Shankaracarya, Shankara-acarya, Śaṅkarācārya: 5 definitions


Shankaracarya means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Śaṅkarācārya can be transliterated into English as Sankaracarya or Shankaracarya, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

Alternative spellings of this word include Shankaracharya.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous (S) next»] — Shankaracarya in Purana glossary
Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Śaṅkarācārya (शङ्कराचार्य).—General. The spiritual and philosophical preceptor of India. Śrī Śaṅkara was born in the village of Kālaṭi on the banks of the holy river Periyār, also called Cūrṇā and Pūrṇā. According to certain scholars he was born in 509 B.C. while certain others contend that he saw the light of day in 84 A.D. Yet others place his date of birth in various periods between 509 B.C. and 84 A.D. Whatever that may be, the great ācārya is believed to have lived only for 32 years. (See full article at Story of Śaṅkarācārya from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

[«previous (S) next»] — Shankaracarya in Vaishnavism glossary
Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary

Śaṅkarācārya (शङ्कराचार्य).—An incarnation of Lord Śiva who appeared in South India at the end of the 7th century A.D. to re-establish the authority of the Vedic scriptures. He was a philosopher and lived about three hundred years before Rāmānuja. He did this at a time when India was under the sway of Buddhism, whose tenets deny the authority of the Vedas. He took sannyāsa at a very tender age and wrote commentaries establishing an impersonal philosophy similar to Buddhism, substituting Brahman (Spirit) for the void. He traveled all over India defeating the great scholars of the day and converting them to his doctrine of Māyāvāda, the advaita (non-dualism) interpretation of the Upaniṣads and Vedānta.

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition)

Śaṅkarācārya (शङ्कराचार्य) refers to “a propagator of māyāvāda, or impersonalism, under-stood to be an incarnation of Lord Śiva”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).

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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous (S) next»] — Shankaracarya in Hinduism glossary
Source: India Netzone: Indian Philosophy

Adi Sankaracharya founded four monasteries that helped in the historical development, revival and spread of Advaita Vedanta. Adi Shankara is believed to be the organizer of the Dashanami monastic order and the founder of the Shanmata tradition of worship. He established the importance of monastic life. Shankara is credited for the defeat of Buddhism in Hindu literature. He was active after Buddhism had almost faded from prominence.

In his commentaries Shankara developed a theology in which he tried to establish that spiritual ignorance (avidya) or illusion (maya) is caused by the superimposition (adhyasa) of what is not the self onto the self. All knowledge is distorted by superimposition or projection, which prevents us from seeing our true nature as the self`s (atman`s) pure subjectivity, ontologically identical with the absolute (brahman). In order to realize the truth of the identity of the self with the absolute, a person must develop discrimination.

India history and geogprahy

[«previous (S) next»] — Shankaracarya in India history glossary
Source: The Date of Ādi Śankarāchārya

Adi Shankaracharya (569 BCE) was the greatest philosopher of India who single-handedly demolished the mightiest edifice of the Buddhist philosophy and re-established the authority of ancient philosophy of Upanishads & Vedanta. He was the founder of the theory of Brahmadvaitavada i.e. Non-dualism. He was perhaps the greatest spiritual leader of the world has ever known who re-energized entire country in his short life of 32 years.

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[«previous (S) next»] — Shankaracarya in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

śaṅkarācārya (शंकराचार्य).—m (S śaṅkara & ācārya) The designation of the celebrated teacher of the Wedant philosophy. He is stated to be an incarnation of Shiva. 2 Applied also to the Sunyasi presiding over the several maṭha or colleges established by him.

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Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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