Adi Shankara Quotes & Teachings in English/Hindi

Adi Shankara, also known as Adi Shankaracharya, was an Indian Vedic scholar and teacher. The works that he authored present a harmonising reading of the sastras, with liberating knowledge of the self at its core, and synthesise the Advaita Vedanta teachings that were prevalent during his time.

c. 700 CE (disputed)
Kalady, Chera Kingdom (present-day Kochi in Kerala, India)
Diedc. 750 CE (disputed)
Kedarnath, Gurjara-Pratihara Empire (present-day Uttarakhand, India)
Known forExpounded Advaita Vedanta
PhilosophyAdvaita Vedanta

Read Adi Shankaracharya Quotes in English, hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Spanish and any other language by using the translator tool above on the top left.

Here is our collection of Adi Shankara Quotes on God, Shiva, Education, self, non duality and more.

Adi Shankaracharya Quotes

Don’t identify with wealth, relatives, your youth or your physical beauty – all those can be lost in a second.

The study of the scriptures is pointless while the Great Reality is not known; when the Great Reality is realised, the study of the scriptures is equally pointless.

Our own sense organs are our enemies but if won over, they turn to be friends.

When we fix our mistaken perception, suffering will come to an end.

Adi Shankara Quotes on self

The universe takes on a totally different appearance as soon as we are even vaguely aware of the Atman, which is the Reality that is inside each of us. It used to be a court of justice, but now it more closely resembles a gymnasium. There is still such a thing as good and evil, as well as pain and pleasure; but, these experiences now seem more like the ropes, vaulting horses, and parallel bars that may be utilised to strengthen our bodies. Maya is now a ladder that may be scaled to reach awareness of the Reality rather than a constantly turning wheel of both agony and joy.

Adi Shankaracharya Quotes in English

You do not indentify yourself with the shadow that is cast by your body, with its reflection, with the body that you see in a dream or with the body that you imagine exists in your mind. You should also not connect yourself with this live body since it is not you.

Mind, nor intellect, nor ego, feeling;
Sky nor earth nor metals am I.
I am He, I am He, Blessed spirit, I am He!

They have read all of the shastras and are well grounded in them, so they become arrogant and believe that they are all knowing, accomplished, and worthy of respect. They are only packasses, which are esteemed for carrying heavy loads over long distances and in difficult and tortuous ways.

Like an image in a dream the world is troubled by love, hatred and other poisons. So long as the dream lasts, the image appears to be real; but on awaking it vanishes.

When renunciation and the desire for freedom are lacking, tranquilly and the other qualities are nothing more than an illusion, similar to the mirage that may be seen in the desert.

He who feels attachment has not known Brahman. He remains deluded and sense bound.

Anyone with attachment feelings has never really experienced Brahman. He continues to be senseless and misled.

Adi Shankara Quotes on soul

It is not enough to just refer to something as “Medicine” in order to recover from an illness; one must really consume it.

He has won the world who has won his mind.

One who holds on to the unreal is miserable; take note of this, my friend.

Silence is the first door to spiritual eminence.

The theory that atoms were the first building blocks of the world is susceptible to the same kinds of criticisms. Because according to this philosophy, one atom, when combining with another, must enter into the combination with its whole extend because it is not made up of pieces, and because of this, there is no growth in bulk that takes place, therefore we do not move beyond the initial atom. If, on the other hand, you insist that the atom goes into the combination with just one component, you are going against the presumption that atoms do not have any parts.

Let my idle chatter be the muttering of prayer, my every manual movement the execution of ritual gesture, my walking a ceremonial circumambulation, my eating and other acts the rite of sacrifice, my lying down in worship as a form of prostration, my every pleasure enjoyed with dedication to myself, let whatever activity is mine be some form of worship of you.

A man advances along the path of progress until he reaches the supreme dharma of all beings, which is the realisation of Truth. This can only be accomplished by a man who is fulfilling his dharma.

According to the understanding of the sages of the Vedas, the physical body of the Purusha, also known as the Cosmic Person, is formed by all human beings. The spiritual men make up his ‘head,’ the warriors his ‘arms,’ the merchants and traders his ‘thighs,’ and the labourers his ‘feet,’ if you will. A society’s vitality and health are directly proportional to the degree to which its four main demographic subgroups are able to work in harmony with one another, much as a harmony between a body’s four primary anatomical components ensures the body’s vitality and health.

Grammar is unable to save you when it comes to your last breath.

