ADVENT AND ITS IMPACT
are many versions regarding the birth of this great acharya and succeed in
laying stress on the religious renaissance, in the later part of eighth century.
Some narrate that the parent of Sankara, Sivaguru and Ambika were assured by
Vadakkunathan of Trichur temple that he would be born as their son; and others
mention that Lord Siva himself descended incarnating as Sankara to rejuvenate
the sinking glory of Hinduism. Whatever may be cause, if judged in terms of
impact, Sankara's birth opened a new glittering chapter in the religious history
of India. Sankara lost his father while quite young, but mother Ambika brought
him up instilling into his mind the essentials of Hinduism by entrusing him to
the great gurus of the day. Sankara, to the amazement of all drank in all the
best that the scriptures embodied before crossing his eighth year and managed to
taking sanyasa before departing to the north for enriching his scholarship, but
incidentally it enriched the very source itself-the feeder was fed miraculously.
His discipleship first under Govinda Yati equipped him with such vast
scholarship that it raised the banner of Advaita philosophy, at the fluttering
of which the dubious claims of superiority of other religions went into hiding.