8 of 31 Questions for Reflection. Today’s question is inspired by reading Dṛg Dṛsya Viveka: An Inquiry Into the Seer and the Seen alongside reading a book called The Himalayan Masters by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait.
What questions arise when I focus on “Shankara in the jaws of a crocodile” as an object of Vedanta meditation?
Over 1,000 years ago, when Shankara’s father was dying, the boy realized the fact of reincarnation. After his father passed, Shankara begged his mother to allow him to renounce the world to pursue spiritual wisdom. His mother forbade this because she loved her son and could not bare to let him leave her. One day, mother and son were at the river, and a crocodile caught the boy in its jaws. Shankara cried out to his mother saying that if she let him renounce the world, the crocodile would release its grip on him. Desperate, his mother promised to let him go. Fiercely, she prayed her son’s life be spared. Instantly, the crocodile released Shankara. Unharmed, he swam to shore and walked away from his mother. She wept to watch him go.
Reading about Shankara in the jaws of a crocodile, a Jnana yogi might ask, “What am I holding onto that if I let it go, the letting go may actually save someone’s life? Under what circumstances must I finally realize the impact of my grip? Who hears the one who prays, “may ignorance be dispelled before anyone gets hurt?”