Today I am sharing a wonderful verse and its stunning purport which touches, or should touch, the very core of every devotee’s heart and soul as this purport accommodates the very essence of Gaudiya philosophy and in a very simple to understand language. This unique purport has the potency to bestow upon any sincere and serious devotee a set of master keys to access and open multiple closed doors within our heart. What better day than Radha Ashtami to try to open the close doors within our heart. All the best!
jīvañ chavo bhāgavatāṅghri-reṇuṁ na jātu martyo ’bhilabheta yas tu śrī-viṣṇu-padyā manujas tulasyāḥ śvasañ chavo yas tu na veda gandham
The person who has not at any time received the dust of the feet of the Lord’s pure devotee upon his head is certainly a dead body. And the person who has never experienced the aroma of the tulasī leaves from the lotus feet of the Lord is also a dead body, although breathing.
According to Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, the breathing dead body is a ghost. When a man dies, he is called dead, but when he again appears in a subtle form not visible to our present vision and yet acts, such a dead body is called a ghost. Ghosts are always very bad elements, always creating a fearful situation for others. Similarly, the ghostlike nondevotees who have no respect for the pure devotees, nor for the Viṣṇu Deity in the temples, create a fearful situation for the devotees at all times. The Lord never accepts any offering by such impure ghosts.
There is a common saying that one should first love the dog of the beloved before one shows any loving sentiments for the beloved. The stage of pure devotion is attained by sincerely serving a pure devotee of the Lord. The first condition of devotional service to the Lord is therefore to be a servant of a pure devotee, and this condition is fulfilled by the statement “reception of the dust of the lotus feet of a pure devotee who has also served another pure devotee.” That is the way of pure disciplic succession, or devotional paramparā.
Mahārāja Rahūgaṇa inquired from the great saint Jaḍa Bharata as to how he had attained such a liberated stage of a paramahaṁsa, and in answer the great saint replied as follows (Bhāg. 5.12.12):
rahūgaṇaitat tapasā na yāti na cejyayā nirvapaṇād gṛhād vā na cchandasā naiva jalāgni-sūryair vinā mahat-pāda-rajo-’bhiṣekam
“O King Rahūgaṇa, the perfectional stage of devotional service, or the paramahaṁsa stage of life, cannot be attained unless one is blessed by the dust of the feet of great devotees. It is never attained by tapasya [austerity], the Vedic worshiping process, acceptance of the renounced order of life, the discharge of the duties of household life, the chanting of the Vedic hymns, or the performance of penances in the hot sun, within cold water or before the blazing fire.”
In other words, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the property of His pure, unconditional devotees, and as such only the devotees can deliver Kṛṣṇa to another devotee; Kṛṣṇa is never obtainable directly. Lord Caitanya therefore designated Himself as gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ, or “the most obedient servant of the servants of the Lord, who maintains the gopī damsels at Vṛndāvana.” A pure devotee therefore never approaches the Lord directly, but tries to please the servant of the Lord’s servants, and thus the Lord becomes pleased, and only then can the devotee relish the taste of the tulasī leaves stuck to His lotus feet. In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is said that the Lord is never to be found by becoming a great scholar of the Vedic literatures, but He is very easily approachable through His pure devotee. In Vṛndāvana all the pure devotees pray for the mercy of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, the pleasure potency of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is a tenderhearted feminine counterpart of the supreme whole, resembling the perfectional stage of the worldly feminine nature. Therefore, the mercy of Rādhārāṇī is available very readily to the sincere devotees, and once She recommends such a devotee to Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Lord at once accepts the devotee’s admittance into His association. The conclusion is, therefore, that one should be more serious about seeking the mercy of the devotee than that of the Lord directly, and by one’s doing so (by the good will of the devotee) the natural attraction for the service of the Lord will be revived.
(Note: Some doors, having rusty locks, may not open in one go, however if we pray to Srimati Radharani and then read the above purport three times then we may be surprised to hear within our heart the sound of those rusty locks opening up this Radha Ashtami.)
Thus Mahātmā Vidura, being treated just like a godly person by his kinsmen, remained there for a certain period just to rectify the mentality of his eldest brother and in this way bring happiness to all the others.
Those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible.
