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Adi Sankara's philosophy

CHENNAI NOV. 13. Followers of all religions have a common goal, which is universal in nature. The ultimate aim of every individual is to reach the Supreme Lord. In order to achieve it, the core need for human beings is to escape the cycle of births and deaths. Pointing out to a devotee the right direction as the role of religion in its entirety from time immemorial,there has been only one desirable way of leading one's life that of following the path of virtue. While in earlier ages it was easier to remain steadfast in the pursuit of the goal, with the advent of Kali Yuga the attendant distractions on the human mind are a major factor to contend with. Helping the devotee out of this self-created maze becomes the role of preceptors and saints.

Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, Kanchi Sankaracharya, in a discourse paid glowing tributes to Adi Sankara as a beacon light to the spiritually floundering flock. At a time when there was a multiplicity of spurious cults Adi Sankara's life and philosophy was a turning point in the spiritual ethos. His commentaries on Vyasa's works and other scriptures put spiritual knowledge within the easy reach of the ordinary devotee. The cornerstone of Adi Sankara's philosophy, Adwaita, is enshrined in the Upanishads. What are the difficulties that a devotee faces in his quest for the ultimate? On the one hand it is the challenge of grasping the abstruse and the subtle; on the other it is the ubiquitous struggle in transcending one's ego and achieving union with God.

If one follows the spiritual recommendations, then God-realisation becomes but a natural extension of one's life. Both Saivism and Vaishnavism, which have been in place since the origin of earth, also lay emphasis on the supremacy of the Lord. Saints like Ramanuja and the Nayanmars, have played a stellar role in perfecting the formula for purifying oneself through devotion in order to qualify for the kingdom of God. Sankara's philosophy advocates attaining pure consciousness or ultimate reality in this life itself. Such a guideline is however not to be mistaken for "quick fix" method. Rather it is a state of being to be achieved by resolving inner confusions with knowledge and conflicts through devotion with the added aid of absolute control of senses. In the ultimate analysis, truth is one, philosophy is one; the difference lies only in the manifold choices and approaches available to a devotee. Adwaita is of universal import, broad based on the Divinity of the Self and does not conflict with other schools of thought.

source: http://www.hindu.com/2003/11/13/stories/2003111300450900.htm






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