Saturday, February 19, 2011

Museum of Shardapith Math

Museum of Shardapith Math


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Museum of Shardapith Math
At a time when Hinduism was facing the threat of disintegration, Adi Shankaracharya (788 – 820 AD), travelled across the length and breadth of India to propogate the Advaita Vedanta, a sub-school of Vedanta, through his impactful discourses and debates with other thinkers. His teachings were based on the unity of the soul and the universe, in which Brahman (universe) is viewed as without attributes [Nirguna Brahman]. Respected as one of India's foremost philosophers, he consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta in his short lifespan of 32 years and also founded four mathas (monasteries), which helped in the historical development, revival and spread of post-Buddhist Hinduism.

Located within the premises of the Dwarka Temple, Sharda Matha or Peetha (religious seat) is the first amongst the four cardinal mathas. It is also known as the Kalika Matha, and as per the tradition initiated by Adi Shankara, is in charge of the Sama Veda. The wall paintings illustrate incidents from the life of Shankaracharya, while carvings on the inner surface of the dome depict Shiva in various stances. It has the temples of Shardamba and Chandramaulishwer Mahadev nearby. The Matha also runs an educational society, an arts college and a Sanskrit Academy which prepares scholars for doctorates in Sanskrit and Indology.

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