When Shankaracharya got Brahma Gyaan he saw the whole world as a dream and unreal. At that time he felt energy is not real; Shakti also is a dream. At this time he went to the banks of the River Ganga to take a holy dip. As he was climbing up the stairs of the ghats of Ganga, he saw a lady with a dead body lying by her side.
He told the lady, “Please take the dead body away from my path.” The lady replied, “Baba, you tell the dead body to get out of your way.” When he heard this crazy woman saying such a foolish thing, Shakaracharya said, “Mother, inside this corpse there is no shakti (energy).” The lady said, “Why Baba? Does that mean without shakti no one can move?”
Shankaracharya got upset and said, “What you are saying is impossible. This man is dead – unless we move him, he cannot move by himself.” The lady answered, “Why is this impossible? In the cycle of creation, can Nature (prakriti) move without Pure Consciousness (chetana shakti)? Why do you say that a dead body cannot move? Please explain this to me.”
Shankaracharya was surprised. He felt that whoever has Nirvikalpa samadhi resides in Pure Consciousness (Shuddha Chetana). He is One with the entire universe. This is Shakti, energy. She is Chinmayi Jagat Janani (the Universal Mother of Creation) and creator of this perceivable universe.
The dead body and the lady disappeared. It was Divine Mother Maa Annapurna who led Shankaracharya to this intuitive understanding to break his ego and it was Lord Shiva who acted as the dead body.
Shree Maa smiled and said, “If we love God with unconditional love, God teaches us in such a beautiful way. If we take one step towards God, God takes 10 steps towards us. Is it not beautiful? Is it not Truth?” Maa laughs in a gentle all knowing way…ha,ha,ha…
Ramakrishna’s Sanyaas Guru Totapuri did not believe in Shakti (Energy). When Ramakrishna clapped his hands and said “Maa, Maa, Maa, Maa,” Totapuri used to get very mad. But when he stayed a long time with Ramakrishna, he felt a change within himself. When the effect of illusion breaks asunder, then one attains consciousness with wisdom. When True Consciousness awakens, the effects of maya (illusion) go away. Ramakrishna said that you can light a thousand lamps in a dark room and all the darkness goes away. When Pure Consciousness awakens, illusion goes away. This does not happen little by little, it happens in one moment, all together.