Quotes on Reality

To be attached to detect items outside. Self-identification with the ego and mental alterations called internal attachment. The only person who can give up both is the dispassionate guy who is utterly committed to Brahman. A person who has experienced the truth of Brahman cannot have attachments to this world.

The world is disturbed by love, hate, and other poisons like a picture in a dream. The vision seems genuine while you’re still in the dream, but when you wake up it’s gone.

The Supreme Existence seems to be many because it has a variety of traits, but when the attributes are eliminated, oneness is restored.

Due to these varied characteristics, the spirit is given many different names and labels, just as water is given many different tastes and hues.

A noble soul no longer need holy locations, moral rules, specified hours, postures, instructions, or objects for meditation once his mind has been purified of all distracting ideas and fully realised Brahman. He doesn’t need any particular situations or circumstances in order to understand the Atman.

There is a Reality that exists by itself. The Witness of the three levels of awareness is that Reality. In all stages of consciousness—waking, dreaming, and dreamless sleep—Reality is the knower. The Self is it.

One must possess a keen spiritual awareness in order to understand the essence of one Reality; a priest or saint cannot provide this knowledge. Similar to how one can only see the shape of the moon with their own eyes. How is it possible to learn it from others?

We connect with the body, the ego, the senses, or anything else other than the Atman because of ignorance. He is intelligent who, by devotion to the Atman, dispels this ignorance.

Nothing that is buried under the earth can be retrieved by just crying forth its name. Finding treasure requires expert guidance, excavation, the removal of stones, and other items that are above it. Similar to that, following the advice of a knower of Brahman, contemplation, meditation, and other techniques, one might arrive to the clear reality of the Self, which is concealed by Maya and its consequences. Through twisted reasoning, one cannot get to the truth of oneself.

Extreme hostility against anything perishable is the first step toward liberty, which is followed by composure, restraint, and tolerance.

Only those who have mastered the sense objects are capable of self realisation.

The foolish who are bound to the sense things by a strong cord of connection that is impossible to sever experience innumerable births, deaths, and untold sufferings.

Adi Shankara Quotes on Self

Who is more self-deluded than someone who, after having a human birth and reaching manhood after much struggle, does not care about his or her own well-being?

In deference to the authority of rajas, he identifies himself with the myriad of fluctuations and shifts that occur inside the mind. Therefore, he is carried hither and thither, rising and sinking in the limitless ocean of birth and death, whose waters are full of the poison of sense-objects. This is because he is swept away by the forces of sense-objects. This is a very unfortunate turn of events.

Ignorance gives the impression that the Soul has a limited lifespan. When ignorance is eradicated, the Self, who does not permit of any plurality, actually displays itself by itself; it is comparable to the sun emerging from behind a clearing in the clouds.

The seed of the plant of birth and death is darkness, the sprout is the thought that the body is the self, the shoot is rage, the sap is deeds, the body is the stem, the life-breaths are the branches, the tops are the bodily powers, sensuous things are the flowers, sorrow is the fruit, born of varied deeds and manifold, and the Life is the bird that eats the fruit.

The coherence of existence is the bedrock upon which all moral systems are built. If it is understood correctly, it expands the boundaries of generosity beyond the realm of mankind and into the realm of animals as well. The love that a man has for himself is the driving force behind all of his actions and the reason he loves other people. The non-dualistic interpretation of Vedanta teaches us that the genuine Self of man is the same as the Self of all other creatures. Therefore, love for others provides an outlet for the expression of self-love as well as a means to fulfil it.

Who else except the Atman has the ability to break free from the chains of ignorance, emotion, and behaviour motivated by self-interest?

The look of silver in mother-of-pearl is analogous to how the world appears real until one becomes aware of the Self, which is the underlying reality.

Adi Shankara Quotes on Shiva & God

Forgive me
Oh, Shiva, my three most heinous misunderstanding!

1. I made the mistake of coming on a pilgrimage to Kashi without remembering that you are everywhere.

2. I had forgotten that you are beyond my ability to think about you when I was thinking about you.

3. I forgot that You are beyond comprehension as I was praying to you.

Oh Lord, even though I have realised that the Truth is that there is no real difference between Jiva and Brahman, I beg to state that I am Yours and not that You are mine. Please accept my confession that I am Yours.
It is the ocean that is the wave’s proper home; the waves do not belong to the ocean.
How can you be intolerant of others when the same God resides in you, in me, and in others? How can you get angry with someone when God is in everyone?
He is the knower of the self for whom the concepts of “me” and “mine” have lost almost all of their significance.

