Day 25 – Q 5.Assess the contribution of Adi Shankara in the development of Hindu philosophy.
5. Assess the contribution of Adi Shankara in the development of Hindu philosophy.
हिन्दू दर्शन के विकास में आदि शंकर के योगदान का आकलन करें।
Adi Shankaracharya was one of the most important philosophers and religious leaders in the Indian history and the Hindu Sanatan religion and is widely revered as a religious reformer in the early 8th century.
His contributions in the development of Hindu philosophy:
- Advaita Vedanta- Vedanta marks the ‘end of Vedas’, which were polytheistic. Shankara however, shifted the centre from the God to the self (Atma). Advaita refers to Non-dualism, which perceives self (Atma) as the absolute reality (Brahman).
- Theory of Maya- It is the charismatic power that creates the world, and is inseparable from Brahman. Change is illusion, and it is visible to some only due to Maya.
- Logical reasoning- All his works are analysed through logical angles, and not even once he resorts to dictums for men to follow.
- Vedic thought- He re-introduced a finer form of Vedic thought. His traditions and teachings form the basis of the Smritis and have influenced Sant and Mutt lineages.
- Moksha- As per Shankara, moksha could be attained solely through concentration of the mind.
- Unification of deities- He also sought to unify the different groups of Hindus fighting over the gods of Vishnu, Shiva, Ganesh, Surya and Shakti, through Panchayatana form of worship, the simultaneous worship of five deities. He also explained that all deities were but different forms of the one Brahman, the invisible Supreme Being.
- Bhashyas- Shankara has written commentaries on the Upanishads, Bhagavad-Gita and other prominent Vedic texts. These commentaries known as bhashyas stand at the pinnacle of Indian philosophical writing.
Other than his philosophical contributions, he is also known for integrating the whole India through his concerted efforts by building temples at the strategic points of India. His mathas (monasteries), in the four corners of India have extended the wisdom of the Vedas till present age.
Best answer: Chetan R