Tag Archives: Adi Sankaracharya

Sri Sankara Bhagavadpada!

Sankara was born to Aryamba and Sivaguru in Kalady. He exhibited extraordinary intelligence and mastered all that was taught to him and even composed – Balabodha Sangraha. Even at that young age, Sankara wanted to embrace sanyasa. However his mother did not give him permission, but someday he hoped that his desire would be granted. One day when he was taking a dip in the river, a crocodile caught hold of his leg and started pulling him into the river. He cried out to his mother who was on the banks of the river for help, but she was helpless. At that moment, Sankara cried out and told his mother that now he was in the jaws of death and nothing could be done. He pleaded with her to atleast grant him permission to take on the sanyasa robes at this crucial juncture. The desperate mother agreed. Sankara loudly chanted “sanyastoham…sanyastoham…sanyastoham” (I have renounced). Miraculously the crocodile released its hold on his legs!

Sankara came out of the waters, and he requested her to give him permission to go in search of his Guru, now that she had allowed him to take sanyas. The mother agreed to let him go with a promise from him that he will be there by her side at the time of her death. Sankara promised her that he would be there at the time of her death.

Just before Sankara left, he had a vision of Lord Achyutha who directed him to go to the ascetic Sri Govindapadacharya, the disciple of the great Sri Gaudapadacharya of the Mandukya Karika fame at Omkaranath. Sankara composed tha Achyutha Ashtakam in praise of the Lord during this time.

Sankara walked Northward. As he was travelling, he came across a place where he saw something astonishing. A huge cobra had spread its hood like an umbrella over a frog to protect it from the scorching heat of the sun. Creatures who are inimical by nature were in harmony and peace with each other at this place! He concluded that it must be because of a great tapasvi’s presence somewhere around. It was the place where Maharshi Rishyasringa had performed tapas. Sankara immediately decided that if ever in future he established a math it would be at this sacred place. Years later, he established the Sringeri Math over here. 
Walking ahead, Sankara came to the banks of river Narmada. Sri Govindapadacharya lived in a cave very close by. He searched for the Mahatma and finally found him in meditation in a cave. Coming out of his meditation, yet with closed eyes, the Acharya asked him (Sankara) who he was. Sankara composed a beautiful hymn, known as Dasa Sloki expressing his perfect identity with the Supreme Reality. Sri Govindapadacharya opened his eyes and saw in front of him a young realized soul prostrating at his feet. The Master was filled with joy. Sri Govindapadacharya accepted Sankara as his disciple. The young ascetic stayed there with his Guru for three years and mastered all the scriptures.

Once during the rainy season, when Sri Govindapadacharya was meditating in the cave, there was sudden flash-floods in the river Narmada. The waters kept rising and rising and threatened to enter the cave, and disturb the Master who was in deep samadhi. At that time, Sankara placed his kamandalu at the entrance of the cave saying that it would absorb the waters into itself. As the waters rose and reached the kamandalu, the flash-flood immediately subsided and in a couple of minutes everything was back to normal. The other disciples were wonderstruck at Sankara’s feat and narrated it to the Master later on. Supremely happy at his disciple devotion and extraordinary achievement, Sri Govindapadacharya blessed him saying, “just as you contained the flood waters in the kamandalu, similarly you should write commentaries on the scriptures which will carry the essence of all the Vedas. This will bestow upon you eternal glory”. Sankara prostrated at his Master’s feet. To test the student’s calibre, Govindapadacharya asked Sankara to write a commentary on Vishnu Sahasranama – his first ever commentary. The teacher was extremely pleased with Sankara’s work. 

Sankara was sent to Kashi to invoke Lord Vishwanatha’s grace and wait for further instructions. Lord Vishwanatha blessed him and directed him to write commentaries on all the sacred scriptures. Many disciples reached him to pursue their vedantic studies. His disciples reverentially addressed him as SANKARACHARYA. 

Sankaracharya then decided to go to Badarikashram. It is here that he wrote the commentaries on the Brahma Sutras, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Geeta which are known as Prasthana Traya. Later Bhagavan Veda Vyasa blessed Sankara with an extension of another sixteen years (he was sixteen years at that time). Sankara extensively travelled from place to place across the length and breadth of the country to establish the supremacy of Advaita Philosophy and adorned the Sarvagnya Peeta – the Throne of Omniscience. He composed beautiful Hymns on all the principle deities and authored books on the fundamentals of Advaita Philosophy. He organised the Dashanami Sampradaya for the monastic order and unified the Sanmatha tradition of worship. In spite of the various different traditions, customs and rituals followed by the people, Sankaracharya with his lofty vision and zealous missionary successfully brought about integration amongst the people – indeed, a UNIFIED CULTURAL REVIVAL in BHARAT! NATIONAL INTEGRATION through SPIRITUALITY!! 

“Jaya Jaya Sankara! Hara Hara Sankara! Hara Hara Sankara! Jaya Jaya Sankara!!”