One such mahatma or great soul is Srila Prabhupada, who was never deluded. He remained under the protection of internal energy of Krishna, from his birth till the last moment of his manifested pastimes on this planet. To teach us how to practice it, he not only himself remained engaged in devotional service to Krishna all his life but also engaged everyone and everything in the service of Krishna. An acharya, a mahatma, a godly person from the spiritual world.
Although I had immense opportunities to indulge in the four principles of sinful life because I was connected with a very aristocratic family, Krishna always saved me, and throughout my whole life I do not know what is illicit sex, intoxication, meat-eating or gambling. So far my present life is concerned; I do not remember any part of my life when I was forgetful of Krishna.
(Letter to Tamal Krishna, June 21st 1970)
being treated just like a godly person by his kinsmen
We are all Srila Prabhupada’s kinsmen, being his son/daughter or grand son/daughter. We all do, and should continue to, worship Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet like a godly person from the spiritual world. He is a Premi bhakta, a nitya sidha, an eternal associate of Krishna, who came down from the spiritual world to liberate us. As his followers it is our duty to glorify him every day, both within our heart as well as by our actions.
One who is actually serious about advancing in devotional service should desire only to satisfy the previous ācāryas. Ei chaya gosāñi yāra, mui tāra dāsa. One should always think of oneself as a servant of the servant of the ācāryas, and thinking this, one should live in the society of Vaiṣṇavas.
(CC Madhya 19.156p)
Remained there for a certain period
we can see this from different angles of vision.
Srila Prabhupada remained here for a certain period from 1st September 1896 to 14th November 1977.
Within this period also, Srila Prabhupada actively preached from 1966 to 1977, twelve years.
However Srila Prabhupada also declared that his books will be law books for humanity for next 10,000 years which means that Srila Prabhupada will be present, in the form of his books and instructions, for next 10,00 years! This is the ‘certain period’ this godly person will remain here on this planet.
Reporter: What will happen to the movement… when you die?
Prabhupāda: I will never die.
Devotees: Jaya! Hari bol! (laughter)
Prabhupāda: I shall live from my books, and you will utilize.
(July 16, 1975, San Francisco)
Just to rectify the mentality of his eldest brother
Srila Prabhupada saw everyone as part and parcel of Krishna. Sri Caitanaya Mahaprabhu sent him, His senapati bhakta, to rectify the mentality of the whole kali yugian population, who is very much susceptible to forget God, to remind all of us about our eternal nature, our eternal father, our eternal home and our eternal relationship with God. He was was compassionate upon every single soul on this planet. Krishna sent him for mass liberation.
“How many devotees do you have?” a reporter asked.
“Unlimited,” Prabhupāda said. “Some admit and some don’t admit.
(Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta, chapter 35)
And in this way bring happiness to all the others.
By his books Srila Prabhupada gave and distributed the essence of vedic knowledge to entire humanity. Srila Prabhupada circled the globe 14 times sowing the seed of Krishna consciousness in millions of souls all around the world. Thus he opened the door of eternal happiness for everyone, irrespective of our nationality, religion or sex.
So by their actions the pure devotees of the Lord can render any place into a place of pilgrimage, and the holy places are worth the name only on their account. Such pure devotees are able to rectify the polluted atmosphere of any place.
I hope by churning this verse we could taste some butter.
By sincerely and seriously reading Srila Prabhupada’s books daily all of us can taste the transcendental butter churned by a premi bhakta, a godly person, a mahatma, a special soul from Goloka Vrindavana, Srila Prabhupada.
Last few weeks one term that I have been constantly reading is Krishna’s and Guru’s lotus feet. Somehow the term lotus feet was jumping out from every lecture and every reading I was doing. Taking that as a cue I have compiled this post for the pleasure of the devotees of the lotus feet of Supreme Lord. My own attachment for Krishna’s lotus feet went up a few notches higher simply by searching on this topic!
Krishna’s lotus feet should be our first priority!
When a devotee wants to see the transcendental form of the Lord, he begins his meditation on the Lord’s body by first looking at the feet of the Lord.
One should begin to see the Lord from His lotus feet, gradually rising to the thighs, waist, chest and face. One should not try to look at the face of the Lord without being accustomed to seeing the lotus feet of the Lord.
