Sri Adishankaracharya and His four disciples
Of the large number of disciples who had the rare and inestimable privilege of serving the great Acharya Sri Shankara Bhagavatpada, four stand out prominent. Each one of them was unrivalled in his own way: Padmapada for intense devotion, Totaka for exemplary service, Hastamalaka for supreme self-realisation and Sureshwara for deep learning
It is well-known that Jagadguru Sri Adi Shankaracharya established four Maths in the four corners of India for the sustinence and propogation of Sanathana Dharma in the country. Each of these Amnaya Peethams had their divinities, tirthas, sampradaya, so on all of the details of which are given below.
The four disciples of Sri Adi Shankaracharya were later on installed as Acharyas of the four Maths by Sri Adi Shankaracharya himself as follows.
- Sri Hastamalakacharya as the Acharya of the Govardhana Math in the East.
- Sri Sureshwaracharya as the Acharya of Sringeri Sharada Peetham in the South.
- Sri Padmapadacharya as the Acharya of the Dwaraka Math in the West.
- Sri Totakacharya as the Acharya of Jyotir Math in the North.
The fact that all these Maths function to this day shows the vigour of the movement started by Shankara for the propagation of Advaita Vedanta and Sanatana Dharma as a whole.