Adi Shankaracharya (~800 CE) was the son of a Nambudiri-Brahman in Kerala, who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta. Shankara travelled across India to propagate his philosophy through discourses and debates. His main work was the Brahma Sutra Bhasya, a commentary to the Brahma-Sutra.
Adi Shankaracharya established the importance of monastic life as mentioned in the Upanishads and in the Brahma Sutra, in a time when the Mīmāṃsā school established strict ritualism and ridiculed monasticism.
Shankara founded four mathas (monasteries), which helped in the revival and spreading of Advaita Vedanta. He is believed to be the organiser of the Dashanami monastic order and unified the Shanmata tradition of worship (Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti, Ganesha, Surya and Skanda as One).
Guru Dev Brahmananda Saraswati was from 1941 to 1953 the chairholder of the northern Matha (Jyotirmaṭha Pīṭhaṃ , Nandavala Sampradaya) of the Shankara order, which had been empty for 150 years.
🕸 Maharishi Mahesh Yogo was the secretary and a sadhu but not an accepted disciple of Guru dev Brahmanada Saraswati. Maharishi disappeared soon after gurudev's death and reappeared 2 years later - he had no official order of guru dev for a mission.
👳 The momentary 'Shankaracharya' Vasudevanand Saraswati (since 1989) didnt have the necessary qualifications. He was not a Sanyasi before 1989 but a teacher in a government-aided school and drew salary till November 13, 1989.
The dispute before the Supreme Court in Allahabad ended 2017 with the result that Vasudevanada has no claim and Swami Swaroopanada cannot have 2 chairs. It ordered a new election within 3 months.