Learning that the Acharya had come with many disciples to his kingdom of Kanchipuram, the local Pallava ruler Nandi Varman received him and welcomed him. The local scholars also expressed their deep respect for the Acharya. Blessing the rulers, the Acharya made his abode in the Ekamra forest outside the town.
Kanchi has been the place of learning from time immemorial. It is regarded as one among the seven Mokshapuris, the cities of salvation. The scriptures praise it saying Nagareshu Kanchi. Also, it is believed that the city of Kanchi is in the form of a Srichakra, with the sanctum of Sri Kamakshi forming the bindu of the Srichakra. It is in this holy place that the great sage Agastya meets lord Vishnu in his Hayagriva avatar and obtains instructions from him on Srividya and also the great hymn of Lalita Sahasranama. Sri Kamakshi is said to be the Sthoola or the gross form of Mahatripurasundari. This is the only manifestation of the Devi as Mahatripurasundari Sri Rajarajeshwari on this earth. Kanchi is also known as the Oddyana Peetham, the fourth and the most sacred of the four seats of the great Goddess Mahatripurasundari.
Tantrikas were predominant in Kanchi. When the Acharya went to Sri Kamakshi temple, he had the Darshan of the great Goddess in the Bila or a cave there. Since Sri Kamakshi was the essence of all Gods and Goddesses in the universe, her eyes shown with the brilliance of millions of Suns. Her eyes were so dazzling that none could look at the divine image. In order to make her manifest in her benign aspect, the Acharya re-consecrated the Srichakra in front of Sri Kamakshi, originally consecrated by sage Durvasa during the establishment of the Shakti Peetha for Sri Lalitambika with the name Kamakoti. Thus, Kamakoti Peetham is not a mutt consecrated by Acharya but instead the Sannidhi of Sri Kamakshi. The Kumbhakonam Mutt, which later moved to Kanchi (currently referred to as Kamakoti Mutt) was a branch of Sringeri Peetham established probably during Sri Vidyaranya's time. The Acharya, who was an adept in mantra Shastra and agama Vidya, worshipped the Srichakra on the Salagrama stone in front of Sri Kamakshi. The Acharya also had all the radiance of the Goddess concentrated in the Srichakra, so that the ordinary devotees could have a look at the divinely beautiful image of the Supreme mother of the Universe. Then, the Acharya also requested the king to have a temple constructed there. According to the Acharya's instructions, the rites of worship of the great Goddess were entrusted to highly orthodox Brahmin scholars who were capable of performing the extremely complex modes of worship of the Goddess. This family of Brahmins specially chosen by Acharya is called Kamakoti and Sri Kamakoti Shastrigal, hailing from this illustrious family, is the current head priest at Kanchipuram.
The Acharya also marked off Kanchipuram in two parts as Vishnu Kanchi and Shiva Kanchi. The holy Lord had appeared as Shiva and Vishnu at the two places in order to fulfill the desires of the devotees. At Shiva Kanchi the great Lord Mahadeva manifested himself in his earth- image as a Sand Linga and was worshipped as Ekamreshwara. The glory of that place had spread far and wide. But the temple was ruined by ravages of time and the rites of worship had become a mere formality. It was for this reason that at the express desire of the Acharya, the repair work of the temple was begun and orthodox Brahmins were appointed to introduce proper ceremonies of worship in accordance with the scriptures.
Kanchi, apart from being the foremost of the Shakti Peethas, is also the Prithvi Linga Kshetra. The great Lord Mahadeva has manifested in his five elemental forms called the Pancha Mahabhoota Swaroopa. As earth Linga in Kanchipuram along with Sri Kamakshi, as water Linga in Jambukeshwaram - known as Jambukeshwara along with Goddess Akhilandeshwari, as fire Linga in Arunachalam - as Arunachaleshwara along with Abheetakuchamba, as air Linga in Kalahasti - as Sri Kalahastishwara along with Jnanaprasoonambika, as Akasha or space Linga in Chidambaram -as Nateshwara with Sri Shivakamasundari Devi.
The condition of Vishnu Kanchi had deteriorated even more. The Acharya was greatly distressed to see the poor state of the shrine and of worship there. Sri Varadaraja Vishnu had remained installed there from very ancient times. The Acharya took great pains to have the temple repaired and made so good an arrangement for the worship of Sri Varadaraja that there was praise for him everywhere.
Thereafter with his disciples the Acharya visited Tamraparni, Venkatachala and Vidarbha and arrived at Karnata - Ujjain. Sudhanva, the king of Karnata-Ujjain, had accompanied the Acharya from Kerala. At the pressing desire of the ruler, the Acharya had come to his kingdom to establish religion. The Acharya had already heard of the predominance of the Kapalikas there. Krakacha, the king of the Kapalikas lived in that region with his mighty army of Kapalikas. He also possessed many supernatural powers and attainments. In the name of religion, Krakacha indulged in many diabolical practices. The king was too afraid of Krakacha's powers and of his army to oppose him in any way.
Learning that the Acharya was arriving with his disciples, Krakacha was bent upon lowering the Acharya's prestige and if need arose, even to kill the Acharya and his disciples. He accordingly kept his Kapalika soldiers in readiness. Immediately as the Acharya arrived, Krakacha, red-robed, his body covered with ashes from the crematorium, holding a human skull in one hand and a spear with scimitar in the other, appeared in a deadly from before the Acharya and insulted him in indecent language like a mad man. But the Acharya was unruffled and bore it all calmly.
King Sudhanva was greatly distressed at his Guru being subjected to such insult. He requested Krakacha to refrain from his insults. But it was of no avail. Thereupon the king ordered his followers to turn the miscreant out of that place at once. Deeply insulted at this royal order, Krakacha raised his sharp scimitar and thundered out, " If I do not cut your heads off, in vain do I then bear the name of Krakacha".
Krakacha left in anger and ordered his men to get ready for battle. Soon after this the disciples of the Acharya were greatly frightened to see that Krakacha's soldiers thundering forth with their war-drums and raising their sharp tridents, shouting wildly. Fearing that they were going to be killed, the devotees of the Acharya sought refuge at his feet. The Acharya however was unaffected. Finding the Kapalika soldiers advancing, Sudhanva ordered his soldiers to resist and putting on armor and taking up shield, bow and arrows, himself drove forward in his chariot.
The army of Krakacha could not withstand the speed and attack of the well-disciplined royal force and was scattered and made to flee leaving the dead and the wounded on the battle-field. Finding his men fleeing, Krakacha laid down his arms and approached the Acharya saying, " You wicked fool, look at my powers. You will soon face the consequences of your acts".
Holding the skull on his palms, Krakacha went into meditation. Soon the skull that he held in his hands was filled with fine. Drinking that wine, he invoked upon Samhara Bhairava, which is the most terrible aspect of Bhairava. In a second Samhara Bhairava appeared there, his terrible roar reverberating on all sides. Just as krakacha fell on his knees and prayed to Samhara Bhairava to kill the Acharya, the roaring Bhairava was violently angry and said in a sharply rebuking tone, " You wretch, you have opposed me. Shankara is born of my powers. You have, by insulting him, actually insulted me. I am going to punish you for this and all your other faults". Even as he spoke these words, he cut off Krakacha's head. Seeing this, the Acharya bowed down to the great Bhairava and praised him in a hymn. Pleased with this beautiful hymn, Bhairava disappeared after blessing the Acharya affectionately. Realizing the greatness of the Acharya, the other Kapalikas sought refuge at his feet. The merciful Acharya forgave them and after rites of purification consisting of different forms of expiation, gave them instructions on the ultimate reality. Following the Acharya's instructions, the Kapalikas gave up their evil practices and engaged in Sandhya Vandana, worship of the five deities and the performance of the five sacred duties. With the death of krakacha, the influence of the Kapalikas with their evil practices disappeared in that region and the Vedic dharma was re-established there.
After delivering the Kapalikas from sin, the Acharya went to different places in Karnataka like Mallapura, Marunghanagara and reformed the doctrines of Carvaka, Saugata, Kshapanaka, Jain, Buddhist, Kukkura-Sevaka (worshippers of Dog), Vishwaksena worshippers and the followers of Kamadeva (Cupid God of Erotic love). He then proceeded in the course of his travels towards Andhra Pradesh. Having journeyed through many places in Andhra, the Acharya spread the knowledge of Brahman and Self. Thereafter, at the request of the people of the Kalinga country, he engaged himself in the reform of the people there, who had strayed into evil ways. Everywhere people were greatly impressed by the Acharya's personality and his liberal interpretation of the scriptures. In course of his travels. The Acharya arrived at the holy city of Puri. He went into the famous Jagannath temple there, only to find the altar there empty.
During oppression by Kalayavana, priests of the place had buried the casket containing the wooden image of Lord Jagannath on the banks of lake Chilka. During a period of Buddhist attacks that followed, it was further moved elsewhere. Later, through the support of some ruler, one lakh Salagrama stones were installed and on that very altar, rites of worship were instituted. The Acharya was filled with deep sorrow at the sight of the altar without the image of Narayana. He plunged into deep meditation and when he awoke, he said, " That relic casket is buried on the eastern banks of Lake Chilka on the northern side, under the largest banyan tree. If only that spot is dug up, the casket will be recovered".
Rapturous cries of triumph resounded everywhere. Taking the Acharya's words as the voice of the heaven, the royal officials dog up the indicated spot. Their joy knew no bounds when the casket was recovered. In great pomp and show, the casket was brought to Puri. There were joyous festivals at Puri. On an auspicious day, amidst choruses of praise and tumults of joy raised by countless men and women, the image of the Lord was installed in the shrine of Jagannath. The Acharya also established a math in Puri to propagate Vaidika Dharma. The Acharya and his disciples then happily proceeded towards the kingdom of Magadha.
The general impression of the ignorant is that the Acharya and his followers of Advaita do not accept Ishwara or God. This is completely baseless. In the life of the Acharya and in his writings, we find him to be a confirmed believer of God, dependent of him and seeker of his grace.
Ishwara is the material and efficient cause of the universe. He cannot be known by mere physical knowledge of the commentaries. He is Omniscient, All-powerful, Omnipresent Parameshwara, bestower of the fruits of karma, good or bad, and the giver of Moksha. Advaita Vedanta accepts both karma and grace. God is the bestower of grace and ordainer of karma. But grace depends upon God while karma is dependent upon one's past deeds in the earlier births.
The Acharya accepts God and Bhakti in the empirical level, whereas on the absolute level, where there is One alone, there is no possibility of dualistic Bhakti. When there is but One, where is the possibility for a spiritual aspirant to worship someone or something other than his own self? There is hence no possibility, at the Absolute level, of Bhakti that depends on the quality and distinction of the worshipper and the worshipped. There is no God apart from Self.
Having traveled through many places including Magadhapura and Yamasthapura on the way to Magadha and pursuing his career of conquest in debate, the Acharya in the course of his travels now approached the holy city of Prayaga. The Buddhists were still influential in Magadha. But unable to face the great Acharya, they refused to come out. None dared challenge the Acharya in a debate. Everywhere common people would however gather to see the Shiva-like Acharya and to hear him interpreting the scriptures. Untiringly, he would satisfy the spiritual thirst of everybody. The Acharya had debated with many people of wrong views of whom the worshippers of Kubera, Indra and Yama may be mentioned in particular. Even though the worshippers belonging to these different views had been pursuing wrong paths and senseless superstitions, they would all regard themselves as believers and followers of the Vedas. The Acharya listened to their views patiently and reformed all of them.
At Yamasthapura lived many worshippers of Yama. Their arms were tattooed with the signs of the buffalo and hot iron marks. They were terrible to look at and were always fond of wild dancing. One day the leader of the worshippers of Yama came to the Acharya and said, " O great Acharya, we are the worshippers of Yama. The deity whom we adore is the creator, preserver and destroyer of the three worlds. He alone can deliver creatures from bondage. In the Vedas too it is said, Yamaya swaha. Thus he alone can take the fruits of sacrifice. Accordingly it is Yama who is the only supreme Brahman. It is he who created the Rudra and other glorious Avataras. It is in this Yama that the Vishnu has his origin. From his navel has arisen Brahma whose complexion is blood-red and it is this Brahma who is the creator of the eight Gods of the eight directions, of the planets and the Sun, of the motion and rest in the entire universe. It is this Yama who represents truth in his nature and is naturally pure and liberated. He is the primal cause of all matter. Through his mere worship, ignorance is removed. Thereafter, liberation in the state beyond the form of the White Yama is attained".
