Adhi Shankara was born in a poor Brahmin family of Kerala. His father died before he was born and his mother brought him up. From early childhood he was attracted towards religion. At a very young age of 12 he asked permission from his mother to take up Sanyasa. Sanyasa means living alone without any attachments. His mother refused. One day while Adhi Shankara was taking bath, a crocodile caught his leg. When it was not leaving his leg but dragging him in to the river, Shankara again asked permission from his mother to take up sanyasa. She agreed. Miraculously the crocodile left the legs of Shankara. Shankara then met a great teacher called Govinda Bhagwat Pada and took Sanyasa under him. From then on till he died at the age of the tender age of 32, Shankara took upon himself to find out the real meaning of his religion. The number of books and prayers that he wrote are so numerous that it is difficult to believe that there existed a great man like Shankara. Even today his interpretation of Hinduism called Advaitha is the most popular in India.