Work of Adi Shankarcharya
Advaita philosophy was originally known as the “Forest Philosophy”. It got this name because it was so sanctified that it was not allowed to be preached to the people and was only practiced in the forests by monks who passed their secrets on to other sannyasins. (Swamis)
Western students of philosophy find the teachings of Shankaracharya intellectually demanding because although he preached the non-duality of Advaita Vedanta philosophy, he worshipped at Shiva temples, contradicting the non-duality theory. Other western critics, when referring to the Maya Doctrines that describe the world as a snare of delusion, point out that the Upanishads have a more optimistic and positive view of life.
Paramahamsa Satyananda during his video Darshan series mentions that at the age of sixteen Shankaracharya wrote commentaries on the Upanishads and other philosophies. This statement is supported by Swami Nikhilananda in his book ‘Self Knowledge of Sri Sankaracarya (note the different spelling of his name) who writes of Shankara’s commentaries of the Bhagavad Gita, the Brahma-Sutras and the principal Upanishads. Swami Nikhilananda also states that Shankara reformed the Sanatan Dharma, which is the ancient religion of Hindus. He rewrote this in a more simplified and logical format, which was easy for the ordinary people understand, inspiring them to once again follow a spiritual path.
For children, Shankara wrote the Bhaja Govindam, a musical rhythmic verse, which was so lyrical that children would sing it to themselves over and over again unaware of the profound effect it was having on their spiritual evolution. He also wrote of attachment in the Moha Mudgara, which removed the delusions of the youth and reaffirmed the faith of those who were already following his beliefs.1 2 3 4 5