Who is the proponent of Advaita philosophy

The Proponent of Advaita Philosophy: Adi Shankara

Introduction: Advaita, a profound school of Indian philosophy, holds the belief in the ultimate oneness of all existence. At its core lies the notion that the true nature of reality is non-dual, where the individual self (jiva) and the supreme reality (Brahman) are essentially one. This philosophy has had a significant impact on the spiritual and intellectual landscape of India. When exploring the roots of Advaita, one name stands out prominently – that of Adi Shankara. Let us delve into the life and teachings of this eminent proponent of Advaita philosophy.

Early Life and Background: Adi Shankara, also known as Shankaracharya, was born in the 8th century CE in the state of Kerala, India. His exact date of birth and early life details are the subject of some debate, but he is widely regarded as the most influential figure in the Advaita Vedanta tradition. Shankara displayed extraordinary intellectual prowess from a young age, mastering the Vedas, Upanishads, and other scriptural texts.

Teachings and Contributions:

Adi Shankara’s contributions to Advaita philosophy are profound and far-reaching. He systematized and revitalized the Vedantic tradition, firmly establishing Advaita as a distinct philosophical school. Shankara’s commentaries on ancient texts such as the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, and Brahma Sutras became foundational to the understanding of Advaita Vedanta.

Shankara’s key philosophical tenet is the concept of “Brahman” as the ultimate reality, which is formless, infinite, and indivisible. According to him, the world of names and forms that we perceive is an illusory superimposition on the absolute reality. He emphasized that the true nature of the self (Atman) is identical to Brahman, and liberation (moksha) can be attained by realizing this non-dual nature.

To propagate his teachings, Shankara traveled extensively throughout India, engaging in debates with scholars representing diverse philosophical traditions. He established four mathas (monastic centers) in different corners of India, appointing disciples to carry forward the Advaita tradition. The mathas continue to play a vital role in preserving and disseminating Advaita philosophy to this day.

Legacy and Significance:

Adi Shankara’s intellectual contributions had a profound and lasting impact on Indian philosophy, spirituality, and culture. His efforts helped revive and unify the diverse strands of Hindu thought, bringing a new clarity and depth to the understanding of Vedanta. Shankara’s Advaita philosophy continues to inspire and influence scholars, seekers, and spiritual aspirants worldwide.

Beyond Advaita Vedanta, Shankara’s legacy extended to the establishment of numerous mathas and the preservation of various sacred sites across India. He also composed devotional hymns, philosophical treatises, and scholarly commentaries, leaving behind a rich literary and spiritual heritage that continues to be studied and cherished.


Adi Shankara stands tall as the principal proponent of Advaita philosophy, offering profound insights into the nature of reality and the path to liberation. His intellectual brilliance, coupled with his spiritual depth, enabled him to revitalize the ancient Vedantic tradition and establish Advaita Vedanta as a prominent school of thought. Today, Shankara’s teachings continue to guide countless seekers in their quest for truth, emphasizing the unity and non-dual nature of existence.