Thursday, December 17, 2009

Vishwanatha's Grace on Shankara in Kashi

During Shankara's stay in the city of Kashi an incident happened as ill to test his inner development.

The day was about to dawn. Shankara was on his way to the Vishwanath Temple. A man whom people called pariah (of a low caste)Once, who was accompanied by his wife and 4 dogs. The disciples of Sri Sankara shouted at him to make way, and to keep a distance. The untouchable smiled and said, ""According to your principle of Advaita, which you practice, all the Jivatma are same as God. How do you ask me to go? How am I different from your Paramacharya? What you say is unreasonable. How can I go away from myself?" "To which are you referring as untouchable, this body or the Self? Is not this body also made of dust in the same way as your body? Does the Self ever get polluted? And how can the Self which is present everywhere keep itself at a distance? Is there any difference between you and me the way it has pervaded?" It is a situation in which any one might get confounded.

But Shankara’s reaction was entirely different. Throwing away all his pride, he fell prostrating at the feet of that man. "This is not an ordinary man. One who has ‘described the nature of the Self in such a simple and lucid language is really not ordinary: He is no other than God Himself. Is not this inner enlight-enment a form of Vishweshwara’s Grace?" he said to himself and felt happy.

Sri Sankara realised that it was not an ordinary person and understood that it was Lord Shiva himself who had come along with His consort and the four Vedas. He prostrated before the Lord and sang five slokas called "Manisha Panchakam".

Lord Shiva presented himself along with Visalakshi and blessed Sri Sankara. Shankara even after experiencing the Advaita doctrine was caught for a moment in the illusion of high and low. He offered his salutation to that God in human form who had dispelled his illusion.

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