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SHANKARACHARYA

Service to Mother

Meanwhile Shankara felt that the end of his old mother Aryamba was nearing. Accordingly he returned to Kalati. When Shankara came to know that she was to die shortly, he offered ‘Shiva Bhujanga Stotra’ and ‘Vishnu Stotra’ which have a power to save the soul, and prayed that she might die peacefully and attain heavenly abode.

Shankara’s mother died. Her body was to be cremated. But none of Shankara’s relatives came forward to help. A monk cannot perform the funeral rites of anyone, not even of his parents. Still Shankara- charya felt, is it not a sacred duty to perform the funeral rites of the dead when required to? Shankara had to carry" the body himself with great difficulty to the burning place and light up the pyre. By doing this last service to his mother, he felt gratified.

Shankaracharya paid a visit to Sharada Nilaya in Kashmir known as Sarvajna Peetha (the seat of the all knowing). Those who are not all-knowing are not entitled to sit on it; no one could claim to be an expert in any religion or philosophy without sitting on it. Shankara did not wish to show himself off as Sarvajna. He felt that Sri Sharada Nilaya with Sarvajna Peetha was by itself a place worthy of visit by all devotees. Besides, Kashmir is the crown of Bharat. So he resolved to g 0 there, lest the ancient Hindu religion should perish there.

There are four gates in four directions for entering Sharada Nilaya. Eminent scholars and philosophers had entered it from various directions and had established their scholarly merit But no one so far had adorned this chair of Sarvajna. And also till their no one had even attempted to enter the temple through the Southern gate May be this gate was waiting for Acharya Shankara. only who was from the South! Scholars of many group and communities were waiting for him in ‘ the premises of Sir Sharada Nilaya All were filled with a feeling of reverence to see him who was learned in both Jnana and Vijnana Yet the scholars in religious philosophies of Jaina, Bouddha, Samkhya, Yoga, Nays and Vaisheshika confronted him at the time of his entry to the temple, Shankara defeated all of them in philosophical debate and then entered the temple through the Southern gate.

Acharya went to ascend Sarvajna Peetha. Sri Sharada, the presiding deity of all learning, herself set a test for him. Shankara passed this test also. After this the Goddess Herself  blessed him, proclaiming his omniscience. So say the ‘Shankara Vijayas’.

We can take this to be an allegory of all the struggles Shankara had to face in his life. Ascending the seat of Sarvajna situated in Kashmir of the North is a symbol. The meaning of it is that Shankara reached the peak of spirituality. We can get an idea of his greatness from the fact that a person of just thirty had ascended the throne of all knowledge.

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Shankaracharya - One of the greatest philosophers and savants of Bharat.
About Shankaracharya
Introduction
God's Grace
At Gurukula
For The Sake Of Mother
Mother's Longing And Anxiety
Shankara,The Ascetic
'O, Mother Parvati, Give Me Alms'
Commentaries
A Matchless Guru For A Matchless Disciple
'Hastamalaka'
The Four Regional Monasteries
The Disciples
You are Here! Service To Mother
The Path That Shankara Showed
The Guiding Light
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