Sri Sankara Bhagavadpada : The Shanmata Sthapanacharya

Sri Sankara Bhagavadpada : The Shanmata Sthapanacharya – Shankara And Shanmata

“The celestial wish-yielding tree of Sankara taking its root in the Vedas, and spreading for branches the Shanmatas, gave out to the world at large a rich yield of the fruits of Illumination” thus says Anandagireeya.

“Those who came to scoff remained to pray” said Goldsmith. Those who came as disputants.. the leaders of the various sub-faiths became His disciples.

When Sri Sankara Bhavadpacharya took His abode in Kanchipuram in His last days, He sent out these disciples to propagate the worship of the six divinities within the Vedic framework. They did accordingly and reported back the success of their mission to the Great Acharya.

The 67th and succeeding prakaranas of Anandagiri’s Sankaravijaya, give an account of this. Paramata Kalanala, Lakshmana, Hastamalaka, Divakara, Tripura Kumara and Girijakumara were the disciples who spread the faiths in the different parts of Bharat,

Thus it is clear that Sri Bhagavadpada was Shanmata Sthapaka. He shed off His mortal coils in Kanchi only after the leaders of the six faiths, who were His disciples, reported to Him that the faiths had been stabilised throughout the nation in the new form given by the Achrya which really was their original form.


It is significant that Sri Sankaracharya (like Dakshinamurti) is usually represented in sculptures with His four disciples who spread the philosophy of advaita. But, only in Sri Kamakshi Temple (Kamakoshta) and Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam Srimatha (old Puja-griha)- His most important shrines

in Kanchipuram, six disciples are shown in the pedestal/ panel. They are the expounders of the Shanmatas. Two of them are not Sannyasins, their head not covered with cloth. But since they do not have the upavita they could not be brahmacharins or grhastas either. One may conclude they had been tantrics, newly won over to the Smarta tradition.

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