Context: A 108-foot statue of 8th century spiritual leader Adi Shankara was unveiled recently in Madhya Pradesh’s Omkareshwar. The statue of Openness depicts Shankaracharya as a 12-year old child when he is known to visit the Omkareshwar in Khandwa District.
- He was also known as Shankaracharya.
- Born in Kaladi, Kerala in 788 CE.
- Propounded the Doctrine of Advaita (Monism) and wrote many commentaries on the Vedic canon (Upanishads, Brahma Sutras and Bhagavad Gita) in Sanskrit.
- His major works included Brahmasutrabhasya (Bhashya or commentary on the Brahma Sutra), Bhajagovinda Stotra and Nirvana Shatakam.
- He was responsible to revive Hindu philosophy at a time when Buddhism was gaining momentum in India.
- He is said to have established four Mathas (Hindu Monastaries) at Shingeri, Puri, Dwaraka and
- Badrinath– for propagation of Sanathana Dharma in four corners of India.
- Adi Shankaracharya was opposed to Buddhist philosophers.
- Philosophy of Adi Shankara is part of Vedanta (One of the six schools of Aastik Hindu Philosophy).
- Advaita Vedanta refers to the non-dualistic school of Hindu philosophy, which is derived mostly from the Upanishads and elaborated in detail by eminent scholars like Gaudapada and Sri Adi Shankaracharya.
- Dvaita means duality, and Advaita means nonduality. In simple terms, Advaita means absence of the duality between subject and object.
About Omkareshwar Temple:
- Omkareshwar is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva. It is on an island called Mandhata, near Khandwa city in the Narmada river at Khandwa district in Madhya Pradesh, India. It is one of the 12 revered Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva; the shape of the island is said to be like the Devanagari ॐ symbol.
- There are two main temples of Shiva here, one to Omkareshwar (whose name means “Lord of Omkara or the Lord of the Om sound”) located in the island and one to Mamleshwar (Amaleshwar) (whose name means “Immortal Lord” or “lord of the Immortals or Devas”) located on the southern bank of the Narmada River on the mainland.
- Madhya Pradesh has two Jyotirlingas, the second one, Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, is situated about 140 km north of Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga.
- Other Ten Jyotirlinga: are Somnath in Gujarat, Mallikarjuna at Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh, Kedarnath in Himalayas, in Uttrakhand state, Bhimashankar in Maharashtra, Viswanath at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Triambakeshwar near Nashik in Maharashtra, Vaidyanath Temple, Vaidyanath in Jharkhand, Nageshwar at Dwarika in Gujarat, Rameshwar at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu and Grishneshwar near Aurangabad, Maharashtra in Maharashtra.