By his constitutional position, Lord Siva is always great and auspicious, but since he has accepted on his head the Ganges water, which emanated from the lotus feet of the Lord, he has become even more auspicious and important. The stress is on the lotus feet of the Lord. A relationship with the lotus feet of the Lord can even enhance the importance of Lord Siva, what to speak of other, ordinary living entities.
It is stated herein by the Kumäras that the lotus feet of Lord Krishna are the ultimate reservoir of all pleasure.
Their unsurpassed beauty
The beauty of the lotus feet of the Lord is compared to the petals of a lotus flower which grows in the autumn season. By nature’s law, in autumn the dirty or muddy waters of rivers and lakes become very clean. At that time the lotus flowers growing in the lakes appear very bright and beautiful. The lotus flower itself is compared to the lotus feet of the Lord, and the petals are compared to the nails of the feet of the Lord.
Why are they called Lotus feet?
The spiritual planet, Goloka Vṛndāvana, the eternal abode of Lord Kṛṣṇa, is shaped like the whorl of a lotus flower. Even when the Lord descends to any one of the mundane planets, He does so by manifesting His own abode as it is. Thus His feet remain always on the same big whorl of the lotus flower. His feet are also as beautiful as the lotus flower. Therefore it is said that Lord Kṛṣṇa has lotus feet.
Pure devotees are attached to Krishna’s lotus feet.
The pure devotees are always hankering after the lotus feet of the Lord. The lotus has a kind of honey which is transcendentally relished by the devotees. They are like the bees who are always after the honey. Srila Rupa Gosvami, the great devotee acharaya of the Gaudia-Vaishnava-sampradaya, has sung a song about this lotus honey, comparing himself to the bee: “O my Lord Krishna, I beg to offer my prayers unto You. My mind is like the bee, and it is after some honey. Kindly, therefore, give my bee-mind a place at Your lotus feet, which are the resources for all transcendental honey. I know that even big demigods like Brahmä do not see the rays of the nails of Your lotus feet, even though they are engaged in deep meditation for years together. Still, O infallible one, my ambition is such, for You are very merciful to your surrendered devotees. O Mädhava, I know also that I have no genuine devotion for the service of Your lotus feet, but because Your Lordship is inconceivably powerful, You can do what is impossible to be done. Your lotus feet can deride even the nectar of the heavenly kingdom, and therefore I am very much attracted by them. O supreme eternal, please, therefore, let my mind be fixed at Your lotus feet so that eternally I may be able to relish the taste of Your transcendental service.” The devotees are satisfied with being placed at the lotus feet of the Lord and have no ambition to see His all-beautiful face or aspire for the protection of the strong arms of the Lord. They are humble by nature, and the Lord is always leaning towards such humble devotees.
No need to visit any holy place!
Lord Govinda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is described here as Tirthapäda. Tirtha means “sanctified place,” and päda means “the lotus feet of the Lord.” People go to a sanctified place to free themselves from all sinful reactions. In other words, those who are devoted to the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, automatically become sanctified. The Lord’s lotus feet are called tirtha-päda because under their protection there are hundreds and thousands of saintly persons who sanctify the sacred places of pilgrimage. Srila Narottama dasa Thaukura, a great acharay of the Gaudiya Vaishnava-sampradaya, advises us not to travel to different places of pilgrimage. Undoubtedly it is troublesome to go from one place to another, but one who is intelligent can take shelter of the lotus feet of Govinda and thereby be automatically sanctified as the result of his pilgrimage. Anyone who is fixed in the service of the lotus feet of Govinda is called tirtha-päda; he does not need to travel on various pilgrimages, for he can enjoy all the benefits of such travel simply by engaging in the service of the lotus feet of the Lord.
They are the source of everything
The lotus feet of the Lord are known as mahat-padam; this means that the total source of material existence rests on the lotus feet of the Lord. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (10.8), ahaà sarvasya prabhavaù: everything is emanating from Him. This cosmic manifestation, which is compared to an ocean of nescience, is also resting on the lotus feet of the Lord. As such, this great ocean of nescience is minimized by a person who is a pure devotee. One who has taken shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord need not cross over the ocean, for he has already crossed it by virtue of his position at the Lord’s lotus feet.
And They are easy to attain
By hearing and chanting of the glories of the Lord or the Lord’s devotee, one can become firmly fixed in the service of the lotus feet of the Lord.
Krishna’s lotus feet can liberate everyone but..
