Jagadguru Sri Adi Sankaracharya was the greatest exponent of the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta and a savior of Vedic Dharma. Salutations to Sankara, who is an ever shining star on the sky of Indian philosophy.
The existence of Vedic Dharma in India today is due to Sankara. The forces opposed to Vedic religion were more numerous and powerful at the time of Sankara than they are today. Still, single-handed, within a very short time, Sankara overpowered them all and restored the Vedic Dharma and Advaita Vedanta to its pristine purity in the land pure knowledge and spirituality.
The doctrine of advaita vedanta as expounded by Sankara can be summed up in half a verse: "Brahma Satyam Jagan Mithya Jivo Brahmaiva Na Aparah" - Brahman (the Absolute) is alone real; this world is unreal; and the Jiva or the individual soul is non-different from Brahman. This is the quintessence of his philosophy.
Tenets of Advaita Vedanta
* Brahman (the Absolute) is alone real; this world is unreal; and the Jiva or the individual soul is non-different from Brahman.
* The Atman is self-evident (Svatah-siddha).
* Brahman is not an object, as It is Adrisya, beyond the reach of senses, mind or intellect.
* Sat-Chit-Ananda constitute the very essence or Svarupa of Brahman, and not just Its attributes.
* The world is not an illusion according to Sankara. The world is relatively real (Vyavaharika Satta), while Brahman is absolutely real (Paramarthika Satta). The unchanging Brahman appears as the changing world because of a superimposition of non-Self (objects) on Self (subject - Brahman). This is called Avidya.
* The Jiva or the individual soul is only relatively real - Just as the bubble becomes one with the ocean when it bursts, so also the Jiva or the empirical self becomes one with Brahman when it gets knowledge of Brahman.
* Because samsara (or duality) exists due to ignorance or Avidya, Knowledge (Jnana) alone can make an individual realize his true nature. Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga etc., are necessary only to purify the individual and to help remove this Avidya. All other paths culminate in Jnana.
* Brahma Jnana is not about acquiring any external knowledge (as Brahman can't be an object of knowledge), it just about removing the Avidya or Maya.
Sri Siva Vishnu Temple invited one and all to participate in Sri Adi Shankara Jayanthi celebrations on Saturday, May 22, 2010 from 7:30 AM to 1:30 PM at main auditorium, Sri Siva Vishnu Temple, Lanham, MD.
7:30 AM - 10:00 AM Guru Vandanam, Swasti Vachanam, Sri Maha Ganapati Pooja, Laghunyasam & Rudra Abhishekam, Sri Rudra Kramarchana (Trishati) to Lord Shiva, Ashtottara archana to Lord Shiva and Goddess Sharada, Guru Pooja to Adi Shankara
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM Recitation of the compositions of Sri Adi Shankara by children and others
11:30 AM - 12:15 PM Pallaki Utsava (Procession around the temple)
12:15 PM - 12:30 PM Talk by Sri Swami Dheerananda, Chinmaya Mission, Washington DC Metro
12:30 PM - 12:45 PM Maha Mangala Arati
12:45 PM Lunch Prasadam
Please visit web site for other videos. Few pictures of the event/place: