One more thing !

Sankara's " Manisha Panchakam "

Manisha Panchakam:

In the narration of Sankara's life the episode of chandala is presented (by Vidyaranya ) in the following words; “ one such ( summer) noon, the great Acharya, desirous of doing his midday rites walked with his disciples to river Ganga”. on the way he met a chandala. There follows a discussion and the same is captured in Manisha Panchakam. .Vidyaranya presented the episode in two slokas .

The first sloka says “ once upon a time when the great Acharya was on his way to holy Kashi , he saw on the way Shiva with his consort in the guise of a Chandala and told him to “get away, get away”. Then Sankara in the form of Chandala spoke to Sankara the Acharya”.

For Sankara the event itself must have been a moment of intense self realization. Here is a Chandala who is putting across the very philosophy which Sankara himself was propagating. He must have felt that the chandala in front of him is no ordinary man ! Which is true because the Chandala asked a question which had no answer . No ordinary man could have asked such a rhetorical question. In his mind Sankara equated the Chandala in front of him then and there to the Lord Shiva himself who came to test his convictions. For Sankara the Chandala was Shiva. Sankara's answer is in the five slokas which state his conviction !! ( whether it is a Brahmin or a Chandala .. he who "knows" is my Guru!! )

Vidyaranya in his narration captured the feeling of Shankara that Chandala is Shiva , Hence in the first sloka Vidyaranya says “Shiva in the guise of Chandala”!.

If Vidyaranya introduced a myth or simply captured the feeling of Sankara that he is none other than Shiva is debatable.

What was spoken by Chandala was simple.

He said "o worthy Brahmana please let me know what exactly you wish to keep away. Is it the physical body from another body or this consciousness from another. O Brahmana you want it to be separated . Why do you say “get away , get away” I want to know".

Chandala asks Koyam vibhedah bhramah: where from is this delusion of separateness !

. Chandala gives two examples. The Sun reflected in the waters of Ganges and the Sun reflected in the stream passing by a Chandala's house - is there any difference . The space within golden vessel and the space in an earthen pot – is there a difference ?

He adds viproyam , svapachoyam - where from is this difference ? This man is brahman or this man is an eater of dog;

 Sankara's answer firm. Sankara states his conviction:

Who ever posses ( this) wisdom-  Be he a brahman or be he a chandala - He is my Guru !!

Said with conviction- nobody could have said it better !!

om tat sat