Baba Girdhari Das Walks On Water
Baba Girdhari Das Walks On Water
“In Sant Mat, no importance is attached to magical feats. The true miracle lies in this — that the Jiva [soul] is rid of the bondage of recurrent births and deaths and he reaches the holy feet of the Supreme Being, and the Abhyasi [meditation practitioner] sees with his own eyes his salvation being worked out. Devotees of Sant Mat are strictly forbidden to cherish any desire for, and indulge in, supernatural feats.
“It seems desirable to quote here another anecdote stating how Tulsi Saheb was greatly annoyed at the performance of a miracle by a disciple of His.
“‘Once about sixty to seventy persons from Agra were going together to Hathras. There being no railways then, they made use of chariots, horses and palanquins, as available, and some went on foot as well. Amongst them, there was one disciple of Tulsi Saheb whose name was Baba Girdhari Das Ji. On the way, some of the travelers started calumniating Tulsi Saheb. Baba Girdhari Das Ji felt very much hurt. But at that time, he thought it better to keep mum, for he was all alone, whereas the calumniators were many. The river Yamuna on the way had to be crossed. All the other travelers got on board the ferry boat, but Baba Girdhari Das Ji instead, crossed the river walking on the surface of the water with wooden sandals on probably thinking that the calumniators would realize that if the disciple possessed such supernatural powers, his Master must be supremely great and they would then cease to calumniate.
“‘Before Baba Girdhari Das Ji could reach his destination, the news of his miraculous feat had already reached Tulsi Saheb. Those amongst the travelers who knew Tulsi Saheb, ran to Him no sooner than they had disembarked, and falling prostrate at His feet, narrated before Him the miraculous feat performed by Baba Girdhari Das Ji.
“‘When Baba Girdhari Das Ji came in the presence of Tulsi Saheb, He struck him with His Chimta (pair of tongs which mendicants carry with them), and scolding him severely, asked him what the levy was for ferrying across. In a voice trembling with fear, the Baba Ji said that it was one penny. At this Tulsi Saheb curtly said “Now I know! You became a Sadhu just to save one penny. What great glory is there to it? Even a small fish can do that. Saying this, Tulsi Saheb drove away Girdhari Das Ji from His place.'” (Param Sant Tulsi Sahib, by S.D. Maheshwari, Agra)
I believe the walking on water story S.D. Maheshwari quoted is originally from the book of “Surat Bilas”, an apocryphal collection of hagiographical stories about Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, India. Unfortunately this book, like so many others, is only in Hindi.
The story above reminds one of a similar tale of Peter, disciple of Christ walking on water.
As with Peter and his spiritual Master, in real life Baba Girdhari Sahib eventually became a spiritual successor of Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, establishing an ashram and spiritual mission in the city of Lucknow. Girdhari also was very close friends with Sant Radhasoami Sahib (Soami Ji Maharaj). I wrote a blog about this somewhat “Hidden Guru” of Sant Mat.
Sant Mat History: The Case for Sant Girdhari Sahib, a Successor of Tulsi Sahib: