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Kalady History

History of Kalady

The village of Kalady, meaning ‘Feet’, was earlier known as “Sasalam.” There is a touching story explaining how Kalady got the new name. The story goes somewhat like this. One day, Aryadevi, the widowed mother of little Shankaracharya fainted while walking the 3 km stretch for her daily bath in the Poorna River. Feeling helpless, Shankaracharya asked his favorite deity Lord Krishna for assistance.The Lord blessed him saying, “The River will flow where your little feet marks.” Young Shankaracharya marked his little feet on the ground and the Kerala’s mighty Periyar River took its new course from where his feet were marked. From that time onwards, the place came to be known as ‘Kalady. Thus, the term ‘Kalady’ signifies the love of an innocent child for his beloved mother and the blessings of Lord Krishna.

According to historians, Sri Sankaracharya, the great exponent of Advaita Vedanta, was born at Kalady in A.D.788 and attained mahasamadhi at the age of thirty-two at Kedar in the Himalayas. He left Kalady at the age of eight, met his guru Govinda Bhagavatpada on the banks of the river Narmada, and took sanyasa from him. It is believed that Sankara completed his bhashyas (commentaries) on the prasthana-traya (the Gita, the Brahmasutras, and the Upanishads) before he was sixteen years of age. Tradition has it that the omniscient sage Vyasa granted him a lease of sixteen years of extended life. n May, 2002, Swami Amaleshananda was appointed president. The swami continues as the spiritual head of the ashrama to date. Under his supervision, a Homeopathic dispensary and a Computer Training Center have been established. A new building is currently under construction for the Primary, Middle, and English Medium schools.

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