Must watch movie...about our Genius Shree Aadi Shankaracharya...
Adi Shankaracharya is a 1983 Indian film in Sanskrit language directed by G. V. Iyer. The film depicts the life and times of 8th century Indian philosopher, Adi Shankara, who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta (Non-dualism) in Indian philosophy. It was the first film in India to be made in Sanskrit.
Adi Shankara's works deal with logically establishing the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta as he saw it in the Upanishads. He formulates the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta by validating his arguments on the basis of quotations from the Vedas and other Hindu scriptures. He gives a high priority to svānubhava ("personal experience") of the student. His works are largely polemical in nature. He directs his polemics mostly against the Sankhya, Buddha, Jaina, Vaisheshika and other non-vedantic Hindu philosophies.
Traditionally, his works are classified under Bhāṣya ("commentary"), Prakaraṇa grantha ("philosophical treatise") and Stotra ("devotional hymn"). The commentaries serve to provide a consistent interpretation of the scriptural texts from the perspective of Advaita Vedanta. The philosophical treatises provide various methodologies to the student to understand the doctrine. The devotional hymns are rich in poetry and piety, serving to highlight the relationship between the devotee and the deity.
Adi Shankara wrote Bhashyas on the ten major Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita. In his works, he quotes from Shveshvatara, Kaushitakai, Mahanarayana and Jabala Upanishads, among others. Bhashyas on Kaushitaki, Nrisimhatapani and Shveshvatara Upanishads are extant but the authenticity is doubtful. Adi Shankara's is the earliest extant commentary on the Brahma Sutras. However, he mentions older commentaries like those of Dravida, Bhartrprapancha and others.
In his Brahma Sutra Bhashya, Adi Shankara cites the examples of Dharmavyadha, Vidura and others, who were born with the knowledge of Brahman acquired in previous births. He mentions that the effects cannot be prevented from working on account of their present birth. He states that the knowledge that arises out of the study of the Vedas could be had through the Puranas and the Itihasas. In the Taittiriya Upanishad Bhashya 2.2, he says:It has been established that everyone has the right to the knowledge (of Brahman) and that the supreme goal is attained by that knowledge alone.]}}
Adi Shankara, in order to bring unity among various Hindu sects of those times, wrote five pancharathnam stotras for each of the following prime deities. The deities were Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti, Ganesh and Surya. The idea was that if you believed in Lord Shiva, you would chant Shiva pancharathnam stotra by placing Shiva's idol in the center other four Hindu deities surrounding Him, two on each side. Similarly if you believed in Vishnu, you would place Vishnu in the center. Those five stotras are Ganesha pancharathnam and Lalitha pancharathnam.
Some western academics consider only the Upadeśasāhasrī as an authentic work of Shankara among the independent philosophical works. There is a difference of opinion among scholars on the authorship of Viveka Chudamani, though it is "so closely interwoven into the spiritual heritage of Shankara that any analysis of his perspective which fails to consider [this work] would be incomplete".
Adi Shankara also wrote commentaries on other scriptural works, such as the Vishnu sahasranāma and the Sānatsujātiya. Like the Bhagavad Gita, both of these are contained in the Mahabhārata.
Advaita Vedanta is based on śāstra ("scriptures"), yukti ("reason") and anubhava ("experience"), and aided by karmas ("spiritual practices"). This philosophy provides a clear-cut way of life to be followed. Starting from childhood, when learning has to start, the philosophy has to be realised in practice throughout one's life, even up to death. This is the reason why this philosophy is called an experiential philosophy-the underlying tenet being "That thou art", meaning that ultimately there is no difference between the experiencer and the experienced (the world) as well as the universal spirit (Brahman). Among the followers of Advaita, as well those of other doctrines, there are believed to have appeared Jivanmuktas, ones liberated while alive. These individuals (commonly called Mahatmas, great souls, among Hindus) are those who realised the oneness of their self and the universal spirit called Brahman.
Adi Shankara's Bhashyas (commentaries) on the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras are his principal works. Although he mostly adhered to traditional means of commenting on the Brahma Sutra, there are a number of original ideas and arguments to establish that the essence of Upanishads is Advaita. He taught that it was only through direct knowledge that one could realize Brahman.