maanaso vaimalyadaayini manoine i
narnaami sadaa ii
(O Goddess, You live in the lotus of purity,
You make the mind pure, and You are known by the inner mind.
You are beautiful as well as virtuous. I offer my salutation at Your lotus feet at all
This hymn on Goddess Saraswati, so well known and familiar in our country, was composed
by Sri Shankaracharya. "it is not possible to describe His form in any specific way.
But great is His Glory."
This statement is made about God. It occurs in Vedas. The same thing may be said
of sages, seers and philosophers-the most glorious personages who were responsible for the
growth and development of our national culture. They did not want to fill the pages of
Indian history with physical and material information such as dates, place, birth, period
of life, etc. This is the characteristic of our culture. Their vital spirit is still
present all around us. Their works alone testify to their spiritual, intellectual and
creative powers. These great men will appear to us as God-men, when we understand their
works. Their actions appear as superhuman. As they are beyond our ability to understand,
we tend to think of them as miracles. But these extraordinary men are far above those
miracles also. Leaving aside these miracles, if we just take their life story, even that
would be wonderful and interesting. The lives of such persons with their pristine purity .
reveal the very heart of Indian culture. Sri Adi Shankaracharya belongs to the galaxy of
such men. The history of Indian culture, in fact, is the stream of lives of such great
souls. In order to recover from the crises-the religious, moral, that crop up ideological
or political in the society from time to time, the country anxiously awaits the help of
inspiring and glorious personalities. It may be said that Sri Shankaracharya's birth took
place in the same way, as a result of India's spiritual longing for redressal of its
all-round suffering. It is the opinion of scholars that he belonged to the period between
788 and 820 A.D.