Sanandhana was dejected!! What use of my austerity and sadhana? When a normal person won Lord mercy by his sheer love without any iota of pride. He understood Lord was looking for his innocent and unconditional love .
Check the appended post for the full story
The spiritual pride of Sanandana was shattered with that incident …
True!! He recollected his guru’s teachings …” when devotion enters a man he becomes humane” . The hunter was a truly humane.
He realised it was Lord’s divine will to reveal HIMSELF. He quickly walked out of the jungle accepting the Lord’s instructions praying continuously chanting the ” Mantra Raja Pada ” sloka and humming Lords holy names . It is almost end of the jungle .Suddenly he hears a chorus of Hari Naama sankeertanam
Rushing into the crowd, he finds few sadhus chanting “Rama nama” .. Immensely pleased that he reached the right place , he joins the band and sings the holy name. Attracted by the boy’s tejas, the sadhus ask him whether he would join them up to Varanasi. Sanandana’s only aim was to meet his new Acharyar and for that he was supposed to travel to holy dhams .He readily agreed .
He just followed the child devotee Prahalada’s instructions of various forms of worship like Sravanam, Keertanam,Smaranam, Vandanam, Padha sevanam, Daasyam, Atma Nivedanam. Always contemplating on the Lord’s beautiful form and uttering the holy names , he reached Varanasi.
Looking at holy Ganges, he rushes to take a holy dip. Praying Paramasivan, the foremost Vaishnava who composed Mantra Raja Pada Stotram to grace him and bless him in meeting his satguru.
He takes leave of sadhus to have darshan of Lord Vishwanatha. Enroute he is attracted to a serene place. Looking at the temple tower, he pays his obeisances to Lord Paramasivan with a humble prayer to grace him in meeting his satguru . He once again returns to the same serene place. Walking slowly, he hears vedic chants learnt by him from his guru. Overjoyed, he moves further to see a gurukul scene. Under a tree he looks into a saint having a divine aura around him. The saint is young and has a magnetic personality. His eyes were so compassionate which makes anyone sink ..
Sanandhana rushed to the spot. He just falls at the young saint’s lotus feet like an uprooted tree with tears …Sanandana’s conscience announces that he is his satguru. Thus he waits patiently for his guru to speak to him.. silently chanting, he stands there among the disciples.
The young saint was Adishankara. Reverentially he walks near his master and submits.
My name is Sanandhana. I am coming from the banks of Kaveri. I am a disciple of a learned guru and have completed my studies in shukla yajur veda .
Adisankara was looking at the boy and could see an aura of a lion faced Lord Narasingha around him. By his mere looks, Adi sankara understood he was a staunch Lord Narasingha Bhagavan’s devotee
Looking at the bright lad he asks ! Good child !! Tell me who is your Ishta Daivam. Immediately Sanandana replies !! Lord Narasingha !!
and narrates the episode what happened few days back. The instructions and the mission.
Adi Sankara understood the boy’s dedication. He replied.. My child! In fact I was waiting for you. By next Pournami, we must reach Ujjain…. Nice that you joined us ..
Sanandhana liked the place. He became the most obedient disciple and served his Acharyar in all means . Slowly by his sheer service he became , Acharya’s personal servant
He learnt the inner esoteric truths from Upanishads in detail from his Master . All the while, he was remembering ” Lord Narasingha Dev” chanting silently the Mantra Raja Pada Stotram.
Sanandhana’s mood was always immersed in the divine instructions of Lord Narasingha dev to seek solace from an Acharya. He was eager to have Mantropadesham and have darshan of Lord by the mercy of Adisankara.Thus he was constantly chanting Lord Narsingha Dev Moola Mantra.
Other disciples were jealous of Sanandhana for his proximity to Acharyar Adisankara. Adisankara knew Sanandhana was an advanced devotee who had almost heard the Lord and was a realised soul.
He wished to prove Sanadhana’s devotion and steadfastness among the disciples . One evening during the classes, Adisankara instructed Sanandana to go to the other bank of Ganges river and bring dharba grass which was intentional test . Sanandana managed to cross the river and was picking up the kusa grass. Suddenly he was informed that Acharya urgently wanted his disciples to see him.
