India's diversity has always been the subject of fascination, wonder and research for the Western world. Many Indian scholars have also been victims of hallucinations and superficially-simplified conclusions about it. It would not be unreasonable to say that with gross, discriminatory and blank political intelligence and vision, the national unity and integrity prevailing in the whole of India cannot be assessed. For that, it needs a very deep subtle, holistic and cultural vision. Those who judge India on the criterion of a Western nation-State are ultimately disappointed. The power and sovereignty of India is not in the system but in the people, not in the State but in dharma, society and culture. Keep in mind that for India, dharma is duty-consciousness or ethical conduct, not worship-system or following a certain creed. We have not seen the nation being bound by one people, one system (State), one language, one sect, within the periphery of a definite plot. Nation is for us a living, emotional entity, cultural concept and eternal thoughts. There is a continuous collective understanding of ideals and values of life. We searched and found the formulas and elements of unity and integrity not in the State and politics but in dharma, spirituality and culture. It is dharma and culture that bind our consciousness. He is the inexhaustible source of our inspiration and the source. That is why we have a general belief that dharma and culture unite, while politics divides.
Adi Shankaracharya understood this very well at the young age of only 32 years by walking thrice in India and had a direct experience on the strength of continuous spiritual practice. Perhaps this was why he was successful in giving a permanent, valid and practical principle of national unity and integrity. He got unprecedented success in tying the nation in a strong thread of unity and integrity from East to West and North to South. Even after taking birth in the far South, he understood very well the customs, policy, nature and trend of the whole of India. He directly realised the omnipresence of God contained in the Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas epics, the interrelationships of Jiva, Jagat and Brahman. It is on the strength of this direct experience, knowledge and spiritual practice that by resolving the confusion, disorientation, distinction, doubt, duality and distance, in the flow of time, they united all the dharmas, creed, caste and sect with unity and non-duality. Being able to add His Advaita philosophy removes all kinds of differences, conflicts and separation. It is a means of connecting the soul to God, the soul to Brahman and the individual to the nature-environment, the expansion of sensation and the progressive identification of man with the atom-renu of creation. It is an upward journey to be established, a sublime-highest state of consciousness free from all kinds of narrowness and constrictions, an empirical vision of finding and attaining the same supreme Tattva or Shivatva at the root of the differences and disparities of the external world. Rather, his Advaita philosophy is a world-view beyond the boundaries of time and country, in which there is a sense of welfare of the entire world and humanity.
At the young age of only 32 years by walking thrice in India, Adi Shankaracharya had a direct experience on the strength of continuous spiritual practice. Perhaps this was why he was successful in giving a permanent, valid and practical principle of national unity and integrity
He gave such a coordinated, planned, coherent dharma cultural system that the external diversity of dress, food, caste-Creed, language-Dialect never became permanent lines dividing us Indians internally. Even if anyone made such an effort, he did not get widespread success. Adi Shankara's coordinating philosophy, logic, and pure-elemental thinking forced the different and different streams to be absorbed over time into the pure-Sanatan-mool stream or included because of its all-inclusive nature. His vision was that Buddha was also worshipped from house-to-house as the tenth incarnation of Vishnu. He gave such a national-cultural sense that a person born in the Kanchi, Kaldi, Kanyakumari, Sringeri etc. of the South at least once in his life aspires to visit the Kashi-Kedar-Prayag-Badrinath of the North. A resident of Jagannathpuri in the East feels grateful by travelling to Dwarkadhish-Somnath in the west. By establishing four monasteries and dhaams at the four corners of the country, Adi Shankara threaded the country into the sources of strong unity-integrity on the one hand, and on the other, restrained the disruptive forces and tendencies. Even today, amidst all the alleged discrimination, it is considered a sacred duty to offer Gangajal brought from Gangotri to Rameshwaram, while offering the stick purchased in Jagannathpuri to Dwarkadhish is considered to be a great privilege. These four monasteries and holy places are not only the highest centres of our faith and reverence, but they are also the greatest protectors and conductors of spiritual and cultural consciousness. From here, our consciousness and culture get a new life, is re-awakened and established.
He renovated the twelve Jyotirlingas. The hope and aspiration of pilgrimage to those twelfth Jyotirlingas and 52 Shaktipeeths always grow in the minds of all Sanatanis. These twelfth Jyotirlingas and Shaktipeeths spread across unbroken India are popularly accepted symbols of our cultural unity. The people of East-West-North-South have equal faith and reverence for them. This faith and reverence always keep us connected on the spiritual plane. It gives a feeling of oneness among diversities. It combines the geography of the country.
On the occasion of Maha Kumbh after every twelve years and Ardh Kumbh Mela to be held at an interval of six years, he gave arrangements for brainstorming, debate, dialogue, consent among saints, mahants of different sects and monasteries and Dashnami ascetics. Gave the vision and resolved to take the knowledge of nectar that emerged from that churning and dialogue to the people. It is a happy result of free discussion and debate on sect-philosophy that there is respect for tradition in Sanatan culture and Hindu contemplation. Still, there is no place for customs prevalent in a particular period. It is only because of the efforts of incarnated supernatural-extraordinary ascetics like them that the vast form of small India emerges at every Kumbh Mela. Crores of devotees gathering there, taking a dip in the holy river, following the fast-rule- limitation-discipline, keeping tent-damp and staying in Haridwar, Prayag-Ujjain, Nashik for many days – to the amazement of the whole world-get mesmerised. The external and artificial walls of language, caste, province, creed and sect collapse on their own, and the real vision of mutual unity, harmony, cooperation and love becomes alive and real. On the auspicious occasion of Amrit Mahotsav of freedom, contemplation, study and follow-up of Adi Shankaracharya’s work, thinking, motion, vision will prove helpful in communicating the feeling of national unity and integrity.