Adi Shankara was born at a time when Buddhism appears to have been at its zenith in this country. The Shankara Digvijaya of Vidyaranya menstions that Shankara was sent on the earth to demolish the false philosophical doctrines of the Budhas which were the prevalent. Tradition also confirms the fact that Shankara travelled on foot through the length and breadth of this country discussing the basic questions of religion and philosophy with learned men and giving discourses wherever he went; and that he was thus mainly responsible for the exit of Budhism from this country. It is unquestionably a remarkable fact that Budhism which was born in this country should have been prospering in the Eastern Asian countries like Siam, China and Japan but should have completely lost its hold on the people of the land of its birth.For this remarkable achievement not other person was responsible than the great Adi Shankara.
There are several stories prevalent about Adi Shankara. Vidyaranya Swami through his Shankara Digvijaya has familiarized us with the great philosophical controversy between Mandana Mishra and Adi Shankara; and how after defeating Mandana Mishra he was challenged by Saraswati his wife, who asked him questions about Kama Shastra the Science of Erotics, how by his yogic powers he entered the body of King Amaruka, and having attained the knowledge of his science also, how he defeated Saraswati.