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Sri Sankaras Digvijaya Yatra
At the Four Dhams
Sankaracaryas travel to the four sacred traditional corners of India, popularly known as Chardham, is noted. Dasnami ascetics mak pilgrimages to these four corners Dvaraka, Badrinath Jagannath (Puri) and Ramesvaram to this day. Sankara Digvijaya narrates Sankaras yatra to these traditional corners. The work describes the Acaryas visit to Ramesvaram thus:-
(The above lines indicate that Sankara, accompanied by thousands of disciples and king Sudhanva, at first started for Ramesvaram where he worshipped Sri Ramanatha).
Five verses (56 to 60) in the 6th canto of the same work points to Sankaras visit to the northern Badrinath, while verse 73 of Canto XV notes the Acaryas trip to Dvaraka, the Western Dham. The verse reads:-
The Chidvilasiya Sankaravijaya points to Sankara’s formal initiation into sannyasa by Govinda Bhagavatpada as having taken place at Badari, instead of at the bank of the Narmada, as stated in other biographical works.
The following three verse(37,38 & 46) of the 8th Chapter of the work relates that Sankara gradually reached Badarinath, in the north, during the course of his tour in search of a preceptor for being initiated into the regular ascetic order and that at Badari he found Govinda Bhagavatpada:-
Sankaracarya’s reaching Jagannatha (Puri), the eastern corner is narrated by Cidvilasa:-
The Acarya’s pilgrimage to Dvaraka, at the western end, where Mahavisnu shines with Mahalaksmi and Sankara’s stay there for a month are narrated in this biography as follows:-
The verses in Cidvilasa’s work pointing to Sankara’s stay at Ramesvaram, the southern dham, read as follows:-
(The verses found above speak of the Acaryas’s arrival at Ramesvaram, his bathing in the Mahodadhi and the Ratnakara (the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea), his glance at the various sacred water spots and hutments of the place, himself performing abhisheka with great devotion to Sri Ramanatha with Ganga water brought all the way from the north and his worship of Sri Ramanatha with bliva petals.)
Anandagiri Sankaravijaya records the coverage of the four dhams- the traditional corners during his digvijaya by Sankara, Sankara’s reaching Ramesvaram at the Southern end, his worship of Sri Ramanatha with the sacred water of the Ganga and with lotus flowers, during his stay at the place for two months etc., in the following lines:-
The Acarya’s yatra to Badari in the north, to Dvaraka in the west and to Jagannath Puri in the east is hinted at briefly in the 56th Prakarana of the work.
Sankara’s worship of Sri Mahakalesvara and Bhagavati Mahachandi in the Mokshapuri of Ujjain in Central India, is related in both Cidvilasa’s and Anandagiri’s biographics. Sankaracharya’s visit to and stay at the Southern Moksapuri of Kanci is vividly described in almost all biographies and other works narrating the life-story of the Acarya.
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