Lord Krishna is the fountainhead of the principle of vishnu-tattva, and therefore shelter of His lotus feet can deliver one from all sins, including an offense committed by a king unto a brahmana. Maharaja Parikshit, therefore, decided to meditate upon the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna, who is Mukunda, or the giver of liberations of all description. The banks of the Ganges or the Yamuna give one a chance to remember the Lord continuously. Maharaja Parikshit freed himself from all sorts of material association and meditated upon the lotus feet of Lord Krishna, and that is the way of liberation. To be free from all material association means to cease completely from committing any further sins. To meditate upon the lotus feet of the Lord means to become free from the effects of all previous sins. The conditions of the material world are so made that one has to commit sins willingly or unwillingly, and the best example is Maharaja Parikshit himself, who was a recognized sinless, pious king. But he also became a victim of an offense, even though he was ever unwilling to commit such a mistake. He was cursed also, but because he was a great devotee of the Lord, even such reverses of life became favorable. The principle is that one should not willingly commit any sin in his life and should constantly remember the lotus feet of the Lord without deviation. Only in such a mood will the Lord help the devotee make regular progress toward the path of liberation and thus attain the lotus feet of the Lord.
Ecstasy simply by meditation on Krishna’s lotus feet
There is such transcendental bliss in simply meditating on the lotus feet of the Lord that one can forget everything but the Lord’s transcendental form.
The soles of the Lord’s lotus feet are marked with çaìkha-cakra-gadä-padma—conchshell, disc, club and lotus—and also by a flag and a thunderbolt. When Krishna walks on this earth or in the heavenly planets, these marks are visible wherever He goes. Vrindavan-dhama is a transcendental place because of Krishna’s walking on this land frequently. The inhabitants of Vrindavan were fortunate to see these marks here and there. When Akrüra went to Vrindavan to take Krishna and Balarama away to the festival arranged by Kansa, upon seeing the marks of the Lord’s lotus feet on the ground of Vrindavan , he fell down and began to groan. These marks are visible to devotees who receive the causeless mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The demigods were jubilant not only because the appearance of the Supreme Lord would do away with the burdensome demons, but also because they would be able to see upon the ground the transcendental marks from the soles of the Lord’s lotus feet. The gopis always thought of the Lord’s lotus feet when He was walking in the pasturing grounds, and, as described in the previous verse, simply by thinking of the Lord’s lotus feet, the gopis were fully absorbed in transcendence. Like the gopis, one who is always absorbed in thought of the Lord is beyond the material platform and will not remain in this material world. It is our duty, therefore, always to hear, chant and think about the Lord’s lotus feet, as actually done by Vaishvanas who have decided to live in Vrindavan always and think of the Lord’s lotus feet twenty-four hours a day.
Even Krishna wants to taste His own toes!
As the Supreme Personality of Godhead, You have taken birth from my abdomen. O my Lord, how is that possible for the supreme one, who has in His belly all the cosmic manifestation? The answer is that it is possible, for at the end of the millennium You lie down on a leaf of a banyan tree, and just like a small baby, You lick the toe of Your lotus foot.
At the time of dissolution the Lord sometimes appears as a small baby lying on a leaf of a banyan tree, floating on the devastating water. Therefore Devahūti suggests, “Your lying down within the abdomen of a common woman like me is not so astonishing. You can lie down on the leaf of a banyan tree and float on the water of devastation as a small baby. Therefore it is not very wonderful that You can lie down in the abdomen of my body. You teach us that those who are very fond of children within this material world and who therefore enter into marriage to enjoy family life with children can also have the Supreme Personality of Godhead as their child, and the most wonderful thing is that the Lord Himself licks His toe.”
Since all the great sages and devotees apply all energy and all activities in the service of the lotus feet of the Lord, there must be some transcendental pleasure in the toes of His lotus feet. The Lord licks His toe to taste the nectar for which the devotees always aspire. Sometimes the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself wonders how much transcendental pleasure is within Himself, and in order to taste His own potency, He sometimes takes the position of tasting Himself. Lord Caitanya is Kṛṣṇa Himself, but He appears as a devotee to taste the sweetness of the transcendental mellow in Himself which is tasted by Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, the greatest of all devotees.
(Gaura willing I will post the next blog on the glorification of the lotus feet of Sri Guru. )