When we ask a Christian, what is their Veda;they would immediately reply as "Bible" & similarly a Muslim;"Quran" would be the reply".If somebody asks us (Hindus) many of us would hesitate to reply what to tell as there are several holy books.You can tell as "prasthana thrayam"(பிரஸ்தான திரயம்) .This consists of "Bhramma Sutra,Upanishads & Bhahavat Gita".It is learnt that Sri.Aadhi Shankara wrote a commentary on Bhramma Sutra by Veda vyasa. Upanishads are explaining about our Vedas to recognize God in our selves.There are number of Upanishads. If one studies "Bhahavat Gita" which was earlier told to Arjuna by God Krishna during Maha Bharata war, all the Upanishads are covered in it. Sri.Sankara was was born in a very poor family(Nambudiri bhramin) in the year 788 A.D.His parents were Sivaguru & Aryamba.He lost his father at the age of 7.His mother Aryamba was an extraordinary woman.His" upa nayanam " was performed after his father's death in his 7th year .His mother took special care to educate him in Veda sastras, who learnt all of them with in 16 years of his age.He became the master of all philosophies.He wrote commentaries on Gita, Upanishads & Bhramma Sutra when he was 16 years old.Is this possible to an ordinary person. One day Sankara was bathing in a river , watched by his mother on the river bank. When he took a dip in the river he felt a crocodile dragging his feet.He immediately shouted that he was being dragged by a crocodile & let me fulfill my wish of becoming a sanyasi by adopting "Apath sanyasa " . Now his mother gave permission to adopt Sanyasa by his son.In our tradition , one has to get permission from his parents to become a sanyasi.How Sri.Swayam prakasa swamigal was struggling to get permission from his parents & brothers, i have told in my previous postings.Apath sanyasa means adoption of sanyasa when death is near.His mother is now worried that there is no one to perform her funeral fire because a sanyasi could not perform any last ritual. Asssuring his mother that he would reach her at her ending time,he left for searching a Guru.Let us see the remaining history in coming posts.Source of information & Photo from The divine Life Society with thanks.