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About Acharya Sankara by Swami Chinmayananda

[Excerpts from commentaries, articles and letters by Swami Chinmayananda]

Let the SANKARA JAYANTI be an occasion for the Nation to feel the necessity to make a close and serious study of the Bharata Culture. Let this be the sacred occasion, the auspicious hour in the cultural history of our country, when we, the self-exiled children, decide to come back home to the Bharata view of life.
To achieve this, will be the greatest tribute that we can truly pay to Sri Acharya Sankara the first mighty Missionary in Hinduism. To such a self-dedicated Teacher nothing can be more satisfying than to see the harmony of Oneness lived in society – let him be our guide, our Ideal.

Sankara is not an individual, he is an institution

No single person could ever have achieved what he had achieved in his short life span. Sankara is a majestic entity striding over the total achievements of ordinary folk. His works represent the total turnover of a highly competent person, working intensively every hour of the day under conditions of the highest mental and intellectual efficiency. 
The life and work of Adi Sankara are indeed an inspiration to this country to relive the glorious Hindu Culture. The more we learn to adore him, not as a divine incarnation but as a sincere man inspired to serve the country and reconquer the Nation from its slavery to alien ideologies, the more we shall successfully pay our tribute to our own culture.
Bhagavadpada Acharya Sankara was not only a great thinker and the noblest of Advaita philosophers, but he was essentially an inspired champion of Hinduism and one of the most vigorous missionaries in our country. He showed himself to be a great organizer, a farsighted diplomat, a courageous hero, and a tireless servant of the country. 
Selfless and unassuming, this mighty angel strode up and down the length and breadth of the country, serving his motherland and teaching his countrymen to live up to the dignity and glory of Bharat. Sankara was indeed pre-eminently the fittest genius who could have undertaken this self-appointed task as the sole guardian angel of the Rishi-culture. 
An exquisite thinker, a brilliant intellect, a personality scintillating with the vision of Truth, a heart throbbing with industrious faith and ardent desire to serve the Nation, sweetly emotional and relentlessly logical, in Sankara the Upanishads discovered the fittest Spiritual General !!
No seeker can walk the path of self-unfoldment in himself without drawing upon the fund of information regarding this great pilgrimage, which lies in the bulk of Sankara’s works. 
Be he in the halls of the Upanishad commentaries or in the temple of the Brahma-sutra expositions, in the amphitheatre of his Bhagavad Gita discourses, or in the open flowery fields of his devotional songs, his was a pen that danced to the rhythm of his heart and to the swing of his thoughts — Sankara, the poet blended with Sankara, the philosopher! 
He has a special niche in the “poet’s corner” and will perhaps be remembered as the noblest poet who ever wielded a pen to bring about a cultural revival! The charm of Sri Sankara must be sought in his kirtans and bhajans, and having first met him there, you may seek an interview with him either in his studio — the Upanishad commentary; or at his house — the Sutra Bhashya …..the Geeta annotations!!
Sankara, the redeemer of Hinduism, shall eternally shine out through the clouds of time and space because of his superhuman perfection and experience of the Self, and yet he could face his opponents along the length and breadth of India, as he did in his time, and carve out of a decadent Hinduism, a renaissant India crowned with the best of its culture because of his staunch and unquestionable faith in the Goddess of Learning, Mother SARADA.

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