Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Adi Shankaracharya in Kashmir( Southside Story)

This is the Southern India version of the story:
In the course of his travels, Sankara reached Kashmir. Here was a temple dedicated to Sarada (sarasvati), the goddess of learning, which housed the sarvajnapitha, the Throne of Omniscience. It was a tradition for philosophers to visit the place and engage in debate. The victorious one would be allowed to ascend the sarvajnapitha. It is said that no philosopher from the southern region had ever ascended the peetha, till Sankara visited Kashmir and defeated all the others there. He then ascended the sarvajnapitha with the blessings of Goddess Sarada. (A few centuries later, Ramanuja, the teacher of Visisht Advaita, would visit the same sarvajnapitha in search of the Baudhayanavrtti. However, a variant tradition places the sarvajnapitha in the south Indian city of Kancipuram.)

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