Shankaracharya Jayanti 2022: Know how this seer united the country from Kaladi down South to Kedarnath up North
Adi Shankaracharya (788-820 AD) trekked the difficult terrains of the Himalayan region like Badri-Kedar on foot from his birth place Kaldi (Kerala) around 1200 years back at a time when the means of transport were limited.
Shankaracharya performed this mahayatra with the aim of spreading spirituality.
At the age of six, Shankara had gained Vedic knowledge and he chose the path of sanyasi and passed each and every corner of the country till he attained samadhi at the young age of 32.
Adi Shankaracharya is considered to be the originator of Advaita.
He gave a teaching that the soul and the Supreme Soul are one. He established Jyotirpeeth in Badrikashram in the north, Dwarka-Sharda Peeth in the west, Shringeri Peeth in the south and Jagannathpuri Govardhan Peeth in the east.
Eminent historian Dr. Shiv Prasad Naithani writes that Shankaracharya reached Haridwar at the age of 12 while preaching of religious values from Kashi.
After worshiping on the banks of the Ganges here, he established the Shaligram Deity of Lord Vishnu in the sanctum sanctorum of the Bharat Temple in Rishikesh.
Shankaracharya crossed the Ganges at Vyaschatti, 35 km from Rishikesh and reached Brahmapur (present-day Bachelikhal). After reaching Devprayag from Brahmapur, he composed a eulogy (Ganga Stuti) at the Sangam and then proceeded towards Srikshetra Srinagar (Garhwal). He reached Nandprayag via Rudraprayag and Karnprayag on the right bank of Alaknanda river.
According to Dr. Naithani, Shankaracharya reached Joshimath from here and practised spiritual medition under the Kalpa tree. After the establishment of Jyotimath Peeth in Joshimath, he reached Badrinath. Here he not only renovated the Badrinath temple, but also removed the four-armed idol of Shri Vishnu from the Narad Kund and installed it in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.
Thereafter, he reached Kedarnath, the abode of Lord Shiva and took eternal samadhi. During the Kedarnath tragedy in June 2013, the Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya was flooded and hence an underground mausoleum has now been constructed at this place in the Dham.