Sankara Mathas in Trichur, Kerala

“The Cochin State Manual” gives the information that some Mathas tracing their origin to the direct disciples of Sri Sankarācārya such as Sureswara and Padmapada, with Namboodri Sanyasins as their Heads are found in Trichur in Kerala.

Outside Trichur there is a Namboodri Sanyasi Madam called Tirukekka Madam which is also said to have been situtated originally at Trichur. One of them is called Naduvile (Central) Madam. One of them has been converted as Brahmaswa Madam, i.e., Vedic Centre for Namboodri Brahmins.

Professor K.Rama Pisharoti, M.A., in an article on “The Age of Sankara in the Light of Kerala Legends”: published in The Hindu, dated July 14th 1932, states that these Mathas might not have been established at the time of Sri Sankara, that it was likely that, even before Sri Sankara’s time, these places were traditional centres of Vedic learning and that Sri Sankara converted them as his Mathas.

But he confirms the tradition that the direct disciples of Sri Sankara were the first Presidents of these mathas.

This opinion, that Sri Sankara converted such institutions of saintly scholars which existed before His time as monasteries to foster His Advaita philosophy, finds an echo in a work called “Kānchi Māhātmyam” (printed in Karvetnagar during the last century) which states that Devi, Kamākshi, the Presiding Deity of Kamakoti Peetha, was worshipped by yatis. “उपासते मनस्येवं भूमौ काञ्च्यां यतीश्वराः॥”

(काञ्चीमाहात्म्यम्, अ. ३१.)