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It is well-known that Adi Shankara made extensive travels across the nation, thrice up and down and once East to West, on foot. There was a popular story that during his extensive travels, some of his chief disciples were always trying to catch up with him, like going wherever he goes, at least physically, and does whatever he does.

But one day, Adi Shankara and his group passed by a deserted place and they find nothing to take shelter or nothing to eat. There they saw a palm winery where people are rolling on the floor, fully under the grip of alcohol, which the disciples thought why their teacher brought them there. Adi Shankara went there and drank a large pot of Palmwine and returned as he went, not one trace of affect of alcohol was on him! Then the disciples thought that when they stop by in the village, they have to find another winery and drink it.

As they went ahead, Adi Shankara halted before a goldsmith’s house and went inside, the disciples followed. After a brief chat with the goldsmith, Adi Shankara took the molten gold straight out of the furnace and drank it as if he drank the palmwine earlier. The drink, however, showed no effect on him! By seeing this, his disciples realised that following Adi Shankara doesn’t mean striving to imitate what he does, but applying into their lives what he uttered!   

-Viswanath Venkat Dasari

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