Understanding Bhagwan Shankaracharya is to understand the avatar parampara of Sanatana Dharma. Understanding Shankaracharya is to understand, ‘unity in diversity’. Understanding Shankaracharya is to understand, national integration, to understand social reform. Understanding Shankaracharya is to understand the revival of Sanatana Dharma.
To Shankarachya parampara goes the credit of protecting Sanatana Dharma from the continuous, relentless, persistent assault on its excellent tenets for the past 2500 years till date. If there were no Shankaracharya parampara, if Shankaracharya had not been born at all, you can imagine the catastrophe it would have spelled for Sanatana Dharma.
There have been a total of 17 invasions on us. India has been attacked 17 times. If you take a look at history, in 523 B C Darius the Persian king came and he attacked India. After him in 327 BC, Alexander came. After him the Indo-Greek king Demitrus came. Then come the Parthians from Iran. Then came the Saka. After the Sakas the Kushans attacked India. Then came the Huns. After the Hun attack comes the Arab invasion. India is invaded upon once again after the Arab invasion by Mohammad Ghazni. Then came Mohammad Ghori. Then in 1206 the Slave dynasty was established in Delhi under whom there were 4 Slave dynasties.
After that, or during that period the Mongols came. After them came the Mughals. Then came the colonial rule, under which come the invasions by the British, French, Dutch, and Portuguese. So we have put up with so many invasions. 17 invasions in 2500 years. Yet our civilization is intact. This is a huge achievement. If you look at the history of other civilizations, they have been destroyed, corrupted, smashed into pieces, annihilated into oblivion. For e.g. the Egyptian civilization, the Roman civilization, the Greek civilizations, the Babylonians., completely wiped out. The Persian Empire was completely annihilated.
So what is so remarkable about our civilization that we have survived so many invasions? Surely the responsibility of protecting our religion – which was the responsibility of the Shankaracharya parampara – was done dexterously by the Shankaracharya parampara. The Shankaracharya parampara has been protecting Sanatana Dharma from the past 2500 years till date, and therefore understanding Bhagwan Shankaracharya is very important.