The head of the Kancheepuram Mutt in Tamil Nadu, Jayendra Saraswathi, has alleged that the government is misrepresenting Adi Shankaracharya’s birthdate, stating that that the government-approved birth year of Adi Sankara is wrong.
The central government is reported to be considering a proposal to observe the ancient thinker’s birthday as Philosopher’s Day.
“The only distortion in the whole proposal is the ‘misrepresentation’ of the birth year of Adi Sankaracharya which was the handiwork of Westerners to post-date any such major event after the birth of Jesus Christ so as to establish their supremacy,” the Kanchi seer said according to news agency reports.
The seer believes that Sankara’s birth took place in 509 BC and not 788 AD.
He cited two points to rationalize his view. One, that all the four of his mutts have had more than 70 pointiffs and two, a recent carbon dating of River Kaladi in Kerala proved that the river was in existence 2,500 years ago.
“This (second point) is in conformity with the legend that Adi Sankaracharya had persuaded the river to flow into Kaladi, his birthplace in Kerala, to help his mother take a bath in the river without travelling far to reach the river,” the pontiff added according to media reports.
He also added that Adi Sankaracharya was India’s most profound philosopher who propagated the theory of Monism or Advaita (non-dualism), which is ultimately the basis of all philosophies. “He reunited the fragmented Hinduism and was among the first to think and propagate India as a single entity,” he said.