Calmly listening to these words, the Acharya said in a sweet voice, " You are talking against the truth. Remember Katha Upanishad, in it you will find that Yama is not Brahman. Again you will observe in Markandeya Purana that the great Lord Mahadeva, affectionately disposed towards his devotees, compelled Yama by force to give up his devotee Markandeya. Because he stayed awake on the holy night of Shivaratri, a devotee named Sundara was saved by the attendants of Shiva from the hands of Yama. Behold further that wearing these signs cannot lead to liberation. It is knowledge that is the cause of liberation. You should accordingly abandon these outward signs and be devoted to the Advaita Brahman. You may continue to worship Yama as a personal God without any desire. This will help in the purification of your minds. Liberation can be possible only when one had attained the knowledge of Brahman by way of purification of the soul. There can be no liberation by mere ritualistic worship of Gods alone".
The worshipper was won over by the clear and rational instructions of the Acharya. He took refuge at the Acharya's feet and became attached to the rites of the five sacrifices and the worship of the five deities for the purification of the mind as means to attainment of the knowledge of the Brahman. Under the Acharya's directions, his disciples also performed purificatory rites and began to follow the true path of religion. Staying there nearly for a month, the Acharya directed the spiritual aspirations of the worshippers of Yama towards the attainment of supreme joy.
At Yamasthapura, the Acharya's stay was crowned with a success greater than expected. The unshakable influence of the Acharya's personality was felt by many people.
At the time of Acharya's advent, the religious life of the Hindus had become sullied and was full of diverse errors. As a result of the formidable onslaught of Buddhism, the ceremonial part of the Vedic religion was in a moribund state. People had lost respect for the Vedas. Like the Charvakas, they too said, ` The hypocrite, the cunning and those who are active at night- these are the authors of the Vedas'.
The Acharya had to engage in debate with eighty chief Hindu, Buddhist and Jain sects. Even leaving aside the Buddhists and Jains, we have to consider the fact that the Hindus had strayed from the true Vedic dharma and were now grouped into different narrow, dualistic doctrines. The main reason of this was the attack of the Buddhists. But the strange thing was that even all Hindus following their mistaken ways would consider their own theories infallible, in accordance with the Vedas and as the only means of attaining Moksha. As a result of the propaganda of the Buddhists, with royal support, spread over hundreds of years, common Hindu folk had come to doubt the existence and the eternity of the Vedas. Thus like branches dropping off from the main trunk, the different theories of Hinduism had torn themselves off from the life-source of the Vedas. Religious practice had become largely a matter of wearing of external marks, and senseless rituals. The divine Acharya established the authority of the Vedas and reformed all the creeds of Hinduism and thus made the people follow the Vedas.
The Acharya gradually approached Prayaga. Several years ago, directed by Bhagavan Vyasa, he had come to this holy place. It had not been possible then for him to stay at Prayaga or to be acquainted with the religious ideas of the people there. This time, he made the confluence of the three rivers, his abode. Performing the daily rites of pilgrimage, he used to give religious instruction to the people assembled there.
There was a great commotion everywhere at the auspicious coming of the Acharya. Three thousand people were following a young monk of unostentatious life. Many of them were distinguished and learned Brahmins and scholars. It was indeed a Sight! It was, as if an ocean was on the move, an ocean into which different rivers poured.
Prayaga was not only the greatest of holy places from very ancient times, it was also a well established center of religion and culture. Pious Hindus of many different sects lived here to attain salvation. Among the followers of different doctrines here, the names of the worshippers of Vayu (wind), Varuna (Water), Bhumi (earth), Tirtha (pilgrim center), Manuloka (the world of Manu), Akasha (sky), Varaha, followers of the theories of Guna, of Paramanukarana (Atomic Causation) and the Sankhya theorists deserve special mention.
