Context: Inauguration of the 108-foot-tall statue of Adi Guru Shankaracharya in Omkareshwar, Khargone district, Madhya Pradesh.
Statue of Oneness:
Adi Guru Shankaracharya is shown in the 108-foot-tall statue as a 12-year-old child prodigy. It is a large and majestic edifice that is situated on a pedestal that is 75 feet tall. The statue as a whole is about 100 tons heavy.
Symbol of Peace and Unity:
The Advaita Vedanta teachings of Adi Shankaracharya place a strong emphasis on the interconnectedness of all living things as well as the ultimate unity of the self (Atman) with the supreme reality (Brahman).
The statue is mainly made of copper (88%), with minor additions of tin (8%), and zinc (4%). For the substructure’s construction, 250 tons of premium stainless steel were employed. The statue’s longevity is guaranteed by the careful selection of materials.
The statue is the product of painstaking craftsmanship and is set atop a 16-foot stone lotus. Under the direction of painter Vasudev Kamath and sculptor Bhagwan Rampure, it was planned and carved. The fact that the monument was made out of 290 separate panels emphasizes the accuracy and creativity that went into it.
Advait Lok Initiative
Establishing the Foundation: The MP CM also established the groundwork for the ₹2,200 crore Advait Lok project during the event. This project will probably function as a hub for cultural and spiritual events, thereby advancing Adi Shankaracharya’s teachings.
About Adi Shankara:
Renowned Indian philosopher and theologian Adi Shankaracharya, also called Adi Shankara, flourished in the early eighth century CE.
Birth and Background: According to some sources, Adi Shankaracharya was born in the village of Kalady in modern-day Kerala, India, in 788 CE. He was born into a pious Brahmin family, the son of Shivaguru and Aryamba.
Early Signs of Brilliance: Legend has it that Shankara exhibited extraordinary brilliance and a strong spiritual curiosity at a very young age. The study of the Vedas and other scriptures drew him in.
Path of Spirituality:
Renunciation: Adi Shankara declared at the age of eight that he want to become a sannyasin, or renunciant. He got his mother’s approval to follow a life of renunciation, even though she was first reluctant.
Guru Guidance: Adi Shankara then looked for a guru and enrolled in Govinda Bhagavatpada’s class. He began studying and practicing Advaita Vedanta, a non-dualistic school of Hindu philosophy, under the direction of his guru.
Philosophies and Teachings:
Advaita Vedanta: The interpretation and dissemination of Advaita Vedanta is considered Adi Shankaracharya’s greatest achievement. According to this theory, there is only one true non-dual reality, and Atman, the individual soul, is the same as Brahman, the ultimate reality.
Commentaries: He provided in-depth analyses of the Brahma Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, and the principal Upanishads. His commentary works have a significant impact on later philosophical thought and are regarded as authoritative writings in Advaita Vedanta.
Adi Shankara placed great emphasis on the idea of Maya, which is the delusion that Brahman and the material world are distinct from one another. He maintained that the path to spiritual emancipation (moksha) involves understanding the illusionary character of the world and realizing one’s actual identity as Atman.
Neti-Neti Doctrine: Shankara’s philosophy uses the “neti-neti” (not this, nor that) method, which denies all characteristics and constraints in order to recognize Brahman’s attributelessness and limitlessness.
Travel and Disputations:
Chaturmasya: As part of his Chaturmasya Yatra, Adi Shankara made a number of lengthy trips across India to hold philosophical talks and debates with intellectuals from different traditions. These discussions contributed to his reputation as a learned philosopher.
Creating Mathas: Shankara traveled around India and founded four monastic settlements, or “mathas,” in various locations. These mathas are still hubs for Advaita Vedanta education and dissemination.
Impact and Legacy:
Adi Shankaracharya is frequently credited with uniting the various rituals and beliefs that make up Hinduism. His ideology served as a unifying factor across many traditions and groups.
Vedanta revival: He was instrumental in bringing back the study of the Upanishads and Vedanta, which had fallen out of favor during his lifetime.
Impact on Bhakti Movements: Although Shankara advocated for non-dualism, his teachings also had an effect on subsequent Hinduism Bhakti (devotional) movements. His writings served as an influence to other Bhakti saints.
Literary Legacy: In scholarly and religious circles, his writings—including hymns and commentaries—remain highly esteemed and frequently studied.
Sustained Reverence: Festivals honoring Adi Shankaracharya’s life and teachings are observed across India, especially on Shankara Jayanti, the anniversary of his birth.