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Who are shankaracharyas and why do they matter in Santhan Hinduism?

In Advaita Vedanta, one of Hinduism’s major philosophical schools, “shankaracharya” refers to the leaders of monastic institutions (mathas). “Shankaracharya” refers to the early 8th-century philosopher and theologian Adi Shankaracharya’s Advaita tradition.

Adi Shankaracharya revived and solidified Advaita Vedanta, which emphasizes non-dualism. Advaita Vedanta says Brahman is attribute-free and Atman is Brahman. Shankaracharya’s ideas shaped Hindu philosophy and reconciled its many factions.

The leaders of Adi Shankaracharya’s four monastic establishments (mathas) in India are called “Shankaracharya”. The institutes are:

The first matha founded by Adi Shankaracharya is Sringeri Sharada Peetham in Karnataka.

Adi Shankaracharya founded the western matha, Dwaraka Sharada Peetham, in Gujarat.

Puri Govardhana Peetham is¬†Adi Shankaracharya’s eastern matha in Odisha.

Adi Shankaracharya founded Jyotirmath (Joshimath) in Uttarakhand.

Advaita Vedanta’s preservation, propagation, and interpretation depend on Shankaracharyas. They are spiritual leaders and Hindu tradition and philosophy experts. They also teach Vedanta and related scriptures at their mathas.

Shankaracharyas are important in Sanatan Hindu Dharma because they preserve a philosophical legacy and contribute to Hinduism’s intellectual and spiritual history. They are admired for their research, mentoring, and attempts to spread Vedanta and Hindu philosophy.

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