Hearing the news of the Acharya's arrival, scholars of different views engaged in debate with the Acharya in order to establish the superiority of their respective views. With infinite patience, the Acharya listened to their views and then convinced them by reason and by the authority of the scriptures of the imperfection of their views. He said that the worship of the Saguna Brahman should be taken to, without any desires. Only then would it lead to the purification of the mind. In the heart of the purified soul, there is the radiance of Advaita Brahman whose nature is ` Existence - Bliss- Knowledge ` and there is liberation resulting from this knowledge of identity of the Advaita Brahman and the self. Accordingly every spiritual practice is but a step to the attainment of Advaita knowledge.
One day, the leader of the Sankhya theorists greeted the great Acharya and respectfully said, " O noble Acharya, we are adherents of Prakriti or nature which is the ultimate cause of the universe. It is also the material cause of the universe. Smritis like the Manu Samhita support our theory. It is from Prakriti that the principles like the intellect have originated. Prakriti is the state of equilibrium of the Gunas. Even though without form, Prakriti assumes form. This world indeed the manifestation of Prakriti".
Hearing these words, the Acharya said, " What you say is against the Vedas. The Vedas do not regard Prakriti as the ultimate reality. It cannot be accepted as the cause of the universe too. The Saguna Brahman created the universe by cogitation. It is the Chaitanya Shakti or the supreme power of consciousness of the Ishwara alone that is capable of cogitation. Prakriti, without intelligence cannot of itself achieve this power of witnessing. I advise you to take to the devotion of the Supreme Brahman, through which alone liberation is possible".
Thereafter, the Acharya advanced many more irrefutable arguments and convinced the Sankhya theorists to follow the true Vedic path of Advaita Vedanta. Thus staying at Prayaga for nearly three months, he set up before all the Supra-personal origin of the Vedas and the greatness of the knowledge of identity of Advaita Brahman and the self. After establishing the glory of the Vedas and Advaita theory everywhere and reforming various creeds, the Acharya with his disciples left for Kashi, the abode of lord Vishwanatha.
Nearly twelve years before this, the Acharya had come to Kashi as a wandering monk. At that time he was not much known. Today he was Acharya Shankara, respected by all and revered in the entire country. Surrounding by lakhs of disciples, he was touring India corner to corner on a mission of establishment of religion, as the greatest exponent and representative of Sanatana Vaidika dharma. Leaving Prayaga, the Acharya walked for seven days to reach the holy city of Kashi. Everywhere on the way crowds gathered to see that supremely serene monk. None returned empty-handed. He filled the hearts and souls of all with an ineffable joy by his charming exposition of the scriptures and by his divine radiance of love and integrity. His writings opened the eyes of many to the knowledge of the Advaita Brahman.
The written works of the Acharya bear witness to the high level of his scholarship and his poetic genius, never possible in a normal human being. He explained in his commentaries the philosophical treatise of the abstruse and difficult spiritual works represented by the three Prasthanas with such ease and simplicity as to fascinate every scholarly and wise reader. The language of the commentaries is elegant, sweet and mature. The style is pleasant and sweet at the same time. The Acharya has explained these difficult scriptures in a language so beautiful that the reader does not feel that he is discussing some complex and abstruse subject. He has refuted the conclusions reached in different theories with arguments so full of power and skill that none have been able to confront them. The Acharya has established the philosophy of Advaita with examples so fascinating that there is no room for doubt in accepting them. In this matter, we feel proud of the Acharya as the greatest among the philosophers, not of India alone but the entire world. incomparable also was the poetic genius of the Acharya. It is indeed rare to come across a combination of poetry and philosophy. His poems unquestionably are always rich in different, moods, contents and ideas, like an ever-moving current of joy, like mines full of bright treasures of meaning and rich sources of tender imagination. Through his poems, he has expressed very skillfully the theory of Advaita. In the poems of the Acharya there is a strange power that charms, there is an unparalleled quality that intoxicates one. Is there a reader whose heart will not echo the somber tones of hymns like Bhaja Govindam. The inner message of these hymns overwhelms one's soul and carries the mind away from the transient life and world full of sorrow to a super-sensual realm in quest of all-pervading joy.
In reading his incomparable hymn Saundaryalahari, who will not feel the Acharya's delightful play in a realm of noble imagination, the uniquely charming manner in which he expresses his thoughts and the ever-present tenderness of the words that he chooses?
