Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 04 Jul 2024


Why did Shankara say that His running is also unreal?

[Ms. Geetha Lahari asked:- Paaadanamaskaaram Swami. When Buddhists provoked an elephant towards Shankara, Shankara ran away from the elephant. Then, Buddhists asked Shankara why He should run when the elephant is unreal /false /mithyaa. Then, Shankara told that the entire world is also false and hence, the process of running is also false. Here, You told that Shankara answered this question from the point of human being and not from the point of God. Please elaborate on this, Swami.]


Swami replied:- Shankara is certainly God and for Him, this creation is false. If Shankara wanted to behave like God proving His divinity, Shankara would have stood and the elephant would have passed through Shankara without affecting Him. But, He wanted to show Himself as a soul so that He wanted to preach what a soul must do in such a situation. The soul is a part of the unreal world and hence, the unreal world is real for the unreal soul. Hence, the soul shall run away seeing the elephant. The answer given by Shankara is the answer to be given by a soul. The answer says that the whole world including souls is unreal and hence, the running of the unreal soul must be unreal. This concludes that since the unreal elephant is real for the unreal soul, the soul should behave treating the elephant or any item of the world as real. If this is not preached, tomorrow a soul will stand against the elephant saying that the world (elephant) is unreal and get damaged by the harsh blow given by the elephant. Therefore, Shankara behaved as the soul-component for the welfare of other souls. In the Incarnation, there are two components, one is God and the other is soul.