Adi Shankaracharya Quote Sanskrit Shloka

प्रातः स्मरामि हृदि संस्फुरदात्मतत्त्वंसच्चित्सुखं परमहंसगतिं तुरीयम् ।यत्स्वप्नजागरसुषुप्तिमवैति नित्यंतद्ब्रह्म निष्कलमहं न च भूतसङ्घः ॥१॥

My morning meditation is on the reality of the bright inner Self, and I do it in the heart.
This lofty objective of the great sages is to realise this genuine Self, which consists of Pure Being, Awareness, and Joy.
The unchanging observer of the waking, dreaming, and profound sleeping phases of consciousness.
I am not only my physical body, my mental state, or my feelings; I am the unbounded Spirit.

This is the Self that is described in the scriptures as “Not this, Not this.” It is the Self that is beyond the reach of both the mind and speech, and it is by the grace of this Self that speech is even possible. I worship this Self at dawn.
It is said that it is the God of all gods, that it has never been born and will never die, and that it is one with everything.

I pay my respects to the genuine Self that shines as brightly as the sun, that is beyond all darkness; it is the limitless, everlasting truth that is the pinnacle.
Whom the whole of an endless number of forms is overlaid.
It’s like a snake that’s actually a rope. When you take up the snake, it gives the impression that it is quite genuine; nevertheless, it is really simply a rope.
This world is always shifting and passing away, but this eternal light is genuine and enduring for all time.

Whoever recites these three holy Slokas in the wee hours of the morning, which are the adornments of the three realms, will eventually arrive in the Supreme Abode.

Adi Shankaracharya Teachings

The teachings of Adi Shankara are founded on the concept that the soul and Brahman are one and the same; more specifically, Brahman is understood to be devoid of any attributes. Shankara travelled around India and other regions of South Asia to discuss and argue his philosophical ideas with other philosophers in order to spread his ideas and spread his philosophy.

He was a significant proponent of the Vedanta doctrine that states, “Lord Brahma and mankind are of one essence, and every person should attempt to cultivate this perception of oneness.”

Nirvana Shatakam

I am Consciousness, Bliss, Shiva, and Shiva alone.

without hating, falling in love with, wanting, or becoming greedy;
I never exhibit conceit or arrogance, nor am I jealous;
I am not a part of dharma, artha, kama, or moksha;
I am Consciousness, Bliss, Shiva, and Shiva alone.

Without sins, without merits, without joy or sorrow; without mantras, without ceremonies, without journeys, without the Vedas;
I am Consciousness, Bliss, Shiva, and neither the experiencer nor the experienced nor the experience am I.

without anxiety, without threat of death, without prejudice, and without caste;
I am not a parent or a child; I am not related to anyone (blood or otherwise); I am neither a teacher nor a student.
I am Consciousness, Bliss, Shiva, and Shiva alone.

I have no shape, no appearance, and bear no likeness;
vitality in all my senses and in who I am;
I am neither released nor attached;
I am Consciousness, Bliss, Shiva, and Shiva alone.

Adi Shankaracharya Philosophy

Moksha is liberating Brahman knowledge.
The identity of the Self (tman) and Brahman is the main theme of Shankara’s writings.

One of Shankara’s primary concerns was elucidating the liberating knowledge of the Self and defending the Upanishads as a stand-alone source of knowledge against the ritualistically focused Mms school of Hinduism.

According to Shankara, there is only one unchanging entity (Brahman) that is genuine, whereas there is no absolute reality for changing beings. Shankara’s main goal was to clarify how, through the Mahavykas, particularly Tat Tvam Asi, “That you are,” moksha might be accomplished in this life by realising the identity of Atman and Brahman.

The achievement of Brahman, immortality, comes from proper understanding of Atman and Brahman and results in moksha (freedom) from pain and the cycle of reincarnation known as samsara. According to Shankara, this is true:

I am not my name, my body, or my deed.
My nature will always be free!
The highest unconditioned Brahman is who I am—Self.
I am unadulterated Awareness, never dual.

~ Upadesasahasri 11.7 by Adi Shankara

Moksha, or freedom from pain and rebirth and achieving immortality, is reached by separating from the body-mind complex, realising that one is really Atman, and learning who Atman and Brahman are.

Shankara asserts that although the individual tman and Brahman appear to be distinct at the empirical level of reality, this distinction is really an illusion and that, at the most fundamental level of existence, they are actually the same.

The Atman-Brahman, also known as Sat, is the true self. While the distinction between Atman and non-Atman is acknowledged to be self-evident, the shruti, particularly the Upanishadic declaration tat tvam asi, reveals the identities of Atman and Brahman.

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