Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is set to unveil a majestic 108-feet-tall statue of the revered philosopher Adi Shankaracharya in Omkareshwar on September 18. This monumental project, named “Eaktmta Ki Pratima” (Statue of Oneness), has garnered significant attention due to its grandeur and spiritual significance. The Madhya Pradesh cabinet has allocated a substantial budget of over Rs 2,141 crore for the construction of the Statue of Oneness project, symbolizing the state’s commitment to preserving its rich cultural and religious heritage.
Honoring Adi Shankaracharya: A Pillar of Hinduism
The towering structure is a tribute to Adi Shankaracharya, an influential and revered figure in Hinduism, known for his profound philosophical contributions. Omkareshwar, located approximately 80 kilometers from Indore on the banks of the Narmada river, has long been recognized as a global center for the Advaita Vedanta philosophy, championed by Adi Shankaracharya. This sacred town holds immense significance in the hearts of devotees and seekers of spiritual wisdom.
The construction of the 108-foot statue on the Mandhata mountain in Omkareshwar marks the inauguration of the first phase of a comprehensive development project, as revealed in an official statement.
A Glimpse of the Statue
The multi-metal statue portrays Adi Shankaracharya as a 12-year-old boy, symbolizing the early years of his spiritual journey. The state government recently released a video showcasing the ongoing progress of this monumental project. Adi Shankaracharya’s childhood is particularly significant in the context of his spiritual quest. According to religious beliefs, he left Omkareshwar at the tender age of 12, embarking on a transformative journey across the country to propagate the Advaita Vedanta philosophy and elucidate its core principles to the masses.
The Spiritual Sojourn of Adi Shankaracharya
Adi Shankaracharya is believed to have arrived in Omkareshwar after embracing the life of a ‘sanyasi‘ (monk) at a remarkably young age. During his stay in this sacred city, he had the privilege of meeting his guru, Govind Bhagwadpad, and receiving profound education under his guidance. The state government has emphasized the historical and spiritual significance of this location in Adi Shankaracharya’s life.
A Holistic Development Endeavor
In addition to the magnificent statue, the Madhya Pradesh government is embarking on a holistic development initiative in Omkareshwar. This includes the establishment of a museum named “Advaita Lok,” dedicated to the promotion and preservation of unity and the Advaita Vedanta philosophy. Furthermore, an international Vedanta institute is being set up to facilitate the study and dissemination of this profound philosophy.
Another noteworthy development is the creation of an “Advaita Forest” sprawling across 36 hectares in Omkareshwar. This eco-friendly initiative aligns with the broader goal of preserving the region’s natural beauty and promoting environmental consciousness.