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