SRI SANKARA AND THE BUTCHER

SANKARACHARYA was a Brahmajnani, to be sure! But at the beginning he too had the feeling of differentiation. He didn't have the absolute faith that everything in the world is Brahman. One day as he was coming out of the Ganges after his bath, he saw an untouchable, a butcher, carrying a load of meat. Inadvertently the butcher touched his body. Sankara shouted angrily, "Hey there! How dare you touch me?" "Revered sir", said the butcher, "I have not touched you, nor have you touched me. The pure Self cannot be the body or the five elements or the twenty four cosmic principles." Then Sankara came to his senses. (162)