Adi Shankaracharya was one of the most notable philosophers as well as
Savants of India. In his short lifespan of thirty-two years, he became one
of the greatest teachers of the Vedas. He was a major proponent of the
Vedanta tenet that 'Lord Brahma and men are of one essence and every
individual should try to develop this vision of oneness'. As per him, God is
one and the only way to achieve salvation is through the study of the Vedas.
He founded four Shankaracharya Peethas (spiritual centers) in the four
corners of India, which uphold his teachings.
Shankaracharya Ashrams in India
Adi Shankaracharya established four peeths or maths in the four corners of
India. Known as Amnaya Peethas, Shankaracharya Ashrams count amongst the
most revered pilgrim destinations in the country. The heads of these four
institutions are considered the principal Shankaracharyas in India.
Vedanta Jnana Peetha, Sringeri (South India)
Sringeri is situated in Karnataka, on the embankment of river Tunga. Great
sages like Vibhan-daka, Rishyashringa, etc have meditated here in the
ancient times. The serene and calm environs of Sringeri charmed him and he
established his first Vedanta Jnana Peetha here. He installed there the idol
of Sri Sharada, the Goddess of Learning, and named Sureshwara as the Head of
that Sharada Peetha.
The three other Adi Shankracharya Maths in India are as follows-
- Govardhana Peetha in Jagannath Puri
- Sharda Peetha, Dwaraka (Gujarat)
- Jyotih Peetha, Badarikashrama (Uttarakhand/Uttaranchal)