"O Goddess, may the line that parts your hair on your head bring us good. It is, as if, the flowing outlet for the waves of beauty on your lotus-face and on that, the vermilion mark, tingled with red, stays like the red glow of morning sunlight". Such descriptions are indeed charming expressions of the tenderness of imagination. Later in the same hymn in what graceful tilting words he craves a merciful glance from the supreme Goddess, " O thou ever-auspicious Goddess, Grace my miserable self too, in spite of my being far removed from Thee (for lack of devotion), with the long-ranging and compassionate look of Thy eyes, which defeat the slightly blooming blue water lily in beauty. By this my humble self shall feel blessed, while to Thee, it involves no loss. The rays of the moon fall alike, indeed, on a mansion and a wilderness".
Of the works that are prominently associated with the Acharya, twenty-two are commentaries, fifty-four consist of treatises and discourses and seventy-five are hymns.
Entering the city of Kashi, the Acharya first of all went to the temple of Vishwanatha. The shrine was full of pilgrims. The deity was being worshipped through diverse offerings. Some were reading hymns, a chorus of voices raising loud notes of praise to the deity. Some again sought the favors of the Lord by Gala Vadya, making `Bam Bam; sound in the mouth. Entering the temple full of overflowing emotion, the Acharya performed the worship of Sri Vishwanatha. He was immediately transported into a deep trance. That all-pervading and formless Being had assumed form in his heart as Existence, Bliss and Knowledge.
As soon as the news of the Acharya's arrival spread, many pilgrims assembled there in order to see the great monk. Having seen the Acharya, people felt they had actually seen Vishwanatha Shiva himself and all, considered themselves blessed and satisfied.
Having performed his worship of lord Vishwanatha, the Acharya stayed somewhere at Manikarnika. The arrangement for the stay of the disciples was made at different places on the banks of the holy Ganga.
Among the five holy spots of Kashi, Manikarnika is a famous sacred place, giving liberation to those who go there earnestly. According to the Puranas, the spring there was dug by Sri Vishnu himself with his Sudarshana Chakra. In the Kashi-khanda and other Puranas, it is written that Lord Vishnu practiced severe penance there, seeking the favors of Mahadeva. When Sri Mahadeva was shaking his head in appreciation of Vishnu's penance, his ear-ornaments, inlaid with gems, stones and snakes, dropped from his ears. This place where the ornaments of the Lord landed came to be called Manikarnika.
The present cremation Ghat at Manikarnika is not very old. It is the Harishchandra cremation Ghat on the banks of Ganga that is the original and the only famous cremation Ghat in Kashi. In 1760 A.D. the Hindu treasurer of a Nawab of Lucknow purchased a plot of land at Manikarnika and had his mother cremated there and it is since ten that the place has become a cremation ground. The Manikarnika that is mentioned here is the holy place of Manikarnika and not the present cremation Ghat of Manikarnika.
The auspicious arrival of the Acharya at that time was a big event in the civic life of Kashi. Not much time was required to spread everywhere the news that Shankaracharya had arrived in Kashi with thousands of disciples. Soon hundreds of men and women began to assemble everyday at Manikarnika Ghat in order to visit him. there was no dearth of ascetics, aspirants, monks, scholars and Brahmins in Kashi. All sought the true religion of the Acharya. Aspirants of diverse views would strengthen the spiritual current of Kashi by their religious practices and penance. Among them were the Shaivas, Shaktas, Vaishnavas, followers of the doctrine of karma kanda, worshippers of moon, worshippers of mars, Ananta, Siddha Gandharva, Vetala, Vamacharis, Worshippers of Hirantagarbha, sun, Ganesha in his various forms, Raja yogis, HathaYogis, dualists, followers of Charvaka theory and adherents of many other doctrines.
Gradually scholars expounding different theories challenged the Acharya to debate in order to establish their respective views. The Acharya had debate with the exponents of all the views and in course of the debates he refuted all these theories and established the supremacy of Advaita.
