Sri Sankara was born in a small town of Kaladi, situated on the banks of River Poorna in the state of Kerala. He was born in 788 AD, on the fifth day of the bright fortnight (Shukla paksha) of the month of Vaishakha, to a Namboodiri brahmin couple, Sivaguru and Aryamba. The couple had remained childless for a long time, and prayed for a child at the Shiva (Vadakkunnathan) Temple in the nearby town of Trichur. Lord Siva is said to have appeared to the couple in a dream and promised them a choice of either one son who would be short-lived but the most brilliant philosopher of his day, or many sons who would at best be mediocre. The couple opted for a brilliant, but short-lived son. He was thus named Sankara by his parents.