Adi Shankara was an 8th-century Indian philosopher and theologian. Shankaracharya Jayanti marks the day of birth of this great Indian philosopher and is considered one of the most significant celebrations in Sanatan Dharma. He is known by many names, Jagathguru, Adi Shankaracharya, or Bhagavatpada Acharya (guru at the feet of Lord), he expounded on the Advaita Vedanta doctrine which had its influence on the growth of Hinduism. He also preached Vedic knowledge.
Observed on Panchami tithi(fifth day) during Shukla Paksha in the month of Vaisakh as per the Hindu calendar, Shankaracharya Jayanti falls in April or May. In the year 2021 Shankaracharya Jayanti observes on Monday, 17 May.
Panchami Tithi Begins - 10:00 AM on May 16, 2021
Panchami Tithi Ends - 11:34 AM on May 17, 2021
With great enthusiasm, the day is celebrated at Shankaracharya Mathas or monasteries around the country. People organize Havan, puja, and Satsang at Mathas like Shringeri Sharada Peetham in Kerala, Kanchi Kamakoti Peetha in Kanchipuram, etc. Not only this but also discussions and speeches on Sanatan Dharma are organized on this day.
Regarded as one of the greatest gurus and philosophers in Hinduism, Sri Adi Shankaracharya or Adi Shankara also known as the savior of Vedic Dharma. He was also known as the exponent of Advaita Vedanta. The concept of Atma or soul was explained by him. He explained the concept of Vairagya (renunciation), Parmatma (divine soul), and Moksha (salvation). When Hinduism was in a state of decline, his teachings had an influence on the growth of the Hindu culture. Shankaracharya is said to have resuscitated Hinduism, along with philosophers Madhava and Ramanuja.
As Adi Shankaracharya put forward the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta and explained and reinterpreted Hindu scriptures like the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita. He also helped people to interpret the primary principles of Brahma Sutras. In order to revive Hinduism, he traveled to various nations. His contributions do not stop here as he also established four monasteries (mathas) in four corners of India — Kashmir in the North, Puri in the East, Sringeri in the South, and Dwaraka in the West.
It is believed that Shankara was visited by Lord Vishnu at Badrinath and he was asked to make a statue of the deity in the Alaknanda River. Today the temple is popularly known as Badrinarayan Temple. He breathed his last at the young age of 32 in 820 CE at Kedarnath. Kedarnath is in present-day Uttarakhand.