Sāradā Maṭha (of Śṛṅgerī)
Introduction If a scientific gadget can discover a hidden object for which it is designed, it is even more possible for holy persons with heightened consciousness—and hence endowed with special psychic powers—to discover places vibrating with holiness. Hence it is but natural for Saṅkara (A. D. 788-820), the great philosopher-mystic that he was, to detect with his uncanny power of superconsciousness, the inherent spiri¬tual power of the place now well-known as Śṛṅgerī. The story goes that Śaṅkara’s intui¬tion was confirmed by his seeing a cobra spreading its hood over a she-frog in labour pains, to give it protection from the fierce rays of the hot sun. This was the first place where he built his earliest of the four Pīṭhas or Maṭhas (monastic centres of learning and propagation of dharma), the other three being established later at Badari (the Jyotir Maṭha) in the north in Uttaranchal, Purī (the Govardhana Maṭha) in the east in Orissa and the Kālikā Maṭha in the west in Gujarat. This centre is also known as the Sāradā Pīṭha and Dakṣiṇa-āmnāya Piṭha.