Historical Who is Who
788 - 820
Historically, probably the most influential of Indian philosophers. He is seen as the source of the Advaita Vedanta tradition which understands the world and entire universe as grounded in divine reality – Brahman – and which is all-pervasive. Until that is realised, individual and collective life will be distracted and distressed; realisation of that (moksha) will bring serenity. The stories of his life have been hugely elaborated in tradition (even the century of his life is uncertain). The historical core is brahminic family birth in the south of the country, walking north to Benares spending substantial periods of time there and subsequently in the Himalayan region. He attracted followers to his teaching and is credited with establishing a series of major monastic centres. Amongst the many writings accredited to him is an important commentary on the Brahma Sutra.