One day, several Mimamsakas who followed the doctrine of karma approached the Acharya and humbly said, " O great Acharya, we are the followers of the doctrine of karma. The creation, preservation and destruction of the universe are brought about by karma alone. Through good work, results are attained and from evil deeds, evil consequences emerge. If one performs good deeds, one is born as a Brahmin. If, on the other hand, one commits sin, one is reborn as a Sudra in consequence. Great men like Janaka realized the ultimate truth only through work, accordingly it is the injunction of the scriptures that the seekers of liberation should engage in good deeds leading to it. No one can refrain from mental or physical work".
The Acharya said in a pleasant voice, " From the expression in the Sruti, ` Yasya Etat Karma `, which means ` this universe is whose creation', it is clear that this world is the creation of the supreme Brahman or Ishwara. That self-existent, omniscient God whose nature is truth is the cause of this universe. Karma can never be the cause of the universe. All that is born of a cause, is in the nature of effect to a cause ands therefore, is transient. Accordingly you should meditate on the eternal, immortal and immutable self. It is through this kind of meditation that you will realize supreme bliss and attain liberation.
Work is of two types, Sakama-that which is performed with desire of owing the result and Nishkama-that which is performed without desire. When good deeds are done without desire of getting the results, i.e. without attachment to their consequences, the mind is purified and with that pure mind it is possible to contemplate the Brahman and to attain the state of Samadhi".
Listening to the Acharya's significant discourse, the followers of the doctrine of Mimamsa realized their error and according to the Acharya's instructions endeavored to realize the truth of Parabrahman.
On an other occasion, the worshippers of Gandharva approached the Acharya and said respectfully," Master, we are the worshippers of the Gandharva named Vishwavasu. Through his grace, we are fortunate to have acquired the knowledge of Nada Vijnana, the knowledge of sound. Creatures can thus be liberated only by worship of Vishwavasu".
In reply, the Acharya said in a solemn voice, " The knowledge of Nada may indeed be acquired through the worship of Vishwavasu. But one cannot attain liberation this way. In the Vedas, the supreme Brahman is described as being soundless, touch less , colorless, undiminishing etc. from this, it is clear that Brahman is beyond and separate from sound. The aspirant who realizes the supreme Brahman who is beyond sound and form is the true knower of the Vedas and of the ultimate reality. You should worship that Brahman and thus be freed from the bondage of ignorance".
They were blessed to accept with heads lowered in submission, the advice of the Acharya. The chief scholars in Varanasi at that time including Bhasvarananda, Guptamishra, Vidyendu and others were all in turn defeated in argument by the Acharya. Thus during his stay of over three months in the city of Kashi, the Acharya made many adherent of erroneous views follow the Vedas and gave instructions on the nature of Brahman and self to countless men and women. The main disciples of the Acharya like Padmapada, Sureshwara, Hastamalaka also defeated in argument many adherents of erroneous views and made them devoted to the Vedas. The essential truth of Vedanta began to spread everywhere. The Self had been almost annihilated by the materialistic Charvakas and by Buddhists who believed in physical existence alone, regarding the body as the Self. By the Acharya's analytical powers, the tides of time turned and the roots of theism and superstition were destroyed. Many scholarly logicians failed in their determined efforts to refute the commentaries of the Acharya and like gold that becomes brighter by rubbing, cutting or heating, the commentary on the Brahma sutras emerged even more brilliant after being closely examined by those who challenged it. Thus the Acharya's exposition of Advaita Brahman was established in Varanasi and from Varanasi as the center, spread to be established in many distant places.
The Acharya was liberal in his approach. He would never ask anyone to give up his own views. By citation of scriptures and by his powers of argument, he would point out the errors in others' views point and by reforming it would make it consistent with the Vedas. He would also ask all to be devoted to the worship of Gods.
Within a short time there was a big transformation in the thinking of the spiritual aspirants and scholars in Varanasi which was at that time the main center of Hindu religion and culture. Scholars and philosophers engaged themselves with deep attention in the discussion of Vedanta. As a consequence of the commentaries and other works of the Acharya being copied and published in the form of books, scholars with great eagerness began to undertake a detailed study of all these works. Thus filling Varanasi in a flood of resurgent ideas, the Acharya, accompanied by his disciples, left for Saurashtra at the very earnest desire of the people of that place.