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Bharatiya Katha Vaibhava – 2 : https://www.zorbabooks.com/store/children/bharatiya-katha-vaibhav-2/

Padmapada – Adi Sankara’s disciple

Sanandana was a very bright and intelligent boy from the southern part of Bharat. After he finished his initial studies in his hometown he decided to lead an ascetic life and travelled all the way to Kashi to meet a Guru under whose guidance he can progress further in his spiritual pursuits. At that time Adi Sankara was in Kashi giving discourses on Advaita Vedanta.

Sanandana was drawn towards Sankara. He offered his respectful prostrations and asked the Acharya to take him as a disciple and initiate him into sanyasa. Seeing the keenness of the young aspirant, the Master agreed and took him as his disciple. He was Sankara’s first disciple. Sanandana stayed with his Guru serving and learning from him. Sanandana was extremely brilliant and absorbed the knowledge three times faster than anyone else. Sankara was highly pleased and appreciated his disciple’s intellectual abilities. However the other students misunderstood and thought that the teacher was more favourable to Sanandana and became jealous. Sankara understood what was going on in their minds, and decided that it was time for them to see for themselves the greatness of Sanandana. 

One day, when Sanandana was on the other side of the river Ganga washing clothes, suddenly Sankara called out to him, “Sanandana”. No sooner had he heard his name being called out, Sanandana who was on the other side of the river just started walking towards his Master. The actual path was round the river which would take some time. All that was in the mind of the disciple was that his Guru had suddenly called him and he should be there as quickly as possible. Sanandana was walking on the waters of the river. Normally the water currents would have washed him away. But lo! The moment he stepped onto the water, a full blown lotus sprang up to support his foot. When he put the next step forward, another lotus appeared to support his foot. Sanandana had no idea that he was walking on water. In his anxiety to reach his Guru quickly, he was almost running on water with every step being supported by a lotus! The other disciples who were watching this miracle were dumb-founded. They understood that it was nothing but the faith and devotion that Sanandana had for his Guru which made it possible for him to walk on water!

Sanandana came and prostrated to the Acharya. Sankara smilingly acknowledged. All the others were in a state of utter shock. It was only when Sankara pointed out to him the river behind, that Sanandana looked back and saw that he had literally walked on water. At every step, since a lotus (padma) had appeared below his foot (pada), Adi Sankara gave him the name PADMAPADA : “feet supported by lotus”.

Padmapada was one amongst the four principle disciples of Adi Sankara. He was in charge of the Govardhan Mutt at Puri in the eastern part of Bharat.

"Apart from Him, I don't exist," declares the devotee of Sree Narayana. "Everything of me is already laid at the Feet of the Lord. I do not exist, so I cannot worry over anything. It is all now His worry..... Narayana; Narayana --- it is all yours". - Swami Chinmayananda

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I Am delighted to inform you all that I have authored a book of stories for children titled: ” Bharatiya Katha Vaibhava -1″.

The book was released for Deepavali. This book features 25 unique and popular short Stories with beautiful illustrations from our Epics, and from the life of our Saints, Sages and Rulers… This is indeed a wonderful gift for children especially to be given as a prize for competitions! You can order in bulk too. Orders are welcome for libraries, schools etc..
Please note that Ebook kindle versions and paperback version [B&W illustrations] can be bought online..Find the links..

Zorba Store:- https://www.zorbabooks.com/store/children/bharatiya-katha-vaibhava-1-stories-for-children/

Amazon:- https://www.amazon.in/dp/9390011663?ref=myi_title_dp

Amazon (outside India) : https://www.amazon.com/Bharatiya-Katha-Vaibhava-SHREEDARSHAN-K-ebook/dp/B08N53PM3B/

Note: To buy the full colour version book (paperback with colour illustrations) please contact the author , as they are only being printed on author’s request .Those who wish to avail of this offer, please contact/message me.(Especially if you want a full color version book, please inform at the earliest..)

For bulk orders and discounts on B&W version and for colour version books you can contact For orders please whatsapp : 9739003467 Email: naadopaasana18@gmail.com

Adi Sankara invokes Goddess of Wealth

Adi Sankaracharya was one of the greatest Hindu philosophers of our country. Sankara at a tender age of eight took up Sanyas.

Everyday Sankara used to go out seeking bhiksha. One fine day he reached the house of a poor brahmin lady and sought bhiksha from her: “bhavati bhiksham dehi”. Seeing the young sanyasi whose face was glowing with divine aura at her doorstep, she went in and searched the entire house, but could not find anything to give him. Finally she found one dried amla (gooseberry) in the house. She was in dilemma. How could she offer a single amla, and that too a dried one for bhiksha? But to send away a brahmin boy, that too a sanyasi empty-handed is not right. Very hesitantly she came out and offered the boy the only food she had in her home – one dried amla (goose-berry)!

Sankara was overwhelmed by the love and affection, the kindness and selflessness of this poor lady. He spontaneously burst forth into poetry and sang twenty one verses in praise of Goddess Lakshmi – the Bestower of Wealth. Captivated by the sheer beauty of these devotional out-pourings, Goddess Lakshmi appeared before Sankara and asked him why he had invoked Her.

