Padmapaada was the priya-shishya of Shri Jagadguru Aadi Shankaraachaarya. His original name was Sananda. Once Shri Aadi Shankaraachaarya overheard His other shishyas discussing why their Guru likes Sananda the most? What is so great about him? In order to show the Guru-bhakti of Sananda to other shishyas Shri Aadi Shankaraachaarya called Sananda who was on the other side of the pavitra Gangaa-nadi. Shri Aadi Shankaraachaarya said “come fast”. Without any doubt, Sananda closed his eyes and with ananya-bhakti started to run across the Nadi (which will be the nearest route). Then Gangaa-maata made Padmas appear below Sananda feet, whereever he steps and made him cross the river, without drowning. From that day onwards Sananda was known as Padmapaada.
Padmapaada was born in Choladesham and right from childhood was a Shri Nrusimha-upaasaka. For Shri Nrusimha-saakshaatkaaram, he did Tapas for many years in Ahobilam, the pavitra Shri Nrusimha Kshetram in Aandhra Pradesh. But Svaami didnt show Karuna. Knowing this, once Shri Aadi Shankaraachaarya, who was then near the Pavitra Phaala-dhaara Teertham in the Divya Shrishaila Kshetram, said to Padmapaada “Putra! Padmapaada! You are very eager to have the Divya-darshanam of Shri Narasimha Svaamy. Time for it has come. Not far from here, there is Chenchuguudem. There is one Parvata-Bilam there. Parvata-Bilams are like Maatru-garbham. They keep Jeevas away from usual Worldly things and make him go in the path of Moksham. So you immediately go there and do Tapas. You will get Mantra-siddhi”.
Immediately Padmapaada reached the Parvata-Bilam in Chenchuguudem and started Ghora-Tapas. The King of the Aativikas, knowing this came running to Padmapaada and said, with great Vinayam, “Svaami! My name is Bayanna. I am the Chenchudora (King of Aativikas). This Bhuu-bhaagam is under my control, so just tell me what you are searching for in this place, I will get it to you”. Padmapaada replied “Dora! I am looking for a Nrusimham which has Simham as head and Maanusha-shariiram”. Bayanna replied “Svaami! I know the whole of this forest. I saw many tigers, lions and many wild animals. But I never saw what you described”.
Padmapaada replied “It is there here only. However you will not be able to see It”. Bayanna replied “Svaami! If really there is some Thing like what you described, I will bind It and bring It before you, else I will leave my life”. Saying this, he left for searching Nrusimham. Always thinking about the ruupam that Padmapaada had described, leaving Nidra-aahaaram, Bayanna searched all day. But his shrama didnt get any phalitam. So he decided to do Praana-tyaagam. Then seeing the Nishkalmasha-bhakti of Bayanna, Shri Nrusimham appeared before him! Immediately Bayanna tied Shri Narasimha Svaamy with some creepers and brought him before Padmapaada!!
“Svaami! See I got What you were searching for. I put lot of effort. Finally I got Him. I tied and brought Him, see” said Bayanna. However Padmapaada was not able to see Shri Narasimha. He cried “Svaami! In one day You gave Your saakshaatkaaram to Bayanna. Even though I did Tapas for so many years I am not able to see you?”. “Putra! Padmapaada! The Ekaagrata which even after 1crore years of Tapas is difficult to get, this Bayanna achieved it in one day. Because of you being in his saagatyam (company), you are able to hear Me. Your Tapas gave you phalitam now. You got Mantra-siddhi. When you are in need, I will Myself come to you” saying thus, Shri Narasimha Svaami dissappeared.
Morals in the story:
- Guru-bhakti of Padmapaada is well shown in the story. Without any kind of doubt, Padmapaada started to walk cross the river as soon as he heard his Guru, Shri Aadi Shankaraachaarya call him. Without Guru-bhakti no Vidya can be learnt (see this too).
- The Nishchala Bhakti, Ekaagrata of Bayanna are well shown in the story. As Shri Narasimha Svaami Himself said, the Bhakti, Ekaagrata which even after 1crore years of Tapas cannot be got, Bayanna got in 1 day.
Search Terms: Adi Shankaracharya, Sankaracharya, Padmapada, Nrisimha