the one unchanging entity Brahman alone is real, while changing entities do not have absolute existence. The key source texts for this interpretation, as for all schools of Vednta, are the Prasthanatrayithe canonical texts consisting of the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras.
Practice Advaita Vedanta is based on stra "scriptures" , yukti "reason" and anubhava "experiential knowledge" , and aided by karmas "spiritual practices". Knowledge alone and insights relating to true nature of things, taught Shankara, is what liberates.
He placed great emphasis on the study of the Upanisads, emphasizing them as necessary and sufficient means to gain Selfliberating knowledge. Sankara also emphasized the need for and the role of Guru Acharya, teacher for such knowledge. Hinduism asserts that soul does exist.
The whole Vedas, states Shankara, "has the design to explain by what means objects of desire and aversion, that cannot be proved by perception or inference, may be obtained or removed, for every man has naturally the wish to obtain objects of desire, and remove objects of aversion. The Veda has not to investigate objects of the senses, because the knowledge of what satisfies desires, or removes objects of aversion, is produced by perception and inference".
Shankara citing Katha Upanishad, asserted that the Hindu Upanishad starts with stating its objective as "this is the investigation whether after the death of man the soul exists; some assert the soul exists; the soul does not exist, assert others. This difference extends to their respective definition of what "liberation" means.
Nirvana, a term more often used in Buddhism, is the liberating realization and acceptance that there is no self nor consciousness. April Shankara lived in the time of the so-called "Late classical Hinduism", which lasted from till CE. He travelled all over India to help restore the study of the Vedas. Shankara explained that all deities were but different forms of the one Brahman, the invisible Supreme Being.
They formed a social elite, "sharply distinguished from the general practitioners and theologians of Hinduism. King, Although it is common to find Western scholars and Hindus arguing that Sankaracarya was the most influential and important figure in the history of Hindu intellectual thought, this does not seem to be justified by the historical evidence.
Vidyaranya, also known as Madhava, inspired the re-creation of the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire of South India in response to the devastation caused by the Islamic Delhi Sultanate. Vidyaranya also helped establish monasteries mathas to expand the cultural influence of Shankara. He unified the theistic sects into a common framework of Shanmata system.
But it is also a tradition of renunciation. Philosophy and renunciation are closely related:[web 2] Most of the notable authors in the advaita tradition were members of the sannyasa tradition, and both sides of the tradition share the same values, attitudes and metaphysics. Yet, according to Pandey, these Mathas were not established by Shankara himself, but were originally ashrams established by Vibhdaka and his son yanga. While the dasanmis associated with the Sankara maths follow the procedures enumerated by Adi ankara, some of these orders remained partly or fully independent in their belief and practices; and outside the official control of the Sankara maths.
Of these, the Brhat-Sankara-Vijaya by Citsukha is the oldest hagiography but only available in excerpts, while Sankaradigvijaya by Vidyaranya and Sankaravijaya by Anandagiri are the most cited. These dates are based on records at the geri rad Pha, which is the only matha to have maintained a relatively unbroken record of its Acharyas; starting with the third Acharya, one can with reasonable confidence date the others from the 8th century to the present. Though some researchers identify the name with Chandragupta II 4th century CE , modern scholarship accepts the VikramAditya as being from the Chalukya dynasty of Badami, most likely Vikramaditya II CE , which would place him in the middle of the 8th century. Also, such an early date would be in conflict with much else in Indian chronology. According to these revisionist models, these are the actual dates, and it is other collateral dates, such as the date of Gautama Buddha which serves as an anchor for modern academic history of India , that need to be moved back.
A THOUSAND TEACHINGS THE UPADESASAHASRI OF SHANKARA PDF
We shall now explain a method of teaching the means to liberation for the benefit of those aspirants after liberation who are desirous of this teaching and are possessed of faith in it. That means to liberation, viz. Then, with fuel in his hands he should approach a teacher versed in the Vedas and established in Brahman in order to know the Eternal. This transmission of knowledge is helpful to people, like a boat to one who wants to cross a river. Otherwise there would be no attainment of knowledge. When the teacher finds from signs that knowledge has not been grasped or has been wrongly grasped by the disciple he should remove the causes of non-comprehension which are: past and present sins, laxity, want of previous firm knowledge of what constitutes the subjects of discrimination between the eternal and the non-eternal, courting popular esteem, vanity of caste etc. He should also thoroughly impress upon the disciple qualities like humility, which are the means to knowledge.