Sanandhana looked puzzled and simply ran towards the Ashram without bothering that he was literally running over the river Ganges . Ganges was flowing with so much ferocity and it would have washed away any one!!
But Sanandhana chanting the Mantra raja Pada slokam simply ran over the water much to the astonishment of all the disciples. There in the river they could see a lotus blooming at the place where Sanandhana was to place his foot. When Sanandana put his foot in the river, a huge lotus came up to hold his foot and when he raised his next leg to put the next step , another lotus emerged eagerly waiting to receive his foot. Sanandana just ran over the bloomed lotus flowers in the flowing water . Not a single drop of water touched his foot. The disciples were aghast. Adisankara was silently praying Lord Narasinga deva.
The sight of a devotee walking on lotus flowers amidst the setting sun was so divine.
Sanandhana ran and fell at he Acharya’s feet and begged to forgive him for having come late. Adisankara could gauge the lad’s steadfast devotion and Lord’s protection on him.
He said, Sanandhana from now onwards you will be known as” Padmapada”-the one who has lotus feet.
Sanandhana fell at acharyar’s feet seeking mercy. All the disciples could understand the depth of devotion he had to their Acharya .
Years passed! Sankara with his disciples were returning southwards towards Simhachalam in Andhra pradesh . It was a thick jungle infested with wild animals. There was a tribe called “Kaapalikas”. The kapalikas used to kill humans to appease their demigods for materialistic pleasures. Human sacrifice was a common ritual those days.
A young Kaapalika notices Adisankara performing oblations near a hillock . Other disciples were walking far behind . Seeing the young sanyasi with effulgence he decides that offering the brahmin will be a great feast to the demigod .
Shankara noticed the Kaapalika coming near him .He understood the divine play about to happen .He smiled at the new entrant . He asked him what exactly he wished.
The Kaapalika was a dark tall man with an ugly face wearing a garland of skulls.
He said, “Oh holy sire, I had taken a vow to offer heads of pure saints to our goddess so that I can rule this world. Please accept my request as with your consent, my goddess will shower my entire tribe to rule the world.
Sankara was wondering !!! Did you say saints ..!!
Oh! Heads of saints !!!
The kaapalika replied Yes,Yes.
Sankara smiled! and immediately agreed! In that case let it happen !!! I am ready …
The cannibal was overjoyed. He never expected the polite answer !!!
He said Thank you Swamin ….
” Now! Please come along… They entered a cave and Sankara could see a huge idol of demigoddess. The Cannibal said ..Please help yourself swamin … There is that tree ..Please sit on the trunk of it .. as I go and get the sword !!! –.
Sankara did what was told by cannibal.
Meanwhile !!! Sanandana along with the other disciples managed to trace the cave and rushed to see his Master meditating under the tree. The scene was gruesome …
He noticed the cannibal raising a sharp sword to kill his master. Sanandana couldn’t bear the scene ….
He immediately jumped chanting Jai Narasimha
Jai Jai Narasimha
and challenged the cannibal face to face.
Sankara opened his eyes. He saw Sanandana in a huge form roaring ferociously. He roared and just walked before the cannibal and pulled the sharp sword. He dissected his head in fraction of seconds amidst pride of lions following him from no where …
Sankara was shocked by the sight. The head of Kaapalika was gone and lying at his feet.
Sanandhana was still in fury roaring , making all the disciples tremble ..
The Acharya stood up and with folded hands and went near his disciple.
He was now worshipping his own disciple.. He could see Lord Narasingha bhagavan in him and thus had a divine darshan.
Instantly he composed the holy sloka “Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Mamadehi Karavalambam” and offered it to Lord’s lotus feet ..
The entire cave was vibrating with the holy chants …
Sanandhana by his sheer love, dedication could dissolve Lord Narasimha bhagavan in himself. It was not him seeking Lord’s darshan. Instead Lord gave darshan through him.!! to his Acharyar !!
Sanandana was the foremost disciple of Adisankara ..
JAI NARASINGA DEV
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pics credits : Google images
Videos : Advanced devotees of Lord Narasingha bhagavan