Adi Sri Shankara creates the Smarta tradition

Adi Sankara, “founder of the six-sect system.” popularized the ancient Smārta five-Deity altar—Gaṇapati, Sūrya, Vishṇu, Śiva and Śakti, and added Kumāra.

Image of Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami
Devotees seek a satguru who teaches them to understand suffering, and brings them into the intentional hardships of sadhana and tapas leading to liberation from the cycles of experience in the realm of duality.
—Gurudeva