Once there was a a boy named hastAmalaka. He was born in a village called SrIbali, near gokarNa (Karnataka). There was something very unique about this boy, since he was born Self-realized.
Due to hastAmalaka's deep absorption in Reality, he was thought to be quite dumb - even by his loving parents.
One day hastAmalaka's father heard that the great Sage SankarAcArya was visiting SrIbali. He thought to himself, "The least I can do for my poor, dumb son is take him to see this venerable Master." So on the day of SankarAcArya's visit hastAmalaka's father pushed the boy toward the Sage, explaining the unfortunate situation.
SankarAcArya looked at the boy quizzically and asked, "My dear boy, why does everyone think you are dumb?" And in response hastAmalaka spoke the following remarkable verses.
SankarAcArya then received permission from the boy's father so that hastAmalaka could travel with him and train as a disciple.
hastAmalaka is said to have been appointed at the western advaita maTha at Dvaraka, under the guardianship of sureSvara.