Biographical Articles

Sankaracharya by Jon Fergus

Sri Sankaracharya’s Date and Doctrine by T. Subba Row

The Age of Sankara by T. S. Narayana Sastry

The Original Śaṅkarācārya by David Reigle

Sankaracharaya, Philosopher and Mystic by Kashinath Trimbak Telang


Traditional Biographical Sources

On the life of Śaṅkara we have no less than ten Śaṅkara-Vijayas or Biographies of Sankaracharya, purporting to have been written by the followers of his school of Philosophy; and these may be mentioned in the following order according to their probable date of composition:—

(1) The Śaṅkara-Vijaya of Śri Chitsukhāchārya one of the direct disciples and co-students of Śaṅkara, known under the name of Bṛihat Śaṅkara-Vijaya;

(2), The Śaṅkara-Vijaya of Anandagiri, the well-known commentator of the Bhāshyas and Vārtikas of Śaṅkara and Sureṡvara, known under the name of Prāchîna Śaṅkara-Vijaya;

(3) The Śaṅkara-Vijaya of Vidyāṡaṅkara or Śaṅkarānapda, the author of Ātma Purāna and of the Dipikās on the Upanishads, Bbagavadgitā and Brahmasūtra, known under the name of Vyāsāchaliya;

(4) The Śaṅkara-Vijaya of Govindanātha, one of the Paṇdits of Kerala, known under the name of Āchārya Charita or Keraliya Śaṅkara-Vijaya;

(5) The Śaṅkara-Vijaya of Chūḍāmani Dikshita, the author of many Sanskrit poems and dramas, known under the name of Śaṅkarābhyudaya;

(6) The Śaṅkara-Vijaya of Anantānandagiri known under the name of Guru Vijaya or Āchārya-Vijaya;

(7) The Śaṅkara-Vijaya of Vallisahāyakavi, one of the adherents of the Śṛingagiri Maṭha, known under the name of Āchārya Digvijaya;

(8) The Śaṅkara-Vijaya of Sadānanda, also adherent of the Śṛingagiri Maṭha, known under the name of Śaṅkara Digvijaya Sāra;

(9) The Śaṅkara-Vijaya of Chidvilāsa, also an adherent of the Śṛingagiri Maṭha, known under the name of Śaṅkara Vijaya Vilāsa;

(10) The Śaṅkara-Vijaya of Mādhava, also an adherent of the Śṛingagiri Maṭha, known under the name of Samkshepa Śaṅkara Vijaya.

Besides these various Śaṅkara Vijayas, we have a number of Punyaśloka-Maṅjaris and Guru-Paramparās preserved by the various Advaitic Maṭhs in which we have a brief account of the chief incidents of Śaṅkara’s life recorded by his own immediate disciples. We have also a brief reference to Śaṅkara’s wonderful life recorded in an indirect manner in Gauḍapadollāsa, Harimiṡriya, Pataṅjali-vijaya, Brihad Rajataraṅgini, Hayagrivavadha, Maṇiprabhā Gururatnamālikā, Sushumā, Vimarṡa and other works. Of these works, the last three are of invaluable interest to the historian of Śaṅkara and the Tāmrapatrānuṡasana issued by King Sudhanvan of Dvārakā, one of the royal disciples of Śaṅkara and published in Vimarṡa by His Holiness, the present Śaṅkarāchārya of the Dvārakā. Maṭha contains a brief and authentic account of the life of Śaṅkara.

— from The Age of Sankara, by T. S. Narayana Sastry, p. 32-33


Selected Translations of Works by Sankaracharya

See also:

Śankarāchārya’s Collected Works: An Annotated Bibliography of Published Editions in Sanskrit by David Reigle
Works of the Original Śankarāchārya by David Reigle
Collected Works of Sankara (Sanskrit), 1910 Vani Vilas Press Edition


Selected Articles related to Sankaracharya


See also: Vedanta.