Adi Shankaracharya (circa 788-820) was an Indian mystic, also known as Sankara, whose writings include Vivekachudamani and Saundarya Lahari, a praise of the Mother Goddess.
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi:
The Kundalini awakening is very clearly described by Adi Shankaracharya. He has said it in one of his couplets, “Na yoga, na sankhya.” By all these tricks and by reading about Kundalini, the Kundalini does not rise. Only through the Mother’s grace, it will rise. (1980-05-01)
Adi Shankaracharya was asked, “Which is the greatest quality?” He said, “Devi bhakti, Mother’s bhakti.” She is Devi. Your Mother is the Devi. Understanding that, you should do Her bhakti. In that bhakti, there should not be any falsehood. The first quality, the highest quality, if it is seen in a human being from his heart, all his bad qualities will be destroyed. He will get light and attain moksha. That is why Shankaracharya has always praised the Devi.... He said, “By only pleasing the Devi, one can get everything, then why do these things? Why do debates? Why do discourses and break one’s head? Just praise the Devi and you will get whatever one wants.” His intelligence very few people have. When that intelligence comes into us, then you will get the authority. (1982-02-01)
Adi Shankaracharya established the Hindu dharma.... The difference between what he said and I say is that he said that in crores there are just one or two. I say in crores there are lakhs. This is not a question of being hopeful, but a question of time. The time will come. The time of Kali Yuga is a time of a very terrific battle. It is a time of total darkness. You do not know this as you are seeing Me.... As Adi Shankaracharya has said, low-level people should keep their minds disciplined and somehow live properly and protect themselves from becoming thieves and so on. They should live like good citizens. But the ones who have their attention on the Supreme will not be satisfied with such things. If you have not attained the Supreme, you should not have any belief in Me. (1972-06-01 translated from Hindi)
Markandeya took his birth later on as Buddha. Then he took his birth as Adi Shankaracharya. It is the same personality. But he was actually the son of Rama to begin with. He was Luv. (1988-06-09)
Today the condition is terrific because the blossomtime has come. The time has come that evolution has to be en masse.... This en masse evolution has started much earlier, from the sixth century when Adi Shankaracharya started writing about it. He was the one who proclaimed it, who said that this is the force that we have got, we have to work it out. Now people talk of Adi Shankaracharya and not a word about Kundalini. What do you say to such a knowledge? You see, this is the basis: the basis of Shankaracharya is Kundalini and the behave means the emotion that substantiates it. It is the complete dedication to the guru. (1979-05-30)
Read Vaishista or Adi Shankaracharya because it is a historical thing. They have said the same thing, that to get to God you cannot do anything. But there is a slight difference between them and Me. They had said that thereare very few who have the authority to get to God. Some should remain in bhakti and others should do some yogas so that they can keep their discipline. But they also said that a disciplined mind or a mind that is running after indulgences, both minds are useless for the ascent. One has to have a mind like a small child which is without sin and is innocent. Such a one has the right to attain God. This is what they have clearly said. But who reads them? The question is that we read a lot and we read about those who know nothing about dharma. And even if they know it is just a little bit. The ones who think they are very great Hindus, they must first read Adi Shankaracharya. Adi Shankaracharya had established the Hindu dharma. Then why not read Adi Shankaracharya? (1972-06-01)
Adi Shankaracharya was asked, “Which is the greatest quality?” He said “Devi bhakti, Mother’s bhakti.” She is Devi. Your Mother is the Devi. Understanding that, you should do Her bhakti. In that bhakti, there should not be any falsehood. The first quality, the highest quality, if it is seen in a human being from his heart, all his bad qualities will be destroyed, he will get light and attain moksha.(1982-02-01)
This Kundalini has to rise and has to give you Self Realization. This is what Adi Shankaracharya has said. This is what Christ has said. This is what everyone who is a person regarded as the real person has said: that you are to be born again.... Adi Shankaracharya has called it “Saundarya lahari” because you can judge the saundarya with this. Beautifully he has described it. But how much they tortured him. Think of it, a person like Adi Shankaracharya ... the one who gave such secrets about the Mother, such great descriptions, he was tortured for what? What wrong did he do that he should have been tortured? Now we have to stand up for the truth and must say that “Mother, we have to have the truth and truth and nothing else.” (1991-12-07)
No father have I, nor mother, no comrade, No son, no daughter, no wife and no grandchild, No servant or master, no wisdom, no calling: In Thee is my only haven of refuge, In Thee, my help and my strength, O Bhavani! (Eight Stanzas to Bhavani)
Here is expounded Aparokshanubhuti [Self Realization] for the acquisition of final liberation. Only the pure in heart should constantly and with all effort meditate upon the truth herein taught.... The steps, in order, are described as follows: the control of the senses, the control of the mind, renunciation, silence, space, time, posture, the restraining root [Mulabandha], the equipoise of the body, the firmness of vision, the control of the vital forces, the withdrawal of the mind, concentration, self-contemplation and complete absorption. (Aparokshanubhuti verses 2, 102-3)
The first step to liberation is the extreme aversion to all perishable things, then follow calmness, self-control, forbearance and the utter relinquishment of all work enjoined in the scriptures [rituals?]. Then comes hearing [from the Guru], reflection on that and long, constant and unbroken meditation on the Truth for the muni [man of reflection]. After that, the learned seeker attains the supreme nirvikalpa state and realizes the bliss of nirvana even in this life. (Vivekacudamani verses 69-70)
Thou art diverting Thyself, in secrecy with Thy Lord, in the thousand-petaled lotus [Sahasrara], having pierced through the Earth situated in the Muladhara, the Water in the Manipura [Nabhi], the Fire abiding in the Swadisthana, the Air in the Heart [Anahat], the Ether above [Vishuddhi] and Manas between the eyebrows [Agnya] and thus broken through the entire Kula path [Sushumna nadi]. (Saundarya-lahari verse 9)
He who is immersed in the ocean of Supreme Bliss is full within and without, like a pot immersed for a long time in a large deep cavity of the River Ganga. (Prabodhasudhakara verse 164)
Adi Shankara (early 8th century CE) was a philosopher and theologian from India who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta. He is credited with unifying and establishing the main currents of thought in Hinduism.
His works in Sanskrit discuss the unity of the ātman and Nirguna Brahman "brahman without attributes". He wrote copious commentaries on the Vedic canon (Brahma Sutras, Principal Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita) in support of his thesis. His works elaborate on ideas found in the Upanishads. Shankara's publications criticized the ritually-oriented Mīmāṃsā school of Hinduism. He also explained the key difference between Hinduism and Buddhism, stating that Hinduism asserts "Atman (Soul, Self) exists" while Buddhism asserts that there is "no Soul, no Self".
Shankara travelled across the Indian subcontinent to propagate his philosophy through discourses and debates with other thinkers. He established the importance of monastic life as sanctioned in the Upanishads and Brahma Sutra, in a time when the Mīmāṃsā school established strict ritualism and ridiculed monasticism. He is reputed to have founded four mathas (monasteries), which helped in the historical development, revival and spread of Advaita Vedanta of which he is known as the greatest revivalist. Adi Shankara is believed to be the organizer of the Dashanami monastic order and the founder of the Shanmata tradition of worship. He is also known as Adi Shankaracharya, Shankara Bhagavatpada, sometimes spelled as Sankaracharya, (Ādi) Śaṅkarācārya, Śaṅkara Bhagavatpāda and Śaṅkara Bhagavatpādācārya. (more)