SadaShiva Samarambham Sankaracharya Madhyamam
Asmadaacharya Paryanthaam Vande Guruparamparaam
I salute to the lineage of guru’s; Lord Siva being the adi-guru and thereby lead through Adi Sankaracharya and presently to my immediate Guru.
The goals are set by the guru of a lineage and the paths to achieve them. The ideals and aims are met as well passed onto the generations to come for the benefit of the humankind through a Parat para guru, Parama guru, and so on with the philosophy of the tradition remaining same. Guru, the God incarnation holds a sacred place in the hearts of the disciples, ie. Given highest respect, and is equal to God.
Like its mentioned in the above sloka, The Advaita guru-parampara thus was passed on by the Daiva parampara to manava parampaqra beginning with Gaudapada, Govinda bhagavadpada being the successor guru and then to Adi Sankaracharya who passed on to his disciples.
The Beginning Of The Manava Prampara: Gaudapada Acharya could have belonged to the early 6th century, and other details are not precise. Guru Gaudapadacharya was the believer of Advaita philosophy and criticised devotional worship of any form.
Gaudapaadacharya authored a Vedantic book Madukya Karika which is also known as Gaudapada Karika. Mandukya Karika has four chapters of which the first three chapters emphasise the Advaita Vedanta tradition.
What Is Advaita Vedanta?
Advaita means that which is not two, i.e. a dvaita; nondual, Vedanta refers to the philosophy based on the concept of the Upanishads. Advaita Vedanta which was initially known as Purushavada is a path to self-realisation. This philosophy states that The Atma–self and the highest reality the Brahman are the same.
Gaudapadacharya passes on the Upanishads teaching emphasising that one’s self is identical to Atman, ie. The self of the other individual. Hence all atmans are similar and one with the universal truth the Brahman.
Advaita Vedantins acquire knowledge of one's true identity as Atman, and the nonduality of Atman and Brahman thus attaining spiritual liberation. Sri Gaudapada Acharya sowed the seeds of Advaita Vedanta and is known as a guru whose teachings had a significant influence on Sri Adi Shankara. Adi Sankaracharya had mentioned in several verses about Gaudapada acharya mentioning him as his guru’s guru.