One City

One City

In Review: Adi Shankaracharya

I recently rented “Adi Shankaracharya,” the first and only movie made entirely in Sanskrit. It’s a biopic of Shankara, an 8th century Hindu saint who was perhaps the most important exponent of Advaita Vedanta (a Hindu tradition).I can’t say the movie was terribly entertaining (it is 2:40 minutes long, and I watched most of it in 4X, which was still slow enough to read all of the subtitles most of the time). Nonetheless, I’d recommend it if you want to get a sense of the 8th century Indian religious milieu and the sound of spoken Sanskrit.


The clip shows an encounter of Shankara with a fiendish-looking (and scary) Kapalika; the encounter sadly ends before the scene can develop much, thanks to a hungry lion.

In terms of Buddhism, the era portrayed in the movie was a time when Buddhism was continuing its slow decline in popularity in India, although it was the heyday of mahaviharas like Nalanda. It was roughly contemporaneous with the widespread adoption of Vajrayana Buddhism and the first transmission of Buddhism to Tibet. There was a lot of ferment in the religious culture of India at the time, and Adi Shankaracharya is a helpful aide to picturing it.
Comments read comments(3)
post a comment
Julia May

posted June 25, 2009 at 11:38 am

4 Times speeed?
I will never watch this movie.

report abuse


posted June 25, 2009 at 12:40 pm

A couple of minutes of the youtube clip is all you really need.

report abuse

Your Name

posted January 18, 2010 at 2:27 pm

yo yo yo yoy

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting One City. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Most Recent Buddhist Story By Beliefnet Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading! ...

posted 2:29:05pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Mixing technology and practice
There were many more good sessions at the Wisdom 2.0 conference this weekend. The intention of the organizers is to post videos. I'll let you know when. Here are some of my notes from a second panel. How do we use modern, social media ...

posted 3:54:40pm May. 02, 2010 | read full post »

Wisdom 2.0
If a zen master were sitting next to the chief technical officer of Twitter, what would they talk about? That sounds like a hypothetical overheared at a bar in San Francisco. But this weekend I saw the very thing at Soren Gordhamer's Wisdom 2.0 ...

posted 1:43:19pm May. 01, 2010 | read full post »

The Buddha at Work - "All we are is dust in the wind, dude."
"The only true wisdom consists of knowing that you know nothing." - Alex Winter, as Bill S. Preston, Esq. in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure"That's us, dude!" - Keanu Reeves, as Ted "Theodore" LoganWhoa! Excellent! I've had ...

posted 2:20:00pm Jan. 28, 2010 | read full post »

Sometimes You Find Enlightenment by Punching People in the Face
This week I'm curating a guest post from Jonathan Mead, a friend who inspires by living life on his own terms and sharing what he can with others.  To quote from Jonathan's own site, Illuminated Mind: "The reason for everything: To create a ...

posted 12:32:23pm Jan. 27, 2010 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.