One day a young boy went swimming in a river and there he was caught by a crocodile. He started screaming and his mother came running. The crocodile said, "If you want to remain in ignorance, then I will eat you up, but if you do not want to remain in ignorance, then I will let you go."

Then the son said, "Mother, this is the time to grant me my boon. I want to accept sannyas, renunciation. If you do not allow me my wish, then the crocodile will kill me."

"I will give you my permission to accept sannyas if you feel that the crocodile will free you," the mother said.

Immediately the crocodile let him go. The boy fell at his mother's feet for the last time and took her blessings. Then he left home.

This boy was none other than India's Shankaracharya, the peerless philosopher who introduced our Advaita philosophy, "One without a second."