There is a similar story in the life history of Sadashiva Brahmendra. He sings in his Atma Vidya Vilasam (#46): “With the folded hand as pillow, the sky as blanket, the bare ground as bed, and dispassion as wife – thus sleeps a renunciate in the blessed state of samAdhi”.
Once he was himself in that blissful pose of sleep on the ground in an open field. A farmer girl who was passing by, remarked to her friend, with a sarcastic smile: What a sannyasi! He needs a head-rest for his head; what type of renunciation is this?
This made Sadashiva Brahmendra think: ‘How come I am thinking like an ordinary man that the head has to rest above the level of the rest of the body in order to sleep? Unless I get rid of this attachment to the body my sannyAsa is not worth the salt. It is only Mother Goddess who has come in the form of this low-caste woman to give me this upadesha’.
Thus thinking, he removed his hand that was used as a head rest and lay on the ground without any headrest. But the same woman who had commented earlier passed that way again, saw the change in the posture of the sannyasi and again gave a sarcastic laugh followed by an equally sarcastic comment!
She said: “A Sannyasi should know things for himself. Just to keep reacting to comments made by passers-by does not speak well of renunciation!”
That was the day when Sadashiva became an honest-to-goodness non-reacting, non-acting, non-responding inert-like entity, Sadashiva Brahman!
Thus even the commonfolk seem to be knowing what kind of vairAgyaM should a Sannyasi possess.!