When the Vaidic mode of communion with the ultimate was in jeopardy, with the rejuvenation and reassertion of its wisdom being a pressing need, Adi Shankara strode like a majestic lion across the country taking all other lions in his stride and converted even die hards making them opt for the path illumined by Upanishads, such a powerful leader was needed at that time when Hinduism had been almost smothered within an enticing entanglements of atheistic views and consequently the Hindu Society came to be disunited and broken up into numberless sects and denominations each championing a different new point and engaged in mutual quarrels and endless argumentations.
It was into such a chaotic intellectual atmosphere that Sri Shankara brought his life giving philosophy of non-dual Brahaman of the Upanishads. It can very well be understood what a colossal work it must have been for any one man to undertake in those days, when modern conveniences of mechanical transport and instruments of propaganda were unknown.
In His missionary work of propagating the great philosophical truths of the Upanishads and rediscovering through them the true cultural basis of our nation, Acharya Shankara had a variety of efficient weapons in his resourceful armory. An exquisite thinker, a brilliant intellect, a personality scintillating super think tank with the vision of Truth, a heart throbbing with industrious faith and ardent desire to serve the nation, sweetly emotional and relentlessly logical, Adi Shankara was the fittest Spiritual General to champion the cause of Upanishads. It was indeed a vast program that Shankara accomplished within the short span of 20 effective years for at the age of 32 he had finished his work and had folded up his manifestation. From masculine prose to feminine soft songs, from marching militant verses to dancing songful words, be in the halls of Upanishadic commentaries or in the temple of Brahmasutra expositions, in the theatre 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. But pen alone would not have won the war of culture for our country. He showed himself to be a great organizer, a far sighted diplomat courageous hero and a tireless servant of the country.
Before the advent of Sri Shankara numerous ritualistic practises engendered unclear practices which cried for reform. Sri Shankara completed this task. He gave them a new, purer and purposeful outlook. Working through its own tradition, each system or cult was helped to discipline mind conduct and practices, to be able to progress with the higher forum of truth. The evils were cleansed in the practice of rituals and a place was assigned to each cult in what may be described as a `federation of faithsâ€™ with the prospect of leading its rotary to the understanding of Upanishadic ideal. Refinement of religious beliefs and practices leads to refinement of character and social respectability.http://www.sringeri.net/history/sri-adi-shankaracharya
Incidents related to Sri Adi Shankara Life – Incidents from Sri Adi Shankara’s Life
Saraswathi Rajamani – The woman was India’s youngest spy, 16-year-old Saraswathy Rajamani, who smuggled secrets for the Indian National Army’s intelligence wing.
Rajamani was born in Burma, in 1927. Her father owned a gold mine and was one of the richest Indian in Rangoon.He was a staunch supporter of the freedom struggle; he settled down in Burma to escape arrest by the British authorities.
As Rajamani grew up, she started hearing a lot about Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army. While she had always supported the nationalist movement wholeheartedly, it was Netaji’s powerful words that kindled a fervour in her to fight for her nation.
When Rajamani was 16 years old, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose visited Rangoon to collect funds and recruit volunteers for INA. Netaji gave a inspiring speech. Deeply impressed with his fiery speech, Rajamani removed all her expensive gold and diamond jewellery and donated it to the Indian National Army.
This generous action did not fail to attract the attention of Bose who, on enquiring, found out that Rajamani was the daughter of one of the wealthiest Indians in Rangoon. Netaji went to Rajamani’s home and met her father. Netaji told her father about Rajamani’s jewellery donation and returned all the jewellery. Her father just smiled in reply as he himself was a donor for the cause of freedom. However Rajamani was stubborn and was not ready to take back her jewellery. Netaji had left with no option. Rajamani was not satisfied with just the donation. She requested Netaji to recruit her in his army. From then, Netaji called Rajamani as “Saraswathi”.
Netaji joined her in training as nurse. Rajamani agreed however she had a urge to do more. She joined the training and during her training as nurse she noticed that a man from INA was giving valuable information to Britishers. She informed about this to Netaji. Observing her intellectual and spying skills, he recruited her as a spy at the age of 16, along with another girl called Durga.
Durga and Rajamani both dressed up as boys and British officers’ houses, responsible of intercepting valuable military intelligence from the British agents and handing it over to the INA. They not only provided information but also provided them with guns from the British officers homes. It was dangerous job but both the brave girls did it with ease and confidence.
One day Durga was caught by Britishers. INA spy’s have been instructed that if anyone was caught, others should escape without trying to help them. However Rajamani did not want to leave Durga in such a situation. Rajamani disguised herself and tried to escape Durga. They both escaped successfully but the process of escape Rajamani got shot in her right leg. Rajamani Saraswathi is still living in a small apartment in Chennai.
Born in a rich family and dedicated her life to the cause of freedom is now struggling to meet her ends.