Monday, May 14, 2012

Adi Shankara : Life and Mission of a great revivalist and pillars of Advaita Vedanta

Sri Adi Shankaracharya (CE 788—820), one of the pillars of Advaita Vedanta (non-dualism), continues to inspire intellectuals and sages, though he lived more than a thousand years ago. The four Mathas that he founded in Sringeri (Karnataka), Dwaraka (Gujarat), Puri (Orissa) and Jyotirmath (Uttarakhand) in India are eminent centers of knowledge and authority in Hindu tradition.

Some of the most important of Shankaracharya's works are his commentaries on the Brahmasutras - Brahmasutrabhashya - considered the core of Shankara's perspective on Advaita, and Bhaja Govindam written in praise of Govinda or Lord Krishna - a Sanskrit devotional poem that forms the center of the Bhakti movement and also epitomizes his Advaita Vedanta philosophy. In addition, Vivekachudamani, Bhashyas on the ten major Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita are guides for all Vedanta scholars.

Chinmaya Mission is a world-wide organization whose primary focus is to provide spiritual knowledge to people from all walks of life. The mission provides this knowledge through the study of Vedanta, founded upon life enriching ethical and moral values. The Chinmaya Mission was founded by H.H. Swami Chinmayananda and has been under the leadership of H.H. Swami Tejomayananda since 1993. Chinmaya Mission is unique because of its integrated spiritual and secular vision. The mission also supports many social, educational and health programs in India and abroad.

Swami Ishwarananda met Swami Chinmayananda in 1986. Inspired by Pujya Gurudev, he left his software profession to fully engage in the study of Vedanta. In 1991 he joined Sandeepany Sadhanalaya (the Vedantic Seminary founded by Swami Chinmayananda) to pursue his spiritual studies. Upon completing his training in 1993 he served Chinmaya Misson centers in Kolkata and Bangalore. In 1995, he was appointed as Acharya (resident teacher) of the Chinmaya Mission centre in Los Angeles. Swami Ishwarananda was initiated into the order of sanyas in 2000 by Swami Tejomayananda (current world-wide head of the Chinmaya Mission).

At present Swamiji is based in the Los Angeles area. He places emphasis on practical application of Vedantic principles in daily life, stress management and spirituality in the workplace. Swamiji has authored a number of acclaimed books - among these “Conscious Living”, “Silent Search” and “Pathways to Peace.”
Watch talk presented by Swami Ishwarananda at Bharatiya Vichar Manch Los Angeles at below playlist.

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