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Sankara Bhagavadpada

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Sankara Bhagavadpada
Shanker Ramachandran

Chennai, India
HonorsPhD, Jyotish Ratan

Sankara Bhagavadpada[1] (born May 1, 1948 in Madras) is an Indian spiritual teacher, author[2] and Vedic astrologer[3] from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Sankara Bhagavadpada was born Shanker Ramachandran, on May 1, 1948 in Madras, India. In his boyhood years, he came under the benevolent spiritual & philosophical influence of his mother and his philosopher-friend Sri Bhagavan.[5]

In 1971, he secured his Masters degree (physics) from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Chennai. In 1980 he was awarded the doctorate degree by Mumbai University, for research work in the field of theoretical nuclear physics, conducted at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai. His research work during the period (1972 to 1982), was published in the form of ten papers in the best international research journals in that field.[6]

After completing the doctoral work, he worked at the Goethe University Frankfurt in W Germany as an Alexander Von Humboldt post-doctoral research fellow (1980-1982) - till late 1982, collaborating here with his erudite mentors and well-wishers Prof C S Warke and Prof Walter Greiner.[7][6]

Spiritual work[edit]

Academic, research years and withdrawal[edit]

During his academic years he underwent a radical change of heart, whereby his spiritual life and the aspirations of his deeper-self, took precedence over all other survival concerns.[8]

At this turning point, he sought the guidance of his philosopher-friend who had earlier spiritually initiated him in his boyhood. Taking to heart the teachings of the philosopher J. Krishnamurti, which implied turning his back on ‘success and worldliness’, he found that he had imperceptibly slipped into the state of the Stitha Prajna (described in Ch. II of the Bhagavad Gita). It was the result of this that he spontaneously withdrew from the life of a researcher at the age of 34.[9]

J. Krishnamurti School[edit]

Bhagavadpada was deeply influenced by the philosophy of the renowned philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti. In an attempt to express his deeply-felt devotion & gratitude to this master, because of the profound impact of his teachings in his life, he returned to India in 1982, thereby ending his research career. He offered his services to the Krishnamurti Foundation, which resulted in his being briefly appointed as the principal of one of their schools. He was relieved of his responsibilities within a matter of 6 months.[10]

Jeevashram and Master Sri Bhagavan’s Mission[edit]

With his philosopher-friend, he established an Ashram school called Jeevashram[11] (in Chittoor Dist of Andhra Pradesh), which was to serve as a ‘seed’ for their envisioned spiritual mission (1984). He served this Master Sri Bhagavan, as a completely self-less Karma Yogi for seventeen long years. Between 1989 & 1998, when he was in the forefront of that spiritual mission (as the paramacharya), he came to be known for his highly inspiring Satsangs, yajnas and talks on the spiritual life. In Oct 1991, his Master Sri Bhagavan, touched by his beloved friend’s devotion and utter sincerity, had blessed him with the name, Sankara Bhagavadpada.[10]

Thereafter, watching his Master’s growing spiritual mission steadying itself firmly on its own feet; in 1999, he withdrew fully from an involvement in that mission work and has been, since then responding to a new inner calling – Atmajnana (philosopher J. Krishnamurti’s self-knowing) and Jyotisha (Vedic Astrology). It may be noted that this is the second time in his life, when he has gracefully yielded to that inner call for ‘withdrawal from the world’.[4][12]

Systems approach[edit]

In February 2007, ‘The Systems Institute of Hindu Astrology’ under the chairmanship of Prof. V. K. Choudhry conferred on him the honorary title of Jyotish Ratan, in appreciation of his meritorious services, towards the cause of Hindu Astrology.[12] Since March 2006, every year, he has been presenting his astrological work in the spheres of Dharma and Moksha in International Astrological Conferences Gurgaon, India[13] and organized by the International Institute of Predictive Astrology (IIPA), Fairfield, Iowa, USA.[14]


He has been invited to conduct Atmajnana Yajnas self-knowledge and Self-Realization retreats in the South American countries of Uruguay & Mexico; and likewise, he has also been offered the opportunity to hold Satsangs, and provide Vedic Astrological consultations & spiritual counseling sessions in Canada.[1]

Current years[edit]

Bhagavadpada currently teaches Hindu spiritual disciplines of knowledge such as Jyotisha, Atmajnana (self-knowing & Self-Realization based on the Bhagavad Gita), Advaitic, and Daivajnana (knowledge & realization of Divinity from the Bhagavad Gita). He lives in Chennai with his wife Prema, and daughter Gayatri.[7]


He has come to be better known for his interdisciplinary work: Sri Ramana Maharshi’s Moksha - A Hindu Astrological Pilgrimage into the Life and Moksha of Sri Ramana Maharshi.[15] His another book Self-Realization Through Self-Knowing: A New Hindu Enquiry Into Dharma and Moksha is published in 2016.[16]

Guru-shishya parampara[edit]

  • Sri Bhagavan (for lifelong spiritual guidance, As being his Guru)
  • Sri J Krishnamurti (for self-knowing, Atmavichara, and securing Atmaprasannata)
  • Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (for Atmavichara, abiding in Atmaprasannata, and Self-Realization)
  • Sri Ramana Maharshi (for being an embodiment of Lord Shiva, “Bhikshatana” Manifestation, and Atmavichara)
  • Prof V. K. Choudhry (for being the Jyotish Guru)
  • Pandit Vamadeva Shastri (for Jyotisha, as well as Vedic ethos)


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Narayanan, "A `White Paper' on Kalki Bhagavan"". msuweb.montclair.edu.
  2. Bringers of the Golden Ball. Robert March. ISBN 9788187694168.
  3. "_ HINDU WORLD ASTROLOGY - Brief History of Vedic Astrology & Fundamental Principles (en) __ Dr. Sankara Bhagavadpada (2012) REF. ESPECIAL | Vedas | Astrology". Scribd.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Sankara Bhagavadpada | parliamentofreligions.org". parliamentofreligions.org.
  5. "lifepositive". lifepositive.com.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Bhagavadpada's Approach to Vedic Astrology | astrology". hinduworldastrology.net.
  7. 7.0 7.1 AKHTAR, SHAMEEM (7 May 1997). "The Kalki Craze with Shankara Bhagvadpada". Outlook: 18.
  8. "Biography of Kalki". skyboom1.tripod.com.
  9. "Sankara Bhagavadpada". Yogi Impressions.
  10. 10.0 10.1 AVADHANI, RAMESH (13 July 2008). "India: a visit to the Oneness Temple of Amma-Bhagwan". Religioscope.
  11. "Glimpes of the Life and Work of Sri Bhagavan".
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Vedic Astrology Gathering". The Happyness Center.
  14. "Zen Publications". zenpublications.com.
  15. Bhagavadpada, Sankara (2008). Sri Ramana Maharshi's Moksha. Yogi Impressions Books Pvt. Limited. ISBN 9788188479405.
  16. Bhagavadpada, Sankara (2016). Self-Realization Through self-knowing: A New Hindu Enquiry Into Dharma and Moksha. YOGI IMPR IONS BOOKS PVT Limited (. ISBN 9789382742531.

External links[edit]

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