Stories | Shishya
Once while Aachaarya (Sri Shankar Bhagavatpaad) was in Kaashee, that he saw Sanandan (one of his good disciples) standing on the other bank of the Ganges. Sanandan was drying Aachaarya's clothes. At that moment, Aachaarya decided to reveal Sanandan's Guru Bhakti to the world. So, after his bath in the river, and with his wet clothes on, the Aachaarya asked Sanandan who was on the other bank to bring his dry clothes to him.
Sanandan wanted to fulfill his Guru's wish immediately. Since he had intense devotion (Bhakti) towards his Guru. He could not bear to see his Aachaarya with wet clothes on. When ardent love or devotion springs up in one's heart, the mind loses all its rationality. So, Sanandan could not wait to find a boat to cross the Ganges. While he was oblivious of the deep, vast Ganges flowing before him in all her splendor, how could he even think of a boat? His mind was totally engrossed in the thought that Aachaarya was standing with wet clothes at a calling distance and has asked him to bring the dry clothes over to him.
So, he started walking over the flowing Ganges, just as he would walk over plain dry land. He did not think twice that he might get drowned. He did not swim since the Aachaarya's clothes would get wet and the purpose of his Aachaarya's call would be defeated. When such an act of ardent devotion is witnessed, won't the Lord (In the form of his Aachaarya) himself acknowledge it and show everyone its greatness? So, a miracle happened. As Sanandan walked over the Ganges, big lotuses started springing up supporting his every step. Keeping his feet on those lotuses, Sanandan walked over the river. But he was not aware of the lotuses that supported his feet. Just as one who walks over the fire as part of a ritual (Thee midhi) does not feel the heat, Sanandan was also not feeling the cool, soft flowers beneath his feet. While everybody was witnessing this rare show of intense devotion and were awestruck by the miracle, Sanandan reached the other side of the bank and handed over the dry clothes to his Guru.
The Aachaarya asked Sanandan, teasingly "How did you cross the Ganges?" Even then Sanandan did not turn back to look at the river or the lotuses that had sprung up beneath his feet. He felt strongly that it was Aachaarya who had ordered him to do so. That being the case, how can it remain without being fulfilled? It was his blessing that had taken him to this place.
So he said - "The very thought of you reduces the deep ocean of Sansaar to a shallow knee-deep water body. So, there is nothing to wonder about how I crossed the Ganges when you had ordered me to do so." After this, the Aachaarya himself showed Sanandan, the lotuses that had sprung in order to support his feet and thus named him "Padmapaad". Though in one state the Aachaarya himself is the Lord, he is also thought of to be the lotus feet of the Lord (Bhagavatpaad). It is indeed apt that such a Guru had a disciple named "Padmapaad".
Created by Sushma Gupta on 05/09/04
Modified on 10/03/13