A-AS Level (CIE) Hinduism: Specimen Questions with Answers 44 - 44 of 51

Question 44

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Explain the contribution of Adi Shankaracharya in Hinduism.

Explanation

The great sage Adi Shankaracharya was born in Kerala. In childhood he left his home and started to roam all over India, as the part of Hindu reformation. He covered whole country four times and as the result of his pilgrimage, he established four great mutts (spiritual capital) in each four corners of the country. They are- Dwaraka, Badrinath, Puri and Sringeri.

He gave much importance to the advaitha philosophy (non-dualistic) and urges everybody to follow the siddhanta. He strongly claimed the idea of Ekam evam advaitam (only the one, that is non-dualistic) .

He saved large number of Hindu temples from the clandestine clutches of Buddhism. He openly debated with buddhists saints and defeated on the various subjects such as- logic, ontology, and metaphysics. He is the one who played an important role to stop the spreading of Buddhism in all over the country and through that, he revived Hinduism in a big manner. One of the main drawbacks of Buddhism was the failing of the acknowledgement of god and soul.

One of the famous winning debate of Adi Shankara was against the great scholar (pandita) - Mandanamishra. After defeating all his spiritual opponents with debates, he attained the position of Sarvajnapeeta.

He established the popular monastic order, which is still relevant that is known as- dashanami sampradaya. And apart from all these, he introduced new systematic order in temple and still following it without any fail.

Some of his famous works are- Vivekachudamani, soundarya lahari, bhashyams (interpretations) of Brahma sutra, Bhagavad Gita and so on.

The most important work of Adi Shankara was the uniting of Hinduism, that too within the shorter period.

He gave much more stress on Dhyana (meditation) , mukti (liberation) , yoga (union) and sannyasa (renunciation) .

These all are the major contributions of Adi Shankaracharya in Hinduism.

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