Sankara sought the grace and blessings of Sri Lakshmi upon the poor lady and asked the Mother of the Universe to bestow wealth upon her. Devi replied that she was suffering poverty due to her past karmas and it was her destiny to live in poverty in this life. Sankara requested Mother who had all the power to erase the ill-effects of her past karma to annul them and shower Her compassion upon this lady for her devotion and selflessness. In response to the prayers of Sankara, Sri Lakshmi, the Goddess of Compassion showered Her choicest blessings on the poor lady. There was a shower of golden goose-berries from the heavens!

This bouquet of twenty-one verses are known as “Kanakadhara Stotra” (Showers of Gold Stotra!). It is chanted to invoke the grace and blessings of Goddess Lakshmi for not only material wealth, but also for one’s spiritual well-being .

In the 9th sloka of this stotra, Sankara very beautifully invokes the “breeze of compassion in the Mother to send down showers of wealth!”

दद्याद् दयानुपवनो द्रविणाम्बुधाराम्

अस्मिन्नकिञ्चनविहङ्गशिशौ विषण्णे ।

दुष्कर्मघर्ममपनीय चिराय दूरं

नारायणप्रणयिनीनयनाम्बुवाहः ॥9

“O! Beloved consort of Narayana, with the breeze of your infinite compassion, shower your grace in the form of wealth upon me, and quench the thirst of this utterly helpless, parched Chataka bird who is looking up to you. Also be gracious and cast your loving glance upon me and remove once forever the burden of my past evil deeds which has been tormenting me.”

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]

I Am delighted to inform you all that I have authored a book of stories for children titled: ” Bharatiya Katha Vaibhava -1″.

The book was released for Deepavali. This book features 25 unique and popular short Stories with beautiful illustrations from our Epics, and from the life of our Saints, Sages and Rulers… This is indeed a wonderful gift for children especially to be given as a prize for competitions! You can order in bulk too. Orders are welcome for libraries, schools etc..
Please note that Ebook kindle versions and paperback version [B&W illustrations] can be bought online..Find the links..

Zorba Store:- https://www.zorbabooks.com/…/bharatiya-katha-vaibhava…/

Amazon:- https://www.amazon.in/dp/9390011663?ref=myi_title_dp

Amazon (outside India) : https://www.amazon.com/Bharatiya-Katha-Vaibhava-SHREEDARSHAN-K-ebook/dp/B08N53PM3B/

Note: To buy the full colour version book (paperback with colour illustrations) please contact the author , as they are only being printed on author’s request .Those who wish to avail of this offer, please contact/message me.(Especially if you want a full color version book, please inform at the earliest..)

For bulk orders and discounts on B&W version and for colour version books you can contact.. For orders please whatsapp : 9739003467 Email: naadopaasana18@gmail.com

Divine Grace of the Guru

Adi sankaracharya

Adi Sankaracharya was the greatest among the Indian philosophers.  He is considered to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva. In the span of 32 years, he walked the length and breadth of our country Bharat to bring about an awareness in the minds of the people of the spiritual oneness underlying the diversity of this great subcontinent.

Sankaracharya established four mathas (monasteries) in four quarters of India to spread the Advaita philosophy. They are Sringeri in the south, Dwaraka in the west, Badri in the north and Puri in the east. Four prominent disciples of Adi Sankaracharya were the first heads of these Mathas. Totakacharya was the first head of Badri Matha.

Totakacharya was a young boy when he met Adi Sankaracharya. Then his name was Giri. As a student of Adi Sankara, Giri was very disciplined and hard working, but was not very bright.  Daily he watched the beaming faces of the disciples when they grasped the teachings of the Master. Giri often felt that he was not blessed with the intelligence to follow and understand the lessons taught by Adi Sankaracharya. However with great faith and devotion, he continued his service to the Acharya cheerfully.

Once Giri was washing the Master’s clothes when Adi Sankaracharya sat down to begin his class. Since, Giri had not arrived,  Sankaracharya was waiting for him to complete his daily chores. One of disciples asked the Master politely the reason for not starting the class, when the Acharya replied that Giri had not yet come. The other disciples exclaimed that it would not matter as Giri was not bright enough to understand the teachings. Adi Sankaracharya calmly replied that Giri ‘listens’ attentively.

At that moment Sankaracharya  decided to bless Giri for his devoted service and hard work. He mentally bestowed Giri all the knowledge of the spiritual sciences and Vedas.

The student who was busy with his daily work, suddenly felt that he was completely soaked in the grace and blessings of his Guru. Collecting his clothes, he made his way straight to his Guru and prostrated at his feet. In that ecstatic moment, he sang a beautiful sanskrit poem in the totaka meter, in praise of Adi Sankaracharya. The disciples were astonished at the miraculous change and total transformation in Giri, and were surprised at the deep and profound meaning of the verses from one who could not even speak a sentence correctly in Sanskrit till a few moments ago. This poem came to be known as Totakashtakam. Thus a humble student Giri became Totakacharya, and became one among the four prominent disciples of Adi Sankaracharya.

True disciples have to meet their Master but once...the disciple's life pattern changes and in his own inner maturity, he climbs the heights within. - Swami Chinmayananda