Who is not astonished
at the routine of an eight year old boy being engaged in Vedic studies, contemplation on
Vedantic thoughts and teaching the same to others? In addition to this he had to attend on
his aged mother.
As days were passing like this, one day two Brahmins who were both old in years
and in wisdom came to Shankara's house. Aryamba and Shankara received them with respect
and treated them hospitably. The guests found the atmosphere of the house extraordinary.
They were enchanted by Shankara's brilliance, modesty and godly qualities. They felt that
only to work for the welfare of the world God must have endowed this boy at such a tender
age with all those abilities and achievements. While departing, those old men told
Shankara's mother: "May your son live long. May he become a stalwart in establishing
the Vedic tradition firmly and gloriously in Bharat which is now passing through a crisis,
and may he thereby accomplish the welfare of the world."
The mother's heart was also yearning for the same. She prayed to Ishwara to grant her
son a long life and to make the blessings of those Magis come true. But how is it that God
Ishwara Himself appearing in the dream told, "Your son may have a short life
but he will be the teacher of the world"? Then what does the blessing of these old
Magis mean? Aryamba was puzzled. But she consoled herself saying, "May it be
as He wills it."
The son seems to have understood her anxiety. He tried to comfort her by saying,
"Mother, don't you see that incidents of everyday life point only to the transitory
nature of life? If we make use of all the time at our disposal in the service of God, is
there a better fortune than that?"