ARADHANA, Monthly Magazine of the Hindu Religious And Charitable Endowments Dept. Andhra, Vol.3, 1957

ఆరాధన సంపుటము 3, 1957

by పి పేరయ్యశాస్త్రి(సం.)

(ARADHANA, Monthly Magazine of the Hindu Religious And Charitable Endowments Dept. Andhra, Vol.3, 1957)


The sources for the life of Sankara Bhagavadpadacharya are very scanty and meagre, as is the case with almost the life of every early great Indian.

Sankaracharya himself was a great writer, and has left us a remarkable collection of writings, which reflect the power of his thought, and the greatness of his conception.

The most noteworthy of His works, are his classic commentaries on the Brahma Sutras, the Gita, and the Upanishads. The Upadesha Sahasri’ and “Vivekachudamani’ are composite works by Sankaracharya, which reflect His general tenets. But unfortunately for us, these works of the master, do not contain much of useful biographical material. We have, therefore, mainly to depend upon the works of His disciples.

A number of biographies of Sankaracharya, called ‘Sankara Vijayas’ have been written by his disciples, the most important of them being Madhava’s “Sankara Digvijaya” and Anandagiri’s “Sankara vijaya”.


Anandagiri’s biography is generally held to be the most authoritative. Anandagiri is held to be the same as “Thotakacharya’ who was one of the four important disciples of Sankaracharya.

‘Advaita Samrajya Lakshimi,’ a commentator upon the Madhaveeya Sankara Vijaya, holds that Anandagiri was a direct and dear disciple of Sri Sankaracharya. He says:

” शङ्करस्य भगवतो भाष्यकारस्यायं शाङ्करः आनन्दगिर्यभिधः तस्य तत्प्रियशिष्यस्य वाक्यसारः”

The Dindima commentary on the Madhaveeya Sankara Vijaya gives a list of the prominent disciples of Sri Sankaracharya as following :

” अथ अनन्तरं पद्मपाद, हस्तामलक, समित्पाणि, चिद्विलास, विज्ञानकन्द, विष्णुगुप्त, शुद्धकीर्ति, भानुमरीचि, कृष्णदर्शन, बुद्धिवृद्धि, विरिधिपाद, शुद्धानन्द,गिरिप्रमुखैः”

Anandagiri’s Sankara Vijaya also gives the same list of the disciples in the following words: G”पद्भपाद, हस्तामलक, समित्पाणि, चिद्विलास, विज्ञानकन्द विष्णुगुप्त, युद्धकीर्ति, भानु मरीचि, कृष्णदर्शन, बुद्धिवृद्धि, विरिविपाद, शुद्धानन्द, गिरिप्रमुखैः”

So, we may assume that Anandagiri was a contemporaneous and direct disciple of Sri Sankaracharya and that his biography would contain the most accurate information about the life of the great Acharya.