788 AD BIRTH PLACE OF SRI SHANKARA ACHARYA AT KALADI




Kalady (Pilgrim Centre)
Situated on the banks of River Periyar, 45 km from Kochi is Kalady a pilgrim centre and the birth place of Adi Sankaracharya, the great Indian Philosopher of the 8th century AD. There are two shrines in memory of Adi Sankaracharya, one dedicated to him as Dakshinamurthy and the other to the goddess Sharada maintained by Sringeri Mutt. On the same premises there is also a spot (Brindavan) where Adi Sankaracharya`s mother Aryamba was cremated. In addition to it there is an ancient Shri Krishna Temple close by which was me family temple of Adi Sankaracharya. Another temple known as the International Temple dedicated to Shri Ramakrishna Deva has been built with the hope that it would ultimately become a temple for all religions


BIRTH


Sankara was born in A.D. 788 of a devout, Nambudiri couple-Sivaguru and Aryamba. They were disconsolate because they had no issue. They repaired to the famous Siva (Vadakkunnathan) temple at Tirchur and worshipped the Lord with all their heart. The Lord appeared before them in am dream and wanted to know their desire. The couple prayed for a son. The asked: "Do you want a short-lived good son or simpleton with a long life?" They chose the former and returned home to live a life of devotion and dedication.


EDUCATION


At the age of five he was invested with the sacred thread and sent to the teacher's house for education. In three years’ time the boy mastered all the subjects of study and returned home


He met his guru, Govinda, on the banks of the Narmada River. Under him he mastered yoga, Vedanta and other systems and became a knower of the Brahman. The guru was immensely pleased with his disciple and bade him go to Kashi next and write the commentaries for various scriptures and re-establish the Eternal religion.Sankara obeyed his master and on the way worshipped at several temples, teaching scriptures to earnest students. His erudition and exposition attracted many scholars as also disciples. The first sanyasin disciple of Sankara was Sanandana who later came to be known as Padmapada





Sankara's next destination was Badari in the Himalayas. Badari being the place of penance of Vyasa, Sankara chose to stay there and write the commentary on the Brahmasutras, on ten Upanishads, on the Gita, the Vishnu -Sahasranama, etc. Thus he completed the commentaries on the three main basic authorities of Hinduism viz. the Upanishads, the Brahmasutra and the Gita. The remaining years of his life he spent preaching and teaching Vedanta.


He visited all famous seats of learning and pilgrimage through India. At Kashmir he ascended the Sarvajnana pitha, the seat of omniscience, defeating all the pandits there in discussion. He established four maths in Four Corners of India-at Sringeri, Badari, Dwaraka and Puri-and trained eminent disciples to carry on the message of Vedanta.




After performing the last rites for his mother, Sankara again resumed his spiritual mission. He is believed to have reached Kedar in the Himalayas and disappeared at the age of 32, after giving final instructions and benediction to his beloved disciples