Adi Shankarar and Smarta tradition

Smarta deities - Surya, Shiva, Shakti, Ganesha, Muruga & Vishnu

Shankaracharya with the Deities of the Smarta tradition that he established

Image of Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami
It is an error to say that the universe is mere illusion, for it is entirely real when experienced in ordinary consciousness, and its existence is required to lead us to God.
—Gurudeva