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SHANKARACHARYA

Shankara, the Ascetic

There is not the slightest doubt about an unseen hand shaping the life of Shankara. As if to confirm this, there happened an incident.

One day Shankara was bathing in the river Poornaa. A crocodile caught his leg and began to pull him into the river. However strong one might be one can't fight with a crocodile in water and succeed. What could the plight of boy Shankara be then? He felt that his life had come to an end. He loudly called out to his mother. She came running. He told her, "Death isapproaching, mother, as I have been caught by a crocodile. I am unable to free myself from its grip. I see only one way out. I must take sannyasa before I die. Please permit me to take 'instant sannyasa'. (Taking sannyasa in essence means to give up one life' and get a new one. So by the decision to take sannyasa he would get over the death caused by the crocodile. Either way he would attain an exalted state. If he survived he would have a new life. If he should die, even then he would have a new life after casting away his body.) The son’s plight and his pathetic appeal moved the heart of the mother. She wasconfused. If he could live at least by becoming a monk, may it be so. She only wanted him to live. So, with a firm faith in Ishwara she gave her consent saying, "My child, may it be according to His will."

Probably it was the will of God that Shankara should be freed from worldly life. The crocodile left Shankara unhurt and swam away in the water! Shankara. Crossed over the sorrow and misery of worldly life. By mere resolution of the mind, he became a Sannyasi and attained a new life.

Mother was grieved about his becoming an ascetic. A few days after this incident, the boy-monk told her about his life’s mission.

He requested her to permit her to leave Kalati.

He was her only son. And was a gift of God to her.

But when she realised that he was born only to render service both to God and to humanity, she blessed him and bade him farewell saying, "Attain great fame, my dear son."

Shankara requested the elders and his dear friends of neighborhood to have good care about his mother and then he got ready to leave Mother could not control her grief "Shankara," she said, "will I see yet again once at least before I die? Shankara, having understood mother., heart, assured her, "Mother, remember me at the time death. I will come to you wherever I may be. I am praying to God to grant me the ‘good fortune of serving my mother during her last days." This was a reply of one who had supreme faith in God. To divert his mother's attention towards God, he installed at home an idol of Sri Krishna. Leaving his mother to his gracious care, Shankara left Kalati.

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Mother, please permit me to take instant sannyasa
About Shankaracharya
Introduction
God's Grace
At Gurukula
For The Sake Of Mother
Mother's Longing And Anxiety
You are Here! Shankara,The Ascetic
'O, Mother Parvati, Give Me Alms'
Commentaries
A Matchless Guru For A Matchless Disciple
'Hastamalaka'
The Four Regional Monasteries
The Disciples
Service To Mother
The Path That Shankara Showed
The Guiding Light
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