, Shankara acharya
) is a commonly used title of heads of maţha
(monasteries) in the Advaita
tradition. The title derives from Adi Shankara
, a 9th century CE theologian of Hinduism
. He is honoured as Jagadguru
, a title that was used earlier only to Lord Krishna. The popular view among historians is that there were four maţha
established by Ādi Śankara:
Like other religions and sects, some rivalry exists between some groups who claim to have been initiated into the Shankaracharya Order.
The existence of such multiple mathas occurs because a Guru/or descendant of the shankaracharya lineage could have had many disciples. This could have resulted in the branching out of the parent institution. It is also possible that a Guru might have died without naming a successor, leading to the formation of rival groups.
Jyotir Math and Govardhan matha have a broken lineage and were later revived.
The Shankaracharya tradition is described in Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
's commentary on Verse 2, Chapter 4 of the Bhagavad-Gita
.Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on the Bhagavad-Gita, a New Translation and... Read More