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Ram Mandir Controversy: Who are the four Shankracharayas and what is their significance in Hinduism?

A mutt (monastery) preserves Hinduism's Advaita Vedanta philosophy. There are four mutts across the country which were established by 8th century Hindu saint Adi Shankara.

Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: January 18, 2024 17:11 IST
Adi Shankaracharya, Shankaracharya
Image Source : PTI The 108 feet tall statue of Hindu saint Adi Shankaracharya (Representational image)

The 8th century Hindu saint Adi Shankara, who was a follower of Hinduism's Advaita Vedanta tradition, had established four mutts (monasteries) across the country. The titles given to the heads of these mutts are known as Shankaracharya, spiritual leaders.

The Shankaracharyas are highly respected spiritual leaders of Sanatan Hindu Dharma and are known for their contributions to the preservation and propagation of Hinduism’s Advaita Vedanta philosophy.

Where are these four mutts situated in India?

The four mutts situated in India are: Jyotir Math (Joshimath, Uttarakhand), Govardhan Math (Puri, Odisha), Sringeri Sharada Peetham (Sringeri, Karnataka), and Dwarka Sharada Peetham (Dwarka, Gujarat).

Who are the four Shankaracharyas?

  • Shankaracharya Nischalananda Saraswati of Purvaamnaya Govardhanmath Puri Peeth 
  • Sri Bharati Tirtha, Sringeri Sharada Peetham, Karnataka
  • Shankaracharya Avimukteshwaranand, Jyotir Math, Uttarakhand
  • Shankaracharya Sadanand Saraswati, Dwarka Shardapeeth 

What is the significance of Shankaracharya in Hinduism?

Shankaracharyas have a very crucial role to preserve and interpret the sacred Hindu scriptures. They are considered the "supreme authority" in Hinduism and for interpreting Hindu scriptures.

The heads of four mutts are highly respected for their knowledge of the Vedas and their ability to interpret them.

Shankaracharyas are also known for their contributions to the development of Advaita Vedanta, a school of Hindu philosophy that emphasises non-duality and the unity of all reality.

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